before the cabin
A Short History of Chris' Cabin

        The Pine Mountain Club community was established around 1970, in the theretofBefore the Cabin ore pristine San Emigdio Canyon. It differed from the surrounding communities in that it was largely pre-laid-out, and it was a membership community, with member dues, a clubhouse, its own security, road maintenance etc. So in a sense PMC is a town without a history, but the land on which it was founded has deep roots in the Chumash Indian culture. Some say this valley was their Jerusalem; the center of their creation stories, and the source of their identity. It's not hard to believe. If you ever fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco, peek out the window as you pass over San Emigdio Canyon. You will see an emerald valley in the midst of wave after wave of brown, chapparal-covered hills. Just to the north, the mountains end, and the great, dry Central Valley of California begins. San Emigdio Canyon truly is a green oasis of lush pines and firs, surrounded by the dessicated landscape more characteristic of the Southern California Coast Range.

        It was here, in 1971 thCabin Foundationsat my Dad, John Haller, and our longtime family friend, Shirley Rubin, bought a parcel of land strategically located at the end of a street, on the edge of a "greenbelt"; where no structures will ever be built, with a breathtaking view of Mt. San Emigdio on the opposing side of the Canyon. He and Shirley had the cabin built shortly thereafter, in 1973. I still haven't been able to find out exactly who did the construction, but they were a pretty wild bunch. I was just a youngster, but I remember them saying they needed to drink a 6-pack of beer per square foot of construction. They weren't kidding; it took years to finally clean up the last of the "pop tops" from their beer cans. It didn't seem to hamper their skills though, because they constructed a remarkably durable and well-built cabin in only one month!

                        By the way, my Dad had a fascination for GeolFraming the Cabinogy in general, and Earthquakes in particular. He always said he would love to experience the "Big One" that Geologists claim is overdue for Southern California (presumably without being swallowed by it!). He liked to tell people that the San Andreas fault runs smack dab down the center of San Emigdio Canyon, which it does (St. Emygdius is the patron saint of earthquakes). It is also the only place along the fault's thousand mile length that it runs east/west, rather than its general north/south trend. He would describe how the brief change of direction of the fault creates a sort of "hook" along the fault, and when the hook eventually gives way, all hell is going to break loose. Well, Dad is going to have to witness the big earthquake from above, because he passed away in 1985. I became Shirley's partner in the cabin, and we would come up to the cabin several times a year. It was always a great escape from LA, as well as a connection to the memory of my Dad and her friend.

        Shirley had been figFirst Floor of Cabinhting Cancer for some years, and she passed away in June of 2007. It was sad not to have her to share the cabin with, and more pressingly, I had no one to share the considerable expenses of maintenance and upkeep. I knew I would have to rent the cabin out if I were to be able to afford to keep it. I called up a couple of agencies in PMC that handled vacation rentals, and they came out and took a look at the place. Both of them gave me resounding rejections, telling me that the cabin was just too rustic; it had loads of charm, and the location was incredible, but it needed a whole lot of work to bring it up to where it would be a really comfortable home.

        At this point I resolved to rent it out myself, and I undertook a major renovation of the cabin and the grounds, so that it would be the perfect getaway for couples or families with kids. I labored away all summer and fall, upgrading and replacing, until December 2007, when Chris' Cabin had its first guests. I had had the good Almost Done!fortune to meet some wonderful neighbors, including my friend Toni, who had a similar cabin a block away, that she had been renting out on her own for years. She gave me some valuable pointers on how to do this thing, and I owe her a lot.

        What started out as a necessary expedient to keep from having to sell the cabin, quickly became a source of much satisfaction. I have met so many really nice folks who have stayed at the cabin, and have already had some return guests. I am not just renting a place to stay, but an experience, which often becomes a treasured memory; just read some of the guest comments. I am so happy to be able to share the same sense of peace and re-creation that I have experienced coming up here for years, with all these guests whom I have had the pleasure to meet. I think Dad and Shirley would be pleased as well.