There are two kinds of cabin fever. Gayle and Evan Peterson have the good kind — the kind that whispers a memory and teases of the future. A fever that starts low-grade, intensifying to the point that owning a log cabin is the only cure.
“Growing up, my family spent summers in a log cabin on a lake in New Jersey,” Evan recalls. “There were many fond memories of our summers in the cabin. Three boys sleeping in one bedroom can be entertaining, if not restful.”
After they were married, Gayle and Evan, who had been sweethearts through high school and college, were drawn to waterfront weekend escapes with their own boys, boating and swimming in the lake just as Evan had as a child. Some 40 years later, as the couple contemplated retirement, cabin fever began to rage.
“Gayle had a magazine about log homes and suggested that ‘having one might be different and cool,’” Evan says. “In an instant the memories of the lake house came rushing back! It was a great idea, but we knew nothing about building a log home.”
During their lives together, they had built four custom homes and were living in the last one in Texas with a second home in Florida. However, both homes were too far from their two sons who were now grown with families of their own. “After a great deal of research, we flew to North Carolina to look at property and met a couple who would become our guides and confidants for the next three years,” explains Evan, referring to Honest Abe Log Homes independent dealers Darlene and Rodger Dawson, owners of Bear’s Den Log Homes.
That weekend they bought land at Grandview Peaks near Nebo, North Carolina, almost 1,400 miles from their home.
“Soon Gayle and Darlene started designing the cabin,” Evan says, laughing at the word “cabin” and remembering that over the two years spent developing a final plan, the house grew, then shrunk, then grew again.
Manufactured by Honest Abe Log Homes in Moss, Tennessee, the resulting 3,250- square-foot “cabin” is a custom designed, three-bedroom D-log home with a heart-stopping view from any of its 18 windows that face the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“We sit on our deck in the morning, have our coffee and watch the sunrise,” Gayle says. “In the evenings, we sit around our fire pit with a glass of wine (or two) and enjoy how relaxing and quiet it is in the mountains.”
Evan and Gayle agree that the cabin has become far more than a retirement home. With their boat moored nearby, they recreate for their grandchildren some of the memories that stoked their fervor — and fever — for a cabin.
“It’s a beautiful retreat,” Gayle says with a sigh. “The cabin has become so much of what we do and who we are. Every day is a vacation in a wonderful place. And living in nature is good for the heart and soul.”
Square Footage: 3,250
Bathrooms: 2 full, 1 half