McKenzie Butte

After work on Sunday, Sprocket and I took a detour on the way home. We took County Road 1A instead of County Road 1 and found it to be a bumpy road without much purpose. We did get to check out this sweet canyon though (and let’s be honest, I love wandering a dirt road to no purpose whatsoever, especially with Sprocket and/or F).

The whole point of taking 1A was to tap into 1B which puts you into a nice chunk of BLM up on the mesa. The public land is crowned by McKenzie Butte (8,017′) and that was our summit goal for the day. It’s not far from a small parking area off this road to the summit of the Butte, but that was just fine for Sprocket and me.

Wow.

When 3Up Adventures announced back in November that we were taking to the road, we could hardly have expected that we’d have three different travel vehicles within six months. There was no expiration date to our travels but we knew that we wanted to eventually settle in one place again—we just didn’t have any idea where that would be.

When Forrest and I left Moab about three weeks ago we checked out some of the more remote parts of Southwestern Utah. We were supposed to be staying at “lower” elevations and planned on going to Gateway, Colorado but at the junction of US 50 and CO 141, we were struck with mountain fever and rationalized that Ouray (and Silverton and Ridgway) was only a couple of hours out of our way. We’d been wanting to check out SW Colorado for a long time thinking it might be one of the places we’d be really happy.

We got to Ridgway and I fell in love. It reminded me of Switzerland. 14ers everywhere! Exploring! Hiking! Brewery! Distillery! Young outdoorsy people walking around! Friendly people!

Fast forward three days of us bumming around and we started shopping for property. (Because there’s no time like the present for decent prices, right?) Browsing Zillow semi-jokingly, I found 40 acres with mountain views for a what seemed to be a pretty good price. We called the listing agent and arranged to meet her, rationalizing it to ourselves as “just to check it out, probably wasting her time.” (This didn’t stop us from spending hours researching public records on the property.)

The next day, we walked around the property and realized that it didn’t just have a view, it had The Views. To the north, we could see Grand Mesa, to the northwest the West Elk Mountains peaked over a ridge, to our east was Cimmeron Ridge, and to the southeast and the south are the San Juan Mountains. As our tour of the property came to a close, we glanced at each other and took a deep breath, we wanted to put in an offer.

After the usual ups and downs of real estate offers, contracts, and closing, as of last Friday, it’s ours.

Buying more property this soon isn’t what we had in mind when we left Idaho but sometimes the unexpected things are the best!

(So yes, I was totally messing with you a little bit with the Where To Live post Friday.)