Writers’ Retreat

A good deal of the output for my NaNoWriMo novel and more than half of son Andrew’s output (Yes, he won too!  And finished while we were there.) was accomplished in the lovely Sequoia National Forest.  Hubby Al had bought me five nights at the twee little cabin above for my birthday, and the three of us spent Thanksgiving there.

It was challenging in some ways; it was only 500 square feet and there were no internal doors, so that while we had some visual privacy (Al and I took the bedroom, Andrew the loft) there was no sound privacy; everyone heard every conversation unless wearing headphones. There was no dishwasher, no doubt because sanitation was via septic tank. The water heater was of very small capacity. Main cabin heating (desperately needed at 4500 feet in November) was via a wood stove, which I later learned was improperly configured, requiring the menfolk to fuss with it a good deal.

But — peace and quiet!  Living in The Big City, I really had forgotten what true, 150 proof quiet was.  Deer wandered across roads in the night with total unconcern.  (Truly, the roads were so twisty that you couldn’t get up enough speed to hit and damage a deer if you tried.) And the green!  Everywhere I looked was green.

Andrew and I got amazing amounts of writing done.  Poor Al was quite bored, and reduced to playing Sudoku on his iPad (no internet or cell phone service — did I mention that?)  We had mercy on him, and went with him in the car for a couple of outings to see BIG TREES, and quaint mountain villages.

The area we were in (Camp Nelson) was commercially unspoiled.  Not a big ski resort, comparatively few out-of-area tourists come in summer to see the big trees (the major place for seeing the giants is Sequoia National Park, some hundred miles north.) It is mostly a summer retreat for the little cities of California’s Central Valley (Porterville is the closest.)

I was truly sorry to leave. I would go again in a heartbeat.

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