At around 5:30 Wednesday night a week ago a perfect sounding house came on the market so I called the realtor and next thing I knew, Jonny and I were packing to leave first thing in the morning for a 7 1/2 hour drive to Mancos. Coincidentally he already had the day off and I didn't have clients scheduled since we were going to go for a hike. It seemed like a sign that we were meant to go and that this would finally be the place. The land looked a bit too sloping from the pictures but the realtor was familiar with the house and thought there was some flat land somewhere.
It was 42 degrees and raining on Wolf Creek Pass. Summer monsoon season is in full swing.
The house turned out to be near perfect - a remodeled farmhouse, 1800 s.f. which is a bit big but reasonable for us. 4 1/2 acres of land with great water rights and a big ass barn.
That came complete with a big ass barn owl.
And some big ass cliffs.
And a big ass view.
We were all set to make an offer on it when we found out that the land in the photo above would not be ours. The owner was splitting the lot in half and building their new house on this part of the land which also happened to be the only piece of flat land big enough for an agility field. Our piece of land would be mostly cliffs, a big ass orchard and a big ass barn with some slope-y bits of land between. Plus a pond that the owners would retain rights to access even though it was on our piece of land so their dogs could swim across the pond and get on our land. Plus we'd have to live next to construction noise for a year or two or who knows how long, who knows what they would build? And they have kids and dogs and we already live next door to kids and dogs and we're so looking forward to getting away from other people's kids and dogs.
We looked at a couple of other places that didn't seem promising but thought we should look as long as we were down there. They weren't promising. We did look at a perfect piece of land - great location and water rights and in great condition - but we'd have to build something on it and find somewhere to live while we were building. Buy a used RV and travel the country until it's built? And what to build? Conventional, straw bale, rammed earth, something else? There are many alternative building methods and materials out there. It's all very overwhelming and not an attractive option. Plus it's too late to buiy something and build before the snow start flying so a potential land purchase will have to wait until spring. Ah well, the right place will come along. I wish that drive wasn't 7 1/2 hours long.
We took the dogs and stayed with some friends outside of Durango.
Sunset over the La Platas
Most places give you a mint on your pillow. We got this.
Since we didn't have that many houses to look at, we had a lot of time on Friday to explore. We decided to go up to Boggy Draw for a hike and when we drove through Dolores we came upon this.
I knew there was a trial over the weekend but didn't realize it was 3 days. We stopped to take advantage of a socialization opportunity for Tess. I saw a few people I knew, including a woman who just sold her place in the country outside of Durango and is moving to Moab in the city. She helped a lot with Tess, fed her treats and brought her own friendly BC out to say hi. Sadly Tess wasn't interested but at least she wasn't terrified. Tess did freeze when a Cattle Dog started barking and lunging at someone else walking by from an x-pen that was pretty far away. I turned her around and walked the other way, no point subjecting either one of them to each other. And there was no way she was moving one more step closer anyway. I was so sure we were past the freezing thing. But otherwise she did o.k. walking through the hub bub of the shade canopies and people. I may have shoved some kibble into a complete strangers hand and asked her to feed my dog when she showed the slightest bit of interest in us. I wish I had had better treats but they were sitting back at the house, I wasn't planning on a socialization opportunity. Must be better prepared. And yeah, if you so much as make eye contact with me when I have Tess I'll probably shove kibble or chicken or hot dogs in your hand and ask you to feed my dog. It's funny, guys want to make her sit or do something and I'm all, 'Just give it to her for being brave enough to go up to you'. And they won't. They end up handing me back my treats. But the women get it, they give all the treats if Tess will go up and take them. I've not been working a lot with 'Sit' or any other inhibitive behaviors because I want Tess being brave and offering behaviors, not inhibiting them which is her default. Though at this point I think I need to start working with Sit, Down, and Stay in different locations with both dogs. But not with strangers asking for them at a busy agility trial. Sheesh.
We did go up to Boggy Draw for a short hike. Tess still shouldn't go too far and she'd already been walking around the trial for a bit. We were out around 45 minutes and the terrain was fairly flat and easy.
When we got back to our friends' house that night, Jonny realized we had a flat tire (slow leak so it was low, not all the way flat). So we had a delayed departure in the morning since our friend had to take Jonny and the tire to Durango for a repair. It's a new tire and under warranty so at least the repair was free and Discount Tire took care of it quickly. We didn't get too late of a start and were home for dinner.
Ruby sez, 'Are we there yet?'
Kind of a fun trip but also emotionally draining. We were so sure this house would be the one. I'm a bit burnt out on Crazy Dog Lady House Hunting. Something really perfect will have to come up to drag me down there again, I've had enough driving to last me until spring.