As it turns out, we have a few friends out west. When I found out that the driving part of Ride the Rockies (Drive the Rockies for me) was a different route than the riders take (to decrease traffic for the bicyclists), I saw that I was going to go right through Montrose, which is where my mom's friend, Verna Jean, lives. She lives in Arizona most of the time, but comes back to Colorado for 4 months in the summer.
Verna Jean (isn't that just the best old fashioned out west name?!) is a real sweetheart,
salt of the earth type.
She was born and raised in this agricultural area, marrying her husband (who was her school bus driver) and raising 4 kids in this two bedroom house. Her parents and her husbands parents and various aunts and uncles worked the land their entire lives.
We took a driving tour of her life in the valley. This was her one room school house two miles from her home where she either walked or rode her horse. It is now someone's home and the horse tie up is gone.
This was her first house, tucked away in the fields of grain. This valley is irrigated and is where most of the veggies, grain and hay come from in the area.
Back at her homestead, I was smitten with the outbuildings and their contents. American Pickers would love it!
I could see so many possibilities with the 'junque' in here.
All this old rusty, industrial stuff is hot right now. I've always loved it and now it's being incorporated into home decor.
I told Verna Jean I'll be back with my pick up truck!
We've known Tom for decades but had not met his wife, Susan, as we hadn't seen Tom in years. We spent a few days in Boulder, visiting them and some other friends, Megan, Kris and Kirsten. We got to bike, went out to eat at some of Boulder's best restaurants and I shopped at the cool boutiques and thrift stores that Boulder seems to have plant of.
Susan and Tom live right near downtown Boulder, a tree-lined neighborhood consisting of older homes. This is what the house used to look like, when a designer scooped it up and his contractors had their way with it.
Entering into the dining room, I'm struck by the wall colors. They're all different in each room, bold yet cohesive.
The entire house was gutted and a big addition was put on the back. The house looks to be the same size from the front, (historic restrictions prohibit homes from changing too much from the street side), but out back is a different story. It is all to scale though, thoughtfully planned out and executed.
A dream kitchen, for sure.
And a place to relax looking out towards the back yard.
A garage with a bonus rental apartment close in the back yard space to make it private. The grounds are professionally landscaped (and watered!).
This is looking up towards the back of the house.
I couldn't get a good pic of the front of the house, as the landscaping shielded the architecture. But it was truly a job well done. Kudos to the architect for making a very livable home and not overbuilding the lot.