30 days at Sahalee

We are used to hearing people ask us, “Why?” by now…

“Why a yurt?” they asked us.

“Why New Mexico?” they asked us.

“Why thirty days?” is the most recent inquiry.

There are several reasons for our self-imposed sequestration:

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The big deck

The big deck came a year after the yurt, but the “yurtdeck” was always part of the master plan. We didn’t have time to build before we moved in last June, so we got cracking just as soon as we could earlier this spring.

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Making way for baby

Following through on his threats, our friend Mark showed up from Florida for a long weekend to put in the 12′ x 18′ deck for his little yurt that is due to arrive in early October. In customary fashion, we managed to get the loaded-down HD rental truck stuck in the mud on the way in after the fast-moving rain showers rolled through on Friday afternoon. We walked in for the night and got back to unloading in the morning after the road had dried a bit. (We managed to get the rental truck back to the store Saturday afternoon with ten minutes to spare and no additional penalty!)

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Why a yurt?

One of the questions people often ask is why we chose to live in a yurt.

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Introduction

Without visiting in person before making an offer, we discovered the listing for this little gem on the back road to ABQ from Chama.

Criteria met: ≤$1000/acre, Borders National Forest, No HOA or Deed Restrictions.  Well, let’s call the realtor and talk about it.  Really?  That’s all you want for it?  Well, winter is coming and we won’t be able to make it out to visit the property so let’s hold off.  Maybe not, maybe we can mitigate our risk by giving a lower offer.  If he really is ready to sell now he will understand that we aren’t going to pay the full asking price without seeing it.  Success!!  Property purchased, hopefully this doesn’t backfire on us in a bad bad way.

Wow, just wow our expectations are exceeded.  Several miles up an unmaintained  road, bordered on one side by national forest and the property on the other three sides are owned by someone that just comes up for a few days each summer, and he was really a nice guy.  I think this will work, let’s start planning to get the hell out of Florida!!

rd2sahalee

Shopping…

We did a bunch of shopping from Florida and had a few good places picked out in the Chama area that we wanted to look at.  Unfortunately, you just never know what your gonna get from an online ad.  We looked at a few places one piece of property that was pretty flat, had decent irrigation, about 20 acres but it just didn’t suit our fancy.  It was open view all around and there were houses on all sides of the border, so even though it was 20 acres there was no privacy.  We also looked at a  beautiful piece of land that was 5 acres but it was a total cereal bowl—all steep declines leading to a huge open bowl area in the bottom.  Well where do you live in this scenario—either on the side of a steep incline or in a flood zone.  We really wanted to pull the trigger on that piece of property, thankfully we had a close family member there to talk some sense into us, THANKS TERRY!!.  As frustrated as we were that nothing was working out for us, passing on this piece of property was the smartest decision we had made to this point and taught us a valuable lesson.  This is the rest of our lives we are talking about, let’s not be hasty!!  Time to go back to Florida.  Lucky for us we decided to take the back roads back to the airport and just happened to see a bunch of signs for a realtor that we had not talked to yet.

Beautiful view from 5 acres in Chama, but it’s all downhill…

Chama cereal bowl

On the hunt…

Time to get serious about finding some property and getting back to the mountains!!  We have both always enjoyed Northern New Mexico and it is certainly cheaper than Colorado.  We identified a few pieces of property that we wanted to look at, but also just wanted to explore the area to see what else we could find.  The goal at this point is to find something at less than $1000/per acre and to be off the grid as much as possible.  One of the pieces of land we wanted to look at was 280 acres just north of Tres Piedras, while it was nice it was certainly just a dream for us as there was no way we could afford that big of a piece of land.  Alright, Florida’s still growing on us.  We don’t want to rush it though and make a bad decision—let’s just stay in Florida, certainly we will find something that fits our requirements before too long!!

On the way to look at the 280 acres on the west side of the gorgegorge