Meantime, Somewhere Above 7000 Feet

An average day consolidated from an average week if there is such a thing.

We have moved into the faithful travel trailer for sleeping, because it is devoid of toxic man-made substances and mostly lacking normal environmental challenges. In the cabin, we were attacked by assassin bugs. This can be serious. So now we park at least 300 feet (or is it yards, as far away as we could get without being sideways on a hill like one of Dr. Doolittles creatures.) It is very pleasant. We can watch the sun go down in the warmth of its own lifegiving light, cooled by a nice breeze consisting entirely of clean air that is God’s gift to the commons. Or it was until we the people decided we should use it to dispose of our toxic trash.

140608-Canyon-ASC_9321RLSss copyAnyhow, all that aside, we wake up whenever it’s time. Time seems to be sunrise, except that our personal sunrise is about two hours later when it finally tops out over the highest cliff in our area. The one in all the pictures. But, Bitsy and I both know when it’s time to get up, though we don’t know why or how, and so we do. Usually, until this week, it is frosty, so we have plenty of warm clothes ready to jump into, except Bitsy, who has lost both of the sweaters I bought for her.

We are parked right next to the road, but as there are only two people living beyond, we usually see no one. Last evening Bitsy invited Denver to stop, and he came down to carry the old stove out of my way at the cabin, and then drove on another half mile or so to his place.

Today we jumped in the car and drove back down to the cabin, which is still warm from yesterday, opened up the opposing doors to clear out yesterday’s air, fed Bitsy, reset the solar panels and the solar oven, shut the gate to keep Bitsy in until the sun comes over our peak, and sat down to desk for a couple hours of work.

Bitsy, all excited again, I thought Denver must be leaving because she was giving a full-on happy human wiggle, but it turned out to be a mother elk and new baby, walking across our front yard where the water used to be (I guess I need to get a new tub, this one seems to have sprung a leak over winter) and then up the road to the gate. I know this not because I saw them but because I put on Bitsy’s harness and lead and followed her up where there were tracks in the dust of the road, and then down to the gate.

140613-lilacs-ASC_9380Rss copyI had shut the gate, because of the cows that I told you about previously, and of course not thinking that a baby elk would not be able to get over it. The tracks showed that they turned back at this point, so I opened the gate and see if that helps. They only need to go a quarter mile southeast or northwest, where the fence ends, so I’m not worried about them. Except for no water, they are safer on my place, but of course the mother needs water. By this time, the sun was creeping down the hill past the trailer toward the cabin, and so I turned Bitsy loose and, still with my red coat and pink stocking cap, I went to sit on a rock, checking carefully for rattlesnakes, just where the front edge of sunlight struck the side of our hill, and watched these pretty little flowers bobbing in the breeze. There is almost always a breeze morning and evening as the canyon opens its pores to breath.

On this particular morning, a low-flying private plane, not an oil company plane, it was noisy and had square wingtips, accompanied the sun, rising over the top of the cliff and flying very low to it. “What is this?” I said to myself, shading my eyes to watch it circle overhead, and it did circle when it saw me, right around my position and back again over the rim of the canyon and disappeared from sight and sound.

“What on earth? How long since I have been on line? Are my friends worried about me again?” Then I remembered balmy clear evenings on my front porch in Bryan, listening to planes flying overhead without lights. But those planes were even more quiet than the oil company ones. And it was actually the next day that the elk went by with her child and then I finally put two and two together. Hunters. Out of season, out of sight, except for me. I have perhaps become guardian to my mother elk. Better replace that water trough.

And I got up and started shedding garments and set up the solar panels facing the sun and put some water in the solar oven to heat up for coffee, and generally began the morning chores, hauling water, watering our wimpy garden, washing things, following Bitsy around to locate the latest mouse/rat access into the house, and blocking it off before sitting down to the computer again to finish the podcast.

Later in the day, Bitsy cornered a rattlesnake in the back yard and stood guarding it while she barked her special rattlesnake bark, for me to come and deal, which I did, (no I did not throw it into the stew that was brewing in the solar oven, but of course I should have) and then back to the computer again, recycle the chores, and off up the hill to bed.

And there is the occasional trip for food, drinking water was $1.15 per gallon refill this morning. Egad. Yesterday we went up to Pagosa Springs to Abraham Solar, because now that I have internet access I have not enough energy to use it (they told me that modem uses 4 watts, but it seems to be more like 40, which is about twice what I could use and still store some energy for later) and this morning I went over to the Jicarilla reservation Laundromat because I have been for two weeks ace’d out of my regular Tuesday laundry facilities by a bunch of tourists. Smog, too, all around, but the canyon continues reasonably comfortable, and so that is where I will plan to be most of the time. I am having a rather impressive lesson in microclimates.

The Annex is for sale: Perfect for two horses and big enough for a family – fenced in 2 x 4 woven wire.

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