Playfully known as the 'Taco Bell' because of the Spanish archway above the whimsical stairway to the roof (or heaven), there's nothing but beauty to be found here — either inside the 2,700 square foot custom home, or outside on its 9-acre parcel and beyond.
What puts this special property far above the norm?
This architectural masterpiece, features foot-thick New Mexico adobe brick, few right angles and dramatic ceiling vigas. Views of alpine nature are found outside every window. The original builder, a Hollywood special effects director, luxuriously furnished his home with fine furniture, tasteful Western art and numerous antiques.
Among the rooms:
* Airy, east-facing kitchen, with island range, custom cabinetry and bar seating.
* Two-story, south facing sunroom which collects copious sunlight and heat, especially in winter.
* A spacious guest suite, featuring a two-story ceiling, a king bed tucked into its own cozy adobe igloo, and separate doorway to east patio. The suite boasts its own full bathroom.
* An second-story office loft (with a twin bed) accessed up a spiral staircase in the guest suite.
* A tranquil den, perfect for morning coffee and your favorite novel, with a kiva fireplace.
* And finally, upstairs, the master suite. Large, with its own kiva fireplace and windows on three sides. A large balcony deck is off to the west (and off it, the “stairway to heaven,” and a cute two-seat deck faces north for cool summer evenings. A jacuzzi tub with west-facing views highlight the master bath.
* One of the bays in the garage is available for parking.
The home sits atop a hill at the back of a 9.6-acre parcel, providing total privacy and 360 degrees of elevated alpine views. The private driveway winds a quarter mile through the aspens, up 200 vertical feet.
To the west, the home overlooks the real “elk meadows” for which our unique subdivision is named. The meadows are preserved in wildlife conservation easement in perpetuity, meaning there is no human development for a mile to the west.
The eastern horizon consists of the Cimarron Range, and a 14er, Wetterhorn. Nearly 100 miles away on the northern horizon are the Grand Mesa and West Elks.
With the parcel heavily wooded with aspen, evergreens and oak scrub, game trails throughout the property have been improved for hiking, mountain biking (not for the faint!), and snowshoeing.
A nine-panel tracking solar array supplies almost all the electricity consumed at the house.
A fenced back yard of nearly an acre, gives the welcomed dog plenty of room to run and sniff.
A second homesite lower on the property offers level land for other possibilities, such as parking an RV or pitching a tent.
If your vacation is meant to include unparalleled scenic alpine beauty, a memorable and hospitable home, and world-class sightseeing and recreational opportunities, you’re here.
I'm born and raised in northern New Mexico, which surely factored into my initial attraction to this special home. I moved to Ouray County in 1995, having purchased the local newspapers of record, the Ouray County Plaindealer and The Ridgway Sun. I sold them in 2010, but have continued to love living here, and sharing the Taco Bell with guests.
The home was built in 1994-95 by a man named Larry Cavanaugh. From what I've learned, he grew up in Western Colorado and went on to become a top special effects coordinator in Hollywood. According to IMBd.com, he worked on 38 films, the most notable ones Apocalypse Now, Face Off, The Godfather III, Mission Impossible II, and Far and Away. The wagon wheels at the driveway gate came off the set of that last movie. Cavanaugh died in 1999, but not before constructing and furnishing a most unique home.