Picture of bathhouse Picture of our cabin Picture of cabin front door and shed Picture of Bay Fog
BathhouseMain cabinFront door & shed doorBay Fog

The Rhoades End Mud Ranch


1.If you plan to arrive at night, you'll need a flashlight.

2.Your main key works for all locks on all exterior doors for all three structures: a) the main cabin & attached shed; b) the bathhouse (with toilet, sink, shower and washer/dryer); and c) the Bay Fog (a one-room cabin used for sleeping and storage). You may also have a key to the storm door on the Bay Fog but the storm door lock no longer operable. Other keys are to the padlock on the tool shed near the Bay Fog and to the padlock on the kayak shed down on the shoreline. These keys can be found in a clear plastic box in the bedroom closet in the main cabin or on a small keyring on a bedside table.

3. Turn on the water supply. You will see a piece of plywood on the ground at the left corner of the main cabin as you approach it from the parking area. The water main handle is underneath the plywood. To turn it on, line it up with the pipe. To turn it off, turn it 90 degrees so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.

4. Turn on the power for both hot water tanks. In the shed, you'll see the electrical panel on the right-hand wall just as you go in the door. The two green switches at the top left-hand side of the panel operate one water-heater and a single red switch on the bottom right hand side of the panel operate another water heater. (CAUTION: You must always have the water supply turned on [No. 3 above] whenever you have the power to the water heaters on. Otherwise, the water heaters could overheat and explode.)

5. Turn on the septic alarm. As you go in the door, it is to your right, low on the wall, below the electrical panel. It is a little gray box that says "Tank Alert" with two black switches. Move the switch from "silent" to "horn." Septic alarm warns you if septic pump is not functioning properly.

6. Heat. For the main cabin, set the thermostat on the wall on the stairs to the desired temperature. You can also use the woodstove. For the bathhouse and Bay Fog, there are wall heaters, which you can turn to your desired setting. There is an extra electric space heater in the bathhouse or under the window seat in the Bay Fog.


1. Most things you'll need for cooking and eating are here. Two places not to overlook: the narrow cabinet and drawer to the right of the stove (cutting boards and herbs among other things) and the stove's bottom drawer (where some of the pans are).

2. Garbage. There are two wicker baskets with covers sitting next to the kitchen counter. We use the smaller one for garbage, the other for recyclables. There is also a third non-wicker basket food waste. We line the garbage basket with "medium" sized white plastic bags, which can be found in the third drawer in the alcove to the right of the refrigerator. Food waste bags are also there.

When the garbage fills, you can take the white plastic bag to a larger garbage can that can be found in the red toolshed near the Bay Fog. (Keys to the padlock on this toolshed can be found either in clear plastic box on bedroom closet shelf or on small keyring on bedside table.) You can line the can with a large black plastic bag from third drawer in the alcove if necessary.

3. Exhaust fan. The dial on the kitchen wall is set so the exhaust fan will operate automatically two or three times a day for 20 minutes each time. This is for ventilation purposes. If you burn something and want to turn on the fan, turn the switch from "auto" to "on." There is also a similar exhaust fan in the Bay Fog set to operate more frequently.

4. If you want to store food, there are empty jars and containers on top of the refrigerator and also below the sink.

5. Extra folding chairs are in closet to right of stairs.

6. Kitchen cabinet shelves roll out, making it easier to get to things at the back of the shelves.

7. It's hard, but try to keep water off the window sill by the sink. If it does get wet, wipe it dry with a towel.

8. Refrigerator keeps things cold, but it seems to be dripping water inside. We have a container to catch the drips. If it's full, you should empty it and then put it back.


1.There are a number of beds to choose from. In theory, the Mud Ranch can sleep 15 on beds of various types -- more if you also use the floor or put up tents on the deck.
  • Bedroom in main cabin has a double bed.
  • Living room of main cabin has a double sofa bed.
  • The loft in the main cabin has a small double futon on the floor.
  • The loft also has a single bed frame with mattress.
  • The loft also has a long window seat with cushions.
  • Bay Fog has a sofa bed.
  • A long window seat in the Bay Fog has a cushion on top and can be used for sleeping.
  • There are two foam cushions under the single bed in the loft that you can throw on any floor anywhere.
  • 2. Bedding can be found in the cabinet in the loft: 6 (or more) pillows, five blankets, three sleeping bags, two comforters, double sheets and pillow cases in one box, single sheets in another box.


    1. Towels are in the bathhouse in the cabinet in the shower-room. There probably are enough towels for seven to nine people. Use whatever you want.

    2. If people will be using the toilet in the bathhouse during the night, remember to leave the door to the bathhouse unlocked.

    3. Please turn on the fan when you use the shower.


    In the shed are:
  • A picnic table and benches to use on the deck (Chairs for sitting on the deck are in the Bay Fog main room, in the closet and underneath the window seat.)
  • A barbeque grill
  • Two 10-speed bicycles and one child's bike, two helmets, and a coffee can labeled "bike stuff" with a lock/key/cable, two sets of pant clips, a wrench. There are also two tire pumps (one that sort of works and a new one).
  • Mop and bucket and brooms.
  • Furnace, hot water heater, electrical panel, septic alarm.

    1. Electrical blackouts are not unheard of in Bay Center. There are flashlights in the cabin bedroom (night stand and closet), in the bathhouse and in the Bay Fog. Candles and matches are on the living room window sills near the woodstove. Candles are on the shelf in the bedroom closet. There are also candles underneath the window seat in the Bay Fog.

    If the electricity goes out, the furnace (even though it is a propane gas furnace), will not work. You can use the woodstove, of course. Try to limit your use of water/toilets because the septic pump (and septic alarm) will not work during a blackout. And also the town water pump will work for only so long on emergency power.

    2. The septic alarm (in the shed) sounds if the septic pump fails or gets backed up. If the alarm sounds, turn it off and then do not use any water or toilets. Check the circuit breaker labeled "pump" on the bottom right side of the electrical panel to make sure it is on. That may be the problem.

    3. If you need assistance from somebody local, try Dick and Jan Wilson, who live on Moore Road. During normal daytime hours, you might look for them at the Seasonal Seafoods store on Dike Road. Phone: 1-360-875-5139 or 1-360-875-5519. Our friends Ann Musche and Alan Richards live in Naselle about 20 miles south of Bay Center. Phone: 1-360-484-7119.

    4. Always feel free to call us if you need help: 206-328-7605 or Randy's cell at 206-419-9554 or Jane's cell at 206-218-4928.

    5. The only payphone we know of is at the Dock of the Bay tavern. There is no landline or Internet connection or wi-fi at the cabin. Randy can get a weak cellphone signal on AT&T. My T-Mobile signal is so weak as to be mostly unusable. But there's a place down the road where you can go to get good cell reception. (See directions below under Bay Center Amenities, No. 7.)

    6. Closest hospital is in South Bend (13 miles). Phone number for Willapa Harbor Hospital is 875-5526. Phone number for Pacific County Sheriff is 875-5534 (emergency);875-9395 (other biz). County also now has 911 service. (Our address is 20 Rhoades Street.)

    7. Instruction manuals to appliances, furnace, etc. are found in a clear plastic bag on shelf in the bedroom closet. A toolbox is also there. Other tools can be found in the main shed (attached to the main cabin) or in the toolshed near the Bay Fog.

    8. There is a fire extinguisher in the corner next to the kitchen counter. If the batteries to the smoke alarms wear out, the alarms emit this obnoxious buzz periodically and won't stop until you replace the batteries. Batteries are on the shelf in the bedroom closet.


    Kayaking on the Palix Riverkayak shed
    Kayaks and paddles are stored in red shed on shoreline by the marina. If you don't have the kayak shed key among the keys we gave you, look for one in clear plastic box on shelf of bedroom closet. Life jackets and skirts and other kayak gear hang in the closet by the stairs in main cabin and also are in a large canvas duffel bag below the window seat upstairs.

    You can launch just steps away from the kayak shed at the marina. However, don't take the kayaks out unless you've had some experience with sea-kayaking. Also take careful note of the tides and weather and check out the nautical map of the bay on the living room wall, because you'll want to stick to the channels to get around this very shallow bay, especially at low tide. Don't walk through the mud to get to and from your kayak. People have died this way.


    1. Games are in the loft under the window seat and include: Trivial Pursuits, Big Boggle,Yahtzee, Parcheesi, Triaminos, Scrabble, Monopoly (the Seattle version), Backgammon/Checkers, and others. There is also a Hoyle's rules book up there. Paper and pencils and pens in the bedroom closet.

    2. Other entertainments include: jigsaw puzzle, boombox (in the bedroom closet), a basketball, a football, baseball bat and softball, horseshoes, frisbee and paddle ball game. There is a park in Bay Center, just a few blocks away with a playfield and basketball court.

    3. Miscellaneous junk, such as rags, maps, bags, handheld-pencil sharpener, tape, matches, pens/pencils, small toolbox etc. can be found on shelves in bedroom closet.

    4. Cleaning equipment. Vacuum cleaner is in closet in bedroom. Extra vacuum cleaner bags are on the closet shelf. Mop and bucket in the shed. Sponge and brush for cleaning toilets are next to toilets. Various cleaning items and agents can be found in main cabin bathroom, under kitchen sink, and in milk-box on top of the clothes washer/dryer in the bathhouse.

    5. Extra paper towels, toilet paper, and kleenex are under the window seat in the loft, on top of the washer/dryer in the bathhouse, and under the window seat in the Bay Fog.

    6. Deck chairs are stored in the Bay Fog in the closet and underneath the window seat. A lounger is in a blue canvas bag in the Bay Fog.


    1. Dock of the Bay Tavern/Inn. (Formerly known as the Blue Heron Inn.) Phone: (360) 875-5130. Seafood (including oysters), steak, chicken dinners. They also serve breakfast. You can also often buy milk, bacon and eggs there.

    2. Bush Pioneer Park. Playfield, basketball court, swings, picnic tables. Also, if you walk through the park, there are trails through the woods leading to both a small sandy beach and to the mudflats on our side of the peninsula. Be careful when near the edge of the cliff/bank of this park, because the banks have been undercut in places.

    3. Seasonal Seafoods is a fresh seafood shop located on the way into town on the Bay Center Dike Road. It's owned and operated by Jan Wilson, who with Dick Wilson owns Bay Center Mariculture, an oyster farming business. But the shop sells all kinds of seafood, and we recommend it highly. All of the seafood we've gotten there has been just terrific, and much of it is local. Unfortunately, it's closed on weekends. You can call ahead to check on the hours at (360) 875-5519 or check the Web site.

    4. There's a good little Mexican restaurant on the main drag (US 101) in South Bend called Taqueria Lupita. The food is fresh, tasty, authentic, and inexpensive and we recommend it. It's run by a nice couple from Hoquiam. The other restaurants in Raymond and South Bend are strictly so-so. There are several good restaurants on the Long Beach Peninsula (the Shelbourne Inn, the Lighthouse (ok), the Ark, the 42nd St Cafe, among others.

    5. It's about 45 minutes to Ilwaco at the base of the Long Beach Peninsula and about 1 hour 15 minutes to the tip (Leadbetter Point, a wildlife refuge and state park). Good sandy beach walking available at North Jetty near Ilwaco and northward along the peninsula. There's also a light house and a Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in this area.

    Unfortunately, because of a land dispute, the Lewis unit of the Willapa Wildlife Refuge, which is found between Bay Center and Long Beach (Jeldness Road), is no longer open to the public. There is decent beach walking (except at high tide) on the west side of the Bay Center peninsula -- across town from us. Go down School Road to get to the sand/mudflats, walk the mudflats down to Rhodesia Beach and then loop back via the Bay Center Road. It's not recommended to walk down the east side of the peninsula, say from Bush Pioneer Park to our cabin, because it's just too wet and muddy.

    6. The long-suffering Bay Center Market closed. Closest shopping is South Bend -- about 20 minutes away.

    7. Cell phone reception at the cabin is sketchy, but there is pretty good reception if you drive about two miles down the Bay Center Road (not Dike Road) to a pullout on the right side of the road. (To get to Bay Center Road from our cabin, go down the hill, cross the marina bridge, and when you get to the intersection where the Dock of the Bay tavern is, go right.)


    1. Put used sheets, towels, cloth napkins, etc. in the covered wicker laundry basket in the bedroom. But don't put damp items in the basket. Better to hang them over the chair to let them dry.

    2. Set thermostat in main cabin to 50 degrees.

    3. Set bathhouse wall heater thermostat slightly on.

    4. Please remove all perishables from the refrigerator. We want to avoid rotten food. Examples of food not to leave: milk, lettuce, leftovers, opened drinks, except opened wine bottles are OK. Also OK to leave: jam, salad dressing in closed container, unopened drinks, margarine. You can put bread in the freezer.

    5. Take all garbage and recyclables with you.

    6. Unplug small appliances such as space heater, boombox, toaster, if you use them.

    7. Make sure the two exhaust fans (one in kitchen of main cabin and the other in the Bay Fog) are set to "Auto."

    8. Turn off lights and lock all doors and windows.

    9. Turn off septic alarm (i.e., turn from "horn" to "silent").

    10. Turn off power to both hot water tanks, the two green switches at the top left-hand side of the panel and a single red switch on the bottom right-hand side of the panel. But make sure you just turn off that single red switch and not the switch right above it, which is for the septic pump (labeled "pump").

    11. Turn off water.