The Mother Ship - Total Technology Detox - Rustic Cabin in the Woods

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Last updated: 09/25/2016
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:5 nights
  • Internet:No
  • Pets considered:No
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

Property description




Off grid unique rustic 60's vintage cabin offers cathedral ceiling living room forest experience. Private safe gated community in the middle of the Mendocino National Forest! Very near Lake Pillsbury for amazing fishing. 720 sq. Has 1-1/2 flight of stairs from parking to front door.


A rustic (with a capital R) vintage funky 60's one-of-a-kind cabin! Don't expect the Ritz yet with most of the comforts of home.



1Q5 Gravelly Valley airstrip nearby

Please note there is a 15 mph speed limit enforced at all times on the Ranch. The make, model, color and plate info of all guest vehicles accessing the Ranch need to be given prior to access to the Ranch.

Sleeps up to 6
One bedroom on main floor with a double bed
Fold out couch with a double bed in the living room
Double bed in loft
Two twin beds in loft
One bathroom with shower and hot water
Wood burning fireplace insert ***ONLY HEAT SOURCE****
Kitchen with propane refrigerator, stove, sink
Dining room with seating for 6
Vaulted living room with light, trees, decks
Gas generator available 6am-11pm to power house

This is a vintage 1969 rustic off grid cabin & can be great fun for the whole family however please note that it is NOT child proofed in the 21st century sense & there are cleaning solutions, mouse poison, & matches present along with random decorative items, oil lanterns, propane lamps, gasoline (in safety containers), stairs, ladder up and down loft, counters with right angle edges (not rounded) and multiple decks.

Also if members of your party are used to a lot of time relating to electronic communications devices none of them will work there. At all. Ever. A 12V record player with tons of true vintage (my Dad's) vinyl much of it from the 60's & 70's is as high tech as it gets. Many board games, a ukulele & lap harp. Books and magazines. A hammock. And near limitless walks and hikes and stunning drives and the lake, creeks & rivers to explore. If you have a telescope bring it - the sky at night is spectacular, we have a toy one there.

Eclectic decor, dishes, silverware, utencils, outdoor plastic furniture (you may find it in need of a quick wipe down), lots of wood product to burn in large plastic tubs under cabin & on porch, a propane refrigerator (no inner light) with freezer, comfy comfy beds with down comforters.

Please note that this is our cabin that we actually use too (and have some of our things in the closet & built in drawers) & it is not a sterile or "model home" or "staged" brand new environment. Think down-home in the woods, a whole bunch of steps up from camping but still rustic with a capital R and you won't be disappointed! Sometimes the screen doors stick (please be gentle) and you ARE in the country in the woods so there is a forest smell (fallen leaves, pine needles, pine cones, branches) and the cabin due to it's location under so many trees is usually 20 degrees cooler (especially if you carefully open the loft small skylights). Although we have bombed the cabin numerous times for spiders and have mouse poison out they do outnumber us all & are extremely industrious so between cleanings and visits you may see cobwebs but we are fighting the good fight! BTW there is a dead tree next to the outdoor path from the parking area up to the deck. We have had arborists examine it and if by an Act of God it should fall over (which it will not ever according to them due to it's very deep root structure still intact) it will hit nothing important (not the propane tank or parked vehicles) just the ground.

During your stay if you encounter any issues I am available by phone to help you, the caretaker at the Ranch is available during office hours & please let us know if you need help. The first time I lit one of the wall propane lights I was convinced I would blow the place up (they are completely safe) and at night they give a wonderful warm light to the cabin, as there is one in every room and they are equivalent to a 60 watt bulb.

Please note a few housekeeping items:
(1) Please turn down the covers on the beds you actually use so we know what to wash (or strip it if you feel ambitious!)
(2) Please place all used towels on the bathroom counter, again, so we know what to wash
(3) Finally, please bag your trash & drop in dumpsters (right by main gate on right side behind a fence in front of the forestation) on your way out.

It is so so so important to me to insure, as much as humanly possible, that our guests have a lovely time and appreciate their stay at The Mother Ship. So in the spirit of transparency I need to emphasize that this is an old cabin. Even when it is cleaned it remains old. It gets dusty. It is nestled amongst a forest of trees. There is actual dirt, rotting needles and leaves that dwell just outside on the floor of the forest canopy. This is not a national park - it is the middle of a national forest - The Mendocino National Forest. There are elk, bears, turkey, birds, raccoons, fox, skunk, and of course deer. It is many many many levels above camping or RVing, however it is RUSTIC, FUNKY-60's, OLD, ECCENTRIC & in an incredible location. We also use the cabin when we can & some of our personal stuff is there. It is not "staged" like an immaculate make-believe magazine-page cabin. It is not a "model cabin". It is not in any way shape or form "perfect" or "sterile". It is our family cabin & we use it too. It is however our little slice of forest heaven that we would love to share with you, your friends &/or family - if & only if you are good with The Way It Is! We get it professionally cleaned between visits. We have all the linens laundered. If you like something closer to perfection there is even another listing in Lake Pillsbury Ranch that IS actually perfect. And priced accordingly. Ours, we think for what it exactly is, is a good deal! Enjoy!

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Property Type

  • Cabin
  • 720 sq. ft.

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals


  • Minimum Age Limit For Renters:


  • Children Welcome:

    Cabin is not "child proofed" so you need to watch the little ones! Some of the books are R+ rated (they are on the high shelves) so beware if you have curious readers!...moreless

  • Wheelchair Inaccessible:

    It is about a 1-1/2 to 2 flight walk up from the parking area to the front door. ...moreless

Bedrooms: 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6, Beds for 6

  • Downstairs Bedroom : 1 double

    With skylight and deck...moreless

  • Loft Bedroom: 1 double, 2 twin/ single

    2 little skylights, its own deck, and views of forest ...moreless

  • Living Room Sleeper Couch: 1 sleep sofa /futon

    Living room 2 seater couch folds out to a comfy double bed...moreless

  • As there is only one bathroom we request only 6 max, although 8 have managed....moreless

Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom

  • Bathroom : toilet, shower

    The sink area has a door separating shower & toilet room...moreless

  • Remember - only one bathroom!

Other Amenities

  • Lake Pillsbury Ranch is in the middle of no where. Trees, lake, streams, NATURE & the whole Mendocino National Forest. No other forms of entertainment. ...moreless


  • Books:

    Big bookcase full of books to choose from...moreless

  • Games:

    Candyland Trouble Checkers Electronics set Chess Backgammon ...moreless

  • Music Library:

    Record player & vinyl collection from 50's on....moreless


  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities

Leisure Activities

  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Photography
  • Scenic Drives
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Location Type

  • Resort:

    10 minute drive to Lake Pillsbury Resort...moreless

  • Rural:

    Middle of the Mendocino National Forest...moreless

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Fly Fishing
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Mountaineering


  • Dining:

    Formal dining area with it's own propane light. Table inserts can expand to 10!...moreless

  • Dining Area
  • Seating for 8 people


  • Fireplace:

    Wood burning insert for heat and beautiful fires. ***THIS IS THE ONLY HEAT SOURCE...moreless

  • Heating:

    Available via fireplace insert. IT TAKES HOURS TO WARM THE WHOLE CABIN UP IN WINTER - BRING YOUR UNION SUIT!...moreless

  • Linens Provided:

    sheets and bedding provided - for the fold out bed in the living room bedding is under the couch in a storage bag...moreless

  • Living Room:

    with 2 couches, 2 stuffed chairs and 2 upholstered chairs, a vaulted ceiling with view of trees...moreless

  • Parking:

    at the base of the stairs or under the carport...moreless

  • Telephone:

    Landline with unlimited domestic long distance ...moreless

  • Towels Provided:

    a set for every person...moreless

  • Wood Stove:



  • Coffee Maker:

    Stove top, press & drip...moreless

  • Dishes & Utensils:


  • Kitchen:

    Kitchen sink, Ample counter top space, railroad or galley style kitchen, with sliding glass door on one end and windows...moreless


  • Balcony:

    Access to outdoors via sliding glass door and deck/balcony from EVEY room!...moreless

  • Deck / Patio:

    Decks off of every room 2 person hammock on bedroom deck...moreless



Write a review 4
from 3 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
5 night min stay
$700 $2,400
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay

Additional information about rental rates


  • Refundable Damage Deposit $300
  • Taxes Not included

Owner's cancellation policy:

50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.

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Last updated: 09/25/2016
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates


2.9 Miles
Nearest Airport
1Q5 Gravelly Valley airstrip nearby

Car: Necessary

The Mother Ship offers a chance to completely unplug and detox from the grid. No cell, TV, internet or electricity. Total technology detox! A rustic (with a capital R) vintage funky 60's one-of-a-kind cabin! Don't expect the Ritz yet with most of the comforts of home!

In Lake Pillsbury Ranch, a private secure gated of grid community. 2000' altitude, requires a 4wd high clearance vehicle to make the last part of the journey (about 10 miles) through dense forest on pothole filled dirt and gravel roads. A wonderful adventure!


Owner info

Year Purchased: 2013

About the owner: We love nature & enjoy sharing The Mother Ship with our guests! We live full time in the Bay Area.

Why the Owner Chose Potter Valley, CA, USA:
It was our dream to have a vacation cabin for years and fell in love with this quirky cabin. It is said to have been built from a kit designed by a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, and brings the outdoors inside in every room, giving the feeling of a much greater expanse than it's 720 sq ft, especially in the living room where the ceiling comes to a two story vaulted pyramid like point.

The Unique Benefits at this Cabin:
Technology detox. Great base location. Rustic, funky & vintage but many steps above camping or Rving!

Contact us

Speaks: english



  • The Mother Ship!

    The Mother Ship!

  • The Mother Ship,  parking area & carport

    The Mother Ship, parking area & carport

  • That would be The Mother Ship!

    That would be The Mother Ship!

  • Steps


  • Living Room

    Living Room

  • Fireplace and wood

    Fireplace and wood

  • Dining room and part of kitchen

    Dining room and part of kitchen

  • View from loft

    View from loft

  • Double bed in loft

    Double bed in loft

  • Loft ladder from above

    Loft ladder from above

  • Ranch sign

    Ranch sign

  • We are in Lake Pillsbury Ranch

    We are in Lake Pillsbury Ranch

  • Cathedral living room experience

    Cathedral living room experience

  • Sign at driveway (a little more weathered)

    Sign at driveway (a little more weathered)

  • Gate to secure ranch

    Gate to secure ranch

  • Parking area & steps

    Parking area & steps

  • Couch across from fireplace

    Couch across from fireplace

  • Dining room (expands to seat up to 8)

    Dining room (expands to seat up to 8)

  • Downstairs double bed

    Downstairs double bed

  • Light in living room

    Light in living room

  • Loft


  • Signs just before left turn onto Fuller

    Signs just before left turn onto Fuller

  • Ranch sign when turning onto Fuller

    Ranch sign when turning onto Fuller

  • Tule elk in the meadow at the Ranch

    Tule elk in the meadow at the Ranch

VRBO #604624

This listing was first published here in 2014.

Date last modified - Thursday, October 13, 2016

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Member since: 2014
Speaks: english
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  • Response time Within an hour
  • Response rate 100%
  • Calendar last updated 09/25/2016
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The Mother Ship - TOTAL TECHNOLOGY DETOX - Rustic Cabin in the Woods

Potter Valley, CA, USA #604624

2 BR  1 BA  Sleeps 6

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