A Rocky Retreat

By Cynthia Scheer Telescope News
www.thebellevilletelescope.com

Mike and Sara Samples have always liked adventure and camping, they said, and she has dreamed of one day having a bed and breakfast. The couple didn’t think they’d be combining the two anytime soon.

But then the Cabins at Rocky Pond became reality.

When land just west of Belleville’s Rocky Pond came up for sale early this year, the Samples were reminded of the storage shed-turned cabins they stayed in during a church youth group trip last summer and were inspired to make a few of their own. In the four months since then the couple has purchased the lot and remodeled two small storage shed “barn loft cabins” with plans to add four more. The first cabin was available to rent just two weeks ago on the online site Airbnb and has already hosted three sets of guests.

The cabins accommodate four or five guests.

The Samples are doing much of the storage shed-to cabin remodeling themselves. Sara Samples finds ideas on Pinterest and her husband brings them to life with the help of the local lumberyard. He has helped remodel three buildings into churches over the years, he said, but he has never been in charge of a construction project on his own.

He took the “empty shell” cabins and installed walls, electricity, and plumbing.

“I’m really a firm believer that if you put your mind to something you can do it,” he said of learning most of his construction knowledge from online videos. “I had never run electrical before. I had never done a barn door before.”

The small cabins have a bathroom complete with shower, a kitchenette area with a sink, small refrigerator and microwave, a couch, and two lofted sleeping areas: one above the bathroom and one above the front door. The cabins also feature a small porch. The Samples leave their guests bottles of water and snacks, and Sara Samples makes the guests fresh biscuits during the first morning of their stay.

Samples said that while he has done most of the work himself, he has had help with the foundation, trenching, and installing the sewage system.

The first cabin, which has a woodland theme, is finished and was listed on Airbnb about two weeks ago. The first booking was received a couple days later. Rates start at $55 a night. Samples said he hopes to finish the second cabin, which will have a nautical theme, in the next couple weeks. Both cabins are already booked for the NCK Free Fair.

The Samples said they hope to add two medium storage sheds-turned cabins, two large cabins that Samples will build “from the ground up,” a gazebo and a fire pit.

“The Lord has just been better to us than we deserve,” Mike Samples said of the success of the project.

Find it on AirBnB – https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/19050780?s=51