So we once again spent the winter in a vacation cabin, as you probably noticed if you follow us on instagram or Facebook. To some this makes us “not full time” but since we still don’t have a “home” and don’t own things like furniture, we don’t really count a few months in a cabin as “no longer traveling” I guess. Eventually we might stay in places like Hawaii vacation yurts and the like, but we don’t really plan well. So far we negotiate a few months of “off peak” rentals with on the market VRBO.com vacation home owners to find places that will take cats. Finding places that take cats is probably the most difficult part and it ends up choosing the place for us fairly often.
The homes are usually nicer than most people’s full time homes and/or have a really cool location at least. We always enjoy them and our time in the area (often Colorado) and usually we just park the RV outside. This year we stored it in warmer weather due to the remote (and 4wd and/or chains all winter) location of the last cabin, and to avoid leaks or other issues due to freezing temps.
Although we enjoyed our winter as we always do, being snowed in for days, having wildlife like mountain lions and deer come right up to the house, we miss getting out and doing more like we do when we’re on the road. We went skiing once this winter and I did not enjoy it. After hurting my neck in 2012, I just can’t get over the fear of falling on the steepest parts of the trails. Maybe if I gave it more time, but as season passes are expensive and I already have one “dangerous” hobby, I don’t really care. We donated our skis and boots and decided if we ever want to ski again, we’ll rent.
We did some hiking before the snow got deep but for most the winter it was between 2 and 4 feet deep. There were some snowshoes in the garage that we could have used, but, we just didn’t. We spent a lot of evenings at home watching Netflix on the awful 1.3mb internet. We don’t regret it, we like sitting around watching movies and playing video games. I love when a snowstorm comes in and turns the sky white. Trees barely visible, roads unplowed.. that is until we really needed to get out and had to spend hours shoveling the driveway, both wood decks, a path from the garage to the house, one from the house to the woodshed, to both upstairs and downstairs doors. If you didn’t keep up on shoveling every few inches, it would get ahead of you. Then there was getting wood from nearby Farmington (40 miles), carrying it down to the house, or from the woodshed to the house, chopping it for nightly fires… We started to feel like we were really living in a cabin in Colorado (in the 1800s). That’s kind of what we wanted and shoveling and hauling wood around is how we got our exercise – and slippery, steep road dog walks. But everything does get old eventually.
Compared to the other cabins we’ve stayed in, this one was the closest to a real “cabin in the woods in winter” experience. The road to town was steep and often unplowed near the cabin, which then joined a more well kept dirt road (snow road) which, unless recently plowed, was slippery and dangerous after fresh snow in our huge truck. It was bumpy and usually more busy that you’d expect, meaning you couldn’t get frivolous on corners. We towed out two stuck people over the winter, and passed a few more who had gotten stuck during the night before. After miles on that road, you joined a highway for 7 miles into town and were mostly home free in any weather, however the trip to and from town took at least an hour, so we tried to keep it under 3 trips a week. There was no regular mail at the cabin so I would have to drive in to mail off or pick up prints from time to time, and after the first month, only FedEx would even try to come to the house to deliver packages. Sometimes just having us meet them down the hill.
With just a few adaptations we made it into a pretty great winter, but it has made us think about our priorities a little now that we’re not really skiing and most days, wish we could be riding our motorcycles.
- We get to relax, spread out, and the cats get a break from traveling.
- We can feel “local” just enough to know what’s up, and not get treated like a tourist at our regular places, without feeling too “local”.
- I get to feed birds and the cats/dog get a yard without RV people spooking (or baby talking) them.
- A proper kitchen with a proper oven that doesn’t burn everything (though we’re pretty much masters of our little rv oven).
- ANIMALS. We see a lot of wildlife around the country, but never as much as if you sat still at a cabin in Colorado for months.
- Sherlock Loves the snow and the cats snuggle a lot more when it’s cold.
- We want to ride our bikes, not park them in a garage and wish we could ride them.
- The cabins cost more than an RV park would cost and we could save that money.
- I always think I’ll get more done in a cabin, craft and work wise, but I never do. Not on the “pro” list anymore.
- The cabins are often short on furniture (“It’s called Ikea minimalist”!), have weird unusable antiques, or their extra old broken spring couches and beds, so we’re not necessarily more comfortable or have more counter space for working on things – however the cats NEVER have a shortage of floor space or tables to lie on.
- We don’t end up seeing that much wildlife, most animals are pretty shy and you have to be up super early or really late to catch them.
- Once it’s snowy out, the cats don’t really want to go out anymore. Cold feet aren’t worth it.
- We will see snow again Sherlock, we will see snow again….
So, we’re in the mindset right now that we won’t be getting a cabin next winter. However what we WILL be doing is completely unknown. As far as camping in warm places, we don’t want to hang out in the desert all winter either and have to ride in sand and worry about the cats running into snakes. So, back to the drawing board on winters. What we are pretty sure we don’t want to do is head to Florida, unless we can just lurk around the state parks on the gulf coast.
We’ll see what happens!
If only Colorado was like this year round: