Ken and Glenda Cahill are tireless technology professionals by day and liberated lodge keepers by night. And that’s just the way they like it.
“Log home living is relaxing. It’s a quiet atmosphere that transports you back to slower times,” explains Glenda, who says she often hears coyotes howling in the night and wild turkeys gobbling at daybreak.
The couple made the log home leap in 2002 to combat the stress of fast-paced city life. Now, instead of riding the subway escalator to ground level each morning, the telecommuters emerge from their basement office to face spectacular mountain views. Best of all, their home office is just as high-tech as the ones their co-workers enjoy back in the city.
The Wildberry Lodge (named for the berry bushes scattered around the property) is a 5,230-square-foot, red pine log home sitting on 34 acres. The property overlooks a farm community in the Newfound Valley of the Western Carolina Appalachian range.
The couple shares this home with their 24-year-old son, Eric, a culinary student who is often seen flipping pancakes at breakfast time. Other “residents” include two Scottish Highland cows (a shaggy breed not often seen stateside), a few goats (to mow the steep hillsides) and a Husky-Shepherd mix named Sassy.
Visitors stay in the six charming guest rooms: the Blackberry, Blueberry, Gooseberry, Strawberry, Raspberry and Loft.
Although the mountain getaway feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s actually just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville, which gives the Cahills and their visitors quick access to shopping, casinos, museums and other big-city amenities. And locally there’s whitewater rafting and canoeing, horseback riding and a Cherokee Indian reservation that offers a wonderful cultural adventure.
Here are some unique design elements that went into their building project:
- An open floorplan, including a U-shaped kitchen that can accommodate up to four cooks at one time.
- A five-sided bay window in the great hall, which features a massive fireplace made of rocks from local mountains.
- A large, covered flagstone patio, a 40-foot sun deck and a front porch with bentwood hickory rockers.
- Wildberry Lodge is a handcrafted home built of round, peeled red pine logs with a purlin-and-gable roof framing system.