Guest house and Barn Studios. Photos courtesy of Ann Tracy & Dick Hortshone respectively.
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W H A T T O E X P E C T
Find out if a stay is right for you
Rancho Linda Vista is located on an historic adobe ranch, in a place of extraordinary desert beauty. As a cattle and dude ranch, it was frequented by Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant, two vice presidents and a Bell Telephone scion and his family. In 1968 Andy Warhol made a film here. Many other notable artists have also passed through, as well as poets Gerald Stern and W.S. Merwin. While many appreciate the rustic simplicity of ranch life, you'll want to read more so that you know what to expect.
Nature. We are situated on 80 acres in the northern Catalina foothills with unimpeded mountain views. Scrub oak, mesquite trees, tall grasses, cholla, prickley pear and blue agaves grow here in abundance. Raptors swoop among ridges, turkey vultures (called zopilote in Spanish) soar far above. At dusk, javelinas troop across yards while coyotes serenade in the distance. In the heat of day, humming birds dart among flowers, lizards scurry below. So do snakes. And bugs. (You must exercise intelligence when hiking or walking around at all hours. When you get here, we will share tips.)
Summer Weather. In the summer, monsoon (or chubasco) storms roll in, with mile-high thunderheads, dancing lightening and pelting rains. These disappear in a couple of hours and leave the air clear and cool. Usually around 5 PM, just in time to enjoy unbelievable sunsets. Dry heat is more comfortable than humid. Still temperatures can climb to 105. Luckily guest house and studio have air-conditioning and there is a tree-shaded swimming pool.
Hats, sunscreen, and water bottles are mandatory—especially when hiking in the desert, biking or driving any distance. At summers peak, even mad dogs avoid the noon-day sun.
Winter Weather. Oracle is seasonal. We even get snow! During the winter, daytime temperatures are pleasant and generally stay in the fifties or sixties. Nighttime temperatures can drop down to the twenties. From November through March, you will need light and heavy layers—including a warm coat and weatherproof shoes.
Visual Artist Amenities. You will be provided a private studio and one-bedroom cottage, with living room, kitchen, bathroom—and stupendous mountain views. There are linens, cleaning supplies, a washing machine and clothesline, Internet and a TV. You are responsible for the houses upkeep, transporting and provisioning yourself, and pretty much making do. Life here is fairly pared down but the experience is enriching.
Poetry Workshop Amenities. Meals are included in the fee and board for those willing to share premises with a roommate or host family. Those seeking more privacy are welcome to make other sleeping arrangements (see recommended nearby accommodations). Everyone will have use of the Lodge, the Ranchs oldest historic structure, where workshops, meals, readings and other entertainments will usually be held.
In addition from June on the swimming pool is open. There is an art library and small ranch library brimming with books. There are hiking trails. In Oracle there are a couple of eateries, two Circle Ks, a public library, museum and state park, but no supermarkets. Mammoth has Mexican fare, including an authentic carnicería and restaurants. Catalina has a large supermarket and downscale franchises. Both are a 20-minute drive. An hour away in Tucson you can find art supplies, restaurants, museums, galleries, a lively music scene, and shopping aplenty.
Social Life. The ranch hosts events once or twice a month. There are also art/music events at the nearby Triangle L, bird walks and star gazing at Oracle State Park and sometimes music at a local bar. However, the degree to which you wish to socialize is up to you—meaning you are welcome to walk around, introduce yourself and get to know people. People here will also however respect your privacy.