westcliffe co
Country Living, Simple Living, Tiny Living

Westcliffe CO: And Back Again

You people aren’t going to believe this. Some of you are going to think we are nuts.

And you’re definitely correct about that.

We’re moving back to Westcliffe – the land flowing with milk and honey.

Well not quite. At least about the honey part.

We’ve had quite the adventure over the past 2 years of marriage. We got married and started building a tiny house and lived it in for a few months, we moved to Westcliffe CO after dreaming about it for a couple years. We attempted to make it work (financially) in the small town – and figured out in order for us to get anywhere in life, we needed to make some substantial money first (otherwise, we’d end up living in cycles of poverty for quite awhile) – we moved to Brighton CO because Ryan got a job working in the oil fields in Northern Colorado.

Well, as you’ve all noticed gas prices are way down from what they used to be.

And while this is wonderful for lots of people, this has put his job at risk. In fact, he was pretty much guaranteed a lay off in the next few weeks/months. Since we are young and used to change, this hasn’t exactly shaken us too much. On the contrary – it feels like freedom to us in a lot of ways.

Most people know someone who works on the oil field, and you know that their work hours are unreal. Ryan has been averaging at 110 hours per week that he works (2 week on, 1 week off rotations).  There are 336 hours in 14 days. 220 hours he has been working, 116 (58 a week or 8 hours a day – which always ends up being closer to 6) hours are spent sleeping, eating, showering, traveling to and from work, and anything else that comes up in life: like spending time with your wife.

Needless to say, we’re kind of DONE with oil field lifestyle.

So while this bring a tad of uncertainty back into our life, being the oldest children that we are, we both find some excitement in that.

Which brings me to the title of this post:

We are moving back to Westcliffe!!!

westcliffe co



I’m sorry, I can’t help but laugh and roll my eyes at us. So its totally ok if you are too :)

Our goal in moving away to Brighton was to save some money so that we could *someday* move back, buy some land, and live simply. Well, this move back is certainly quicker than we thought it would be, but I suppose that’s life.

westcliffe co

We are in the process of purchasing a piece of land in a beautiful valley (a couple lots over from this picture), with amazing neighbors who are already well on their way to living the homesteading lifestyle that we’re interested in. On the land and what we will live in is an…. (get ready to laugh and roll your eyes again)….


LOL! (Maybe I should have named this blog post “Déjà vu“…) 

I couldn’t really believe it either when we started looking at this lovely piece of mess (sorry, no pics yet). I told Ry, “I’m really not sure I can do this again…”

I remembered last time we lived in a shed(tiny house), without electricity, without water, without a kitchen or bathroom… I mean, HELLO: I wrote an entire blog on it!! But before we saw the inside of this creature, we went through the things that were needed in order to make it livable:

  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Warmth
  • Functioning Kitchen & Bathroom

When we finally got into the tiny shack, we realized: it’s not as bad as we thought it was!!  While it definitely needs some TLC, and a couple of major changes (like digging a well), overall, we don’t feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. And that’s saying something.

Another question we’ve wrestled with: “can we/should we finish the tiny house?”  And this is something we are still wrestling with. Because at this point where we are at with it is still: unfinished. Is it better to put money into tiny house or another unfinished housing project?  Well, “what one requires less cash & stress?” is going to be the winning answer.

ryan and hannah corson tiny house


I haven’t found very many other tiny house people with a similar story to ours: except Casey and Jessica Friday (recently had their tiny house stolen). I empathize so much with this blog that Jessica recently wrote about why they won’t be living in their tiny house. While we do have several of the things that the Fridays no longer have at their disposal (land, lifestyle..etc), I totally get the basis of what she’s getting at here. The whole point of the tiny house movement is what? SIMPLICITY. So that’s our focus moving forward: do the simple thing.

So here’s to many more future blog posts about building chicken coops, milking goats, making cheese, and sharing life (and cows) with neighbors in our precious lil mountain town. Here’s to not many more moves, but an acknowledgement of “that’s where we are in life”.

Here’s to the kind of simple living that is sometimes more… complicated :)




(linking up with Leigh Kramer– because what I’m up to these days is moving and living the nomad’s life)

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  • Reply Alysha March 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love this. I love your adventurous spirits. Do this while you’re young. I’m so happy for you guys and can’t wait to hear all about the transition!!!!

    • Reply RyanHannah March 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks friend!! We’re super excited too!! #obviously ;)

  • Reply Abby Howe March 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    This sounds like quite the exciting adventure! I’ll be following along. Thanks again for visiting my blog.

    • Reply RyanHannah March 26, 2015 at 8:14 am

      It is quite the adventure, to say the least.. LOL ;) We’ve even had more changes since I wrote this post. Haha never a dull day with the Corsons

  • Reply Home Sweet Home in Westcliffe July 7, 2015 at 10:28 am

    […] house in Golden CO, to moving to Westcliffe last year, moving back to Denver area for work, and moving back to Westcliffe in March of this […]

  • Reply Bart July 17, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Would you mind giving me your opinion on all the regulations one has to comply with in Westcliffe? I have wanted to have a home there for 40 years. Now I find both Westcliffe and Custer County have extensive regulations that have priced me out. Westcliffe requires 660 sq ft minimum residential size. No tiny houses. Can’t put park model on either of my lots. I can put them in rv park and pay & 3,000 annual lot rental. Won’t even allow composting toilets. It has to have aerobic septic and well in place before building permit is issued. Could cost $40 K before first nail is driven. Any suggestions as I’ve always wanted to live there. Thanks!

    • Reply RyanHannah July 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      Yes, Westcliffe as a town has quite a few requirements, as do basically every one of the HOAs that have taken over the area. It (like everywhere) is becoming increasingly regulated. Just in the past 5 years or so, much has changed for the worse. They have even started enforcing regulations that were always ignored before. Couple that with the fact that the area is experiencing somewhat of a boom (population and attention-wise) and it isn’t nearly as easy to live an alternative, simple lifestyle there as it once was. There are a few loopholes that remain, but the unfortunate truth is that it’s not the same place it used to be.

    what are your thoughts?