The TihsreeD Story
Don purchased the home in 2006. When he bought the house, there was no portico, deck, patio or barn. The floor of the lower level was gravel. The house was unfinished and the original owners had to sell it due to an illness that was made worse by the altitude (9000 feet above sea level).
Don named the property soon after purchasing it and likes to explain to guests that TihsreeD is native for relaxing and release of tension. The capital T and D do stand for Toni and Don.
After Don and Toni met, Don spent a lot of time in North Carolina. They decided to try renting the lodge when he was on the east coast. The lodge immediately booked up when they posted it on Homeaway.com/VRBO. The first couple of years, most of TihsreeD’s guests were family reunion groups from Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Missouri. Many of those guests asked if TihsreeD hosted weddings, planting the seed that prompted the remodeling of the barn and enlargement of the former workout room into the apartment.
Weddings are planned a year or more in advance, while family reunions are planned 6 months in advance, so many of our current bookings are weddings. Guests wanted to host even more folks, so we asked our neighbors to let us have first dibs on their home if they ever wanted to sell. We acquired The Cabin in 2014.
Florissant is the ancestral homeland of the Northern Ute Native Americans. The Ute People lived in this area for at least a thousand years before the westward expansion of settlers. When settlers moved west, the Ute people were pushed off their land. A Ute reservation is in Utah, which is named for the Ute People. Another Ute reservation is in southern Colorado.
As part of their ceremonial obligation to their ancestors, the Ute Tribe returns to Florissant Valley each year to perform a special ceremonial honoring the ancestors. This celebration usually happens early in August and is hosted by Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument.
For hundreds of years, Ute young men completed a four day vision quest to become a man. For many of the young men their vision quest began about a mile west of TihsreeD at Crystal Peak. Crystal Peak is internationally known as one of the most gemological rich areas on earth. The young Ute men would find a gemstone at Crystal Peak and in four days carry it to the top of their holy mountain, Pikes Peak (known as Tava to the Ute People).
Along the way they would modify trees in a short ceremony to put a special prayer for their life into the tree. A young Ponderosa pine tree would be bent parallel to the ground and secured with a length of leather or jute rope. Over time the rope would disintegrate leaving a tree with a unique twisted form. The thought was that a Ponderosa pine lives for 900 years. By putting a prayer for their life into the tree, that prayer would be greatly multiplied and “shaken out” again and again, each time the wind blew the needles on the tree.
These Prayer Trees are considered a very private and holy thing to the Ute People. They would never have talked about them to outsiders; however, many of these trees were disappearing. They were being cut down as “deformed” trees… a great tragedy to the Native Americans. For this reason, they began sharing the story of their culturally significant trees. Along with Prayer Trees, there are Medicine Trees, Burial Trees, Message Trees and Prophecy Trees all around the area. You can learn more about these trees and the Ute People by visiting the Historical Museum in Florissant or finding a local history book by Celinda Kaelin or John Anderson.