Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coming Home

For years, we had hiked past this place. Finally I got up the courage to write the owner and ask that she let us know if she ever wanted to sell. I had no idea what we would do if she contacted us.

Then it happened. In 2000, she came out for her yearly visit and told us she was thinking of selling the place. Before she changed her mind we submitted a contract not knowing how the heck we would pull it off if she accepted our offer. After all, we had offered more for this unimproved property than our present place would bring if we could find a buyer.

Before we knew it, our contract was accepted, our old place had sold and we were moving all our possessions, horses and cats the last week of November – to a place with no electricity or running water and only a 120 year old cabin that had not been inhabited by anything but furry creatures in more than fifty years. Nothing like a challenge to get the spirit moving.

During our first year we focused on the basics like making the old cabin comfortable, clearing out the rodents (the cats threw themselves into this task) and getting electrical power added back to our lives. For water, we hauled buckets from the creek next to the cabin and heated it on our wood cookstove. Baths amounted to standing in a large bucket, soaping up and pouring water down the body.

The second year we added a well and started building our new home. Our goal was to create a small, sustainable space that could be easily heated with wood and someday could be powered completely by a renewable energy source.

Two and a half years after the relocation we moved into the new home. Though it still lacked a lot of features, like a bathroom and a kitchen, it was warm and rodent-proof. Over the last six years we have continued working on our little home adding doors, a working bathroom, an almost working kitchen, and some of the final touches that most people take for granted.

This place was once part of a 160 acre historic homestead. In 1880, Jacob Miller came to Colorado from Pennsylvania and staked his claim on this land. He built the small cabin, filed on the water rights, and probably produced hay and cattle. Of the six owners of the land since the late 1800s, only we and Jacob Miller have truly called this place home.

From Fleur Creek Farm .

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