15 Sep 2015, 11:02am
Colorado Durango Four Corners Hotels & Lodging Mountain Living:
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Blue Lake Ranch: A Hidden Gem in Southwest Colorado

Blue Lake Ranch

Blue Lake Ranch

The Iconic Sleeping Ute Mountain in Southwest Colorado

The Iconic Sleeping Ute Mountain in Southwest Colorado

I Love Sunflowers

I Love Sunflowers

I love living in southwest Colorado. Here in Telluride we’re in a high alpine world surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks, yet within an hour’s drive you find yourself in more arid, Western-looking landscapes sporting temperatures almost twenty degrees warmer. That’s a welcome relief this time of year when most people want to extend summer as much as possible.

Blue Lake Ranch

Blue Lake Ranch

About this time last year I discovered a wonderful guest ranch that I didn’t know existed: Blue Lake Ranch. And what a discovery it was!

One of Many Spectacular Views at Blue Lake Ranch

One of Many Spectacular Views at Blue Lake Ranch

Inside a Casita

Inside a Casita

Tucked into Hesperus, Colorado, a little speck on the map not far from Durango and Mesa Verde National Park, you’ll want to hole yourself up here at least for a couple of nights to enjoy the tranquility of the setting. My boyfriend, Steve, and I were completely enchanted by this lovely property made up of a large house, originally homesteaded in the 1800s, a smaller house and casitas. Well-tended flower gardens trim the dwellings throughout, offering bright punches of color in contrast to the buff and sage tones of this secluded land.

Sunset Views

Sunset Views

Steve Strumming the Guitar on Our Deck

Steve Strumming the Guitar on Our Deck

Plan to spend long moments on the decks to gaze out at the surrounding high mountain desert vistas–all part of the Ute Indian Reservation–before heading out to hike or tour in the area. Definitely stroll through the gardens where you’ll find an array of hollyhock, columbine, calendula and many other luscious blooms. With four full-time gardeners tending to this oasis, they take gardening very seriously at Blue Lake Ranch. (They even harvest their own seeds, many of which are sold in their little trading post on the premises.)

Garden Splendor

Garden Splendor

I Just Need a Vase

I Just Need a Vase

So Pretty

So Pretty

Beautiful

Beautiful

Not surprisingly, breakfast in the old house showcases good, down-home food, including fresh applesauce made from apples grown on the ranch. The decor here and throughout the small house and casitas exudes an authentic southwestern flavor; Native American weavings, baskets and kachinas stand out the most although handcrafted Hadley Pottery full of the whimsy of Americana is also prominently displayed. (You can actually buy Hadley Pottery at Blue Lake Ranch, one of the sole distributors of this charming, hand painted stoneware in Colorado.)

Blue Lake Ranch Treats

Blue Lake Ranch Treats

Owned by the same couple, Shirley Isgar and David Alford, for thirty-five years, you can tell there has been a lot of love put into this establishment. It’s no wonder many couples decide to marry here.

Steve and Me in the Garden

Steve and Me in the Garden

Fall at Blue Lake Ranch

Fall at Blue Lake Ranch

I long to come back and discover it beneath a mantle of fresh snow and perhaps do a few turns at Hesperus, an old time-y sort of ski area the likes of which I haven’t seen since I was a kid.

No matter the season, I’m sure it’s beautiful at Blue Lake Ranch year round.

About Hadley Pottery

Hadley Reindeer Plate

Hadley Reindeer Plate

In 1939, Mary Alice Hadley created dishes for her houseboat on the Ohio River. As a well-established painter from a family of clay tile makers, she had already assembled the necessary talents for making beautiful pottery. So in 1940 in Louisville, Kentucky, with the help of her husband, George, the Hadley Pottery Company was born. The creative inspiration that Mary Alice first brought to her pottery designs remains strong today and collectors big and small marvel at the heartwarming and whimsical spirit of the many handcrafted pieces that make up the Hadley Pottery collection. Whether festooned with coastal, country, Western, skier or other types of motifs, to me, Hadley Pottery is reminiscent of beloved table arts from Brittany, France. Yet Hadley is distinctly American and one of our country’s more endearing treasures for the home. Indeed, I’d consider it a “riches of America.”

Type in the code Bonjour when ordering at Hadley Pottery to receive 8% off of your order.

 
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