Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Up and Running!

It's been a good week so far.

We have done a "soft opening" to see how our Covid-19 plan of operation will work.  I think we have got this.  Mostly.

We had a single guest in the other day (a hiker), and just a couple minutes before the food was going to hit the table, we got a call from a neighbor.  "My horse is STUCK!  She can't move her front feet!  Can one of you come and help?  We may need to call a veterinarian!"  Juanita stayed to eat with our guest, and I drove over to the neighbors place a couple miles down the road.

There were 3 people standing by the horse, looking worried.  The horse was standing on the hillside, weaving back and forth.  It's flanks were drawn in, and it was quivering slightly with its' lips slightly pursed and a distant look in its' eyes.

"We just can't get her to move!"

I looked under the animal, and there was a small aspen sapling rubbing the horses' belly.  Apparently in JUST the right spot.  I could almost hear the horse saying "Feels! So! Good!"

I showed the horse a halter and asked "Boots, do you need to work a little?"  And the horse took off like a shot and galloped UP and DOWN the pasture.  WHEEE!!!

"Your horse is fine,   Just had an itch."  I got back in time to eat breakfast.


I fenced in the wood shed and installed a screen door on it so the young chickens can get out of the livestock tank that has been their home for the last couple weeks, and they can look out at the two BIG chickens running around it the chicken yard.  Everyone seems to be happily ignoring one another.


We also fenced in the back yard with a hot wire so the horses can go out and mow for us for a half hour each day.  They seem to like it, and I do not like mowing, so it's a win/win.


Our youngest son (The 40 year old.  Jeeze.) came up the mountain on his motorcycle and helped us take down a couple standing dead trees out back.  He got some training at that back in the day when he was a wild-fire fighter.  No building or power lines were damaged during the process.  Another win.

We left one dead tree up that had some holes in it that the birds might be nesting in.  The kid told me "You might want to take it down anyway, it's on it's way out...". but I didn't want to bug the tenants.

It fell over the next day in a wind storm.

I had to cut it up without the kid's help.  Rats.  But Juanita was around so I chainsawed it up and she hauled off the logs.

"Bill." she says "You need to come look at this."  She pointed down at one of the holes in the sawed up tree.  It was stuffed with Oreo Cookies.  It was probably 15 feet up when the tree was standing  Must have been one TALL Keebler elf to fill that hollow tree.


Juanita and I were inside doing chores when Reba the Lodge Dog barked.  Again?!?  That's the second time this week!  What is it this time, dog?  A homeless guy?  A bear?  Uh, no.  Remember when I talked about the horses mowing for us?  Well, Washoe the horse had wandered onto the back porch,  Reba was incensed.  It's her porch, don't you know.


So, we are back up and running now, on a limited basis.  Full social distancing and masked like bandits in the common areas.  You should come and visit!

                                 We have cookies.


Friday, June 5, 2020

Rural Terrorists

Yesterday morning I walked outside and was attacked.

Several angry hummingbirds flew at my face and eyes.  "What in the...!" I shouted. I looked up on the second floor deck and sure enough, the feeders were empty.  "Sorry guys.  I'll be right up there." and I took the jug of home-made nectar up to fill the feeders.  When I stepped out on the porch, there was someone already out there.  Oops.  Wait...  We didn't have any guests the previous night.

"Excuse me.  Can I help you?" I asked the sleeping form on the couch.

The still very groggy homeless gentleman said "I climbed up the wall to sleep up here last night." "That's nice" I told him. "You need to leave now.  Why don't you come inside and go down the  stairs to leave, rather than climbing down the side of the building."

He packed up his pack, and headed down and left through the front door.

Very strange.  We've been here for over 22 years now, and that's a first.
This morning I woke up just before 4:am.  I lay in bed for a bit and got up to get a drink of water.  I was just snuggling back in to go back to sleep when the dog barked.

The dog barked.  One "Woof".  In the 5 years we have had this dog, she has NEVER barked in the bedroom.  Ever.

"Crap" I thought. "The homeless guy is back."  Only the dog was facing the other way.  She was looking at the bathroom with it's open window.

And then I heard the bear.

Sort of a long low moaning and huffing... I've heard it before  I reached for the half open bathroom window and SHOUTED!!!

Actually, I screamed like a little girl, because just as I opened the window, a clawed ball of fur hit me in my bare chest, HARD!  Damn cat was watching the bear out the fricken window.

When I caught my breath I shouted out the window again, pulled on pants, boots and, at Juanita's suggestion, a sweatshirt, and headed out with my shotgun. (When we first moved up here, the Colorado Dept. of Wildlife recommended people keep a shotgun handy loaded with rubber buckshot for this sort of thing.)

Juanita and I wandered around for a while, making noise and shining the flashlights around and we saw nothing.   We went back inside, and I replaced the batteries in the shotgun's barrel mounted flashlight/laser pointer sight, and then we went back out again.  Still nothing.  I was just getting ready to head back in when I heard him again.  That low moaning and huffing.  Behind me.  Up high.  In the dark.  In a big tree.

I shown the flashlight into the big ponderosa pine tree, and could just make out the eyes of a black bear reflecting down at me.

Okay, now what..  Shoot the bear in the face?  That just doesn't seem polite.  Juanita found a better angle. Only butt showing.


Okay, let's clear out so he can leave.  Make it easy for him to do the right thing.

We went up on the back deck and listened to him.  He moaned pretty loudly for about 15 minutes or so, and then we heard it shuffle down the tree, and he was gone.  I felt terrible, but it's important that bears are afraid of town and the people in it.  If they become a nuisance, the DOW will put them down.   And I don't mean by telling them that they smell bad, or that their mother dresses them funny.

And speaking of unpleasant smelling and odd clothes...

As I am finishing this story, I realized something about myself.  I am guilty of "Species Privilege".

It never even occurred to me to shoot the homeless guy in the butt.

(But, in my defense, the guy wasn't after my chickens...)