Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Busy Bunch of Beavers

Posted by: Lynne

Our land has always had a beaver pond. When we first bought the property back in 1988 there were active beavers. Something happened, not sure just what, but the beavers abandoned the pond and over the years it has actually started to silt over into more like a boggy meadow on one end. It's been that way a very long time.

We were shocked to hike down there this past trip to find it occupied again -- big time. Our little pond has tripled in size and we can longer reach it easily. The beavers had "beavered" away at tons of aspens. Chewed off stumps were everywhere. We now have a clearing where once stood an aspen forest. 

All that destruction to build this huge hotel of a beaver hut:

And this double dam:

In this photo taken from the beaver hut side of the pond you can see the clearing that's been made by taking out so many trees. It used to be solid aspen trees.

See that tree hanging over the pond on the end? The fourth photo down (above) is that same tree. Someone didn't have their engineering degree yet I guess because it obviously fell the wrong way. A waste of a good tree. A BIG tree.

Here's another example of bad engineering. This tree is almost there. But not quite!

It ended up resting on other trees. Pretty amazing. I am thinking that over the winter either the snow or wind will finally take it down. I bet that beaver was pretty frustrated after all that work!

I am glad we have beavers again but I wish they weren't quite so descrutive! I hope after all this work that they stay awhile and don't abandon it yet again! 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

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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