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Otter Space Pumpkin Cottage

SuperhostOrick, California, United States
Private room in farm stay hosted by Peter
4 guests2 beds2 shared baths
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Pumpkin Cottage is nestled in the woods at Otter Space. It's barn-shaped with a queen bed, a wood stove, a kitchen sink, a pull-out futon & an upstairs loft with a bed. You can hear the Klamath River at night, rolling along under the starry skies on the other side of the meadow. The bath house is 30 yards away, with 2 showers & toilets. Park in front of the cottage. We're off the grid. No wireless. Leave virtual time at home and spend some real time with those you love!

The space

Do not use your GPS. It does not work well around here!

From Southern CA, Los Angeles: North on the 405 to I-5.

- After about 5 hours, take #580 West toward San Francisco/ through Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond & San Rafael, where you will hit the US#101. Continue North to Ukiah/Willits/Eureka/Arcata/Orick

From SFO area:

- Oakland Airport – take Hegenberger Rd North to 880North to 80/580North, cross the Richmond/San Rafael bridge ($5), and you will join US#101 North.

- San Francisco Airport – take US#101 North to Ukiah/Willits/Eureka/Arcata/Orick

(Fill up with gas in Arcata before you make the rest of the trip to Otter Space.)

Just north of Orick, make a right turn onto Bald Hill Road taking you toward the “Lady Bird Johnson” grove of redwoods. As soon as you turn onto Bald Hill Road, check your odometer. You will be 23 miles from Otter Space. Bald Hill Road will take you eastward up the mountain.

The road goes mostly uphill for the next 9 to 10 miles. There are a couple of scenic view sites on the right, where you might care to stop and check out the view. Sometimes we see Elk grazing in one of the highland meadows on the right. At about 9.5 miles, you will come to a Fire Station on your left. Veer uphill to your left onto Johnson Road. Check your odometer again. You have 13 miles to go from this point. Slow down, watch for potholes in the dirt road. Go over the cattle guard bars in the road. Stay to your left when in doubt. At 5.5 & 6 miles in, you will pass new roads on the left made by the lumber company doing some clear cuts. Make sure you are on the main road, which veers to the right in these two locations.

When you get to 10 miles in on Johnson Road, there is a 90 degree turn in the road down to your left. This is called Bald Eagle Bluff by some. You may want to stop and get out and walk up onto the raised area and look down onto the mighty Klamath streched out below you.

As you proceed downhill, around many curves, and approach the 13 mile mark, you will be almost all the way down to the river. Look for a red gate and fence on your right, set back as the road curves to the left. This is the Otter Space entrance. We are at 13065 Johnson Road. There is no number posted. Come on in. Park to the right of the Barn. If Joe and Wendy are not there to meet you. Walk down to the meadow and you will see their yurt across the meadow toward the river. Walk on over and introduce yourself. Their kids, Josie, Bean and Scout will probably run out to greet you! They will be there.

Regular cel phones will not work on Johnson Road. You can call Joe & Wendy Moore at ( if there is an emergency. See you there! Good Luck!

If you want to check out Otter Space on Earth, look for CA route 169,and go all the way to the end of the road. It ends in Johnson's Bar, CA which is on the other side of the Klamath River directly across from Otter Space. You can see the round yurt and the orchard!

Interaction with guests

I live in Topanga, CA, so I am at Otter Space at different time, but my co-hosts Joe Moore and his wife Wendy and their 3 kids actually live on the property. They are very friendly, down-home and helpful. You'll like 'em all! A very special family.

Other things to note

This is a remote site with very limited phone and wireless service. It's more of a destination than a stopping off place. It's quite wild and beautiful and the closest store is an hour away, ... the closest town is Arcata, CA and that's about an hour and a half drive. We are off the grid and must use solar or generator power to have electricity. This is an experience for most people. The 13 miles of the drive after you leave Highway 101, is on a small two lane paved road through woods and high meadows, (Bald Hills Road), and then onto a 13 mile dirt road (Johnson Road) with very few houses as it's mostly lumber company logging roads. Be prepared with food and flashlights.

Guest access
Please avail yourselves of the trails, the orchard and full length of the Klamath River "beach". There's a couple of neighbors just downstream, and the Yurok village known as "Johnson's" on the map, but as Wautek to the tribe. We have a 50 tree orchard full of apple, pears, peaches, cherries, plums, grapes, and even a persimmon tree. All organic. Just depends what's ripe when you come. We like to share.
Pumpkin Cottage is nestled in the woods at Otter Space. It's barn-shaped with a queen bed, a wood stove, a kitchen sink, a pull-out futon & an upstairs loft with a bed. You can hear the Klamath River at night, rolling along under the starry skies on the other side of the meadow. The bath house is 30 yards away, with 2 showers & toilets. Park in front of the cottage. We're off the grid. No wireless. Leave virtual time…

Sleeping arrangements

Common spaces
1 couch


Lock on bedroom door
Private entrance
Indoor fireplace
Private living room
Fire extinguisher
Free parking on premises
Laptop-friendly workspace
Unavailable: Carbon monoxide alarm

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5.0 out of 5 stars from 18 reviews
5.0 (18 reviews)



Orick, California, United States

Location · Peter’s home is located in Orick, California, United States. It’s 43 miles from Andy McBeth Airport. It’s 48 miles from California Redwood Coast - Humboldt County Airport.

WILD LIFE On the Klamath River - we might see turkey vultures, golden eagles, bald eagles, merganser ducks, cormorants, King Fishers, Great Blue Heron, night heron, white heron and osprey. Forty years ago there were only 6 osprey nests on the river, due to DDT depleting the calcium in the eggs of the females. Now there are over 325 osprey nest sites on the river. Ospreys are said to be monogamous, and they migrate every year from South America. Each of the little swallows that skin the surface of the river in the morning and early evening eat more than 1000 mosquitoes a day (Yaay!) We occasionally see a harbor seal who comes upriver in the summer to avoid the competition at the mouth of the Klamath. We also have seen a family of river otters that live just downstream, and an occasional river beaver. We have never seen a sturgeon at Otter Space. Sturgeon is a fish that has been the same for 20 million years. The biggest sturgeon caught in the Klamath was in pounds, 16 feet long, 300-325 years old. They don’t mature until they’re 45-48yrs old. A female will lay 700,000 eggs in her lifetime. Only 2 will reach maturity. There is a “sturgeon hole” about 7 miles downstream where they live.

Black bears - If you are lucky, you might get to see one of the timid black bears that live in the Lower Klamath area. They are not aggressive unless it is a mother bear protecting her cubs. They run the other way when they see or smell humans. We do not have any brown bears in this area. There is a cinnamon colored black bear that visits us sometimes. Please do not ever feed wild animals.

We also have silver fox, chipmunks, possums, raccoons, one guest saw a very rare lynx and black-tail deer graze in the meadow in the morning and evening. We do not have poisonous snakes in the area, but sometimes there are garter snakes in the orchard.

Mountain lions - are dangerous. We have never seen one, but they do live in this area. Here are the California Department of Fish and Game’s suggestions based on behavior analysis of attacks by mountain lions. Do not hike alone. Make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. Go in groups, with adults supervising children. Take a sturdy walking stick: you can use it to ward off a lion. Keep children close to you. Observations of captured lions reveal that they seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.

- Stop! Do not run from a lion. Back away from it slowly, but only if you can do so safely, as running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up so they won't panic and run. Although it may seem awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the lion.

- Do not bend or crouch over. Do all you can to appear larger. A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. Raise your arms. Open your jacket, if you're wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can grab without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a large voice. Never approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape. Fight back if attacked. Try to stay on your feet if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven off by prey that fights back. Some hikers have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands.

HIKING We are surrounded by old logging trails made by the lumber companies 80 years ago when they clear cut the old growth redwood on our side of the mountain, and now it's completely reforested with 200 ft. tall Doug Fir, Madrone, Cedar, Oak, other pine species and Pepper wood trees. The property surrounding us is mostly owned by Green Diamond Company that cuts trees for lumber and then re-forests with saplings. There are also other properties that are not clearly marked or fenced in. Mostly everyone we have met here are friendly, and we have never had any problems exploring the trails and creeks in this area, but please use discretion and politeness while hiking. If you see marijuana growing, please DO NOT HELP YOURSELF. It’s not wild, and growers do not take kindly to people helping themselves. Even if you get away with it, they may want to “teach us a lesson” at Otter Space. Please respect these wishes.

The Yurok People The Yurok live on the Pacific coast of northwestern California. Many of their villages were either on lagoons or at the mouths of streams; others were along the lower course of the Klamath River. The Yurok placed great emphasis on accumulating wealth and asserting status. The wealthiest members of Yurok society owned multiple sets of dance regalia and served as hosts for ceremonial gatherings. They wore distinctive clothing, such as highly decorative basketry caps, as a means of displaying their wealth. Even their style of speech was more elaborate than the contracted version spoken by commoners.

The natural resources of northwestern California were abundant, permitting the Yurok to live in permanent, year round villages. They harvested salmon, sturgeon, eel, surf fish, shellfish, sea lions, deer, elk, and acorns. Dense redwood forests provided the Yurok with wood for their distinctive split-plank houses, constructed with either single-pitched or double-pitched roofs. Redwood also was used for the manufacture of a variety of household items, such as wooden stools, storage boxes and cooking implements. Using stone adzes and wedges, Yurok craftsmen carved blunt-ended dugout canoes from large redwood logs.


We are so fortunate to have two people with a huge amount of experience and deep knowledge about a variety of sustainability skills living on site. Joe and Wendy Moore have been living sustainably off the land for years, (you can watch their YouTube video – search for Off The Grid in Kansas In A Straw Bale House III). They now live at Otter Space with their three children, and we have the benefit of their expertise when you come to camp. Take advantage of this unique learning opportunity by attending any of their workshops.


Intro Session: Joe and Wendy offer a one-hour introductory session for $25 dollars so you can ask all the questions you may have about their wide range of expertise in sustainable practices. If you decide to take a more in-depth workshop with them, the introductory session cost will be deducted from the workshop fee.

Suggested discussion topics include: Organic Gardening - Seed Saving - Bee Keeping - Soap Making - Sugaring (syrup making) - Food Preservation - Pressure Canning - Dehydrating - Smoking - Root Cellar - Cheese Making - Dairy - Animal Husbandry - Horse Farming - Primitive Shelters - Tanning Hides - Rocket Stoves - Mass Heaters - Alternative Energy - Solar - Wind - Water - Alternative Healing - Natural Health - Cob Building – Cob Ovens – Straw-Bale Building – Wild Edibles – Fishing – Archery – Bow Drill Fire Making - Flint Knapping – Spinning - Crocheting - Yoga - Sweat Lodge – Native Indigenous Peoples’ Philosophy


You can enroll in any of the workshops below either for a half-day ($100 ea./ $75 ea. for 3 or more), or a full day ($200. ea./ $175 ea. for 3 or more).


Cob building: Probably the most beautiful, natural, and efficient form of shelter ever invented. I built the largest cob house in America at the time, 30x40 with walls 2 foot thick. It also had cob interior walls and a cob floor. Although cob is probably the best long-term natural building material, it is very labor intense. Offered in half day courses that include discussion on materials involved, hands on mixing, and building a small section of wall. Advanced notice required.

Cob oven: Have you ever had bread from a masonry oven? Something a conventional oven just can't reproduce. Beautiful and functional, Cob ovens are something everyone should have in their backyard. This is going to be a full day workshop! Plan on getting your feet and hands a little muddy; but, at the end of the day, you will walk away with all the knowledge you need to build your own awesome, outdoor oven. Advanced notice required.

Straw-bale building: You can see my video... speaks for itself. Straw-bale is a great, quick building material that looks and feels like a cob house with only a fraction of the labor. If people realized the superior insulation value alone of the Straw-bale house, the stick house would be a thing of the past. Perfect for dry climates, like Southern California, as it's only downfall is sensitivity to moisture. Offered in full day courses that include discussion of materials, and hands on building and plastering. Advanced notice required.


Wild Edibles: One of my passions! I'm always looking for ways to increase my knowledge about wild edibles, and share what I have learned. Knowing that Stinging Nettles taste like spinach, and are harmless and nutritious when lightly-steamed, could save someone's life. Learning about, and tending the wild perennial food supply, to help return balance to the Earth, is what it's all about. Offered in half-day courses which includes roaming the forest, gathering, and preparing a sustainable harvest.

Fishing: The Klamath River is well known for its world-class fishing for salmon and steelhead. The infamous "half-pounders" arrive in July (anything under 3 pounds is called a half-pounder) followed by a nice run of salmon in September. Offered in half-day trips (morning or evening). Rod, tackle and bait included. Custom smoking is available if you catch the big one!


Archery: Wendy's parents met at an archery tournament in Southern California almost 50 years ago. Might mention that her father took the championship; so the fundamental techniques of archery were taught to her at a young age, and is something she still enjoys and practices today. Offered in half-day courses which include bow rental, arrows (handmade by Joe), and plenty of target practice. Flying target contest with flu flu arrows for a finale! Fun for all (8+), bring the whole clan for a family discount.

Bow-drill fire making: What an awesome technology; rubbing two sticks together to the extreme! Making fire without a lighter is something most people can no longer do. Materials are the key... you will take home the knowledge and the bow drill you make. Offered in half-day courses.

Flint Knapping: The art of flint knapping is controlled demolition of stone. It is an art that all of our ancestors engaged in at one time or another. This connection is felt on a very real level every time you produce a point out of stone. Classes include hands on learning of direct percussion, indirect percussion (Joe's favorite) and pressure flaking with primitive antler or modern copper. All tools and rock provided, with additional rock available for purchase. Offered in full or half day classes.

Spinning/ Crocheting: Spinning was my favorite hobby for a while, and is a fun, productive thing to do in the evening instead of watching television. I've raised all the animal breeds of fiber (sheep, goat, alpaca) except angora rabbits, and have much experience shearing, carding, and spinning. Alpaca is by far the best, and I brought quite a bit of it with me. Wendy does the crotchet ... she's made hats, scarves, mittens, booties and blankets. Offered in half-day courses where you will see and learn the many steps involved in producing a truly homemade item; from barnyard to boutique.

Soap Making: Making soap is a skill that you will never regret. Better yet, once you realize it's easy, you'll wonder why it took you so long to try it. We use only the finest oils, and consequently, produce some of the finest soap on the planet. (or at least in "Otter Space") This will be a half-day class where you will participate in each step involved, and uncover the secrets of producing excellent soap you will love to use and share.


Sweat Lodge/ Native Indigenous Peoples’ philosophy: Medicine Man and Woman in the New Haven Native American Church. We are well trained by a Nez Perce Medicine Man in traditional ceremony and sweat lodge. Native American's have safely guarded and protected the ancient ceremony known as the Sweat Lodge for hundreds of generations. It has stood the test of time as one of the most enlightening and purifying experiences you may ever have. We are blessed to be in a generation where the door to the lodge is finally opened to the white man; may we all be one heart belonging to the same creator. We could never charge a fee for this experience; if we did we would not be worthy to offer it. However, there is a lot of preparation and work involved to offer such an event. Therefore, we can only ask for tithes and offerings or gifts; as is traditionally accepted. Advanced notice required.

Yoga: Enjoy the peace and tranquility of Yoga on the River. Practicing for 15 years in free style yoga, and a physical fitness guru, Wendy will guide you through a fun and invigorating session that will balance your mind and body for the rest of the day. Again, only tithes and offerings.
Location · Peter’s home is located in Orick, California, United States. It’s 43 miles from Andy McBeth Airport. It’s 48 miles from California Redwood Coast - Humboldt County Airport.

Hosted by Peter

Joined in November 2014
  • 156 Reviews
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Peter Alsop here. I live in Topanga CA with my wife Ellen Geer where we run a theater. I'm 71, a psychologist who writes kids songs and lectures at conferences, and Ellen is an actress and director. My web site is (Website hidden by Airbnb) And we have a place in Humboldt county, CA called "Otter Space" that is beautifully off the grid right on the Klamath River if you'd like to come stay with us. Peter
Peter Alsop here. I live in Topanga CA with my wife Ellen Geer where we run a theater. I'm 71, a psychologist who writes kids songs and lectures at conferences, and Ellen is an act…
  • Joe
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Things to know

House rules
Checkout: 11:00 a.m.
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events