Torrin took advantage of one our trips into town to do a little biking. As we descended from the cabin at 7200 ft Torrin took his bike out of the back near the trail head for porcupine trail and for the most part coasted down a few miles. Smudgy photo because I took it though the windshield. The snow is non existent at the lower elevations and we counted 84 seperate vehicles parked along the campsites near Fins N Things and Slickrock. I don't remember seeing that many folks even in the busier parts of the year. Perhaps the recession has more people camping and the Moab area is the beneficiary. The two nights we spent in town to watch the basketball games at Zax pizza, the town was buzzing with people. Susie likes it that moab seems to be a vibrant little town. One secret when visiting Moab in the off season, is the Moab Brewery offers all their half pound hamburgers with all trimmings for $5.00 I had the bacon swiss cheese half pounder with fries and it was super.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Susie enjoyed a fire each day while she read. The secret to making this fireplace insert work efficiently is to build a hot kindling fire first. Get the stove pipe hot so that it will draft the smoke upwards. After a roaring kindling fire is going and the stove pipe or flue is HOT, we can put split logs on, turn the insert fan on and turn down or off the propane heaters in the cabin. The insert with fan can heat up the cabin within 30 minutes. We have had problems with smoke before but in talking with a number of people selling solutions to the smoke problem we started with the easiest first and to our pleasant surprise it worked.
On the way back up to the cabin on the Sand Flats road after being in town to watch the NCAA playoffs and run some errands I snapped this photo through the windshield of the LaSals. The cabin is on the mesa just right of center of this photograph. I am just passing Fins N Things at the time of this photo.
Susie went out to photograph Torrin building his snow toad and I took this one to show the distance away from the cabin the truck is stuck in the snow. Look directly back of the right of the fruit tree to see where the pickup made it to. We had shoveled the walkway the day before so it was clear and dried out each day in the warm temps. We are hoping the same will apply to the road where we shoveled. Each day we watched the snow melt before our eyes and at times marveled how fast it was melting.
Torrin, with a lot of energy went out to create a snowman, and when I went to check on his progress, I saw this thing... I asked what it was and he said since he had never built a snowman, born and raised in Phoenix Arizona, he didn't know what to do so he built this frog or toad creature. Weather was around freezing at night but in the high 50s and low 60s in the day. This is in the front yard near the fruit trees.
Torrin heard me talking to some guests planning on coming this week on the phone and overheard that they had wives and one with an 18 month old baby. He immediately went out and started shoveling a path along the road for them to make the last 150 yards to the cabin through the drifts. He spent a little over two hours digging this. Bless his heart. Later I used this path on the road to get one wheel of the pickup in and enough traction to drive up to the cabin. I tried breaking down as much of the drift I could to help the guests but worry that the melting snow will make for pretty muddy conditions.
Torrin and I shoveled out paths through drifts in the front yard and while he thought it was high adventure fun, I kept thinking of the stories I read each year where some geezer that thinks he is in shape dies of a heart attack shoveling snow. Susie is shown here demonstrating the snow is pretty deep. She didn't shovel a lick and in fact spent the first two days there reading a couple different books and didn't feel guilty in the least. She rarely sleeps in and never has just "nothing to do" so with a fire going in the fireplace she drank hot chocolate and read for two solid days.
The snow in the back yard was so deep it exceeded the height of the porch. The firepit is about 5-6 feet below the drift you see on the left of this photo. Some of the snow is what we shoveled off the deck itself but before we started the snow drift was above the deck itself. Warm weather helped but this side of the property is in the shade and was not melting near as fast as the front yard. The locals say this is the latest heaviest snowfall in these parts they can remember. The days were warm with the nights dropping to freezing one night when it snowed again and around freezing the other nights.
On Monday 15 2010, Susie, Torrin and I headed for the cabin to get it ready for the season. we anticipated some snow but not the amount we encountered. The Sand Flats road up the mountain was fine with a few spots with snow but nothing to speak of as the county had plowed the road sometime previous. At the lane into the cabin however, the only tire marks we saw were of our friend and caretaker Farland's pickup. We had spoken with her earlier in the week and she told us that she had been snowbound for a few days and took advantage of the late season snowfall to cross country ski all around the mesa. Later she pointed out her ski tracks where she skiid off a ledge at Cougar canyon. (Impressive) She baby sat gold medalist Bill Demong, Nordic Combined, when he was a child and was justifiably proud as she pointed out her tracks off some ledges. This photo shows the effort Torrin and I put forth in digging us out of the snow enough to put on chains. We arrived Monday night and made it to within 150 yards from the cabin via the road but walked in carrying our stuff 100 yards off the road and straight in. The temperture was in the 4os that night so we tramped through snowdrifts up to my hips carrying our stuff. Tuesday Torrin and I spent the day getting the pickup chained and turned around. All day Tuesday the melt was on because temps went to the 60s. The parts where we had cleared snow were now bogs of mud. Left the chains on to make sure we could navigate through if we need to. We decided we didn't need to go anywhere and remained at the cabin, woke up Wednesday morning to fresh falling snow. We re-shoveled pathways and Torrin declared he liked to dig so he was off and at it.