The SpaceThe house, garage, cabin, and sheds sit on a 1.7 acre lot on a rocky ledge overlooking a river valley. The views across the river valley at the sandstone mountainside are stunning. The back of the house opens out onto a 1,200 square foot furnished redwood deck that slowly steps down toward the ledge overlooking the river, which you can hear when the water runs high.
You may also hear Canadian geese, ducks, wild turkeys, and, in the fall, flocks of sandhill cranes as they fly over on their migration before winter. The property is also occasionally visited by deer and is home to plenty of bunnies. We feed humming birds, which are aplenty in the summer, especially in the late summer when their babies start visiting the feeders as well. Occasionally, some other little woodland critter passes through. If they are black with two white stripes down their back, please do not disturb them in any way.
The property is surrounded by 100 acres of mostly vacant ranch land. (But please do not go through the fences surrounding the house's lot or you will be trespassing on their property.)
The detached two-story garage is shaped like a hip-gabled barn. In the loft (the second story) is a kids' loft.
The location was selected by my grandmother as the site to build her retirement home; thus, the property is nicknamed "Trail's End". It was her favorite location on my family's 200-acre ranch. Guest AccessGuests can access any of the buildings or areas on the 1.7-acre lot.
MAIN HOUSE: The main house is over 1,600 square feet. It includes two bedrooms, one large grand room that serves as the living area and the indoor dining area (seating eight), a fully-equipped kitchen, a breakfast nook, and a bathroom. (see photos)
BACK DECK: The large back deck is 1,200 square feet of redwood. A large gas grill with side element is provided. (Please do not put the cover back on it while it is still hot.) There is also a raised wood-burning fire pit on the ground surrounded by deck. Firewood is provided free of charge, but you may need to bring fire starter cubes or lighter fluid to get it burning. (ALWAYS keep the screen dome lid on the fire pit while burning to prevent floating embers from starting a forest fire. At some times of the year, burning restrictions may be in force with hefty fines for any violators.) The deck dining area seats six comfortably, but there are an additional two chairs should you need them. There are also to chaise lounges at the end of the deck overlooking the river and viewing the mountainside. (see photos)
FRONT DECK: There is a small front deck on the house as well. This is a covered deck with two swivel arm chairs and a center table on it. It's an excellent place to watch the sun set with a glass of wine at your side. (see photos)
KIDS' LOFT: Above the detached garage, up a rather steep outdoor staircase, there is a kids' loft. The floor is covered with colorful painted footprint trails (left by my nieces and nephew). The loft has an additional queen bed and a double bed / single bed bunk bed set in it. There is a small folding table and chairs in it where kids can color or do other craft activities. Although a box fan is provided in the loft, it is not heated or air conditioned, and it does not have plumbing. (see photos)
GARAGE: Guests have keys to the garage, but I'm afraid I currently have it full of lumber and a few old antiques and odds and ends, so you can't park a car in it. That said, there is plenty of outdoor parking in front of the garage outside the wooden rail gate. (see photos)
THE "HONEYMOON CABIN": Just down over the hillside from the main house, there is a small one-room unfurnished cabin. It was built by hand by my grandfather in 1937 as a place for he and my grandmother to stay through the winter right after they got married (thus, the nickname). I had the cabin moved from its original location to my property to keep as an heirloom. It is not really useful for everything, but check it out if you like. My grandfather, although not a Quaker, studied Quaker carpentry, so it's still a very solid structure and an interesting example of how people once lived very, very simply. (see photos)
THE PROPERTY: You are free to roam around anywhere on my lot if you like, but be careful of steep, possibly slippery hillsides and don't damage the natural vegetation. My property is entirely fenced in by the wood rail fence and rock wall in the front and barbed wire around the other three sides. Please do not venture beyond these fences and trespass into my neighbors' property (except, of course, to pass in and out of the long driveway, which we have a right-of-way to). Interaction with GuestsGuests can call my father, Terry, if they have any issues or concerns that need to be addressed. His phone number is posted on the front gate and all other signage. (Depending upon your mobile phone service provider, you may have to search around the property or even exit the property to get a signal. Verizon has the best coverage for our actual property.) Please DO NOT disturb our nearest neighbors who live about 1/3 of a mile from us, just off the highway, but along the same driveway as us. (You will drive past their house and cabins on the way in.)
We try not to disturb you at all during your visit unless you have questions or concerns.
You may see an elderly woman walking around occasionally in the outdoors areas of the property. This is my mother, Carol, who waters the fruit trees, blueberry bushes, flowers, etc. and keeps the humming birds fed. The NeighborhoodNeighborhood? What neighborhood? (You really need to have neighbors to have a neighborhood, and our nearest neighbors are a third of a mile away at the other end of our long driveway.)
That said, this area, Plateau Valley, is at the base of the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain in the world with an elevation of over 11,000 feet. The Grand Mesa hosts more than 300 lakes and reservoirs, many of which are kept stocked with fish by the government. On the way up the mountain is Powderhorn ski resort, a fairly small, friendly resort with two chair lifts to the top of the mountain and one shorter one for the beginners' runs. On the top of the Grand Mesa, you will find the Mesa Lakes Lodge, which has a restaurant open seasonally and also provides fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing excursions. If you keep going over the mountain, you will also come to Alexander Lodge. Also on the Mesa, but further up the valley is Vega Reservoir, which another seasonal restaurant operates. This reservoir is good for fishermen, but also popular with water skiers.
Down in the valley, there are four small towns: Mesa, Molina, Plateau City, and Collbran.
MESA: Mesa has two restaurants, Blink Twice and The Wagon Wheel. The Wagon Wheel also has a bar. In addition to food, Blink Twice has a complete coffee bar. There is also a liquor store, Mesa Liquors. Just outside of Mesa on the way down the hill is Grand Mesa RV, a small RV park. Here they have a gas station and a small grocery/camping store. They do sell 3.2 beer there as well as fountain drinks, iced tea, coffee, etc. They also have a laundromat. Mesa is about five miles from my property.
MOLINA: Molina has a post office (possibly the smallest in Colorado), a Baptist church, and a few houses. It's about the smallest "town" you can imagine and it doesn't appear on many maps. It's existence (and name) are owed to the fact that this was the location of the valley's old water-powered flour mill, so all the ranchers in the valley would bring their grain there to have it ground into flour. ("Molino" is Spanish for "mill".) Molina is just a mile away from my property.)
PLATEAU CITY: This is NOT a city; it's a town. There are really only two businesses there: Valley Ranch and Auto and The Drive In. Valley Ranch has a gas station. They also do automotive repairs, sell auto parts, etc. They also sell animal feed and so on. The Drive In is a VERY SMALL drive-in restaurant next to Valley Ranch. They are usually open seasonally and sell things like burgers, hot dogs, and soft-serve ice cream. Plateau City is further up the valley from Mesa and Molina (about four miles away from my property).
COLLBRAN: Collbran is the one of these four towns that has the most businesses in it. Collbran has a clinic, a restaurant, a deli, a saloon, a liquor store, a small grocery store, a hardware store, a dog groomer/taxidermy shop (so if you take your dog there, be VERY clear what you want to have done), and, across the river at the end of Main Street, The Creamery, where they sell pizza and other light food and have a small market. (Collbran is about five miles from my property.)
Good day trips include the Colorado National Monument, Glenwood Springs, or even Arches National Park (Utah).
COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT: "The Monument" is a beautiful wind and water carved stone cliffside with plenty of hiking trails and beautiful desert sandstone spires and other formations. The best way to see it is to drive past Grand Junction heading west to Fruita then South to the Colorado National Monument west entrance. Once in the park, take a slow, pleasant drive or bike ride along Rimrock Road, which snakes along the top edge of the cliffside with some breathtaking views, stopping along the way to take some of the marked hiking trails as you have time. (Take plenty of water with you; it can be hot and dry up there in the summer.) If you drive the full, winding length of Rimrock Drive from the West Entrance, you'll pop out at the east entrance near the town of Palisade and already headed back to my property here at Molina. (It takes a little over an hour to get from my place to the west entrance of Colorado National Monument.)
GLENWOOD SPRINGS: Glenwood Springs is a fun town that is about a 75-minute drive from my property. One big attraction in Glenwood Springs is their large hot spring pools and spa. It's a bit pricy, but can be fun for a family, whether they enjoy the hot pool, the warm pool, the water slide, or the spa. Another attraction is river rafting down Glenwood Canyon, which is beautiful and a bit exciting but not too challenging even for kids. Then there is Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which includes cave tours and activities such as zip lining, reverse bungee, laser tag, roller coasters/alpine slide, a giant swing that swings out over the canyon, a walking maze, a 4D motion theater, etc. Last I checked, tickets were $49 per day for adults, $44 for children twelve and under.
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK: Arches is about 2.5 hours away from my property, depending on which route you take, so it would be ideal to make it an overnight trip or part of a larger journey, perhaps staying in or around the town of Moab, Utah (famous for its slick rock mountain biking trails). There are two places where you can exit Interstate 70 to get there. The one furthest to the West is the most popular, but my preferred route leaves the interstate earlier and is a little-travelled road that goes through some beautiful red rock canyons (Castle Valley) on the way there. What you do is take the Cisco exit #214 (which is in the middle of nowhere) and go Southwest on 128. For a while you will think you're lost, but then as you come into Castle Valley, you'll thank me. Then when you get to the intersection of 121 and 191, you turn North on 191 to go to the Arches Park entrance. Then when you come back out of Arches, you can take 191 back up to I-70 if you want. Getting AroundThere is no public transportation in Plateau Valley. It's best to drive your own vehicle (or, if you like cycling...) There is plenty of space to park three or four cars in the outdoor parking area at the front of my property. Other Things to NoteThe house is supplied by well water, but it is NOT potable. Please bring your own bottled water with you to drink or cook with.
There are two gas stations in the valley, one near the town of Mesa and one in the town of Plateau "City". We advise you, however, to fill up in the Grand Junction area if coming from the West or in Rifle if coming from the East because gas prices here in the valley are usually noticeably higher.
If you visit during the winter (or even the early spring or late fall), you may wake up to snow. If you come during those seasons, it is best to have a 4wd vehicle to be certain you can easily get in and out of the long driveway, which is full of hills and turns.