Our big move from Fort Collins to southern Colorado, from suburbia to rural in 2014

In June 2014 we packed up or got rid of most of our worldly goods, sold our house in Fort Collins, and took off for an ancient rental in Walsenburg, Colorado. It was then we named ourselves the “NEW Old Farts.” I have been sharing our retirement adventure, photos, etc. here since October 2014

At age 60, Mike and I left suburbia to build a passive solar home with spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in southern Colorado.  We moved here for a number of reasons: To live close to nature, to try passive solar living, to build the kind of home we chose to live in for the rest of our lives, and to find a far more peaceful, healthy and less expensive lifestyle than cities could offer us.

We received so much more… 

NICE view of sunflowers in garden and Spanish Peaks summer 2017

Mike and I first met online in early 2005. On our very first road trip together we actually drove past where we would eventually build our solar home north of Highway 160 and just west of Walsenburg! As Mike and I got to know each other, we learned that we shared a common dream. We both wanted to move to some peaceful rural place and build a passive solar home. Life got in the way for a decade or so.

Then in 2014 our time came. We sold our nice home in suburbia and headed south to build on a scenic three acre lot at the top of the foothills. It felt like a gigantic leap-of-faith. We did it anyway!


 Mike is about to turn cartwheels because we FINALLY have a slab!!!

Gee, I wish we had a view…

snowy west peak with comanche home in foreground

We applied for a building permit in mid-2014, and moved in August 1st, 2015. Then we discovered another great benefit from passive solar construction. It keeps us cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter!

We have fallen in love with living in tune with the sun and seasons, waking up each day amazed to find ourselves in such a beautiful, quiet, natural place…

Please contact me at MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com to purchase copies of my memoir or any of my other books!

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15 thoughts on “Our big move from Fort Collins to southern Colorado, from suburbia to rural in 2014

  1. Pingback: Looking for love in all the wrong place? | author Laura Lee Carter

  2. When we lived in an apt. in Denver all the homes near us were Solar and we thought how wonderful..I inquired about the cost and upkeep this was in 1976 before we purchased our home in Aurora it was fantastic..We also adored Fort Collins many I worked with came from Fort Collins to work at the VA medical center pharmacy and at Colorado health science center..You have lived in the areas we really liked, my husband traveled and he did get to Walsenburg for his job, it is lovely————–enjoy your peaceful and lovely home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. From time to time i do a search on google for…..”libre commune colorado” or something close to those words…this time my search brought up your site…..refreshing…..i first became aware of the area back in 1968…..when i was 21…..we came for a brief week stay at a cabin on a small piece of land just south and next to the property that was later to become “libre”…..i was on the “dry creek side (east)and the people who bought the land were on the “turkey creek” side (west)…..i don’t recall how or where but i eventually met the owners……dean/linda fleming…..peter rabbit…and many others…..long story short…..i stayed the summer there and helped build the various structures…..it’s a place like no other….remote….the views toward the mountains across the valley look almost prehistoric….magic…..it’s a place to really live…..it’s a place to become alive in and with….i have never forgotten the power of that space….even at 68….it’s like i have never left!!!!…..i am very happy you have found your place…..or is it that the “place” found you…..michael/tucson


  4. Thanks for reading and commenting Michael! Yes Libre and its remaining inhabitants are amazing to me. Love going over to visit them. The power of this place is not lost on us. I feel like I live in heaven most days. I’m not sure who found who, but I’m staying here until I breathe my last breath.


  5. I love discovering blogs written by people who “Go For It!” And I love your desire for passive solar design. Living with an architect who truly values sustainability, I’m so glad I found your blog, and will love following YOUR Encore Voyage!



  6. What a great story, Laura! Your home looks beautiful, and your adventure inspires me. We put solar on the home about 4 years ago. We still have propane, but our bills are very low. Our little house sits on an acre in the capital of agricultural/oranges & cattle country overlooking the Sierra Nevadas. However, my first husband and I lived in Colorado Springs, CO for three years while he went to college, then we moved to CA. After he passed away, I stayed, remarried, and enjoy the mountain view here – without snow! 🙂 You live in a beautiful area, Royal Gorge, not too far from you. Enjoy your dreams, and keep sharing them! 🙂


  7. Pingback: There’s always going to be a few assholes… | Adventures of the NEW Old Farts

  8. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your website.

    It appears as if some of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is
    happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thank you


  9. Pingback: Building new relationships through my books | Adventures of the NEW Old Farts

  10. Unfortunately to go 100% solar, most would need to reorient the way their house faces and where and what type of windows face south. That’s why we needed to start from scratch. Even the foundation must be insulated for passive solar to work well. Thanks for coming by Darlene!


  11. Pingback: Remodeling and Menopause | Adventures of the NEW Old Farts

  12. You couldn’t have picked a better place. I first came to Libre in 1977, as I met some Libre residents up in Boulder, where I lived then and worked in the music business. I became best friends with Alix Campbell, who built herself a lovely house down the road from Dean Fleming’s “Gingerbread House”, in the main Libre housing area, but never went back after she passed in 1980 and I went to help go through her things (stayed with Dean and his then infant daughter). I sure spent some magic times there. Anyone was up for a tea break if you went to visit. Very soothing, disconnected pace. I had city goals back then or I would have stayed. I remember the breathtaking view of the Sangres and have rarely been in such a wonderful place. I remember many of the lovely residents: . Kerry up the mtn from Alix’s house, Sybilla (?), and many others (names are not my strong suit). Enjoy your homestead and the magic of the the Huerfano Valley. And say hi from Alix’s friend, Sarah, if you think of it. Doubt they remember me, but I have thought of them, and Libre, fondly over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

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