The Cabin


ImageWhy buy a cabin, when you have a beautiful backyard with a creek, blue herons, beavers, raccoons, squirrels and ducks? The Wife’s first response was, “I just got to get away for peace of mind.”

“So what is important in terms of a cabin then? I asked.

“Quite, secluded, quint, just a nice place to escape and relax.” She said slowly then added, “Oh yeah it should have cell coverage so I can keep in touch with the office and close enough that I can run in if someone needs me?”

Such is the inner struggle of owning your own Real Estate business and the tension and stress between wanting to be home and feeling you should be at work. Sure the average Realtor only has one weekend a year when they have to talk to her but when you have 50 realtors, well that pretty much means every weekend.  On top of this her current struggle, and I mean struggle, is donating a kidney to her brother.  So far she has undergone two major operations to prepare the kidney and has yet to have the big one.  She really does need a place where work is not always calling her name.

The Wife owns the local Century 21 Real Estate company “so,” I asked, “Why don’t we view what is on the market?

So on an early weekend of the year we took some time off to visit …. A nice small park where every buyer owns 1/40th of the overall property plus a small park model that although made in a factory. The units although very small were veryImage nice, an all new unit with new and nice appliances but they had no view, were not on or near water, although there was a small community pool and some roads a person could hike down. It was also open in the winter and a good place for riding snow machines or cross county skiing. They had two options $125,000 or a fancier and slightly larger unit for $175,000. The cabins sit just off the highway, with power, gas, water, sewer and only 20 minutes from the office, so she loved it.

I was a little concerned about the price, not that I am that old, but my first brand new home was just $19,500 so I convinced her to look and see what else is in the Okanagan and that started days of searching followed by back road adventures.

ImageOne day it happened. “Look at this one!” she said giving me a copy of a listing. Only $45,000 this log cabin looks great, no neighbors, close to Peachland or less than half an hour from the office so off we went in the SUV. As it was so close we never took anything to eat or drink thinking we would stop for supper on our return. After all this is the Okanagan where everything is so close and the choice of fine places to eat are everywhere. 20 minutes from home we left the pavement and started down a gravel road, soon to become more of an old slightly gravelled road turning into more of a washboard dirt road and finally a washed out dirt road with large washouts and fishers across it slowing our pace down to a walk. Finally we were on and off the road winding around potholes and trees and a couple of hours later finally came on a little clearing and there it sat.Image

Cows were wondering around it when we arrived and there was garbage strewn everywhere, and oh yeah the cell phones didn’t work. There was a lean too added on the side, which was of raw plywood and the cabin was well locked up and the Realtor had a note that he didn’t have the key.

Spent an hour walking around the place looking at the old car, camper and piles of junk. I marveled at how they got it all in here then I saw the 1000 gallon propane tank and the question became not only how did they get it here but how did they get a truck into fill it?

Still I like it. I began pointing out things I could do to fix it up and the Wife, who is always practical about such things asked, “How will you get rid of all this junk?”

ImageShe was right getting a truck up the road, loading it and getting it back would take someone with a truck they didn’t care much about. I looked at all the branch scratches on my own SUV and wondered if they would polish out. “On the good news side, it would be a reason to buy yet another vehicle!” I added with excitement that only caused one eyebrow to raise as she turned to look at me.

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As we wondered if we found an old building at the back that appeared to perhaps have been an old grow op as it had many lines in from the propane tank and smelled of marijuana.

Again the doors were well locked and one could only get a glimpse through the cobwebs and dust covering the window.

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There were more piles of junk and a lean too that did open exposing what I think must have been a pigeon coop as it was full of feathers and poop. This building could do with a match but of course that would be out of the question in a setting like this. So how do you get rid of it? A friend of mine almost died from an infection he got from breathing air that came in contact with deer mice poop. I would want to risk tearing this down.

At least the one-piece toilet was of a modern open-air type. Yet I still liked it and thought we should make an offer. ImageThen the Wife reviewed the file again.
The cabin sits on leased land and there is only five years left on the lease. When I called the listing Realtor he did not have a copy of the lease but thinks a person could get another ten-year extension.

“Wait! You mean I could pay money, work and sweat for five years to clean the place up then lose it? I am not sure I would take it and do all this work if they gave it too me for five years.”

“No” She said, “We would make in on condition of getting the ten-year lease before closing.”

“Honey, I am not sure ten-years will be enough time to get this all cleaned up.” The shine was now off my dream cabin.

The Wife likes to explore so she suggested we take another trail out to see if it was shorter. The GPS told us Summerland, a great little town was only a few miles down the other trail and in fact there was a paved road less than five miles away. So being up for it we headed back on another trail. This trail soon got even narrower and overgrown.Image

Fortunately the wife likes to hike and is strong and physical so she said she would walk and clear the path. The trail hung alone the side of a hill that dropped about a thousand feet to the valley floor. We may have only been five miles away as the crow flies, but it was a hundred miles following the ground up, down and around the hills.

Another hour or so we became tired and hungry and realized we only had about an hour of sunlight left, but how many stories have you heard about people quitting just short of their goal? There was a steep down grade with a large rock we would have to drop over and I was sure we would not get back up it without tearing something off so I suggested we walk for a while and check it out.Image

Now the Wife was liking it, she enjoys hiking, me I kept looking for bears with the sudden realization I think she could out run me if we saw one and you know what that means.

Finally the road ended at either a low field or swamp with a DO NOT TRESPASS sign. This road had ended and I was happy to head back.

As we got back closer to civilization several dirt bikers and a quad, passed us ripping up the wetlands and trail.

Funny how close yet so remote a place can be. Of all the years I had lived here in the Okanagan I never really left the valley or knew what lay just beyond a hill or two.

This would not be the cabin but it gave me hope that I might find one that would work.

Once back on the highway we were in Peachland in minutes where we discovered a real treasure, the Dragon Lotus Restaurant offering possibly the freshest and tastiest Chinese food. We enjoyed a Buda Beer in a Buda bottle and took home half the food as it we even too much for me to eat.

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The chef and owner, Sam came out to make sure we were happy and thanks to this meal we were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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