84-year-old business serving remote cabins in Big Santa Anita Canyon recovering after Bobcat Fire

For more than eight decades, a business that looks like a throwback to the Old West has been taking supplies to cabins in the Angeles National Forest. But the hidden gem was significantly impacted during the recent Bobcat Fire.

Adams' Pack Station is a best-kept secret -- an 84 year old business that is nestled in the Big Santa Anita Canyon.

The canyon has got rich history, so I think people come here knowing that they're entering something really, really amazing," said owner Magdalena Moran.

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Her business is built upon packing goods and taking them to remote cabins in the canyon. Remote as in, you have to hike to get to them. There's no driving up to the cabins.

The farthest homes are four miles from the nearest road. The time it takes to get in and out depends on the person.

"Anywhere from two, two-and-a-half, sometimes three-and-a-half to four hours," said Moran on the trip time. "Because if you don't hike, often the way up can be very difficult."

Cabin owners and visitors drop off heavy items at the business' loading dock.

Using donkeys, Magdalena packs them up and makes the deliveries.

People pay for packing by the pound. Pianos, large stoves and refrigerators have all been delivered.

"A case of water or gallon of water could cost you far more than the water itself just to pack it into the canyon," Moran said.

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There's a flat fee for propane tanks.

The cabins don't have electricity and few have running water. Cabins include a private outhouse.

So when owner Jane Bice visits her cabin, she relies on twice-weekly deliveries to survive.

"It's so remote. It's a half hour away from our house and we come to a whole 'nother world. It's like we left the state," Bice said.

It is undeniably beautiful. But living in the canyon has its dangers.

Aside from rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and bears, September's Bobcat Fire destroyed at least 17 of the 81 cabins.

With no cell service or landlines, Moran called residents by radio to tell them to evacuate.

Everyone, including Moran's nine donkeys, made it out of the canyon safely.

Moran said she's grateful for the brave firefighters and the community that continues to support her business.

She's hoping the pack station's kitchen and restaurant can reopen to the public soon.

"It's going to be a process, but everybody knows it and everybody's in for the long haul," Moran said.
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