Packrat Palace Part One

Here is an aerial view of the lower property at Ginty Creek.  (Taken by an RCMP officer.)

Ginty Creek from a helicopterOn the left is a large building.  It was started as a kind of lodge by the previous owner, and never finished.

It has to be the ugliest building ever built.

Packrat palaceWhen I took over the property, it had been abandoned for nearly 20 years – except for the packrats!  (This picture was taken by a volunteer.)

3. packratIt’s a pity they are so stinky and destructive because they are actually quite cute.  But they make a terrible mess.

packrat palace interiorThere was very little of interest in the building – except in the library…

packrat palace libraryI have kept a few of the books: Ginty was an eclectic reader.

Nearby was the barn that Jim and Joe built. Boris (on the ladder) and Sven were two Belgian volunteers in the spring of 2007.  They took the siding off; much of it now graces the first cabin’s walls.

jim and joe's barn



5. boris



6. barn siding.Over the years, I rescued most of the upper timbers for building.  The floor was knee deep in old rotten manure, black like well-aged Christmas pudding.  This fall, Adam spent 3 days shovelling it out…

7. manureAnd piling it in my garden.

8. manure in garden


The first winter I spent at Ginty Creek, the concrete block chimney on the packrat palace fell down.  In 2009, the rancher from the Precipice Valley took the steel off the roof for a hay barn.

8a winterIn the fall of 2010, when I was building my house, we needed strapping for the roof so up went Britta and took it off.

9. Britta on PP roof



10. Britta on PP roof 2More bits were taken off whenever there was time, and in 2012, Wolf and Camille took most of the superstructure down.

11. Wolf






12. Camille



14. pushing top offHarry had a great time chasing the packrats.

13. HarryThe lower two storeys, however, were impossible to take apart.  They were built of 2 by 3s and 3 by 3s nailed together.   Very solid – it would have taken years to pry them apart, and it was impossible to use a chainsaw as you could not see the nails.

15. low as we can goSo during this last summer, various volunteers built burn piles both inside and outside the building.

16.  fires built inside.So now I just had to wait until there was a bit more snow on the ground before I could try to set it alight.



3 thoughts on “Packrat Palace Part One”

  1. Crikey! What a job, you must be so pleased that it’s all gone now. Have you any plans for the vacant space now? Nice to see the aerial view of your property too, the autumn colours are spectacular.

  2. Well Chris – – Ginty’s Ghost went up in flames. I don’t think she would disapprove of all you have done to make the place much safer, cleaner and more livable! I could see her spirit in one of the photos – – it’s about the 15th photo down from the top. Some people believe those are dust particles magnified, but some believe they are spirits. Hers looks like a round rainbow.
    Fire is always scary way out in the mountains, but there is something kind of attractive about it, too. You really sense the power of a force that can get very big and very hot in quite a hurry.
    We think packrats are kind of cute, too, but they don’t belong where we don’t want them!!!

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