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Owner of forest landmark is packing it in

first_imgANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – The heavily damaged mountain road that provides access to the Big Santa Anita Canyon north of Sierra Madre and Arcadia remains closed and may stay that way until next spring.Kim Kelley, owner of the Adams pack station near Chantry Flat picnic area, has had enough. With mixed feelings, she has decided to put the historic station up for sale.Kelley has owned the station since 2000 and says she simply cannot stay financially afloat with the business any longer. So she’s looking for someone to carry on the 1936 business, delivering supplies via donkey to the canyon cabins and Sturtevant Camp.“I’m devastated,” she said. “This is where I planned to spend the rest of my life. But for the last five and a half years the financial burden on me has just been tremendous … I can’t believe I have to leave.”Kelley has spent her life savings, at least $50,000, trying to keep the business open, caring for its horse and eight donkeys and maintaining the store, barn and home amid less than ideal situations.When Kelley bought the station in July 2000, she imagined turning the station into a regional attraction that would draw locals as a getaway destination. She wanted to expand the store and start an educational program to teach visitors about the area’s history and nature as well as arts and crafts. But owning the pack station has been different from what she expected. Three months after she took over, a Forest Service contract to haul trash out of the canyon and to maintain nearby campgrounds expired and was not renewed. Then in April 2004, Chantry Flat Road was closed for reconstruction and remained closed for work on the popular picnic sites. Extreme fire conditions caused the Forest Service to close the forest in September 2004. And then last winter’s heavy rains devastated the road, producing major landslides and erosion that keep it closed today.Back in May, Kelley said she would be “hopping mad” at herself if she had taken a buy-out offer and walked away from her dream. Now, she says she’s resigned to the fact that she has to move on and find someone to take over the business. But she won’t sell it to just anyone.“I’m going to be very, very choosy to who’s going to take it over,” she said. She won’t sell the station to someone looking to turn it into a bed and breakfast, for example. “They have to respect the history of the place,” she said. And she won’t sell it to a buyer without an outside source of income to support the station.Kelley has supported the station through substitute teaching and work as a message therapist. But it’s not enough, she said. “I just have to sell.”Meanwhile, Los Angeles County and the city of Monrovia still have their shares of Chantry Flat Road repairs to complete. [email protected](626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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