Steamboat Springs It was time for Paul and Camille Fisher to retire. Paul loved skiing, so the couple explored their options in Colorado. When they found a 35-acre lot with a panoramic view of Mount Werner, Rabbit Ears Pass, Blacktail Mountain, the South Routt Valley and the Flat Tops, they decided Steamboat Springs was the place.
The property they discovered was perfect, Camille said. Located in Big Valley Ranch, it is less than 10 miles from downtown Steamboat, close enough to get groceries easily but far enough that even when listening carefully, the only sounds they can hear are the animals sharing their property.
"It's incredibly quiet out here," Camille said.
Though the tranquility is just what they wanted, they built their 5,000-plus-square-foot home six years ago with the intention of making room for their children. Now, the Fishers' children are long-gone from Colorado, in colleges along the East Coast.
The Fishers are selling their four- to five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home, which is now too big for them, with hopes of moving into a smaller home in the southeast to be closer to their children. The Fishers are asking for $1.98 million.
Camille said she will miss the views her Big Valley Ranch home provides, and she will miss the quiet even more.
Realtor Cameron Boyd, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, can also speak of the serene surroundings at the Fishers' home. He recalled an open house showing of the home held about a month ago, where standing on the deck, all he could hear were hummingbirds fluttering around the flowers and a herd of elk bugling in the pasture below.
Elk are commonplace around Big Valley Ranch, Camille said. She and her husband are sometimes awestruck by all the wildlife that surrounds their home, she said. To keep the deer and elk out of that backyard garden, Camille had to build a fence around 3 acres next to the house.
Camille is a master gardener, who built the garden using mostly perennials and rocks to hold the slope together and naturally heat the soil on cool mornings. Camille also has planted several fruit trees and bushes.
She brought her love of botany to the design of her house. She has a standard greenhouse outside but also a narrow indoor hallway with several windows that serves as another greenhouse. Tropical plants flourish there, but the space easily could be converted to a workshop for any type of craft-making, Camille said.
Plants are not limited to these areas. They thrive throughout the home, thanks to windows that line the back side of the house. The windows are specially treated to prevent UV rays from fading furniture or decorations, but they allow for perfect photosynthesis, proven by the plethora of plants. The windows also provide the expansive views of South Routt County.
The back side of the house features a wraparound deck with a hot tub. An indoor atrium/solarium adds to the views and is used by the Fishers as an informal dinning area. Camille said the area is special in the winter, when dining can be accompanied by watching the snow fall.
The atrium is two stories tall, with a spiral staircase that winds down to the lower floor. There, a hammock hangs for those who want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in an outdoor setting, even when the temperature doesn't allow. The indoor greenhouse is accessed through a door in the lower atrium.
The basement is almost as large as the upstairs. It features a large main room that is used as a recreation room, a guest bedroom, a bathroom, a workshop that could be converted into a fifth bedroom, a large unfinished closet and another unfinished room.
On the main floor is the master bedroom and master bath suite, two bedrooms with another full bathroom, a formal dining room, a large living room with gas log fireplace, and a kitchen fit for a chef.
The kitchen features hickory cabinets, granite countertops, a large pantry, two sinks and a breakfast nook.
The house features hickory floors throughout most of the main floor, exposed hand-peeled log rafters, a central vacuum system, security system, sprinkler system, radiant floor heat, heated three-car garage, stucco siding, a patio with a fire pit, and trails throughout the back yard that wind through mature perennial beds.
A spring near the house supplies all the water, and a hot water circulating system within the house means water is instantly hot when a tap is turned.
The 1,500-acre Big Valley Ranch subdivision has several amenities available for its residents, including horse-riding and cross-country skiing trails and a pond stocked with trout.
Big Valley Ranch has 42 lots with 21 homes. Some homeowners have two lots, Boyd said. Three lots are for sale, and two other homes are for sale. One home sits on 80 acres and is being offered at $3.75 million, and the other sits on 15 acres and is going for $1.26 million.
Big Valley Ranch is on Big Valley Drive, which can be accessed by driving south on Colorado Highway 131, turning right on Routt County Road 22, left on C.R. 14 and right on C.R. 35 until it drives straight into the arches of Big Valley Ranch.
For information on any of the three Big Valley Ranch homes, call Boyd at 879-8100, Ext. 116.