It has been a little over a week since we arrived at our new home in Colorado. While there is still “stuff” scattered everywhere, I am no longer looking at piles of unpacked boxes.
In my barndominium, I had built an awesome closet with tons of hanging space, shelving, and storage. Our closet here is about a third the size and needs a major overhaul to make it more efficient. It is not possible to unpack boxes of closet items if there is nowhere to put them. Consequently, for the time being there are still lots of boxes in my sewing room. We need to purchase a dresser to provide additional storage. Additionally, we are heading to town tomorrow to pick up underbed storage boxes.
A temporary landing spot for the LQ trailer
Alan was gone for a few days as he headed back to Kansas to take his friend home and retrieve the 35 foot Living Quarters horse trailer (the “LQ”.) My job, while he was gone, was to find a place to park it temporarily while we unloaded it. We plan to store it long term at an RV facility. We don’t want to even try to take it up the mountain. One of my neighbors suggested I ask the DOT folks who had a facility very close to the access road up the mountain. I wasn’t terribly optimistic but all they could say was “No!”, right? I stopped by the facility, only to be greeted by a sign that said, “Call, don’t visit.” So I copied down the number so I could call when I got into town and had cell service.
On the way to Loveland, I stopped at Sylvan Dale Ranch. The office was closed, but an employee was kind enough to inquire if I needed help. I told him I was looking for a spot to land the LQ for a few days. He said Susan, the owner, would probably be willing to do that, but I needed to call her the next morning. About 10 years ago, I spent a few days at Sylvan Dale with some friends. We had an absolutely wonderful time.
The HUMAN wildlife!
Before I left Loveland, I heard from Carlos, a Colorado DOT employee. He could not have been nicer, and he said we could leave the trailer in their parking lot for the weekend. They were going to be off, and it certainly didn’t appear they’d need to be getting out equipment for snow removal! He did have one caveat, though… he warned me about their crazy neighbor. He said the guy had been causing trouble ever since the DOT moved in. Estes Park is building a new facility. The Drake location is only temporary. Nevertheless, this man has made their lives miserable. Carlos said if the neighbor complained, to tell him that Carlos said we had permission. Because I had solved our problem, I did not reach out to Susan at Sylvan Dale Ranch.
Alan arrived in Drake at about 6:45 PM after a long day on the road. At that time, I received a text message that read as follows:
Please call 911 and have them come here to the DOT.
I freaked out. Did he have a medical issue? Did he get in a car accident? What??? Finally, a second text arrived:
There is some lunatic that lives next door and I’m not leaving the trailer here without the police getting involved.
Long story short, this guy had totally gone off on Alan, cussing and taking photos of the license plate and generally acting insane. Alan and I both called the sheriff’s department. They were all-too-familiar with this guy. One sheriff who responded turned out to be our neighbor! Carlos had apparently not cleared his permission with his boss. Due to the volatile nature of the neighbor, the boss said we had to find an alternative solution.
A wide spectrum of mountain dwellers
We ended up putting the trailer across the road on a county-owned pullout. Alan emptied it the next day, while I reached out to Susan at Sylvan Dale. She graciously offered to let us park it there until we can complete our arrangements with the RV storage facility this week.
We have been told by many folks on Storm Mountain that the neighborhood is comprised of a wide variety of people. That fact clearly applies to everyone we have met thus far. The DOT neighbor is at one end of the Bell curve, and everyone else we have met is at the other end. Most folks have been extremely gracious and friendly, but there are a few who live “off the grid” for a reason!
Recently, I was inside and Alan was outside feeding the horses. I heard him yell for the dogs, and there was definitely an extra element of intensity in his voice… I ran out onto the deck in time to see a young bear hot-footing it up the mountain. Our dogs had been in pursuit but came back when called. Our neighborhood email list has been abuzz about this bear and another, even bolder one. I didn’t get a photo, darn it!
As Alan was collecting his last load out of the trailer at Sylvan Dale, he spotted two loose horses walking down the road! He helped one of the Sylvan Dale employees (who was in flip-flops, not expecting to be dealing with horses) catch the two runaways. No one was totally sure who they belonged to, but one employee thought they might belong to some folks who lived over 7 miles away. Alan thought the horses might be good candidates for a couple of ID Tags!
One mountain ride and walk
We have managed to get out and ride one time. There are miles of roads in our mountain community, as well as access to National Forest. We did 4 miles and it was quite hilly. The horses need to be legged up a bit before we do any long rides. Our little mare can get beefy quite easily, so regular exercise will be a very good thing for her! The weather, for the most part, has been amazing. Perfect riding weather.
Additionally, I hiked with the neighbor ladies and my dogs one time. We went about 2 miles and accessed National Forest from a neighbor’s driveway. It is beautiful here!
Stay tuned for more adventures!