Think of this: after a spectacular day of ski touring by your ski in skin out cabin, you slip into a steaming hot tub. Stars are shining brightly in the clear night sky and the water temp is about 103F. That would sum up the perfect day for me. I fantasize about it whenever I get the least bit chilled, which is often when I’m backcountry skiing in Colorado.
“Dream it, do it.”
While Lou was in Chile I found an ad for a used wood-fired hot tub on Craigslist. After four months it hadn’t sold. “Good condition, needs a little TLC.” I made a low-ball offer at less than a quarter of the asking price, and the owner accepted it.
I briefly wondered how much TLC was “a little” but quelled those silly worries and started to scheme. If Lou would help me with this project, we could be luxuriously soaking on the deck of WildSnow HQ this winter…
The day of our wedding anniversary arrived when Lou was in South America. I didn’t really mind, especially since I was happy that His Blogness was able to
meet up with Louie and his friends. But Lou felt guilty and he said he’d make amends when he got home.
…so maybe, if I found just the right moment to broach the subject, he might go for it…
Lou returns from SA with a terrible cold. Not the right moment. Then our sewer line blows and the backhoe rips up most of our yard looking for the 50 year old pipe. Not the right moment.
Then comes a lovely fall evening and we enjoy a bottle of delicious Chilean red wine. The right moment! I explain the unbelievable deal we can get on a wood-fired hot tub. “It’s in great condition!”
Our ripped up yard gives Lou a hundred more things he needs to get done before winter hits and I think he won’t want another project. But he does! Hallelujah! My amazing man comes through again!
To tread lightly and hopefully sidestep any second thoughts, I tell Lou I can easily get the tub with the help of our strong young friend, Scott Nelson. Lou won’t have to bother with it until I bring it back to Carbondale for “a little TLC” before we take it to HQ.
Ever gallant, Lou decides to join us. (After all, when it comes to things like using the winch on our Duramax Silverado, how can a real man resist?). I had envisioned a sunny day and a glorious drive on Colorado’s Scenic Byway, Highway 133, while we snacked on crisp, fresh apples that we’d buy along the way. But the day dawns and it’s raining. Hard. The forecast predicts the storm will worsen so we leave early.
We hook up our double axle cargo trailer, pick up Scott and head for a ranchette outside of Paonia, a farming area on Colorado’s western slope.
Directions? No problem! I’ll use my trusty iPhone. It cleverly takes us on a route that bypasses a closed portion of Main Street in downtown Paonia.
“How did it know to do that?” asks Lou.
“It’s a smart phone!” I laugh, so giddy to be almost there!
We drive a few miles and turn onto a dirt road with only .4 miles to go. The road is muddy and narrow. We pass an old sign half buried in a ditch that says “Road Not Maintained Beyond This Point.” (Note to self, when you see a “Not Maintained” sign buried in a ditch, pay attention.) The rain pounds down but we see the ranchette across a field. We continue on. More mud, less road, and our truck and trailer starts sliding uncontrollably in the legendary “clay mud” that coats much of Colorado’s lowland hills. Clarification: when combined with water this stuff can actually be used as axle grease. To scientists, it’s also called “primordial ooze.” Don’t look too close; you might see something evolving in there.
Lou carefully stops. Luckily I have a bar of cell coverage and phone the owner. She confirms that we’ve been GPSed and need to turn around. Soon. Because its raining harder and the road is getting even worse.
We get back to Carbondale safely. The storm clears. Strong rays of sunlight beam down and a mystical steam rises from the rain soaked tub. Neighbors start to gather. “New start-up, WildSnow Winery?” After I explain it’s a groovy wood fired spa, our hip neighbors are psyched to try it out. We discuss how to prevent water from leaking thru the warped (but not rotten!) wooden slats.
Lou sighs and walks into the house, “This thing has honey-do written all over it.”
Happy Anniversary, honey! Mrs. WildSnow loves her man!