Wednesday, October 31

What you do when you don't know what to do

Last Week: I started noticing signs coming from Joey that this job may be over soon.

Monday: Joey comes home at 8:30 AM. "Well...I'm home. I had to let another company go."
Weeee! My little brain immediately goes into overload and I've got a whole month vacation planned out for us in less than two minutes. I'm like a John at the Bunny Ranch, can hardly control my excitement. We're going to follow along the Colorado River and explore as much of the land as we can. First we'll stop at Arches National Park, then Canyonlands and Lake Powell. Then the Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona along with a trip to the Grand Canyon. Next will be Sedona and Montezuma's Castle before landing in Mesa, AZ for a Thanksgiving Feast that will include almost every single member of Joey's family. We told the kids we're getting a generator so they won't have to miss their electronics, so now they can't wait to hit the road either. After trick or treating first, of course.

Tuesday: Joey's thinking of the new tires the bus needs, and the fact that we're leaving the truck here in storage. What if he decided he doesn't want to come back here, we should take the truck. But the truck isn't running great, and needs some work done. Joey says let's rent a car and we'll tent, and hotel it and stay with friends, and then come back to the bus next month. But that's what I have a home on wheels for, Dammit!! I also realize what's the point of going on this big trip if his truck needs work before he can even take it back to work. Truck repair, tires, tow bars, generators...oh, my. We need to focus on priorities.

So........we got me and the kids a car. Priorities. Now we're trying to figure out a short road trip, and I can't decide between Lake Powell or Yellowstone....

Sunday, October 28

Alternative Transportation

We still haven't gotten another car. Not only haven't I gotten a car, Joey's been leaving his truck up on the mountain, which means we have NO car. One day I borrowed his buddies spare pickup to take Jonas to the dentist in Glenwood Springs, otherwise we've been completely car less. I haven't minded it at all.
Biking in paradise
In an effort to get at least one of the kids to ride with me the one mile to the gas station, I accidentally bribed them with candy. My plan was to get Jonas to come with and then Jake could stay with Jewel so I didn't have to haul her, and her forty pounds. Must never bribe them again.
Biking the easy way
The way up (all up hill) we took the main road there but discovered an excellent path that led in and out of tunnels made of aspens, weaving obscurely through the neighborhoods. Not only was the ride home beautiful, it was was all downhill.

The RV park also has a free shuttle service that runs four times a day, anywhere in town I want to go. All for free. It's basically a little old guy driving little old ladies, and four hippies, to the Senior Center, library, store, and Activity center, in a minivan. It's nice and all, but I have to go by their schedule, and well....I don't even wear a watch.

Once we rode three miles to the Activity Center. The kids were determined to go, but we missed the shuttle, and they said they could do it on their bikes. I never thought they could do it, but I figured since I was hauling Jewel I'd need a lot of breaks, so I'd just wait up for them then. HA! They smoked my ass! It was eighty percent uphill, and I walked/pushed the bike sixty percent of it. They had to stop and wait on me. Finally they asked if they could just meet me at the gas station. If I weren't hauling a six year old, I'm convinced I could have kept with an eight year old.

View while biking
This view made me tell Jewel that I could actually live here, here in the place they call "The Colorado Dream". I thought she'd agree with me, instead she said, "YOU'D live in a house??" She knows me so well.

We pushed on from the gas station another uphill mile to the grocery store. I thought I'd have the kids convinced to just get some groceries and then go back home since we already had such a good workout, but no.....they wanted to go to the activity center still. I soldiered on, savoring every sweaty second I have riding with them. I don't know how I did it, but I finally made it to the top, the very top.

View from Activity Center
You can see the path we came up, and the mountains that Joey calls work.

After that long, hot, sweaty ride, can you believe we forgot our swimsuits? A cool plunge would have been nice, instead I worked out about ten minutes and then joined the kids in the game room for some Foosball and air hockey, before introducing them to racquetball, and how painful it is to get hit by one. Sorry Jonas.

Joey and a coworker were driving by on their way home from work and saw these two blond girls and a woman that looked like they were DYING, pushing their bikes up a hill. It was actually his sons and his wife, but we forgive him. He gave everyone a lift home, including the extra weight I added with groceries after the gym, except me. Now that I was lighter and I had done all the hard work and all that laid ahead of me were downhill slopes, I was finishing what I started! I walked it one more brief minute, but other than that it was me with the wind in my hair, fleeing down the path, oohing and aahing and pointing out the sights to Jewel....who was already back in the bus.

Tuesday, October 23

Why Joey likes work

The Work Mountains
The snow hasn't gotten down to us yet, but we have begun the process of preparing for winter. We've heat taped and wrapped the water hose and sewer pipe, and next I'm going to sew a skirt for the bus. Doesn't that sound pretty? It'll be a grey vinyl skirt with snap on buttons, all the latest rage, yo.

In the meantime, when Joey and the guys don't get snowed out because of the weather and go sight seeing in Aspen....without me....he's hard at work, and really enjoying it. He thinks he's found his calling with the pipeline. He gets to work in the outdoors with elk and bears, and doesn't have to climb dangerous structures and walk across beams two hundred feet high. Now the most dangerous part of the job is the long drive up and down the mountain, which is usually wet and slippery.
View of the road from the top
The snow hardened the ground, making it less dangerous, but he still has to have his truck pulled around by the tractor most days because the ground is mostly clay grabbing hold of those tires and not wanting to let go, even with chains.
Convoy leading down the mountain
He explained the process to me, so here it is severly condensed.
The road clearers are there first to grade the roads, then the cranes lay the eight inch water pipe down. The laborers build a wooden pallet to set the pipe up on. The crane picks up the pipe then the fitters grind it, clean it and stick it together. Next Joey tacks the pipe together, then lays the root. Then he fills the weld, and caps it. Voila! The whole process takes about two hours, but only takes Joey about fifteen minutes to weld up. The rest of the time they're wandering around, talking, driving, sitting in trucks or boasting as to who as the most toys.
The pipeline

Two Men in the Desert

Jewel made a little movie the other night on small notepad paper, and I couldn't resist sharing it with you guys. There's eight frames, from left to right, top to bottom.
Jewel's Comic Strip
There's two guys stranded in the desert, trying to survive. One punches the other, he flies up in the air and lands on the cactus. Then they go running, argh! The one guy climbs up the mountain with an American flag and he gets too close to the sun causing it to catch on fire. They keep running, it burns bigger, and then the sun goes down and out comes the moon....and the snow. The two guys make up in the snow and build a snowman together. The End.

Thursday, October 18

Colorado National Monument

Have I mentioned before how much I love Colorado? I didn't know I could enjoy one place so much, in so many ways. Mostly I just love looking at it. I can look out my window and see damn near every color. We couldn't stay here long enough to see and do everything I'd like, but I sure will try!

Last week Joey took the whole week off to have repair work done on his truck, so he got us a rental car for a couple of days, and it just so happened to be a convertible. Lately getting the kids excited to leave the bus has been trying, but once they saw the PT Cruiser they were the first ones out the door, personal style and all.
Portrait of Style
We drove to Powderhorn Ski Area to check it out, and see how far it will be to go skiing this winter. It's only about a thirty minute drive, so now we can't wait for some snow! Did I just say that?

Next we finally drove the Rim Rock Hwy that is the Colorado National Monument. I'd been wanting to do it since we were here in the Spring, but I'm so glad we waited and had the pleasure of seeing it in the convertible, we wouldn't have had the full breathtaking views otherwise.
Colorado national Monument 092
We stopped often to hike out to various viewing areas and to just play and have fun. This massive slab of rock was a fun spot to run up and down on, and to use broken pieces of sandstone to draw on. They looked like rocks but worked like chalk, gotta love nature.
Colorado national Monument 122
Joey's petroglyph
Look an ancient petroglyph!

The kids enjoyed it alot as well. They climbed on top of
Colorado national Monument 117
Colorado national Monument 118
and under, everything they could find.
Colorado national Monument 078
A great day was had by all.

The Monument is just a few mile detour off I-70 outside Fruita, that exits into Grand Junction, CO, making it a must see for RV travelers heading into the I-70 corridor. Happy travels!

Wednesday, October 3

I take it back

I called HughesNet this morning and they agreed with me that I shouldn't have paid the technician yesterday, and actually told me to stop payment on the check. They even went a step further and gave me a $250.00 credit for all the trouble I've had over the last three months. They had me on a bad satellite, and now that they've switched me to a different one I shouldn't have any more problems. I'm sorry HughesNet, I'm glad we're friends again.

Gone, but not far

We moved again.

Gone is our beautiful lake. Gone are the days of children being forced to carry their own weight.
Canyon Lake Campground, CO 003

Gone with once a week sewer pump outs, or having to scrounge quarters to take a shower at the campground.

Gone with six mile bike rides to get a Pepsi.

Gone with late night laundrymats and grocery store runs.

Gone with the isolation.


I thought I could handle it, but there's only so much a girl can do in the middle of nowhere. As usual we couldn't get our Internet up and running, and after swimming in the lake and biking, there wasn't much else to pass the days besides TV. A lot of TV. I was to the point that I was wishing Big Brother was back to six days a week. I was on the verge of running away when the other RV park called and said they had a spot for us. I didn't care that Joey was working a twelve hour shift I loaded up everything I could and made him move us immediately. I hadn't checked out the park before hand but I knew it had full hookups and it was closer to Joey's work, and a grocery store. It turned out to be way better than that.

I now also have onsite laundry, paved roads (nice to keep the mud out) and a membership to the Community Activity Center. The whole development we're in is completely new, and resembles Country Club living. The Activity Center is a full on Health Club with a huge indoor swimming pool, weights, game room, Yoga, tennis, raquetball, basketball court and even an indoor running track. Plus the older ladies that work there are super nice..such a bonus.

It's mostly retired seniors but there are a TON, and I mean a ton, of workers out here, with their families! It's still shocking for me to see other families because when we started I swear it felt like we were the only ones. Everywhere I look I see tween boys, although ours haven't ventured out to meet any of them yet.


There's a Pepsi machine only yards away.


I hired a professional installer to set up our Internet dish today, only to find out the problem has been theirs all along! And even though I'm on right now, it's constantly losing signal. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate HughesNet? Yah, if you're considering them, come talk to me first.
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