Romantic evenings. A dance floor. Stargaze - look, there's Orion! Folks love no neighbors' lights and no traffic noise. Breathe pure, cool air (15 degres cooler than town). Drink sweet, non-chlorinated water. The chalet is a comfortable base from which adventurous families launch serious explorations of nearby Yosemite and the Sierra. Days begin with animated fly-ins of wild doves, stellar jays, dark-eyed juncos, grosbeaks and hummingbirds who come to enjoy birdseed. Guests watch happily from comfortable chairs in the Great Room. Squirrels join the party. Sometimes, wild turkeys and gray foxes. Deer cross the meadow. After Mother Nature's morning shock and awe, the chalet's bell sounds; time to travel through another portal to one of America's richest historical periods. We head for Gold Country Mariposa to enjoy the California Mining and Mineral Museum, the History Museum, one of our state's oldest newspapers, and tour California's oldest active courthouse. Amazing!
Explosion of Beauty–Everywhere: Welcome to our second season as a vacation rental! We're excited about being able to help our guests experience the beauty we've been enjoying for years. You don't have to wait 'til you arrive at Yosemite to be captured by nature's splendor. Starlit Chalet is in the middle of a Ponderosa Pine and Incense Cedar forest - a constant explosion of beauty outside every window. Put on your walking shoes, walk down the hill to the mailbox, turn right onto Jerseydale Road and walk to the CDF Station. Take in the trees, the meadows, the quiet, the extravagance of nature in every direction. And, when the sun comes up, get the birdseed from the pantry, sprinkle it generously along the deck railing and watch the joyful ballet of feathered and furried friends. Oh, and did we mention that our lovely chalet is usually 15 degrees cooler than town in summer?
Star-gazing–Cooking Fun: The only lights to distract at night come from the moon and billions of galaxies that populate a vast window in the Southern Sky. The starry majesty of the heavens crowns towering Ponderosa Pines. All seen most nights from the redwood deck circling half the chalet. You don't need a Hubble telescope to enjoy the nightly parade of the universe’s celestial extravagance – our star chart and binoculars will do the job just fine … The kitchen includes spacious counters, custom cabinets and many appliances, including a new convection microwave oven. The inviting tile bar connecting the kitchen and dining area is a great place to gather during meal preparation and cheer on the cook. And if the cook is willing, throwing a few steaks on the barbie may be the perfect preparation for tomorrow's Yosemite hike or tonight's star-gazing session.
Dance Floor–Sandy Beaches: Your host, Paul, has hiked the Sierra Nevada for 20 years and can answer questions about hiking trails and how to plan every minute of your stay. And when in residence, he also teaches Argentine tango for beginners. The Great Room's comfortable seating can easily be moved to create dance space when the sun goes down. Bring your CD's and dancing shoes and enjoy your favorite dances with your favorite partner as the stars twinkle overhead. Set a romantic mood with the dimmable track lights. Feet sore from dancing all night? Relief is just 15 minutes away at Briceburg. Cold water and sandy beaches, a good prescription for tired feet. And a perfect place for swimming, picnics, hiking, kayaking, fishing and seeing wildlife. White-water rafting is available in May and June.
I spend my time traveling, writing, and producing documentary videos to help make the world a better place, especially for children. And nature photography. And when I'm at the chalet, hiking twice weekly with a local hiking group. Life is good!
Having a mountain cabin or chalet was always one of my dreams. Now I get to share that dream with my guests. It took several years for me to find the chalet but it was well worth the wait. When my guests enter the Great Room for the first time and look at the forest through 3 stories of windows, the 'Wow!' they express makes it all worthwhile.
The star-rich Southern sky. Magnificent Ponderosa Pines and Incense Cedars. Wildlife. The incredible silence and, yet, only minutes from town on a well-maintained road. Sweet, sweet well water. Mountain living at its best plus WiFi, Netflix, Smart TV and Bluetooth stereo.
Close to Yosemite. Cool in summer. Secluded but convenient. A spectacular 45 minutes to Yosemite along the Wild and Scenic Merced River, this beautiful mountain chalet is your private portal to the magic and splendor of nature. Illuminated only by stars at night, the silence in the middle of the forest is ... deafening! In summer, the chalet is 10-15 degrees cooler than neighboring communities because of tall trees and 3,800' elevation - almost the same as Yosemite Valley. A short 20-minute drive takes you back 160 years to historic gold town Mariposa where two famous Americans once lived, General John “The Pathfinder” Fremont and his extraordinary wife, Jessie. This quaint, friendly town of 1,800 is proud of its history as a gold town and loves to show off its interesting shops, restaurants, cafes and wine-tasting from local vineyards. A visitors center, supermarkets, hardware stores, a visitor-friendly library with internet. And 3 golf courses nearby. Welcome to the Sierra.
Other Activities: Zipline (new), gold-panning, health spa, and Argentine tango - we're in the mountains but we haven't dropped off the planet! Many of Yosemite's 4 million visitors pass through Mariposa so it's possible to meet mountain people and Parisians, gold seekers and Argentine tango dancers. One of my favorite Mariposa stops is the Happy Burger - although it's a totally local mountain coffee shop, people stop there from every part of the world. And tiny Mariposa has maintained much of its historical character, a pleasure to walk its streets and connect with the past.
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