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Salida’s Rocky Mountain Lifestyle

The thing about living in a small town in the Rocky Mountains is that most of your entertainment happens outdoors. There just aren’t a lot of concert halls or museums, although we do have the Storyville movie theater – which has been getting Salida’s denizens Oscar ready all year. What I’m really getting at though, is that recreation tends to be dictated by the weather, and this last week proves it.

Today I woke up to 11 inches at Monarch Mountain, where it was -6 degrees with the wind boasting 40 mph gusts up top, and the mountain was full of mostly locals that had come to ride the 2 foot of new snow that had fallen in the past 48 hours. Sure the bar had a steady rotation of cold fingers and toes warming themselves up on hot toddies and nachos, but out on the mountain you couldn’t miss the wails of delight as skiers and snow boarders alike rolled through thigh deep snow welcomng the face shots hidden in the trees.

By way of comparison, last weekend brought temperatures so warm that heading up to the ski hill wasn’t even a consideration. We took the jeep back into Brown’s Canyon Wilderness and bucked up the trail just as far as we could and then, in jeans and t-shirts, ran the dogs above the Arkansas River. In fact it was so warm Saturday, we were ready to put the boat in the water on Sunday and have ourselves a little float through Salida town, and we weren’t the only ones. Monday’s paper revealed some other anglers had done just that and taken advantage of a warm Saturday afternoon on the river pulling mostly rainbows and a couple of brown trout from the January waters, and pumping their stomachs to see just what they eat all year long. The answer, surprising in volume for January, was midges and one Olive Caddis.

I lived in San Francisco, California for 7 years before I moved to Salida, where I am now enjoying my 4th winter and the lifestyle is really starting to sink its teeth into me. I love spending my days off seeing how many runs a girlfriend and I can rack up on the mountain, or grilling those bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers for the Super Bowl half time snack while standing out in the lightly falling snow. I like that people here don’t complain about the weather, rather they celebrate it, strive to be closer to it, find a way to harness, embrace or enjoy it. I like that folks around here pay attention to the outside world and the weather around them – it’s part of what helps shape the Rocky Mountain lifestyle.

In the real estate industry we do see a lot of potential buyers that are wooed by the natural beauty that cradles this valley and the abundant outdoor entertainment that comes along with it. Undoubtedly, property on the Arkansas River (or one of her major tributaries) is the most coveted and south after in the area, and this season we are seeing some pretty remarkable pieces going up for sale. So, if you’re in the market for a Rocky Mountain lifestyle, get in touch and we’ll help you with a place to live, but he lifestyle is up to you!

K. Hale Chamblee
Direct: 719.221.4637


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