Part Three: Hot Springs, Fried Chicken & Sand in the San Luis Valley
I have driven through the San Luis Valley numerous times.
Once, I even spent a little time in Alamosa at the Rio Frio where I ran my first-ever 5K race down the frozen Rio Grande River. But for the most part, this is drive through country for us, and that’s why I was excited to stay in the area for our 17th wedding anniversary. (see Part One)
Our First Airbnb Stay
We were greeted by deep barks as we drove into Mountain Springs Homestay, our off-the-grid Airbnb in the San Luis Valley. I didn’t see the source of the sound immediately, but soon realized it was the resident Great Pyrenees. She barked at us from the roof of the house. The off-the-grid strawbale home is built into the side of the mountain, and Sophie the Great Pyrenees has easy access to the roof, which she loves.
There are two dogs that live here so guests cannot bring along their pets. This Airbnb also only caters to children over 12.
Barb and Chuck built this homestead over the last 16 years. There is a cozy house, a garage that they lived in while building the house, and a geodesic greenhouse by Growing Spaces out of Pagosa Springs. We toured the big, bountiful greenhouse which inspired Ryan to put in our small kitchen garden this spring.
This is the place to stay if you are interested in learning about this type of living; Barb and Chuck are self-sufficient and enjoy their serene lifestyle on 80-acres of property near the Orient Land Trust/Valley View Hot Springs. They’ve been in the area a long time and they are a wonderful source of information about the region. They are both easy to talk to which is great for the guests.
Each morning, guests are served a healthy breakfast of fresh coffee and tea, home-baked bread and muffins, granola, yogurt, juices and locally sourced fruit. During our first breakfast, I discovered that I love goat milk yogurt. Most of what Barb and Chuck put on their breakfast table is locally sourced or, in the case of the bread, they have made it themselves.
The breakfast table overlooks three bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder that are action packed each morning. As a bird nerd, this is one of my favorite aspects of this San Luis Valley Airbnb. A great variety of birds visit the yard including black and yellow grosbeaks and vividly azure bluebirds.
A Crestone Anniversary
Mountain Springs Homestay has a Moffat address but is only about 20 minutes from Crestone, Colorado, a green leafy town in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There are a number of spiritual centers here and the area has attracted new and old hippies for many years. I associated Crestone with crystals, organic food and yoga.
However, like every town, Crestone is much more than its stereotype. If you are looking for a great meal, look no further than Our Food is Art. We celebrated our 17th anniversary over wine and cider, shrimp enchiladas and pasta. The cuisine here is fresh and creative. Our server is co-owner with her husband, the chef, and the place feels comfortable and welcoming. We hope to go back one day.
For a nightcap, we walked to the Crestone Brewery, which was hopping on a Saturday night. It’s a warm space that serves up food in addition to their craft beer, plus an array of cocktails and wine.
On our way back to our Moffat Airbnb, down an unpaved road (most roads in the area are unpaved), a full moon rose above the fields. Not only was it a full moon night but also a blue moon, a phenomenon that appears less frequently than a traditional full moon. The next one will appear on October 31, 2020. I hope this is a good omen for our 17th anniversary.
We look forward to adventuring together for many years to come.
Read Part One “Living History in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.”
Thank you to Barb & Chuck of Mountain Springs Homestead for hosting our stay in the beautiful San Luis Valley.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Barb and Chuck too. It was a cold time of year and their heated mattress, radiant in the slab heat and wood stove kept us cozy. The exposure to off grid life is fun and interesting – learning about the construction of their house, helping to conserve the natural energy, eating greenhouse to table food, helping Chuck split wood and feeling part of nature. We had wonderful conversation and a highlight was Chuck taking us for a hike with gorgeous 100 mile plus vistas of the San Luis Valley.
Thank you for stopping by HeidiTown, Jeff.
If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have found Mountain Springs Homestay and I sincerely appreciate it. Their BIG garden inspired Ryan to build and plant our small kitchen garden this summer.
We loved our stay in the San Luis Valley.