By Kathy Montgomery | Photograph by Steven Meckler
Little rainbows dance like a ben-ediction across my breakfast table at the Amado Territory B&B. As the sun crests the Santa Rita Mountains, sunlight catches the CDs strung up to shoo birds from the expansive picture windows. They cast little bursts of color with every breeze.
It feels a little magical. But then, so does the view, which takes in a well-maintained cactus garden with doves and finches flitting about the feeders. A cottontail pauses to sniff the air, its ears pink and translucent in the rising sun.
The Santa Cruz River Valley spreads out beyond, bound by the Santa Ritas to the east and the Tumacacori Mountains to the west. Nearby, cattle graze in a sea of backlit grasses so tall they tickle the undersides of spreading velvet mesquites.
Despite its proximity to Interstate 19, the landscape feels remote and unspoiled. In truth, this land between Green Valley and Tubac has been occupied since before recorded history — first by Indians and later by missionaries and ranchers.
The B&B, built in the 1990s, reflects that history in a wide front porch, knotty pine floors and wainscoting. The town and the inn take their name from Manuel Amado, a rancher who settled in Southern Arizona around 1850.
“The Amados used to own all this land,” says innkeeper Doug Getchel, who’s chatting with guests in the breakfast room. The two-story inn’s nine spacious guest rooms are named for local ranches, including the Alamo Bonito (an Amado family ranch), the Elephant Head and the J. Parker Cattle Co.
The large, sunny atrium’s furnishings combine Western pieces, such as the mesquite bench I’m sitting on, with Midwestern items Doug and his wife, Teah, brought from Michigan. Teapots line the top of a Hoosier cabinet, where a note invites guests to help themselves to toast and coffee. Cheerios line a sideboard. The posted breakfast menu for the coming days — eggs, bacon and French toast — reflects the Getchels’ roots. “We’re going to do pancakes and sausage today, if that’s all right,” Teah says as she emerges from the kitchen.
The Getchels are tall, garrulous and Midwestern polite. Phrases like “Gosh,” “Doggone” and “Are you kidding me?” pepper Doug’s patter. He is broad-shouldered, with a thick head of wavy hair. Teah is thin and blond, with a homecoming queen’s smile. Doug admits Arizona was an adjustment after living in Michigan, then Key West, Florida. But something about the place cast its spell. For Teah, it’s a spiritual quality.
Spotting a pair of middle-aged women setting up easels, hats shielding their eyes from the rising sun, Doug hurries out to invite them in for coffee.
Amado Territory B&B is located at 3001 Interstate 19 Frontage Road in Amado. For more information, call 520-398-8684 or visit www.amadoterritoryinn.com.