So for the third winter (and probably one too many), we had decided to stay in a vacation cabin. This time near Durango, Colorado with the hope that we would ski every weekend and snowmobile every other weekend and that the snow would be deep enough for us to jump off the 2nd story deck unharmed. None of that happened.. and although we did enjoy the times we did get some snow, we found ourselves more often hiking and playing in mud-snow with our truck, than doing the winter sports we’d intended to.
After we were in the cabin for about a month, and it was yet to snow, Ross left for Seattle for his work and I got to witness the first and biggest storm of the year. At first the wind was strong which did almost no damage somehow, but then it snowed wet heavy snow for 2 days, the world began to crumble around me. Branches fell from every tree, large and small, entire aspen trees folded over and snapped and two rather enormous cottonwood trees lost all composure and dropped two tree-sized branches straight on top of our previous travel trailer. I watched helplessly as a huge crack and giant cloud of white snow covered the general area of the trailer. When the snow cleared from the air I saw the damage, which surprisingly left me with some hope. “Maybe the branches had merely fallen and then lightly settled on the side of the trailer?” I thought (yeah right). I couldn’t see any damage from the outside and I refused to go anywhere near it til the storm was over, every few seconds a new crack came from a nearby tree and I didn’t feel like getting a concussion. I sat in the cold cabin with the electricity out for most the day as well, hoping everything would just work itself out.
Ross came back a couple days later and we both went out to assess the damage. The inside of the trailer had been cracked and mangled in more ways than one, and the wall on the side the branches hit was leaning outward now. We called it as totaled right away but the insurance company still insisted we tow it into town to hear the same news from an RV repair shop. Ross cut off the half detached awning and we pulled it the 10 miles downhill into town.
Naturally the repair shop said it was totaled before even going inside, as did the man who came out from the insurance company to inspect it. Ultimately it worked out to our advantage though, the trailer had a higher insurance value than we paid for it and it gave some good years of travel.
After waiting on all the necessary steps to be rid of the ruined trailer, we still had to wait months before we could think about buying a new one. Towing it from anywhere to anywhere in a Rocky Mountain winter just wasn’t very wise. It felt strange not having a place of our own. We had to store all our things under the porch and around the house, making the cabin a lot less comfortable and way more crowded than intended.
Finding a New Home
When the time finally came to look for a new trailer, about a month or so before our 6 months at the cabin was up (too long!), we started to drive to nearby towns with RV dealerships and look around. We spent a day or so deciding on whether or not to get a 5th wheel (trailer that also goes over the truck bed) or a toy hauler (5th wheel with a garage) and ultimately decided that having reasonable room for my motorcycle and Ross’s future toy was ideal.
Unfortunately there’s a limited amount of decent toy haulers versus regular 5th wheels, so we only had a few models to choose from. After lots of research online by Ross, we finally found the one we wanted just outside Denver. We planned some time off work and made the 7 hour drive on a Sunday.
We visited a couple dealerships our first day in town, leaving either unimpressed or straight blown away by the prices and decided to just look at the toy hauler Ross had found online that looked the most promising (assuming it was still there). We walked around it in awe, a classy 2013 Torque in pretty much mint condition and about 2/3 the price of a new one. We were pretty much hooked and it was a relief to not have to spend every morning of our time there roaming lonesome rows of dealerships!
Visions of comfort and standing desks danced in our heads.
So, we had found our new home! Then, the less fun part began, getting approved for a loan, driving to Colorado Springs to get a check from our bank, spending hours at a garage waiting on a hitch install that never happened, spending another 2 days at camping world getting a hitch installed that DID happen, and a snow storm that prevented us from picking up our new home and leaving town. We ended up being in Denver for 9 days. I could tell the cats were starting to worry that the one window hotel room might be their new forever home.
We finally got out of town on a Monday night, just before a second storm was to hit town and headed south over Raton Pass in southern Colorado, then down around through Albuquerque and back up to Farmington to avoid the mountains. And there it sits til Friday afternoon when we’re officially “Nerds Back on the Road“!