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Eco-Travel



Sacred Sands – A Sustainable Bed & Breakfast
A Strawbale Retreat

Owners Scott Cutler and Steve Pratt, are artists extraordinaire who have created a truly enchanting sustainable Bed and Breakfast just 2 hours outside of Los Angeles. The Sacred Sands Bed and Breakfast is located in the high desert at the base of Joshua Tree National Park's west entrance, and offers a stary night, tastey delight experience.

Just up the main road into the park, the rich warm beauty of the Sacred Sands captures your attention. It isn't until you are just past the structure that you see their humble little sign and realize this is your destination. We arrived just before sunset, and the vista reminded us of a scenic New Mexico sunset experience – the color filled sky, and nighttime magic that awaits you.

Pratt, a massage therapist and antique dealer, and Cutler, a marriage and family therapist have created an amazingly warm and cozy strawbale retreat, well worth the stay. While they both practice the art of meditation (in their private meditation room) – the creation and daily operations of the retreat are the true expression of a moving meditation.

The two purchased the 10-acre property in 2004, and opened their doors in April of 2007. The structure is the design of well-known sustainable architect Janet Johnson-Armstrong and constructed of strawbale, natural clay and sandy wall coverings, wood and corrugated metal walls.

The detail to respecting the desert's sacred nighttime essence is clearly apparent in the tasteful lighting that is all faced back into the structure, sustaining the magnificent nights sky and very romantic. Choose from two fabulous showers – one indoors with four nozzles – which I am told you need two nights to master, and one outdoors, located on your own private patio perched over a permeable pebble ground cover.

Also located on the patio are lounge chairs, a hardwood yoga deck and a chemical-free hot tub – the water is used to water the landscape after each guests stay. We soaked in the tub and enjoyed a shooting star extravaganza that would beat any other show on the airwaves (that's right, no television).

I can't think of a better reason to get up at sunrise, than experiencing a second dip in the hot tub, and an organic breakfast. When we booked the room, Pratt and Cutler inquired as to whether or not we had any special dietary restrictions, and a time preference for breakfast. Ninety percent of their produce is organic, and while neither has ever had professional training, they love to cook, and are quite good at it. We were served in a main dining/living room area, which has exquisite views in three directions, a fireplace and French doors opening onto different patios.

When we entered the dining room we were graced with a beverage assortment of Coffee, herbal tea and fresh squeezed orange juice, along with cantaloupe covered with chopped bananas, a sprinkle of cardamom and a raspberry on top. Second course was steel cut oats with real maple syrup, chilaquiles – a vegetable, egg and tortilla dish with Oaxacan mole negro sauce, cilantro and feta cheese. Yum! While it sounds like a lot of food (it is), oddly enough you don't feel stuffed and are ready for your day of hiking in the Joshua Tree National Park. They stocked us up with water and off we went. There is a two-night minimum so you are sure to experience all that the magic of the retreat has to offer.

Contact: Sacred Sands, HC1 Box 1071 A, 63155 Quail Springs Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. (760) 366-4859, www.sacredsands.com















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