After several days on the road feeling liberated from the stagnancy of living a relatively normal existence for the past year we arrived at our (temporary) final destination: Morrison, Colorado. At least that’s where we thought our final destination was, sike!

All we knew coming into this is that our dwelling was to be a provided Forest Service house in Morrison. Provided housing is generally code for run-down shitty rat hole, which is unfortunate because the USFS has so many amazing buildings and houses that they let go due to infrequent use and then mice turn them into a hantavirus haven. I remained optimistic, however because they knew that we had a baby with us. They wouldn’t stick us in a shitty rat hole with a baby!

The small town of Morrison, Colorado seemed to be hopping with tourists as we drove through. I thought, “Wow this is really busy but it will be an okay place to live for a few months. I can just walk into town from wherever we will be living.” Then we kept driving. We drove about 15 more minutes to the ranger station (which is a quick turn off of a windy mountain highway) so that Ian could check-in. From the ranger station we drove another 15 minutes further to the store, then another 35 minutes deeper and deeper into the forest until we finally arrived at our new digs. So that would be 1 hour and 5 minutes from Morrison not in Morrison, a minor detail right? Not worth mentioning to us before our arrival.

As we drove further and further into the forest I was thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me. How much further are we going?” I did not sign up for solitary confinement in this deal.”

Once we landed at our actual final destination I was feeling a bit distraught which quickly turned to high-level agitation when Ian informed me that not only are we removed from everything but we also do not have Internet access or cell phone service here; Bitchin’. I suppose if I would like to have contact with the outside world I will just send out a carrier pigeon to deliver my TEXT message the old school way. Or go retro and see if I can bring the telegram back into style, so many options to consider really.

So there I was taking in our new living situation, and then we stepped into the house. Remember my optimism about not ending up in a shitty rat hole because we had a baby? Well, I was wrong. The structure of the house is actually quite nice and has the potential to be a comfortable place. That being said, its current state is far from desirable. If desirable were a tasty casserole the current state of the house is a tuna fish-pineapple-horseradish-guacamole-blueberry yogurt-skittles casserole.

We dropped our stuff in the house and immediately began cleaning. We grossly underestimated the potential level of disgust while at the store so we had a measly amount of cleaning supplies to work with that first night.


However, we had to get busy because neither of us wanted Ani to touch anything. I mean nothing. Don’t touch the walls, the doors, the toilet, the floor, the cabinets, nothing. I was happy to set up her tent and throw her into it for bedtime because I knew that it was clean and it would keep her contained from the filth. This rant may make it sound like I’m a clean freak but that is not the case. When you cautiously open cabinet doors and hesitantly move couch cushions because you’re afraid of what you may find? That’s not clean freak, that’s freaked out.

So my first few hours at the house I exercised my right to remain silent because I thought it was the best course of action, at least until I stopped seeing red anyhow. The days following have been a complete barrage of cleaning, scrubbing, mopping, and spending quality time at all sorts of stores; Target, Goodwill, Home Depot, etc. Why Goodwill might you ask? Well, we were also informed that there was “kitchen stuff” before we arrived. That equates to 11 butter-knives, 1 fork, 4 pairs of tongs, 1 hot pink plastic cup, no pans, etc. You get the idea.

Of course to get to those stores, shop, and return requires an entire day but what else have I got to do really? Well, beyond caring for Ani every minute of each day. After the initial (and then repeated) scrubbing/mopping of the most important spaces and acquiring the basic household necessities (like a shower curtain and rings) I decided to pace myself with the cleaning and moving in process.

If it takes a couple months to finish cleaning and unpack who cares! It’s not as if anyone is coming over for dinner. We are currently going with the, section it off and get to it later strategy. This new and previously unutilized thought process of not having to go 1,000% until the mission is accomplished feels strange in practice like I’m being lazy, but it affords me the ability to get outside with Ani every day to do some local exploring.

After all, that was the whole intent of this 4-month expedition to Colorado, to have a different home base for a while and to experience new places. Life is just too short to spend your entire day cleaning mouse poop.