Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is it Really Thursday?

I can’t believe it is Thursday already! We had originally planned to start our drive back to NJ today, but are delaying by one day to let Bella move just that much more out of season. I think that will mean a more pleasant trip home. Alex is definitely losing interest.

We have had a good few days since my last post. A lot of walks, a few drives around to see the country side, a few moose sitings (photos on Lynne’s blog), and time spent with great friends from our previous life. A crew of 7 people drove up from Fort Collins / Loveland on Tuesday and it was great to see everyone. We grilled gourmet hot dogs, and a nice hike, and of course lot of banter and talk. We promised that next year we will go down the mountain to Fort Collins for a get together and not make them take the 4-hour round-trip drive up here.

We’ve settled on having a lot of trees cut down and removed in order to both mitigate fire danger (and the danger of falling trees) as well as to open up the forest near the cabin for quicker rejuvenation. The work should get done late this Fall. A few trees will be retained for firewood, but everything else will be removed. Of course, with so much dead wood, a lot of our neighbors would like access to our land to cut fire wood. On Lynne’s wise advice, we will prohibit any wood cutting by anyone other than the Forest Management company. That way we avoid any ambiguity about who has permission, who can cut where, and eliminate concerns over safety, proper cutting techniques, damage to the land, etc. Sorry, neighbors.

It will be interesting to see how the landscape changes, both immediately and over time. We will likely have a better view of Bull Mountain and sunsets for a while. But, I’ll bet we soon have plenty of new growth of the smaller pines (that won’t be cut) and the aspens (that will move in like weeds).

So, today is a preparation day. We’ll go through the fridge and cupboard and throw away anything that is not useful any more. We’ll give any good food to a neighbor (potatoes, sour cream, .... not much). We’ve done a great job of budgeting food and using it all. We’ve used all of the ketchup, mayo, bread, veggies, bacon, eggs, etc. right on schedule. It is always nice to not have to throw away stuff. We will also gather all dirty laundry to be carted home for cleaning (and then put in a special place to come back next year.) We’ll load the truck as much as possible and put the dog crates in. A final cleaning of the cabin will wait till tomorrow morning just before we leave—or, maybe we’ll just do that later today. We plan to leave our huge cooler here, as we don’t need it in Jersey.

Tomorrow, we’ll get up early, have some coffee, take showers, get dressed and then do the final loading of the truck. I’ll “winterize” the cabin by changing batteries in everything, draining the water from the system, turning off the hot water heater and water pump, turning the thermostat to 45 degrees, turning off the propane to the stove, turning off the fridge, pouring anti-freeze into the drain pipes for the tub, bathroom sink, toilet, kitchen sink and hot water heater drain. It does not take much time and is a good thing to do in case the furnace does not run (you never know when a squirrel will crawl into it!) We’ll leave, locking up the cabin and gates and head to Laramie. There, at the West Laramie Fly Shop, we’ll dump our trash, fill up on gas, and get some ice for the cooler. I also see a MacDonald’s breakfast sandwich in our future. Then, we “hit the road” for the 1800+ mile trip home to Jersey.

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Posted under: Cabin News • by Rick on 09/17/2009 at 07:29 AM
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