How are you liking small town life? This is a question we hear a lot lately, and we love it because we get to talk about all of the things we’re discovering about this community that is The Gateway To Mesa Verde. It’s a place Where The West Still Lives. In fact we just learned that Louis L’Amour, beloved American West story teller, made it his home as well as settings for some of his books.
Nestled at an elevation of 7000 feet, the valley is surrounded by The La Plata Mountains to the east, The Menefee and Weber Mountains to the southeast and south, and the majestic landmark of the Mesa Verde Mountain Range to the west. Not too shabby when it comes to landmarks as you look around for directions.
In the last few days we set out to discover some of the backroads to become more familiar with our new valley.
There are only a few paved roads in the town of Mancos and the rest are quaint dirt roads where you give a friendly wave to the people in their cars as you pass … that ‘country wave’ of raising your hand off the steering wheel just a bit.
We drove around the sprawling farms and ranches, with hay fields being readied for spring, soil tilled. Stopping for a stroll we found bees buzzing through apple blossoms, a curious fawn, cows leisurely grazing, beautiful horses running free in their pastures, and heard roosters crowing in the distance.
Hungry for a snack, we stopped by the natural foods market / coffee bar / cafe called Zuma for cookies, tea and coffee. We found farm fresh eggs for breakfast omelets, and bumped into friends from Durango who were just back from a hike. Seemed like everyone we met had just come back from a hike or bike ride on a nearby trail.
On our Sunday drive, something we’ll be making a weekly tradition, we couldn’t resist stopping to see these beautiful horses.
Some were nose to nose sharing the latest gossip.
Others got up close and personal, curious about the camera. Or maybe they were posing, having been photographed so often. Seems everyone, even the animals in the valley are friendly and want to get to know you.
Camera shy? Not this guy … making sure Mr. D is capturing his ‘best side’.
Now we see why there are hitching posts around town and at the little market, in case you’re out riding and need to stop in for a few provisions, meet friends for lunch, or pick up the paper and a pizza.
As we settle into this valley, where it is quite alright to mosey, we look forward to getting more familiar with the people, hidden gems in the area, observations of the changing seasons, and becoming a part of this amazing community.
Next on the itinerary is a stay at Mesa Verde, only a fifteen-minute drive from the ranch. And more leisurely drives at the Intersection of Art and Adventure.
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” — Louis L’Amour
Amy & Mr.D
Check out our other articles about this area …
Mancos Fine Dining — Up To Par With LA and NYC
Made-From-Scratch Mancos (4 Lunch Spots to Love)
Mancos School of the West – Batik and Gourd Classes
SWD Q&A with Rena Wilson – Artistry in Motion
Noah, it’s hard to take a bad pic here!
Can’t wait to see photos of the valley through summer and into fall, and more Sunday drives.
Ally, it’s beautiful all year round, can’t wait to capture it all.
How lovely. I can see why you are loving it there so much. Thank you for sharing. xo
ChileSage, thank you and stay tuned. We’re constantly taking photos.