We made it! Well… we arrived safe & sound. Our garden pots are quite wind blown & don't look very good but we're hoping they'll bounce back!
We drove to the home of Kim & Chris – folks I had met on the SLV owner /builder board – and stayed there Monday & Tuesday. Their home is about 5 miles from the NM border and while we appreciated their kindness, we really felt we needed to be closer to Ft. Garland.
Tuesday (6/3): We drove to Ft. Garland in the morning, ate breakfast at Lu's Old West Café then spent most of day driving around the Sangre de Cristo Ranches. We were able to easily locate the 3 properties that had been sent to us by a realtor (I'm a great navigator!). While none of them are exactly what we're looking for… each one of them had things (from the outside) that we liked and depending on the condition of the inside they may be something we could handle.
We drove out to our lot – to see the new driveway & to determine whether or not we could pull the camper out there. Unfortunately (?) the grade is WAY too steep to get the camper up there safely (read: without blowing up the truck engine!). We thought maybe the lot would be more easily accessible going up the back road - but it was, if possible, worse! Guess it's tents only (rats! We left those in Nebraska!)… unless we could get a helicopter to air lift the camper! We also drove out to our lot in Forbes Park… it's still there… pretty much the way we'd left it.
We had dinner that evening at a "new to us" place called All-Gon Pizzeria. Guess it's been here about 3 years. We had heard good things about it. It's run by a couple who head a small local church that I had attended a couple of times when we had been out here before. The food was REALLY good!
Wednesday (6/4): We loaded the camper & headed north on Hwy. 159 to Ft. Garland. We found the RV Park & filled out the appropriate forms to stay & discovered the folks who own the park are from Avoca, Nebraska! We also discovered that we did not have a water hose to connect the camper, nor did we have the appropriate hoses for black water disposal. We'll be getting those SOON!
In the afternoon we met with a local realtor who drove us around to see some acreages he had listed (none of these had homes – one did have scary looking shack though!). A couple of them had views of Mountain Home Reservoir and Mt. Blanca can be seen from just about everywhere! Jerry is particularly interested in one as it has a creek on the back of the lot & it had water running when we walked to it. Most of what we looked at had lots of sagebrush, cactus, sand (and ants!), and a mixture of cedar, pinon & scrub oak. There was evidence on every property of the wildlife that had been there. Silly me! I wore flip-flops - which are not really meant to be worn in that kind of terrain! I'll remember my walking shoes next time! We decided to walk to All-Gon (maybe ½ mile each way) about 6:30 to have soup & salad (we tried the first time to do the salad bar & have an entrée – it's just TOO much). I was hoping they had more cream of asparagus soup & I was NOT disappointed!
Skeeter did amazingly well with traveling & has done well in the confines of the camper. Lucky for us, there's really not enough room for him to chase his tail (one of his favorite pastimes) in the camper. He's gotten to make a couple new "dog friends" already so we think this is good since he came to us fairly unsocialized! He seems very grateful to be able to get out and run when he gets the opportunity but always returns when called! He went with us (with the Realtor) and was loving all the new smells and even found part of a bone (deer, maybe?) that he carried around for most of the time.
Thursday (6/5): Early this morning – about 1:30 – Skeeter stuck his cold nose under my elbow letting me know he had to potty. The night sky is just beautiful here! It cooled off considerably overnight from daytime temps of about 74 degrees. (I've already gotten a little sunburn on the back of my neck, my nose & cheeks.) I guess the overnight temperature is usually about half of the daytime temperature. The humidity is low here (about 17%) but it's been really windy! They say the winds calm down when all the snow is off Mt. Blanca. Needless to say… there is still snow on Mt. Blanca! It decided to rain sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. (when Skeeter had to potty again) and now it's quite chilly outside. I'll be wearing jeans & a sweatshirt (and real shoes) today for sure! We have to make a trip to Alamosa to get the hoses we need for the camper and pick up a few groceries. I'll probably do some laundry when we get back "home". By now it is sprinkling again and about 45 degrees. If the weather cooperates tonight we'll be having steak on the grill. If not, it will be something easily prepared in the camper as we're planning to go to the Community Center for a swim in the Olympic-size swimming pool & maybe sit in the hot tub.
Tomorrow morning we'll go with another agent from the same realtor's office to look at a couple houses. Will take pictures & be sure to add them…provided I can ever get Internet service! Wi-fi is very spotty here so we're kind of at the mercy of others to use their service or be lucky enough to find wi-fi somewhere along the way!
Jerry sends his best to everyone and wants to know how the pool is coming along!!
Skeeter says "Woof"!
June 6, 2008 - Friday
Yesterday it was rainy & cold... Mt. Blanca & Mt. Lindsey even got snow at 14,000 feet. But this morning we woke to blue skies & sunshine. High temp was in the mid-70's. Just another day in paradise!
We met another Realtor today & looked at two different places. One home is basically a construction site... has LOTS that has to be done to make it livable and there is LOTS of stuff around it... 11 cars, 3 campers, a horse trailer, 5 motorcycles, 2 snowmobiles, 2 riding lawn mowers.... the list goes on. This owner/builder did have a septic in (but not functioning) as well as the pit for a cistern. If there's anything to say about this... the asking price is reflected in what's for sale. You can see photos of this handyman cabin by clicking Colorado Pix in my photo albums. Some of you I know are cringing at the site of this... it's definitely not a turnkey operation, but with a lot of work we think it could be a nice place!
The second one is what appears to be a tiny A-frame in the middle of a sea of sagebrush. It has a copper colored metal roof that shines like the sun! (sorry, no photos of this one) I was pleasantly surprised upon entering it that it was not claustrophobic, but actually quite cozy & homey... yes, small... but nonetheless... cozy! We met the gentleman who built the house & lives there... he's an interesting man... I mean that in a good way! We spent some time visiting with him & took him to see our lot in Forbes Park ~ hiked up to the top of our lot, onto the adjacent lot & to the next road... which was at about 9800'. We discussed the possibility of maybe working out a trade. Who knows what will happen.
I got some more sun today while standing outside visiting with the Realtor & the owner of the second home. I wore jeans & tennis shoes so my legs are still pasty but my face & the back of my neck & shoulders are pink! Jerry seems to be covered up when we leave the camper... doubt if he'll even get a farmer's tan at this rate!
Skeeter thoroughly enjoyed his day... running around the lot & finding elk bones that had been picked clean & dried in the sun. He's had his dinner now & is laying quietly at my feet while I type! He's a good companion... we just wish he was a little less wound-up. I keep telling myself "he's just a puppy".
Don't know yet what tomorrow holds in store for us. Maybe a trip to LaJara to the lumber yard / mill. Sunday we'll be having our first unofficial visitors... Mike & Daryla (a couple in our group of friends)... who are coming out this way on their way to New Mexico. Not sure yet what we're going to be doing... hopefully the weather will hold out & be nice so we can be outside doing something fun!