Sleeping under the stars to the sounds of crickets and the occasional whinny of a horse or two. Sure, it’s camping outdoors. But, when you wake in the morning, careful where you step, because you might be 35 feet off the ground. That is, if you are sleeping in a Tree House in Oregon.
Out ‘n’ About (www.treehouses.com), a Treesort and Institute of Tree House construction is located just outside Cave Junction in southern Oregon. The campsite encompasses about 10 different, beautifully constructed tree houses for its guests. Some tree houses have their own bath facilities. But all are within an easy walk of indoor full bathrooms and showers. Out ‘n’ About is the perfect camping adventure for the less adventurous camper. Your kids will enjoy sleeping in a tree house. You will enjoy indoor heating, fresh brewed coffee and a camp full of other children to entertain your little campers.
Reservations must be made months ahead. So, plan early for your next summer vacation. You can choose from the more luxurious SutieTree Room which houses up to 6 and contains all amenities (including a claw foot tub); $200/night. Or, try the TreePee, which sleeps about 4 comfortably (two on a bed, two on floor pads); $120/night. The other tree houses fall within this range of prices, though most are closer to the TreePee cost. If you are not interested in being more than 30 feet off the ground, or traveling to your den via a Treeway (swinging foot bridge), don’t reserve the Treezebo, Forestree, or the Mastree (actually the upstairs of the main cabin, but you need to walk on the footbridge).
This treesort is more of an outdoor B & B. Every morning, Treefaires bake fresh muffins, delicious quiches or frittatas, Belgian waffles; and, offer juice, coffee, milk and nearly anything else you might want. The site is actually in Takilma, within the Siskyou Mountains and a stone’s throw from the Illinois River. Although there is plenty on the Tree House grounds to keep all campers busy, you are still a short drive from a swim in the Illinois River or day trip within the quaint roadside town of Cave Junction.
When you arrive, you will enter the main cabin for check in. You will be briefed on all that is available: a horse shoe pit, volleyball “meadow”, dirt basketball court, barbecue grills, fire pit, and canopy walk-ways. The prize feature includes a sweet stone-lined pool fed by the Illinois River (yep, it can be a bit cold, but no chlorine!). Every few nights, while you sleep peacefully in your Tree House, the groundskeepers (or Treefairies) drain the pool and water the local meadow at the same time. The stones are cleaned and new freshwater is fed back. Although the pool is smaller than most backyard chlorine-filled pools, I saw about a dozen kids enjoy a great time! Parents can dip their toes, rest on lawn chairs, sit under the Honeysuckle arbor or join in the water play. Soft grass surrounds the poolside.
If you choose to hang out at the Treesort during the day, there are many activities to sign up for. However, each activity costs between $20 and $35 per person. You can choose from Tie-dye T-shirts (actually the most beautiful tie-dye I’ve seen), mosaic tiling, horseback riding or riding the Zip Line. The Zip Line involves climbing up a tree, about 40 feet, then hooking onto a line and zipping about 800 feet across a meadow. You need to weigh at least 60 pounds. Children as young as 9 can enjoy this thrill. The instructors take good precaution to guide on a safe adventure.
For those not interested in spending extra money on activities or feeling like they are at camp, ask a local about some sweet spots on the Illinois River. Michael, the owner, directed my family to Six Mile, a small section of the river locals enjoy. Just head out to the highway (199n) and pass through Cave Junction. You will turn left when you get to Selma. Then, it’s just less than 9 miles along a winding mountain road to Six Mile. This section of the river features a cool, clear, clean pool between two small waterfalls. For the daring-do’s, you can climb up some rocks and jump off. There is a small sand area for a picnic. Go early in the day or during the week to avoid the local crowd.
This was a great family vacation and introduction to camping for my kids. I highly recommend Out ‘n’ About as your next vacation destination! Just visit the website: www.treehouses.com. All of your questions will be answered.