By: Rob Hart
My father has always loved Colorado. As a kid, we drove all the way from Arkansas in the summer, in the winter, and any other time he could convince my mom that experiencing the outdoors was just as important as school. We got the full experience – whitewater rafting, skiing, visiting the national parks, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, fishing and camping.
Besides the usual fun activities, there was the inevitable and infinite quest to find a little piece of Colorado land we could call our own. Dad has always dreamed of owning land in Colorado and every single trip included a day of property exploration. There was rarely a “for sale” sign that we passed without exploring the possibilities. We walked, hiked and climbed them all, but most proved to be too expensive for our situation or were only accessible by a team of mountain goats.
Life has gotten in the way and he’s yet to find the perfect place to hang his hat. However, I’ve learned that it was the search and the dreams that he most enjoyed. There has never been a tract of land where Dad did not see the possibilities. “This would be the perfect place for a very, very small cabin.” “You’d have to bolt a house to the side of the cliff, but you could certainly teach the kids to repel and climb.” “It might be a flood plain, but it will be a great place to kayak and fish.” – or – “This one is right next to the national forest, you’d just have to hire a team of mules to get you over there.”
Regardless of the ultimate purchase possibilities, we always ran across some of the most gorgeous places on this earth. Lush green forests, crystal clear rushing creeks, miles and miles of endless views, and meadows that made you want to stay all night and try to count the stars. Colorado really is one of the most amazing places on the earth.
The childhood experiences of exploring the unknown and dreaming of the possibilities has had a permanent impact on me. I can’t remember ever telling a single person that my professional goals were to work in real estate, much less specialize in large tracts of land. I now find myself living in Colorado doing exactly what I was unconsciously raised to love. I find no better comfort than spending the day wandering through the back roads of Colorado looking for that perfect place to build that cabin, hunt, fish, kayak and camp.
Dad and I still haven’t found our little slice of heaven, but at 74 years old he hasn’t given up the search and mine has just begun. Last week while visiting we went for our annual land run through the Colorado mountains. As expected, we didn’t find the perfect place but I won’t be disappointed if we never do. I know now, it’s not about finding perfection but the search that keeps the spirit alive.