Wow, Blue Sky Center is an incredibly special, sacred place and the entire property is spectacular. I can't recommend this spot enough for a restorative getaway in the beautiful Cuyama valley.
The Huts: I loved my stay in the Pope's Hut. The Shelton huts in general are amazing and each of them so unique -- a gorgeous architectural concept. The bed was super cozy, with extra blankets stored beneath the bed, side tables and chairs that made it easy to stay organized, and electricity (which I didn't expect). The Pope is one of the smaller huts on the property but I had plenty of space, and I love that they're dog friendly - my pup loved it too! Note, it can be quite loud at night when there is an event or several guests on the site, bring earplugs.
The Community: I felt immediately welcomed and was lucky to visit during a cactus growing + cooking workshop hosted by a nonprofit partner of the Blue Sky Center. I joined in on the free class with several other folks, helped prepare nopales that eventually became part of a delicious meal and cocktail, and savored conversation with new friends through the night, ending with wine by the campfire. Everyone was warm, generous and inclusive. I particularly appreciated meeting and learning from local community members from Cuyama in attendance. Blue Sky Center is doing important work in the region and there is an authentic and rich sense of community connection that made my experience there so much more special than I expected. Be sure to ask the staff about their projects and long-term goals, and support the rad people behind High Desert Print Co operating out of that space and expanding artistic/economic opportunities in the area.
The Property: The entire property is accessible and open, and I felt comfortable to enjoy it all. There is a large communal enclosed kitchen structure with everything you could possibly need, and the main building has great bathrooms, showers and places to sit and relax.
I absolutely loved my stay at the Geodesic Dome. It was just the kind of healing retreat from busy city life I needed. The hosts invest thoughtfully in their space and it felt very soothing and comforting to be on their property. The futon was surprisingly comfortable, the heaters kept me nice and warm, and the dome itself is beautifully constructed with ample space inside to stretch out. There were numerous guests on the property at the time but I didn't see anyone else, despite being in relatively close quarters. I also appreciated the outdoor shower and flush toilet! The one downside I experienced was that potable water was unfortunately unavailable during my stay -- they were using the potable water spicket to fill up the pond, which would normally be available to guests, and the water provided was in a large plastic jug that just didn't feel very sanitary. This doesn't seem to be a typical experience but I wanted to mention it. Bring your own water to ensure you're covered while there.
WildTender Ranch is unbelievable. From the gorgeous drive down Highway 1 to the gently meandering paths through pastures of wild horses, lakes, rolling grassy hills and finally to your coastal perch above the Pacific Ocean - the entire experience felt like a dream. We went on one of the most stormy weekends of the year and even though we were sopped out in rain and fog the entire time, it was still magical, which tells you just how amazing this spot is. The entire weekend we felt at peace - the healing energy of this place is tangible. The RV was clean and cozy. We enjoyed playing games, reading and relaxing in the space. We slept incredibly well in the comfortable bed, and we had all the amenities we needed and appreciated the nice touches, like candles, extra lighting, coffee/tea, etc. We also loved using the kitchen which was also stocked with supplies and the basics (salt, pepper, oil, etc). The only challenge we encountered was running out of water on the RV, the lack of hot water for the shower and sink and feeling quite cold, but again, we were there on a uniquely stormy weekend and likely wouldn't have been bothered by the above in better conditions. Otherwise, it was a perfect weekend at a very special spot we felt lucky to enjoy. We can't wait to come back with better weather!