"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tree House Accommodations

Our tree house for two nights

Dotti's first choice in tree house accommodations was "Out-n-About"near Cave Junction, Oregon, but they were booked up through August, so they passed her on to "Vertical Horizons Tree House Paradise," also close to Cave Junction.

inside the Oregon Caves
We couldn't check in until three p.m. so we decided to go to the Oregon Caves. It was another beautiful winding road up a mountain to Oregon Caves National Park.  We decided since we'd never be back there again, we'd take a tour.  Caves are not on my bucket list anyway and unlike Carlsbad Caverns, this cave was not a big wide open area,  It got so tight and low on a couple of occasions, we had to bend at the waist and walk bent over to get through the tight spots. We were warned to watch our heads and asked not to touch the cave formations with our hands if at all possible so I felt guilty every time I did. The walking was uneven, and the footing questionable. It was impossible not to touch the cave walls every once in a while.

The elderly man in front of me was having a particularly hard time and I thought several times while he was going up ahead of me that he was going to fall. There was an early out route about thirty minutes into the ninety minute tour (which included about 500 steps up and down, some with hand rails, some without) and we, along with the elderly couple, decided to take the early out.

Like I said, caves are not on my bucket list. It was nice and cool inside though -- about 44 degrees. By the way, speaking of temperatures, I forgot to mention that when we were on top of Pikes Peak, my outside temperature thermometer registered  36 degrees!

After we got back to Cave Junction, we stopped in at a store,/cafe/ meat and cheese market and had an awesome meal. This was where I finally found Oregon wine for sale but we were two days from going home and my pocket book warned against it, so I didn't buy any.

We checked in at Vertical Horizons to start our adventure there.

I knew, being built in the trees, the house wasn't going to be very large, but this would qualify as a "tiny house" minus all the neat stowaway nooks and crannies.  It also was not built with overweight seniors in mind. The commode was so close to the wall and the sink, I had to sit on it sideways.

The second bed was in a loft with a very well built ladder. There was a screen door on the front but not on the double doors on the balcony.  There was no cooling system, so we had to wait for it to cool down outside at night before it was comfortable enough to sleep.

doe under our tree house
One thing that occurred to me as soon as we started getting settled was that this was an ideal place to come to be alone. There was wifi but no tv or radio. The only form of entertainment besides reading or writing was watching the deer and turkeys down below us.  So I was in hog heaven.  I'm not sure about Dotti.

Treehouses creak and groan, too.  It seemed like it took the house until about midnight to get accustomed to our weight and stop objecting so loudly.  Some time after midnight, I walked out onto the balcony to look around. I couldn't see the sky for the trees -- but what I could see were millions of stars twinkling through the fronds of the hemlocks and it looked like a Christmas tree. It was stunning!

I had just fallen asleep when the coyotes woke me up about 3:45.

It sounded like they were right outside our treehouse. A big pack from the sound of it, practiced howlers as well as some young pups just learning.  The chorus lasted about a minute and a half.  It was awesome. I had never heard such a large pack so close before.  It made everything that was inconvenient about the treehouse worth the trouble and expense to be there.

I just listened the first time, but when it was over, I set my phone to record it if they started again.  About 4:30, it started up again and I hit the record button. I got it, but the volume isn't good enough to post it. If I succeed in making a video of it, I'll share it in a later post about the trip.

The next morning, the folks at Vertical Horizon Treehouse Paradise, prepared a full course breakfast for us -- eggs, bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit -- all organic and garnished with fresh nasturtium and violas grown right there in the greenhouse. It was delicious and beautifully presented -- which tickled Dotti.

At breakfast, we met the other guests of Vertical Horizons, Michelle, from Portland, who was traveling alone, and a mother and daughter who were checking out to leave. Michelle invited us to come see her tree house.

Michelle's treehouse

 Afterward, we drove over to the Out-n-About place to look around.

Out-n-About reminded me of those wonderful days Peggy and I spent at Rock Creek Camp on Lake Texhoma when we were kids except that the cabins were in the trees. Here they actually had wooden and rope catwalks between some of them.  There was a large treehouse playground and lots of kids.

One of the several tree houses at Out-n-About
one of the many connecting catwalks

A family saddled up for a guided horseback ride.  The horses looked bored and they all had on a muzzle which indicated to me that they could be ill tempered. (I don't blame them at all -- the horses, that is.  I'd be ill tempered too if I were in their place. Actually, I think think the Humane Society should monitor horse renting better.)

Across the way, we could hear the zip line and the people riding it. This place was geared toward fun where Vertical Horizons was geared more toward providing a quiet place to connect with Nature. I was thrilled with where we ended up.  I'm not sure Dotti was.

Dotti checked but there was not an opening to ride the zip line until 1:00.  I had watched an instructional video provided by Out-n-About on their website.  Although it looked like more fun than a barrel of monkeys, it also looked way past my physical abilities. At one point, the passenger arrives at one landing seventy feet up in the trees, then has to climb a ladder straight up to another landing to hook on again -- or at least that was my understanding. That's when this overweight senior gal backed out.  I told a lady the day we went up the Rogue River that if I had known twenty years ago that I'd be coming to Oregon, I wouldn't have let myself get so out of shape. I told Dotti we'd come back if she wanted to but she didn't mention it again, so I totally forgot about it.

We had lunch in Cave Junction then headed back to our tree house. We had visited a thrift store in Cave Junction where Dotti bought some books.  So that afternoon, she read and I worked on the blog.

That evening, I intended to go down to the clearing after the stars came out to see them unhindered.  But the owners were having a birthday party for their son-in-law.  All their outside lights were on and the party showed no signs of petering out. I waited about thirty minutes, then said forget it.  Maybe I'd get to see the stars in Idaho or Utah or Wyoming. Most nights on the coast, it was either cloudy or foggy. And the time I was on the beach after the sun went down, I was so engrosses in watching and listening to the waves, I didn't even think about looking up. Damn!

The next morning, we packed up early and headed for Texas.
Delicious free breakfast, courtesy of
Best Western Motels! Awesome!

We stopped at Walmart in Grant's Pass, Oregon to get the Kia serviced before heading out. Then we
drove clear to Mountain Home, Utah, sixteen hours.  We checked in at a Best Western which had a Wingers restaurant in the same parking lot.

The lady who checked us in gave us coupons for free breakfast at Wingers.  I figured it wouldn't be much but it was awesome. So we started this day off on a good note. We both figured when the waitress brought us the ticket, we'd be paying for something -- but it actually said ".00"!  We left big tips.

My plan was to get to Colorado Springs by night time.  That meant another eleven or so hours on the road. Piece of cake.  I knew once I started home, I'd be like a rent horse heading for the barn.

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