Grit Blogs > A Great Place to Retire

Grand Lake, Colorado: Another Great Place to Retire

A photo of Nancy NemecWe've made the transition from Nebraska to Colorado, and I went to a ladies’ meeting today. I can’t decide what I enjoyed more, the drive to the meeting or the meeting.

We met at the church here in town at 8:30. About 12 ladies loaded into 3 cars for the drive. A June morning with sun and little wind, snow capped peaks in the distance, cattle and horses grazing in the lowlands and water rushing down the streams from the snowmelt. The 3 lakes were calm and reflecting, inviting us to kayak or sail.

  Lupines in bloom 

But the most wonderful surprise this morning was the flowers. The lupines are in bloom! They blanket the fields and hillsides in a beautiful purple with their companion yellow flowers. Here on the Western slope of the rockies they are everywhere.

  Golden Banner in bloom 

Careful watching reveals a few clumps of lighter purple spikes, and I even saw one that was pure white. Its almost a treasure hunt.

But back to the drive. We went along Shadow Mountain Lake, where the cabins and summer houses are showing more signs of habitation. The flags are up, and the flowers are planted on the porches and patios. The Pelicans are floating in groups in the shallow water areas. We came around the curve to see Granby Reservoir slowing refilling after being “pumped down” into Eastern Slope reservoirs in anticipation of the record snowmelt. Abe Lincoln still reclines on the far side of the lake. The peaks look like he is in repose over there. Then we went thru Coffey’s Gap. The natives told me the story that says that the Coffey parents left on a two month drive to take their cattle to Denver to sell. The children were left home alone, but weren’t worried until the two months were up. When they went to look for them, there was no trace. It was presumed that rustlers killed the parents and took the cattle.

We went through the valley and up ‘Red Dirt Hill.’ Now, if you’ve been to Oklahoma, this would not be considered red dirt, but I guess for Colorado… Then we saw Devil’s Thumb. It really is a tall cylinder on the horizon sticking up alone looking like a thumb. We turned off and went by some river pools with Pelicans and human fishermen.

We drove through some meadows and onto Devil’s Thumb Ranch. This is a resort with lodge and cabins, a spa, a wedding venue, fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking and two fine restaurants. They are award winning for their ecological practices, and are one of the best ‘green’ resort destinations.

But behind Devil’s Thumb is a nice housing development, and that’s where the meeting was. Up and down a one-lane dirt road with handmade signs with arrows at each fork in the road.  A beautiful stone and log home in a setting with woodland, mountain and meadow views. No other houses in sight. There were about 30 ladies at the meeting seated around card tables in the great room with a fruit, meat, cheese and pastry spread on the kitchen island. The two patio doors were open with a light breeze and the HUMMINGBIRDS! They were so noisy throughout the entire meeting, we could only hear if we paid close attention. There was also a pink headed brown bird at a feeder that I have to get the bird book out and look up. Another neat feature was the ceiling in the dining room. It was coffered, but the coffer was outlined with peeled logs. Then up in the ‘hole’ was a branch of an aspen tree.

On the way home, a bluebird flew beside us. He was beautiful. And the magpies were sitting on the fencerows taking everything in.