Kate's place was a perfect home base for a week of daily excursions into the surrounding mountains. Conveniently located right off the main road and a short distance to Ouray, Silverton, and Telluride, it was also only 30 minutes from the Montrose airport. We experienced zen-like moments at daybreak and dusk every day while sitting on the front porch sipping coffee or enjoying adult beverages. Kate and her family were always available but utterly unobtrusive. We saw them on their trips back and forth to do daily chores in the barn, and they were friendly and accommodating when approached. The kitchen was one of the best I have experienced in a vacation home. Appliances were high quality and there was adequate cookware, flatware, and gadgetry to suit most people. We cooked big bacon and egg breakfasts daily, and packed picnic lunches for our days out exploring the mountains. We shopped for groceries in Montrose, although we did find a small grocery store in Ridgway (which had exorbitant prices). There is a Family Dollar just at the end of the driveway that has a large grocery section containing milk, bread, chips, cookies, etc. at bargain prices. Crash, the dog that has adopted the rental house, was a welcome treat as he stopped by once or twice a day to make sure we had everything we needed! We had beautiful weather and kept the windows open through our entire stay. We didn't need the pellet stoves or baseboard heat. There was always plenty of hot water for showers.
Three days of our week-long stay we rented a Jeep from Switzerland of America in Ouray and explored the 4x4 mountain passes (Engineer, Ophir, Imogene, Corkscrew, Hurricane, California, Clear Lake, Last Dollar). I would recommend them for your off-road needs. One day we were caught up in a cattle drive and another day we were driving along and ended up in the middle of a flock of sheep that numbered in the thousands! The beauty of these high mountains is something that must be experienced first-hand in order to fully appreciate the scale and majesty. We also explored some backroads and scenic byways without 4x4 help (Owl Creek Pass being the best of them). Ridgway is adorable and loaded with good restaurants. We enjoyed Thai Paradise, Kate's Place (a breakfast/lunch spot), and True Grit Café. In Ouray, we were impressed with Maggie's (best burgers and a great counter overlooking main street). We visited Orvis Hot Springs twice. It is only about a mile away - you can actually see it from the front porch. We were skeptical at first judging from outward appearances, but once inside were astounded by the paradise that awaited us. Lush gardens, natural pools, no electronics...heaven on earth!
All in all, we were well-pleased and would return to Kate's Place.