Development at Mud Bluff will initially have a priority for the projects that provide the greatest utility for their cost. This is in keeping with a blank canvas approach. Buildings will be simple and inexpensive concrete and steel, but only initially. Contributors will later be able to allocate their resources to embellished these structures as various art projects.

Each project will have a page on our website with full description and budget. They will be green-lighted once they are funded and have met engineering requirements. These projects will range from the practical to the absurd. There is nothing that cannot be proposed, and few things that will not be approved, well, if legal. Here are some examples of early development. Feel free to contact the Manager of each project if you’d like to participate or contribute:

Major Projects

These are major projects requiring concrete. The list will evolve reflecting contribution and inspiration:

The Pump House

This structure will provide more than a place for water and power management. It will also be an art piece, the first in a series along with the Shop and Cube. It will also be used to test energy ideas to be applied in the construction of the Shop and Cube. Construction has begun. The initial budget is $15,000. Manager – Rod Coleman

New bridge

The Ditch Bridge

This bridge across “Rock Dam Ditch Number 1” allows access to the 26 acres near the river mostly occupied by the Oxbow Park. This bridge is maintained by the Tahoe Carson Irrigation District. Initial budget $20,000, completed in March of 2018 at $22,000. Manager – Rod Coleman

The Shop

The shop will be the first permanent living and art build space. It will have a thousand square foot, two bedroom apartment and 4000 square feet of shop/studio space. Budget is $200,000. Ground prep has begun.  Manager – Rod Coleman

The Cube

This 50-foot cube will have five decks and be the first large home built at Mud Bluff. It will have a four-car garage, a dozen bedrooms (each with private bathroom), a theater atrium, kitchen, dining room, and rooftop garden.

The design, (along with the Pumphouse and Shop), will honor Robert Heinlein’s 1941 short story, “And He Built a Crooked House.” This storied house was actually a tesseract in four-dimensional space. After an earthquake, it collapsed back into our normal three dimensions, except that each face addressed different parts of the world, not unlike the different areas at Mud Bluff. That’s also why it will be built on the edge of the bluff, providing contrasting views of the desert, mountains and river valley.

The preliminary budget is $400,000.  Manager – Rod Coleman

The Cut Bridge

This will be a pedestrian and bike bridge running east and west across the cut in the Bluff. Budget $7000.  Manager – Rod Coleman

The West Tower

This will be a viewing tower on the western boundary at the top of Mud Bluff. Its construction will be similar to the Pumphouse but without siding. Budget $4000.  Manager – Rod Coleman

The East Tower

This will be a viewing tower on the northeast corner of the property similar in construction to the West Tower. Budget $4000.  Manager – Rod Coleman

The West Cube

This will be a shorter version of the pump house (10 feet high), with similar patio and steps. It will on the existing hill on the western boundary below the Bluff. It will be our welcome center, staffed during events. Budget $6000. Manager – Rod Coleman

Minor Projects

These are mostly minor infrastructure or art projects. The list will evolve reflecting contribution and inspiration:

River Hills

To make the river bank safer, some of the dirt will be used to create small hills (15 feet high) near the river. These will provide a quick view of the surrounding trees, river, and Bluff. Budget $2000.  Manager – Rod Coleman

Horse Corral and Shelter

This will be for those interested in getting involved with horses and riding. Budget $8000.  Manager – Jane Wirth

Cutter Canyon

This project will be at the far eastern boundary of Mud Bluff and will be used to hide equipment storage. Budget undefined.  Manager – Cutter

Lavender Fields

Dave Orel says,

“I had a dream that I was sitting on a bench with my friend Martin Luther King and he was practicing, reading me his “I have a dream” speech. I was listening to his silky voice reciting: “I have a dream today … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together….”
Then he paused looking at me to see my reaction. So I said: “Marty, that sounds good, but maybe you could insert into it a little from my dream.”
He looked at me and said: “Well, Dave, it depends on what you dreamt. What was it?”
I said: “Marty, I had a dream that our children and their children’s children will one day not know this place as Mud Bluff, but will know it as Lavender Fields. I had a dream that every sagebrush will be replaced by a lavender bush, and the aroma from it will spread all-the-way from the Dam to Fallon. That’s my dream.”
He looked at me and said: “Dave, I like it but I don’t think I am going to put it in, people in Washington would not know where Mud Bluff and Fallon are.”
As my tears of disappointment started rolling down my cheeks, he first looked away. My pain of rejection was too much for him. But after a while of horrible silence, he manned up, straightened his slouch, took a deep breath, pulled out his hankie and as he was wiping my tears away said:
“Dave, my sweet, gentle little man, don’t cry, I have a solution which will make up for this horrific disappointment I imposed on you with my insensitivity.”
I stopped sobbing and said: “What is it, Marty?” Then I took his hankie and blew my nose in it. I started feeling better and thought to myself: This wasn’t so bad, maybe I will not need to seek a peace shelter.
Then he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and said: “Dave, my little white snowflake, you know that Rod, gave you some Happy Hearts. Use them to start turning your wonderful dream into reality.”
I couldn’t believe my ears, what an incredible idea! So I said: “Marty, you are a genius, I love you. Read my lips, one day you will be famous and millions of government bureaucrats will be getting a day off from their heavy toil in your name. I predict that, Marty. Hallelujah Hosanna.”

So, my friends, I am officially starting the project “Lavender Fields.” For every lavender bush (the deeper the purple and whiter the white the better) that you will bring and plant, I will give you one of my Happy Hearts.”


This small and simple accessory building will be placed near or in the Oxbow Park and will house things to be shared freely. Budget to be defined. Manager – Kathe Wilson.