Tony Stich is proud of his recently completed home on Lynx Pass. He smiles wide as he points out the fixtures and finishes he chose.
He loves the house's appearance, but perhaps even more, he loves its location.
Stich has been coming to the Yampa Valley, particularly the Lynx Pass area, since 1954 with his father, who was a logger.
When he returned for a visit in recent years, he stayed at a cabin on the pass. And while on a walk, he reached an isolated location above the road with an expansive view.
He knew it was the place to build his home.
"I didn't even know this view existed," Stich said. "You come down from Lynx Pass in the trees -- you can't see anything."
Stich hopes the view from his home will provide an investment return, as he has placed the 4,638-square-foot home on the market for almost $1.8 million.
The price tag is not for the house alone, but also for the handpicked decorations, furnishings and electronic devices throughout the home.
Entering the front door, two six-foot, subtle stone waterfalls lead the way to the great room, where two large windows on both sides of the chimney reveal a magnificent view of the Morrison Creek Valley on down to Woodchuck Hill in front of Stagecoach Reservoir.
The chimney was constructed with 24 tons of Saratoga moss rock. In front of it is a burley mantle of knotty ponderosa pine.
This focal point of the great room reflects the mountain-home character of the rest of the house, as knotty wood, rough stone, iron fixtures with leaves and pinecones on them, and carvings on doors are used throughout.
"Our objective when building was to make sure it was a home fit for the mountains with lots of good craftsmanship," Stich's wife, Donna, said.
The windows in the great room, the decks and every other window on the main floor, provide expansive views. And while the home is tucked deep away on the pass, almost no lights can be seen at night, only stars.
Stich said that once while walking on the road late at night, after allowing his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he noticed the ground was flashing with color.
He couldn't figure it out until he looked up and saw that a jet's flashing lights were causing the glow. Those lights, miles in the sky, were closer than any lights on the ground.
"There's something spiritual about living up here," said the Stich's real estate agent, Jane Stitt, who also lives about a mile farther up Lynx Pass from the Stiches.
The floors and most of the doors are cherry wood, and the entire house is filled with Boston Acoustics speakers that are wired to a main stereo on the main floor. The kitchen is large with granite countertops, a gas stove and innovative storage drawers and cabinets.
Stich smiles with pride when he shows his garage, which has a long worktable with cabinets, as well as a mop sink that he uses mostly for washing his dog.
The master bedroom boasts large closets with custom shelves. The master bathroom has a whirlpool and a marble shower with an etched-glass door.
Three other bedrooms, an office, an exercise room and a den with a wood-burning fireplace are downstairs. Though nothing is in the attic, Stich said the roof pitch is high enough to create extra space. The entire house has radiant floor heat.
Construction of the Stiches' home was completed in less than a year, between Nov. 2002 and October 2003. During the winter, Stich and his wife Donna have decorated the home, and as the snow melts, they will landscape around it.
The house is almost seven miles from the intersection of Lynx Pass and Gore Pass.
The house is listed with Town and Country Properties. For more information, call Stitt at 736-1000.
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