Monday, August 22, 2011

Great Sleeps: WildSpring Guest Habitat, Port Orford, Oregon

WildSpring Guest Habitat 92978 Cemetery Loop, (866) 333-WILD (9453), (541) 332-0977. 5 cabins. A one-person party must be at least 25 yrs old; unsuitable for children under 13. No phones. Hot tub. Full buffet breakfast. $198-$306; pull-out bed +$20-$40. No pets; no smoking. How charming are directions that indicate this covey of cabins is “five miles north of Humbug Mountain”? Guests park in a woodsy lot, and check in by picking up their key from a row of rustic mailboxes in an open-air shelter. Then they can either load their bags into an easy-to-maneuver contemporary wheelbarrow or contact the office via intercom for assistance. The contemporary two-room cabins are scattered within a 5-acre private forest of 100-foot-tall second-growth Douglas Firs. Ferns dot the forest floor, and trails padded by a bed of pine needles lead to each cabin. “We’re very proud that during construction we only had to cut down two trees,” says co-owner Michelle Duarte. Cabins feature light hardwood floors, and pocket-door dividers provide privacy when someone uses the sitting room’s twin hide-a-bed. Furnishings are an interesting eclectic mix of antiques and exotic imports rescued from Hollywood Hills garage sales. A fluffy feather comforter make the generally cool coastal nights warmer. It is a short walk to the far end of the property (by the Guest Hall) to use the very special oversize slate hot tub overlooking the ocean. The Guest Hall is where everyone gathers for snacks and breakfast, and to play games, borrow DVDs and books, and enjoy the ocean view. Guests are encouraged to get reconnected with nature. Facilities include a walking labyrinth, a sculpture garden, and several trails, and a rocking chair or hammock makes the perfect place to listen to the wind blowing through the pines. Birders will find a huge bird population, and from October through May a drumming circle is conducted when at least six people express interest. Co-owner Dean Duarte informs that Port Orford is a “dark skies initiative city. Hoods are placed over street lights to direct glow down, not up, so we can see the stars.”


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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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