January 2001...the year we build our dream home in the
mountains of Colorado, a year of anticipation, excitement, achievement ... and, no doubt, some frustration along
the way. Who was it who said, "Build a house, lose a spouse"? After 30 years, I sincerely hope it doesn't come to
However, before we start building, we have one last journey
to make. In mid January, we left Glenwood Springs, collected one very dirty RV in Phoenix, and continued on our
way to San Diego. But, as we've discovered over the years, journeys don't always go to plan. We stopped at a truck
wash where the couple behind us drew our attention to a very flat tire. Divine intervention once again! By the
time we had had a new tire fitted, we realized there was no way we would make it to San Diego before dark, so we
stayed overnight in Indian Wells. Our only deadlines these days are self-imposed, and our motto has always been
Most of the time we don't make advance reservations at campgrounds, but
the Escondido RV Resort is such a
popular place during the winter months, that we had called ahead and booked in for three months - the longest
period of time we had ever spent in one place.
In fact, because of this, we were about to indulge ourselves
in two luxuries: a land line telephone (the unreliability of cell phones can drive you crazy!) and a new car for
me, a Subaru Outback, All Wheel Drive, Limited Edition, complete with leather interior and winter package,
including heated seats. I was definitely getting ready for life in the mountains of Colorado!
Meanwhile, it was good to be able to
swim in the heated pool everyday and enjoy the hot tub. During the next few weeks we visited the beach at
Oceanside, ate at my favorite restaurant "The Beach House" in
Cardiff-on-Sea, went hiking over Daley Ranch where the views are spectacular, and spent a day on the ocean in a
sailboat. And running was sheer joy in the temperate climate of southern California.
Daley Ranch (not quite "family"!) is a 3,058-acre conservation area in Escondido. Its
hills and valleys were once frequented by native Californians of the Kumeyaay and other local tribes.
In 1869, Robert Daley became the first European to settle in the valley, building a
log cabin and later laying claim to the property in 1875. A number of ranch structures remain as a living history
of early ranch operations, when the property was used as a dairy. It's a fabulous place to hike and bike.
Our team put us to work and our business in San Diego is
steadily growing. In February, Norma and Rose joined us for a great weekend of training and skiing in Reno,
March saw our Leadership Conference in San Diego, preceded once again by
two glorious days and nights at La Costa Resort and Spa. That
place is well worth a visit, especially if someone else is paying!
All too soon, it was time to hitch up and say goodbye to our
friends, yet once again things didn't go quite to plan. First we delayed our departure due to the weather forecast
- unnecessarily, as it happened. Then, determined to leave by the weekend, we awoke on Saturday morning to the
sound of torrential rain. By the time it stopped, we found we had a problem with the electrical cable. And by the
time Mick had fixed that, we heard there was a 20 car pile-up on the Interstate and the traffic was at a
standstill. We finally left early the following morning!
It was a long but beautiful 2-day drive to Colorado - long, because we
were towing the RV and also driving my car so we both had to drive the whole way (18 hours!), swapping over every
couple of hours - beautiful, because we came through the mountains of Nevada, eastern Utah and western Colorado,
and the weather was fabulous. We were so lucky. Having left behind us heavy rain in California, the day after we
arrived in Basalt, just south of Glenwood Springs, we woke up to find 3" of snow on the ground.
Campground was to be our home for the next few months and the owners, Bonnie and Rich Nichols, immediately
made us feel right at home. They had arranged for us to have a site with telephone hook-up which made our lives so
much easier. This RV lifestyle certainly makes one appreciate those things in life that are so easily taken for
granted. It reminds me of when I first met Mick, back in 1968. He lived at home and his parents didn't have a
telephone so, when he wanted to call me, he had to walk up the road to a telephone "kiosk". Today's younger
generation would no doubt find that extremely hard to imagine. Talk about living in the dark ages!
Anyway, we're now settled into our
new environment. It's nice to be so close to Ben 'n' Jen - about an hour and a quarter's drive.
Again, our timing was great as we arrived the week before they
were due to move from their condo into a lovely 3-bedroomed townhouse. The Dodge Ram truck, with its long bed,
came in very useful for moving furniture, and we were able to take care of the dogs for a couple of weeks.
The start of construction on our log home was delayed by
about 6 weeks so, again fortuitously, Mick was able to help Ben build a kitchenette in their finished basement.
They now have a tenant for the next year and the addition will definitely add value to their house.
So, here we are in Colorado - to stay. One of our reasons for
traveling all over the US for the past few years, was to find the perfect place to settle down and we really feel
we've found it here in Glenwood Springs. We are truly blessed to have had such a great opportunity to do what so
many people only dream of doing and we've made some wonderful memories along the way. But this isn't the end of
the story. The log home project is well under way but that's Mick's "baby", so I'm handing over the responsibility
for that Journal to him. We hope you'll check on our progress from time to time by going to our
Log Home section.
Thank you all for riding along with us on our travels and we
look forward to many of you coming to visit once our new home is finished. Mi casa es su casa!