had been looking for the right dream property for decades, even before Suspro was conceived of and started about 7 years ago.
We warned this Colorado realty company when the agent asked, “tell me
what it is you want”,
because it had become so absurd finding our dream - a large private
parcel with various trees, pines, aspen, a creek, spring, surrounded by
national forest, totally pristine and unpolluted, with good solar
building & greenhouse sites, away from cities/towns, but still
accessible by a 4x4 at least. He smiled and said, “You won’t believe
this, but something just came in and I was thinking of buying it
This beautiful 80-acre plot is to our knowledge, the last precious,
pristine land you’ll find in the US, let alone the Colorado Rocky
Mountains, and cheap compared to everything else. It has the old real
estate saying of “location, location, location”, and views that you
couldn’t find any better anywhere.
Click here for more photos.
It is actually 2, 40 acre parcels connected, so it’s like a rectangle
shape (they can be separated, and this county doesn’t allow subdivision
under 40, so everywhere is wide open and beauty).
It has gorgeous national forest along the long side and one of the short
sides of one of the parcels, and also federal forest along the other.
Fortunately, there’s no interest from oil/natural gas companies like
they’ve found in other parts of Colorado now. The final short side is
uninhabited, yet the owners who haven’t built there for about 5 years,
did hit a great shallow well. We think they’re dreaming of being able to
retire there someday.
Starting at about 8600’ at its lowest, peaking out at about 9200' (don’t
let the altitude fool you if crops are concerned, as you’ll read later,
we have special methods used in the Northern Territories of Canada, and
the border, and there are friendly high altitude organic commercial &
non commercial growers in the area).
It sits at the base of a ten thousand foot high pine covered mountain
that comes out onto the land to form a flat rock mesa with rare flowers
and colorful lichen, that could even be used as a runway for a small
plane, or ultralight type vehicles. One one side, it slopes about 10’
into a taller old growth pine-foresty area, with views of the distant
giant mountains between them (we planned to put one cabin experiment
on). Below that, a creek, aspen, foliage area divides into what appears
to be a different ecosystem, and a meadowy area we call “Sunshine Hill”.
A famous “organic architect”, Javier Senosian (see link), personally
visited to donate a design for a custom house/visitors apartments
complex to blend perfectly into the environment on that hill. He also
did another for the other side of the mesa, which again, is so
different, it’s almost unbelievable. That side, which is mainly pinion
pine (nuts bearing!) and cedar, also with the creek, grasses,
wildflowers, etc., below. We decided to begin building and putting the
greenhouses there first, because of a more intense, longer lasting solar
day, and a desire to leave the other area as pristine as possible.
The land has great variations in topography and foliage, that would make
a multi-habitat wonderland. In fact, we’d planned to make wondrous
walking/sitting paths, lined with a rare “glow in the dark” strain of
mushrooms (if they would survive), benches, lanterns, sculpture, solar
path lights when necessary, etc. One area, we call pyramid creek, has
the look of pyramid ruins, and legends exist of ancient pre-historical
ruins in the area (the late psychic Edgar Cayce described the land as
being a huge Island, that was about all that existed above water before
the “great flood” or “sinking of Atlantis”, that spread from our land on
the East, to the Sedona area in the West. We once saw it get hit at the
top by lightening, and it went down from there on all sides like a
remarkable web of fireworks.
Since the building permits were applied for as agricultural, it should
be grand-fathered in that building codes don’t apply, yet we have
striven to meet them, just in case it was wanted to shift to residential
in the future. Being that the county is so small, and the project was to
help the residents also, the commissioners could also wave aspects of
codes that aren’t state mandated, like electric & plumbing. Although,
there are virtually no county codes anyway. Most of the few houses along
the 12 mile “county road” jeep trail leading from the maintained roads
to the land, are uninhabited cabins (some used by hunters in season),
with the exception of a couple of old timers who have lived out there
virtually self sufficient on solar with their family. Great people. In
fact, one of the neighbors in the adjacent county’s house burned down,
and neighbors “put them up” and shelter while helping rebuilding,
including a small Mennonite family or community.
Because it’s not the typical “flat parcels” of the lower elevations, the
value and hills, etc., make the area of land actually more, larger and
spread out, and thus just one of the factors making it more valuable.
I.e., it's actually a lot more land in physical terms than a flat 80
acres. The southern forty where we began construction, excavation, and
the first well (a very deep appox. 650' deep solar well, with insulated
buried conduits pumping up to a super strong ferrocement water tank that
allows gravity feeding down from there as the special slow by
stronger/long lasting design pumps keep filling it day after day. The
other parcel also has a solar powered well about 200 ft deep), has a
long private chained off driveway leads to the property off the county/nat.
forest access road that skirts the edge of the property. The forest
access road is VERY rarely even used, and while rough “jeep trail” like
going, we frequently access it with Subaru Outbacks, and have also had
cranes and Cement trucks up there.
A great deal of time and loving labor has been spent on everything. We
started with about a years worth of excavation (most is solid rock). It
has three large excavations for the pit greenhouses, an another one was
dug, then completed, by building a 100x20’ earth sheltered root
cellar/seed storage/work area. It has super strong steel reinforced
ferrocement dome ends, making it a total of about 2200 to 2500 sq. feet.
It has drainage and ventilation, and while Earth Sheltering makes it so
you could never freeze there (because Earth temperatures themselves are
in the area of 55 degrees, part of it has solar hydronic heat built into
the concrete floor. The outer covering is made from the strongest grade
culvert material, like those that go under freeways that have had
semi-trucks and cars traveling over them for decades with no collapses.
Bolts were waterproofed, and the whole thing covered with
non-degradable/non-polluting plastic for corrosion resistance (although
testing showed the soil alkaline perfect for maintaining the steel) and
a special product that “wicks” water down and away from the structure.
The cold has kept ancient native American heritage seeds, and nitrogen
packed steel canned organic seeds, grains, etc, varieties of other
vegetables and crops for future greenhouse use, sprouting seeds, (all
with diatomaceous Earth to keep from insect hatching while it’s being
stored), and enough food to survive a potential global warming radical
winter that could make getting in and out very difficult) (recommended
Speaking of snow, we have a source for incredible military/Mercedes
built insulated amphibious tracked vehicles that would travel over any
snow or terrain, designed originally for being able to fall through
arctic ice cracks, swim and crawl out of it, that can be easily
converted to a tourism vehicle (because it has a swiveling back trailer
also) and the tracks make it such an environmentally lightweight
footprint that you can drive over an elderly lady without hurting her.
Cost? Similar to a new full size American pickup. Some seeds, tools, a
dumptruck, vehicles, etc., may be negotiable other than the land.
Considering the dangerous times we’re now living in, in an emergency,
that root cellar crop processes sing area could easily be used to
survive virtually any terror attack or war, and even natural disasters,
which weren’t an issue when it was built. For those concerned about
electromagnetic pollution, satellite or microwaves, nothing, radio
signals, electromagnetic pulses, etc, can penetrate it, inside, or out,
since it is essentially what physicists would call a giant “Faraday
cage”. The same with it’s dome ends. One of the dome ends has the solar
electric equipment, allegedly super long life (about 30 years) expensive
batteries, Trace inverters to convert 12V DC to household AC current,
and the solar hydronics center. With the advent of the ever growing
super low drain high brightness LED’s that can work on solar, things
like the “shake light” flashlights where electromagnetism, it will
completely change the lighting demand drain on the solar electric system
at least, possibly making it unnecessary to expand it as was once
planned. Our solar “pit” greenhouse system plans are also as passive as
possible, with both passive earth growing and hydroponic system watering
that leave it up to the plants to decide their own needs. All that could
be explained to owners interested in that sort of thing, other than
those who are looking for a great spot for a luxury “on grid” beautiful
estate in the Rockies.
Do you need hi-speed internet satellite and TV? We’re doing it with a
dish and solar power. We have a DVD, TV, Phones. Some cells companies
work up there, and we’ve gotten improved reception by using Yagi
antennas pointed to the towers. Or you could pay a fortune to run hard
lines, or less for repeaters to connect to the lines in town. The same
if you want grid electricity. But why?
Both ends of the root cellar have an opening to the surface, that same
architect, Javier, also designed something to build over the opening to
the solar area. Javier, actually must visit a site to conceive and
design the right “organic” semi-Earthsheltered Nature inspired designs
that are perfect for the specific site. He not only did this, he gave a
full day lecture, and has offered us the “forms” for the designs. Of
course, this may not be available to anyone not doing a nonprofit like
Suspro, but possibly it could be bought. Javier’s site shows some of his
incredible designs he’s done, with strikingly lovely flowing interiors
that are reminiscent of “fantasy” movie sets or ancient times or lands.
We love the round “pit” conversational sofa idea too.
The other side enters a back area of a similarly strong steel reinforced
earth sheltered Ferro cement cabin. It’s design was donated by a man who
specializes in earth sheltered domes. It’s weaker than the cellar, yet
his designs were tested by the government, and according to his website,
was the only one that passed withstanding a one megaton blast (I don’t
think you could have our windows/view though if war or terrorism was a
concern – a little rebuilding or reinforcement would be necessary it
seems, someone else has built external doors for theirs we’ve heard,
which also keeps out prowlers if you ever leave it alone and don’t have
other protection, like our dogs, caretakers, etc. The cabin has a wall
up between the opening/dome area, and could have an entrance, or take
the wall down and add a floor to the top of the dome of the root cellar,
which would greatly enlarge the cabin area. It has hydronic heating for
the floor (not sure if the floor has been poured or wood layed down yet,
plus, using Adobe is very popular for flooring across the Valley).
Locals say the hydronic heated floor (which can be shut off) would
likely be overkill being that it’s solar aligned south facing wall is
full of insulated sliding glass door size windows. Both the cabin,
cellar, and hot water, are generated by a full array of hydronic solar
panels. It should be sufficient to heat the 3 large greenhouses
considering their solar pit design also, but we planned a “boiler”
system backup in case of emergencies, that could also be used to heat a
Japanese style hot tub (or the solar).
The big sunny windows face out over a million dollar view of the San
Luis Valley and Sangri de Cristo mountain range (their name means “blood
of Christ” and comes from the unique beautiful Crimson that they turn
during sunset – something you can watch from the Cabin). You can see
forever, including the sacred peak of the Hopi, Mount Blanca, the Great
Sand Dunes national park, the towns below in the distance, etc. We also
planned on getting some extra oxygen and growing seedlings inside the
cabin behind the windows.
This serene gem is located in the San Juan mountains above the SLV (San
Luis Valley). Native Americans called it the “Bloodless Valley” - all
had an peace agreement wherever they met there, even if in a war with
each other otherwise. They “checked their weapons at the door” so to
speak, before even coming into the area. Also, there were never any
massacres by the Calvary there, which is rare to find anywhere in the
country let alone such a huge area). Ironically, it is still a place of
amazing tolerance. You frequently may be driving, and the driver of a
car going the other way waves, even though you’re a stranger.
One of the towns, across the Valley, is Crestone. It is an amazing place
for those interested in alternative architecture, but certain
restrictions, certain people and mosquitoes made it a less desirable
area for us and our purposes. But they managed to long ago create a
subdivision and get it passed the one family per 40 acres rule. However,
you aren’t even supposed to have a garden, an RV and water is from a
central system, not your own wells (except in the Baca area where we may
have some land also). It has brought in a lot of wealth, and with the
rise in property values, a glut of real estate agencies. It is also
known for extreme religious tolerance. Someone involved with the UN, got
a huge old Spanish ranch, and gave away large parcels to religious
groups and monasteries of all kinds, from Tibetan Buddhists, Yoga
ashrams, Christian monasteries, (very low crime or none, they keep to
themselves and don’t “get in your face”, etc. and know one seems to have
an issue with it, except maybe bar or liquor store people or those who
don’t really care but still refer to the Crestonites as “the fruits and
And of course, the other side of the county also has small traditional
Christian churches, a Masonic lodge, etc. and again, it’s very low key,
not like many towns we’ve looked into where you better be a member of
one or a particular church, or it’s not as easy to get along. We could
be considered “fruits and nuts” too I suppose, but prefer that other
side of the Valley over Crestone. It has more down to earth, but nice
farmer types, where some families, even before knowing us, said “if you
need a place to stay”, or “come on over for dinner sometime if you’d
But all over Saguache county, since people have discovered it’s the last
great investment value, and a nice place to live and have schools that
aren’t full of “the modern generation”, gangs, etc., land and house
properties have been soaring and our property should be worth many
millions in a couple of years.
When we were first there, we could have bought a rather barren 40 acre
parcel for very little, but now, it’s quite costly, and many need to
have wells, electric and phone put in anyway, and can cost 10 times as
much easily. Some areas need to be avoided though. Every year during
certain months, winds blow from our side of the valley, to the other,
creating daily dust/sand storms, and certain areas are worse. I believe
this is how the Sand Dunes were created. Also, the Valley itself is
geologically known to have been a lake several times through history,
and there are still a lot of marshlands. Up in the mountains where we
are, is far more desirable. If your rich and want an exceptional getaway
and can afford a helicopter, or the new inexpensive personal helicopter
like vehicle, Sky scooter II, I think it’s called, or don’t mind, or
even love, the 12 mile dirt road up to it, it’s great, and the nearby
lumber mill even builds custom log cabins very reasonably. If you’re eco
oriented, and can make a living up there somehow, even via an internet
business (which we have done and know a lot about – and can even give
advice about if we aren’t off in the boonies of Africa or something), or
selling crops, salad greens to restaurants, medicinal mushrooms (growing
rapidly in popularity and selling to doctors (we have sources for
experts on that too), herbs like Stevia or whatever is selling well and
will grow easily in a greenhouse, biofuel, sheep, llamas, incense,
pinion nuts or potpourri, it is a dream come true also.
Another issue, and reason for choosing the area is the people and our
personal beliefs/morals. Our other non profit, www.thegoldenrule.net is
all about tolerance and self help self improvement based on Benjamin
Franklin’s unfinished work and concepts, and modern techniques from a
Stanford MD PhD therapist. This is one of the nicest areas, and more
aligned with that concept and filled with people like that, than
anywhere we’ve been (almost everywhere, in and out of the country). We
don’t really want to sell it, but will explain why we probably will need
We also have 2 beehives that make honey from the totally unpolluted
unsprayed area, a large tool shed, trailers and campers used by
volunteers that may be negotiable as an add on or add in purchase. A
chicken coop with organic egg laying chickens fed with organic feed that
contains no animal products or blood that could contaminate them with
the various new diseases that have devastated many animals. A great
German Shepard who protects the property along with caretakers when work
isn’t being done, lives their, along with a cat who can help with the
mouse population. Dozens of organic fruit trees that we’ve found an
innovative way to keep deer and such from chewing on (they’re too young
to bear yet but deer and such love their buds), Juniper, and of course
the Pinion pine trees (you can harvest, or have harvested, the nuts and
sell them for a premium price, as well as the fragrant sap and fallen
needles from the various varieties of Cedar/pines that many love for
incense or potpourri sachets. The spring is year round, and surrounded
by tall Aspen and other trees and foliage. PS, Sunshine Hill also is
perfect for solar gain. Late Spring and the beginning of Summer brings
out the most amazing fairyland of wildflowers, and a rare moth that
flies like a hummingbird, and while it has a beak like a hawk, it also
feeds on flower nectar. There are also lush, flat grassy spots and
We also have two complete new greenhouse kits, I believe about 100 ft by
30 or 40, that we’ve been waiting to assemble into our solar pit designs
until after getting living quarters done. Besides the extra poly
covering, that has been kept unexposed to the elements and is ordinarily
needed to be replaced every couple of years or so, and not hail proof,
we have the last of a very expensive line of super strong, hailproof
greenhouse material that was discontinued, called tefzel or something
like that, which I believe had a projected lifespan of at least 20 years
and was very expensive. I think we also have another smaller greenhouse
kit. Our pat. Pending designs have been used to grow tomatoes in
December in the Northern Territories of Canada and the Idaho Canada
border. So while it gets darn cold there, we see no reason that it would
be worse than that (other than an ice age!).
The road could be made better or worse by the weather and maintaining it
from time to time, depending on whether you want ease of getting up and
down fast, or making it hard and undesirable.
We also have inexpensive dome building designs in which the steel frames
can be assembled in hours, bio diesel plans in which you can make your
own for about a dollar a gallon, using discarded hot water heaters, etc.
And connections with companies that make professional automatic
biodiesal making machines for about the same price per gallon, but use
electricity, yet could be paid for with about 30 or 40 truck tanks of
diesel. And so much more.
Again, some things are negotiable to buy if we want to sell, but the
land and permanent improvements aren’t, because by tax rules require
they must be paid back to the non profit. At least any improvements
built since the formation of the non profit. In Colorado, non profits
don’t have to pay land taxes if they register with the secretary of
state. I don’t know if the non profit itself could be “sold”, that would
need to be checked on if someone is interested and the board agrees.
One of the greenhouse excavations we’ve considered making a fish pond,
or a combination of plant and fish, like aquaponics. It’s based on an
ancient symbiotic relationship used by the Chinese. We also know a trout
grower who could help if that’s what you want, since they are native to
Obviously, this sanctuary has an abundance of what have been to us
totally harmless and enjoyable wildlife – a rare brown bear, rare
wolves, coyotes, porcupine, deer, antelope, hawks, eagles, bluebirds,
robins, and on a lucky month, you’ll get to see a cougar who roams our
neck of the woods. Just don’t let a lap dog go off on it’s own. They
won’t mess with dogs like Shepards or St. Bernards, and in fact they
keep away other predatory animals from the chickens etc..
It’s about an hour and a half drive from world class skiing at either
Wolf Creek or Monarch Ski resorts, or just use your own backyard if you
like hiking or cross country skiing. Some shopping, including organic,
is local after you get down. One person raises organic turkeys, has a
greenhouse, and in the middle of the Valley, near the Credit Union (nice
people who do loans for things that people in the area need) is the
General Store that’s a combo of surplus, things you need, and was
carrying organic produce the last time we were there. Stores like
Safeways and Wal-marts are about an hour after you get down, in Alamosa
or Salida. Alamosa also has a coop. Salida has a great health food store
too, along with one of the largest and most charming historic downtowns
in the Western US- loaded with art galleries, gift & curio shops,
restaurants, RV/ATV dealers, river rafting etc.
Anyway, as you can tell, it’s a one of a kind dream parcel with so very
much room to relax, grow, build and play.
And the price? Terms? Negotiable. Make an offer. But consider this. It
is the last of the gorgeous pristine Rockies that are not priced
“through the roof”, but have just been being discovered, plus we need a
good chunk to move and start over, and care for our ever increasing
medical costs (see why were selling). Prices for desert scrub land in
the valley even, have been going up radically in the last few years. You
might be able to get this whole thing for what some people pay for an
acre or a lot in other parts of Colorado like the ski areas or Front
Range. Make a reasonable offer, and we’ll get back to you.
Why are we selling? The “brains”/administrator of the project is the
father of the families that founded the non profits, very ill, has no
medical insurance, had recent serious surgery, multiple heart attacks
and strokes, is near death, and can’t survive the altitude anymore. Some
kind people have offered to design something for him that would be a
“hyperbaric chamber” living quarters, with extra oxygen, but money is an
issue and they are waiting for a legal settlement to come through before
they could even start. He may not last that long. If it comes through
soon enough, and he makes it, we may only be looking for a self
sufficient caretaker or couple instead.
Then after all the years of work, if we sell it, we’ll have the problems
of starting all over at a lower altitude with probably far more
expensive land. We actually originally wanted the altitude and off grid
situation to start with, to show that it can be done anywhere. And that
even if all you have is dirt, you can make a dirt house, grow some food,
etc., or live in sustainable luxury. It is very hard to consider letting
this go. And writing this has made it all the harder.
Finally, it's a noticeably quiet area, radically low crime, where you’ll
feel like you’ve stepped into the past - to a safer, simpler time, even
on the drive up there, you start to feel like your in a frontier novel.
No discos, but lots to do! Let us know if we can tell you more about
this opportunity to own this rare jewel.
Click here for more photos.
of the materials/improvements/assets:
Three large greenhouse excavations for the solar pit greenhouses
Greenhouse material and Tefzel covering plus poly greenhouse
Chickens and their nice little chicken house and fenced in yard to
keep the foxes out
Earth sheltered super strong ferrocement cabin, virtually Earthquake
and fireproof - 24 foot diameter unless you do the simple expansion
as described earlier.
2 wells with solar pumps, one 650 feet deep, one 175 feet (that’s
very costly and even took over a year to get someone to come out and
do even one, there is so much demand in the area for wells).
Hydronic floor solar system
Large root cellar with solar hydronic heated floor and seed storage.
2500' large, killer strong, two entries, vented
Photovoltaic system with huge battery (I need to get the numbers on
Large amounts of heirloom seeds (add on, negotiable- heritage seeds)
Food - dried and nitrogen canned (negotiable)
80 acres can be split, and one of the steel dome, or a straw bale,
ceramic or earth house could be thrown up fairly fast with your help, if
needed for financing. We may carry part on either parcel or the whole
thing, with sufficient down (this is not the cheap junk land all around
the valley and foothills). Let us know what you’re ideas are and we can
Click here for more photos.