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What the beep!? Colorado’s yellow honk house phenomenon

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MAYSVILLE, Colo. -- No matter where you drive in Colorado, there will always be that one motorist who annoys the living daylights out of you.

Sometimes that frustration can erupt into a honking hallapalooza -- and we all know how enjoyable that is.

But in Chaffee County, there’s a tiny town near Salida that embraces the beeps. It’s Maysville and it’s home to the Yellow Honk House.

“We’re talking about the honk house, honking phenomenon," said Joe, the owner of the Yellow Honk House. “And it’s turned into this great phenomenon where people know they’re supposed to honk. They don’t know why, but they know they’re supposed to."

Joe and his wife, Kathy, took ownership of the 116-year-old home awhile back. It was initially owned by Harry Miller.

“Old Harry Miller, yep, sitting in the window,” said Joe’s neighbor, Mike Swanson.

“What I heard is he would turn the chair around facing out [so] people could see him coming and going,” Joe added.

Miller, as the story goes, would sit in the chair and wave at people as they drove by. The drivers would wave back and eventually honk. Joe became a fan of the story and has since carried on its legacy.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s my house. It feels like it’s Harry’s house, ya know?” Joe said with a chuckle.

These days, people honk out of good luck. Especially the drivers who are about to head up nearby Monarch Pass.

“Good juju!” Joe said “No honks for [bad luck]."

Joe usually counts about 100 beeps a day. They start at sunrise and continue well past sunset.

“The first hundred times I heard someone honk, it was kind of like, ‘Hey, yeah, that’s cool. The Yellow Honk House. Go buddy.' 4:30 in the morning, it’s not that cool,” he said.

At this point, Joe has gotten used to them, or as used to the annoying sound as someone can.

Joe and his wife have turned the honk house into a bed and breakfast. But if you want to drive by and honk, the home is located at 16665 West Highway 50. It’s the big yellow house at the Maysville sign.

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