Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Way Behind

Posted by: Rick

We are way behind in preparing for the winter. And, it seems winter has already come--several times.

By this time last year we had about 5 cords of wood cut, split and stacked. This year, we are well behind that goal.

See the green tarp in the photo above? Last year, that stack of wood was as wide as those poles sticking up and extended outward to where that stack of logs is. The good news is that we do have lots of raw wood close to the cabin. (You can see a pile of aspen logs in the right-bottom of the photo, and another large pile of beetle-kill pine logs to the far left-center.)

Another piece of good news is that after several early-season snow storms, we now have great weather predicted for the next couple of weeks. That will allow us to gather even more raw wood from around the land and get it hauled to the cabin site, where we can cut and split even in winter if needed.

A stack of logs from cutting up a tree that had fallen in the meadow.

We don't have tracks on the Ranger yet as it is needed to continue to haul logs that we cut in the meadow to the cabin site. We don't have our winter provisioning done either. And, we don't have our final fill-up of propane yet. (No worries, as none of this was done at this time last year, either.)

What the heck did we do this year? It has passed so fast!

Well, we did get the exterior of the cabin refurbished. We built a deck on the south side of the cabin. The dogs got a fenced in yard (which has been a huge hit). The barn got stained and painted. We did several dogs shows as well as a few weeks of "vacation". We've been busy. But, now we've got to buckle down and finish getting ready for winter. Who knows what lies ahead?

Monday, October 09, 2017

Snowed Out

Posted by: Rick

If you read this blog last year, you know that we spent a lot of time and effort making sure we would be okay if “snowed in”. With no winter access other than our own ingenuity, getting snowed in at the cabin for several weeks at a time is a real possibility. 

However, we are not prepared to be “snowed out” as we are today. 

View from the cabin into the meadow, from the webcam.

We attended a dog show in Denver over the weekend (where both Bella and especially Destin did well and had a great time). We took the RV and stayed at the show site. We left there about 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and soon realized that, as predicted, Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming were being hit with a big snow storm.

Rather than risk pulling the RV over 8500+ feet passes in snow, we decided to stop in Fort Collins for the night. We were able to find a nice spot after-hours in a KOA campground where we are weathering the storm.

From our webcam as well as reports from neighbors there is about 12” of fresh, heavy, wet snow at the cabin. We are planning to stay here at the campground until we can be assured of getting back into the cabin. We still have to haul the RV to Laramie and put it in storage. Then, make our way home from there. We will give it a day or two, I think.

We learn new things every day. Since we were towing the trailer behind us, it made sense to stay in a campground. But, that was not our first thought. At first we planned to stay in a motel. What a pain that would have been, moving all our stuff from the truck and trailer to the motel room. But, I had winterized the trailer before leaving the dog show site. Since the weather forecast for Laramie was calling for very, very cold temperatures tonight (Monday night), I decided to buy a bunch of RV antifreeze and go ahead and winterize the trailer before towing it back. So, that was one reason to get a motel. But, the trailer is “home” and very comfortable, especially when hooked up to electricity, water and sewer. And, since the “de-winterizing” (summarizing?) process is relatively simple, we decided to do that instead. It took about 1/2 hour (in the cold, wind and snow), but was worth it since we are now cozy in our moveable home. Next time, I’ll think twice before winterizing “on the road”.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Snow? Oh no. No. No. No.

Posted by: Rick

Oh no. Snow. Look what we woke to:

About 2" overnight. 

Friday, December 02, 2016

Heading into Town

Posted by: Lynne

I thought I would share the sights we saw when we went into town yesterday to pick up a few supplies for the coming cold snap.

There is something special about the colors of the West in the transistion of season.

The immaure bald eagle again, same spot!

And on the way back we finally got our bald eagle wish! Two balds were sitting by a kill — a dead antelope — and I only was able to get ready for the photo as one of them took flight.

They are truly magnificent looking birds, so BIG. 

So majestic against a backdrop of snow covered mountains. If you are thinking we have a boring 45-minute drive into town you'd be wrong. I've given up taking photos of all the antelope. Right now they are all herded up and as plentiful as cows.

Friday, November 25, 2016

WILD Life

Posted by: Lynne

It's been a good couple of days for viewing wildlife. I think we are all glad that hunting season in the high country has come to an end. Yay, no more orange!

The pronghorn antelope herd that has been living just over the hill from us is pictured above, obviously before our last snowfall. We never know when we are going to come across them. There are about 30 of them as near as we can count. 

On Thursday when we got up it was still snowing with about three inches on the ground already. When I pulled open the curtains and looked outside, there was a big black moose standing just inside of the Ewok Forest at the edge of the meadow. At first I thought it was the big black cow that was hanging around so much throughout the summer. Then it started to walk into the meadow and HELLO — it was Big Boy honoring us with a visit, not the cow moose I had orignally thought. It was truly hard to photograph him because the camera kept focusing on the snow coming down! Look at those paddles! We keep hoping he sheds them somewhere where we can find them. In fact, we are thinking of buying a kit that teaches a dog how to find and bring back antlers. Destin has such a great nose that we think it would be fun for him. Good luck and haha, right?

We were glad the dogs had already had their out pretty early on because Big Boy decided our meadow was a good place for an early morning nap. Photos just don't do him jusctice. He is HUGE.

Here he is when he first laid down and then a little later on. Funny how the snow seems to fall in a blanket on his back instead of covering him all over.

Big Boy you are welcome any time!

As far as our feathered friends are concerned, we've had some sightings there as well. Going in to town we sometimes see eagles, both bald and golden and lots of different hawks. We have missed several great photo opportunities lately, one being two mature bald eagles sitting together on a rise. No cameras! So now every time we go into town we both have our cameras with telephotos lenses at the ready. We went one week without seeing any big birds at all, which we chalked up to having our cameras with us every time.

Wednesday we had to go in to get eBay's food from the vet and we got lucky a few times.


We are pretty sure this is an immature bald eagle because of the mottling of the underside of the wings.

A little further on we came across this golden eagle sitting on the post of a cattle guard. Pretty head!

On the way back from town we took a different route since we had also gone to the feed store to get a couple of bales of hay to put out for the deer and elk. There is an eagle's nest in a big cottonwood tree and we see the pair of golden eagles that live there once in a while. 

This time instead of seeing the eagles by the tree we found this hawk (unsure of identification) sitting in the cottonwood. Hawks came be so hard to identify. My best guess is a ferruginous hawk. He blends in well!

And finally, a golden eagle just down the road.

Sitty pretty.

Lift-off!

Stupid pole, but you can see the huge wingspan.

We never know what we are going to see either here at home or on the road!

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“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” – Kin Hubbard

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Recent Comments

  • No surprise that the concept of “vacations” for any but the rich is a 20th…

    Posted to: ‘Way Behind’ by Glen Leinbach on 10/14/2017

  • You also had a lot of company distracting you from your preparations!  Posted to: ‘Way Behind’ by Carolyn Clarke on 10/14/2017

  • We have about 3 cords split and stacked. And, probably another cord ready to split.…

    Posted to: ‘Snow? Oh no. No. No. No.’ by Rick on 09/22/2017

  • How’s your wood supply?  Are you ready for this?

    Posted to: ‘Snow? Oh no. No. No. No.’ by Elizabeth on 09/22/2017

  • Your poor geranium! That’s not an insignificant amount of snow, either, for this early in…

    Posted to: ‘Snow? Oh no. No. No. No.’ by Steve on 09/21/2017

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