Saturday, September 18, 2010

La Veta Loca - On Our Land Day 3

It's Monday, which means we can finally go to La Veta to rent an auger and drill holes for the fence posts. In the meanwhile Quantum and I have come up with a brilliant idea for turning what was once a cement-bottomed cattle-watering trough (possibly with a well, though we aren't sure how to re-activate it) into a shed for the yaks to live in. Its a pre-existing structure, so if we stick to the original size, planning-zone Steve can't say much about it.

The day starts much as the two previous, with me up before light, warming my hands over a cup of coffee. This morning there's much cloud cover, and the sunrise looks like a painted desert of burgundies, deep lavenders, salmon and bright highlights.

Quantum and CK work out the locations for the fence posts and then Quantum and I pile into the blazer and head for the hardware store. On the way there, the front passenger side wheel starts making a crazy amount of noise. This happened the other day when I took CK to meet the yaks, but at the time we found a twist of grass around the axle and removed it and the noise stopped.

We get to La Veta and find a place to pull over and check. Sure enough there's a birdsnest worth of grass stuck there, but we pull it off and the sound still doesn't go away. Reaching the hardware store we find that they do indeed have the auger they told us about, but its HUGE and the two of us won't be able to lift it into the truck. Of course the guy at the hardware store who lifts heavy things is on his day off. There's just no way we're getting this thing on the truck, off the truck back home, use it and then somehow get it back into the truck again. Things that just aren't happening. We'll have to go to Pueblo or Trinidad to find one that we can actually use and haul around.

Nor do they have a hose thingie for the propane stove. In essence the hardware store is freaking useless. I don't even bother asking about fly-strips.

On the way back out of town we see a sign for a Bistro and Brewery. Naturally we must investigate. The place is in the process of getting ready to open for business (as in they haven't yet got all their permits and such, not as in opening "for the day") and the couple gives us a tour. Cute little place that will hopefully serve Mediterranean food. I admire their temerity in starting a restaurant, something I'd love to do, but am not insane enough for.

Just outside of La Veta, Quantum realizes that maybe the horrific wheel noise is caused by low tranny fluid. He turns around finds a gas station, adds fluids (yes the tranny fluid was low) and we set off back home again. The noise is still with us. Cringing at the noise we make it back to Walsenburg and find a tire shop. I get out and one of the workers there gets in with Quantum and they go off test-driving for 20 minutes. But the sound went away just before we parked and doesn't come back.

We finally give up on the now-silent wheel noise and head to the feed store to pick up some hay for the yaks. (T's been feeding them from his own hay stash for the last couple days.) Naturally that guy has an auger of the type we need for sale. And it's $650 and just not worthwhile for 12 post holes we need dug.

By the time all this is done, we're both beat and there isn't much we can get accomplished today. Even dragging the hay out to the yaks feels like too much effort. (Besides we want to take a look at the wheel at home.)  We'll drop off the hay in the morning and head to Pueblo to rent an auger there.

On the way up our road, I look out into a field and there's four elk grazing. They're huge. They're amazing. Two dart off into the woods and they're so big at first Quantum thinks they're horses. An enormous buck crosses the road ahead of us and stands staring at us. His antlers are so wide they take up the entire road, about one-and-a-half car widths.

I've seen elk on TV of course. But nothing prepared me for how enormous, how magnificent they are in person.

Now as I'm typing, there's an owl hooting outside, somewhere down past the stream. It's a lovely mournful sound. I wonder if he's trying to talk to the generator that's powering my laptop, since I don't hear another bird answering him.

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