Here’s a lodge pole pine mountain “cabin” we built years ago outside Breckenridge. I look at this photo and think of the struggle I went through with the contractor we hired to put this house together. Now, the new owners are taking good care of it and it looks better than ever.
The aspen tree in front of the house was a baby tree when we planted it. It’s “Aunt Gola’s” tree and like other trees at this altitude, only grows a couple of inches a year.
A lot of family activity took place right here. Beyond the doors is the Blue River down a steep embankment. We had a big rope that operated an elevator in a building in downtown Ellsworth that we used to access the Blue. Now the owners have stairs and landings that makes the river more accessible. It was nice of the new owners to show Ally and Drew all the improvements they’ve made and share their pictures with us.
I remember Tyler as a wee tyke helping Ally cook dinner. They were permanent fixtures in the kitchen. He would stand on a chair to reach the kitchen counter and when dinner was ready, he’d hold up his big wooden spoon and announce, “Voila! Bearnaise.” He’s been cooking with and learning from her ever since.
The loft was actually spacious and connected with a large bedroom pictured below, storage closet and another full bath. We had the loft stacked with beds so it was never as attractive as it is now. The bank of triple pane windows at the right look out on Quandary Peak.
Living here on a permanent basis, as Ally was, got to be a real challenge after twenty or so years. There were no neighbors close by who were year-round residents.
Main floor guest bedroom.
Snow falls were so heavy and constant that you had to hire a snow removal person who cleared the driveway as soon as four inches had fallen. That might be several times a night. Failing to do that meant you were snowed in with no way out. Also, finding a place to put the snow was an issue as it was to be kept on your own property. The trick was to get someone to remove the snow who had some connections and could push it close to the Blue River after there were no more places to shove it on our property. Snow would reach the eaves of the house.
Children’s bedroom in the basement.
As we heated the house with wood, cutting and splitting enough firewood to last the winter was also a challenge, and left for Ally to do. There was only pine and it burned quickly. After so long, the altitude proved difficult for me to endure comfortably and we were frequently running a guest to the hospital with altitude sickness. It became difficult for us to spend much time there and it was a huge burden on Ally to keep it up. So she sold the house and moved to Denver. It was a relief, but we also left a lot of happy times behind.
We all have many fond memories of this beautiful spot in Breckenridge. Brit loved this place…his dream home in the mountains…and would love to see it now. I just know.