This Ain't Your Typical Treehouse

"It's just like building any other cabin, only it's 30 feet off the ground."

By Haley Martin March 2, 2015 Published in the March 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Foster Huntington's treehouse in the Columbia River Gorge.

Foster Huntington’s 8-year-old self would be proud.

Back then, you’d often find Huntington and his friends building tree houses in the backyard. With his home nestled 30 feet up a tree, things haven’t changed much for the 27-year-old. His grown-up playground on his family’s property on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge near Skamania (he won’t let us reveal exactly where) is complete with a skate park, a wood-fired hot tub, and a tree-lofted workshop.

Four years ago, Huntington left a designer job at Ralph Lauren in New York City to travel the country in his van and surf. “I didn’t want to spend my twenties sitting behind a desk,” he says.

Eventually, his aimless peregrinations brought him back to the Northwest, where, on a whim, he decided to fulfill his childhood dream. It took eight months, ideas and instructions from the Internet, and the help of some construction-savvy friends and family to get the tree house, dubbed “The Cinder Cone,” ready for Huntington to move in. Built from cedar and Doug fir, the tree house’s two sections each hold 198 square feet, including a cozy bedroom. Huntington will continue traveling half the year in his van, with the Cinder Cone serving as home base.

“It’s just like building any other cabin,” he says, “only it’s 30 feet off the ground.”

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