Washing Machine & Clothes Dryer (and laundry soap)
Dishwasher and garbage disposal
Ample cooking utensils, pots and pans, dishes and accessories
SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS: Queen platform bed in main floor bedroom. Upstairs, 2 twin beds, no closet but a large storage area, and a wall rack to hang clothes on. A queen air mattress (built-in pump) can be used in the loft area. All total, the cabin can sleep 4 in two bedrooms, and 2 on the air mattress. (Extra charge beyond 4 guests.) Sheets may not match (does not affect your sleep!), but there are ample bath and hand towels, and face cloths. Extra blankets.
For children who might be scared of strange noises, they will have Harrison 'Toots' George, a huge resident stuffed bear, to keep them company. Toots is named after a famous golfer, my Dad!
RATES & CANCELLATION INFORMATION: No extra charge for weekends, holidays, or special events! Bookings made within 30 days of arrival require full payment; if made earlier, 50% at booking. For a complete cancellation policy, please review the Rental Agreement. Guests are urged to check out trip insurance. There is no refund of the rent or deposits for cancellation inside 30 days or for early departure. The security deposit is refundable when the contract and Departure Checklist have been followed. Damage Insurance through HomeAway/VRBO is optional.
FIRE is always a concern to those who live in the mountains. We have a VERY DRY state. Residents are kept informed about fire threats. If there is danger of a fire or an evacuation prior to a guest’s arrival, and you decide not to come, your reservation will be saved and you can move it to another date within the next six months. The AREA IS UNDER LEVEL 1 FIRE RESTRICTIONS. NO OUTDOOR CAMPFIRES, GRILLING, AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS until the end of October.
WATER: A community well system serves the area. Water is safe to drink out of the tap. If there is an outage, Guests can still shower in the morning, before the turn-off time. There is water stored in the garage that would need to be boiled for cooking purposes; the stored water is also used to flush the toilets when the water is off. Most guests spend the day away from the cabin, so this slight inconvenience is usually not a problem.
WI-FI AND HOW TO KEEP ENTERTAINED: Internet is installed, but service is sketchy in the mountains and not always 24/7. There is no cable/dish TV, but there is a TV to watch VHS tapes from a collection of military war/history movies and westerns, exercise videos, and more, including 'Gone With the Wind,' and some children's video tapes. There is a DVD player (to watch on a 13-inch TV screen). There are books and games to keep you occupied. The landline telephone has free long distance for calls only in the Continental U.S. (no calls to Hawaii or Alaska). Cell phones are unlikely to work, but sometimes those with Verizon can get some service outside in the front yard.
VILLAGE OF JEMEZ SPRINGS: The village is a 30-minute drive south from the cabin, with restaurants, a library (with computers), a skateboard track, a bath house/spa where you can enjoy a mineral springs bath and a massage, churches, art galleries, and more. Visit the historical Jemez Monument in the village, too. The Jemez Springs Baptist Church holds an interdenominational service Sunday mornings from Memorial Day through Labor Day at the Jemez Falls campground amphitheater at 8 a.m., located 3 miles away, south on Hwy 4. If you are coming to visit Santa Fe (90-min. drive), do take in the Santa Fe Opera in the summer and many other festivals. And don't forget the world-famous Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, and many others, many of which are open on Friday evenings from 5 to 8 PM, with free admission.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE AND DO: The majestic Valles Caldera (Valles Grande National Preserve, north on Hwy 4 by about 8 miles) is a haven for photographers, hunters, nature lovers, hikers, X-C skiers, and mountain bikers. (Call 505-661-3333 for a ride to the backcountry to ride your bike.) General -- call 866-382-5537. Event hotline: 505-569-6842. Check out their website for classes in photography. (You will receive an info document with some information, too.) Bandelier National Monument, with ancient Indian ruins, is about 20 minutes away. Downhill skiing at Parajito (rated in January 2014 as one of the best places to ski!), just outside of Los Alamos. Just 3 miles to the Jemez Falls picnic area, and a short walk from it to the falls. There are several fishing sites along Hwy 4, too.
Monthly 'Paint Your Vision' workshops are offered by local artists. Previous painting experience is not required. Learn technique from experts, and have fun. Art-viewing field trips are planned. Contact Geraldine Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org or (575) 834-7918.
There is a restaurant 15 minutes away in La Cueva, and sightseeing about 45 min. away in historical Los Alamos. There are many activities, or--you can do nothing. The nearest medical facility is in Los Alamos, although EMTs may respond from La Cueva 15 minutes away.
INDIAN CULTURE: New Mexico is rich in culture and diversity. Also in the area, on the way up from Albuquerque, you can stop at the Walatowa Visitor Center and Museum in the Red Rocks area, and eat Indian fry bread from one of the vendors across the road (the Frito pies are delicious). The Walatowa Convenience Store is your last opportunity to get gas when coming from the south; the next chance is in Los Alamos. You can visit the Jemez Monument in the village, as well as Soda Dam.
WINTER TIME: Roads can be snow-packed and icy. You absolutely need a 4WD vehicle, and should arrive by 4 PM in winter time, when the sun has melted some of the ice, making it easier to get up the driveway. It gets dark by 5 PM in the mountains; there are no road lights, and it is easy to veer off the road into a culvert. So, please plan your arrival during daylight hours.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY: There is a special plywood ramp in the garage for wheelchair access through the interior kitchen door from the garage. There are also rubber mats to put in the bathtubs for slip protection. The altitude might be an issue for those with heart or lung problems.
NEED MORE ROOM? If you are planning a family or group gathering and don't want to be separated but need a little extra room, my next-door neighbor has space for more guests. That VRBO listing number is 322935 (Big Foot Cabin). It is a 2-minute walk there.
TRAVEL LOGISTICS: The cabin is a 1 3/4-hour drive from I-25 & Tramway Rd (a little over 2 hrs from the airport). Once you leave the highway, you travel for nearly 2 miles up and down a dirt/gravel road that gets steep in places. In the winter, you absolutely need 4WD; in the summer, 4WD is recommended, as roads can become slippery after a rain, although you can get by without it (you will need to drive in second or first gear as you traverse the hilly roads). For security reasons, directions to the exact address are not given out here.
• NM assesses a gross receipts tax on the rates and all fees.
• Minimum stay - 2 nights.
• MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY - 6. Rates based on 4 people; extra for 2 more. Renter must stay in the house, be age 25 or older, and email a copy (scan to your computer) driver's license before the booking can be confirmed. A child is anyone age 17 and under.
• Check-in time 3:30 PM, and Check-out time is 10:30 AM. Check with the owner on arriving earlier, as sometimes that can be done.
• Marsha's Writing Retreat is located in a tranquil environment, where people cherish their peace and quiet. For those looking for a party house, this is not it. Guests appreciate the quiet nature of the surroundings.
• No pets (inside or outside)– owner is allergic to most animals.
• There is no trash pick-up for the subdivision; guests must take all garbage/trash with them upon departure. Trash bags are provided.
• Please read the contract before confirming your reservation and ask questions. Directions and entry information sent within a week of arrival.
• Military veteran? Veterans can receive a special rate over the Veterans Day holiday (Nov 9-12)
• Weather is unpredictable in the mountains. In the winter, it can be clear and sunny, and a couple hours later, cloudy and snowing. You need a 4WD. The HOA cannot always immediately plow, and not until the snow reaches around 6 inches (which seems like 10 to a typical person). Getting up icy hills can be a challenge, and chains/cables may be advised. Plowing of the roads is not in the owner's control.
Regardless of the season, sunscreen is a must in NM. The cabin was originally and still is my writing retreat, a place to get away from it all—the noise, the hustle, the bustle, and rat race of everyday living. The house is rustic in feel, eclectic in décor, and cozy enough that you won't want to leave! Don’t forget to bring your camera, sunscreen, and binoculars!
REPEAT GUESTS: Inquire about a discount if you have stayed at Marsha's Writing Retreat within the past two years.