Greetings and welcome from Tina & Zell (and cattle dogs Coda & Duke)!  This blog focuses on our home and property (which we call Sipapu) in Coaldale, Colorado, located 18 miles east of Salida in central Colorado.  We have 39+ acres in classic pinyon-juniper habitat at about 7000′ in the rain shadow of the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  It is a very arid area (average annual precipitation, ~10″), lying in the Arkansas River Valley “banana belt.”  By the way, “sipapu” is a Hopi word that represents a portal into the next world.  That’s how we feel when we are there—we’re in another (and better) world.  We use the term with the utmost respect, although we acknowledge that it seriously smacks of cultural appropriation. 

TrailRidgeRoadSipapu is in the Cedar Canyon Ranch development, created in 1994.  You reach it by turning southwest onto CR 45 (at the Vallie Bridge sign), then west on to Hamilton Creek Road.  The development is on the right (the first road on the right) about 1 mile later.  Bordering Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land on the north and west sides, the entire development encompasses ~536 acres, divided into 14 35+-acre lots.  Trail Ridge Road (above photo), a private road, runs through the development, connecting the lots; traversing about 1.3 miles, it ends at a turnaround.  Below is a Google map screenshot of the development, pointing out the homes that have currently been built in the development.  (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)


Below is a scan of the plot of the development.  (Again, click on the photo to see a larger, almost legible, version.)  You can’t really see much detail from the plot, but you get an idea of the shapes and locations of the lots.


If you’re interested, you can learn more than anyone probably wants or needs to know about the pinyon/juniper environment of Sipapu here.  You can read more about the town of Coaldale and the nearest “big city” of Salida here.

© 2014 Tina Mitchell


3 Responses to Sipapu

  1. Ellen says:

    Tina you rock! The photos and info are amazing. Nice shot of the river…and the house. This blog makes me miss life in the Siesta Lowliner.

  2. the kat says:

    oh, you guys, I LOVE your blog!! how fascinating! so much better than the usual, boring, self-absorbed blog-blather!!!

    ….and I LOVE your house!!!

    I hope to see you someday…it’s been waaaay too long.

    the kat

  3. Lawrence Herbert says:

    Beautiful work Tina!
    Thanks for posting on Bluebird about it.
    Do you ever have Chimney Swifts there?
    Good birding, Larry H. Joplin MO.

    Alas, Larry–no Chimney Swifts. We occasionally get White-throated Swifts chattering overhead in post-breeding dispersal. But the few CHSWs that we have in the CO area are generally more urban-oriented.


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