2014 had been a difficult year for me and when 2015 rolled around, I wanted to do something completely different for my birthday which comes close enough to Mother's Day, that I can make a week or so of celebrations. In 2015, I decided to create for myself a writers retreat in a cabin somewhere. My son, who was in elementary school had a school camping trip on the week of Mother's Day and my birthday.
The requirements were that the place needed to be reasonably priced, have a desk with electricity where I can plug in my laptop, and be out-of-the-way. I needed a place where I could focus on writing and be by myself with my thoughts. I found such a place in Little River, California on AirBNB called Pegasus Farm. Pegasis Farm is located just 20 minutes south of Mendocino. Looking at the property on Airbnb now, it seems they have made it a bit less rustic than it was when I was there almost six years ago. It still seems to have the same rustic charm though. The cost was $76 a night which let me to be able to afford to stay the week.
The host was excellent and had a main house where you can heat up food. I brought soup to heat up. The main house had a bathroom that had an outdoor entrance so I wouldn't have to bother the host. The trick is that you had to bring a lantern to get to the bathroom at night. They had empty glass bottles that you can fill up with water. I was on my own in terms of coffee as the host had decided to quit drinking coffee. So I bought a cheap coffee maker to heat up water for my french press. So, every morning, I had fresh dark roast french pressed coffee to fuel my writing.
The bed was surprisingly comfortable for this rustic cabin. It had a tin corrugated roof and so when there was an afternoon spring squall you could hear the raindrops while you write. The cabin was right in the middle of a vegetable garden and my alarm clock was a rooster. This place is an excellent place to unplug from the world as you have to go to the main house to get cell and wifi service, which is non-existent in the cabin. It kept me focused on writing for most of the day and night. If I wanted to check in with my husband, I would walk to the main house until I got service. The place got me reconnected to circadian rhythm of sleeping when it is dark and waking when the rooster crows.
I brought some whiskey and wine just in case I needed a break, although I limited those times because I wanted to be focused on writing. There were two cabins on the property and the other cabin had two women guests, who were Brits who just got out of medical school and were traveling the world and ended up here. So I shared a bottle of wine with them on my porch one night and it was fantastic.
The drive up to this place is quite a trek. It is a two and half hour drive up North 101 to 128 West through Anderson Valley wine country. It is a beautiful drive and it dumps you on the coast near Albion, CA. Then finding Pegasus Farm in Little River was little tricky, but completely worth it. My husband took the day off to come visit me and he found the place too rustic for his tastes. After hanging out for the day and visiting Mendocino, and then had quite an adventure when he decided to take the rural Comptche Ukiah Road back to 101 instead of taking 128 East the way he came out.
I had very little interaction with the hosts, but they were very nice. I even got to meet their baby raccoon and got along with their dog. I discovered some great music during my stay as they would play music in the house. The major find was Patrick Watson and his music has the ability to take me back to this magical place.
This trip planted a seed in my head for the need for a space to create with a door that can close and offer privacy and quiet in the middle of a garden. It would take four years to have my own little cottage with a desk(s) and a day bed.
When we can travel again, I highly recommend traveling up to Little River and stay at this rustic spot. Take some journals up with some art supplies or bring books to read. It is a perfect way to unplug and reconnect to rural beauty.