We bought Lark Landing in June of 2000 to satisfy Barbara’s irrational obsession to live in the country and have a bed and breakfast. Of course, it wasn’t called Lark Landing then, and it didn’t look the way it does now. It looked like a shoe box on a pile of rocks. In fact, after the real-estate closing, Barbara sat on the front deck, looked at her five and a half acres of stone and gravel with its ugly muddy river sliding through the weeds, and burst into tears. “Oh, God! What have I done,” she sobbed. “Whatever are we going to do with this place.”
The first thing we did was name it. We thought Meadowlark Inn would be nice, and we do have meadowlarks here, but when we went online to see if there were very many other establishments with that name we were somewhat taken aback to find that there were hundreds of them all across the country. Undaunted, we simply dropped the “meadow.” We kept “lark” because this whole venture was, indeed, somewhat of a lark (and the lark bunting is Colorado’s state bird), and we added “landing,” as in boat landing because of the river, and also because we had sort of landed here after a seven-year search on my part to find a suitable property.
Front of the house from driveway
Back of the house
We then spent about two years hauling rocks and clearing brush in an effort to make the place appear more “bed-and-breakfasty” rather than looking like a run-down trailer park. Every single rock you see edging the driveway and the flower beds was hauled there by your hosts and were pretty much all gathered from the backyard between the house and the pond. In fact, the first time Mark tried to mow out there, I had to run along in front of him and hoist rocks out of his way. We planted grass and trees, installed railroad-tie steps here and there, turned a weedy gravel patch into the fire-pit “pavilion,” and decorated the guest suite.
After so much effort and hard work, we finally decided we should make it all official, so we got married. In June 2003, we had a lovely wedding ceremony in the pavilion, with our guests seated on the west deck overlooking the Arkansas River. A hefty baritone sang “Old Man River”, as well as a selection of our favorite tunes (we met ballroom dancing in Denver) and all these years later we still hold hands and thank our lucky stars that we had the good fortune to find such a beautiful and unique spot on God’s green Earth.