history-freestone-03A forty-foot geodesic dome, stained in an earthen-redwood color, nestles in atop one of the rolling hills in Sonoma County, not far from the village of Freestone, and only 15 miles from Bodega Bay and the ocean. Pines and douglas firs, oaks and madrones creep up the nearby slopes, yet from its westward-facing deck, a panoramic view greets the eyes: gentle hills and valleys stretching to the horizon, a lone “mountain” rising in the distance. The peaceful nature – the space – of the surroundings, and the space within the dome lend themselves to the repose and quietude for a spiritual as well as a physical retreat.

Within the dome, a free-standing, glass-encircled, wood-burning fireplace with its towering chimney serves to take the chill off on cool days. Large picture windows on three sides frame spectacular views; and at the east curve of the dome, a double counter marks off space for the McDaniels memorial kitchen. Three sets of pine trestle tables and benches, and four couches with removable foam seat and back cushions – all designed and built by members of the Freestone Retreat Committee over the years – complement the rural setting. Outside, under the nearest of several 200-year-old valley oak trees, is a barbecue pit. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms (one with a shower) adjoin the domed great room. Each bedroom can sleep two or more persons; with the couches and foam sleeping pads in the dome itself, a maximum of 16 persons can be accommodated overnight. While a stove and a wall heater in the hall between the dome and the three bedrooms are powered by propane gas, there is also a refrigerator and electric hot water heater. A well, drilled in 1992, provides a plentiful supply of clear, fresh water. In order to help maintain the serenity of the surroundings, there is no television service. Cell phone reception is good.

For the latest news about what’s happening at Freestone, read the Freestone Dispatch. To join the Freestone Committee, contact Bob Moore.