Monday, November 9, 2009

In a cabin in the (pinion and juniper) woods ...

Had the pleasure this past weekend of getting to get down to check out a friend's property, and the very cool adobe cabin he'd built on the place. Its isolation and desert location made it feel like a much more distant venture than just twenty minutes south of Durango.

The cabin is up a remote canyon near the Colorado/New Mexico border. Reminding us how of the dramatic climatic dividing line we dwell on, this short distance brought us into a wash valley lined with bluffy cliffsides and and rolling, rounded, sandy hillocks up and down the valley. A winding narrow lane through the p-j brought us to my friend's place alongside the dry wash.

It was even cooler than I'd thought from what I'd heard. My son, Webb, joined me on this trip. He'd been stayed out here a few times with my friend's son and their friends -- in the mythic "Jack's Cabin." Now, I was finally getting out to check out this teen getaway. And after getting to hang out here, I now hope it becomes a middle-aged getaway ...

My friend John had picked up forty acres of his own crumbling, water-carved chalk-colored piece of the San Juan Basin desert about fifteen years ago, for less than $20,000. Back then, his kids were young and he was working hard, but instead of buying a new truck or bigger TV or something, he picked up this land.

Tinkering over a series of summers (the place gets either snowed or clayed in -- too sticky to drive or walk -- several months of the year), he'd taught himself how to build an adobe cabin, and then built this fine one-room, wood-stove-heated, brick-floored place out here. It cost him about $3,000, he figures. The adobe bricks he made himself from the very soil where the cabin now stands. There's also a great stonework fire ring outside.

Smart thinking. Good work. A great and nearby getaway for his family and friends.

I know I plan on hitting him up for heading down there more.

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