What is great about Spanish Peaks Living?

Nine years ago this month, Mike and I drove down from Fort Collins to choose a few acres in Navajo to buy. We didn’t know much about this area, only that we loved how it felt to our suburban souls. It took us another year to build our passive solar home facing the Spanish Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains with Mount Mestas to our west.

I was reminded again early this morning why I love living here. I woke up around 6:30 AM to see an unobstructed view of a bright red sunrise to our southeast. This is BIG SKY country to me, where the landscape and the silence are the main characters! Every time I go outside in the morning I stop and feel astounded by the silence. This is what the earth used to be like. Maybe a few bird sounds, but otherwise perfect silence…

Sure there are also unattractive features to this area, but the land is encouraging and haunting all at once, and the summers are glorious!

Our first summer here we had so much fun exploring the back roads and back stories, like this dilapidated adobe schoolhouse slowly sinking back into the earth west of here…

or taking the train up to Fir to hear the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band play in a big mountain meadow.

When I first met Mike he said he wasn’t moving again until he could look at something besides the house across the street.

We found this cartoon in a magazine and laughed together about it. Then we went in search of someplace with truly ‘spectacular views.’

We found those here and so much more…

Sacred Journeys, Sacred Mountains…

After watching an episode of Sacred Journeys on PBS, one which included a bit about the sacredness of mountains in Asian thought, I realized how fundamentally important it feels to now own land with views of our own sacred mountains.

The Spanish Peaks, pictured above, have a centuries-old history of sacredness. Dating back far before the Europeans arrived, this area was a crossroads of the American West. Taos Pueblo, located in northern New Mexico today, has been a major Native American trading center for over 1,000 years. One trail headed north out of Taos into the San Luis Valley, crossing east over Sangre de Cristo Pass, through the gap between Rough Mountain and Sheep Mountain.

Various Native American tribes like the Ute, the Navajo, the Jicarilla Apache and the Comanche passed through this valley regularly. To them the Spanish Peaks stood out because they seemed to emerge out of nowhere up to 13,000 feet running east and west, not north to south like the rest of the Rocky Mountains.

The natives peoples considered this a sacred place of ceremony. As far as they were concerned, this is where mankind first emerged from the womb of the earth. In other words, this was their own Garden of Eden.

The Ute Indians named these two peaks Huajatolla (pronounced Wa-ha-toy-a), meaning the “two breasts” which translates as “Breasts of the Earth”.

I loved learning this ancient history, which I first heard about when Robert Mirabal came here to perform this past July.

We moved here to create a dynamic relationship with these mountains, this landscape and the lovely silence. Mike and I have both traveled to many parts of the world. We now find the inward journey more dynamic and essential than outward ones.

For us this is a sacred place, one where we can celebrate and appreciate the beauty of nature every single day, while continuing a long tradition of sustainable living.

Learn more about what it’s like to move from city life to the country for a slower, quieter, more sustainable life in my new memoir. Just send me an e-mail for a great price!

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