Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rustic, are you kidding?

We stayed at a “rustic” cabin near Chimney Rock, North Carolina. Rustic wasn’t the word I would use to describe it. We had stayed at a KOA campsite in a primitive cabin. Primitive is a no frills cabin that had no air conditioning. It was clean but had a stale, musty smell until we opened the windows and turned on the fan. It had a full bed and a double bunk.
Now to describe the “rustic” cabin, it did have amenities that the KOA cabin did not have. It had a small refrigerator, a tiny microwave, and a kitchen table and four chairs. There were two bedrooms with two full beds; one bed in each, a couch room, and air conditioning. The beds were made-up with fresh linen. The cabin even had a fireplace for use on cool nights. It sounds great right? Let me continue.
The rustic cabin had a wooden overlapped siding, but it didn’t have a solid floor. As I stepped from the kitchen area that sported large black and white tiles and onto the thin pile, blue carpeting of the bedroom, I felt the floor was weak and sagged as it went into the bedroom that would be mine. My room had the air conditioner and the other room didn’t. There was only one window, closed off with the air conditioner.
The cabin had a stale, sour smell that only dissipated after running the air conditioner. We couldn’t open the door and the window to air the room. The walls and ceiling was the type of paneling that looked like wall paper and was fastened to the wall with screws. There was a ceiling light/fan unit in my travel partner’s bed room, but the light didn’t work. There was a bedside stand holding a table lamp with green hanging prisms. That light did work. The roof was rusted metal and ribbed.
When we drove up to the campground office, we were greeted by a man on a golf cart. He had long gray hair pulled back into a ponytail and sported a two days growth of stubble. His shirt and pants were soiled. He was the maintenance man. He stepped into the office and returned with the key, saying “Follow me.” And we were introduced to our cabin. I think he was the handyman and was very polite and eager to please.
It seemed that the cabin was made and furnished with what the owner had at hand, but the bath house was solid and kept clean. The showers had hot water and benches. Solid walls separated the different stalls and had curtain pulls for privacy. The shower house had a newer metal-ribbed Mansard roof and at its peak where all sides met was a windowed sky light that allowed the light to keep the interior bright.
Because we were making visits to surrounding areas, we would be spending two nights in the cabin of Shangri-la. The area had been booked solid because of a near-by festival. Finding a vacancy and moving was not an option. The one redeeming quality was we could make our own breakfast and ice in the microwave and fridge.

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