It is a veritable Winter Wonderland here at the Ranch!
We have multiple feet of snow covering everything right now. It has snowed most days for the past couple of weeks or so. Last Saturday we got a solid foot of fresh powder. The berms on the side of our road from the plow is nearing 5 feet. And the plow doesn’t even come until the rest of the county is plowed first (I’m only exaggerating a bit here). It is absolutely beautiful out here. Quiet. White. Cold.
Now-wouldn’t ya know it-SUN is actually in the forecast for the next several days! We haven’t had a full day of sun in over a week, which is extremely unusual for SW Colorado. Late today the clouds burned off, and those big beautiful blue skies showed themselves! And with that comes… COLD NIGHTS. Low last night was a whopping 1 degree. Low tonight: -2. You bet we’ll be keeping Johnny Woodstove stoked all night. He’s already been going all day. While it’s really damn cold outside, we’ve been keeping the cabin at a comfortable 70 degrees. Woodstoves are the best.
Looking at all the animal tracks in the snow has been pretty entertaining. There’s a long trail that goes down through Amelia’s Meadow, obviously made by a large creature. Probably a deer, but the prints we saw in the road are pretty big… maybe an elk? There’s definitely some rabbits that live under our lumber pile. Loki’s cast stump makes some pretty funny prints too.
While our driveway isn’t super long, it is a lot of shoveling to do by hand. Honestly, getting out of the driveway in the mornings is the most treacherous part of our drive into town. Just a few inches off to one side, and we’re in the danger zone. The Cliff Side, if you will. So far we’ve been ok, but we did take a snow day from work the other day when it was just too much to deal with that early in the morning. We had lots of fresh snow from the night before, and well, sleeping in and not shoveling at 5:30am sounded pretty rad.
Also, my birthday was on Tuesday, and it snowed big beautiful snowflakes that morning! R doesn’t particularly love Winter like I do, but my happiness rubbed off. My Mom sent me this AMAZING scarf for my birthday that I now can’t get enough off. Good find, Mum.
We’ve been spending our snow days mostly by the woodstove, drinking wine or beer, or bailey’s and coffee in the mornings, watching the snow pile up and dreaming up plans for Spring and Summer. We have some lofty goals for this year. Just a few: root cellar, deck, move the cabin, sun room, rainwater collection system, outhouse, solar shower, garden expansion, ducks & chickens, and pizza oven. Yep, just a few things we want to accomplish. Anybody want to come stay for a few days and help?! We’ll happily provide beer, food, and a free place to camp! In any case, one of my personal goals for this year is to keep up with this very blog more. So, you’ll be able to follow our progress right here 🙂
For now though, our firewood supply is plentiful, our cabin is cozy, our land is so beautiful I can’t even believe it’s ours sometimes, and we have a pretty solid handle on surviving without electricity or running water in the dead of Winter. Seriously, what’s not to love?
One thought on “Wonderland.”
Stefanie, you and R have given “living off the grid” a wonderful and inspiring new message! While we live off the grid in Culebra, our average temps are a bit warmer than yours…not requiring scarves, boots, mittens or snow removal but we love it just as obviously both of you do! And we look forward to your blogs so much. I think you know my friend Cheri who lives on Maui, was fascinated by your blogs and I would forward to them….think she is on your list now.
You are one remarkable young woman and Ralph & I send you both the best of wishes for continued success, love and enjoyment of your lives together. It would be great if the two of you could someday visit us here. There is nothing like the freedom of living off the grid! With love and admiration for you both, Aunt Jackie aka Aunt Wacky in my earlier days!! ha ha