Things to do in the mountains
Our Rocky Mountain home is literally at the end of the snowplow route, the electric line and the telephone line. As the only year-round residents of our small subdivision, the only person we may see for weeks is the county snowplow operator.
We always advise our invited guests to come up in a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle. As Wonder Wife is prone to say: “It’s a great place to live, but you wouldn’t want to visit here.”
In summer, our splendid isolation is not without its frustrations most of which are caused by uninvited and lost motorists who somehow manage to make it up our road. It is all I can do to keep from inflicting a variety of practical jokes on such folks. Fortunately, Wonder Wife keeps most of my impulses in check.
For example, at night or even at first light when I am walking our dogs, anyone venturing up our narrow, one-lane road will find me clad only in pajamas. Wonder Wife says I will be embarrassed when some motorist rounds the bend and I am caught, like a Deer, in the headlights.
Fortunately, I have given that circumstance some thought and I have it all worked out. When these intruders finish turning around in our cul-de-sac, I plan to approach the driver and smuggle him or her a note that says: “They have taken away my street clothes and I am being held here against my will. Go for help!”
My other thought is to don a sheriff’s uniform. When the uninvited are struggling to negotiate our tiny cul-de-sac, I would simply walk over, admonish them for failing to read the “Dead End” and “No Trespassing” signs and issue them a phony ticket.
Or, I could just say: "I know. You went to public school."
Wonder Wife says “N-O” to all these ideas. She fears I will be taken seriously and the motorist or hiker or biker will send for the Sheriff. The local Sheriff is a personal friend and Wonder Wife would like for us to remain on speaking terms. She also nixed my leaping on their cars in a bear costume.
Now and then, telephone marketers call offering to deliver one of the Denver newspapers to our door every day, to include Sunday. I used to tell such callers we weren’t interested and try to terminate the call. If the caller refused to take “no” for an answer, I tell them I am blind and ask if they could deliver a Braille edition.
But I have found it is more fun to start giving the caller directions on how to deliver the paper. I start the directions where the pavement ends and the gravel road begins. I suggest that for the next half mile they will need a four-wheel drive vehicle. Then, if they make the extreme hairpin curve up into our subdivision, I suggest they switch to an all-terrain vehicle for the next quarter-mile. After that, I recommend cross-country skis for the final two-tenths of a mile. Without fail, the caller decides to withdraw his or her offer of newspaper delivery.
Clinging to the mountainside above our house is a huge rock about 30-feet long, 30-feet high and 30-feet wide. If it were to detach from the mountainside and roll down, it would obliterate half of our house on its way into the lake down below.
Both guest bedrooms happen to look out and up at this enormous rock. Some of our overnight guests have expressed a fear of being crushed in their sleep.
My inclination to get some very thin saplings about 15-feet long and lean them up against the rock as if they were placed there to keep the rock from rolling down hill. Then, when guests ask me if the rock has shown signs of rolling down, I could say, in all honesty: “No, not since we propped it up with those saplings.” Wonder Wife likes that one.
William Hamilton is a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today.