Official History of the Long-Eared Hummingraven Rod and Social Club
The Long-Eared Hummingraven Rod and Social Club™ (est. 2008) is an exclusive fishing, skiing, hiking, cycling, drinking, and writing retreat located in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of New Mexico. In order to maintain its exclusivity, the exact location is not a matter of public record. Deputies have only been called to the property on one occasion, and they left unharmed, in good humor, and without prisoners. The club currently operates without the decadent luxuries of electricity or running water (generator use allowed for property improvements only–limited electric service beginning in
summer ’11 summer ’13 eventually?).
The club takes its name from the three most common animals found on the “estate,” long-eared squirrels, hummingbirds, and western ravens. Chipmunks, which are also abundant locally, were left out of the name due to last-minute political jockeying by the Allied Species of the Long-Eared Hummingraven. The chipmunks remain embittered, and regularly filch peanut butter and ginger snaps from the club’s stores in an effort, luckily unsuccessful to date, to recruit the local population of black bears into their pursuit of vengeance. Local dogs (domestic), sheep (domestic), goats (domestic), mule deer (wild), Stellar’s jays (wild), and elk (wild) remain aloof to the inter-species conflict.
Club members are encouraged to drink strong spirits and to gamble at cards, backgammon, mahjong (additionally, consult exclusive club rules on site), cross-country bocce, and horseshoes. Despite the prodigious amounts of drinking and gambling, club members are not discouraged from carrying sidearms or toting longarms.
The Long-Eared Hummingraven Rod and Social Club also promotes fly-fishing among its members, though members are not required to be fly-fishers. Fishing by water-powered rocket, an exclusive club method, is occasionally considered fair play, but only on Eagle Nest Lake, and not in the waters of the Cimarron River or other moving waters. During the winter months the club serves as a very cold ski lodge for its members, with easy access to the ski resorts of Red River, Taos Ski Valley, and Angel Fire.
In order to maintain the “honor,” “dignity,” and “sanctity” of the club, please make no petition for membership. You will be invited to join when the current membership deems appropriate.
Construction History in Photos
This section provides an incomplete photographic history of the construction of the Long-Eared Hummingraven Rod and Social Club’s main facilities. The main quarters of the Club have been carefully constructed to slip under the radar of New Mexico building code laws, which state that structures under 200′ square, without power, plumbing, or heating, do not require inspection or a certificate of occupancy, as long as the structure is never inhabited for more than 30 days at a time. The neighbors have been more supportive of this law-circumventing (but entirely legal) endeavor than one might have guessed, and we thank them for their moral support.
During the first week of construction, in May ’08, corner posts and cross beams were set. The corner posts are 6″ x 6″ pressure treated pine, set between 36″ and 40″ deep into the ground, and set in approximately 250 lbs. of concrete each. Holes were dug by hand, and concrete carried in and mixed by hand. The posts on the low side (low side of the structure, but actually the high, or uphill, side of the topography) are a total of 12′ long, and the high side posts are 16′ feet long. Nate was barely able to lift the 12′ posts, and had to roll the 16′ posts up about 200′ of hill on logs, ancient Egyptian style.
Also during the first week of construction, floor joists were nailed into place.
This was the camping setup during the early phases of construction, tent for Nate, tarp for tools.
Second week of construction, October ’08. Notice the homemade ladder, which was used to install the main beam on the high side of the roof. Not quite visible in this shot is a splice in one corner post that was necessary due to poor design (as in no design) that was effected with a lot of rebar and nail plates.
Here’s the roof going up. The roofing material is “up-cycled” corrugated metal purchased on craigslist in Austin, Texas that had formerly lined the interior walls of a now defunct beauty shop. Nate bought all of the panels for $80 in a storage unit parking lot from a man who claimed to have inherited them and to be selling all of his possessions so he could buy a sailboat to live on.
View of the roof going up, from the downhill side. Working high with no floor was no fun, but the floor couldn’t be installed until after the roof in case of rain. The horrible corner post splice is clearly visible.
January ’09. Club member Zach checks out the snow and the structure. The roof would have to be shoveled to prevent snow damage. The area receives up to 280″ of snow annually, though rarely have depths greater than 80″ been recorded on the ground at one time.
Nate leaps from the roof after shoveling it clear of snow.
May ’09. Here the cabin is being framed in.
Here’s a roof leak that had to be fixed.
It was a celebratory moment when the tent was moved from the woods to the floor platform, off of the ground and under cover. Notice the generator used to run all of the power tools on the project. One gallon of gas typically ran a week’s worth of power tool usage.
Framing in the structure. Notice the homemade ladder, and the hummingbird feeder.
The sledge hammer was used more often than is perhaps typical in residential construction.
Cabin completely framed in. Windows upcycled from craigslist.
Fires frequently burned for hours at a time, in order to dispose of brush that might pose a hazard in more naturally occurring fires.
After closing in the walls, the Club’s quarters began to take on the appearances of legitimate abode.
Most socializing at the Club happens around the campfire. Luckily, there don’t seem to be many mosquitoes in the area.
This was the bear defense system before the cabin was enclosed. The plan was simple. Sleep by this stuff. If a bear tried to eat anyone during the night, light the M-80s. If that didn’t scare the bear away, use the lighter and OFF! to make a flamethrower.
August ’09. Nate works on hanging the last of the tar paper.
Club member Mike hammers like a man possessed. His help was instrumental in getting the exterior sheathing and tar paper hung.
Occasionally work was interrupted by things like hail storms.
May ’10. Once enclosed, the Club became a fully inhabitable space. The addition of an old couch made the space feel genuinely lavish.
May ’10. Here siding is starting to go up. Later, the cabin will be painted a dark forest green, with light pink trim.
Siding slowly going up on the high side.
Eagle Nest Lake, approaching from the east.