Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Fabulous Cave House w/ Luxury Interior & Stone Hot Tub

Difficulty: 0

When I go on vacation,

I'm always booking unusual accommodations and dragging my husband to go

along with me today, I'm going to give you a glimpse of our latest trip,

which was all about hibernation and isolation,

because we got to stay inside of a cave.

And you'll hear from the owner and cave builder,

who was inspired by two giant boulders on his property in Leavenworth,


Welcome to the cave. My name is Steve. Be happy to show you around.

So Leavenworth we're out here in the wilderness. My background,

I was trained as a lawyer, worked as a lawyer, did land use and litigation.

We started this project building just a picnic area cause we owned a house

across the river. And then from that we built a cabin as a summer project.

We started to monetize it and then with the money that we were making from that,

we kept putting that back into the property.

So now I have the rustic stone cabin.

We have a gypsy caravan camper, and then we have the cave

we call the whole place, the cave,

but the only part that's technically a cave is the area of the hot tub.

Once we started building the area with the living room dining room,

that was between rocks. It wasn't under rocks.

When you try to build something like a cave,

you're working with all the natural material that's already there.

The cave was built by me over the last several years as a hobby.

And so I just kind of let the rocks and the dirt tell me where to go.

There were some places I wanted to go, but couldn't,

and then there were other places that were opened up to me because of how the

rocks moved nature makes it perfect.

I just personalize it.

So here we've got a 20 acre piece of property in the Alpine wilderness.

We've owned it since about 2004.

These boulders behind me have always kind of like presented an opportunity to

do something. And the cave is what I did.

So the Tiki torches was just an ambiance idea.

Plus we had very limited electricity up here.

Plus I didn't want to have people doing candles and making a mess.

So we're happy to provide the Tiki torches.

This inside here was originally a cave that my children grew up playing in,

but they had to crawl to get inside.

When it was my turn to play in here,

I got to dig this out and break some rocks and make it a cave that people could

stand up in.

I was looking online for a gate or a door to provide privacy.

I saw design online that I really liked.

And I went back to my metal Smith guy with an image and I said, Hey,

can you do this? I thought he did great.

So now we're inside the cave. When the kids would play here,

the earth was about at this elevation.

So they had very little standing up room,

but they had a little crawl space underneath.

So what I did was I dug this down and then started to move the rock

out as I was digging it.

And then I came over this way and just kept digging and digging and digging,

not really knowing what I was going to do,

but eventually thinking I could make a pretty cool hot tub.

And so that became the first project for this overall

cave environment here.

So we have a great deep soaking tub is heated electrically.

The structure of the tub is a concrete floor and then

a concrete blocks surround.

And then it's topped with real rock.

We did also include a waterfall element,

which can be adjusted with the controls over here.

So if you want to have the noise of a little waterfall, you can do that.

Our original idea of having a fireplace here was for creating

a heat mechanism for the tub. But when we switched to electricity,

we went ahead and kept the fireplace because people,

especially in the winter time, when it's snowing or raining outside,

they could sit in here with the protected rock of the cave and still enjoy a

fire, maybe cook hot dogs. Once we kind of had the tub done,

we were kind of looking in this space and it's hard to imagine,

but at the time this rock continued all the way over to this rock and there was

no way to get from there to what's behind me.

And what you'll see then is we had to do a lot of drilling in the rock and

you can't use dynamite here because it's too dangerous.

We're against a pretty steep cliff to the outside.

Plus I don't have a license for that.

So what we use is called expanding mortar mix or the popular term is

liquid dynamite. So we'll come in here,

we'll drill a rock in a certain pattern and then we'll mix up this

mortar mix, kind of a slurry.

We'll put it in the holes and then we'll come back in about two days.

Cause it doesn't right away and the rock will eventually start to split.

Sometimes it splits great just the way we want it.

And it's easy to work with other times it splits horribly and makes it worse

for us and we'd have to split the rocks again. And then again,

to get it to a size where I could actually pull it out of the cave,

because I couldn't get any big equipment back here, obviously,

but we got it done so that we could move onto the second part of the project,

which was building the actual place to be.

This is the first interior part that people will see when they show up as a

guest, there was a lot of rock, a lot of dirt,

a couple of trees that had to come out and I was able to come in with my

excavator, but she can still see where I had to drill a lot of the rock.

We didn't cover up any rock that we didn't have to cover up.

So wherever you see a green painted wall, then what's behind.

That is going to be concrete block that is reborrowed and

filled with mortar and then waterproofed and painted

again because nothing is square. You know, you can't make the rocks be square.

We had to use materials that would bend to that.

We actually went overseas to get a designer out of Sweden

who had some of these stoves made up with the four glass sides and we wanted the

backside to be glass because at night you'll see that the fire reflects off the

rock, which has kind of a cool look. I got to tell ya,

I was pretty happy about buying this fireplace that appears to float in the

air and can be seen from all angles and reflects off the rock as well.

So the sitting area is kind of cave ish because of the low ceiling for the loft


And then we built a table to work kind of as a separator between the

living and kitchen area, without adding any walls.

We didn't want to add any walls if we didn't have to.

And based on my experience with Airbnb guests over the years,

we decided to make it so that it couldn't be moved and could be danced on and

still wouldn't break. The structure of the table is from my metal guy,

the guy that did the door, once the structure's done,

then I came in with just normal two by six material.

We ran grout down the center between the boards

and then covered it with an proxy. So it's really inexpensive,

but I think it's got a look that works for here.

The way we set the kitchen up was a big refrigerator.

So you can have all of your appropriate beverages chilled.

We have a microwave,

so you can do popcorn or something quick and a coffee maker.

So what do you really need more than that? If you want to cook,

we encourage our guests to go out to the fireplace and use the great this on the

fireplace there and do their hot dogs or whatnot.

One of our challenges was because we building the kitchen into a sloping


We ended up with a much wider countertop than you would normally have for a

kitchen. We used the same method of two by sixes grouted,

And I went ahead and added in a planter because there was just so much space.

We had to provide water, of course, and across the street where our house is,

we're on a, well, the Well's only about a hundred feet deep,

but we're right next to the icicle river. When we drilled our well over here,

because of all the granite stone,

we had to go 350 feet before we got any water at all

from 350 feet deep that's water that probably hasn't seen light of

day in years.

There's just no way to get any better water anywhere at all.

I was trying to come up with an idea for the floor that complimented

the rock and complimented the look, working with this kind of tile,

which is rectangular with specific shapes is not easy.

Let me show you some other parts about the cave. Notably, we have a bathroom,

so it's not completely prehistoric.

The shower actually has a heated floor.

It's the only part of the whole cave where we took the effort to heat the floors

and then just standard stuff, you know, sink and toilet.

So we've been pretty much through the whole downstairs.

Now we'll head upstairs where the sleeping areas are.

So now we're upstairs,

we've got a great kind of overview of the downstairs there.

And then we have our open sleeping loft with two queen

size beds and lots of rocks to play on.

So not everybody's going to be comfortable with just an open loft sleeping

environment. So we also made a private master bedroom. If you will,

with a queen sized bed

was talking earlier about how the cave kept kind of growing.

Then finally actually grew past the last part of the Boulder, which is here.

And so this part that went this way had to be built with concrete block.

And so it gave me an opportunity to put into some windows.

And my wife actually said, if I ever asked her to stay here,

she would want a place that had windows with crossbreeds.

So she's the reason that we did the windows.

We had a last little leftover spot when we did our loft. Cause again,

it wasn't really planned. It just turned out. So we put in a bed for the kid.

So during the construction,

once we decided that we were a two story building instead of a one story

building and we were quite a bit bigger around than we'd first thought we would

be, we had to come up with some sort of a way to build a roof because nothing's


We came up with an idea of sort of an umbrella that would fill in the space.

And the first part,

the most important part of the umbrella is the column in the middle.

And the column that we ended up settling on was recommended to us as being

overbuilt, but never to fail. And I said, sure, let's do it.

And it showed up and I was like,

how are we going to get that in place short of, you know,

bringing in a helicopter,

we came up with an idea that took advantage of two high granite rocks on

either end of the building,

because obviously the roof wasn't here yet and then use leverage from an

excavator to lift the column up straight over the plate

that we then welded it to.

And at that point it was pretty solid.

So now you've seen pretty much the whole of the inside of the cave.

I've just come out this door. We wanted to have an emergency exit.

This isn't really used normally,

but we don't want people to be overly claustrophobic just because they're inside

a cave. But anyhow,

this Boulder is the one that is the centerpiece to what you saw

in the kitchen to what you saw around the hot tub and also sort of marks

the end of the rock work,

that being the private bedroom upstairs.

And so the rest of this is all concrete block,

which we then stuccoed and painted to kind of blend as best

we could with the existing rock.

And then we also have been in the process of piling rock against the wall

to further blend it with the environment

We're stopping here because it shows the roof of our cave,

which is mostly earth covered. And when we're finally done,

we'll be fully covered with earth and not noticeable to be a roof at


It's so rewarding to me to built this and get the response that I get from

guests. You know, it's, it's different,

but it's what the Rock's told me to do.

I wouldn't have fabricated a cave from if these two boulders

had not have fallen together so many years ago,

I would never have thought to build a cave.

Thanks for watching this week's video.

Make sure to like share and subscribe to my channel and check back next week for

another video.

The Description of Fabulous Cave House w/ Luxury Interior & Stone Hot Tub