We do a lot of traveling with our dogs. While most of the time we’re camping or taking trips in our travel trailer, our other favorite alternative is GLAMPING! Now, glamping can mean a bunch of different things. It can be a fabric tent with a bed and no amenities, or a unique rental with high end finishings. We’ve rented a variety of places including lots of cabins and even a barn. This trip though, was the most unique place we’ve ever stayed, paws down!
Caboose Glamping on a Bison Farm
My husband just celebrated his 40th birthday and I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate. He’s been working long hours at work so I wanted to find a cool, comfortable place where we could get away and just “be.” I was searching for something a bit out of the ordinary for this special occasion and found this caboose. And it’s dog friendly? SCORE!
The pictures online were amazing. The caboose is situated right next to a field where bison roam, and it looked like it was pretty remote and private. Perfect for a relaxing respite. Everyone raved about the place in the reviews, so we were really excited. We had a great time, but things are not always as they seem.
The Caboose Itself
The caboose itself is AMAZING! The attention to detail, the craftsmanship, the layout. They were all perfect. The kitchen had everything you need to cook a great meal and the space was surprisingly roomy for a caboose.
The wooden ceilings and distressed wood trim and tables added warmth and character to the inside of the caboose. There was even a cute little loft!
The best part was the view! Waking up to a field of bison in the morning was such a treat.
Steps from the door of the caboose is this gorgeous field where you often see a herd of bison grazing. We even saw a few babies! Ringo was really interested at first. He was mistified by these strange, hairy creatures and wanted to get a closer look. That is, until one of them got closer and looked him in the eye.. Then we all backed away slowly, Ringo a few steps ahead of us! 🙂
Roxie had zero interest in these things, or really any of the animals on the farm. She may have even been scared of the rabbits. But more on that later.
Ringo made fast friends with the goats! Well, the ones that weren’t too scared to approach him. He even gave some of them kisses through the fence. It literally melted my heart. Every time we went outside for a potty break or a walk, he would try to lead me back to their barn to say hi. I obliged at least a few times a day because, I mean, how cute is that?? There was also a feed machine where you could buy food to feed the goats for a quarter, which made them all come running right up to the fence.
Sweet, sweet kisses for Ringo’s new friend
Robert tried to get Roxie to say hi to the goats too…
She was not as excited as Ringo was… LOL
Animal Living Conditions
The property the caboose is situated on is a working bison ranch, but they also have other animals. While the bison have plenty of room to roam on the 65 acre piece of property, the other animals are not so lucky. The conditions of the animals and their living quarters at this place was pretty sad.
The goats living conditions weren’t fabulous, but they were some of the luckier animals on this farm, after the bison. They had a barn and a decent sized area to roam. There were some miniature ponies in with them though that had a hard time getting around. Most of the land in the goat (and mini horse) enclosure was a steep hillside. Fine for goats, but you could see it was hard on the horses as they tried to move around and graze. One even seemed to have a leg injury and was limping.
Then there were the llamas. I honestly don’t know much about llamas and what their living quarters should look like, but I don’t think this is it. But, this is not what made me really mad. What made my blood boil and my skin crawl was the bunnies… More on that in “The Depressing” below.
Before I delve into “The Depressing,” there was one more thing I feel I have to warn people about who may consider staying here. I have a real problem with false advertising. The caboose itself was exactly as advertised inside, but that was not the case outside.
The listing (descriptions AND pictures) lead you to believe that the caboose is in a cute little isolated spot by itself. Turns out, there is a large building still under construction right behind the caboose, conveniently cropped out of listing pictures. There are also 3 other cabooses under construction all lined up around the one we stayed in. There were piles of trash and construction debris everywhere. While I get that construction is messy, I don’t think it’s cool to falsely advertise a space and only highlight the best parts. A simple comment in the description about the construction and some updated pictures that show what the area around the caboose actually looks like would have been helpful.
Since I was on vacation and at the time not planning on writing about the negative aspects of this place, I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the construction. But, you can see in the pictures above how close the next caboose is to the right. The other end has a HUGE building half under construction and another caboose that’s also being worked on. You can see the unfinished building and it’s proximity in the shot above. Again, not a huge deal, but it should have been clear that the pics in the listing were from before the construction and/or conveniently framed.
Okay so.. I was really upset when I saw this and therefore didn’t take a lot of pictures. At the time I was just overwhelmed and wishing I could help, but not thinking ahead about wanting documentation. So, all I have are screenshots of what I posted on my Instagram stories. But here you go…
So a few things..
- There were SO many bunnies living in little cages that apparently no one really cleans. 3 cages of dirty bunnies living in their own filth, including a bunch of babies. No access to grass or even the ground, just metal and literal crap beneath their feet.
- They SELL the baby bunnies for $5. FIVE DOLLARS! To anyone. So, the bratty little kid who begs her mom for a bunny and gets it because it’s easier to say yes than hear her cry. And it’s only $5, so why not??… What happens to these bunnies in a few weeks when the newness wears off? Do they get let loose in the woods? Go to the shelter? Get left in a cage and forgotten about?
How much thinking do most people do about a $5 impulse buy? I dare say NOT MUCH. An animal should NEVER be an impulse buy.
- There was also a cage with two skinny, unhealthy looking chickens and an egg. Nowhere to roost, just an egg in the corner of their probably 4×3 little cage.
This place ADVERTISES their animals as an attraction. In the book they leave in the rentals about the properties, they encourage you to go visit their animals (and buy a $5 bunny). If this is what goes on in plain sight, in areas where guests are not only welcome but encouraged to go, it makes me really wonder what goes on here behind the scenes.
Anyway…. I’m not sure what I’m going to do from here. I know the laws for animals, let alone farm animals, are pretty lax around here, but I don’t think it’s right and I want to do something to help. If I was allowed to have bunnies on my property, I would have bought as many as they’d sell me for the $5 a piece, but alas, my HOA forbids farm animals. They even cap domesticated animals at 3. And we kind of have 4 dogs and a cat. So, that wasn’t an option. My next best option is to raise awareness about these kinds of places and to reach out to the owners. I will be sending an email to the property owners detailing my concerns as well as posting some reviews online warning other people about this place.
Sure, the caboose is SUPER cool. Seeing the bison was awesome. Knowing they were to be killed and sold as meat made me sad, but I’m vegan. Some people may be able to separate the meat from the amazing beings that you’re marveling at, but I can’t do that. But meat eater or not, I think most people would agree that animals deserve a certain quality of life and to live in a clean, safe environment. That is not the case for all of the animals here. They are not an attraction, or “just animals.” They are living, thinking, feeling beings and they deserve to be treated with respect at the very least.
If it were just the caboose, I’d probably give it a 4, taking off a point for the false representation of the space surrounding the rental. Add to that the treatment of the animals, and I think a 2 is being really generous. If the owners gave the level of care and attention that they demonstrated in the design of the caboose to the animals in their care, this would be an unbeatable place to stay.
We did our best to enjoy our weekend, especially because it was my hubby’s birthday trip, but I left with knots in my stomach and pain in my heart knowing that these animals will continue to live like this. And even worse, knowing that so many people seem to think it’s fine. I may not be able to help these animals directly, but maybe by speaking up about it, someone will think twice about staying here and supporting this farm financially. Or maybe even reconsider how they treat their own animals. Who knows, maybe the owner of this place will even open her eyes a little.
I can hope.
Thanks for reading and sorry for being a bummer,
Debbie & The Mutts
The place is called Buffalo Creek Vacations and is located in Clyde, NC. I am not linking to them, because I really don’t want anyone to support this place unless they make some changes, but I wanted people to know the name and location of the rental for reference.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.