11 June 2006 Sunday

We have an appointment with a realty agent in Buena Vista at 9:30 this morning.  We had breakfast at the hotel and drove 30 minutes north from Salida.   We got there early, so we just drove around the town for a little while.  It’s much smaller than Salida but looks like it had some interesting things going on.  We had just missed a hot air balloon festival and we saw a mountain bike race in progress.   Both Buena Vista and Salida border on several wild areas: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area, Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area, San Isabel National Forest and lots of BLM land.  Many of the areas we have been looking for land have backed up to or are near some wild areas.

Cathy in United Country of Buena Vista was very nice to meet up with us on a Sunday.  She helped us find lots of land within our price range and she knew the area enough to recommend some places and steer us clear of others.  We drove around an area called Ranch of the Rockies.  This is a huge subdivision with lots ranging from 2 acres to 30+ acres.  As we drove around the area, it just didn’t feel right.  The views were magnificent!  Many properties backed on to National Forest or BLM land.  We wandered for a long time and decided, since it’s getting late, we’ll just camp here in the National Forest next door.

While heading up a dirt road into public land, we saw a family on mountain bikes.  We slowed and waved and went on.  They yelled back at us… we stopped to see what was up.  They were from north Atlanta area and had moved here 2 weeks ago!  We stopped and chatted, asking how they liked it here and quizzed them on other areas they looked at and what they thought of them.  We all agreed that this area was the last affordable land in Colorado.  

Andrew and I went up to find camping in the adjacent San Isabel National Forest and found a clearing with an established campsite and the most outrageous views.  It was then that I figured out why the big area of majestic views bothered me… the views are majestic because there are no houses out here yet!  As this land sells and fills in, the views will fade and this will be just another grand subdivision!  But for tonight, we enjoyed a beautiful, majestic sunset.

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