Though I said I would show photos that Brian took of the main floor in May of 2016, I’m inspired instead to describe the background of Bebbanburg.
The house sits at an altitude of 2700 feet (similar to the height of Snoqualmie Pass, for those who can relate to that point of interest) but only half the altitude of Denver. The following two views from Google maps should help you get a sense of its relationship to its surroundings.
You may have thought to yourself, “that looks like a steep road up to the house!”, and you would be correct. That road is our private drive. There is a security gate at the bottom, and the drive is one lane, a third of a mile long and much of it is at a 20% grade. That means of course that for every 100 feet you drive, you go up 20 feet. In other words, yes — it’s steep!. We have been trying to think of a way to be sure that folks at the top wishing to drive down and folks at the bottom wishing to drive up can be assured that there is nobody coming the opposite direction. Because cell phone reception at the bottom is flaky, we haven’t come up with a good way. Suggestions welcome!
To contrast the current day with 1983, here is an aerial photo taken right after the home was built.
We’ve already mentioned that the original composition roof had been replaced with metal, but the astute among you will have noticed that the front half of the roof is blue, and the back half is green! Only the avian, the aviators and any guests in the girl’s room would notice, however, because it is impossible to see the green half from the ground.
Speaking of avian, the whole area has been posted as a wildlife sanctuary. Our friend and contractor, John, verified its qualification for this status by mounting a game camera. He captured a large black bear, a wild turkey and some coyotes (and advised me that having sheep or goats would be a great idea– for about one day!). Hover over each photo for the caption.
Though I am getting ahead of myself, I will tell you another wildlife story. One day one of the sons was visiting his elderly mother and found her on the deck with several raccoons she had live-trapped. She was painting them blue.
“What are you doing?!”, he asked. She replied, “I’m going to take them over to Pinnacle Peak and let them out. I’m painting them so I’ll recognize them if they return.”
We’ll be on the lookout for blue raccoons!