When my friend Sarah moved to the mountains of North Carolina last year, I couldn’t wait to visit her. An accomplished stained glass artist, she had moved into a large rustic artist studio just outside of Asheville with her boyfriend Kelly, a blacksmith and artist working in metal and various other mediums. The studio, itself, is quite an abode, but even more fun is the attached treehouse where I roomed for a week in October. Partially open to the outside, the “NInja Hut” (as they call it) makes for a refreshing, cozy stay and simply unforgettable experience…..and I can’t wait to go back later this spring.
Just getting into the Ninja Hut is fun, as it requires a careful walk up a wooden ramp that gets a little slippery when wet. Luckily, there’s a tree-branch handrail to hold onto and I got fairly used to traversing the boardwalk as I came and went over the course of seven days. Upon entering the makeshift shelter, one is greeted with a few creature comforts, such as a pair of hammock chairs, area rug, and lamp. The ladder, not unlike something out of a cartoon, leads to the loft, where I slept for the duration of my stay.
The best part of my stay, by far, was climbing into the loft to sleep at night. A cozy nest in the trees, I lived like a bird…..seeking shelter under the man-made metal roof, listening to the soothing sounds of nature and even the rain, when it came. A few box bugs and a spider or two took refuge with me, but I didn’t mind. Rusty the dog guarded the doorway at night, Pippin the cat shared my lair on a couple of occasions, and a pair of crows greeted me on one of the cool fall mornings.
The area around the shelter is filled with all sorts of interesting details, as well. Fungi on downed logs, wood carvings, metal art, a rustic shower, and much more waiting to be discovered in and around the neighboring studio.
There’s also a few “Studio Rules” for those sharing the creative work space……
And if all of that isn’t enough, check out the video below, which I shot from the treehouse loft during a morning downpour.