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Cabin in the Maine Woods Project

There is an old cabin on 50 acres of woodland in northeastern Maine that will soon be turned into a home, again. The cabin was built by Chaya’s parents in the early 70’s as part of the back to the land movement that had an epicenter in the woods of Maine.The land was cheap here, [...]

<- - A Home in the Maine Woods Project - ->

There is an old cabin on 50 acres of woodland in northeastern Maine that will soon be turned into a home, again. The cabin was built by Chaya’s parents in the early 70’s as part of the back to the land movement that had an epicenter in the woods of Maine.

The land was cheap here, and many young kids with long hair and big ideas moved right in. A generation later, I have met nearly a half dozen of these back-to-the-land Mainer’s children in various places around the world. Some of these kids grew up on real hippie communes, others just had parents who wanted to live out their backwoods dreams. I have sat and listened to many tales about the activity that swept the Maine woods in the 60’s and 70’s, as well as wholesome stories of childhoods spent running in fields and eating blueberries. But the rustic drive all too soon fizzed out of many of these homesteading families, and the swing of conventional life took sway.

Though the remnants of these times still stand. Some of the hand built cabins are still in the woods and many of the underused land deeds are still in the names of the people who built them. Many of the neo-pioneers of the abandoned backwoods movement have long since moved into cities, but their monuments are still in the woods of Maine: left standing, perhaps, as relics to show to their children on black fly picnics the place where they once relished the arts of self-sufficiency in the northern woodlands.

Chaya was one of these children, and, although her family moved out of the woods well before she was born, she would still go out to the cabin every summer to hear the tales of her parents’ youthful backwoods days.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Bangor, ME, USA- June 6, 2009
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The Cabin in the Maine Woods – Vagabond Journey Project #2, Summer 2009

I first met Chaya in the rip roaring nights of Costa Rica in 2006.

She said , “Do you want to come up to Maine and fix up my parents’ cabin in the woods?”

I said OK, and then we parted ways.

A month later, I am napping on a hammock in the middle of a bright sunny day at the Finca Magdelena on Isle de Ometepe in Nicaragua. I am random shaken awake. I groggily looked up to find Chaya looking down over me.

She said, “Do you want to come up to Maine and fix up my parents’ cabin in the woods?”

I said OK, and then we parted ways.

A year goes by, and I am bustling around Morocco doing independents anthro studies for my university degree, and I get an unexpected email from Chaya.

It said, “I am living in Maine, you should come here and fix up my parent’s cabin in the woods with me.”

I said OK, and then did not respond to her follow up email.

Another year goes by, and I am in Brooklyn nailing down the final hatches on my undergrad education and Chaya is one of my classmates.

This time, I said, “Do you want to go up to Maine and fix up your parents’ cabin in the woods?’

Chaya said OK, then we went traveling in the Balkans and Middle East.

Now, after three years of making empty propositions, we have returned to Maine and long run out of excuses:

We are fixing up and moving into the cabin in the woods.


Cabin in the Maine woods.


Backside of our new home in the Maine woods.


Inside of the Maine cabin.

Our new home in the Maine woods, which we will fix up and move into as a part of a Vagabond Journey summer project.

<- - A Home in the Maine Woods Project - ->

Filed under: Maine, North America, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s writing on this blog (please help):

Wade Shepard is currently in: Rochester, New York

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  • Anonymous September 15, 2009, 4:00 am

    Hi, I envy you moving into the cabin.Its been my dream of doing what you are.If you would like a roomate up at the cabin in Maine,please e-mail me.Im easy to get along with,and sane,Im tired of this robotic society I live in,especially the alarm clock.Im an outdoorsman type,fish hunt,am good with carpentry,gardens,etc.please shoot me an email, Mike michael.fersch@yahoo.com I currently live in NY state would love to hear from you

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  • Anonymous March 10, 2010, 8:01 pm

    This cabin looks amazingly beautiful! My husband and I have a strong desire to live like this forever, but will settle for a year…I'm curious to see how this all goes for you!

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  • Anonymous March 13, 2010, 9:30 am

    My husband and I are looking into living in a cabin like this for a summer..or up to a year.(in and ideal world, forever…) I'm wondering how your experience was? and if this cabin would ever be available to rent? or if you know of the whereabouts of others!

    I can be reached at hayes168@gmail.com. thanks in advance!

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