Durango was a blast as always, and it was hard to leave. We packed up around lunchtime and headed around the mountains for Telluride, the last stop on my part of the Ride, for a shoe demo at Telluride Gravity Works. This spot is a tiny little shop with a small wall and some exercise equipment right in the middle of downtown. It’s a good shop, one of those that carries good product, from climbing to snowboards to bikes- not packed with things, not a huge selection, but all the things you’d end up narrowing down to. A pretty wide range of folks passed through, though zero locals, as it is with many of Colorado’s nifty little towns... It’s just too expensive to live where you want to for the sake of loving to do the things that you do. I thought about this for a good while out on a bench in the sun, looking across the narrow valley at still snowy slopes watching folks pass by in shell gear or furs... There are a lot of places like this where yes, it is really beautiful and majestic, where people come and take jobs as cooks and bartenders, roofers and landscapers, raft and bike guides, because they love the place, because the place has the best of what they live to do, but they cannot afford to live there! The cost of real estate in some of these places (Telluride, Aspen, Crested Butte, Vail, Durango, etc.) is ridiculous, and it got that way not because too many people like mountain biking or what have you, it’s because a pile of stars want a big box to leave stuff in for the one week a year they visit. Does this justify an old house, smaller than two thousand square feet going for FOUR MILLION DOLLARS?
I’m gonna hafta step out on a limb and say nope.
Situations like this have created growth in communities well outside of the towns in question, like Snowmass for instance, where the service industry pays rent. The commute to work in the town you’d Like to live in can be over an hour a day, complicating everything from where you have breakfast or buy groceries to emissions, parking, traffic, maintenance and other environmental issues.
Ah well. No one is going to stop a fashion designer or a film director from buying land in an obviously beautiful place. And who’s to say that the owners aren’t there often-ish, enjoying every second of the soul-renewing respite that these mountain towns pour down our gullets?
I guess all I’m gonna say is aw man, and be content to visit. Maybe if I write the next Grea American Novel I’ll buy a chunk of land and build a hostel or something. Who knows... Maybe I’ll just build a castle and a fence and bask in multi-million dollar solitude with a priceless view that I could have spending nothing but a couple hundred calories á pied...