Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Here are some photos of the property and where we're planning to put the house and barn. The first two were taken before we put in the driveway.

At this time, the trailer was parked where we plan to build the house.

Another view. This is looking toward the NW.

Now we have a driveway! The barn will be to the right of the horses.
The trailer has been moved to its permanent location.
The driveway as seen from the North side of the street.
The house will be in the trees, facing South.

We see some beautiful sunsets!

I like the way this mountain to the NE lights up occasionally.

Making Plans

We've been spending a lot of time planning our future house, and having a lot of fun with it.  Tim (the computer expert) has been teaching me how to use Sketchup, and I've had fun being a bit of a computer geek the past few days. Sketchup is a 3D design program, with a free version that has been quite helpful. We've put the perimeter of the house we're planning into the program, and are able to add walls and sample furniture models and move them around to determine just how things might fit, where we might put things, and the best way to design the interior.

We really want a round house, and have found a kit design we are planning to go with from Smiling Woods Yurts. It'll be like a wood version of a yurt, with a dome/skylight at the top to bring light in to the expansive floorplan. Take a look at the photos on their website. We plan to have lots of windows to the south, with a view of our property and the mountains beyond.

Yesterday we were able to visit the Smiling Woods home of some folks about an hour away, so it was great to be able to "touch and feel" it and get an idea of what it is like. It was nice of them to open their home to us and tell us about their experience of building. Their home was smaller than the one we are planning, and it looked pretty similar to this photo from the Smiling Woods website:

At this point, we are thinking about a larger diameter, without an extension to the side as in this photo.  Tim will be his own contractor and do most of the work, but I'll add a helping hand as much as possible. There will be lots more to come on this as we move ahead. We are very excited about this plan!

Besides that planning, we've been talking with Park County about the permitting process, trying to find all the info we need for planning. It's a confusing process, and guidelines are not all spelled out clearly in one place. In the process of submitting a permit for the barn, we found that even the county personnel don't understand all the ordinances or interpret them the same way. We believed we could build the barn prior to the house, but were told at one point that it is not permissible to do that in our zoning. We've got it straightened out, and we will be able to proceed with the barn. We really need the barn to create a workshop and storage space for the process of building the house. Now we are moving forward with a rezoning process to accommodate our future needs.

We are still waiting for the well permit, and just have to sit back on that one. It seems things move so slowly, but there isn't much we can do about it. Running water would really be nice. :)

Additionally, we are designing and constructing some insulating window shades for our RV, to keep the cold out during the winter. The single-pane windows are quite drafty, letting the heat out and the cold in. We think these shades will make a big difference, look nicer, and be easier to operate than the coverings currently in the RV.

This is Thanksgiving week, and we plan to visit the property for a few days. Perhaps then I'll have time to catch up on posting more of how this all came about.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Weather Station Offline

Unfortunately our weather station is offline. That'll be one drawback of having it there while we are here and unable to do anything about it. Likely, the power went out a bit and it needs to be reset. In the meantime, WUnderground seems to be picking up the temps from another location nearby--I didn't know the program would do that, but it's kind of nice.

I've also noticed that the weather widget at the right does not appear in some browsers. I'm not sure I can do anything about that, so if you see a blank hole under "Weather at the Ranch", that'll be something I can't fix just now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weather in Pike Trails Ranches

We have our own weather station, broadcasting to Weather Underground.  See the widget to the right? That shows the current weather at our property. It's called "Pike Trails Ranches", which is the name of the subdivision we're in. You can click on the widget at the right for more details.

It's been fun to compare the weather there to Wellington weather.  We are SO looking forward to living in Guffey.  Right now I'm sitting here in Wellington, where it's 48 degrees with 34 mph wind. Guffey is currently showing 50 degrees with 10 mph wind! It's generally 10 or so degrees cooler in Guffey, but less windy. In the summer, Guffey temps are usually in the 70's, which is perfect for us. 85 degrees would be an unusual high for them. The winters there are apparently pretty similar to Wellington; perhaps a little colder, but less wind there will make it really nice. Guffey is considered a sort of "banana belt" compared to the rest of Park County, where it can be quite cold and windy, and it's really pretty temperate for 9,000 feet.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Our Mountain Gaitway

We've wanted to keep track of all that's been happening in our lives, and the changes we are making as we move to our Mountain Gaitway. Yes, I know I've misspelled "gateway". The change was prompted by our gaited horses...kind of a play on words.

In July 2014, we vacationed in the area of Guffey, Colorado, and "fell in love" with the area. We've been in lots of places with our horses, but we felt this was the most beautiful and the best riding. We just plain liked it there. We began looking at properties for sale, and (Iong story, short...) purchased 40 acres at 9,000 feet elevation. It's in the subdivision, Pike Trails Ranches, in Guffey, CO. Here's our property below, and as the caption reads, this trip did touch our souls, and the journey has just begun.