Monday, April 17, 2017

Exploring Back Roads

I've been wanting to get away from town, so, last week, I week out and drove places just to see where the road took me.  Luckily, I have the use of my friend's Volkswagon Touareg and I was able to pack up my cares and worries and just drive, look, and expand my senses.  I frequently find myself singing the Cole Porter classic "Don't Fence Me In" when I'm driving through open country with hills, dells, arroyos, folds, and small creeks.  I honestly do feel the urge to have a horse under me and to go riding across the land that I see, wondering what hidden gems I'd find that I can't see from the highway.
   The other day, I decided to drive up 71N in Boulder County, which turned into Larimer County, when the road became 37E.  After a few miles, the pavement ended, and I was astounded to find miles upon miles of roads snaking through valleys and up hillsides and even to mountain tops.  I had no idea that there were so many homes and ranchettes (as westerners call them) back in the hills.  I found out that even though a vast majority of the homes are actually located in Larimer County, they have a mailing address of Lyons, which is in Boulder County.
   I fell in love with the views and the quiet.  Saturday, while my roommate, Beatrice was marching in Denver's Tax March, I took my sister, Kathy, and we went back up 71N, and explored even more of the back roads...  It was glorious.  We followed Stagecoach Trail up to the end of the road, and found ourselves sitting on top of the world.  It was almost noon, and the only sounds were the birds in the trees and the sighs of wind in the pine boughs.  We got out and explored the mountain top on foot - Kathy wearing sweat pants, a turtleneck and a vest, and me in shorts, a T-shirt, and slip-on Keds.  We saw a field of sand lilies, tons of rock formations, a wide variety of lichens, wildflowers (but no pasque flowers) and cacti.
   We traveled on Silver Sage Drive, Ponderosa Hill Drive, and fell in love with a house for sale on Gray Mountain Drive.  The price might sound high to folks outside of the metro areas of Denver, but please take into consideration that the median cost of a home in Boulder is now $1 million.  This is a 3 bedroom (plus study) home on two levels with two full baths and one 3/4 bath, with a 2-car garage.  It was built in 1996, and has a front porch and a rear second story deck (the house is built on a slope and the garage is a part of the ground floor).  The house itself is 2,450 square feet, and it sits on 27.24 acres of wooded land with multiple rock formations.  The selling price is $435,000.  One can keep horses and/or other livestock on the property - but there is very little level land, and it looks like the ground soil is, maybe, 3 to 4 inches deep.  Perhaps a place for goats and chickens, but not for large livestock....  The views from the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and the back deck are fantastic - the ground (which you own) falls away down into a valley far below, and there are folded hills forming the far wall.  I covet that property!
Front of the house on Gray Mountain Drive

Side view of house with garage and two of three out-buildings

View from the rear deck

View down into the valley, looking over the 27.24 acres

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