Little Cabin Details
Our Neighbor's Cabin
Let's start with being good neighbors. You'll notice our cabin is quite close to our neighbor on the right. Be sure you leave plenty of parking for them. They don't come up very often, but you can imagine how frustrating it would be to get to your cabin late at night and have someone parked in front of your door.
Our neighbors are Carl and Suzie. They own a seafood restaurant in Carlsbad and have owned their cabin for about seventeen years. They're super nice, so if you do happen to see them, be sure to say hello.
This is the easy part. We've installed a Schlage keypad door locks on all the doors . . . well, there's only one door, but I also call the living area "The Great Room" so you know.
All you have to do is get a code before you go to the cabin and you're good to go. If you forget the code all you have to do is find the key we've hidden in the non-existent flower garden, so don't forget your code
Because Big Bear often has below-freezing temperatures, we keep the water off when we're not there. Of course, we do this in the summer too, just because.
The water valves are at the corner of the deck next to the water hose. We've marked them as to which way they turn on and off. Yes, one turns on clockwise and the other turns on counterclockwise. Don't think about it too much or your head will start to hurt.
If you forget to turn the water off when you leave. Don't worry about it. Just get back in your car, go to Big Bear, turn the water off, and go home again. See, easy as that. (Joking)
Note: The old fashioned looking water bib in the picture is unique in that when you pull the handle up you get water for the hose, but when you turn it off it not only shuts off the water, but bleeds all the water out of the hose (underground), so it doesn't freeze in the winter.
Turning Up the Heat
The cabin has four wall-mounted heaters. They're controlled with a wireless thermostat located on the dresser, below the television.
If the thermostat fails and your freezing to death, simply unplug the heaters from the temperature control receivers and plug the heaters directly into the wall. There are manual temperature controls on the top of each heater.
Note: When we want to bring the cabin temperature up fast - we turn the oven on high and leave the oven door open. The cabin warms up in no time!
When you leave, please set the thermostat to thirty-eight degrees.
We have two forms of Internet service; Frontier DSL, behind the TV, and a T-Mobile Hot Spot, on the dresser below the TV. Access codes are on each of the devices.
The DSL service is only 3MB per second but works well for Netflix and email. On a bad day, like when lots of people are visiting Big Bear, it can go from bad to worse, or fail completely.
The T-Mobile hot spot can reach 30MB or more per second, but on a bad day, it can go from bad to worse, or fail completely. Pick and choose which one serves you best.
Both devices and codes are memorized on the TV, so switch between them should be easy.
You may or may not be a technogeek, so having Alexa at the cabin may sound cool or completely unnecessary. I feel strongly both ways.
Here's what I like and use the most: We have four sconce lights in the living area that are all controlled by the switch next to the front door. When they're all on, two of them shine right on the TV. That's when I say, "Alexa, turn off the corner lights."
Of course, you can do that manually. That's why I installed little pull-chain switches in each of the lights, but why would you want to?
Another great feature is, during the winter, I put two of the heaters on Alexa smart plugs, so I can tell Alexa to turn those heaters on before we get there. It is nice to arrive at a cabin that is something more than thirty-eight degrees.
Please put all food waste into the trash and only use the garbage disposal for those little bits of food that sneak into the sink.
Forest cabins all have septic tanks with leach fields. This means all waste goes into a tank, where it breaks down, while the liquid is filtered through perforated underground pipes.
Food and vegetable matter don't break down, so if they go down the drain, they collect in the holding tank, which costs about $600 to pump.
Bathroom / Toilet
Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you anything technical or tricky about using the toilet. On the contrary. I'm just letting you know the toilet does not leak and you didn't break it.
Big Bear water is very cold, especially in the winter. When you flush a toilet with super-cold water, in a warm cabin, condensation forms on the outside of the toilet bowl.
You can look at it what happens to your eyeglasses when you walk into a warm room after being out in the cold - they totally fog up. Same thing, no problem, nothing to worry about.
Everybody knows what a sofa sleeper is. Our sofa is a sleeper. A cabinet bed is another story. You could spend a week in the cabin and never know that big cabinet is actually a queen-sized bed. It's easy to use, but do be careful with your toes and fingers. Demo link below.
Just know that our bed sits on a thick rug, so you may need to wiggle the drawer and slideout extension, just a little, to get them in place.
The Hidden Room
What would an old castle, hidden in the backwoods of Big Bear, be without a hidden room?
I'm not going to tell you whereupon our vast estate it's hidden, but I will tell you it's where you'll find the cushions for the deck furniture and lots of other things and stuff like extra bedding, snowshoes, winter clothing, tools, tape, batteries, etc.
There's even a leaf blower in the attic, in case you want to clean the deck in style
The Fire Pit
There's nothing like kicking back on the deck in front of the fire pit. All you need to do is remove the cover and you'll see the propane tank is under the pit and the cushions for the deck furniture are in the attic.
You'll easily see there's an electric starter button on one corner of the fire pit, so just connect the propane, push the button, and you have a fire.
Please remember to turn off both gas valves when the party's over.