Almost exactly two years ago, my plans became reality. I left a comfortable office job behind and threw everything into a simple life in the mountains of Colorado with my ever supportive wife.
Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing, but I certainly wouldn't say that it's for everyone. To live simply in the Rockies, you must have a love for wilderness. I have two National Forests for a backyard, and it costs me nothing but the tread on my boots to spend a day in either one. Since I have the chance to do something I love, I don't have the urge to buy many things that I don't need anymore.
Simple living does have its drawbacks. Even with no desire to 'keep up with the Jones', there inevitably comes a time when having more would make it easier to spend time with (or show support for) friends. This is, however, a small price to pay.
Running a business is much less fun than photography, and I'm still learning the ropes. Still, last summer saw the release of my first book, San Juan Inspirations. I still have much to learn, but each year shows an improvement in sales.
My work has dramatically improved over the time I've lived here. There are some images that I might have been proud of in the beginning that I would now reject without a second thought. I have to be my own critic in this job, and I want my clients to be able to choose from the best.
I've finally found a group of Lake City retailers that are a good fit for my work. The Back Country Navigator, Timberline Craftsman and San Juan Delights are all excellent, and all have their own unique charm. I'm very happy that I can confidently recommend any of these stores to visitors.
I freely admit that I came here for the wilderness. On reflection, I've been very surprised to find that I have met many nice people, made some good friends and a couple of really good ones. It is here that I've found my community.