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Rocky Mountain Winter Home in the Colorado Rockies

Me and Ross made a mad dash across the country, well, from around Indiana, to come and stay in the Colorado Rockies for the winter. We had originally intended to stay in Jackson Wyoming area but found an RV park in Breckenridge, Colorado on the way, and saw no reason to move on. It was fall and the aspens were neon yellow, weather was nice, sun bright and everywhere you looked it was a postcard view.
We stayed in the RV park for about 2 weeks and looked for cabins in the area, some overprices vacation homes, some rentals with no furniture, but certainly a variety of places, depending on what we wanted to do for the next 6 months. There were places 20 miles out of town that would certainly have no internet, and condos at the bottom of the ski runs (but we don’t really ski). Finally we found a little A-frame cabin right near town, 2 towns actually, Frisco and Breckenridge. It was a vacation home, advertised at $160 a night but after dealing with looking for cabins in Wyoming and east Idaho, I knew that vacation home owners would usually negotiate a monthly rate. The places sit empty for most the year and most probably don’t make what they cost to keep around.
We got the a-frame for a “reasonable” monthly rate, considering the location near several world class ski/snowboard mountains. It’s also really nice inside – one wide open room downstairs with a bathroom in one corner, kitchen with a breakfast bar in the middle, and the dining room and living room flowing together. It has a huge fireplace in the living room and a woodstove between the dining and living room – and a large loft upstairs with a balcony. It also came with a 40 inch TV for extra great Skyrim playing and is fully furnished with unfinished wood furniture, newer couches and a full set of 70s stoneware (and every other kitchen item you could need).

from-the-east

from-the-east-2

One reason I wanted to go somewhere cold for the winter was because Ross had never experienced a good US winter and since we’re traveling around experiencing everything we can, this was a must. Also, my dog Chena is quite old now and has been having a hard time with the heat. She has diabetes and cushings disease so she’s already thirsty all the time, while the heat just exacerbates her drinking obsession. Plus she’s just laying there panting most the time, even with the AC on, and is generally uncomfortable. Now that we’re in the cabin, she has to wear a sweater most the time but is almost never panting unless she falls asleep near the fire. Her hair is very thin because of the cushings and her age so she gets cold pretty easy but its easier to keep her warm enough than it was to keep her cool enough (it’s also much drier here than most the places we go so no humidity is a plus).

Our house mouse Trevor is also enjoying the change. It started snowing about a month ago and has stuck to the ground ever since, most days not getting over 30F and nights as low as 1F. Susa likes the snow, unfortunately. Since we’re home all day working we get to listen to her meowing to go out all day. She still only goes out on the leash due to predators etc in the area so if we’re busy, she just has to wait and hates it.
Luckily Trevor requires only fresh water and food, and recently started to store food and nest in a box we gave him. All night he runs on his wheel, entertaining Susa for a while, but is generally not a hand pet, just an observed one. He’s so fast and nevervous (being undomesticated) that it would take a millisecond to lose him in the cabin, though last time he got out, he got out on our bed in the trailer and ended up running up my back and onto my shoulder trying to get back into his cage but we both panicked and it was a grab fest for the next couple minutes while I tried to catch him without hurting him. That was enough for us, losing him would be a disaster – probably at Susa’s paw/mouth.

trevor-winter

We had one good storm last weekend where 2 trees fell in the back yard and knocked out a power line. We were without electricity for about a day and a half but at least it wasn’t all our fault, about 10k people in the area were also without for a while, most longer than us. We lit candles the first night and I brought in my gas camping lamp, the second day with dead phones and not much to do, we got the generator out of the trailer and ran everything we needed, including the TV/Cable, with power to spare.

I look forward to more power outages and piles and piles of snow so thick we can’t get out of the driveway. Going to be a good winter.

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