Saturday, September 05, 2009

Day 1

Well, this is really a summary of the day we arrived (Friday) and the next day (Saturday). After an hour of shopping at Safeway in Laramie, we stopped at the local feed store to buy a Halti collar for Bella. She was so excited on the trip here that when we stopped at a rest stop for a pee break, she would pull so hard to get to the next smell that she would either slip her collar (not a good thing next to a busy Interstate) or pull Lynne or me behind, sometimes on slippery grass or mud. With hope, the Halti will make the trip home easier and safer.

After that a 40 minute drive over moderately washboarded dirt roads and we were here.

The first thing we notice are the dead trees. Colorado is in the midst of a pine beetle infestation unlike anything ever seen before. All the pine forests from West to East are being attacked. We knew it was coming from the condition of some of the trees last year, but we were surprised that probably 1/2 of the evergreen trees on the land are now an orange-rust color—dead with their needles still on them. It would be pretty if it were Fall color, but soon the needles will drop and all that will stand are dead trees. Luckily, we have a lot of Aspen to fill in the gaps.

I think I’ve gone through the stages of mourning—anger, denial, bargaining, finally acceptance. It is what it is. And, in a way it is interesting to see what will happen over the next many years. What trees will start to grow? What will happen to the dead ones? How will the scenery look in 5 years? 10 years?

For sure, we’ll have to deal with some of the dead trees as they are very close to the cabin and create a huge fire hazard.

The next thing I noticed was the altitude. At 8600 feet we are 8000 feet higher than our home in New Jersey. And, for the first time this trip, I really notice it. I huff and puff a little more than I’d like.

Other news? Bella is in season. We sort of figured it would happen. She started bleeding a little our last day on the road. So, now she is wearing her “pants” (with a pad inside). Alex knows what is going on, but is waiting for her peak period to start being the butthead he will become—probably about the time we start the drive home. That will be fun.

We had Sloppy Joes and boxed Macaroni and Cheese last night. Easy to make on our first night here. Tonight we had steaks, baked potatoes and sweet corn.

The furnace doesn’t work. Pretty much everything else at the cabin is in good shape. But, this morning, early—around 4:00 a.m.—the furnace which was set to come on at 65 degrees, kicked on. It has a startup cycle that begins with a small fan blowing. I’m not sure of the purpose, but I think it is to flush the system, build the right pressures of intake and outflow, etc. It kicked on and ran and ran and ran without the burner ever coming on along with the main fan. So, I got up to turn it off. There is a strong smell of dead mouse/rat (something that we are familiar with up here) and I’m suspecting a critter has crawled into the furnace somehow/somewhere and is clogging up the works. I took a look myself, but I can’t figure out the problem so we’ll bring in professional help next week.

Meantime, we still have the wood burning stove (which Lynne fired up nicely this morning)—and lots of dead wood.

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Posted under: Cabin News • by Rick on 09/05/2009 at 07:49 PM
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