I’d be curious to know what folks think of the new medians in Fraser now that they’ve been there for a while. We can only imagine how much better they will look when they are brimming with wildflowers, hemp or whatever they decide to plant in them. Personally, I’ve gotten used to them and don’t even notice the decorative concrete any more.

I’ve been staying in my small RV “Escape Pod” for the last few months. My lease at an apartment in Redstone is up this month and I’m outta there. Living out of the Escape Pod has been both rewarding and challenging.

I’ve been on the receiving end of discrimination and dirision and endured a few sideways glances and mutterings under the breath. I even got barked at and threatened when I parked in the vicinity of one of the local sewer plants. I thought I was safe but a neighbor came out and let me have it from her fenced backyard.

“This is not a campground!”

“You have to leave right now!”

She took my picture and threatened legal action. I left pronto, not wanting my modest and quiet little Escape Pod to block anyone’s view of the water treatment plant.

I took the Escape Pod to a local mechanic and told him that I thought the fuel pump was acting up and he told me that, “I don’t think you know what the hell you are talking about!” The rig was too tall to fit in his garage anyway. Turns out it was the fuel pump Mister Smarty Pants!

I’ve encountered my share of “No Trespassing” signs in my quest for a flat, quiet spot. I have passed hundreds of empty houses and condos wondering how flat those parking lots are.

I’ve had some folks offer to let me park the Escape Pod at their place and have occasionally gone that route. Never wanting to wear out my welcome and become a burden, I limit my visits to a night here and a weekend there.

I have managed to find a few places where my shelter dog, “Chooch,” and I can relax for the night. We’ve had some splendid views and magnificent wildlife encounters. Just Wednesday morning an eight-foot-tall, 1,200-pound bull moose strolled right by us. Chooch kept his cool in the doorway of the Escape Pod, which both surprised and relieved me. Chooch loves scrambling after chipmunks, which keeps him occupied for hours. We have enjoyed a bumper crop of raspberries in one of my sort-of-secret, undisclosed locations.

Living in a small space has taught me many lessons, especially that there’s a lot of stuff I can live without. I don’t need televisions or wireless connections or a generator or a bunch of furniture to be happy. An acoustic guitar and a glass of wine goes a long way. Sometimes I even read or walk in the woods.

Small spaces can get cluttered very quickly so I’ve gotten into the habit of putting things away and cleaning up as I go. I can stand up in the Escape Pod but not do yoga or play soccer. When I have a guest in the Escape Pod I’ve learned to navigate in a new way, sometimes skittering sideways like an Atlantic ghost crab just to keep from bumping into my opponent.

I am well aware that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. I have to put Chooch under the covers and spoon with him to keep him from getting chilled. Okay, I’ll admit it. We keep each other warm. We put up with each other’s faults. I forgive him his chipmunk breath. And he takes my cursing, belching and off-gassing in stride. God, I love that little guy.

Soon I will have to either find a place to live or go to warmer climes in the Escape Pod. They don’t call this place an icebox for nothing and the Escape Pod will turn into a giant icicle at 30-below.

For now, I am enjoying the berries and the brushes with massive moose. If you see me out there, I apologize. I’m just trying to find a flat, peaceful spot.

Steve Skinner notes that the Escape Pod is clearly labeled when you look at it from the front. Please stay back 5,000 feet. Reach Steve at nigel@sopris.net.