Eco-topia

Some of us were stumped for a while trying to figure out something about “Birds of a Feather,” and two more clues, “Father Serra biting off more than you can chew and Red Ryder.”

Father Serra at the San Juan Capistrano Mission
Neighbors matter. If you plan to move, invest in real estate, work, start a business or retire affordably, you are making a longer-term commitment.

 

An excerpt from Book Three in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams.

Colorado Dreaming!

In the summer of 2003 we played a “Where’s Waldo” game described in the “Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

Clues to Find Waldo

He’s in a destination that the local Indians called “Healing Water“ for the thermal springs that became a popular spa in the 1800s. 

Naturally Heated Hot Springs

He says this place is known for the water that reaches 153 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It also heats some of the town’s buildings.

We also know the location is surrounded by a national forest. 

The area enjoys abundant recreational activity supported by the melting snow flowing into summer lakes.

Some of us were stumped for a while trying to figure out something about “Birds of a Feather,” and two more clues, “Father Serra biting off more than you can chew and Red Ryder.”

But we recalled …

Legend of Swallows Flocking to the Mission in Capistrano

“The swallows returning to Capistrano – San Juan Capistrano, near Dana Point in California. 

But Red Ryder doesn’t make sense and the last set of clues stumped us for a while – ‘the basic math of howling in the water that runs both ways?’

Splitting the Difference at the Continental Divide

Remember when we discussed gold and silver mining and dividing the shares. 

Think about it. 

Where does water run both ways? 

At the Continental Divide. 

That’s the basic math.”

So the destination, we reasoned, must be near the Continental Divide in the San Juan National Forest, but where?

Well, we reviewed the winter ski resorts and considered the springs – as in Steamboat and Glenwood.

Steamboat Springs

But, not there!

Finally.

Pagosa Springs – about 20 miles from Wolf Creek – fits a quality-of-life profile we pursued.

Where the Clues finally make Sense

Pagosa Springs … The Colorado You’ve Always Dreamed Of.” 

Pagosa Springs during the Winter

It made the Colorado “innovation – growth” list along with Basalt and Redstone.

But, just exactly where is Pagosa Springs?

San Juan National Forest

In southwestern Colorado surrounded by the San Juan National Forest.

Two US highways bisect the region – US 550 cuts through the forest along the north / south, while US 160 divides along the east / west axis.

Southern Colorado’s Pagosa Springs

A game is one thing.

But to keep it on the bucket list, how does it stack up against the quality-of-life criteria for an innovation resort town?

Does it offer a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities?

Check.

Play in Pagosa

Year round recreational opportunities satisfy lovers of fishing, hiking, bicycling, rafting, hot air ballooning, skiing, ice-skating and snowmobiling.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Mountains, canyons, waterfalls and unusual landforms give life to wide variations of vegetation.

Scenic Water Falls

“Covering 1.9 million acres in southwestern Colorado, lies the San Juan National Forest, with elevations in the forest range from 6,800 feet at Junction Creek to 13,000 feet at Wolf Creek near the Continental Divide, and over 14,000 feet at Mount Wilson in the Lizard Head Wilderness.” 

Do the weather patterns in winter or summer make you want to live there year round, or only on a seasonal basis.

Melting snow flows into summer lakes.

Summer in Pagosa Springs

For ski enthusiasts, a 23-mile trek brings you to Wolf Creek Ski Area on US 160 at the top of aptly named Wolf Creek Pass.

How much falls in the winter?

Winter Fun for the Whole Family

Better investigate.

Does it have potential over the long-term to develop into a high appreciation real estate investment while being affordable for mid-life or empty nesters?

At the time, Pagosa Springs claimed one of the more trend-setting neighborhoods – New Eco-topia.

But as often happens the resource we used changed their lifestyle categories and then were acquired by another company.

In 2003 we searched the Claritas PRIZM website for New Eco-topia as well as for Blue Blood Estates, Money and Brains, God’s Country, Gray Power or Young Influentials – the other neighborhood growth lifestyles.

Keep it on the list for now.

We’ll have to research our own updated neighborhood lifestyles fitting “Wireless Resorters” and “High Country Eagles” profiles we’re pursuing…

Adventures of Red Ryder

When we move, will our established neighbors share our same values?

Unknown at this point.

Great excuse for a road trip to find out.

You might want to check out the Red Ryder museum too.

If you plan to move, invest in real estate, work, start a business or retire affordably, you are making a longer-term commitment.

Pagosa’s Neighbors

Neighbors matter.

Community norms around “outsiders” and “development” matter.

Do your homework.

Or you may live to regret your decision.

Nothing replaces spending a vacation getting to know “the locals” during two seasons – summer and winter.

Steps:

(29) Investigate each community’s local attitude towards development. Is there a fear that someone, usually from outside of their community, state or country will be tempted by the raw natural beauty and try to develop it into an exclusive, high-end resort destination?

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