Friday, September 3, 2010

Just Because You Got Here You Think You Catch a Break? - The Move Odyssey: Day 10

We wake up decently early but of course before we can leave, we have to fix the trailer lights. CK goes out to do that. I've got a bad headache and I'm nauseous. Quantum has the headache though not the nausea. I've also got a mild nosebleed. I suspect its the altitude.

The air is cool and crisp. Such a wonderful change from the constant heat we've been traveling through. The sky is pure azure blue without a cloud in sight. It's amazing.

While CK is dealing with the trailer, I get a phone call from my brother saying he's picked up the T-Bird. I tell him about the trailer light problem (knowing he's pretty sharp both with cars and electronics) and he tells me, "with trailer lights, about 90% of the time it's a bad ground." Oh the sweet scent of vindication. I tell my brother to repeat that and hand the phone to Quantum.

Quantum goes up to look at the trailer light situation. CK wants to do what manly men do, and figure out what the wiring should be, where a circuit might be bad and all that, and basically debate the damn thing into the ground. Quantum gets a roll of wire and runs a quick bypass wire and we're up and running in 1/10th the time that CK has already wasted on it. We never do figure out whether it was a ground or not, but so long as its fixed, who cares?

We head up through Raton Pass. More ear popping. The trucks are struggling to pull the trailers upwards. Downwards the trucks are struggling to hold the trailers back. It's wacky to realize the speed limit on this road is 70 in some places. We hit the Colorado border, and it feels almost surreal that we're finally here.

We stop for gas in Trinidad. Quaint historical town, looks like it will be a nifty place to visit. The cobblestone roads however are none-too-kind on our vehicles. At the gas station we realize that the tongue on the trailer has crumpled due to rust we hadn't seen, and the pressure of the downhill roads and the cobblestones in town. The propane tanks that had been sitting on a platform on the tongue are hanging within inches of the ground. Very scary. We're going to have to cross our fingers that the metal will hold till Walsenburg.

I also make two other interesting discoveries. First off, lavender grows profusely here. I adore lavender, and have always wanted to grow it. Neither my old home in NY nor anywhere in Florida was conducive for it. But here it's billowing from planters everywhere. The second discovery is when I go into the bathroom and decide to put on some eye-liner. The stuff actually goes on and stays on and doesn't run down my face from humidity. I'm liking CO more and more.

30 or so miles to Walsenburg! Very scary miles, as every bump in the road might tear the trailer away. But of course nothing can go easy. For some reason I misread the map and decide we should get off at exit 50, Walsenburg's middle exit. We do so, and end up on a road that looks like it goes nowhere. I get confused and we head back south to exit 49. But there IS no exit 49, (Turns out 49 is only an exit if you're going northbound.) So we have to go all the way to exit 46 with the trailer shimmying like mad. And when we get there, I realize that exit 50 WOULD have gone into Walsenburg, but what we REALLY wanted was exit 52. Duh!

We unhitch CK's trailer from the Blazer, leave CK in the parking lot with his kitties and go down the courthouse to get the trucks registered. Punch drunk as we are, we forget to get the registration papers for the Dodge. Not that it ends up mattering.

We stop and get a PO Box (this has been one of the clusters previous to the move) and then we hit the courthouse. Well, of course nothing's easy. A PO address isn't good enough for the tag office. They want a physical address. The problem with this is that our land is just that...barren land, and so far as we know, there's no address. They send Quantum down to Steve, they guy in charge of building codes and giving out addresses. Now I've talked with the guy on the phone before and he was nice as pie, but for some reason he seems to take a dislike to Quantum. By the time Quantum leaves the verdict is that no way will we get an address issued till we have a building plan and maybe even a foundation, and the best thing for us to do is rent an apartment. Oh, and if we want to put trailers on our land (I'm pretty sure Steve the Code Guy thinks we mean a house trailer, not travel trailers) then we need to get a permit for that. All in all, it looks like it'll be at least 2 months before we can get ANYTHING, and we can't leave the trucks out of compliance that long.

We leave there and go to scope out our land. We'd already contacted a towing company before we left, because we knew there was no way the Dodge could pull the big trailer onto our land, even by the gas access road we know is there somewhere. Now it looks like we'll need to have CK's trailer towed too.

We find the side road that our land is on, and drive towards where we remember it to be. But we cannot for the life of us find the trail that leads onto our property or any landmark that looks correct. Then we come upon this huge locked gate slam in the middle of the road. I'm pretty sure our land is on the other side of it, but I don't recall a gate in the way. Something is deeply wrong, and I don't think its our memory.

Back into town we decide to take a few minutes and relax and question the locals about precisely why the Code Guy has a bug up his butt. We find to our deep chagrin that our absolute favorite dive bar has closed down. The Blue Rooster served Blue Moon beer (one of my favorites) on tap, and made a huge and delicious plate of nachos for only $6.95. Last year Quantum and I got the nachos and they filled up TWO meals for both of us and we still couldn't eat it all.

We end up in Rosa's Cantina, which doesn't serve food or Blue Moon, but the waitress is cool and the locals seem friendly. Turns out the bartender used to work at the Rooster too. I get my hand kissed by a very drunk but very sweet Native man who thinks I'm beautiful, and we make friends with the bartender, who turns us on to a great motel and a dynamite steak restaurant.

We check in and I walk over to the restaurant to order. (Incidentally, the steak at the Iron Horse is fantabulous, and definitely DO go with the chef's signature rub.) The waitress is also an incredibly nice woman. I'm finding that despite the neocons in charge of the town, the local working class folks are friendly, helpful, decent people. "So you're local," she says after I tell her that we've just moved in. Wow, yes I guess I am local.

I've lived in lots of places where you don't get accepted as local till you've lived there several decades. This easy and genuine acceptance is refreshing and heartwarming.

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