When the summer heat and humidity gives way to crisp fall air, there are a few things that come to mind immediately: leaves, apple cider donuts, the outdoors. Growing up in Southern California, fall colors and weather were as mythical as unicorns. During my four years in college in rural Massachusetts, I came to love fall and everything it embodies.
Shortly after my first born turned 1, I realized that I wanted him to become familiar with fall and love it just like I did. Living and working in DC, the opportunity to run in massive piles of orange and red leaves was rare and I wanted to get away from the congestion of daily city living. I hatched the idea of a mini fall getaway, taking advantage of the Columbus Day holiday to sneak in an extra day off from work. My husband agreed and a tradition was born! We are avid fall getaway people and have taken advantage of long weekends to escape and unwind.
I first discovered Lost River Modern while perusing an issue of Dwell. My husband and I are fans of modern architecture and thus, we followed along on the owner’s blog, which detailed their efforts to build a modern prefab cabin on a hill in West Virginia. At some point, it dawned on me that Lost River, West Virginia was only 2.5 hours away by car and by then, the cabin was ready for booking so I decided to check into availability. I corresponded with the host via email, booked the cabin for three days and two nights, packed up our gear, and we set off to Lost River. The cabin was everything it promised to be – modern, inviting, perfect for our then-family of three and my in laws, who joined us for the long weekend.
The house itself is perched on a ridge, so it’s not a place you want to visit in the dead of winter unless you have four wheel drive.photo credit photo credit
The deck itself has wire railing around (and baby gates were available so we could close off the entrance and keep our toddler safe), but the side of the house drops off the side of the hill very quickly, so you will want to watch any young children closely. The cabin also comes with a wood burning hot tub, the dutchtub, available for use, although we did not fire it up while we were there.The layout of the cabin was simple. The cabin was split into two levels: the main level, which contains the main living + dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom, along with one full bath. The downstairs level has two bedrooms and another living area, along with a full bath. Because of the divided space, we never felt crowded, not even with four adults and one toddler running around the house.
The kitchen and dining room provided a great space for us to enjoy our meals together. My husband loves to cook, and he spent the weekend whipping up fabulous meal after meal for us to enjoy.
My husband and I loved the architecture and design of the space and my in laws quickly fell in love with it as well. Given its relatively remote location and distance from any grocery store of note, it was highly recommend that we bring all our groceries to the cabin with us, which we did. There’s a small general store about 20 minutes away by car, but not much else so make sure you pack everything you think you might need. The hosts were gracious and left us a bottle of wine to enjoy, which we happily sipped while cooking in the modern kitchen that also came equipped with a sound system that piped music throughout the house and the deck.
lounging on the couchWe did not do much during our weekend at the cabin, but that was the point: to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily city living. We discovered a zipline, hanging in the backyard, and we all took it for a spin.We also took the short drive over to Lost River State Park, where there was no shortage of foliage.
I highly recommend Lost River Modern if you’re looking to truly get away. It’s not the destination for you if you’re looking to eat your meals out and have 1,001 activities to fill your day. But if you’re looking for a bit of quiet and solitude, Lost River Modern is the perfect modern retreat. When we visited in 2010, there was no cell reception within about 30 minutes of the cabin and no cell reception at the cabin either, but there is active internet and satellite television, so you aren’t completely cut off from the world. The house was also kid friendly with toys scattered around, a pack n play for our use if we desired, and, importantly, the absence of decorative chotchkies that would be dangerous but also irresistible to curious toddlers. Finally, although I would not hesitate to return, its remoteness makes it difficult for me to justify the visit, given that we now have two kids and a 75 pound dog to transport with us. Although the house is dog friendly, having to truck in all of our food items and cook all the meals is slightly overwhelming. The nearest large grocery stores are in Winchester or Front Royal, both of which are about an hour from the house. Given our crew, our car is usually packed to the gills with just our belongings and two hours in the car round trip is further than I would like to travel for groceries. Nonetheless, if you are interested in a modern oasis in the country, Lost River Modern can be the perfect location to disconnect and unwind in nature.