Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Fox Has Landed


Yesterday morning as I walked out in the driveway to get the morning paper, I saw a large red fox dart between houses about two doors up the street. Was this an omen? If it was an omen…it was a good one as you can see from the picture above. Yes, I finally have taken possession of my new Arctic Fox fifth wheel trailer.

The day was not without it’s little glitches however. The day before yesterday I had gotten a call from the dealer saying that the “capture plate” I provided him to put on the trailer to match my hitch, didn’t fit. That is a big problem and there is no way to tow the trailer without it. After a couple of hours of panic and scrambling I found the correct part and picked it up on Wednesday morning just before driving down to Colorado Springs.

The drive down was uneventful but my mind was racing with thoughts of the trailer, how it would handle under tow, how I would handle it under tow in traffic and on and on. I was pleasantly surprised that the truck got about 20 mpg on the highway on the way down.

I spent about two hours at the dealership finishing paperwork and doing an inspection of the trailer. After all that it was time to hook up and head home. I was nervous for about 5 blocks. After all I have never towed anything this big and I had to drive in fairly heavy traffic for a couple of miles. After five blocks however I realized that this was an easier tow than my old trailer. The more I drove it the more amazed I was about how easy this thing towed. To top it all off I managed to get 14 mpg while towing it home. That may not sound like a lot but compared to the 7-9 mpg I was getting with the old Class A it’s great.fox2

So the trailer now sits in front of the house. I think I’ll christen it “Bivouac”, just like the original trailer I had a couple of years ago. I spent most of today loading it with all the thing I took out of my old rig and dreaming of my February trip. The covenants of my neighborhood only allow me to keep it on the street for 72 hours so tomorrow I’ll have to take it to the storage lot. I expect I’ll make numerous trips to the lot next week bring things that I forgot to pack.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Brothers….


These pictures are taken from a winter and Christmas long ago….over 50 years ago. I thought of not only my brothers this Christmas but our Mother and Father as well. Peace…………





Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Barbecue!!!


The Bride arrived back home from her trip to North Carolina Monday morning at about 2am. She was supposed to land at the Denver airport at about 10pm on Sunday night but because of the snow storm on the East Coast, her flight was delayed. It was delayed not because of the weather at the airport but because not enough service personnel could make it in to work at Dulles airport to keep the planes flying on-time. In spite of the weather and delays she had a good time with her mother and I got a special gift out of the trip too!

Long time readers will remember that I have an affinity, a yen, a sweet tooth as it were for barbeque. Not just any barbecue mind you but the best barbecue in the land…..North Carolina pork barbecue. Not Texas cow and ketchup not grilled yard bird but honest to God North Carolina chopped pork barbecue. One of my favorite places to get a barbecue fix…when I’m in the area, is Mr. Barbecue in Winston-Salem, NC. I have been going to this fantastic little barbecue place for over 30 years now but it’s been about two years since my last visit and I’ve got to admit that I have thought of that barbecue more than once in that time.bbq7

To paraphrase a saying, “if his-self can’t go to the barbecue, bring the barbecue to his-self!” and that’s exactly what The Bride did. The Bride, bless her little heart, put a whole barbecued pork leg, from Mr. Barbecue, in her luggage and brought it to me as a Christmas present. This is no little task as the pork leg is a bulky item and probably weighs 5 or 6 pounds. She had it frozen, wrapped in tin foil and then wrapped in a plastic bag. From experience I can tell you that a whole leg is by far the most efficient way to transport barbecue. Carrying it in a chopped state is way too bulky and reduces the amount of this culinary gold that will fit in a suitcase.

bbq2 Since I prefer my barbecue chopped, my task this morning was to reduce the leg to chopped ‘cue. While the process is pretty simple, great care must be taken to ensure that nothing gets wasted. After all this manna from heaven doesn’t fall in Colorado very often!

The meat is carefully carved off the bones of the leg ensuring that nothing edible is left behind. In my case the bones are so clean that even ants refuse to waste their time foraging for a meal!

After the meat is stripped from the bones it’s chopped into the desired consistency.bbq4 I prefer a variety of sizes to the chopped meat and chop it so there are small and medium sized pieces.

The barbecue is then packaged in quart sized freezer bags and stored away. Each freezer bag has enough of this redneck caviar to serve about four normal people or two and a half North Carolina barbecue aficionados.

I now have five quart sized bags of Mr. Barbecue, barbecue in my freezer just waiting to please my palate and stomach at the right moment. Life is good!



Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not Feeling Like A Motherless Child Anymore!


My new Arctic Fox fifth wheel was delivered to the dealer in Colorado Springs on Friday so first thing yesterday morning I drove down there to look at it. Due to the Christmas holidays I won’t be able to actually take possession of it until the 29th. The outside has not been cleaned up yet from it’s trip from Oregon and it shows. Apparently it went through a pretty good snow storm in Wyoming and it looks pretty grungy but the dealer promised it would look perfect when I come to pick it up. The dealer has started his inspection and prep and during the initial inspection found that the kitchen faucet had a small leak. He was unable to fix it so he has ordered a new faucet from the factory.

One of the reasons I drove down there yesterday was to give the dealer the “capture plate” that must be installed on the pin box of the trailer before I can tow it with my SuperGlide hitch. After talking with the dealer for a while I spent about a half hour just sitting inside the trailer dreaming of the trips I will begin to take in it starting in February. I have managed to keep my enthusiasm in check up till now but now that it’s actually here I am “overflowing”!

I brought all of the manuals for the different appliances and features of the trailer home with me so my task today is to go through them and read them.

I spoke with The Bride this morning. They didn’t get as much snow and ice as was predicted but it’s still pretty dicey there. While we were talking I checked online for her flights….she flies from Greensboro, NC to Washington Dulles, to Denver. Both flights are still showing on-time but Washington Dulles is starting to report short delays. She will lay over in Washington Dulles for about four hours and leave there around 8pm so hopefully things will have cleared up by then.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Home Alone – Almost

The Bride left home at about 4am on Monday morning for a visit with her mother, Ladder Lady, in NC leaving The Emmer and I to fend for ourselves until Sunday. Fortunately over the last few years I have done enough cooking so that The Emmer and I will not starve. My repertoire is not anywhere close to as extensive as The Bride’s but it is enough to keep the two of us from wasting away.

I have received a report from The Bride that she arrived without incident and is enjoying the visit with her mother, brothers and their families. She also reports that she timed her trip perfectly to coincide with a potentially major snow storm in the area! This is what Weather Underground is forecasting for Saturday, when the storm finally moves out…


Cloudy. Snow likely...mainly in the morning. Total snow accumulation of 10 to 14 inches possible. Ice accumulation around a trace. Cold with highs in the lower 30s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

From having lived in the area for many years I can tell you that this is going to be a big deal. Even though she is in the western part of the state where they are a little more accustomed to snow, they still do not have the equipment to keep the roads clear for a storm of this magnitude. Add to that, the fact that most of the electricity is delivered by above ground lines and there is a distinct chance that they could lose power for a couple of days as well. The Brides visit may be a little longer than she anticipated.

On the RV front, my new trailer should be delivered to the dealer either today of tomorrow and the dealer says that they will have it ready for me by Tuesday. That however presents a scheduling problem related to another project I have been working on.

Over the last year or so I have become interested in becoming a member of the Elks fraternal organization. A few weeks ago I went to the local Elks Lodge and enquired about membership. Long story short, this Tuesday I will be going to the Lodge for an interview and indoctrination so I will have to postpone getting my new rig until after Christmas. It’s just a good thing that I’m retired because I don’t think I could manage my schedule and squeeze in some “working” as well.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Dinner With The Circle


Saturday the full Circle got together for our annual Christmas dinner. The six of us have been doing this for about five or six years now and it’s something we look forward to. Prior to the dinner itself we normally gather at one of our houses and exchange gifts. This year we gathered at K and Too Tall – Two Timing’s home. They provided atmosphere, hors d’oeuvres, and champagne….can’t have a Christmas get together without a little bubbly.

dinner1 The gifts rely more on imagination than dollars spent and we usually have a fine old time in exchanging them. Some of the gifts are practical and some just plain silly. One year Too Tall gifted the guys with coonskin caps and playing on that theme this year I gifted the guys with some Rasta hats I found while on our cruise last month. I’m not sure when we will wear them but I’m working on a theme camp out for this summer.

Among other things the ladies of the group usually exchange Christmas tree ornaments. It’s fun looking at our tree and seeing these ornaments that represent some really good times.

For the past three years I have been giving everyone a calendar for the following year. Each month of the calendar contains a picture of The Circle or some of us on one of our past adventures. I have edinner2njoyed doing it and I think the rest of the group looks forward to getting it. I never tell them which pictures I am going to use so everyone is anxious to make sure I haven’t used a particularly silly image of them. 

This year’s dinner was had at La Dolce Vita Restaurant in the small community of Castle Pines which is just a little north of Castle Rock, CO. It was a very nice restaurant and it’s hard to go wrong with Italian food. As we were dining a very talented young lady wandered around the restaurant singing to the different groups of diners. For our table she sang a wonderful rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” that was written by Willie Nelson in 1961…..I thought it fit the group pretty well!

dinner5 Dessert, coffee and after dinner drinks completed the evening. It was another great get together and we’re already searching for that next Circle adventure.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Comin’ Atcha!


Well the storm system moved out of here this morning but it left bitter cold. The picture above was taken at 7:38 am. Don’t freak, it doesn’t say –95, it’s –9point5 but that still plenty cold. The high got all the way up to +20 but it didn’t stay there for long and it’s now back to single digits.

The storm is now headed east and in watching the news, it looks like readers to the east of me are now getting the worst of it.

Yesterday, in the midst of the cold and snow I had my truck tonneau cover installed. It looks great and will be perfect for what I want it to do. I’ll post a picture later.  All I need to do now is get the snow out of the bed of the truck. That will take a day or so as the temperatures are not supposed to get above freezing until tomorrow.  I also called the RV dealer to check on the status of my fifth wheel. They said it rolled off the line early this week and is scheduled to be delivered next week. The dealer will take a day or so to do his thing and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll pick it up. If the weather cooperates I’ll probably spend the night at Cheyenne Mountain State Park the day I pick it up to try out all the systems before I drag the rig back to the Denver area. That park is only 8-10 miles from the dealership.

Meanwhile, The Bride is scheduled to fly out of here on the 15th to visit her Mom, Ladder Lady, in North Carolina. She will return on Sunday the 20th.

I took this picture this afternoon. If you look close you can see my reflection in the Christmas tree ornament…bulb

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We’re Havin’ A Heat Wave!

Things have been pretty low key this week. It’s been a frigid week with light snow and very cold temps which started on Tuesday. Right now it’s 11 degrees but we’re fixin’ to have a heat wave! The weather shaman says it will break the freezing mark today and get all the way up to 33 degrees! ….And, be still my heart, it will get all the way to a balmy 39 degrees on Saturday!

The title of the 1938 Irving Berlin song I used for the post title is right on point…even if the rest of the lyrics don’t follow my subject line too well.

We're having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave,
The temperature's rising,
It isn't surprising,
She certainly can can-can.

She started a heat wave
By letting her seat wave
In such a way that
The customers say that
She certainly can can-can.

Gee, her anatomy
Makes the mercury
Jump to ninety-three.

We're having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave,
The way that she moves
That thermometer proves
That she certainly can can-can.

In contrast to my last post in which I referred to a terrible song (These Boots Are Made For Walking), this is a classic song that I have enjoyed over the years. First sung by Ethel Merman, it was also sung by Marylin Monroe in the 1954 movie, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. Her version is typical Marylin….

The heat wave is only going to last through Saturday however and then we’re in for another blast of cold weather so it looks like next week will be low key as well.temps

This evening The Circle is scheduled to get together at a local restaurant for their happy hour specials. It’s a nice restaurant and the specials include not only half price drinks but half price hors d’oeuvres. About two months ago we did the same thing and with a couple of glasses of wine and enough food for a good dinner, the cost was only $25 a couple!

On the  RV front, I’ve had a Pullrite Superglide fifth wheel hitch installed in the bed of my pickup truck. These hitches are a bit pricey but have a reputation for being one of the best. The model I bought allows the hitch to “glide” towards the back of the truck when turning corners. This prevents the cab of the truck from crunching the trailer in tight turns.hitch

I am now waiting for the delivery of a retractable tonneau cover for the bed of the truck that will allow me to leave the hitch in the bed of the truck and still be protected from the weather. The cover is also lockable for the security of the hitch and whatever else I may carry in the truck bed. I ordered the cover over two weeks ago and was told that it would only take 3-5 days for delivery but something obviously went wrong because I’m still waiting. The store swears it will be here by today but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 30, 2009

These Feet Are Made For Walking


…..but they haven’t done much of it lately.

I have been fighting a problem with my right foot since early this year. Early in the year it was just a nuisance, an irritation between my little and fourth toe. As the year wore on it became more of a problem and I consulted my family physician.

She turned me over to her Physician’s Assistant who diagnosed as a plantar wart and we spent most of the summer trying to freeze it off. The PA said that because of the unusual location it would take a while to get rid of it. I think we tried the freezing bit about 5 or 6 times over a period of about 4 months and through all of my Forest Service, Passport in Time projects this summer I was really uncomfortable.

In late October I’d had about enough and realized that what we were doing was not resolving the issue. After another meeting with my family physician she referred me to a Podiatrist who quickly recognized that the problem was a bone spur at the base of the little toe. She said it was a relatively easy fix but it would entail some outpatient surgery and afterwards I would be unable to drive for about two weeks.

I was totally in favor of a surgical fix but the two week no drive part brought up a problem. I’m scheduled to pick up my new fifth wheel in about two weeks. Since it’s an out of town dealer and it’s also a “special order” I really couldn’t delay the pick up. That caused me to schedule the surgery for mid-January (the next available date for the Podiatrist).

Sooooo…I have now decreased my activity level significantly and am trying to compensate a little by using the stationary bicycle in my home gym. For whatever reason the bicycle doesn’t irritate my foot too much and I’m able to get a bit of a workout. I’ll be glad when January rolls around and the problem is resolved because I am planning a trip to New Mexico and Arizona in February and I want to be able to fully enjoy the outdoor activities that are available.

Incidentally, the title of this post is a take-off on the 1966 Nancy Sinatra hit “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. I remember the song well because I hated it. I don’t know what it was about the song but it just made me cringe every time I heard it. The “Ol Blue Eyes” genetics certainly didn’t show through on this musical effort!

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Circle Thanksgiving


The full Circle got together yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Since our house is physically located between Guitar & Pic-E’s and Too Tall-Two Timing & K’s The Bride and I acted as host and hostess. The ladies made sure that we six (and The Emmer and Too Tall’s daughter, Jennie) and half the Chinese army wouldn’t go hungry. I seem to remember two or three different types of dressing, two different mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, several different desserts, countless other dishes and…oh yeah, some wine and some champagne. Instead of turkey, this year we had prime rib and even though it took a while to get it cooked enough it was wonderful. thanks1

When I was younger, Thanksgiving was a nice holiday in which the family got together but I don’t think I really, really appreciated the “Thanks” part the way I do now. Losing my parents and seeing my oldest daughter get married in the past few years has really given me a down and dirty appreciation for the things in life that I have to be thankful for. I’m one lucky guy and every day I realize this even more.

After our dinner we watched the last part of the Denver Bronco’s football game and I had one more thing to be thankful for….a win.

Finally I’m thankful for the gorgeous day today…sunny and temps in the 60’s. It was so nice that I spent most of the morning in the back yard trying to clean up fall leaves which I hadn’t gotten to earlier because of a surprise snow storm in October. There’s still a little snow in the yard so I didn’t get them all and tomorrow the weather is supposed to turn cold again with snow flurries.

I have more news on preparing for the arrival of the new fifth wheel trailer but I’ll save that for a separate post.


Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Colonel Must Be Smiling

Shoot small

My Dad was an avid sportsman and loved to hunt and fish. He was also a man of modest means. Like any sportsman he drooled at the latest in rods, reels, lures and firearms but supporting a family of a wife and four boys didn’t leave him much in the way of discretionary cash.

In 1956, he was a Major in the Army and stationed in Livorno, Italy. I have mentioned before that this was a great time to be in Europe. Not only were Americans worshiped but the dollar was strong. For my Dad it must have been like getting a 100% raise. We all lived pretty well for the three years he was stationed there, and my Dad was able to treat himself to a Franchi over and under shotgun with a hand tooled Italian leather case. It was one of his prized possessions.

Shortly before my parents moved from their home of 30 years in Upatoi, GA to a retirement center in Columbus, GA, my brother, #1, gathered up all Dad’s guns for safe-keeping. About a year ago I expressed an interest in the shotgun. I gave up hunting after being discharged from the Army but I always admired the beauty of the gun so #1 sent it to me. It was my intention to hang it on the wall in my basement next to my Dad’s cavalry horse bridle.

I had to work on the “beauty” a little as my Dad had, in a fit of security consciousness, engraved his Social Security number across the receiver (the metal portion of the gun just above the trigger housing). To fix this I had a gunsmith file off the number and put two brass plaques over the area with my Dad’s name and life dates. You can see one of the plaques in the picture above.

Enter my daughter, Cajenn. A little over a year ago she married a wonderful guy, Cajon, and he also is an avid sportsman and hunts and fishes at every opportunity. The more I looked at the shotgun in the basement, the more I thought that The Colonel would be pleased if someone would use and enjoy the gun as he did….

This past summer The Bride and I visited with Cajenn and Cajon in California and I brought the shotgun to him as a gift. This past weekend he used it hunting for the first time and Cajenn went with him….and trusty Lab, Shylo, on a hunt. The picture above and below show him in action with the shotgun. The pictures, sent by my daughter, brought a tear to my eye.

Good hunting Cajon, and God Bless.

The Colonel must be smiling!

Shoot small2

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I’m Having Hot Flashes!

hot flash

I could have used that title to describe the fluctuation in weather we’ve been having. It was gorgeous last week until Saturday when it began to snow off and on throughout the day, at nightfall it really picked up and by Sunday morning we had 10'”-13” of wet snow. This morning it is bitter cold but the forecast is that by early afternoon it will be in the upper 40’s and will be in the mid 50’s by Wednesday. That is not why I chose the title, however.

This will give you a good laugh at my expense. I’m rich in some of my miscues so don’t feel bad, laugh!

For quite a number of years now I have been taking a number of vitamin supplements every morning. I generally put the pills into one of those plastic containers that are partitioned off into 7 little compartments and are designed for this purpose. Just before we left on our cruise I had a routine eye exam and because I have a history of macular degeneration, it was recommended that I take an additional supplement for eye health…no problem…I bought some and added it to the mix.

Yesterday my little “week of pills” box was empty so I refilled and this morning I took my allotted portion. About fifteen minutes after taking the pills I started having severe hot flashes and my forehead and arms felt like severe prickly heat. I was stunned, confused and a little worried. I went upstairs to talk to The Bride and after a little while we discovered that my eye supplement pills and the niacin pills she was taking for cholesterol control looked almost exactly the same. So close were they that I had inadvertently loaded my “week of pills” box with niacin instead of the benign eye supplements.

It seems as if niacin has a common side effect known as the “niacin flush”. It is described as very similar to the hot flashes a woman in menopause experiences! Unfortunately, I now have had that experience… I guess the next time a woman says to me that I just don’t know how a woman feels, I can dispute the statement!

It didn’t take me long to get to my little “week of pills” box and rectify the situation and The Bride got a good laugh out of the situation because she had stopped taking the niacin for the very same reason and has since relied on diet and exercise to control her cholesterol.

The morals of the story are twofold. First, don’t assume that the opposite sex has no idea how you feel physically. Modern chemistry can make the dividing line in feelings very faint. Second, even with over the counter vitamins, be very careful! Make sure you know what you are ingesting or you too could have hot flashes….or worse.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mojitos To Mountains


“Ten days on the road and I’m gonna’ make it home tonight…” I can hear the lyrics in my mind but for the life of me I can’t remember the title of the song? Even Google didn’t help with this one. Anyway, it was ten days on the road and we did make it home. We had a great time and it was good for The Bride and her mother Ladder Lady to spend quality time together.

Disembarkation in San Juan on Sunday was a little dicey because our “servants”, our “employees”…the ICE…Immigration & Customs Enforcement decided to send a total of three….count em’ 3…officers to screen about 3,000 passengers that were trying to get to their land hotels or flights back to the mainland. In the end they pretty much let everyone through by just flashing an ID card of some type and not inspecting any baggage….Feel safe now America? home2

Fortunately I had built in time at both the beginning and the end of the trip. After disembarkation we went to the fabulous resort hotel, El San Juan for a night of de-pressurization before making the last leg of the journey. I had stayed at the El San Juan on business, many years ago and always fantasized that it would be great to show this place to The Bride. It took about 20 years but I did make the fantasy come true.  The ladies were suitably impressed and even commented that they would have considered spending ten days there rather than on the cruise. Little did they know that it was about three times more expensive per day that to “cruise”.

The trip back was “payback” and the only way to survive is to put yourself into a catatonic state…which I did for the day of waiting, lines, and inconsiderate people. We arrived home at about 8 pm on Monday evening. Just in time to watch the Bronco’s lose the Monday night football game…..just more payback for having a great 10 days.

home3 The remaining part of this week will be filled with all the inglorious details of coming home…laundry, restocking the fridge, paying bills, etc. Fortunately, the weather is not a total shock, with temps in the 60’s for a few more days until colder weather sets in.

Now I have to reset my mental latitude and get back to thinking of the new trailer, getting a fifth wheel hitch, doing all the small details so that in about 30 days I can start on the next adventure.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life Is Good


Posted from Tortolla, BVI….havin’ fun.

cruise2 cruise3

cruise4 cruise0


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shut My Mouth!


In my last post I said “let it snow” because tomorrow we leave for a Caribbean cruise…..I hope! Seems as if the snow storm that started Tuesday, will hang around for another day, stopping tonight. Before it departs the weather shaman says we’ll get and additional seven inches of snow. So far I estimate we gotten about 36” of snow here at the house

I have already shoveled the driveway twice and used the snow blower on it three times. I’ve had to shovel a portion of the back yard so that Molly Dog can do her “business” because without that she would have to be Mole Dog instead of Molly Dog.  I’ve even shoveled the deck one time because I was afraid of the weight of the snow on it. Keep that in mind when you look at the picture of the deck. When I shoveled it, the snow was about as high as it is in the picture. Picture twice as much snow.snow2

Yesterday afternoon I had to go help The Emmer get out of the parking lot where she works because the snow and snow plows had her pretty much walled in.

This morning it was bad enough that I decided that I would just drive her to work so at 3pm I’ll have to go back and get her. In the meantime I have to take Molly Dog to the kennel where she will stay while we are gone. In between all that I’ll probably have to shovel the driveway at least one more time.

We will leave here at about 4:30 am tomorrow morning and head to the airport. God, I hope they do a good job on the roads today!

I will be grateful for a change in latitude!

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Take Me To The Caribbean


The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! The picture above is the weather shaman’s guesstimate of how much white stuff we could have by Thursday afternoon. It will begin snowing tonight and continue off and on until mid day Thursday.

I say “let it snow” because bright and early Friday morning The Bride and I and The Emmer head to the airport to fly to San Juan, PR and get on a Princess cruise ship for the Caribbean. The snow on the ground at that time will just make the transition to the Caribbean that much sweeter. Our ports of call on this cruise include St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. We will meet Ladder Lady in Atlanta and then all fly together to San Juan, spend two nights there in Old San Juan before boarding the ship on Sunday morning.

On the practical side of things, I moved the snow blower up to the front of the garage today and made sure it had gas….and would start. I will probably have to use it tomorrow. We’re also finishing up doing some interior painting at the house. The painters started Monday and should finish up tomorrow. This is something that was on our “to do” list for some time but this week is the first time that the painter and us could agree on a schedule. Between all the furniture that has been moved around and suitcases being packed the house looks like it’s been turned upside down. I hope the painting will be done tomorrow so that I can put the house back together on Thursday before we leave.

I will be bringing my computer with me on the trip but don’t know if I’ll have time…or connections, to use it, so this may be the last post for about 10 days.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It Must Have Been An “Arctic” Front


Yesterday morning it began to snow. A wet, early season snow. The temps were so close to freezing in the morning that some of the precipitation was more like white rain. As the day progressed it got colder and by late afternoon we had about two inches of snow on the ground. By the time the system blew out of the area early this morning we had gotten about four inches of snow.

rox2 There’s something about the first snow of the season. It seems non threatening, and because it’s been so long (going on 5 months now) since the last snow, it’s a novelty and something to be enjoyed. With that in mind, yesterday morning, I headed for the local State Park hoping to stumble on some good photo opportunities.

My premise was good but my timing was not so good as the clouds and snow kept the visibility down to a minimum. Add to that, the very slushy conditions and I didn’t spend a whole lot of time seeking the perfect pic. It was pretty though, and I was the only one in the park besides the rangers….and they were hunkered down in their office.rox4

Back at home in the afternoon, I commenced studying other “Arctic” things…..stay with me here, there’s a point….the quotation marks are there for a purpose.

I have been chronicling my search for a fifth wheel trailer on this blog since the beginning of September. I’ve spent a lot of time, and mileage, searching for that one fifth wheel that was perfect for The Bride and I. It’s a difficult task because The Bride and I both have different expectations and wish lists. In the last few days I have almost bought three different trailers, only to reconsider and change my mind.

One of the brands on the list was Arctic Fox…..get it now? Yesterday was a perfect time to review all of the pluses and minuses of this particular trailer. By the time I was done reviewing I had decided that this was the trailer for me. This morning I called and placed an order for my new Arctic Fox 27-5L fifth wheel trailer.

This unit is really head and shoulders above the rest of the trailers I was looking at. That was one of my problems. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted something that much better that the rest of my candidates because  you do pay for “better”. After thinking about it for the day however I know I made the right decision and I am “pumped”.fox1

This trailer is a true four season trailer. It has superior insulation, thermo pane windows and even an electric blanket that is wrapped around the water and waste tanks to keep them from freezing in cold weather. It is also solidly built and weights a bit more than the other units I was considering.

It is not as long, and consequently doesn’t have as much living space inside as some of the other units I was considering but the other longer units wouldn’t have worked at most of the Forest Service gigs I did this summer….Life is a trade-off.

The bad news is that because I had a specific list of things I wanted with it, I couldn’t find one already built that way so I have to order it from the factory. The build date is scheduled for the second week in December and I expect it will be mid January before it is delivered to the dealer in Colorado Springs.fox2

Tomorrow I drive down to Colorado Springs and give the dealer a deposit to make things official….I won’t be a motherless child for too much longer!

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Weekend In The Mountains


This is true Colorado weather. After a very chilly week (see my last post), things warmed up considerably. The Bride and I headed out on Friday morning to spend the weekend in the ski resort, Keystone, about a hour west of the Denver metro area. The weather was absolutely perfect, 60’s daytime with brilliant blue skies.ski1

Before the ascent, I took The Bride to three different RV dealers to look at new fifth wheels. We have both agreed on several parameters and those choices narrow the range of trailers to look at. Of all the different units we have looked at we are down to three models that we now need to choose from…that is providing that something unknown doesn’t pop up before a decision is made. Looking is fun but there are so many variables that it can be confusing at times. Each unit has pluses and minuses but it seems like no one unit has it all so we have to make choices.ski2

The RV search lasted until noon and after a quick lunch we headed into the mountains. The weather could not have been more perfect and it was soul soothing to get into the high country under these conditions. Our destination was the Ski Tip Lodge. This quaint little lodge is an old 1880’s stage stop that was converted into a ski lodge in the 1940’s and then acquired by the ski resort in the 1970’s. Throughout the years it was remodeled and added on to numerous times but it still only has nine rooms. It would never be able to live up to today’s building codes because of the narrow winding hallways, frequent step ups and downs and other eccentricities of the add on building style. That is however one of the reasons it is so charming. It also has a fabulous restaurant in the lodge itself.ski4

Saturday morning we decided to go into the resort area of Keystone. We were surprised to find that we were there in the slowest time of the year, after the leaf peeping but before the ski crowd arrived.  It was absolutely deserted! The picture above was taken at 9:30 in the morning and if you look closely you can see one, count ‘em, one person in the middle of the retail area (I marked him with an arrow). Most of the shops and restaurants were closed until the snow falls.

That was a bummer to The Bride as shopping is ALWAYS a big part of any get away. Fortunately, Breckenridge is only a short drive from Keystone so Saturday afternoon was spent browsing around another ski town. There was much more activity in Breckenridge and all the stores were open and doing a brisk business.ski5

This morning after a leisurely breakfast we headed back to the Denver area. We avoided I-70 for a while and took the Loveland Pass road which goes right by Arapahoe Ski Basin. This ski area is always one of the first to open for skiing and it’s not uncommon for it to be open as late as June at the end of the season. Sure enough there were quite a number of “early bird” skiers on the slope.

By the time we made it back into the Denver area (45 minutes) the temperature was up to 75 degrees. That change in temperature is appropriate as in two weeks, The Bride, The Emmer and I leave for a Caribbean cruise. We will fly from here to San Juan on the 29th and return to the Denver area on the 9th of November. More about that in a later post.

Thanks for visiting


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