This year, we decided we needed a place to get away from it all. Where to go, where to go? After much discussion — beach? mountains? desert? — we found a wonderful house in Arnold, CA. Where is Arnold? Well, if you were to draw a straight line from S. Lake Tahoe to Yosemite and then pick a point halfway in between, you’d get Arnold. It’s a small mountain community in the heart of the Stanislaus National Forest. At an elevation of 4,000 feet, you get snow in the winter and lovely warm summers. You can read a little about the history of Arnold here.
» Our cabin in April 2011, the day we first saw it «
Our original idea for our mountain retreat was to make it a vacation rental, allowing others to spend vacations in the house while we’re not there. We would hire a rental agency to take care of all the details. The more we thought about it, though, the more we realized we wanted a place that really was ours, not something that we felt we were sharing with a number of strangers. So we ended up looking for a house that met our ultimate goal: a place to get away from it all!
We try and get up to the our little hideaway as often as possible. It’s a 150-mile drive door-to-door from our house in San Carlos, and without traffic we can get there in about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
We never realized how much fun it is to really get away. At first, Craig thought he’d only go up to the cabin a few times a year, but in short time both of us were constantly checking our schedules to see when we could go up next. We’ve met many of our neighbors and been invited to cocktail parties and daily dog walks. Our neighborhood has a large number of permanent residents (vs. people like Craig and me, who are “weekenders”) and they watch over our house and keep us in the loop on events in the neighborhood. It helps that so many of them are retired police officers and fire fighters! We feel so protected.
Arnold has a number of neighborhoods, such as Blue Lake Springs, Lakemont Pines and Meadowmont. Our cabin is in Meadowmont, which has a higher concentration of full time residents than other areas of the town. The other areas have a lot of vacation rental houses and homes with NO GARAGES! It’s unthinkable that you’d have a house with no garage … right, Craig?
Philo adores going to the cabin. He sleeps for most of the car ride and then is so excited when we get to the cabin. He really enjoyed his first snowfall in November.
We’ve started a little blog about our adventures up in Arnold. Check it out when you get a chance: Shedding Our Big City Ways.
Want to see more pictures of our little getaway? Craig’s got a lovely set of “best of” pictures. Click here to see more: Pictures of our cabin.