Snowy dayWaking up to a snowy day at The Horsfall House
The Horsfall House
If you lead a wired existence, it will stop when you arrive in Randle. We like to call it “digital detox!”
This beautifully restored 1910 farmhouse on 22 acres in Randle, Washington is situated between Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams, about two hours from Seattle.
You will find a welcoming atmosphere and peaceful setting. There is no phone, no cable, no broadband, no wi-fi and no satellite dish. There is a television with a DVD player and a video player. There are old videos and board games. There is limited cell phone reception.
Live the slow life in the comfort of a real homestead. Randle has a full kitchen with stove, oven, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, toaster oven and refrigerator. Inside the cupboards and drawers you will find most of the things you would need to create special meals with family and friends.
Basic house supplies like paper towels, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, baggies, garbage bags, dishwashing soap, cleaning products and bathroom tissue are supplied.
The kitchen nook is great place to have coffee and catch the early light. Or you can sit out on the porch and listen to the cows lowing in the pasture below, or maybe see a herd of elk.
You’ll find a comfortable old-fashioned claw-foot tub with a shower, sink and toilet in the bathroom. Fluffy towels are there for you to use, as well as shampoo, soap and a hair dryer.
The living room has a cozy wood stove. There is usually a supply of firewood for you to build an indoor fire. You’re welcome to forage for firewood on the trails on the property, or pick up a bundle at the local store if the supply at the house runs low. You’ll find folding chairs to use around the campfire.
Though the house has heat and a fireplace, it can be cold during the winter, so auxiliary space heaters are available. Likewise, it can be warm during the summer, so we provide fans and window screens to circulate the air.
The Horsfall House is a family home furnished with antiques and personal possessions. It’s not a hotel chain. It offers a unique experience that we hope you'll enjoy. Click to book now.
Breakfast nookClose up of breakfast nook, an original feature of the house.
View of porch and valleyOblique view of the porch facing the Big Bottom Valley.
Toward the meadowWild flowers in bloom
Twin bedsEastlake-style vintage beds
House seen from the hill sideTwenty one acres to wander and explore
View into the dining roomOriginal built-in hutch contains dishes and glassware; below find garbage bags and miscellaneous supplies.
Still lifeLiving room is appointed with personal artifacts including a vintage rotary phone
Bedroom, Main FloorDouble bed; Craftsman-style headboard
Day bedTiny bedroom with a day bed
Kitchen View 1Oven, stove, coffee maker; drawers and cabinets with pots, pans, utensils, cooking tools
Dining roomView from living room into the dining area
Living RoomView into the living room from the dining area. River rock fireplace built by area stone mason.
Master bedroomAntique rope bed from the 1800s
Stick bedTop of the stairs on the left, custom stick bed made by David, from trees on the property
Kitchen view 4Looking toward the refrigerator, antique stove used as furniture; toaster oven, antique wall phone and other vintage appointments are not functional.
Living Room sofa bedQueen-size sofa bed will sleep two in a pinch
BathroomEnjoy a soak in the claw foot tub, or take a shower. Toilet and sink; bathroom amenities.
Master bedroomAlternate view
Evening camp fireThe fire pit is ideal for gathering in the evenings. Outdoor folding chairs can be found in one of the closets in the main floor bedroom
Kitchen view 2Dishwasher, microwave, breakfast nook
About the Area
There are many places nearby to explore, or where you can relax, read, or simply take a nap. The mown meadows around the house can be used for rustic games of croquet, horseshoes or bocce ball. There is a trail to wander through the surrounding treed land. You can build a fire in the fire pit and grill hot dogs or roast marshmallows for smores.
During fishing season, there are creeks, lakes and a nearby dam where you can fish for trout. During the late summer and fall you can forage for huckleberries, blackberries, salmonberries, or ripened apples, walnuts, plums and cherries. If you are knowlegable, there are morel, chanterelle and matsutake mushrooms in the nearby Gifford Pinchot forest during the late spring and autumn.
Randle is located 25 minutes from White Pass and makes a great base for ski weekends during the winter. A herd of Roosevelt elk uses our land to get to and from the valley below for feeding and water, so it’s not unusual to spot them. There are also friendly deer who frequently come to visit.
At dusk you might see bats catching insects.
At night it is so dark, you get an excellent view of millions of stars, and in the late summer, you can view the Perseid meteor showers.
Twinkle Twinkle ‐ David Mumford
00:00 / 00:00
- Starry skies
- Carbon monoxide monitor
- Basic supplies
- Outdoor fire pit
- Smoke Alarms
- Extra linens, if needed
- Tea pot & coffee maker
- Full kitchen
- Auxiliary fans | heaters
- Toiletries | hair dryer
Enclosed porchThe screened-in porch helps keep insects out, and is a great place to store wet boots and shoes
Kitchen View 1The kitchen has all the basic appliances you might need
Kitchen, view 2Looking forward to the breakfast nook on the right wall is a magazine rack with vintage publications, including a New Yorker with a cartoon signed by the artist. (The artist and her family were staying at the house, discovered the magazine, and signed it
View from the front porchIn the “Big Bottom Valley,” you might see cows or a herd of Roosevelt elk. If you call out to the cows and shout “Moo,” there will be a delayed reaction before they turn their heads toward you in unison
Kitchen view 3A close-up on the breakfast nook
Kitchen view 4Looking toward the right wall as you enter from the kitchen porch, you’ll see artifacts from bygone days
View into the dining roomLooking from the kitchen into the dining room, on the left you’ll find a built-in hutch with dishes and glasses. The dining table opens to seat up to eight people, and a small second table seats two
View across the Big Bottom ValleyAt the peak of summer the field is covered with hay, which is harvested and baled in the early fall
View into the dining roomThe main dining table comfortably seats eight, and the small adjacent table seats two
Walnut treeThis very old walnut tree is still standing after many decades. We’ve harvested walnuts when we’ve been lucky enough to get them before the local squirrels
View into the living roomThe river rock fireplace was built by a local stone mason. The couch converts into a queen-sized sleeper sofa. The oar above the doorway is a tribute to “Mrs. Orr,” one of the early inhabitants. We believe her spirit resides there and watches over The Horsfall House
Still lifeThe vintage phone doesn’t work, and harkens back to an earlier time. One of our nephews had never seen a rotary dial
Living room 2Looking out the divided light windows toward the valley below
BathroomThere is one bathroom at the Horsfall House. Tiles are from Ann Sacks in Seattle. The claw foot tub has been retrofitted with a brass shower and white curtain
PathThe simple path in the surrounding woods are used by deer and elk who pass through the property. You’re welcome to forage for fallen wood, branches and kindling for the outdoor fires
StairwellCurrently there are four bedrooms upstairs containing a single daybed; two rooms with double beds, and a room with two twin beds
Porch view at duskOblique view of the porch as it looks toward the valley
Pirate hangerA gift from a “Highline Pirate”
Downstairs bedroomThe only bedroom on the main floor. Two closets contain outdoor chairs, a vacuum, horseshoes and back-up linens
Downstairs bedroom, view 2Alternative view of the downstairs bedroom
Day bedA small day bed occupies a tiny bedroom at the top of the stairs
Stick bedThe room contains a double bed, chair and closet and a stick bed, made by David
Master bedroomFeatures a love seat, an antique double “rope bed,” from the 1800s, antique fly rods and artifacts, and photo of Mount Rainer shot by Seattle photographer, Fred Milkie, Jr
Twin bedsA pair of matching “Eastlake” style antique beds, ideal for kids
The fire pitMake a fire and watch the stars. Find folding chairs in the downstairs bedroom to take outside and enjoy the outdoors
Snow in the Big Bottom ValleyFew things are more beautiful than the sun setting against the profile of the hiils. The only thing prettier is when everything is covered in snow
If you have any questions, please contact us via email or telephone and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.
Location [X-Y Coordinates]46.510312, -121.929548 ‐ Randle, WA 98377
Nearby hiking and winter activitiesIf you need suggestions for outdoor adventures, we recommend contacting the COWLITZ VALLEY RANGER STATION: Gifford Pinchot National Forest 10024 U.S. Hwy 12, POB 670, Randle, WA 98377 360.497.1100
Why “Better” MattersEspecially When it Comes to Creating Memories Abandoned after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1981, our Randle home sat empty for a decade before we rescued it in 1991. It was a falling-down wreck when we bought it‐ so decrepit it wasn’t even included in the valuation of the property. The porches had fallen down, the foundation had slipped, and only the moss kept the roof intact. Despite that, our family and friends enjoyed long weekends in this idyllic getaway two hours from Seattle. Some of our best times were when it was still just a “stationary tent,” with no doors, windows, electricity, running water or indoor plumbing. We hauled water until we hired a water witcher and ended up drilling a 165-foot-deep well. We cooked on the campfire, used Coleman lanterns, hauled in 5-gallon containers of water, and slept on the floor in sleeping bags. It felt like going to summer camp. The property had a two-hole outhouse built in 1940, which we resurrected and used. Because few things are more “fun” than going outside in the middle of the night, carrying a flashlight, to use a spooky old outhouse!
We had many adventures, like a death-defying trip to Burley Mountain lookout where, in one sweeping vista, we could see three magnificent mountains ‐ Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.One time we rescued our kids and a friend as they crossed a field unaware of a bull grazing nearby. We spent long days hanging out at Yellow Jacket Ponds, fishing for trout, playing in the water, then coming back to the house to fry fresh fish for dinner. The lookout at Burley Mountain allowed unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains and forests‐important for spotting fires. Christina and Charley rest in the shade. Andrew and Erin goofing around, with the crater of Mt. St. Helens in the distance. Andrew, Max, Stuart and Charley with the day’s catch; Rusty in the corner. We captured rubber boas, and watched bats descend at dusk to feast on insects. We caught frogs, lizards, garter snakes and crickets that occupied our “guest aquarium” until they were released before heading back to Seattle. And we foraged for wild berries, fruit and nuts growing on our land. It was the complete antithesis of life in the city. We spent two decades restoring the house, and eventually furnished it with hand-me-downs from our Seattle home, plus artifacts lovingly collected over the years. It felt very familiar and homey to us. However by 2013, with both boys grown and gone, we weren’t spending as much time at our country home. So I decided to try listing it on AirBNB ‐ and quickly learned we weren’t really prepared. After righting the foundation, rebuilding the porches and chimney, roofing and painting. We loved Randle “as is.” We viewed it through the lens of our own memories and experiences‐ and not through the eyes of strangers. Our first guest gave us a forgiving review. The next was brutal, and though I was upset by it, she was right: the house wasn’t ready for prime time. Thus began my quest to revamp it to create the “best guest experience” we could offer. Looking toward the fireplace. We gathered the rocks and had a local stone mason set them. “The Orr House” oar is an homage to “Mrs. Orr,” former occupant and whom we believe to be a benevolent spirit at the house. I began by replacing the bedding and linens, and expanded from there, doing what we could to make people feel welcomed and help ensure a pleasant stay. I worked hard, along with David and our property manager, Cathy Kane, to achieve “super host” status! It’s an accomplishment that requires continued hard work to retain. Super-host status is fleeting. You have to work hard to hang on to it! People naturally shop around for the best deals, and we think they recognize the value in staying in our home. There are nearby rentals that are more or less expensive, but none offer quite the same spaces and experiences. Pet owners love that their dogs can safely romp on 22 acres of land, pretending they are their wild ancestors on the hunt. And looking out across the Big Bottom Valley in the morning to see a herd of elk is an amazing treat. In terms of recognizing value‐ we’re grateful to Verizon for being the only proven carrier in Randle. I routinely remind our guests to bring lots of quarters for the pay phone in town if they have AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. We put a positive spin on the lack of cell service by positioning it as a “digital detox” experience, but the truth is, we love that Verizon sees value in serving areas like Randle, where none of the other major carriers are to be found. We regard it as our lifeline to the civilized world.
It’s been a 25-year journey so far. For us, we’ve found #BetterMatters ‐ especially when it comes to memories. And chorus frogs singing you to sleep. Christina insisted on wearing her velvet dress and patent-leather shoes on the rope swing‐ even at night! All Photos © Terri Nakamura 1991 through 2016
We’ve been Verizon customers since 2002 when our oldest son began as a cadet at West Point. As part of an awesome group of Verizon influencers, I’m grateful to Verizon for giving me the opportunity to use and test some awesome devices and tech. No additional compensation is provided, nor are favorable comments promised. All opinions are my own. This post was originally published on Social Media Stories & Tech, and on the blog, Medium.
Racing Bigfoot in the Shadow of Mt St. HelensImagine running a 200+ mile race in four days, over impossible terrain, with only six hours of sleep. Some of us think our jobs feel like that! But in fact, this is exactly what Joe Galioto did, along with 58 other athletes who completed the Bigfoot 200, an extreme endurance run that traversed Mount St. Helens in Washington State. When Susan Galioto inquired about our AirBNB property in Lewis County, Washington, it was a head scratcher. Based in New Jersey, she wanted to reserve the house for nine days, but for about half the time, it would be empty. She then told me the reason: her husband was coming to participate in The Bigfoot 200, and for the duration of the race, he would be on or near Mount St. Helens, one of the most active volcanos in America. I did some checking and found out some interesting facts about Bigfoot 200:
- Just under 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) of ascent
- More than 96,000 feet of elevation change
- 203.8 miles long, non-stop, point-to-point
- Start: Mount St. Helens in the Cascade Mountains;
- Finish: Randle, WA in the Big Bottom Valley.
- ” When I first drove up the drive and parked by the house and got out of the car, I felt this incredible surge of energy and emotion, I felt like I belonged there. Not sure if you’ve ever had an experience like this, but it is powerful. I didn’t even go in, I just walked around the property, the house and to the shed and then finally the front porch where I entered. It was like I was revisiting a place I had been before and I was just walking around checking to see that everything was the way I remembered. Before I unpacked the car, I called Sue and asked if there was any way she and the boys could fly out, I knew it was crazy and far-fetched (but hey, running 205 miles in the mountains was somewhat far-fetched too) ‐ I just felt like I was “home” and they should be there. That they would love this house and property as much as I did, and I was only there for five minutes.
- ” I make up workouts that don’t require as much time, but attempt to duplicate the same stress my body would be feeling late in a race. Additionally, strength-training, back-to-back training runs and strategic races such as the “Running with the Devil,” hosted by the NJ Trail Series, which consists of running 1.5 miles up-and-down a ski slope for 12 hours, all play a role, but most important of all is mindset ‐ I’m a firm believer that with the proper training and a positive mindset, you can achieve your goals.
The finishers: http://www.ultralive.net/bigfoot200/webcast.php Joe’s path: A Spot satellite tracker enabled family and friends to track Joe’s progress. The course was out of cell phone range, so it was critical to be able to have a way of letting others know his location. Joe wore a Spot satellite tracker, which enabled family and friends to track his progress, and if he had needed it, provide emergency responders a way of finding him. Each dot in the photo represented his location. If you see it on the web site, you would see tailed information (such as time of day) when mousing over the dots. Mount St. Helens crater Joe approached the Johnson Observation area just prior to sunset, and was treated to the beautiful sight of the Mount St. Helens crater, awash in alpenglow. Unexpected beauty along the race path Along the Lower Falls section of the Lewis River (approximately 110 miles into the race), the view of the waterfalls was just incredible. Traversing boulders The first section of the race ended in Blue Lake 12 miles away, but required an awesome traverse of the Mount St. Helens’ blast zone boulder field. Fixed ropes to scale a steep wall Climbing out of the canyon and heading towards Windy Pass (approximately 20 miles into the race), required the use of a fixed rope to scale the very steep incline. And as for Bigfoot? He wasn’t spotted.
Photos and captions by Joe Galioto This post originally appeared on Social Media Stories and Tech and on the blog, Medium.
Up In The AirBNBThe Horsfall House in the afternoon sun‐ The Doors sang, “People are strange, when you’re a stranger.” But since we put our country house on AirBNB, the people we’ve met have been anything but strange. AirBNB is to lodging what Uber is to cars for hire. As of early January of 2015, it had booked more than 25 million reservations in 92 countries. Our vacation home is in the insanely beautiful Cascade Mountain area of Washington State. We hadn’t been using it very much because of the work we were doing on our new retail store, Alki Surf Shop, in West Seattle. So we thought it made sense to let other people take advantage of it. The listing was begun in 2013, but wasn’t activated it until last fall when a friend enquired about renting our house. It seemed like it was as good a time as any to give it a try. Before creating our listing, I did some research to see what kinds of properties were available in the area, how they were priced, and what kinds of amenities they included. Then I began the process of collecting images of our home, and writing descriptions, with the goal being 1) honest representations and 2) highlighting the positive attributes. Among the tools we’ve used to create and manage our presence, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been great. Not only is the AirBNB app terrific, the Note 4 has enabled me to document changes in our house and share them on the site. Here are a few: A peek at the kitchen Looking into the breakfast nook The living room has a sleeper sofa that sleeps two You can see, the quality of the photos are as good or better than most point-and-shoot pocket digital cameras! That’s because the camera on the Note 4 is amazing! Looking into the dining room from the living room Verizon is the only carrier we have found to provide reliable service in Randle, Washington. We heard from one group who said they were able to get a signal on AT&T and to a lesser degree, T-Mobile, but the last time we were there (a week ago) AT&T at least, was zilch. Honestly, I don’t know what we’d do without Verizon. It has been our lifeline to the outside world. My real-life bestie has been using AirBNB in her travels, and has found some amazing places in the U.S. and abroad. I’d also heard of VRBO (Vacation rentals by owner), but felt more confident in AirBNB because of my friend’s personal (and positive) experiences. I’m am AirBNB novice, but I’ve found ample support, both within the host communities, and from AirBNB itself. Each time I’ve had a question or issue, AirBNB has answered within 24 hours. The communities are even faster. Post a concern, and BOOM, help is there. The experience has been largely positive, and we’ve learned through guest feedback, how to make our home even more hospitable. We’ve met people from far-off lands, as well as those from our own back yard. We discovered we share mutual IRL friends with one of our guests. Several people in another group work at a very popular restaurant here in Seattle, The Whale Wins, listed by Bon Appetit as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the U.S. in 2013. We enjoyed them so much, I made it a point to take our extended family there when we celebrated my birthday earlier this month. And trust me when I say the food was fabulous! So how are a country house, AirBNB, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and an award-winning restaurant connected? Through great technology and with help from Verizon.
This post originally appeared on Social Media Stories & Tech.