We are pleased as punch to share our first editorial feature that appears in July’s issue of San Francisco’s hippest city magazine — 7x7. Here’s a link to their site where we are chosen as the place to stay at the Eel River. Thank you 7x7!
Here’s what they have to say:
Though there’s plenty of camping, up the ante a bit with Big Bend Lodge centered on the South Fork of the Eel River in the town of Leggett. The nine-cabin lodge, owned by a pack of local Mission District families, grants you exclusive access to one of the most tube-worthy portions of the river, plus a tire swing and a private swimming hole. Rent one cabin, or get a group of friends together and take them all.
Our new sign is up!
Like just about everything at Big Bend Lodge, this was a community effort. First, Christie had the vision, then Kevin found some beautiful old growth redwood siding hidden under a pile of junk he preparing to toss in the dumpster, which Tim realized would be just perfect for building a sign to match Christie’s design.
In fact the process was so smooth it is kind of hard to tell the finished product from the original proposal Christie mocked up with Photoshop:
Hint: the shadows give it away.
Folks who’ve been coming to the lodge for years know that there used to be two beaches but that one of them has been closed for several seasons. Thanks to our wonderful neighbor, Jack, who loves to use his mini-bulldozer, the rocks are leveled and the brambles cleared and we now have a mellow, shaded beach. It takes a bit longer to get there (hint: follow the arrows made out of stones) but it’s well worth it.
Each of the lodge partners has a particular thing that they’ve been looking at and just itching to fix or change or improve or otherwise put their stamp on. For one it’s unearthing all the vintage treasures they’ve caught glimpses of over the years, for another it’s adding storage space to the kitchens. For Tim it was protecting the exposed roots of the tree that shelters our communal picnic table. For the past few years Tim has been looking at that tree and fretting that it would die, so the minute we bought the place he moved into action, designing and building a sturdy structure. (Take a look at it when you visit, you’ll see that it’s engineered and built really well.)
So where did Tim learn his skills? Now this is where the coincidence comes in. Or kismet or whatever you call that small world moment that you’d never believe if you saw it in a movie. Turns out that Tim learned building and mechanical skills and a deep respect for craft from Charlie and Ed Graham who ran an auto repair garage in Mill Valley where Tim worked all through high school and college. Tim says, “they spoke often of their property ‘up on the Eel’ and I always wanted to see it, and particularly the saw mill Charlie had built with a WWII-vintage airplane 12 cylinder radial engine as the power plant.”
Well, right after Tim finished building the tree surround, he ambled up the road to visit our immediate neighbors and learned that the property directly across the river from us is in fact the very same place that the Grahams had talked about! Happily, it’s still in the family so Tim can finally ford the Eel River to see the stone house that Charlie and Ed built. Oh, and that saw mill? It was built to replace the original one that the Grahams and Ace Anthony used to mill the lumber that was used to build Big Bend Lodge.
So much has happened in the past few weeks. We’ve filled a 40 yard dumpster with debris, renovated 2 bathrooms and fine-tuned 5 kitchens (well, the old gas stoves are still finicky but they cook so well and look so great) and painted and decorated two raw cinderblock units. We found some amazing treasures tucked into the many nooks and crannies and are spreading them throughout the rooms and lodge. We hired amazing innkeepers and furnished their quarters with things we loved from our own homes. And last but not least, we managed to find time to for a super fun Easter egg hunt.
That’s us. We’ve heard that people have been searching for our lodge and didn’t know that we’d changed our name back to the original Big Bend Lodge to honor our new hero, Ace Anthony, the original builder and owner.
For those of you who stayed with us in our previous incarnation, we’re keeping the place as comfortable and laid back as always with just a bit of updating to the areas that the previous owners couldn’t get to. We don’t know how they did it — we’re working like crazy and we have 13 adults and 10 children to help. But don’t worry we’ll be ready for guests on May 25th.
Yippee!! See you up at the Eel!