Our Road to Leadville
Expectations were high
In 2003 I was living in Golden, Colorado and I ask a friend, a girl friend to go with me on a hike and she did, all the way up 14,439’ Mt. Elbert, the tallest mountain in the Rocky Mountains in Leadville, Colorado. Needless to say, she never spoke to me again! Just Kidding. It was the first time she had actually challenged herself to such a physical task, yet she basically pulled me up the mountain. Little did we know that standing on top of Mt. Elbert was a metaphor of both of our lives
and a premonition of what the futures holds for us.
Summer and Fall in Leadville
We spent the rest of the summer and most of that fall peak bagging the fourteeners in and around this old Victorian Mining town and we both fell in Love, with Leadville. And the fun didn’t stop there. We enjoyed the pristine outdoors and the hospitality of town so much that we returned time and time again. We hiked the Colorado Trail from Tennessee Pass to Monarch Pass, camped at Turquoise Lake and on our return we stayed in the Leadville Hostile and enjoyed all the festivities
during “Boom Days”. Life is good but, Love is better!
Later that year we bought season passes and I taught her how to ski at Ski Cooper.
Southern Boy teaches Colorado Native Girl to ski. There is something definitely wrong with this picture! We also took 2 backcountry ski hut trips during the winter into Uncle Bud’s and Vance’s Cabin. After skiing out of the backcountry we ended up at the Delaware Hotel in town for Thanksgiving and we cherished these experiences
so much we decided to purchase some property so we would always be connected.
The Search is on
Almost every weekend that winter we headed for the hills and Leadville to search for just the right place. We would take the jeep as far as it would go. Then we would strap on the snowshoes and venture to places for sale. We were looking for a place in the wilderness with only summer access and ski and snowshoe access during the winter. Then one day as we were walking through town on our way to lunch we saw a flyer that said, “Old mining claims For Sale. The next week we snowshoed 5 miles around Turquoise Lake and up S.R.103 to check out the property. While we were looking for the corners of the property, we noticed we could see both Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive peeking through the trees. What a Heavenly View or “Cielo Vista”. We didn't hesitate to make the call and started the process to purchase the property. And it was one the best decision we have ever made.
Salt Lake City
That next summer both our jobs were in question and we ended up in Salt Lake City with great employment opportunities. Unfortunately the relocation and 9 hours of driving sent our weekly weekend visits up in smoke. It was almost too much to bare. The good news was or jobs generate enough money and time off to build a road on to the property, erect a redwood deck and place a 30’ Yurt on it. Then several years later we added a Picnic Pavilion and an indoor Steam Sauna. It sure
makes the drive worth it.
As the Bells Toll
Yes, we finally married in St George’s Episcopal Church, right in town and held our reception in the Tennessee Pass Café and got busy. Before long we had two “little ones” in tow as we drove from Salt Lake City to Leadville. We have made this trip over 25 times just to breathe the fresh air and smell the evergreens in the summer and snowshoe and ski during the winter. The kids enjoy chasing the squirrels and sucking up bugs in their Bug Collector and examining them through a magnifying glass. And they can’t wait until we return. For the last 12 years my wife and I and 2 children have visited Leadville at least twice a year and we have only scratched the surface of all there is to do. This winter the kids want to ice skate. They have been taking lessons so they can skate outdoors at the Lieter Ice Skating Rink. Looking forward to the future must be a family trait.
New Year’s Resolution
Then one New Year’s Eve my wife and I gave serious discussion to the idea of how to become a
permanent resident of Leadville without sacrificing all we have achieved? We already own several pieces of property in Colorado and Utah and were successful renting them. We knew we had the experience and education to tackle the job so we decide to start a business renting vacation homes in Leadville. Then I saw an ad online in the Leadville Democrat Herald, Lots for Sale. So after endless hours of searching and planning, we sold our extra properties and purchased twelve lots, in 2 locations, on 20 acres. We feel we have found the best locations in Leadville and will start building this year and open our dream vacation homes in the Spring of 2017.
Heading Home to Leadville
At the end of 2015 we created a business plan, procured funds, purchased a vacation home rental operating system and built a website, cielovistavacationproperties.com and licensed our business. By mid-April our site will be up and running and we will be taken on vacation homes to rent and manage for the owners in the Leadville. Our homes will start being built in the fall and finish up around spring the next year. Stacey and I have worked long and hard to get this far and the real work hasn’t even started. If there is anything you should know about us, it is this. We are no strangers to hard work and perseverance. We earned college degrees and worked fulltime while raising families without debt. Now we are just one last step away from heading home to Leadville.