Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Cabin in the Forest

From an altitude of 239' in Chico, CA to one of 4351' in Butte Meadows in 45 minutes.

Heading north on Route 32 for about 20 miles and then east for another 5 miles (covering what seemed to be a couple hundred curves) brought us to the getaway cabin of cousin Steve Miller and his wife Betty. This was a walkway leading from the road to their cabin.

The rustic cabin sits on about an acre and a quarter lot and is over 100 years old. Some of the facilities are comparable to those of the period; a television set is absent, computers must use dial-up connections, and cell phones are useless.

Cabins fit into one of two groups--the original basic cabins with a character born out of available materials, the quirkiness of their builders, and the selection of a building site because "I like these two trees here, and I want the lot to extend to that grove over there."

The second group of homes are in the category of pre-determined lot sizes, architecturally-drawn plans, and indoor facilities.

We preferred the cabins in the first caategory. They were in keeping with the mountain retreat character of the community of roughly 400 people.

We wondered if the new arrivals would try to organize and "modernize" the character of the village in the Lassen National Forest.

Life seemed relaxed and uncomplicated. Even the formality of a yard sale was reduced to a sign "FREE" and a jar labeled "donations" placed on the blanketed hood of this car.

The mailboxes seemed to reflect the character of the home. We bet we could match the mailbox to the home with no other clues than the artistic work on the mailbox.

The course of this river on the edge of town was changed as a result of the flood of 1997. Originally, it curved to the right where the bed of rocks is in the photo (top of photo on the right).

After a short walk around town, our tour guides (l. to r., Betty, Martha, Steve) invited us back to the cabin for drinks in the shade of their front yard.

The stillness of the idyllic setting was only slightly broken by our conversation and laughter.

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