There is a welcoming respite hidden away in the heart of Ramona, a home-share experience where guests can unwind and be themselves. Walk through a cactus meditation garden and find yourself gazing out onto a natural swimming pool with colorful giant goldfish and floating lilies. Hens and their chicks scurry by, the blue sky canopies the yard, and behind you is the Dome Asylum.
This self described “hippie homestead” is facilitated by Dawn and Wylie, who since 2015 have been operating it as a home away from home for travelers around the world. Wylie and his late wife first purchased the dome in 2008, bringing it to life with little touches like planting the tiny cacti from their apartment which today tower over the meditation trails. Their 7 living spaces, including a mix of campsites, interior rooms and poolside cabanas, are frequently occupied by guests throughout the week. This lends for a fun home-share experience, one that Dawn notes is in-line with her personal beliefs.
After a career in hospitality and Martial Arts in New York City, Dawn made her way to southern California seeking a fresh start. With her roots in music, the singer sought a new path to incorporate art back into her life. She describes her relationship with music as a way to translate the human experience, the artist being the medium in which emotion can be shared.
Dawn graciously showed me around, first starting in the meditation garden lined with towering cacti and huge agave. We continued into the aviary, a shaded space for reflection and respite for visiting wildlife, which then led to their natural pool. Through careful filtration and care, they are able to provide a refined natural swimming experience with giant goldfish dancing along the pool’s floor. A hot tub adjoins it, allowing for guests to comfortably enjoy the night sky. Guests can also sleep poolside in a bed where you can rest while listening to wildlife and the pool’s gentle water feature.
The property is lined with multiple art projects created by the pair. Dawn shared “The Bus Stop”, a homemade metal shade structure used during the “Youtopia” festival - San Diego’s Regional Burning Man Event. It was fitted with lights, a sound system, and chalkboard covered in messages from guests.
Another art piece is a metal pumpkin carriage a’ la Cinderella style titled “The Punkin Project”. Dawn and Wylie are planning on adding tractor wheels for a more fun, interactive experience, or as she calls it, a “Punkin Monster Truck”.
They are currently running a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for this evolved version, which can be found here: gf.me/u/j58qp9
The back area of the property is where guests can bring a tent and campout under the stars. Away from the house, it’s one of the more secluded areas on the homestead. It’s also where they grow food via aquaponics that is used to feed guests a homemade breakfast. With fresh eggs also available, it’s truly farm to table!
A yurt also occupies this area, this traditional living space is a favorite of Dawn and Wylie. Under the shade of tall trees, guests can meditate, play horseshoes or simply enjoy being in nature. It also where Dawn practices martial arts with a small group of students.
The interior of the dome house is a museum filled with unique furniture and well curated art pieces. The dining room table is a salvaged piece from up north that is a collage of scrap wood meant to depict a lake and mountain scene. Upon closer inspection, you can also find a sailboat in the mix!
Guests can sit on their comfy couch and read from their modest library of books on a variety of topics, or enjoy the company of their very sweet dog Bailey.
The Dome Asylum provides guests a truly unique experience in the San Diego backcountry, tucked away it feels like you’re in nature but in reality the comforts of civilization are just a few minutes away. Dawn and Wylie have done an excellent job in providing an inclusive space, a place where there are no boundaries and you can be yourself. Their love shines through on the hippie homestead, in every moment you feel as if you’re with family and friends.
Dawn notes that their future plans are shifting towards using the homestead as an event space, and she would love to one day host a wedding. I will say that whoever decides to do so will have a unique, warm, and welcoming reception like no other!
Charlene Pulsonetti is a Ramona based artist who paints southwestern style paintings and enjoys helping other creatives enhance their business. She can be contacted at email@example.com. For more information on the Dome Asylum, visit their website at DomeAsylum.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.