There are very few moments in life when you experience something profound; something that makes you rethink everything. I’ve found over the years that those who choose the outdoors as their passion possess a genuine sense of calm and contentment.
A recent encounter with a gentleman who opted for the Colorado wilderness as his home left me spellbound. Last year, I had the privilege of meeting a legend very few had the chance to encounter – ‘Billy Jo Moffat’. His story is truly remarkable, and for me to try and explain would never do it justice. I will, however, give a brief synopsis of that meeting.
Picture, if you will, perfection: A collection of rustic, yet beautiful cabins nestling harmoniously in the valley of two proud mountains, and wildflowers covering the surrounding countryside in a kaleidoscope of subtle colours. The scent and simple beauty can’t help but bring a warm, contented smile and a real feeling of peace.
I’m truly thankful, as this wilderness and Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado are my home for the next few days; a paradise lost, found and reborn by an incredible and passionate team who make this unique place the perfect hideaway to disconnect and disappear, nestled in the heartland of the Colorado Rockies.
This is where I meet Billy Jo, a man in his 80s, dressed in shorts and a warm fleece as he heads towards me. I’m immediately struck by a magical glint in his eye, and his demeanour possesses a sincere aura of serenity. Before I know it, he’s masterfully telling stories of times gone by; I’m captivated, in particular about when he first came to Dunton in the ‘60s, and how, when he walked across the bridge to the cabins, he had felt all his problems just melt away.
“I knew immediately that I wanted to spend the rest of my life here,” he says.
Dunton became the home of many weird and wonderful characters over the decades, from Hells Angels and hippies, to those who just stumbled in – and Billy had seen it all. The city never stole his heart, and I guess he was a bit of a hippy at heart himself. Dunton is now the epitome of a boutique wild paradise, and one of my favourite places in the world to visit.
Shortly after I left Dunton, Billy sadly passed away peacefully in the wilderness he called home. I feel honoured to have met a great man with a warm heart, and experienced the wisdom and kindness of a true gentleman – rest in peace, my friend.
To view our video we took during our time with Billy, HIT THE LINK >>HERE<<