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What's in store for winter?

Fall is coming to an end here in the beautiful PNW. You can feel it in the crispness of the air, the way the nights are growing darker, and of course, the rain. So as my favorite season is wrapping up, I’m beginning to dream about what I have to look forward to this winter. I figured I’d write a blog post about what projects are in store for Wild Grit and share some thoughts that have been floating around in my head lately. 

Let’s jump right into it. Here are the projects that are in the works for this winter: 

Project No. 1: A hand-built log cabin

This past summer I built a film set for my course The Wild Mindset, deep in the woods on a section of my grandparents’ property. It was a canvas wall tent made to replicate the actual tents used by miners, loggers, and boy scouts in the early 1900s. I built a deck of reclaimed barn wood, the supports from cedar trees on the property, and I used the heck out of it. 

Unfortunately, as much as I love the set, I had to break it down for winter and move it out to my own home. My family is selling the property now that my grandpa has passed and my grandma has gone into a long-term care home. I’m just grateful to have been able to spend one final summer playing in my grandparent’s woods and making the most of my time there while it lasted. It’s sad but I’m trying to see the good in it.

All of this means that I need to build a new film set! I want to create a vintage camp feeling in all of my courses, so filming inside my home just doesn’t work. And honestly, building is my favorite part of any project. So, I’ve been scheming up plans for a small off the grid cabin to use as a film set! But this is a big project so it’s going to take some time!

The plan so far is to build a log, or at least a partial log cabin, on my boyfriend’s property in the country. I’ve been working on collecting trees to use in the build, clearing blackberry bushes, and drawing up a floor plan. It will be off-grid, surrounded by an organic garden, and I’m trying to use as much free and reclaimed material as possible. It’ll be less than 300 sq. ft. so it shouldn’t be too difficult to source wood for. For those of you who are curious, here’s a preview the location! 

Piece of land with brush on it

Honestly, so far, this cabin feels more like a pipe dream, but I’m slowly making progress on it. It’s always been a dream of mine to build a cabin by hand, originally inspired by Dick Proenneke’s PBS special called “Alone in the Wilderness”. It’s an awesome self-shot documentary, about a man building and living in a cabin deep in the Alaskan wilderness. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend checking it out! Here's a shot of the very original inspiration!

Dick Proenneke's Cabin in Alaska

Right now I’m taking it one day at a time. Clearing brush on weekends, researching plans and building the vision. I’m not sure when I’ll actually begin the building portion, but I am sure that it will become a YouTube series once I do. I expect to fully start the project in November. 

Project No. 2: Build a mountain bike trail

Next up on my project list is something I’ve always wanted to do as well, but just haven’t gotten around to making it happen. Trail building takes a huge commitment, especially for a steep and massive trails, which is exactly what I intend to build. This winter seemed like the perfect year to give it a shot. With Covid-19 going on these days, putting ski areas into a weird limbo, I figured I’d socially distance myself from the madness and work on giving back to the sport I love the most. 

The plan is to build a trail that’s around 2000’-3000’ elevation drop in an area where no other trails exist. Why? Because I want to build my own trail system that I can film on, built for the style of riding I love, and built away from other trails in case it does get discovered and shut down. Also, I want to respect all of the other trail builders, and existing trails by giving them plenty of space since YouTube is a major no-go for any secret trail. 

I’m going to turn this trail building project into a YouTube series as well, so I can highlight the building process. Hopefully, I can make some good tutorials and show how to responsibly build awesome secret trails. And then of course, film some awesome riding videos on it once it’s completed. 

I honestly feel like this is my most ambitious project so far because it requires me to get way out of my comfort zone. I’ll be building alone in the deep woods, away from where other people go. This means that it’s way more dangerous than just going to the average trail day. At least I’ll have a chainsaw to protect myself from cougars? Eeek! 

Right now I’ve been spending my afternoons looking for the location. Scouting is one of the most important parts because it’s how you can be sure that the terrain is good for the style of trail you want to build. The good news is that I think I may have found the perfect spot! I still need to take a top to bottom hike beforehand, just to be sure, but I’m hopeful! 

Project No. 3: Publishing two new courses for Wild Grit

The last major project is getting two new courses up and running for Wild Grit. So far, I’ve gotten two first drafts done and now I just need to edit, lay them out, do cover designs, do graphics, make illustrations, publish, write the film script, film the online course, edit the film, upload everything, and then it’s good to go! So...I’ve got some work cut out for myself.

These courses take an incredible amount of time and energy to produce but it’s so worth it. It’s like art in many ways, and I love that I get to create this art to be shared with the intent of helping people live more adventurous lives. In case you haven’t checked them out, I have two courses already available: The Wild Mindset: An Adventurer’s Guide to Chasing Dreams and Overcoming Your Limits. Both of these courses are affordable and packed with incredibly high-quality, helpful content.

Alright, that’s about it for my plans for this winter! They are already pretty ambitious but as long as I can make progress on all three I’ll be very happy. So I’ve gotta ask, what are your thoughts? And do you have any ambitious plans for this winter? Let me know in the comments. 

Until next time, stay wild!

- Callie

Hey! I'm Callie.

I'm a mountain-obsessed skier, hiker, and mountain biker based out of Bellingham, Wa. I am the founder of Wild Grit, teaching online courses and creating videos to guide you towards a more adventurous life.

To learn more, click here.

For great adventure media check out my YouTube Channel, Instagram, and Facebook.

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