Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Sunday, April 09, 2017

April Fools

Posted by: Rick

It has been a while since I posted, so I just sat down to do a "catching up" post. And, I saw that Lynne is working on a post with most of the same info. So, I'll just bring you up to date quickly and she'll fill in the details.

Camel Rock Lost Its Head in High Winds

I usually do an April Fool's Day post to our blogs. In the past, the post was usually about our dogs and was targeted at the Bernese Mountain Dog community.

For example, I once did a post about how much Margaux, one of our female BMDs who is no longer with us, enjoyed our hot tub as long as it was set to 102.5°. And, that any temperature below or above that was not acceptable to her. You'd be amazed at the hostile replies I got telling me that putting our dog in the hot tub was not good for her (or the tub). We have actually never even owned a hot tub.

Another time I posted about how the rug we had in our living room, which was made from spun hair from our nine Bernese Mountain Dogs, always made the house smell like wet dog when we shampooed it. A few months later a BMD breeder visited us and ask to see the rug!

Anyway, this year I took a photo of a famous landmark at Sand Creek Park. The landmark has two names. When viewing it from the north or south, it is known as Chimney Rock. You've probably seen lots of photos of it on this blog. When viewed from the east or west, it is know as Camel Rock (see photo below). I used Affinity Photo on my Mac to edit the photo, moving the camel head down the hill as if it had been lopped off (see above photo). I then posted this to the Sand Creek Park Landowners Facebook page with a few short words about how the wind had blown the head off the famous landmark and that it would now need a new name. (At least when viewed from the east and west.) 

Some people got the joke right away. But, some were fooled I guess. The post was shared a couple of dozen times and viewed about 2200 times (last I checked). 

What Camel Rock Really Looks Like

The death threats are slowing down now, ten days later.

There is a lot more going on. We've had a couple of heavy, wet spring snows. One of about 8" and another with about 12". They seem to come on Tuesdays. Of course, this time of year the snow only lasts a couple of days due to the warm, sunny days and warm winds. We did have to take the Ranger out after the last storm because we had an appointment to pick up the travel trailer. So, we drove the tracked vehicle to our tow truck's location at Mr. H's house near the CO/WY border. When we got back, a logging company had plowed the county road, so we ended up driving 5 miles on dirt and mud instead of snow.

When it is bad outside, we work on our weaving. Lynne will show photos of the "mug rugs" I'm working on for the trailer.

We are not yet seeing wildlife: deer, elk, moose. However, we have seen the fox around lately and we've seen lots of hawks and eagles now that the prairie dogs are out and about.

That's about it for now. We are in that transistion between Winter and Spring, and can hardly wait for full-on Spring. (It is snowing as I write this.) I'll try to do a better job of keeping things up-to-date!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Sand Creek National Natural Landmark

Posted by: Rick

A neighbor posted this link to Facebook a few days ago, and I thought I'd share it with you on the OtG site: Sand Creek National Natural Landmark.

Chimney Rock from the Wyoming side.

The cabin is about 5 miles further up this valley (or "park") and quite a bit higher.

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.

Click through for more ...

More...

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.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Property Taxes

Posted by: Rick

One of the reasons we can't retire in New Jersey is the property taxes. Our house here is roughly equal to what we had in Ft Collins, CO before we moved. And, the property taxes are about four times as much. On a fixed income in retirement? Just not possible.

So, I was pretty disappointed to get the Larimer County assessment of our property values at the cabin this year. Our taxes up there will go up by about $400 per year, or about 25% assuming the mill levy stays the same. 

We are very remote and there are no "comps" to use for valuation. So, I think they value our property in comparison to sales in Red Feather Lakes. Okay, our legal address is Red Feather Lakes, but we are miles and miles away over a mountain ridge. There is no comparison. They have paved roads. Year around access. Electricity. A post office! We have none of that.

I've protested, of course. But, don't expect any relief. A neighbor protested several years ago, going all the way to a hearing in Denver. The local assessor did not show up, but called in and testified by phone. She insisted that the use of solar panels for electicity was a "homeowner's choice" and that the last time she was in Sand Creek Park she saw power poles. Also, that every time she'd gone up there the roads had been open. That is just crazy. There are no power poles for miles and miles. And, if she'd come up in the winter, she'd see that the roads are all closed and not maintained.

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Recent Comments

  • Definitely a good characterization of Colorado.

    Posted to: ‘Spring Snowstorm’ by Rick on 05/21/2017

  • PS, our friends in Stockholm sent us this today…could this be Colorado instead?  Or Oregon?…

    Posted to: ‘Spring Snowstorm’ by Tom Davis on 05/21/2017

  • Yep, no question, that’s a traditional Colorado spring. 
    smilePosted to: ‘Spring Snowstorm’ by Tom Davis on 05/21/2017

  • I can certainly understand how that delivery would be monumental.  I am anxious to hear…

    Posted to: ‘Miracles do Happen’ by Tom Davis on 05/19/2017

  • Many hugs from us miles away.  I understand your loss.  Thanks for sharing with us…

    Posted to: ‘Missing Hailey’ by Tom on 05/18/2017

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