Inspections, Inspections, Inspections

8 June 2009

On this big family rally at Liberty Ridge Ranch, we had all hoped to accomplish a great deal toward finishing the interior of the cabin. It was not to be. It’s a very long, arduous story of bureaucratic brick-wall head-banging, but (and this is the short version) we are now still in the process of satisfying inspection after county inspection after state inspection after inspection.

Along with a pre-inspection, structure inspection, plumbing rough-in inspection, electrical rough-in inspection, plumbing final inspection, electrical final inspection, gypsum board inspection and final inspection, we had to also pass a driveway and address-posted inspection. So, we got to work on posting our address. Now, we certainly do not receive mail here, and we are the only people ever venturing that far up this particular mountain — except for, now, the INSPECTORS.

I wasn’t completely satisfied with the orange spray paint on a piece of plywood method, so I enlisted some help to post our address.

cedar sign 01

We still have a few brush piles left over from putting our driveway in four summers ago.   I know, it’s a fire hazard, but that’s a LOT of chainsawing when you’re trying to build a cabin at the same time.  The top tree in this pile is cedar (we have mostly piñon pine near our build site), and since it is a hardy wood that looks pretty now and won’t decay quickly, we chose cedar for our address sign.

cedar sign 02My mountain-man husband got to work with his trusty chain saw.  Notice, Kids: He is wearing all his safety gear.  Better safe than missing a leg, I say.  Of course, I wanted a notch to display the red wood, so that put Travis’ not-exactly-his-day-job chainsawing skills to the test.

cedar sign 03Step one, complete.  Doesn’t that blaze orange accentuate his blue-gray eyes?  And the brush pile is shrinking already.

cedar sign 04Now it’s my turn.  Since my dad didn’t want me burning up the belt sander with this project, I did the best I could smoothing out the uneven chainsaw marks with a hammer and chisel.  Like I said, my husband is not quite ready for any Stihl competitions, but he got the job done.  Look at that gorgeous cedar.  Maybe I’ll make a cedar chest for the end of my bed when I’m done with this project.  Maybe I’ll save that for another day. It is starting to get dark.

cedar sign 05Now, it’s our buddy Mr. Kenny’s turn to get in on the action.  After much coaxing, and a threat to withhold his dinner, he agreed to use his RotoZip to carve out our address.  He is very precise and, with Lillyan’s supervision, did a super nice job.

cedar sign 06While the red cedar looked great with just the router contrast, we didn’t want to risk failing this INSPECTION, so I filled in the letters with a black marker.  “Must be CLEAR and LEGIBLE from the public road.”

cedar sign 07Ta Da.  In place at the end of our driveway.  Now, I sure hope we pass that address-posted inspection.

NOTE:  Surely, you know this isn’t actually our address.  A little photoshop help should keep all of the internet stalkers from descending on our little secluded mountain hideaway.  And please don’t send any Christmas cards here.  Who knows who would be seeing photos of your cute little family in reindeer-ear headbands.


Old-Fashioned Cabin Raising

29 April 2009

higgscabin2Last summer, 11 people and 6 dogs made the trek up the mountain to assemble this mountain cabin.  Kymberly’s Dad designed the building from scratch, and he pre-built as much as possible (floor, stud walls, dormers) back in Kansas. With lots of hard work by everyone, in a little over a week we had an air-tight, solid structure on our property.  The following is a 2-minute timelapse video of the project.  One photo was taken every 5 minutes for 9 days. This summer it’s time to finish the interior.

A Liberating View

28 April 2009

blog-ranch-sunset-for-webAhhh …  sunset.  Travis’ favorite time of day.  Whenever we are at Liberty Ridge Ranch, we take time out to enjoy the sunset and are rarely disappointed.  Those are the awe-inspiring Sangre de Cristo mountains, named “Blood of Christ” for the color they turn with the sunRISE hits them.  We’re more sunset kind of people, so it may be a while until you see sunrise photos on here.  The banner at the top of this site showcases their majesty even better (it’s the future view from our front porch).  What a testament to the Creator.


blog-sunset-from-higline-trailHere’s another sunset, looking in a different direction in the middle of summer.  The sun is setting directly over the Collegiate range at that time of year. (The photo above was taken in January.)


blog-chainsaw-and-fireIn case the sunsets just aren’t flaming enough for us, the ranch is a perfect place for a daily/nightly bonfire.  We still have plenty of brush piles that need clearing from when our driveway was built.  There’s not too much Travis loves more than a good day of chainsawing.  Maybe someday he’ll long for his white collar job in retrospect, but for now, a good fire and some piñon pine to cut up make him very happy.


blog-ranch-backsideHere’s a view from east of our 35 acres looking down at our meadow and two peaks.  We still can’t believe we will get to live there full time someday, Lord willing.


blog-meadow-flowersDown in that meadow we have a creek running through, and the springtime brings beautiful Colorado wild flowers.


blog-late-summer-viewUsually by late summer, the Sangres have finally lost their snow.  We long for the pleasant days, afternoon thunderstorms and cool, quiet nights filled with a million stars during these sweltering desert summers. 



This was taken from what we call “The Top of the World”.  It’s about 400 feet above the meadow floor and 100 feet above the future house site.  Obviously, this is our “happy place.”  We’d love to share it with you.