Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Rock Formations

Posted by: Lynne

Let me first say that Sand Creek Park and the area surrounding it has some pretty unusual rock formations. The sandstone over centuries has been worn away and some interesting shapes have occurred. This particular landmark everyone seems to know by name. But I will not name it here. It's _____ Point.

This particular piece of property has some very interesting formations and wonderful views. Many of the rocks feature this strange striation running through them. Some geological event caused this square rock ridge to appear.

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I Need an Altitude Adjustment

Posted by: Rick

The cabin is 8650 feet above sea level. There are some adjustments that are required at this altitude.

The most obvious when I come here from New Jersey is the inability to breathe. Or, at least breathe comfortably. The air is so thin that I just don't get the oxygen I need in each breath. This leads to quicker breathing accompanied by gasping sounds. My muscles ache from insufficient oxygen, I may feel light-headed. I've known of people to pass out!

It doesn't matter if you are in great physical shape, exercise regularly, get aerobic workouts, or do yoga. You'll feel it.

The good news is that you get used to the high altitude after a while. Your body adjusts. A lot of athletes train at high altitude because it makes them more efficient and gives them more endurance at lower altitudes (at least until they lose their adaptation).

The Rawah Mountains as seen from Sand Creek Pass, around 9500 feet (at the pass)

There are some effects of high altitude that don't go away over time. These are mostly related to the lower atmospheric pressure and thinner air.

I sunburn more easily. The thinner air filters less UV and without protection I will burn.

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Catch-Up

Posted by: Lynne

Hey everybody! Hailey here. Yesterday we walked down to Bart's Creek and I chose the wrong place to cross. It was deeper than I thought and I face-planted in the muddy bank. I didn't like it much even though I am smiling here. 

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Thursday Sunset “Time-Lapse” and Thoughts

Posted by: Lynne

This was the sunset on Thursday evening. It was a pretty quiet day wildlife-wise today. We did have a herd of seven deer cross the meadow early this morning. We were gone most of the morning on a trip in to Laramie so we don't really know what happened while we were gone.The moose made an appearance late afternoon but only down by the salt lick and he didn't come into the meadow. Still, he was here.

We sat on the front porch with our bread pudding with whiskey sauce that we made from our failed bread and just listened to the evening sounds. The Great-Horned Owl was in the Ewok Forest hoo-hoo-hooing, the first time we've heard him this year. We've had a Great Horned for many, many years and since I don't think they live that long it must be offspring of theirs still living in our woods. A very nice thought. Hearing the owl made up for the lack of wildlife. (Hah, listen to me complaining we only saw a herd of seven deer and the moose at the salt lick! Maybe we're becoming spoiled?)

Rick went inside to do something and I stayed on the porch, just taking it all in. Here are the thoughts that ran through my head.

I hear:

  • the gurgling and splash of Bart's creek down in the bottom
  • the "mexican fiesta bird" aka the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet singing his little Mexican ditty : mammachita-mammachita-mammachita (repeat super fast)
  • the Great Horned Owl
  • the light-saber-wielding-whizzing of the hummingbirds
  • the chitting of the chipmunks.

I smell:

the smoke from our woodstove mingling with the scent of wet sage.

I stayed on the porch until the owl stopped as night fell.

And I have this as a final good-bye to the evening. 

Do you have any more questions as to why we want to be here?

Lemonade from Lemons

Posted by: Rick

This post has nothing to do with lemons.

I made a batch of bread on Monday evening. I use the "No Work Bread" recipe/technique from Mark Bittman. It seemed a bit moist, but it fermented nicely and I think in NJ it would have made a phenomenal loaf of bread. Mine cooked forever when I baked it mid-afternoon on Tuesday. The crust was poorly colored, but thick and dry. The crumb was still moist. Basically, it was a failed attempt at bread. 

So with the failed bread, we tried a dessert recipe I'd been wanting to cook for a long time: Emeril Lagasses's New Orlean's Style Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce.

Now that was absolutely delicious!

The bread we did not use went to the birds.

And, I tried again today. It came out better, but I still have work to do to sort out cooking this bread at high altitude. More about all the affects of high altitude in a future post.

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