Mike and I parked our rental car at the end of the long private road. Our car doors slammed, echoing through the valley. The sound of a small stream rushed, and we met the smell of dampened earth and tentative darkness. Something rustled in the leaf litter. We exchanged tired, apprehensive looks concealed by the night shadows. Our adventure in Oregon had already begun.
We walked across the grated steel, pedestrian footbridge clasping our luggage. A faint glow shined from the hillside, guiding us toward the Swedish Stuga. After following a short dirt trail, we stumbled on rock stairs. We ascended the hillside and a warm flagstone patio greeted us, leading inside.
Our home for the next few days was the cozy Swedish Stuga with cathedral ceilings and wood-burning fireplace. With our weary bare feet dragging on the softwood, old-growth Douglas Fir floors, we dropped our bags and retired to bed. We were too exhausted from our full day of travel to notice or appreciate all its beauty just yet.
We were so burned-out; neither of us stirred until late morning. We slept in, thinking the large windows and the bright light would wake us. Once we fed ourselves coffee and cooked breakfast, our curiosity allowed us to wander the property. We found moss-laden, felled trees, tiny waterfalls, a swing hung between trees and a rusty iron chandelier dangling from the trees. Inside the Stuga was an antique claw-foot tub with a view, a grand selection of old books and a shower lined by a river rock floor. Surrounded by 24 private acres of wilderness, the magic was never-ending.
The Swedish Stuga is a place for relaxation, nature and nostalgia. Stuga is the Swedish word for cottage or a small house. It’s a building used for holidays and serves as a vacation house in Sweden, mostly along the coast or outside big cities.
Traditional stugas built of wood are painted with Swedish falun red paint. The kitchen and living room are often joined and feature a fireplace. Most stugas only contain 1 or 2 small bedrooms allowing for better heat circulation.
Up until the end of World War II, only a few wealthy Swedish families could afford vacation houses. Many of these former vacation homes converted into permanent homes over the years.
Inspired by time spent in Sweden with his family, the owner built the Swedish Stuga near Mt. Hood, Oregon with the simple elegance of small country homes in mind. We are so happy he did. It was a joy to spend time in this magical home.
Here are the rest of the photos of the Swedish Stuga:
If you’re looking to stay near Mt. Hood in Oregon, be sure to check out the Airbnb listing. The property is even more breathtaking in person.