At the Cabin

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I grew up in the Midwest. Illinois, to be precise. In Illinois, we had cornfields and soybeans. To the north up in Wisconsin and Minnesota, though, were big trees, lakes and… cabins. On occasion, I’d know someone whose cousin’s girlfriend’s grandparents owned one of those lakefront cabins, and up we’d go to relax a little, fish a little (you should see the size of the walleye I caught once!) and drink a lot of hot cocoa out on the dock under a full moon while a great-horned owl hooted away in a nearby treetop.

Romantic, huh?

I thought so. I’ve always fancied myself as a cabin-dweller, though the prospect of one day owning our own forested getaway is far off. Fortunately, I have fortunate friends.

We’re fresh from a few sublime days at my friend’s cabin in Washington’s Methow Valley. Of course, the term “cabin” is readily employed to describe almost any second home in a rural setting these days. And in truth, my friend admits that their Methow “cabin” is nicer in most ways than their little Seattle bungalow. But that’s getting into semantics, people. This was our fall cabin weekend, albeit in the nicest darn “cabin” I’ve ever seen. And as we watched Isaac sip hot cocoa on the wrap-around porch as deer frolicked in the grassland just thirty feet away, we were quite certain this particular cabin suited our fantasies just fine, dishwasher and all.

So, you don’t have your own cabin either, huh? And no friends with cabins? What to do? Although I’ve not used them myself, several folks who travel in Washington have recommended a website called centralreservations.net for booking cabins from Leavenworth up to the Methow Valley. Most of these are second homes that the owners rent out when they’re not using the cabins themselves. They can be quite affordable, especially if a cabin sleeps half a dozen people and you split the cost with another couple of folks or another family. Pay attention to the cleaning fees that are usually on top of the nightly rental, though.

If you have other resources for folks looking to rent out a cabin, please post them in the comments!

Lauren Braden’s new book, 52 Ways to Nature, Washington: Your Seasonal Guide to a Wilder Year, is now available for pre-order
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