The “Castle” Adytum is a magical and transformational experience.
The “Castle” Adytum is a magical and transformational experience. A life-changing retreat.
In 1995, early in our courtship, Donn and I were surprised to discover we both shared the common dream of starting a retreat and a think-tank style of soiree. We wanted to create an idyllic fantasy; a healthy retreat where one could experience deep rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation while simultaneously enjoying expansion spiritually, mentally, and physically. We held to this vision and 11 years later acquired 5 acres of virgin forestland overlooking Lake Mayfield, the Cowlitz River, which means “Spiritual Seeker” in the original Indian language, and the Tilton River. We immediately began cultivating the birds, preserving habitat, and feeding them while we contemplated construction of what would become Adytum Sanctuary, and we built and stocked a large Koi pond. Waterfalls and fountains soon joined birdsong in defining the ambiance of Adytum.
As if the lake and surrounds weren’t enough beauty to last a lifetime, territorial views also encompass the DeGoedes bulb and flower farm and acres of blueberries, neighboring farms and villages and a sweeping view of the mountains surrounding this rich valley with the renowned rich Cinnabar soil that nourishes many Christmas tree farms. Adytum floats above it all in a surreal sea of mists and fogs rising off the lake at daybreak with only her turreted spires visible like an enchanted castle.
In 2006, a three-story Chateau very much resembling a little castle sprang up where only native Indians dwelt before leaving only arrowheads to mark their presence. Built by several of our sons, a neighbor recently commented that Adytum Sanctuary is a “fairy tale in the making” and so it is. Adytum means “inner sanctum or sanctuary” in Greek, but it isn’t a sanctuary in the normal sense of the word. The Greek version denotes a sanctuary entered in by the door of the human spirit. It is a place of refuge and deep communion with oneself, God, nature, and all of life. Adytum is a transformational experience and a vortex; it is hard to extricate oneself. Guests continually say they keep Adytum in their heart and return to its serenity and rugged beauty often in reflection.
With Adytum Sanctuary’s 75 windows- some allowing one to look right through the house from one side to the other- the house is flooded with light and natural beauty from every angle even on brooding Pacific Northwest days. We co-exist with hundreds of birds of varying species that call Adytum lands their home, viewing them with ease high in their canopy of the maple, alder, and ancient fir trees. Despite all this transparency and being sited high on a hill, Adytum enjoys an extravagant privacy and seclusion with only glimpses of a few neighboring homes on the hill.
Within a few years, we acquired nearly 11 more acres of timberlands flowing with natural springs with equally stunning views adjacent to Adytum Sanctuary which we manage entirely without herbicides, pesticides or clear-cutting methods. We hold a deep respect for the land and a sense of stewardship over that which God has entrusted us and is managed for His glory alone. We became a certified Wildlife Habitat, a bird sanctuary, and we joke that we were a “bird and breakfast” long before we served people. Inside, we maintain the same stance toward protecting the land and ultimately ourselves in our choices.
Making soil investments all those years ago is now paying off handsomely. Our guests can pick grape kiwi and figs from the third story deck of the Star of the North. There are extensive herb gardens, some right outside the Orion Suite, and vineyards, orchards, berries, and edible landscapes that guests enjoy. “A garden of Eden…. Paradise.…A slice of heaven….” We have heard Adytum described by guests in these ways for years and yet, it just keeps getting better.
Apart from being innkeepers, Donn is an Optometric Physician and co-owner with Katherine of Medical Vision Center in Morton. Additionally, he obtained the first Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification as an optometrist. After an article on macular degeneration that Katherine wrote went around the World, Donn began consulting international clients online and in person on ocular diseases such as macular degeneration using nutrition and nutritional supplementation as the basis of health with his patients and clients.
Katherine is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner as well as clinic administrator at Medical Vision Center. In 2011, when a guest walked through the door and introduced her to the oldest health freedom organization in the World, the National Health Federation, her “inner activist” was unleashed and her duties expanded to include global non-profit work in health and health freedom for NHF and its sister organization Foundation for Health Research. Yet in all this varied work, Adytum Sanctuary has remained a constant focus and passion.
It has been our collective labor of intense love to create a place of romantic beauty in anticipation of sharing it with you and welcoming you in. As of 2019, Adytum Sanctuary has had the privilege of hosting over 4000 international guests. The house is unique and, in every way, and not like a traditional bed and breakfast either in the intent or the eclectic décor. We are fine art aficionados and you will enjoy museum quality art and sculpture throughout the house. Adytum reflects a wealth of treasures collected around the world on travel. Adytum was recently described by a real estate appraiser as demonstrating the finest quality of craftsmanship as any she had ever seen. We have www.grittonbuildingco.com to thank for that, our son’s construction company based in Olympia, Washington. As the years passed, we incorporated their skills in creating apartments of the suites, self-contained, and separate from the main house though attached. Guests appreciate being able to own their mornings, breakfasting in privacy when they wish instead of meeting around a common table in the main house. This design allows Katherine to travel internationally in NHF work while guests can still enjoy Adytum Sanctuary.
Each suite has exquisite attention to detail, and everything needed for pleasure and comfort is at hand. Nothing has been overlooked. The décor appeals to men and women equally and will draw you into Adytum’s spirit of grace and beauty instantly. Adytum is a destination in itself and many feel no need to travel further. However, five minutes from your door, Lake Mayfield, the two rivers, and Ike Kinswa State Park await kayaking, world-class fishing, biking, or hiking. Bring your boat or kayaks or use our kayaks with your own transport. We have several mountain bikes to share and many lawn and indoor games as well.
The DeGoedes bulb and flower fields in season are a spectacular vision of beauty and color. Adytum is centrally located and the gateway to adventure with Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and multitudes of hiking, biking, skiing, and fishing opportunities an hour or less away. We are located just about equally between Seattle and Portland, an hour and half away, for a day trip to the city. Outlet malls and more dining options apart from our local Chinese and Mexican restaurants are 40 minutes north. The possibilities are literally endless and largely undiscovered locally. We often hike or kayak an entire day without seeing another soul…come and experience a return to peace, beauty, fresh inspiration, and deep rejuvenation. You will be transformed.