The Neighborhood

This a small collection of pictures from around the neighborhood.  Susan and I have lived here for the past 13 years.  As I tell friends, the only way I will leave this place is feet first.  (Click a picture for a larger image.)

Some Views of the 'Hood

In September of last year, the neighborhood was beset by a very serious wildfire. The whole mountain community had to be evacuated.  I was at the Reno air show, so Susan loaded up her truck with 3 dogs, 1 cat and vamoosed.  In the end, no homes were lost thanks to a tremendous effort by our local fire department, other Colorado fire crews and the US Forest Service. But it sure scared the hell out of everyone.

Update - as of April 2002 the region continues to suffer from a several year draught.  Fire officials prediect the worst fire season in memory.

Home styles around here are generally mountain rustic.  Here is Paradise Ranch, my favorite.

In stark contrast to Paradise Ranch, this is a home style which doesn't quite fit in this rural setting.  Everyone calls it The Castle.  Rumor has it that The Castle is around 16,000 sq. ft. and has a lap pool in the dungeon, er, basement..

We live on a private road which the neighbor's maintain.  Our longest term residents, Tom and his family, built the first house here over 20 years ago.  Tom picked up a well used Unimog from the city of Vail about the time I built our house in 1988.  He was tired of suffering on an open tracter while trying to keep the road open during the numerous blizzards we had in the late 70's and 80's.  The enclosed cab of the Unimog was very appealing.  The 'Mog, made by Mercedes, is essentially a 4 wheel drive power take-off rig.  It is sold world wide and has the reputation for being a tank.  Two of the many implements available for the Unimog are the backhoe and snow blower pictured below.  I don't know why, but Tom enshrined them on the side of our road several years ago when something expensive broke in the vehicle's power train.  Since we haven't had a serious winter in 5 years, Tom is playing the odds that he won't need it in battle trim anytime soon.

This is Walker Ranch, the first homestead hereabouts.  Today, it is part of the county open space.  Unfortunately, the main house burned to the ground about 5 years ago.  The local volunteer fire department (of which I was a member at the time) had no chance to save it.  The winds were gusting to 80 mph plus there was a foot of snow on the ground.  South Boulder mountain provides the eastern backdrop for the ranch.

Early morning on James peak.

Mailbox Defense

I don't know what it is about teens and mailboxes.  After a few beers it must seem like the coolest thing to grab a bat or hunk of lumber, pile into a car and go assault rural mailboxes. The counter measures employed by my neighbors are defensive (unfortunately). The following pictures show 4 approaches to keeping your mailbox intact.

Here is a simple deflector.  Clever don't you think?
Notice the damage to the leading mailbox.

Light armor.  I like the classic arch design.

Heavy armor.  Two by fours all around.  No one is going to mess with this one.

The fortress.  It's a shame that the tubes are for newspapers and not bazookas.

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