Glenn's Hometown News: Glamping at a B&B in Zillah - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Glenn's Hometown News: Glamping at a B&B in Zillah

Posted: Updated:

ZILLAH, WA - For this edition of Glenn's Hometown News, Glenn Cassie learned about a new offshoot of camping called "glamping", or glamorous camping. Here is southeastern Washington, it's a popular recreational activity for those who don't like to get their hands too dirty. Glenn checked out one of these glamping sites and couldn't wait to book his weekend retreat.

Running water at a campground? Old-school campers would balk at the sight. This particular glamping site is located in the quaint little city of Zillah, population 3,000. 

Zillah has several tourist attractions that you've probably heard of, such as the Teapot Dome Service Station and the Church of God Zillah. But it was at Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast and Barn that Glenn stumbled across a glamping site whose beauty took his breath away. He asked Pepper Fewel, the owner of the B&B, what the genesis was for starting this business.

"Both of the kids were gone," said Fewel, "and I was sitting here on the porch one day and I said, 'you know, we should kind of share this with everyone. It is so pretty living here.'"

Fewel and her husband are farmers, and they purchased the sprawling 78-acre property back in 1985 to farm cherries and apples. But it wasn't until the early 2000's when she began giving invitational wine tours to friends, who would pitch tents on their property, that the planning for a bed and breakfast first began.

'"And my husband said, 'why don't you put up a tee pee?' and I said, 'oh, how fun!'"

So, one tee pee went up. Then another. They now have six in total, and these aren't just any tee pees. They're furnished with comfy beds, refrigerators, towels, shower shoes, and most other hotel toiletries in case you left anything at home. There are also fans to keep you cool in the summer, and electric blankets to keep you warm on those brisk autumn nights. And the concept took off from the get-go.

"We were blessed," Fewel said. "I've never put a cent into advertising. I have no idea, it's just kind of spread. We would do these rides and people starting telling other people, and it was word of mouth, and then the press found us, and then I think because of the horse rescue it gave it a different spin."

Yes, the horses. Fewel grew up with horses and began rescuing them around the time the first tee pee went up. Her husband told her she could rescue as many as she wanted, as long as she could find a way to pay for it. And that's where the B&B comes in.

"Horses are expensive. We have them vet-checked every spring. They get all their shots, shoeing, and trimming, every six to eight weeks. And because we don't have enough pasture because of the orchard, we feed pretty much year-round."

In the fifteen years that Cherry Wood has been in operation, they've never been without guests. Not surprising with the views. All the revenue generated from the B&B just about covers their horse rescue operation, which keeps them busy, as they typically have 26-30 horses...rescuing 3-4 every year. But the horses work for their living, as the B&B offers trail rides to local wineries as part of the glamping experience.

"The wineries have been great to work with," admitted Fewel. "They've been...they've just helped us, you guys. Every winery here has been more than generous, and they'll say, 'oh, please bring your guests.'"

For those who aren't interested in the four-hour horseback ride to the wineries for lunch, you can always stay put and walk on the trails through the orchards or barbecue right outside your tee pee on your own private patio, which also has its own bathroom and shower. But the real treat here are the secluded, outdoor bathtubs.

"You sign your name for the hour that you wish. It's private and you just go down there. It's open air, and you can look up at the stars."

On the weekends, a home-cooked breakfast is provided by Fewel herself. After their day together, Glenn asked her what she thinks draws people to this place.

"It's just quiet and nobody is bothering me," Fewel said. "And I've had people with the horses, they've actually gotten off and cried because it has been so moving. And so, they haven't felt that for years. And isn't that a good thing?"

And people have come to Cherry Wood from as far away as Germany, Japan, England, and Australia to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But for Fewel, her bed and breakfast is really only about one thing.

"Every day, I look out over there and say, 'there's a life we saved.'"

As a big animal lover himself, this story really touched Glenn's heart because of how Fewel and her daughter, who's her business partner, are doing a wonderful thing. 

If you're interested in renting out a tee pee and helping their horse rescue program, their season runs from April through October and reservations are required, as they usually book out a few weeks in advance. 

If you have an interesting or unique story in your hometown, send Glenn a message at glenn.cassie@nbcrightnow.com.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/