In the summer of 2017, Jane Jonas and her wife were vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina when a massive power outage forced thousands to evacuate the islands. Not ready to return home to the District, the couple scoured Airbnb for vacation rentals and found a cabin in the mountains of West Virginia in a town called Lost River. Neither of them had heard of the place before, but they instantly fell in love with its wild, forested landscape — and the solitude.
“It didn’t feel like any place I’d been to before,” said Jonas, who grew up backpacking with her family near their home in northern California. “All the other places where I’d vacationed around here were full of people.” When her wife, Laurie, suggested buying property there, Jonas, an entrepreneur, wondered whether there might be a business opportunity.
Now, two years later, Jonas and two friends, Shawn Harrington and Andrew St. Cyr, have launched Lost River Vacations, an eco-friendly tiny house retreat on a 22-acre property in Lost River. Two and a half hours away from the District, the retreat is scheduled to open in June.