Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Arrival at the Cabin

Posted by: Lynne

On the way in along Brubaker Lane.

Hello from 8,600 feet above sea level! We arrived at the cabin yesterday around 1:30 p.m. after a brief shopping trip at Safeway in Laramie. The roads were not as bad coming in as we had feared they would be after all the rain they've had. Lex did not get too muddy -- darn. 

Once we arrived we set to work sweeping up dead flies by the dustpanfull and Rick worked on getting the cabin working again: turning on the water, checking the batteries, starting the propane fridge (which is a pain!) and turning on the internet and TV (which used to be a pain but is now a breeze) before bringing in all our stuff from the truck in.

While unloading the truck hummingbirds kept zipping by us. Get the feeder ready they seemed to be saying. The stellar jays showed up as soon as I put their food out too. Home Sweet Home.

It also rained on us, and then proceeded to hail on us. The hail was small so it wasn't a big deal, but it did hail enough to have large chunks of ice falling off the roof. Our resident snowdrift that forms every winter is still pretty large. Bart's creek is running like crazy with runoff from the snow melt. The girls enjoy the leftover snow,

The aspens have started to unfurl their leaves but not by a lot. We are due for some warmer weather next week so that might make them really pop. We have some wildflowers, mostly the alpine kind (I'll explain in my next post), and we are hoping that all the normal ones will bloom before we have to leave. We have pasque flowers wherever the snow has recently melted.

Much more to come!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Countdown

Posted by: Lynne

We are counting the days until our departure. Count 'em: two to go!

In case I didn't mention it before, we have decided that it's time for Lex to stretch his legs and see how he performs on the open road and also on the (probably) muddy dirt roads that lead to the cabin. Most of our drive from the cabin into Laramie is over dirt roads scattered with open range cows and antelope. Lex has a very cool feature that adjusts the suspension for different rides. Our roads can become very washboarded and rough, so it will be interesting to see if that feature makes a difference. It's just not a good vehicle for up there until it gets coated with red mud!

Our grass seed arrived safe and sound here in New Jersey. Now we just need to carry it back to Colorado and spread it around our meadow so the moose, deer and elk will come more often. 

I am looking forward to blogging from my own computer this year. In years past I've only had my iPad or share Rick's laptap. Now I have my own since we replaced my outdated desktop computer. Have computer, will travel! Woohoo! I am loving the laptop. Now I won't have to transfer all my photos off Rick's when I get home. I am hoping to feel inspired this year to take really interesting photos. We shall see.

We pack up the truck tomorrow!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Making Lists and Checking Them Twice

Posted by: Lynne

"Don't Fence Me In"

One week from today we'll be on the road west, somewhere in Ohio. I'm starting to make lists upon lists. Lists of things to take. Lists of things we need to buy and take with us. Lists of things I need to do to the house to get ready to leave it for three weeks in case someone comes to look at it. Stop the mail. Buy paint so Ray the Painter can paint our outside walkways while we're gone. Leave a check for the cleaning ladies and the plant watering lady. Don't forget the cowboy hat! And so it goes ...

I don't know what kind of weather we'll find up there since they've had lots of variety in the snow and rain categories. But we'll take whatever it gives us and enjoy each day. 

Our new furnace was hopefully installed this week so that is one less thing we'll have to deal with when we get there. We'll be planting our grass seed that instead of being delivered to our neighbors up there, is now making its way from Cheyenne, Wyoming to our address here in New Jersey. The FedX guy could not find the address for the life of him. The seed will be well traveled.

Here is a look at the mess our meadow was in after having it logged back in 2010.

Here is how it looked last year after having it cleaned up.

The slash piles you see have been burned over the winter and are no longer there. Here is where the grass and wildflower mix will be planted.

We have plenty of other things going on while we are there such as a refurbished propane generator to replace our tiny little gasoline one. Much better than lugging fuel cans full of gas from town, this will be hooked directly in to our propane tank for the cabin.

And of course, there are jigsaw puzzles to be done, books to be read, walks to be taken. Hopefully we'll see some moose while we're there since this is "baby" time for them.

And maybe a herd or two of elk.

We're counting the days!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Fast Does a Pine Tree Grow?

Posted by: Lynne

This little pine tree in our "front yard" started itself as a seedling. We've been keeping track of its growth.

Here is the first pic we took in 2010:

I thought we had taken once per year but I can't for the life of me find one from either 2011 0r 2012.

 

Here is 2013:

And last year, 2014:

It's coming along nicely!

NOTE: for clarification, Rick is 6"2" to give you an idea of scale.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grass Seed and FedEx Delivery

Posted by: Rick

Well, it starts.

We know we are going to have lots of issues with our address. Our legal address is not serviced by the Post Office, so we have to get mail some other way. I'll go into that later.

However, I am told by my neighbors that FedEx will do deliveries right to the cabin (assuming the roads are open). And, UPS is supposed to do the same, but usually leaves packages at a drop box at the Wooden Shoe Ranch in Wyoming, about 7 miles away. Our neighbor recently filed a complain with UPS that their driver was taking the short cut of using the drop box rather than make the drive. (Not sure I blame him or her, but their service is supposed to be to the residence.)

I ordered some grass seed by phone the other day, and paid for FedEx delivery to my neighbor's address, which I am assured they use for home deliveries all the time. I just got a call from FedEx in Cheyenne and the conversation when something like this:

"We have a package for you, to be delivered to 100 Hidden Meadows Ln, Laramie, Wyoming." (I'm substituting our cabin address for the neighbor's address to keep it private.)

Me: "Okay, good."

"However, we can't find that address or any driver that knows anything about it. It appears that the actual location is in Colorado!"

Me: "That's right. But, that is the address my neighbor uses for home delivery with FedEx. And, I'm pretty sure they have had success."

"Hmmm. Never heard of that. Delivering to a house in Colorado with a Wyoming address. Can you call your neighbor or have him call me to try to figure this out?"

And, so it goes. I'll email the neighbor. Meantime, the (very friendly) FedEx guy was going to try to see if deliveries came out of Fort Collins, Colorado instead of Wyoming.

The good news is that we don't need the grass seed for a couple of weeks and we will likely have time to sort it out. The bad news is that this is probably foreshadowing a lot of hassles coming in the future.

A footnote on the grass seed. We plan to seed the areas where the slash piles were burned. I bought 3 pounds of Dry Native Mountain Mix and 1/2 pound of Rocky Mountain Wildflower seeds from Pawnee Buttes Seed located in Greeley, Colorado. I recommend them highly.

Note: Please read the comments for the whole story.

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