Walls and Doors

A quick peek in the windows today shows that the drywall has been taped and the texturing has begun.  Front, back and interior doors are in place.  The patio door was locked and getting around to the front door (we know where they hide the keys) required walking through a stretch of gooey mud, which my lovely wife refused to let me do. 

So for now, we’ll have to settle for just looking in the windows. 

Finally Skiing Again

It’s been over two years since Dianne and I last hit the slopes.  We lost the 2019-2020 season due to surgeries – rotator cuff for me and knee replacement for Dianne.  We lost the 2020-2021 season due to the Covid lockdowns.  It’s now 2022 and the slopes are beckoning.

For about a third less than what Dianne was paying for her Vail Resorts Epic Pass (I always got mine for free), we bought annual passes to Powderhorn Mountain Resort, our local ski area.  At 1,600 acres, it’s small with only four chairlifts, one of which is a beginner lift, and another is a Magic Carpet conveyor belt for the youngsters.  The two remaining lifts service an array of intermediate groomers and host of black diamond runs.  Being our first time out, we agreed to stick to the easy stuff.

It didn’t take long to realize how out of shape I was.  With Covid closing our gym, we lost that for workouts.  We did buy a rowing machine and a Total Gym for home, but they proved to be a poor substitute for a good workout center. 

Then came the move.  We spent a month just packing and preparing the house for sale.  Exercise was limited to lifting and lugging boxes.  We tried to get some exercise by walking around Strasburg for the month we were stuck there, and we’ve hit the trails out here in Fruita when we could.  Our diet hasn’t been too good, either, with a lot of dining out.  Then came the snow and bitter cold, causing us to be cooped up in our trailer.  Some days, we never even got out of our jammies.

Then we headed out to the slopes.  After two runs down on a cold, windy day, I was ready for the cafeteria.  We rested until it was time for lunch, bought some pricy, ski-area food (and brews) and rested some more.  We finally headed back up the chairlift.

After three more runs down the mountain, I called it quits.  I was suffering a fifth-stage case of TB (thigh burn).  I limped back to the car like I’d just come off one of our 50-mile, Rim to Rim to Rim hikes in the Grand Canyon. 

Back home, I kicked back on the couch while my in-house nursing staff medicated my pain with soothing cups of hot mulled wine.

Snow on the ground, drywall going up

We drove past the new house this afternoon. It’s been snowing for three days now, so the ground was covered with Colorado’s famous white stuff. That’s good because the snow covers the mud. Concrete for the driveway can’t be poured until the ground dries and thaws.

The wood covering the door has been screwed shut for the day, so we couldn’t go in. We did, however, get to peek through the dining room window.

The building crew been busy nailing up drywall. Progress is being made!

Meeting the Developer

After a few days of rain and cold, we headed out to the property to check on this week’s progress.  About the only new thing we see is that workmen are starting to nail up the foam insulation that backs the siding. 

As we were scoping the place out from another angle, we saw a man clad in a bowler hat walking through the property with his dog.  He was obviously not one of the workers.

“Are you John?” Dianne asked. 

John is the property developer.  After identifying ourselves as the folks who would be purchasing the back unit, we chatted about construction progress and asked when we might be offered an actual contract to buy the place. 

You see, while we have spec’d out all of the house layout, features and appliances as well as modified electrical and plumbing features, we have never been given a contract to actually buy the place. 

The hang-up has been determining a completion and closing date.  Between Covid delays and winter weather (can’t pour concrete on frozen ground), John cannot firmly determine a completion date.  Although the contract closing date can always be extended, he says he doesn’t like to do that. 

We explained to him that we have a trip planned from March 1st through April 15th.  If the place cannot be finished by mid-February, we’d like a mid-April closing.  He said that using that as a completion date would not be a problem.  He’ll get with the realtor and a contract should be coming our way soon.

Of course, that means we’ll need to pony up some earnest money and perhaps need to pay for some of the out-of-pocket upgrades (like our 48-bottle wine cooler) we ordered.  But at least we’ll finally have a house legally on order, and that’s encouraging.

We’ve Got Windows!

We were told that windows for our new house would arrive November 15. Last time we drove by the place, they still had not gotten here.

We went by today and by golly, the windows have not only arrived, they’ve been installed! Dianne’s more excited than a mosquito at a nudist colony.

We’re looking forward to being able to just camp in our trailer, not live in it.

Oops

We have a battery-operated, indoor/outdoor thermometer that we use at the trailer.  The sending unit for the outdoor sensor is attached to Velcro under the frame of the trailer so it’s constantly in the shade.

It’s always worked well.  Temperature readings have consistently been within a degree or two of what our AccuWeather app says it is locally. 

This morning was an extreme exception.  AccuWeather said the local temperature was a nippy 19 degrees (that’s -7 degrees for you Canadians) while our indoor/outdoor thermometer read a pleasant 41 degrees (that’s +5 degrees north of the border). 

It took me a full three seconds to realize what had happened.  We never thought to take the thermometer out from under the trailer when we put up the skirting.  It was now nicely enclosed beneath us behind a wall of ½-inch foam insulation.

That meant that while it was subfreezing outside, it was a balmy 41 under the trailer.  Before when we got up, the trailer floor felt icy cold on bare feet.  Today it was almost borderline warm.  On the positive side, that meant that $150 and a day’s work spent on the skirting is paying off. 

The negative thing is that now I’ve either got to tear into the skirting to recover the thermometer sending unit, or I’ve got to order a another indoor/outdoor thermometer that I can place outside of the skirting. 

The new thermometer is on order.

Ready for Winter

We’re all set (we think) for enduring a cold Colorado winter of “camping” in our trailer here in Fruita. 

We’ve got a heated hose to keep the fresh-water line flowing.   We’ve skirted the trailer with ½-inch foam board, which the RV park management folks insist will keep us warmer.  We’ve loaded our sweatshirts and parkas into the trailer closet.  The beer is well chilled in the under-bed storage compartment and the pantry is filled with ready-to-heat soups.  Our skis are tuned. 

We’re ready. Let the flakes fly.

Over the Hill

After 43 nights parked on the High Plains of eastern Colorado, it was time to move to our new hometown on Colorado’s Western Slope.  A storm in the high country delayed our escape for two days, but as we finally headed west, we were treated to spectacular views of the mountains slathered with snow.

Consuming six cups of coffee enroute ensured that we’d have plenty of time to enjoy the views from every rest area along the route.

We checked into our new RV park in Fruita, which lies about two miles from the site of our new house.  The next day, we drove over to check out the new place. 

The house now has shingles, the plumbing and electrical lines are in and the concrete for front stoop and back patio has been poured.  Unfortunately, the construction supervisor tells us that it will be more than a few weeks before the place is totally finished.

My hair stylist asked why we were moving to Fruita rather than neighboring Grand Junction.  I explained that it was all about location, location, location.  Here’s an example.

Late that afternoon we felt a need for nature.  We threw cheese, crackers and a bottle of bubbly into the back of the car and drove up the road.  Twenty minutes later, we were sitting at the edge of a canyon in Colorado National Monument where we dined while watching the setting sun turn the sandstone cliffs and pillars into towers of shimmering gold.

The Champagne was pretty good, too.