Our story of finding Fishhawk Lake was one of divine intervention. My husband and I had a “wishlist” and one of our mutual wishes was to find a “cabin on a lake” someday. So, one day in 2002, I’m standing in a Kinko’s and next to me is a man with this really wonderful watercolor rendering of this cabin….on a lake. His wife had painted it of the cabin they owned at Fishhawk Lake in Birkenfeld, OR and they were going to make flyers to put up in his business with the intention of selling it.
I took one look at that and I swear, I KNEW I had to go there! Here I’d lived in Portland since 1979, and I had never heard of any kind of lake tucked away in the coastal range and had no idea what a Fishhawk was…I just thought it was a made-up name! (It turns out that many people don’t know we exist out here…and have lived their whole lives in Portland). “Fishhawk” is actually another term for an osprey and I even saw a drawing of Thoreau’s in a hardback anotated version of his glorious autobiography, Walden. Fishhawk Lake is manmade, created in the 60’s and really off the beaten track. It’s 4 miles off of Hwy. 202 (which eventually takes you to Astoria), and a place that most would never venture out to see, because you go through a bunch of farm country with no idea that at the end is this 50AC lake surrounded by 300+ lots–HEAVEN!
Less than two weeks later, in the middle of November on a white-gray day with misty rain coming down, I dragged my husband on this adventure to find Fishhawk Lake and meet with the owners. This trip changed our lives. We didn’t end up buying this particular home, but this “best kept secret” captured our hearts immediately and we absolutely knew without a doubt that we would be purchasing something and that would be getting us closer to fulfilling our dream.
After looking at many properties, we decided that we would buy a lot and build someday, because we could pay cash and own it outright. At that time, we’d just purchased a new tent-trailer and thought that we could camp for years to come and look to build about five years into the future. Literally, within a month, our neighbors were moving out of this almost brand new home,right next door as it was going into foreclosure.and they invited us in for a “tour” and told us we should buy it. Ha! We’d just used all of our cash to buy the lot, had just bought a home in Beaverton and had only been married about two years…but, once again, divine intervention occurred and through some inventive financing, getting rid of the tent trailer, selling a Corvette and making a low-ball offer that the bank accepted, we walked in with about $20,000 in equity and a beautiful vacation home AND adjoining lot! Woohoo!!! We were livin’ LARGE. This was even before the bubble burst in the real estate market and foreclosures were unheard of up here.
We faithfully came up every weekend because it was our haven and our link to sanity after hectic weeks of hard work. I saw that the end was in sight as far as the real estate boom, talked my husband into selling our home in town and moving to Fishhawk fulltime, permanently. We were lucky–we sold our Beaverton primary residence in 4 hours! My husband was in shock. In a month, we sold our home, moved into our home here, I quit my job and “retired”, sold all of our furnishings and said goodbye to our town friends who felt like we were moving to the other side of the world! (Until they came to visit and now want to spend lots of “small vacation time” with us!)
That was four and a half years ago. We’ve never looked back. I went back to school and fulfilled another dream–becoming a realtor. So, I specialize in real estate at Fishhawk Lake and am living my passion. Incredibly, in a down market, I have thrived where others in some of the bigger towns have not. I can thank my wonderful husband for his faith in me, and his hard work so that we can continue to live our dream.
Our home at Fishhawk Lake, 71291 Northshore Drive, which is currently for sale (along with the adjacent lot) as we are purchasing one on the other side of the lake that is lakefront. For more info on this home, please check out my website:
Sunset over Fishhawk Lake
(Courtesy Tom Mahar)
Full moon off my front deck