Updated: Dec 3, 2020
How does a blissful escape weekend close to home with your partner or your best girlfriend sound? If you answered "hell yes" then you are in the right place. I have been wanting to share this hidden gem near Deep Creek Lake that I found back in 2012 and immediately fell in love with.
In today’s craziness with COVID restrictions, I needed a spot that I could trust relatively close to my own backyard. Just a short 1 hour and 15-minute drive into the Allegheny Mountains, I found a secluded cabin titled “Mystic Mountain” which is one of several properties owned by Laura Fraser of Cranesville Country Rentals.
I’ve been renting this cabin once a month since September as a planned “escape and disconnect” each month during this tumultuous year. Taking care of mental and emotional health is a foundational piece to full spectrum wellbeing in this life.
From the moment I crest the last curve of the 2.8-mile-long driveway, I am immediately met with the feeling of time standing still and the hush of the rustic cabin in the woods. When I walk into Mystic Mountain the front door becomes the signal to let go and breath deeper.
On top of the giant, hip-high island that greets me with a 12-foot-wide smile, sits a wood butcher block and the keys to the weekend. Across the top of the island, I can see the oversized chenille blankets inviting me over to snuggle deep into the brown leather couch facing the floor to ceiling fireplace. On the coffee table sits a drink coaster with a big black bear and quote, “Be gentle enough to follow natures inspirations and be strong enough to make the world a better place.” Next to the coasters sits a guest’s memories journal to fill out play by play of the stay. I like to take the last pieces of wood and burn a fire while sipping my coffee, looking out over the valley, reminiscing on what I received from my monthly adventure in the mountains and what I will bring home with me this time.
This time as I sit here recalling (and rejoicing) over the true blessings the Universe handed out, the owner just called to tell us not to rush out, that we were more than welcome to stay longer today and enjoy the snow globe gift of a spontaneous winter storm. In true 2020 fashion, we were surprise-gifted a winter wonderland on top of a mountain! I’m so in awe of the magic that I arrived with and the full heart I will be bringing home this time.
When we arrived Saturday evening the weather was beautiful. The stars were shining in a midnight blue sky with not a single cloud. The moon was so bright it lit our steps to the hot tub and shined just enough that I could see my hands intertwined in my husband’s as we sat there soaking in the intentional tranquility, we had been driving towards earlier that day.
The night was closed out with warming up by the fire, glass of wine in hand, and a plate full of our food prepped goodies - one of the best decisions we’ve made on our healthy-living adventures this year. We grill up a ton of our favorite meats at home and then easy microwaveable sides, salads, dressings, and veggies. Its quality dining on a budget for the wallet and the waistline! Steak, mac, and spinach for evening number one for the win.
While there are 4 beds in this cabin, 3 are in the loft over-looking the living room (and that glorious fireplace) the other one is located downstairs on the other side of a hand-carved wooden bar across from the pool table and French doors that lead outside to the hot tub. It is the absolute perfect hideaway. The king size bed is piled high with fuzzy blankets, pillows, and no TV to be seen. We can enjoy the hush of the house and fall asleep wrapped in wood fire heating the air.
(the following photos are curtesy of https://cranesvillecountryrentals.com/mystic-mountain/)
On day two of my trip, I went hiking to the waterfalls that are just 20 minutes down the mountainside inside Swallow Falls State Park. The Yuoughiogheny River flows right through what is one of Maryland’s oldest grove of eastern hemlock and white pine, some reported to be almost 360 years old, and creates some of the most breathtaking views along the trails. I sat on top of the rocks directly next to the “high” fall. This time of year, the water levels allowed for me to have a much different perspective of the magnitude of natural occurring beauty so close to home.
Getting outside in open spaces and taking in nature has been something we have all been encouraged to do this year as we have been limited in our indoor gatherings. It has also been something I ascribe to as a foundational piece to better well-being. Stepping outside and reconnecting with the ground below our feet and intentionally setting aside a “re-discovering of self” time can bring healing qualities to our mental and physical states. Much like the purpose behind meditation, breathing exercises, and pressing that pause button on life’s grind, sitting on a rock beside the water and letting the wind, air, (fire) sun, just do its thing, will have you feeling lighter, freer, and reunited inside.
As I sat on the rock beside the waterfall, I felt deep gratitude for how small I am on the vast life canvas. Taking it all in I exhaled my thank you to the Universe for taking care of me and gifting us all the opportunity to come back again and again. My cup refilled, I drove to meet my husband for our dinner at Dutch’s at Silver Tree, a new place we found while sight-seeing. The broiled General’s Platter will definitely be a repeat order for me! I had butterfly shrimp the size of my palm was accompanied by a twice baked potato, French onion soup, a heaping-high crab cake and to die for house-made cocktail sauce.
That evening was finished in the hot tub again followed by fireside movies and cookies and wine. And what I woke up to on our last day? A snow-filled heaven as far as the eye could see. I was surrounded during my coffee this morning and I literally ran outside to stick my tongue out to catch the snowflakes! I find my heart growing younger and younger with each of these intentional trips. And seeing my life’s mantra (and coaching cues) coming to fruition.
On these escape weekends, there is no diet to ascribe to, no set time to exercise, and no forced slow down to push against because life is being lived intentionally. I’m here on purpose. I eat, move, and believe on purpose. While I’m living all life’s adventures - I am on purpose.
If you’re looking for that next adventure idea close to home and a little extra guidance along the way be sure to save your seat for when the doors open to the Curves Ahead Membership program www.curvesaheadtribe.com or connect with me on Facebook inside my EAT-MOVE-BELIEVE community to learn more about my teachings on all things MIND and BODY.