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I moved to Pagosa in 1998 from the flat lands of Kansas to a beautiful view of Chimney Rock out of my picture windows, with 60 foot pines and plenty of privacy. I wanted the proverbial cabin in the woods and that is exactly how the ad read on the five acres I purchased. It was more remote than your average Pagosan’s place, it was located on Doc Adams Rd, in Unit 6 in Aspen Springs, the roads were considerably worse then, being basically mud and natural rock ledges.
Electricity was a luxury few had up in Unit 6. Water was as scarce also with a few wells but mainly the residents hauled water in to their properties.
It was a ways into town and it was not uncommon for the few full timers to make a list and have your neighbors pick up items for you. I remember in 1998 starting my home office and the nearest place to buy office equipment and a fax was in Santa Fe, and the list grew and it was a trailer full of goods brought back for everyone up on top of the hill.
When Wal-Mart came to Durango, the whole neighborhood would present lists and a pick-up bed with full trailer of goods would come back with the person headed to the big city of Durango. No one really minded as we all had to depend on each other, especially with big snows and the marginal roads back then.
It wasn’t uncommon to get a call or knock on your door on a night of a blizzard and bundle up and pull a neighbor out of a ditch, or driving the school children down to the bus pick-up area to huddle around and wait for the school bus.
I moved down to Unit 5 in 2008 closer to town. There are more people now, the roads are the best in the County, kudos to Cary, Roy and crew, and the views are still breathtaking.
The Metro District has accomplished a great deal — a water fill station has opened with almost 361,000 gallons of water pumped in the first 7 weeks, a park with a volleyball court, horseshoe pits and a Frisbee golf course built, and shelters for the school bus children in just the last four years. Things progress and time changes everything, but the attitude of friends and neighbors helping each other are what made and makes Aspen Springs a wonderful place still.