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Big Timber's Progress Page

Welcome to the site of Big Timber Lodge~in progress. We (Lee and Lucinda, Dick and Tami) purchased 55 acres on the SE tip of Raspberry Island. Join us as we keep a log of our adventures in building a dream!

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

Big Timber Lodge is built and we are open for business!! Thanks for your interest and support. We'll be updating our website from here on out.
Now come and visit us in person!
The Neel's and The Starr's

Sunday, 02 September 2007

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

Our first large group (12) arrived on Thursday. Lots of great weather, excellent fishing, and good meals. Take a look at the pictures and check back soon, we'll add more as we go!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Location: USA

OK I've been getting alot of comments regarding updates :-) Well it's hard to know where to begin --- Things are going along steadily, we have Mark Schneider working out here and he is a very hard working carpenter. Lee and Mark are working pretty much 7 / 12's. All three guest cabins are up and metal roofs on!! They are now inside of cabin #1 sheeting it and will be moving on to the other cabins and finishing them up in the next couple of days. We are waiting for plumbing supplies to arrive, we are having a really bad summer storm -- we actually broke some record yesterday for the amount of rain we received!! Not exactly the kind of record you want when you are trying to build!! As soon as the plumbing does arrive though we will be able to finish the bathrooms and get heat and water installed! Fortunately Lee did get the water-line from the house to the first cabin before the rain came. We have 12 guest coming the end of August so we are really pushing to get everything done ASAP. Dennis Roberts, our brother-in-law from WA. was here over this last weekend and he and I were able to get some paint on the fronts of the cabins and some trim work done. There is still alot of painting to do so if any of you have some free time ...... :-) Oh, and most importantly!! Iona is due to have our first grandchild "Samuel Ryan" on August 31st so I will be heading to Anchorage this weekend in anticipation of his arrival! If there is anyone out there that would like to take over the cooking for Lee and Mark let us know :-)

Wednesday, 04 July 2007

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

Happy 4th of July!!
We've all been working hard! Mark, our carpenter, has been working with Lee and Dick at least 12 hours a day, every day, for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Tami was able to go out for 5 days and help Lucinda with the cooking and cleaning. Lee and the guys were able to move the banya to the upper meadow. It was an eyesore but still a building worth keeping. It will become a tool shed and work shop, and a new banya will be built in the near future. Lucinda and Tami painted the old cabin and the generator shack. They look so much better.
Stay tuned.....we'll be adding more pictures in the next few days.

Sunday, 06 May 2007

Location: Big Timber, USA

Friday night Dick picked up Lucinda, Bill Lee and I at Anton Larsen...we loaded the boat with as much as we could and took off to move her into her new home. Lee met us out there on Saturday and the Lazy Bay should be there today with the rest of their things. Lots of activities going on out there. The loft was sanded and sealed...the hand rails and stairs to the cabin are in the works. The weather was beautiful...We will have a phone and internet out there soon. Stay tuned and we'll post the info when we have it. Happy Cinco de Mayo from Big Timber~

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Location: Big Timber!, USA

Ray and DIck arrived into town this morning and will head back out on Monday to continue on with building the cabin and some finish work....there will always be work to do! Ray, Dick and Ryan have been busy the last couple of weeks, building our first cabin...and hanging the beautiful french doors to Lee and Lucinda's room. Lee will be heading 'home' with Lucinda on May 5th. She retires on Monday from her career at Fish and Game, and Big TImber will be Home Sweet Home from here on out!
Check out the pictures Dick took while he was out there.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Location: Big Timber, USA

Just spoke to Dick. He, Ryan and Ray are busy building the cabin. As of today there are 3 walls up and the floor is in! Lee and Lucinda are preparing their household goods to ship 'home'. 8 more working days for Lucinda and then on to their new adventure!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

Dick, Craig and Tami went out late in the afterrnoon on April 11th, the birthday of our dear Lucy Lu! We celebrated with cake and good wishes and a great dinner of fresh fish. The next day it was back to work. Lucinda painting her room and Tami priming hers for paint the next trip out. (In between cooking and constant sweeping!)
Craig went to work installing our kitchen cabinets (they turned out BEAUTIFUL!)
Dick and Lee took down several trees and cleared the area for our first cabin.
Ray and Ryan met us a couple of days later. Ryan started milling wood for the cabins and Ray started setting the pilings with the help of Dick and Lee. Lots of work done (and lots left to do). It's beautiful out there and we are all having a great time chipping away at what needs to be done. Lucinda retires in 2 weeks and 5 minutes :) She's will be out there living full time after that.
Dick is heading back out with another load of construction supplies and will stay for the next couple of weeks.
Tami will be back to the work in town and will try to fly out on weekends! Keep checking as we will have internet and phone out there in the next couple of weeks and can add our pictures a bit more often!

Monday, 15 January 2007

Location: Raspberry Island~Big Timber, USA

The four of us spent Saturday and Sunday over at the Lodge. Just taking pictures and making sure everything was ready for the Lazy Bay to bring another load of equipment and appliances out on Tuesday morning. The weather was beautiful and things are coming along nicely! We had a great time and took lots of picture of the Lodge~Enjoy

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

Happy Thanksgiving! All four of us spent the week at Big Timber. The weather was absolutely fantastic. Cold with a little snow on the ground.
Iona, Jason, Cole and Drew flew in on a float plane Tuesday afternoon. Jason began working right away, running wire and hooking us up to electricity! The guys and Iona followed closely with insulation, then later added the vapor barrier. What a huge difference that makes when it comes to a cold night!
Our fireplace is able to warm the Lodge and after the insulation is complete it will be more than sufficient! We certainly have enough fuel (wood) to keep it going!
On Thursday, Thanksgiving, Dick took the Starrfish in to Anton Larson, and picked up Erin, O'Brien, Chloe and Pele. We all had a fantastic and thankful Thanksgiving meal and Lucinda and I enjoyed testing our new stove and refrigerator! Awesome to have something that we take for granted in town.
Our generator gave up the ghost so another one will soon be on its way. Much larger with room for expansion. The last few days Big Timber has been run solely through solar power! Thanksgiving was the word for it.
It was so good to have half of the kids out there. The kids getting to know each other and the youngsters played so well! Drew and Chloe became good friends quickly and they were sad to part when it was time for Chloe to head home.
We are all very thankful for such a beautiful location, health, friends and family! We look forward to the many good times to come! As the pictures come in from Iona and Erin we will continue to add them to the site. Keep checking!

Happy Holidays

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Location: USA

No pictures to add this week but we had a VERY busy and productive weekend! Lee, Lucinda, Dick and Tami flew to Anchorage to purchase a majority of our applicances. We found our fireplace (it's already in beat us by a day!). We found our stove with a warmer, refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher and all of our lighting fixtures and ceiling fans (thanks Jay and Iona for all of your help!). Everything is ordered and will be here soon.
Our children will be joining us for our first family gathering at Big Timber on Thanksgiving. Who knows what kind of a meal will come out of it but most importantly...we will all be together enjoying this magnificent view and two very thankful their dreams.

Sunday, 29 October 2006

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

WOW, what a fantastic weekend! Dick, Tami and Lucinda went out for the weekend. Lee, Ryan, Tom and Craig were already out there and had been working away on the roofing and finished it this morning. Next to go in are the windows! We are so looking forward to seeing that happen. Don Dumm arrived Friday night and started right away installing the solar system. He spent the night and finished on Saturday.Lucinda, Lee and Tami came back in's always sad to have to leave. Dick is staying out at the Lodge site and will be doing whatever he can to keep things going. Lee and Lucinda are moving and taking care of all that goes with it. Lee is hoping to be back out in a few days. Lucinda and Tami will continue with their day jobs.
The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. Clear and very sunny. A bit chilly but nothing a coat can't solve. The views are amazing! Check out the website for additional pictures!

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Location: Big Timber Lodge, USA

We have had "INCREDIBLE" progress this past week! Lee, Craig, Tom and Ryan (along with his new puppy Eddy) have been working HARD. They headed back out Monday afternoon with a load of 3000+ lbs. of building supplies, the landing craft (Lazy Bay) showed up Tuesday night late with all the windows and bathroom fixtures. They have finished the rafters, and got the roof on the lodge, built a shed to house the solar unit and built the deck for the solar panels. The large wood pile that they had is down to the bare bones! They all came back to town last night (10/21) to visit their wives and figure out a way to get the metal roofing out to the site this next week. Dick will be back from the boat yard Tuesday night so he will be able to get out to the building site this week, Tami & Lucinda are hoping to get out there next weekend to get a feel of the place. They, just like you all, are just getting to look at these pictures too.

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Location: Big Timber, USA

We had an incredible week!! Lucinda went out on Friday morning (10/6) with supplies and meals that Tami had prepared for the guys and was blown away with all the progress since her last visit!! The guys were out of plywood, so Tom Springer showed up with a load of plywood from town in his skiff, he is another awesome neighbor AND carpenter who is available to help us build! On Saturday we put up the first wall, along with the help of John Barklow and crew (all Navy Seals!) They had been on a overnight successful elk hunt on Raspberry Island, WE HAVE IT ALL on Raspberry ! Then on Sunday we were able to get the BIG back wall up with the help of the track-hoe and 3 more exterior walls! Then on Sunday the weather was wet and windy but that didn't stop the guys they continued working and were able to get more walls up and on Monday we had beautiful weather but windy and they started putting some beams in and interior walls!! It was hard to come home Tuesday morning but the guys needed MORE building supplies and Stan Duncan (lives in Port Bailey) was going to town with his seiner (boat) and offered to bring us back our materials and diesel fuel!! It was a beautiful morning and the trip to town was incredible, there is snow in the high mountains and winter is on its way but the water was flat and the sea otters and whales were out enjoying the morning as much as we were.

Since I've been back in town the guys are still working away and I talked to them last night (10/12) and they have gotten up all the exterior walls, beams and are now putting up the rafters. They plan on coming to town Sunday evening or Monday morning for a couple of days and then will head back out with more materials and start putting on the ROOF!! Stay Tuned there's more to come!!

Saturday, 30 September 2006

Location: USA

Lee, Craig & Ryan went out Tuesday afternoon and were able to get the rest of the floor joist finished and they got most of the skirting around the crawl space up. The lodge is actually starting to take shape!! They came back to town Thursday night and surprised their wives! They are out of materials until the Cape Douglas is able to get their plywood delivered out there. There is a big storm front coming in so hopefully they'll be leaving Monday or Tuesday to get back to work.

Friday, 22 September 2006

Location: USA

Just a quick update. We spent most of the week out at Big Timber. Suffered through a pretty good storm and fared well! Lots of laughter and good times.
Steve, Tina, Tami, Dick, Lee, Ryan and Craig were all doing our bit to do what needed to be done. Lucinda is busy working full time in town, running the B&B, and packing up the house to be out by the 15th!
The men put in all the pilings!! They need to cap them all and then can start laying the beams. It was a very productive week!!! Take a look at the photo's when you have the chance and keep checking in!!!

Monday, 18 September 2006

Location: Raspberry Island, USA

We just returned from another quick trip. My sister Tina and her husband Steve are out here on their honeymoon. We spent the weekend out at Big Timber. Dick finished cutting some huge tree stumps so that the back hoe can pluck them out of the earth. Steve built us a door for the out-house (thank you Steve), and some shelving to organize the cabin a little better. We did quite a bit of fishing and Steve and Tina each caught a King Salmon and several halibut. It was a great trip.
I took the week off from my 'normal' job and we are heading back out tomorrow morning. Craig, our builder, is starting the build tomorrow!!!! The pilings are going in first. Very exciting. We should have a good bunch of people out there to get things going.
We will be posting pictures as soon as one of us returns to town.

Thanks for checking in!!

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Location: Kodiak Home Base, USA

While the guys continue to mill lumber Lucinda and I met over in Anchorage to tackle some of the purchasing of the larger items that won't fit in the Lodge after it is enclosed. 2 bathtubs, 2 showers, 3 toilets a pedestal sink and bamboo flooring later we were done....for now. Everything should be here next week! Craig, our builder and friend will be starting to actually build in a few more days.
A friend took a load of pilings etc out with Dick on Monday morning. The guys, Ryan Dick and Lee, will be back in town today to tie up some loose ends here. My sister and her husband are arriving tomorrow and we will all head out on Friday or Saturday to fish and work from there. It's their honeymoon so hopefully they like the wall tent we will set up for them for the time being! Thanks again to everyone that is offering their time and assistance. We couldn't appreciate it more! We'll have more pictures to add to the site next week!! Until then~

Monday, 28 August 2006

Location: USA

This last week was another busy one. Ryan and Lee continue milling lumber and falling trees around the building pad. Lee has started clearing a path to the back meadow so that he can take down trees and clear an area for the future GreenHouse and Garden. Bill Clay scored us 15 windows for our outbuildings from a job site and Dick transported a huge bundle of pilings to Raspberry Island on his way out west to halibut fish. Over the weekend our friends Bill, Jenny & Jordan Clay came out with Lucinda on Friday evening and camped out. Saturday Bill, Lee & Ryan tore the old porch off of the existing cabin and framed in a new porch, complete with a window while Jenny, Jordan and Lucinda groomed the grounds around the building area. The weather was absolutely WET WET WET but we still enjoyed the peace of our surroundings and the baby eagles kept us entertained with their chatter and lack of flying skills! We also watched the playful sea otters out front. Saturday night we all came back to town. We met with our builder Craig Olsen and are finalizing the lodge blueprints. Ryan and Lee made 2 trips over the pass on Monday with supplies (plywood to dry in the porch & a bigger generator) before heading back out, they plan to be gone until Wednesday night at which time they will return to town for a long weekend. :-)

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Location: Raspberry Island, Alaska, USA

As of today Dick is still fishing (getting ready to leave for another halibut trip tomorrow) and can't spend as much time working at the site as he would like. His plan is that he will be able to go out in October for a good chunk of time until fishing starts again. Lee and Ryan have been working pretty steadily since Lee retired from Kodiak Oil Sales after 20 years. We all spent time out there last weekend. The first weekend of many! It was a blast. Ryan was running the saw mill like a pro. Dick was busy with the chain saw, falling and limbing tree's. Lee's many years as a heavy equipment operator have come in handy as he runs the track hoe with MUCH precision. No tree stump is safe with this team! Lucinda and I were doing whatever we could to clear the limbs and clean the site.

Just in case you were wondering, we are being careful to use just the lumber we need, wanting to conserve the area as much as possible. The beaches are pristine but we all agree the devils club can go!

We all look forward to this adventure. It is a dream come true for each one of us. Check in with us often to watch our progress and enjoy the ride!

Photos - Click Below

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Recent Messages

From keri, russ
the pics look great. i know mom and dad won't believe it when they see it. i can't wait to see you guys. kalispell is waiting for you.
From jay
Where are the up-dates Lucinda?
I'm keeping an eye you.
I am working on it :-) Where are my up-dates on Samuel?
From Bob Kramer
I really enjoyed the fish photos taken of the big group in september.I have friends that have also seen them and want to book trips at your lodge.Best wishes BOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have them make their reservations early :-)
From Audrae Rose
Hi Tami and Dick, What a dream come true! When your mom, Tary, comes up, one day, I want to join her. I would love to see the fruits of your labor. I send my love to the both of you. Love, second Mom, Audrae
From Marmie
Just looked at the new pics! AWESOME job! God is SO good. Great weather and all. Looks like your first booking was a huge success and you had HAPPY, HAPPY Campers! Wow..those fish will make folks drool! (The meals look fantastic too). Quite the appetizer before dinner! Only in ALASKA! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!

Blessings, Marmie
From Donna Aahl
I can not wait to show Ken the fishing pictures and I can not wait to see you all in 2 weeks. The place looks great you really have been working hard!

Cousin Donna
From Beth Dwyer
Looks like you're having fun Shawn, hope you bring home some of your catch!
From shogs
Hello Guys,

Wow, your place looks great! I'm so happy you guys are living your dreams. I can't wait to see it in person.

Love MMZ

P.S. Tell big man I still don't sweat him
From shelley o'callaghan
hi dick and tami!
recently spent a week out in kodiak. after about a day i was all caught up---imagine that! ;)
krista gave me your email--we chatted a bit--she is pretty impressive.
please add my email to any sort of future customer email list you may have.
congrats! it all looks wonderful :)
From Auntie Pat
I have been trying to get your dad off of Maui to meet us there at Big Timber sometime in the near future. Love, Auntie Pat and Bob.

P.S. Bob wants to know if you got anyone to put the rock around the fireplace. What kind of rock are you using?
From Andrew Katz
I am coming late August as part of the Steve Reiswig trip. I understand you provide rods and reels but I mail bring a couple spinning reels as well. What type of line and size do you reccomend and also what type of lures, plastics, whatever catches fish do you reccomend. Also any other key tips for things to bring. Looking forward to meeting you and your wonderful lodge.
From Annie Sternberger
Lee and Lucinda-
This is Annie , Jenny's sis from Wichita Kansas. Love what you all have done to that paradise!!! Hope to come and stay someday as a guest!
Love, Annie
From Shelly Godfrey
Lucinda, Need your new E Mail address out there.
All looks wonderful! You guys have done a jam up job!

I have changed computers so please e-mail me :-)
From Rick
It looks really neat. Hope we can come see you some day. Tammy, who's that old gray haired guy in the pictures with you?
From TifferBug
I love all the looks amazing up there...I wanna come see it :)
From Cheryl Kelley
WOW! I'm sorry I missed you guys at Easter, but can't wait to make it up there! When do you start taking reservations??
From Bud Sands
Hi Lee and Lucinda,

The place looks great! Are you going to get the cabins finished for the fall hunt? Sorry I missed you in June when I was in Kodiak conducting Safety training and OSHA inspections. I will be comming out again later in the year. I'll try to get in touch with you then. Stay safe and enjoy your piece of heaven.

From Kathy & Claire
Claire and I were just checking out your website! Everything looks so beautiful and can't wait to see it in person. You all have done such a great job! We miss you and look forward to our next visit. Kathy & Claire (Wichita, KS)
You'll have to get out here when you come!
From Dan Urban
We're going to be out in the Whale Pass area on the K-Hi-C thurs, fri, sat. and would like to stop by. Where are you?
Response: Hi Dan...we stand by on channel 66 on the VHF, Big Timber...just through Whale Pass, you'll see the Lodge on the right...very close to Thomas Rock
From Jenny
I want to thank you Lee, Lucinda, Tami and Dick for letting us visit you at Big Timer. We had a fabulous time. Can't wait to come back. You were wonderful hosts!!
Response: You're always always welcome at your 'other' home. We had so much fun!!
From Donna Aahl
Lucinda, Do you think you will be open for business in September? We are looking for a place to go for our 35th wedding anniversary
September 23rd. We can not take a vacation unless fishing is involved and I can not think of a better place and a great way to see you after all these years.
Please reply to my work email above.

Thanks, Donna Engel Aahl
Hey guys,Buddy and myself wanted to thank you very much for the great experience that you three gave the two of us on Saturday, 6-2-07. you made our day with your humor and good nature!! Bob Frendahl
Response: You guys were awesome!! Thanks for all of your help!!! We look forward to seeing you out at the Lodge....
From Chris Hicks
Hey Lee and Lucinda, the place looks fantastic! My folks are coming up the end of July. Any chance Lee could provide some guiding services? We would love to come out and see the place. Give me a call or drop me line. What is your number out there? Take care and have fun!

Chris and Kally
From Terry and Christie E
Lucinda, congratulations on retiring from state service, and beginning an exciting new chapter in your life. Raspberry Island, Big Timber and your new digs are amazing. We love the pics!
From Sherry
Wow! I can't believe how much has been done. It is incredible. I can't wait to take a trip out to see it in person. Fantastic job and kudos to everyone!