Step 1: The Land

We're going on a land hunt

On the way home from our friend's wedding in Bethlehem, PA we decided to take a slight detour. A spontaneous road trip took us a few hours north to Wayne County in the Upper Delaware River region. Adam had been cyber-stalking various pieces of land on the website for a few months. We liked the idea of owning a rural property but we had no idea of prices or what was involved in building on a piece of raw land.

We followed the sound of rushing water right to the waterfalls. This spring-fed creek leads to the Delaware River a couple of miles downstream.
After stopping to see a couple of unimpressive parcels, we arrived on a rural road in Equinunk ("eek-wa-nock") about 30 minutes from the nearest large town. It felt like the middle of nowhere...GPS please don't fail us now. Our objective was to locate an online property listing that featured dramatic photos of a creek and waterfalls. 

We found the driveway, marked by a "For Sale" sign but our car would not make it up even the first bit of the snow-covered hill. We hiked up on foot. No boots or warm coats -- just our shoes and dress attire from the wedding the night before.  

Where are the waterfalls? 

We did not expect to be able to follow the sound of roaring water right from the driveway to the creek. The photos we looked at online could not describe the beauty and scale of what we saw. 

Reaching the edge of the creek, we looked at each other and said, "this is it." Five days later we made an offer on the land. A few weeks after that, we owned our new property.

We debate how this massive balancing boulder got here. It's hard to tell in the photo but it's over five feet tall. One theory is that an ice dam broke loose and forced the boulder upward from the creek bed. 
Looks like a nice spot for a cabin. This photo facing toward the creek ends up being the perfect spot for a house. Within earshot of the rushing water but with views of the sun rising over a mountain each morning. 
The top of the driveway.  
Fluorescent baby newts hanging out on a mat of pine needles.

We find signs of woodpeckers, grouse, deer and other wildlife all around.

Before thinking about what to build, when, or how, we started camping out to get to know the property and the surrounding area. During the day we took trips to explore the surrounding towns along the Delaware River, including Hancock and Callicoon.

Camping out in the mountains without proper sleeping bags is not recommended. We were overzealous the first time and thought we'd get by with ski clothes and blankets. 

The night started out alright, nice and warm around the fire. 

The temperature really plummets after dark in the mountains. 
Despite freezing on a couple of occasions, we look forward to lots more camping on this property, even after the house is finished.


  1. Some beautiful shots of your land. Glad you didn't freeze to death on those first few camp sleepovers.

  2. Beautiful property. Good for you! We camped on our land for 6 months before we started building and another 6 months until we got it dried in. Was well worth it. We got to know the land some and were much more comfortable with where we were building, which had changed several times during our initial evaluation period. I'm very jealous of the water falls. We have a seasonal creek but very little flow.

  3. This is fantastic and the landscape is absolutely gorgeous! Which contractor/company did you go to for the build? Was it one of the ones from your HGTV Special? Im looking for future plans for myself!

    1. Thanks so much! Bungalow in A Box built the cabin shell. They were featured on the HGTV show. They have plans and ballpark pricing on their website: Send us a note through the contact form on our blog if you ever want to discuss your plans or ask questions. We would be happy to share more about the experience of working with the contractor. -Adam & Karen.