Next, there was the path to the house site. We hauled a thousand stones (maybe an exaggeration, but maybe not) from the rock-littered woods beside us to assemble a retaining wall and hauled a ton of slate scavenged from another part of the woods for its stepping stones.
I took breaks from building the house to fashion another trail, this one into the woods, for no explicable reason. Beside it I hauled yet more stones to fashion garden beds and filled them with ferns and other native plants I found in the woods. The trail splits in two; one spur leads to the tiny creek-lette that bubbles down the mountain beside us. There, beside the creek, I put a piece of driftwood atop a few tree stumps, used another tree stump to make a little table—and we have a wonderful place to sip coffee and stare off into the woods. The other spur leads up past other "gardens," and ends at a higher section of the creek. In my mind, there's something across the creek, waiting to be built. A bench swing? Hammock? Tree house?
This is all a long-winded way of leading up to our latest project. You guessed it: another trail! Was it necessary? Nope. But I think it's both ornamental and useful. It gives us another way to wander, starting at the far end of the screen house and curving around the edge of woods to arrive at the site of the future toolshed/outhouse combo (which as of today, consists only of the platform on which it will be built). The new path also defined a new spot to "garden." (I use the quotes because it's not a planned garden; more an experiment in finding and transplanting native plants from the woods around us, to see what thrives and what doesn't get eaten by our local wildlife.)
So, what's in a trail? Our latest pathway called for a retaining wall built from left-over deck planks, anchored by metal spikes. Then some earth moving, and, next, we used the contents of our two oldest composting barrels to level the path. Add 10 bags of mulch, line the thing with hundreds (literally) of more rocks hauled from the woods....and, voila, you have another trail.
Living in a tiny house doesn't feel tiny when you expand your living space into the natural world. Everyone in a THOW can't do this the way we can, but it's rewarding in ways both big and small to see that expanding your living space outside the square-foot interior of your house can make tiny living not so tiny after all. A few pots of herbs, a chair a table, a tiny deck—or, if you're lucky like us, winding trails that lead into the forest.
Please click on the gallery of photos below for more details.