Our dream involves spending time in wild places among wild things.
We’re grateful for those who had the foresight to preserve our wilderness areas. The folks at the National Forest and Park Service Departments also deserve our thanks. They provide needed stewardship and valuable resources at NPS Visitor Centers and NFS HQs for both locals and tourists. They help find the perfect trail, whether you’re a newbie or experienced trail blazer. The revenue generated by these wild lands benefit all parties, including NPS, NFS, neighboring businesses, nonprofits, and community groups.
It’s a birthright and privilege to visit our national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The hunter and conservationists don’t always agree, but we both love our wild places. Wolves, bears and wolverines, as well as elk, moose and deer thrive in a balanced eco-system. The US and countries like, Canada have preserved millions of acres. Beautiful places filled with critters who live and travel through these prairies, forests, meadows, and mountain sides. The wildlife that live in these places, need space to roam and space away from the very people it attracts.
What drives such passion? Our happiness and well-being, which increases the more time we spend outside. There are studies that show being outdoors benefits us mentally and physically. A perfect day for us means we are on the road early enough to see dawn break on the mountains. A cool morning accompanies a heart-pumping walk up through forests and flower filled meadows. Stopping periodically for snacks and water allows us to appreciate the changing landscapes and scan ridge lines for wild life. I capture my favorite vistas, then we continue to a half-way point for rest and refuel with lunch. We head back down, delighted with another adventure and a life we cherish every day.
Sound good and want to join us? To find wild space near you, simply do an internet search for “national and state parks” in your area. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Woody sings it better than I could ever say it.
This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.
-Words and Music by Woody Guthrie
If you’re like us and want to spend more time in your happy place, you might consider buying a vacation rental(s) or suitable acreage to build. To get started, we tracked our spending, created a budget and cut unessential expenses. Our business plan and budget included all available vacation and rental cabin data. How many rentals are there currently? What are the Rates and Vacancy Numbers? What are the costs for land, cabins, infrastructure, insurances, taxes, etc. How many cabins are needed to turn a profit? We know that our business will require personal attention during all phases, such as Building, Landscaping, Booking, and Maintenance.
The irony of advocating for wildlife and their habitat preservation, while planning to add more people is not lost on us. There will always be competition for resources, but living near and enjoying these places, means we have a responsibility to advocate for them.
Finding, purchasing and developing rental cabins close to popular outdoor recreation will also require a large financial commitment. To save as quickly as possible, we reduced our current 401k contributions by half. Those dollars are being automatically transferred into a non-retirement savings account. Our anticipated savings and current home sale proceeds will allow us to buy land and build a few cabins to get started. This strategy works for our situation, but may not work for you. We’re close to retirement, have plenty of assets in 401k, as well as pensions and Social Security benefits. Always speak with a Certified Financial Planner before making changes to your retirement funds.
Our plan is to develop multiple cabins on one parcel. We recommend four cabins per acre or .25+ acre per cabin. We prefer a wooded lot that can be thinned to make room for cabins. Once the cabins are up, we will add native grasses and flowering shrubs among the remaining trees. We’ll save sunny spots in meadows, near parking and along roads for native wild flowers. Cabins in a beautiful setting rent faster and command higher prices.
Things to consider before purchasing property. Is there power close by? Can you drill a suitable well for water? Build a septic system big enough for your cabin plans? Are there covenants or HOAs that restrict your cabin options?
Our journey is off to a great start, so stay tuned for updates. Our next adventure will be in the Northern Cascades in Fall 2019. If you’ve been, please share your favorite spots and trails.
Want more information? Check out my Pinterest site for inspiration or my other posts to see some of the amazing wild places we’ve visited. If you enjoyed this post and/or found it informative, please share it. Be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of our adventures!