Updated: Feb 26, 2018
This is my domain. 1,587,181 acres of national forests and wilderness area directly accessible within fifteen minute walking distance from the house out the south gate of the property. Taking a heading north and uphill a few hundred feet leads into Carson National Forest. Going uphill 3000 ft westward about four miles and I'm in Pecos Wilderness. To get into the vast Santa Fe National Forest requires just over a half-mile hike about 1000 feet uphill on a southerly bearing. No trespassing is required taking any of these wilderness trekking vectors. A short drive to the east lie remnants of volcanoes and lush, high grasslands sprinkled with herds of elegant antelope.
Instead of spending several hundred thousand dollars purchasing a measly little lot in the midst of some noisy, crowded urban area immersed in permeating toxicity to build a house from which to frantically commute to and fro daily through dense traffic to earn a "living", less than $120K was required to purchase 30 acres of pristine, thoroughly forested unimproved wilderness land, drill a couple of good water wells feeding a pair of 500 gallon cisterns, set septic tank and tile field and build a 1,750 sq ft off-grid, 2-story studio home on it to live and work in. Property taxes are significantly lower too–by thousands of dollars. No vexing covenants or irritating homeowner associations to cope with either.
About a mile away is a state park with a beautiful trout lake. The nearest neighbors dwelling in the area full time are also about a mile away to the east and more than six miles away in the other three directions. They're all good neighbors, keeping to themselves as well. I frequently roam about this remote realm for days, weeks and months without seeing another human being. The longest stretch of pure solitude here so far lasted eight months spanning 2013 and 2014. I'm sure if I am diligent and stock up the larder adequately, I can go a year or more without any encounters with people. An attractive goal I'll shoot for soon.
It would have been nice to have made this move a decade or so sooner, but an attempted murder by a jealous husband shooting a man shagging his unfaithful wife led to this parcel of land suddenly going on the market at an opportune time shortly before the turn of the century. I was just beginning to make my moves to escape the hard gray edge. Besides, I had been struggling in a terrible marriage the previous seven years and had to first escape from that freakish nightmare before being able to afford taking this leap. A second marriage about four years later which happened while helping an ungrateful acquaintance survive breast cancer before she abruptly locked me out of the house six years into that debacle propelled me more rapidly to move away from cities for good and start living out here full time. A complex, messy sequence of malformed marital events spanning thirteen years, but I survived both in good health and with enough energy to make this dream finally happen.
Soon I'll begin retirement, finally free from the aggravating toil of the daily grind and all pressing needs to leave this place at all, but I think I will take a short vacation to Colorado so I can imbibe in some good bud and enjoy a bit of original live music for a few days to celebrate. I've earned it.