A Trip to the TreeHouses
In mid-June Christine and I spent our "virtual weekend" (Wednesday and Thursday) on a few acres of land next to the Raging River at a wonderful place called TreeHouse Point. This place is not far from our home in Issaquah, Washington -- just over 8 miles as the bikes roll, and almost all of those miles traverse paths designated for non-motorized travel.
Our trip would be a true sub-24-hour overnight (S24O) -- and we didn't need to bring a tent or any camping gear because we had reservations in a small TreeHouse known as the Nest.
We left home after lunch and were settled into our Nest by around 3 p.m. At $150 for a single summer night, our stay at TreeHouse Point drained much of our entire fun fund for the month, but we instantly knew this was money well spent. The land is beautiful, the staff is welcoming, and the TreeHouses are cozy and amazing.
Each TreeHouse is unique, and designed by Peter Nelson, the man who literally wrote The Treehouse Book. Each of the overnight TreeHouses has electric lights and heat, while the main lodge and a central building called the Pond Room hold the shared restrooms. The lodge, which also has rooms where folks can stay, houses the central dining area. All of this was explained to us by a cheerful young woman named Rheanna, who thought it was really cool that we get around by bicycle. Rheanna told us where we could safely park our bikes, gave us a welcome packet including a small map of the land, and informed us that fresh-baked cookies would be available in the lodge at 4 p.m.
What?! Did someone say 'fresh-baked cookies'?
The Nest is the smallest of the overnight TreeHouses, and closest to the road. Christine and I found it clean, cozy, and comfortable. The bed takes up much of the space, but there is also room for a couple of chairs and a storage chest. A tiny nook houses an electric tea kettle, while a wonderful deck overlooks the Upper Pond and one of the other TreeHouses -- named, appropriately enough, Upper Pond.
We spent much of our time exploring the grounds. Paths wind between the TreeHouses and lead down to the Raging River. Numerous spots invite you to just sit and think and wonder. There are nets in some trees which form chairs and platforms. While some of the TreeHouses are huge and quite luxurious, our favorite TreeHouse -- the one that made Christine squeal with delight and say, "Oh, I want one!" -- is a high perch known as the Hermitage. It's just big enough for a single chair and a small desk, and offers an incredible view of the river. The stairs leading up to the Hermitage are counter-balanced with a rope-and-river-rock mechanism that lets them pivot up for complete privacy. (I think the TreeHouse Point people could make a fortune renting the Hermitage out as a writer's retreat.)
Since TreeHouse Point is basically a bed and breakfast, we knew we'd be on our own for dinner, so we'd brought along a backpacking meal that we cooked up using the tea kettle.
In the morning we got up early and did more exploring of the grounds. Breakfast was wonderful, with fruit, homemade granola, yogurt, and fresh scones hot from the oven. We had a nice chat with Dylan, one of the TreeHouse Point builders, a man who clearly enjoys his work. When he's not working at TreeHouse Point, he's building TreeHouses throughout the world.
Christine and I are already plotting future TreeHouse trips. We know we'll be returning to TreeHouse Point, maybe in the off-season when the rates are lower and we can feel the storms shake the trees.
Tip for this adventure: Make reservations well in advance, as TreeHouse Point is popular. The larger TreeHouses can house families, but pets are not allowed. Be sure to take time to explore the grounds and sit by the river. (Note: More photos and a slightly different version of this report may be found at this link.)
Favorite local bike shop: The Bicycle Center of Issaquah is 8 miles away. I'm the mechanic there; I love talking touring!