Dick Proenneke retired from his diesel machanic career in 1967. He spent that summer exploring the Twin Lakes region looking for the ideal site to build a cabin and cutting logs that he would use the next year.
Dick Proenneke returned to Twin Lakes on May 21, 1968 and began turning the raw logs into his cabin. He stayed in Spike's cabin during the construction.
Dick Proenneke built his cabin using only hand tools, no backhoes, no chainsaws, no electric drill, just hand powered tools. Dick even made many of his tools himself.
Dick's cabin measured 11' by 14'. It had a gravel floor, windows, a dutch door, a fireplace, and a moss covered waterproof roof. He had to build all his own furniture too, chairs, tables, desk and his bunk. He also built a cache to store his food out of the reach of the animals.