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Summer's right around the corner, which means my annual trip to my family's Montana cabin is quickly approaching and trust me, it can't get here fast enough. Nestled along the banks of East Rosebud Lake (this photo captures the view from our back porch), my grandparents' little log cabin has been the place where my family has made memories for the past twenty-five years. Sure, there was a time when it pained me to leave my friends to spend two weeks roughin' it in the wilderness, but I love it now. It's a much-needed escape for all of us, filled with long days of reading books on the deck, taking leisurely walks around the lake, going fishing with my grandfather and spending quality time with my family. In short, it's exactly what my grandparents always dreamed of.

It all started when my Nanny Scott saw the movie On Golden Pond. From then on, she was bound and determined to create a place for her children and grandchildren to visit; a place to really get away from it all. The only thing is, they wound up not having to build a thing. While on a trip to East Rosebud where they had camped for years (my grandfather is originally from nearby Columbus, Montana), they found the perfect place—a tiny two-bedroom, one-bath waterfront cabin. Sure, twenty-five years and nine grandchildren later they've had to add on to the original humble abode, but it still has that same rustic feel that it did years ago.

Now that I'm a part of the log-home industry, I talk to people every day who haven't bought, but instead have built their own log cabin and, if they hadn't found a place on the lake that day, I'm pretty positive my grandparents would've done the same. But, while the idea of designing and building a vacation home is fun and exciting (and it should be), remember that you'll also be faced with a few responsibilities along the way.

In the new August 2008 issue of Log Home Design, we focus on the elements that go into designing the perfect cabin, but we also tackle the task of insuring the place. For answers to some of the most-asked questions about insuring your log home, read this run down by LHD editor-in-chief, Donna Peak.

And keep in mind, when your building project seems overwhelming and you're dealing with all the nitty gritty issues that go hand-in-hand with custom-home construction, remember what it is that inspired you to want a log cabin in the first place. Trust me when I say that your vision will soon become a treasured place that your family and friends will love just as much as you do. And if any teenagers complain about the peace and quiet, they'll come around. I definitely did.

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Comment by Tom Heatherington on May 21, 2008 at 4:52pm
Sara, shhhhhhhhhhhh! We're not supposed to talk about Montana in this way... Heaven forbid the word gets out and before you know it -- we'll be adding a second Area Code to handle all the new people.

The view from your back porch is nothing short of magnificent. My brother accuses me of clipping photos from National Geographic and telling people this is where I live because Montana can't be THAT beautiful. Your photo of East Rosebud Lake reminded me of his accusations. If one has never seen this 'Last Best Place' in person, it is easy to believe that no such place could be photographed without a judicious dose of Photoshop enhancement.

This picture is of Tally Lake, the deepest lake in Montana at 500'. It is about 10 mi. from our home in NW Montana and provides the best darn ATV excursion one can imagine. Enjoy your vacation, but remember.... Don't tell anyone!

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