Elevators, hallways, front desks, breakfast buffets, shared air—these routine trappings of hotel travel suddenly all seem like opportunities for the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Last summer’s opening of a Mount Adams location of Getaway House Inc., then, has turned out to be most fortuitous. Launched on the East Coast as a grad school project in 2015 and hyped on Shark Tank, Getaway House sets up simple cabins within a couple of hours’ drive of a major metro area and pitches its woodsy locales and unplugged chill vibes to stressed-out cityfolk. Guests reserve online and are sent directions and a door code before their stay, no physical keys or human interaction required.
The units get around a lot of cost-heavy building codes by being, technically, trailers. The towable “houses,” some with Twin Peaks–themed names and running $99–299 depending on demand, are set so the picture-window views are full of trees, not other people. Pine-lined walls make the inside cozy, though any carpenters in your party will wish they’d brought sandpaper to do some finish work. There’s a picnic table outside, and Adirondack chairs arranged around a fire ring with a cooking grate. (Charcoal is OK, but crackling campfires are verboten this summer thanks to Klickitat County’s season-long burn ban.)
Cabins come with made beds, cooking supplies (but BYO coffeemaker), toilet paper and towels in the bathroom, tampons, lighters, a s’mores kit, a refrigerator, a two-burner stove, heat and AC, a minibar-style tray of snacks for sale, and aggressively themed reading material, from The Illustrated Walden to the founders’ own heavily annotated treatise on the value of tech-free nature experiences. A “Cellphone Lockbox” invites you to “forget” your phone in favor of “a true escape,” though the Bluetooth option on the radio sends a different message (as does the wireless router hidden among the utilities). Cabins sleep two or four, with the extra capacity coming in the form of a sleeping loft with a second queen mattress. Be ready to repeatedly warn children about sharp corners and low clearance. Inevitable head bonks aside, the faux-camping experience is a pleasant one, holed up in a tidy cabin with a table for board games and no RV-er neighbors running noisy generators all night.