Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why We are in Casper instead of the Cabin

An unusual sight at the cabin!  The snow didn't blow!
 I took a lot of pictures in December of moose and of snow!  My snow pictures are because I never had seen it pile up like it did without blowing into huge drifts and then bare spots.  It just stayed on the level.  We had several adventures during this time that caused our kids to worry about us and finally to insist that we leave the cabin when they did after Christmas.  Here's what happened.

The snow just kept piling up!

Event #1:  Bob had a Dr. appointment in Denver.  We had to drive down over Cameron Pass due to big snow and ice and closed highways going over Berthoud Pass.  It was a bad drive but we made it.  We planned to see his Drs. and go up to Ft. Collins to stay and do Christmas shopping.  We did and added 1 more day to our stay since we didn't get finished .

When we got home we noticed that a big piece of the roof cap had blown off.  I guess there were some pretty big winds while we were gone.  That night we got some more big winds and we could hear a big rattling and banging going on over our heads.  Bob had to plow with the Cat the next day to keep the road open (since we had decided to drive all the way into the cabin in the pickup to unload all our stuff for Christmas).  He could see our roof from the top of the hill and it was not a pretty sight!  A big piece of the metal was ripping off and would need replacing or fixing.

Hughie watches the "boys" working on the roof.  The lift was a "roof saver!"
Discussing how to proceed with roof repairs.

Our "roof heroes" ascend to the top!
Bob decided he needed to have me help him get the ladder and go up (2 stories) and help him fix it.  There was no way either of us was going up there but he insisted, so I had to call Hughie and ask for help!  Harry had a big lift and so Hughie and 2 of Harry's employees (Jamie and Pete?) came out and fixed it for us.  It was a good thing they did it immediately because the next day the snows started and didn't quit for 2 weeks!  At least there was no wind.

Bob plows snow before the big snows hit.  See the bare ground by the house?  That disappeared a few days later.
Event 2:  As I mentioned we drove the pickup into the cabin and did not immediately drive back out when Hughie and the boys left (a big mistake).  Bob continued to plow snow everyday as it continued to pile up but it finally became obvious that there was getting to be too much and nowhere to go with it even though he had plowed a fairly wide trail.

Pickup at the cabin.  A big mistake.

So we finally tried to drive it out.  I followed him in the Argo in case he didn't make it.  It was so beautiful that I took tons of pictures as I was following.  He made it up the first big hill coming out of the draw so I thought we would have it made.  He had to back down and try 3 or 4 times on the next hill up around where the big pine tree used to be (pre-pinebeetle) but he made it!  We were going to make it!  Oooops a little curve right after the big long barbed wire gate got him!  The pickup was sideways in the road with snowbanks blocking him front and back!  We would have to go get the Cat.
Snow on the gate posts.  This is the sight of the stuck truck. 
Stuck truck.  The whole back is filled with snow!
After several tries of pulling him out and then Bob trying to spin on the ice underneath the snow, he decided to do a lot more plowing ahead and then give it another shot.  That resulted in making it about 10 feet further and stuck again!  By now it was dark so we gave up for the night.  Mind you, it was snowing this whole time!
Bob is trying to get the road opened better so the pickup will get some traction on the dirt.  Not successful since there was a layer of ice under all that snow!
The next morning we were back trying again and it seemed strange that the pickup just kept sliding and spinning and not getting anywhere. Finally after 3 or 4 hours I  said just hook on the front and tow it out with the Cat!  Bob was stubborn and said he wanted to try one more time.  I stood there and watched as he spun and went sidewards yet again!  I did notice that the front tires were not spinning and I mentioned that to him.  I got in the pickup ( major task since it was wedged up against the snow banks) and discovered it was not in 4 wheel drive!  I knew it was in the night before because I saw it and even asked questions about it.  What must have happened was that Bob had to climb over to the passenger side to get out in the dark the night before and must have kicked the gear shift as he was crawling out on accident!  Our next attempt was perfect and we got out .

Stuck truck.......Again!

Pick up is ready to give it one last try!  It didn't work!  But I did discover the problem.
Clint had come out and was snow blowing from the metal gate out to the county road.  He also had had some adventures while we were still trying to get to the gate so he was not finished blowing.  We waited and finally by late afternoon we made it out and were back home!

Final events:  Ozzie, JJ and Erin were coming in from Nevada and the road reports warned of feet of snow on the way.  They were on bare roads so they just kept coming hoping to beat the snow.  I had to go out in the Argo at 2 AM to pick them up.  Each day Ozzie had to make numerous trips in the Argo to bring in all the rest of our family.  Some trips--especially Carla's outfit--looked very Grinch-like with Argo and sled piled high.

Danny's family comes in on the Argo with Ozzie.  Seven people with all their stuff!

Getting unloaded.
Paul, Thomas, JJ and Ozzie with whoever is on the sled behind are headed up to the sledding hill.

Bob had parked the pickup across the cattle guard so no one would try to go further, since there was nowhere to turn around and snow had slid off the barn roof and buried where Clint had snow blown.  Someone going up to the lodge tried to go around the pickup and made a "$300 hole".  They had to call a wrecker from Walden to come pull them out!

Bringing in the Christmas tree on the Argo
 That was it, our fate was sealed!  We had to get packed up and on the road when Carla and the boys did.  It took us 3 trips with the Argo in blinding snow to get out but we did it!  Now if it would just warm up  here in Casper......

Casper in the snow.  4 days and a lot of wind and cold later!
Looking up the street.  Just beyond where we can see is a plowed up drift higher than the pickup!


  1. Sounds like fun - But maybe Florida sounds like more fun (-:

  2. Just glad to have mom and dad here with us for awhile. We don't have to worry about them getting in and out of the cabin.