Simplicity – Cabin Life on the South Platte River

Oct 19

Last week my husband and I had the pleasure of spending the day with some retired friends who spend about 50% of their time living in a small cabin on the South Platte River in the foothills of Douglas County, Colorado. It was an exquisite crisp fall day.

We met up with them mid-morning and took a tour of their tiny 2 bedroom cabin. I think it is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 800-1,000 square feet supplemented by a small screened in porch off the kitchen and a lovely over-sized deck off the back. There are two small bedrooms, one tiny bathroom, a teeny-tiny kitchen and a nice living room with a big stone fireplace. Our friends are both retired physicians so they could certainly afford a big, fancy 2nd home anywhere in Colorado or elsewhere that they desired. But they have chosen this lovely, simple cabin in the middle of nowhere. What a glorious choice it is.

I was struck by the beautiful simplicity of their uncluttered life there by the river. We had coffee on the deck in the morning listening for and watching the many birds that they feed. We watched and listened to the river as we waited for the sun to rise over the hills and warm the waters to bring the fish to the surface. After coffee we took our time putting on our fishing gear and working our way down the hill to the stream. We hop scotched each other down the stream until mid-afternoon when we made our way back up to the deck. We enjoyed a simple, yet elegant, lunch of bread, cheese and chicken salad with a nice glass of Chardonnay. More birds, good company and great conversation on many interesting topics. As the late afternoon sun began to shimmer on the river again, we headed back down for a little more fishing. I cast my line into the big pool to a rising trout but couldn’t quite seem to hit the spot – neither could they. After a bit, I walked back up to the deck and enjoyed the sight of the sun falling low in the sky and the boys fishing on the river.

As the sun dropped lower we had to rush out to get off the winding roads before it got too dark. I wanted to linger and enjoy the atmosphere, the sense of place and oneness. On the way home we talked about what a wonderful lifestyle they live. I don’t think there is much I would miss living in a tiny place like this – less stuff to get in the way of the experience. The sheer simplicity of their life in this place makes me jealous. Of course we could shuck it all and head that direction but I don’t think our children would be too happy – at least not at first – about the change of venue and what it would do to their lifestyle. So for now, we’ll just continue to ponder and plan for a simpler life in a few years when the kids are off to college.

John puts on the waders

South Platte River view from the Wolfe's Cabin

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