homes

This Couple Lives In A Fantastically Rustic Fire-Lookout “Treehouse” In Oregon

by Angel Chang
Angel is a writer on the Original Content team at LittleThings. Check out her articles about crucial tips on female and doggie health. She loves to take long walks, volunteer with kids, try new food, browse through burger recipes, and code in her spare time. Feel free to let her know what you'd like to see her write up next.

The tiny house movement continues to attract great numbers of enthusiasts and admirers.

In the past, we have read stories about our favorite tiny homes, including this amazing off-the-grid cabin in pastoral Devon, England and several others that are located in rural destinations and are self-sustainable.

All of them were incredibly unique in their own ways. But a few years ago, Dabney Tompkins and Alan Colley designed a home that is bound to truly amaze you all.

Originally from Dallas, TX, the retired couple was intrigued by historical fire lookouts, and decided to permanently relocate to rural Oregon and build their own “fire lookout home.”

They have made a new, simple life for themselves there and found that they’ve acclimated better than they ever could have imagined.

They have fallen in love with nature and with the serenity and overwhelming sense of calm that it brings. After stepping inside their beautiful home, you’ll fall in love with it, too!

Scroll further to see photos of this astonishing home, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Years ago, Alan Colley and Dabney Tompkins came across a book about fire lookouts that were used by the U.S. Forest Service. Once built high above the ground on stilts, fire lookouts have primarily been replaced by satellites.

Portland fire lookout home

Inspired by the historical significance of these structures, the retired couple, then living large in Dallas, Texas, felt compelled to explore further. They started out by renting fire lookouts, and then decided to purchase 160 acres of land in rural Oregon.

Portland fire lookout home

Once there, they enlisted the help of an engineer and a local builder and constructed their own “treehouse without a tree” — a sturdy fire lookout home that stood 40 feet off the ground.

Portland fire lookout home

It had a mesmerizing 360-degree view of the Umpqua National Forest and the vast surrounding natural landscape.

Portland fire lookout home

“We were just going to do it for one year because we thought this might just be too isolated, too boring, too rustic,” said Tompkins. “But then we got down here and we started to meet people and really enjoy the rhythm of it.”

Portland fire lookout home

Walk up four flights of stairs and you’ll enter the off-grid lookout home, which measures 388 square feet. It has a simple kitchen with two narrow beds on either side, and a master suite on the upper level.

Portland fire lookout home

Interestingly, fire lookouts historically never had bathrooms, so the couple decided to put their shower out on the deck and installed a spring-fed hot tub. They also have a pit toilet down on the ground. “Of course you can live with an outhouse,” said Tompkins. “People have been doing that for centuries.”

Portland fire lookout home

“It’s quiet — so quiet it allows me to hear things I wouldn’t hear in the city,” said Colley. “There’s no urban beat. You don’t hear sirens, you don’t hear traffic — you hear us. There’s nothing like that.”

Portland fire lookout home

The pair grows vegetables in their own garden, and also visits the local farmers market. To them, living simply has proven to be richer and more profound than they could have imagined.

Portland fire lookout home

“Just because we live off-grid doesn’t mean we have to eat bad food,” said Colley, after making a blueberry pie from scratch.

Portland fire lookout home

They have become fast friends with their neighbors and have held potluck dinners to bring the community together.

Portland fire lookout home

Still, they have faced their share of challenges: They’ve been trying to install solar panels in their home and have even spotted the Stouts Creek forest fire earlier in August from their deck.

Portland fire lookout home

Despite this, they wouldn’t trade their lives for anything. “Reading, cooking, hiking, and splitting wood are so much more entertaining to us,” said Colley. “If you’re interested in those kinds of things as a DIYer, you’re going to be fine in this situation.”

Portland fire lookout home

As this lovely couple has discovered, living in a simple, natural, and rustic environment far surpasses the city lives they used to lead. Let us know if you love to live a simple life, too!

Please SHARE if you enjoyed reading their story and if you think their fire lookout home is one of a kind.