Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Monday, April 13, 2020

Happy Easter

Posted by: Rick

Well, it is another Monday. As usual, our day to shower, change underwear and shave. All done already. 

Not much has happened since I checked in a week ago. Wow, has it really been a week? How time flies when you are sitting at home with little to do.

We did our shopping last Tuesday. Costco then the big King Soopers in Greeley. We got everything we needed for 8-10 days of meals. We even found yeast, so that meant that pizza was on the menu again.

The truck is still at the dealer. They think they know the problem now, and are waiting on parts. It is not really a problem not having the truck as we have nowhere to go with it except the cabin, and it is snowing up there. Seems that Spring is having a hard timing fighting off Winter! I did mow the lawn once. And, it was even nice enough to wash the dogs mid-week.

I pulled out the sewing machine that Mom gave me and sewed a couple of face masks using bandanas as raw material. I broke three needles in the process, but luckily had plenty of spares. Now we have these sexy masks to wear when we go out. And, I now know how to wind a bobbin as well as change needles on the sewing machine. Look at the precision of that top stitching!

We cooked a spiral-cut ham we got at Costco, along with some potatoes and green beans for Easter. It was a super yummy meal and I ate way too much. Baked a loaf of rustic Italian bread, too. Now we have plenty of leftovers to munch on for lunches and dinners. We could probably go another week using the pantry and freezer for food, but we do have a few necessaries to buy the next time we go out. An excuse to use the masks. I hope it will be a trip to pick up the truck.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Monday Goin’s On

Posted by: Rick

It is a Monday! A very special day of the week, but I'll get to that later.

First, I want to point out that the last time we went shopping and exposed ourselves to other people was a week ago on Saturday. That's 9 days of isolation with the exception that I had to drop the truck off at the Ford dealership because of a problem we encountered on our last trip to the cabin. But, that also is a story for later.

We still have a pretty decently stocked freezer, but we are running out of other items. So, one of our Monday chores will be to build a meal plan for the next week to ten days and make a shopping list from that. Then, tomorrow, when we pick up the truck (we hope), we will go shopping/foraging. And, we'll try to refrain from exposing ourselves.

This is not really all that new to us. When we lived at the cabin, we really tried to go to town only once a week (or less often in the winter). So, we are pretty good at planning and shopping to the plan. But, after 10 days, we are craving some fresh vegetables and have a few staples we need to stock up on.

Monday is also the day of the week we've set aside to shower, shave, and change our underwear. So, we have that to look forward to. My jeans and flannel shirt should last another week, but the flannel is starting to get a bit warm during the day and has a funny odor.

Natalie is pretty stressed out:

The truck: driving to the cabin last week, the truck's electronics went haywire. It has done this before, about 15 months ago, and was "fixed" by getting a new battery. This time, I'm pretty sure it is not the battery. The truck's display and control systems (radio, navigation, environment) all reboot in a cycle about every 30 seconds. The fan comes on high, at the highest heat setting and blows out the defroster vents. There is no radio control nor any environmental control using the various knobs and buttons. Needless to say, it get very, very hot in the truck very quickly. We have to roll down windows to stay comfortable. Each time the electronics reboots, the truck makes an alert sound "ding". Man, does that get annoying. The good news is that the truck still runs fine. And, if I turn it off and then restart it, the constant cycle of rebooting goes away for a while, but still the controls don't work.

We took the truck to the Ford dealer in Fort Collins last Thursday. They've worked on it for 2 whole days so far with no idea of what is going on. Today, Monday, they are going to bring a Ford engineer into the process, so we'll see what happens. It is not like we are going anywhere. (Although, another few days at the cabin does sound nice. Especially since the weather is so beautiful.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Nearest Neighbor

Posted by: Rick

This image shows where our nearest neighbor was during our recent 2-day stay at the cabin. Probably enough distance. The photo was take about 1/4 mile from the cabin where we have this great panoramic view of Sand Creek Park all the way to the Snowy Range in Wyoming.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Game Camera Photos

Posted by: Rick

It is our second day at the cabin, having arrived yesterday. It is very windy. The dogs got a short walk earlier, otherwise we've just been hanging out in the cabin, stoking the fire, reading, playing some games and otherwise entertaining ourselves.

I did struggle through hip-deep snow to retrieve the memory cards from the three game cameras closest to the cabin. So, today's blog will feature four photos. The game cameras are triggered by either motion or heat. And, with the way the wind blows up here, I get lots of false triggers. These four shots were culled from over 3000 photos--mostly of blowing snow, but also some of elk or moose that were just not interesting enough to keep.

This first photo was taken on a snowy and windy day. You can see the mother moose and her "baby" have faces covered with snow. They are looking for what's left of a salt lick that has been knocked off the stump of a tree. It was taken on the morning of October 29, 2019. Note that the temperature was -5°F.

This next photo is only one of several hundred shots of this herd of cow elk. They spent quite a bit of time in the meadow. I kept this shot out because it is clear that a couple of them are having some kind of argument and sparing with each other.

This next photo is of a bull moose that has had part of the paddle of his rack broken off. Am including this because I feel sorry for the guy. However, he will lose both sides within a couple of months and they will grow back bigger and better than ever before! The rack of a moose will grow for about 5 months starting in late winter or early spring. At maturity, a rack can span 50 to 60 inches, making the antlers of a moose one of the fastest growing organs of any mammal.

Finally, the coup de gras, a bobcat. This photo was taken pretty early in the morning and was quite dark. So, I've boosted the exposure to get a better shot of the cat, but it makes some of the other colors a bit exaggerated. What a beauty. And, this was taken in early March, just over 3 weeks ago.

We have three more game cameras that are spread out over the property. But, without snowshoes it would be very difficult to get to them. And, the snowshoes are in the barn which is blocked by massive drifts of snow that I am too lazy to move. Besides, it is pretty windy and I don't like going into that part of the forest, where there are a lot of standing but dead trees, when it is windy. So, we'll save those for another time.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Some Serious Social Distancing

Posted by: Rick

Sunday was a day for cleaning. Lynne cleaned the cabinets, countertops and appliances. Rick dusted, vacuumed and mopped the floors. Some areas got neglected--like the guest room.

We had a nice cheese fondue for dinner with a side salad and watched TV. Another "normal" day.

But, we did decide to go to the cabin on Monday and stay a night or two. I've been pretty concerned about the batteries needing water. And, after a camera failure (and recovery) the other day, I was anxious to see how the cabin was doing. We could also use the trip as a way to ready the cabin for longer stays later in the spring.

We packed provisions we already had at home, and took off about 8:30. The roads are strange. There is some truck traffic, but very little car traffic. We drive up I25, cut over to 287 at Owl Canyon, then up to Laramie, WY where we then cut south on a dirt road. Twenty miles later we enter Colorado again, and 5 miles further is the cabin. We did have to drive off the road and across the prairie in one place close to the cabin to avoid a much-too-deep snow drift. But, we got within a couple of hundred yards of the cabin. We were stopped by a big drift caused by a tree next to the road that makes an excellent snow fence.

End of the road

We carried a cooler and a bag to the cabin. It was somewhat shocking to see how much snow is on our driveway and how high some of the drifts are. There must be drifts that are 4 feet deep.

The driveway close to the cabin

Looks like we won't be getting into the barn this trip

And, we'll have to dig through snow to get to the wood. This is looking back up the driveway toward the gate.

This is the top of our driveay, looking east down HIdden Meadows Lane. This "road" accesses 5 or 6 other properties. 

And, this is HIdden Meadows Lane. At the deepest it is probablyl fifty feet deep along this "road".

The cabin was in fine shape. We keep it heated to 45° during the winter. We just turned up the heat and built a fire in the wood stove and after a few hours were up to 65°, which is quite comfortable.

I watered the batteries. They needed it, and I did not have a lot of distilled water, but every cell got a drink.

We also took the dogs for a short walk (when these photos were taken) and they loved running in the snow.

Lynne is inventing something for dinner that involves ground beef, onion, barbeque sauce. cheese and crescent rolls. Sounds interesting. We'll let you know.

We don't have TV, so will just enjoy the open-hearth fire tonight. With wine. And, whiskey.

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