CUCHARA Elevation - 8,468 feet
The Back Porch At
River’s Edge Bed & Breakfast
In a quaint little town
high above the plains,
there sets a jeweled crown
where no one ever complains.
The reason for their happiness
within this quaint little nook,
is the serenity and quietness
along their babbling brook.
It’s Day 7 of our journey through Southern Colorado and we are feeling quite spoiled. Each of our accommodations has exceeded far and above our wildest expectations, how could we possibly surpass what we have recently enjoyed? Simply put - simplicity.
The town of Cuchara steals your ambition and puts it on a shelf. It forces you to slow down and relax; to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy nature. Our host at the River’s Edge Bed & Breakfast was a man that grew up in Aspen in a time when the town had not blown up to the highly commercial place it has become. He’s a bit of a comedic and enjoys the simpler things in life, full circle; it’s why he moved to Cuchara.
His name is Michael Moore, not that one, but he’ll sign a book if you bring it with you! The B & B he owns and operates sets alongside a beautiful and enjoyable small babbling brook. Every evening and morning was enjoyed on the porch behind his home for libations or coffee. As the nights drew to a close and we retired to our room, with open windows on the second floor, it was this same babbling brook that gently rocked us to sleep.
To give you an understanding of this town, picture if you will, a turn-of- the- century Colorado mountain town, complete with slab wood siding and full log construction; it’s barely longer than a football field, yet has accommodations to stay for a week or better. Every morning we woke to the smell of fresh coffee and home cooking. In some parts “B & B” stands for “Breakfast & Buns”. You know what I’m saying - pastries someone snuck in during the night. Not so here. Mike has a list of his 14 favorite breakfasts and they’re all delish. As a matter of fact, he has his own family cookbook he's put together that you can take home with you. He’ll even sign it!
Now, I could thread together a pretty good yarn about a wonderful place and how genuine all the people are who live in the town of Cuchara just based around the experience we had at the Rivers Edge B&B, but there's much more adventure we enjoyed that I felt needed to be shared.
I mentioned accommodations that could fill a couple of weeks stay, let me touch on a few. Believe it or not, you can get the equivalence of 5-Star dining in Cuchera at the Timbers Restaurant. Joining us for dinner one evening was our gracious host, Mike Moore and we enjoyed one of the greatest meals of our vacation. Mike chose the special that evening, a wonderfully fresh and delicious Clam Chowder; Marie's choice was the Barramundi; pan roasted and seasoned with Sumac and their special nut spice. I couldn’t pass up the hand cut, Aspen Ridge upper choice Ribeye served with a mushroom demi-sauce and topped with Blue Cheese. At the end of the meal we suffered our way back to the porch at the River's Edge B&B and enjoyed the serenity of our gentle little babbling brook.
The next morning brought quite solitude, coffee on the back porch and yet another wonderful breakfast by the mastery of Mike. Today's journey would take us to La Veta, a small town we passed through on the way to Cuchera. Only 15 minutes away, we decided to explore this quaint little town and have lunch there. We happened on to the charming eatery of Bella’s Bakery & Cafe. It's operator-owned by a couple of savvy and discerning women who believe in providing their customers with only the best and purchase their fresh ingredients from a network of local, small farm suppliers. The menu was enticing and the service personal and friendly.
After a superior lunch we headed towards the West Spanish Peak and had to stop and take in the magnificent natural monument known as the “The Profile Rock”. According to Scenic Byways, Highway of Legends: “The Native Americans tell of giants who once roamed the area around Wahatoya. A quarrelsome tribe, they built rock walls as breastworks for their wars, using huge boulders as weapons. The whole World reverberated from the sounds of their battles. The gods of Wahatoya watched as the tribes fought one another. They grew angry and withheld rain from the area. When water became scarce, the giants ended their fighting and went in search of water.” You can’t miss it!
Catching our breath after taking photos, we continued our journey to view the Cuchara Valley. Our drive would take us back past Cuchara and climb to 9995 feet in elevation. State Highway 12 traverses the pass and is also signed as one of Colorado's many scenic and historic byways. It was breathtaking looking out across the valley which encompassed the town of Cuchara, and we knew we were at the height of our vacation. We spent some time driving the meandering back roads, enjoying the beautiful blue Colorado sky and communing with nature until we finally turned and headed back to Cuchara.
It was soon dinner time and this evening we would cozy up to the bar at the Dog Bar & Grill. They recognize they have to do it right, they don’t stand a chance of survival if they don’t please you, and that is exactly what they did. With the smell of great food cooking in the kitchen blended with the high mountain pines, dinner was to die for. It was a more moderate fare than the Timbers but was equally enjoyed with a Red, White and Blue Burger with blue cheese, red hot sauce, and ranch dressing on a brioche bun and the Sweet Potato Nachos, which were topped with blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits, with a spicy-sweet mustard on the side. Afterward, we hung outside on the deck and enjoyed some great live entertainment and drinks before returning to our peaceful babbling brook.
The morning dawned and we explored the tiny town to see what new adventures were in store for today. How about some miniature golf? Yep, it’s all happening at the Bear's Den, a very unique gift shop which carries the personality of its’ unique owner. One of the neatest miniature golf courses we’ve seen. I don’t care what your age, amongst all this beauty, you can stop and be a kid. We didn’t have a lot of time, yet just enough to play a round and then it was off to climb up into the saddle and enjoy a glorious horseback ride at the Yellow Pine Ranch. Not only does this place offer trail rides, it also has full accommodations for overnight stays, meals, parties and weddings.
The sun was short of setting, allowing us just enough time to wander around town and do some shopping. With over 600 cabins hidden amongst the trees, there are two Real Estate companies that have you covered for inquiries, a General Store, Boutique and Liquor Store, which have plenty of variety for everyone's needs. Add to this an eclectic shop of pretty much everything “Colorado” and a sister store featuring jewelry. The town also has another little gem worth mentioning, the Cuchara Inn. Holistic medicine has come to this part of Colorado and what better place to be? The summer months are a natural for this offering, with the winter months a time for solitude. The Inn also offers retreats year round and what better time to escape the challenges we face than to have a door open to renew ourselves with a retreat in a quaint little town such as this? Focusing on holistic cures for chronic illnesses, the Inn continues to expand their support services for individuals suffering from a chronic illness and they are constantly researching new trials and studies performed all over the world. Their Alzheimer’s Protocol stands alone as a potential curative.
There are others who also come to Cuchara for a winter retreat. River's Edge B & B plays host to large numbers of quilting enthusiasts who come every year to renew old acquaintances and make new ones, as they all gather and quilt. They come to Cuchara for the beauty, quite solace and solitude this tiny nook has to offer. And, possibly to pay homage to the babbling little brook.
Summer or Fall,
Cuchara has it all!
All Seasons Real Estate
(719) 742-3343 - (800) 453-2241
Bachman & Associates
Cuchara Cabin & Condo Rentals
(719) 742-3340 - (877) 722-2467
Cuchara Mountain Escape
Cuchara Vacation Rentals
(719) 742-3960 - (719) 989-8121
Cuchara Inn & Wellness Center
(719) 742-3685 thecucharainn.com
Dodgeton Creek Inn
Yellow Pine Guest Ranch
Restaurants & Gift Shops
Dog Bar & Country Store
The Bears Den at Cuchara
Timbers Restaurant & Tavern
Pieces of My Heart