We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenny Kara Lydon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenny Kara, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I feel that taking “the right risks” in life can allow you to truly open up your mind and heart to the acknowledgment that you’re capable of so much more. More than yourself or anyone around you thought possible. Being able to experience this wild ride we call life and push yourself to always be the best version of yourself.
Life is always changing in so many ways as long as you allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Moving out to ” The middle of nowhere” with a few thousand dollars to our name. My wife 8 months pregnant. A plot of raw land with dirt ,cactus and Chico bushes and a dream. No plans on how to make it happen . Didn’t know anyone out here and didn’t have much of a plan other than to find our way to Thrive.
At first it seemed almost impossible to find that step up to move us in the right direction . Jumping way out of my comfort zone to drive 2+ hours each way everyday to snag up some extreme logging work outside of fairplay to get by. Something I never would’ve seen myself doing.
While breaking my body everyday logging to ensure we had what we needed. I was able to meet some locals out here that were very interested in our Home Base we have been working on, and thought our skills could be utilized out here big time.
Turns out the San Luis Valley as far as I’m concerned is the Valley of Opportunity. With the amount of growth out here on a regular basis and lack there of people that Strive to Thrive it left an abundance of possibilities. From starting out helping people out with common projects like building a shed or hanging some sheetrock to a few weeks later running the 1st commercial Cannabis grow operation in Area 420 in moffat (soon possibly Kush Colorado).
Being able to go with the flow .. ride the waves of possibility, be open minded and willing to learn allowed so much more to come thereafter. Let’s just say over the past 4+ years Google and YouTube have been my best friends helping out big time along the way. If you want to learn bad enough you’ll make it happen.
Between building our off grid home Base, working on it every available minute . To knocking out other local projects on the side for some extra cash. Also running an entire 5 acre 1800 plant count grow facility entirely by myself. Not to mention being there for my growing family as i need to be…Ooouuuwweeeee just not enough hours in the day.
Struggling to make it work all day everyday. A never ending project list running through my mind on repeat to the point where I could see it in my dreams. Then found a way to also squeeze in a “little” industrial hemp grow of about 35,000 plants with some local guys for another boost in the plans.
Needless to say at first it was absolutely overwhelming trying to prioritize what and when needed to be done and how , but made it happen and still finding ways to keep it going. At this point we’ve definitely found what works for us and what doesn’t . We’ve been figuring out more and more as far as thr proper balance to work Nd life . Ensuring that we have all the time we need for all the life we want to live together.
After the past 4+ years, staring with not a whole lot we’re now at the point where we can essentially retire and live solely off our self sustainable home Base and community of like minded people that are interested in very similar idea of life .
Started with 1 acre of land and a dream and now 4+ years later we’ve upped that 1 acre to over 180 acres. We have a beautiful home base. Have brought out multiple friends and family to be part of our vision and have thier own piece of the dream. We’ve built rental cabins for income opportunities.
We’re now working on a 43,000 sqft geothermally heated aquaponically grown vegetable farm for the future of the valley. Allowing the local kids from the schools to see where thier vegetables come from , how thier grown and the full circle process behind it.
I feel the most important thing in life is to live how you want to live and be able to allow yourself and everyone around you to do the same. Everyone has different skills and passions. Different people are made for different things and we can find a way to work together for the betterment of all around what more can we ask for. It may sound like an old school Hippie type of thinking but it really is just that simple.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First thing we do anytime anyone visits is turn off the WiFi. It’s time to enjoy nature and each other. Then it’s time for adventure. Usually we’ve got to get out for some trail riding on the Atvs to really cover some ground and get up in those mountains. Then it’s time to shut them down and really get hiking. Get up and out and emmerse yourself into nature whether it’s hitting all the hotsprings all over the state or just hanging out in a Grove of massive aspen trees and watching them dance around. We’ve obviously got to make a trip to Salida to hit the river ..walk the town and grab some delicious food. Hit your Mo Borrito for some quick belly feel good by the river or for more of a sit down it’s probably gonna be Boathouse Cantina .. Can’t leave out Amicas or Moonlight for some real deal pizza. Ouuww man and how can I forget about all the amazing Mexican joints..!?!?
Now that I’m starving I’ll move onto some more fun like quick daytrip fun out through big horn canyon up into Westcliff out to Bishop castle, around to the Sand Dunes NP and another soak at Hooper Greenhouse with some more yummy grub.
Get crusing out and about over all the mountain passes no matter what time of year will be beautiful. Float the river and play in the waterfalls. Whip around the mountains on the sleds .. hit the Slopes.. ice skate the ponds .. hike some 14rs .. explore some gold mines and ghost towns…All of it all the time .. Colorado is full of so much fun and excitement there’s always something to do. Write down a list of all the things you can think of and just start crossing them off one by one and you’ll be sure to have fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate a shoutout to my my beautiful wife Kara Lydon and amazing son Kenny Lydon. Having them in my corner pushing all of us to be the best that we can be, is what has kept that fire burning.
People said we were crazy when moving 2,000 miles away from the east coast to Colorado to live out our dreams of living life. Then about 4 years ago when Kara and I decided to move from Colorado Springs to the San Luis Valley to build our idea of “Home Base” people thought we had lost out minds. Leaving behind the hustle and bustle once again at a shot for more happiness and freedom to do what we love.
No matter what everyone around us said about how it would never work for so many reason, we pushed on to prove it to ourselves and show anything is possible if you put your heart and mind to it.
Having my Beautiful happy healthy family by my side with smiling faces each and everyday where we’re able to spend our time together was all I needed to keep it moving and grooving.
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