Located near Issaquah, WA. Pete and Judy Nelson own and run a bed and breakfast. All the treehouses here can be rented out nightly to experience the joy of living up high. Every treehouse is very different and custom designed by Pete Nelson.
Still not quite finished, but as this has become a hole in the forest that I dump time, work, and supplies into, I’m finishing a few roof patches and putting in furniture tomorrow, then finishing everything else whilst I’m living there. After the bed and sofa go in (won’t fit through the door) the mesh goes on and it all gets sealed up and painted.
The base is 16ft X 7ft. The living room/entry is behind the green wall, my kitchen/lanai is on the right under the (temporary) blue tarp. My bedroom is 8x7ft, behind the white wall. There’s a trapdoor in the roof and a ladder that leads to a porch at the top of the tree that I’ll be building next month. From the top you can see the ocean during the day, and the volcano at night.
There’s a door in the left side and the tall straight guavi tree under the roof doubles as a sliding pole.
Purple helped me hang the beams and knee braces, but otherwise I built the entire thing myself. We’re off grid, so there’s no power out here. I had a battery powered drill, but most of the work was done with hand tools. I haven’t built a road in yet, only trails. None of this was brought in by a vehicle. Everything was carried on our backs from the road to the site through 800 feet of jungle.
The first floor sits 18 feet above the ground on the right, the second floor is 24.5 feet, and the roof is 31 feet.
I built this with a budget of $1000. Almost all the materials were either donated or acquired through barter or work/trade.
Many more photos to come as it all gets finished up and becomes liveable.
We’ve got quite a few carnivorous/insect repelling plants around in order to keep the mosquitoes to a minimum. I’ve got some citronella I’m planting epiphytically on my trees in my house, and these pitcher plants on the ground below.
16 Months ago I moved from Kona to the jungle here on the east side of the island. 13 months ago I began building a treehouse, and 8 months ago I moved into that treehouse. After a year and a half in the jungle I’m moving on to a new chapter of my life as I continue to experience the world and attempt to grow as a person.
On August 16 I fly from Kona, Hawaii to San Jose, California, which will be my first trip off this island since I arrived in December of 2010. I’ll be in the bay area for a couple of weeks and then I’ll be headed north with my sister up to Washington.
To those of you in Northern California, Oregon, and northern Washington who remember who I am from back when I used to actually write things on my blog if you’re interested in meeting up - drop me a line at email@example.com
Treehouse life is coming to a close as I prepare for my departure and I’ve done a substantial amount of thinking about what can be learned from this experience. Ultimately what my experience in the jungle became was not what I intended at all. I had planned a treehouse community, intended for a small group of people to live happily in a place unlike any other in the jungle of Hawaii, but what became was me by myself all alone with a bare-bones version of my self-built dream house. Yeah, it was pretty damn great at times, but what good is happiness if you have no one to share it with?
And so In 4 weeks I leave the jungle, the treehouse, and this portion of my life and move on, back to the rest of the world and civilization for a while. My travel plans are for now, open ended, though I will not be leaving this island for good.
It’s time for bigger and better things now. I can now say without a shred of doubt that I have the ability and the ingenuity to build my own house (a fucking sturdy well-built one) even when starting with nothing, but I’ve gotten far more than just carpentry skills from this experience. I created this entire situation for myself, with no preexisting opportunities, and then adapted in order to exist in that situation. I’ve been driven far beyond what I’d seen myself capable of before this, and I leave the jungle with a new found confidence in the way I choose to live and the choices I make. I have learned above everything else that, though I now know that I have the ability to do what I want in my life entirely on my own, it doesn’t mean shit unless there’s someone else to appreciate it. Thankfully I was able to come to this conclusion in a treehouse in the tropics rather than in a freezing bus in Alaska and then dying.
I built the bed from a wooden shipping crate. I wanted it tall, so I gave it a good 2 feet of floor clearance; plenty of storage space underneath for all my things. Mosquito net gets tucked up during the day and comes down at night. Eventually I’ll frame the windows and install plexiglass, but with the roof overhang it stays plenty dry. Battery and inverter are underneath so I can charge the phone at night.
From the bed on a clear morning you can see a good 50 miles.
I totally built the crow’s nest to impress a girl.
I mean, I’d had the idea already but had been lacking the motivation. If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself at this point, it’s that if there’s an attractive intelligent woman involved, I will do some fantastical shit. One morning I woke up and was like, “You know what? I’ll build her a crow’s nest at the top of a tree! I will build a motherfucking lofted platform in the jungle high enough to see the ocean. She’ll be like ‘Oh Aaron, you’re so creative, handy, and virile! You simply must put your penis in me immediately!’”
That’s not exactly how that shit went down.
I built it then she left the island, and now it stands, a monument to romanticism, sans payoff. This falls into the same category as “Move from Alaska to DC for a girl”, though albeit on something of a smaller scale.
I think the lesson to take from this is Aaron gets crazy when it comes to trying to impress the bitches.
So my landlords have put their 20 acres of jungle up for sale, so if you’ve got a spare $300,000 you can buy my house plus a couple of other houses and a whole lot of jungle with a gigantic maze of trails and clearings I’ve cut over the past year and a half.