Ashford Wa, Lodging
Jasmer's: Peace and Beauty in the Shadow of Mount Rainier-February 4, 2011
"We like to create memories," said Tanna Osterhaus and, according to the guests at Jasmer's at Mount Rainier, she and her husband, Luke, have succeeded.
Since 1990, they have owned and operated a unique collection of cabins and rooms in the Ashford area near Mount Rainier National Park's main entrance, leading to Paradise. Each cabin has its own guest book and the books provide good reading for current visitors.
"The setting is perfect - the creek, wildlife and trees. We were totally recharged," wrote one guest.
"Everything about it from the comfortable cabin to the deer and babbling stream - was even better than we hoped," wrote another.
Jasmer's seven cabins, with rich wood interiors and exteriors, antique accents and lush settings are situated on individual lots on either side of the Nisqually River. The fireplace rooms, called Bird's Nest, Songbird and Wild Bird are in a separate building near the main office in Ashford. An old-growth Alder tree that provides shelter for birds, a graceful shadow and an amazing canopy view from the hammock, inspired the rooms' names. Each room has a bathroom, separate entrance and parking and many of the same amenities of a superior hotel along with the charm and pampering of a bed and breakfast.
"Jasmer's is safe and secure, a favorite for women who travel alone," Tanna said.
In addition, Luke and Tanna are experienced hikers and climbers and are happy to share their knowledge of the area so guests can get the most out of their stay.
Cabin guests drive from the main office to their lodging to find hot tubs, fireplaces, outside fire pits, occasional fresh flowers in season, and features unique to each retreat. Two are nestled by a rushing creek, a couple have a partial mountain view of Rainier; another has its own waterfall and windows above a large upstairs soaking tub where guests can look up into the boughs of a massive cedar. In another, a huge Rhododendron branch has been peeled and polished to fashion a sill for a fireplace. One of the fireplaces includes 3,000 pounds of river rock.
Cabins are warm, stocked and ready. The furniture is comfortable and high quality. Some cabins include televisions, telephones, and Internet access. Others are ideal for a complete romantic getaway, far from the technological distractions of the outside world.
"You have to be creative when you have properties all over town," Tanna said, explaining how all the laundry comes back to the main house and that she has a team of people in the area responsible for daily cleaning and upkeep.
Jasmer's Guest Haus " Cabins began in May 1990. That year, Tanna bought Norm and Tony Jasmer's estate comprising 3 acres in the center of Ashford and a 1917 classic craftsman style home.
"Norm used to bring us raspberries and blueberries from this garden. He was such a sweetheart," Tanna said. "So we named it after him."
In 1990, Tanna also married Luke.
"He was the James Bond of my dreams," she said. "But instead of carrying a concealed weapon, he carried a chainsaw to build and maintain the trails at Mount Rainier National Park."
Luke continued working for the Park Service for the next 20 years but together, Tanna and Luke, renovated the main property and purchased more cabins. Each cabin was individually retrofitted and decorated to make it comfortable for travelers.
"I try to provide a sense of history of the area with historic and unique photos of the mountain," Tanna explained.
Much of the gleaming wood in the cabins came from dismantled structures of old-growth timbers and Tanna found many of the antique fixtures in a shed on Jasmer's property and restored them. She found other antiques in stores around the Puget Sound area; there are some classic retrofitted designs found only at Jasmer's. These include French doors that add romance to bedrooms and built-in luggage racks under the beds.
The pathway to the main house includes bricks from the nearby historic town of National; a boomtown at the turn of the century, now memories and artifacts. On the three-acre pastoral setting Tanna's five llamas graze peacefully, adding to the atmosphere.
"We try to provide guests with things they don't have at home, like showers for two and an 86-gallon soaking tub for two, with plenty of hot water - or a hot tub next to the creek," Tanna said. "In Ashford, time kind of stands still. People can have romantic moments by their fires and look up at the great canopy of trees or the brilliant starlit sky."
Because of easy access to creeks and hot tubs, Luke and Tanna ask that children who stay at Jasmer's are older than ten. Otherwise, guests include hikers, sightseers, mountaineers, returning or pre-deployment service men, honeymooners and seniors. According to the guest book, they leave with the songs of wind and creek, the sight of snowcaps and evergreen spears, the smell of cedar and the taste of fresh mountain air.
Written by: Eve Dumovich, snowlinepublishing
Eve Dumovich evemary.com
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