Eat Local Challenge a Success (So Far)

As I reported nearly two months ago when we arrived at our annual workamping job at Vickers Ranch, we decided to challenge ourselves to see how long we could avoid making the one hour journey to stock up on provisions in Gunnison, the nearest town with any kind of “real” stores. As you can see, we’re pretty remote out here.

Thanks to a terrific new mom and pop grocery store that just opened two miles from us, I’m happy to report that we haven’t left Lake City once since arriving in mid-May, all because of  The High Country Market.

Before they came along, the only option here for groceries was a moldy old market locals refer to as “The Food Museum.” No thanks.

As you can see by this new store’s selection of produce, they’re able to continuously feed our voracious appetite for fresh vegetables and pretty much everything else we could need while we are here.


This cute little venture was started by an ex-lawyer and a retired air traffic controller who ditched the city life in Austin for this sleepy little town. They’re a super nice couple and it’s great having fresh energy here. Being first-time small business owners, I’m not sure they knew what they were in for when they decided to work directly with the general public. But we’re hoping they stick it out of the long haul and continue providing us with enough good eats to avoid shopping elsewhere.

Stay Local, Save Big

By not leaving town to go shopping, we haven’t re-filled our fuel tank since arriving in May. You read that right; we haven’t bought a drop of diesel in almost two months! And we still have about 3/4 of a tank.

As you can imagine, prices are a bit higher than buying in a bigger town. However I don’t mind paying .50 more for an item if it means that I can save tons of time and fuel by avoiding a trip to Gunnison. Each week when we drop anywhere from $75 to $120 on groceries at the High Country Market, I also feel great that we’re giving this little business a shot at success.

We’ve had to do a few workarounds to make regular routines work. For example, our banking is now all done online — even check deposits, which we had never done before — and whatever we can’t get locally we buy on Amazon here.

It’s kinda weird to think we haven’t been outside the county and won’t be, at least until September. But it’s also very cool to know that we’re saving our free time for other more fun endeavors. Who needs the drudgery of domestic chores?!

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