Once we identified the type of site that would be needed, where would we find a forest biosphere that would characterize a typical Salish Sea arena of forces to engage our best access to interested markets? What characteristics would we be looking for?
After studying anthropogenic biomes we discovered we are a Northwestern United States ”Temperate wet forestland gouged out over several thousand years by a mile and a half thick ice pack, now largely cedar, fir and hemlock.”
Well this was a green flag for us because we live here and know what these words actually mean. As solid fans of the Living Building Challenge (complete and total viability among other virtues) and actuators of force negotiation (using local forces to your best advantage – see Force blog), our requirements are rigid. We expected to pay a huge sum, but we have friends so we kept looking.
Twice a week for 7 years Harry and I roamed the valleys, mountains and byways of the Salish Sea Basin searching for “the site”. With a limited budget we had to pass on properties where the owners wouldn’t deal. We went to Lopez and Orcas; north to and east of Bellingham, south to Vancouver, east to Cle Elum and west to Forks.
We don’t give up. We know this land is out there and we know we will find it but you can’t win the lottery unless you pay. Never lose faith that you will succeed.
231 Strong Road had been in the multiple listings 4 hours when I first saw it. It looked good. Brought up the satellite views, still looked good. Called Craig, told him to contact the owner and that we were on our way over.
The area we must locate in for the best opportunities to ensure success for entrepreneurs must be carefully calculated with need, force and design. Sarah and I had done the Hyak dwelling, White Creek Lodge, with good results but we investigated every aspect of existence for our undiscovered clients and it sold for that reason (Sarah installed a beautiful crystal and poem and that cinched the deal); we knew what would make it great for them and we did it.
After driving the 2 hours from Mill Creek to Allyn, a small and very cute seaside town, we began the last fifteen minutes to Strong Road. Up to now, after we crossed the Tacoma Narrows (those bridges are so magnificent!), the surroundings didn’t matter that much; but now they did.
When we reached Allyn we knew this area was a prime candidate for our client’s needs. Having visited all of the surrounding ‘Gateway Communities’ and comforted by the nature of their character we became cautiously optimistic. After driving the next 20 minutes to Strong Road we were very hopeful; but having felt this way many times before our attitudes were “…we’ll see…”.
So many conditions had to be met – wetlands, Critical Areas Ordinance, setbacks, zoning and usage, septic fields, power, well, light pollution, you know…pie in the sky. But if you’re dreaming, hey…dream big! Right…we had been through this before. Disappointment loomed.
Within five minutes of turning on Strong Road we knew this was it. No matter what the negatives were it already qualified as one of the best approaches we had seen. Then, we turned on Strong Road. It is a short road and acts as property lines for the lower southwest corners…wow. It looked great – the untrimmed but characteristically Northwest wet forestland – and unbelievably the power was underground. We knew our search for the quintessential site to harbor our first Endurance Dwelling was over. With help from the DAV and the VA we bought 231 Strong Road.