Monday, June 30, 2014

Well Damn... Look on the Bright Side...

And, as soon as I can find it... I will...

The refrigerator vent cap that I built a few years back, because I couldn't locate a new plastic one that would fit, was deteriorating... so while I was waiting on Motorcycle parts to do the forks repair on my scooter... I climbed up on the roof to remove it and build a new one...

That right there is when I discovered as I took it loose, that there was a big ol' ACTIVE wasp nest under it...

Yup... Puss gut cowboy nearly learned to fly...

Well rain wasn't threatening... so I left that refrigerator vent uncapped for a day while I built a new cap... I scouted around when I was ready to put the new one on...and not a damned bug to be seen.

I climbed the ladder back up to set the new vent cap... and within 45 seconds the wasps were swarming all over again... KER-RAP!

Well... I'd made this cap black. My idea was that it'd get too hot for the bugs and those wasps would go elsewhere... maybe even make a better convection current for the refrigerator cooling...

Nope. Didn't seem to slow them damn stingin' bastards down a bit... kinda like politicians...  the more you interfere with their mess... the more they get stirred up.

So... bright Idea... spray 'em down with Wasp Spray...

Now... are you girls paying attention??? DO NOT SPRAY WASP SPRAY AROUND THE ROOF OF YOUR RV...

Honestly, the thought hadn't crossed my mind that the insecticide would eat the EPDM roof.... buuuuuut... it did. arrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

I'd been about to coat the roof with a Liquid rubber EPDM RV roof coating in the next few weeks. It's getting a lil' shabby in genereal... buuuuuuuut now... I'm looking at having to replace an 8' or 10' section at the least... where that spray ran down over the rubber and blistered it as it went...

So, what I figured to be $400 give or take to coat the roof with good stuff before it starts to leak... is going UP like a tax cut (every time they do me the favor of a tax cut mine have always gone up)... :-/  If I took a SWAG... (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) I'd say I'm probably looking at double that now... and that's if I can conjure a decent way to mickey mouse a repair of the blistered section.

A whole new roof is something in excess of $4500... Not Gonna Happen... I don't know that this old rig is even worth that... best I can hope for is that I can cut in the damaged section and squeeze out a few more miles...

If you have wasps I don't know what to tell you to do... maybe if you're real good with a BB gun... all I know is that I've discovered insecticide and RV Roofs don't mix...

They say; "If you come to the end of your rope tie a knot in it and hang on"... 

The clouds just keep stackin' up... the knot is gettin' slippery and this Old Biker Cowboy is close to raising some smoke...

Brian

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bears, False Hysteria and Mountain Realities... Get a Grip...

Almost got in trouble last night...

Was nigh on to ten O'clock when a guy came stumbling up to the fire. His voice was approaching the pitch of a scared old woman's... as he told us...in a panicked rush; THEY SAW A BEAR! DON'T LEAVE ANY FOOD AT ALL ANYWHERE AT ALL OR THEY WILL BE IN YOUR CAMP!!!

Besides spooking the kids for no good reason... getting all cranked up about such things and wetting your jeans is a thing that just twists my shorts...

"Where did they see it?"

"Down on the other side of the lake coming across the damn..."  ... so... probably nigh on to a mile...

Then the camp host came around... knocking on doors to warn ever'body!!! seriously? Why not call out the friggin' National Guard?!

People!!! It was a black bear... in the woods... in Colorado! Wow! What a rare freakin' thing to see!!!

I'd just about bet both my kidneys and half my liver that right then and there... you could find six bears within' five miles of where these boys were wettin' themselves cuz somebody SAW one!!!

So... How'd I almost get into trouble? Cuz me bein' who I am... I was havin' difficulty checkin' my laughter at the town folk cowering behind their tent flaps cuz Yogi was gonna come rampaging through their camp... Sound carries in the night air of the mountains you know! ;)

Here's the deal... Keep a clean camp... exercise that grey stuff 'tween your ears... and you'll be just fine.

Put it into a reasonable perspective... How many campers actually, truly got fed to a bear in the last... oh... ten years? three? maybe four?... and how many got shipped to the mortuary by a lil blonde girl racing down the road texting to her girlfriends with her knees holding the steering wheel? ... in that same time period??? a thousand? Four thousand??? More? Get a Grip folks!

Your bowels don't get loose every time you climb in your car to run down to Safeway for some cole slaw do they? You're about a thousand times more likely to have something bad happen there... on the road... going where ever...than you are in the mountains... if you Keep A Clean Camp...

So... prior to the Yogi assault... that uh... Never happened ... what a let down ;) the kids played around in a lil feeder stream that flows down to the lake... and... they made another attempt to capture one of the elusive trout...

Which is frustrating lil' Jillian. She desperately wants to catch a fish... and most she's gotten is a good solid bobber dunking... while folks fifty feet away using the same bait drug in three... Explain THAT to a five year old. :)
 






*Belaire Lake*











Shhhh... we're waiting on the bears... are the doors locked?

Yeah... I know... I'm not a terribly sympathetic mountain cowboy...
Brian...


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Some People's Kids...and Other Stuff...

Got loaded and packed... I still remember how after sitting on the farm for too long...

The only issue with going to a "summer cabin" area near to the front range is that, even in the middle of the week... it's pretty busy.

The first camp I'd been instructed to find was full up... so down the road a few more miles to another forest camp... run by the dreaded "corporation"... where you pay for electric whether you use it or not... yup... I'm a dedicated boondocker...

... buuuuut... with the lil' ones it was figured that having an outhouse and such might be a benefit on their first "outing"...

So... I got a "nice" spot... lashed down the awning in case a wind come up and even collected a few pics... and then went to work sitting in some ease under the awning... sippin a brew...










hmmm... THAT was a foolish thing to do... I shoulda been payin' a bit more attention... ever heard the phrase; "Calm before the storm"?

Yeah... So my daughter and her little ones finally arrived after some trouble getting out of Denver... and we went to setting up their tent. That took all of 15 minutes.

At that point she went to hauling food and such into the trailer that needed to go in the fridge... now... there's this thing called ~ boys ~.They're little critters designed to torture test anything and everything within their ability to reach, touch, drag, push, pull or poke...

Those critters could jack up the proverbial Concrete Slab with a rubber hammer... And I believe are genetically predisposed to do just that...

So... with the momma in the rig putting food away... and the keys laying in her Yukon...

Can you see it coming???

Uh Huh... CLICK!!!

Yeah... There we are, 70 miles from a lock smith... an OnStar system to which they aren't subscribed... and MOST of their food and ever'thing else locked up in the car. There was a time I could get into a car/truck faster with a piece of wire or a pocket knife than I could with a key.

These "newer" cars have been worked over to just about make that impossible... so the next 45 minutes were spent organizing rendezvous between people in Denver with People who have not yet left Fort Collins to meet part way between to pass spare keys along...

Well... that's taken care of... and no sparks or smoke... so all's good... right?

Oh Hell... YOU KNOW BETTER! :)

Keriann and I were sitting there... waiting on her key to show up with her mother when she asked... "is that the wind in the trees?"

I looked off toward the sound of the "wind" and said... "hmmm... there's not that many trees left around here to make much of the sound of wind in the trees..."

"Is that rain coming?" she asked...

"Hmmm... could be..." It sounded a little like a freight train coming across the mountain... then it came over the ridge behind us and... WHAM!

Yeah... not so much rain as...


 She said that's big hail! I said; Nah... just pea size... she snooped around for a bit and said; BIG PEAS DAD!!!


Yeah... so... frozen peas on steroids are sorta hard on equipment...

*RV Roof vents blown out... again*

 Both of the fifth wheels' roof vents... that we just replaced a year or two ago... from a hail storm got blown out again...

*An RV Awning modified to let the light in*
And the awning got turned into to a rather poor skylight... :-/

I knew the awning was aging... but hoped it would last a few more months... I've got higher priority things than multi-hundred dollar RV awnings... what can I say?

I know... We'll live without an awning for a bit! ;)

So... the key showed up... hyper powered midget humans got put to bed... finally...

...and the sun rose this morning on a camp that survived...

*Sunrise after the storm*
Today... while they all play... I'm thinking seriously of taking the little car... and running on back down to the flat lands... and collecting up another pair of roof vents. I'm not real sure how well those garbage bags I wrapped up the shattered vents with will hold up over time...

Just Duckin' and Runnin'
Brian

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Escape to the Mountains

Sort of...

 I'm still waiting on parts to repair the blown fork seals on the scooter... the grass is mowed on my "caretaking" sitchy-ashun... so it's time to get out of dodge and breathe some mountain air...

NW of Fort Collins is Red Feather Lakes, the summer cabin area of the northern Front Range. We're gonna make a three day escape from the flat lands to a lakeside camp up there... to take the grandkids on a lil' "Camping Trip".

It's not Going to the Sun mountains... Bear Tooth pass or the High Uintas.... but it will do.


*The Calm before the storm*
Night before last a gulley washer blew through bringing hail and .6" of precip in about fifteen minutes.

There was a few minutes where I wondered if not folding up the awning and screen room would prove to be an error. But... though the small marble sized hail beat a lot of beet fields in the area to a pulp, our position tucked up against that windbreak sheltered us just fine.

When I get back it's take a deep breath time and tear the front end of the bike apart and do that repair... so that I can put HER on the road for a good wide circle.

Kinda doing this post in reverse chronology. The day before the big storm ran the old truck down to Denver to attend my granddaughters' first Dance Recital... yeah... talk about sticking out like a hooker in a convent...

The older girls (and a few guys) actually showed considerable skill... at least to my un-educated eyes.






 That lil' camera of mine does an exceptional job out in Far Country... but inside, in the dark... not so much. It was havin' a devil of a time keeping up... so I got few pics of my own lil' gal... and most all of them are blurred...


 That's Jillian on the left...

She seems to really be into "Dancing"... I guess that's how she mostly moves going through the house...

Hard to believe the lil' gal was an infant not much bigger than my foot so short a time ago...

... another few years and that'll be her in the first pics...

that or... horseback... those seem to have captured her imagination as well...

Well... if I'm gonna get out of here and meet 'em all up in the mountains with the rig... I better get to packing and loading...

"To the Far Country Where I Belong"
Brian

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Veterans Administration... is NOT... the Source of the Problem

 (this is a post I wrote on my FB... I decided to reprint it here)

Ok... the VA... big stink lately right? Well guess what people... it's not one damn bit of difference than it has EVER been.

I speak from thirty plus years of personally dealing with it. U.S Army Disabled.

The VA don't get it done. It NEVER has.

Is that the fault of the VA system? No... it is NOT.

If you must place fault, go into the smallest room in your house, lean over the sink and stare into the mirror... and look your ass in the face. Cuz Darlin's... YOU is the culprit.

America has long talked her best into "writing a blank Check" payable for any amount up to and including their lives... to the nation... to go on foreign adventures, largely for the purpose of enriching already obscenely wealthy owners of various military/industrial complex corporations.

They were promised health care if they got torn apart and Survived the ordeal...

America has largely reneged on that promise. Always has. Look back at the army attacking the Vets on the Washington mall after world War one... when they went to protest the broken promises...

So now... the VA is "playing games" with appointments and treatment? I call Bull Shit!

The Congress and bureaucrats are scapegoating... and it's obscene.

They failed to fund the VA for the task they were given. The AMERICAN PEOPLE have not demanded that they do... and Vets endure, with dignity, once again, the broken promises.

The VA is staffed, doctors, nurses, technicians and orderlies, with the best people there are... but they can only do what they can do with available resources... their "delaying" of appointments/treatment is NOT malfeasance ... it is a form of triage. They deal with and treat who they can with available resources.

Firing Gen. Shinseki is not justice for a poor job. It is Scapegoating for failure to work a god damned miracle.

If you want to point the finger of blame... point it at the Congress and Whitehouse for failing to properly fund a grossly over burdened system... and yourselves... for failing to demand that they do!

Leave the good people of the VA alone.

They are doing the best they can with the meager tools you gave them. If you don't like the treatment your warriors are receiving, write your congressmen and demand that your soldiers be treated before the disrespectful illegals flooding our borders!!!

Signed...
A Vet in defense of the VA

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cowboy Considerations

Simplicity is a simple thing to say; But... saddlin' that bronc  and ridin' it out is a lot more difficult than it might look when you first walk out into the sunrise.
 
The thing is, even though that thing that sits twixt your ears whispers in earnest that you'll be happier with less in the pack on your back, a lifetime of droning conditioning that "more and bigger is better" is a hard wind to run against. It's been tattooed on your brain.

I am very VERY much wanting a lighter, simpler, more austere outfit to wander with... and when I sit outside in the screen room while the rain falls... I think how much more pleasant it is; smelling the perfume of the rain freshened air, and the sound of it on the canvas over my head... 

... and even the feel of the soft mist of the screen filtered rain brushing against my face; than being inside four hard walls.

And there's more in a simpler outfit. The more complicated and luxurious a rig or outfit is... not only does it cost more to buy it in the first place, it takes ever more to maintain all those parts and replace them when they fail.

Cost is time. The more you can shave the cost of purchase, maintenance and/or eventual replacement... the MORE TIME you preserve to invest in your passions. Simply... the easier your spirit rides.

I see these monster rigs... 40 feet and more; and try to visualize myself living in one. In camp the luxury is fine I am sure... the cost and ordeal of shoving that much machinery down the road, personally, makes my liver quiver.

For me... the mental gyrations involved in operating and maintaining a lot of tangled and complex "stuff" is by far the heaviest of the burden, far out weighing it's cost in labor and dollars.

It's the release I get from that burden on my spirit, that rides along with a heavy load of "things" (when those things are left laying behind me) that is exhilarating to my soul.

That's one of the great joys of my Yamaha... putting it in the wind is a soul shining joy in itself... not... a teeth clenching ordeal to get through to get where I'm going.  

Now, if those big rigs and complex piles of "stuff" float your boat, understand, that is a fine thing.

For me... just the old 30 footer I haul now has grown too big. I aspire for less. 

No idea just now exactly how I can get there... or even what "there" is... but toward a simpler and more "in" the world "there" is the direction I am riding.

See you along the way
Brian

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sometimes Being Scattered Is A Good Thing

With the bike parked waiting for parts and my itchy, restless brain too fidgety to sit at the table trying to write, I found it was a benefit to have all the miscellaneous irons in the fire I generally keep cluttering things up with.

 I took a piece off the back burner... went back to work on the lying press I started  a while back. Need it for journal binding.

Mortised in the holes to slide some $8 Harbor Freight bar clamps through. A couple more bits of finishing to do and I'll have a finished and functioning lying press for my leather shop/book binding work...

  
... which development of the restart is coming along very slowly... scattered irons in the fire... remember? :)

 Besides the perennial hunt for that folding green type capital... there's that caadd syndrome I gotta deal with...

Don't know what Caadd is? Cowboy aggravated attention deficit disorder...

Yeah, running from truck repair to grass mowing, to un-finished irrigation system remodel, to bike repair... and remodel, to zoos and graduations in another town...

 ...to just riding the twisties to clear my fuzzy brain... I have some difficulty keeping track of where I am... not to mention WHO!

But another day... another opportunity at confusion!
Brian

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yosemite and Friends Sortin' Out Knotted Guts and Disquieting Self Flagelations

Whud-a-ya git if you cross...Good Ol' Coyote bustin' Yosemite Sam...

With that lovely and serene spirited critter... the Tasmanian Devil???



It's not a cross that a lot of people conceive as a blueprint rising out of a well considered plan... and lacks the expectation of yielding much of a harmonious outcome..

Annnnnd... Some might say... what you're likely to get is...

... A bald headed, puss gut, Motorcycle ridin', Mountain Cowboy with a bad attitude!

... who's been known on occasion to do things that make no damned sense to normal, civilized people...

... just to see what happens... and to poke the dang Devil in the butt with a sharp stick... just to make that varmint howl!

Yeah well... normal... and civilized, are generally not words used much when describing yours truly... fact is, most aren't really sure I'm even house broke.

Thing is... and I've been contemplatin' it a considerable amount of late... the surest way to get your shorts in a knot is to try to stuff your size nine foot into the size six boot of somebody else...

... cuz something twisted your brain into thinkin' bein' like them was a good idea.

Only thing is... You don't fit inside their hide... and they don't fit inside yours.

Nope... just take who you are... and shine that individual up to be the best damned off-the-wall, straight and plain, Loco Whack Job you can be! If a loco whack job is who you are! Be damned proud of your Loco!!! Bein' YOU is the best and proper use of what you have.

Tryin' to be what you ain't in some attempt to quiet all those people squallin' about what you coulda been... is a blueprint for a machine that does nothin'. And doin' what you don't want to be doin'... because "somebody" told you it's the right thing to do... even though it rots your guts and liver... is just plain dumb...

It's like sitting a race horse down in an office cubicle and tellin' it to organize the warehouse records.

It not only ain't gonna happen... it's a tee total waste of the built in talents that critter has.

I'm thinkin' that most of the potholes along the way, come along as a problem... cuz too much time, energy and the soul filling spirit of life is wasted... pouring it down the hole of goin' along to get along... leavin' ya with too little to deal with what would have been no big deal in the first place...

Nah... I think the best choice is to just smile and nod at all those folks droning on about how they know your proper path better than you do... and just go on about those things that put a jiggle in your wiggle... and see how many folks you can make howl with your shenanigans along the way...

Yes sir... do what makes sense to you. Even if it makes not one bit of sense to anybody else... This world desperately needs a few more Free Spirits.

Just Sayin'...

Brian

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Was Going to Leave Today... A Day Early...

That would allow me an easier and wider circle... then along came yesterday... and No Ride at All...

The day started off shiny... running a few "last minute" errands to put myself ready to roll come daylight today...

About an hour after I rode back from those errands I walked back over to the garage the bike is parked in... to load my water bladder and canteens... and check tire pressure so I'd be ready for the early morning departure...

... set the water down on a bench and kneeled at the front wheel with an air gauge... to find a puddle of oil on the uphill side of the rim... WTF????!!!!

Oil was everywhere... all over the forks, run down over the brakes (most likely ruining them) all over the wheel... even a very small puddle at the tire on the ground...

I'd just climbed off and turned toward the rig when I'd got back. Didn't see the failure then... Must have happened in the last mile or two...

The forks seals... which admittedly had been weepy... blew and blew big... BOTH sides at the same time... I'd hoped to milk them for just a couple more weeks... others can get away with such gambles... others... not this fella.

It's either a fairly high dollar, again, shop repair... or again... a job I'll have to learn to do myself, buying the parts and required tools... either way... grounding me and the bike... so I bow my neck and keep on pushing...

The hits just keep coming... but... I'm told to just let it slide..."No Big Thing"... "It's just life" ... "Learn from it and move on"...

Sure... this, some fork seals... is a trivial thing... but you know what? One grain of sand is a trivial thing... but put enough of those trivial bits together and you've got a mountain...

I was taught to power on through. It's what I've always done. It's what I'll always do... until I haven't the energy any more, to run against the wind...

I have no problem saying... after all these years of trivial thing after grievous obscenities after spirit bruising whippings after trivial things... one after the other without respite, with little time to even catch my breath... it gets harder to keep on Cowboyin' Up and toughing it out...

In this place I have been grounded... and in this place I remain grounded... until I can find the crack through which I can squeeze to make a run for the Far Country...

Brian


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Come Wednesday I'll Put It in the Wind

Me and the Sonja... the scooter... are gonna take off and blow out some cobwebs come Wednesday morning...


She's got fresh oil, some new gear in the camp... a tank full of gas and her tires are aired... so the onliest thing holdin' up the show is the calendar.

Well... that and watching that throttle hand to make sure it don't have us outrunning my meager ability to keep the tank full!

I'll be makin' a nite camp down 'tween Durango and Mesa Verde... then make the last half of the run on into a camp near Flagstaff. From there the plan is to ride a bit of old route 66 and on up to the Grand Canyon.

The rest of the boys I'm to be linkin' up with are built of more genteel stock... and are gonna park their bikes in front of motels. :)

After I choked on the price of motels along the way when I did a bit of checking... and outright LAUGHED at Motel 6 claiming their reasonable rates, and the "lowest price for any national chain" ... with their $160 dollar price in Moab...

... I agreed with myself that life under canvas just ain't that bad.

So... if the rain around here will quit interfering with me getting Evin's place mowed so it ain't a pure jungle when I ride back after a week... I'll have everything in proper shape to ride out in three days time.

HooYa!
Brian

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Truck Repairs, Improvised Tools and Slick Lil' Gadgets

Been busy for a lazy guy. Not sure where I left off... bein' sick as a mutt for four or five days kinda scrambled my perception of when stuff happened. :)

First thing I can think of is that I split my time between tryin' to mow the grass around this farm... and sittin' in the shade wheezin' and dizzy from bein' beat up with that flu bug.

So then I'd go work for a bit on wiring and such on the bike getting her all finished up.

Well... one afternoon I was wobblin' past the front of the truck... and saw one of those green puddles you really don't want to see. Took me some little time to figure out for sure and for certain it was the water pump. Now everything I've ever replaced or fixed on this Ol' Dodge Cummins seems to always tally up in the hundreds; so I might could say I was not looking forward to another repair.

I've heard tales that you've got to pull the entire radiator to get to the damned thing, so I came razor close to just droppin' it into a local shop for somebody else to fix it... but... that threatened to tally up to dollars in the excessive digits range...

... and since my budget no longer contains anything that can include excessive digits... I concluded that doin' the job myself was the order of the day.

A lil' online scouting revealed that while a dealership might charge you $300 bucks for the pump... you can get 'em at NAPA for a lot less... The one I bought cost me $52 and less than an hour of wrenching to replace.

$52 bucks for a lifetime warranty brand new pump at NAPA... and a whole lot more from a dealer... hmmmm... NEVER buy parts at the dealers!!!

I don't know who came up with the radiator story either... but that fool was lyin'.

I pulled the truck up into Evin's shop and set to work...

*Gettin' ready to put a fresh water pump on a cummins*

There's only two bolts to deal with... nice lil' short ones... but before you can really wrench on them you need to get the serpentine belt out of the way...

To torque that tensioner pulley over to release the belt you need a tool...

Now... there's a handy dandy special tool you can buy that costs something north of a hundred bucks the last time I checked... or... you can do it the cowboy way...

*Serpentine belt Tensioner tool*
In that tensioner is a 3/8 square hole. That fancy tool plugs right in there... and of course your wallet is a whole lot lighter.

or... just pick up a length of pipe at Home Depot or Loews that's long enough to reach up above the radiator...

Stick the drive of your 3/8 drive ratchet or breaker bar in the hole, slip the pipe over the ratchet handle and wa la!

A $6 or maybe $8 handy dandy tensioner pulley tool!

Of course you need to drain out a bunch of the coolant before you break that pump loose...

And they don't set that to drain out nice either... so you're likely to have coolant on the floor of where ever you're swappin' your pump... so don't have the pups around when you're workin'.

That stuff is deadly to 'em.

I drained what I could catch into a five gallon pail. Planned on putting it right back in, and then running the truck 'bout 7 miles to another shop to do an oil change and coolant system flush.

Had the pump out in no time... was nice and clean for 203,000 miles.

It was just leakin' out it's weep hole for whatever reason...

There's another lil gizmo in this pic of interest too... See that lil' blue light above the new pump?

I got my first one as a gift from a reader of this blog! I just picked up a couple more for use as camp lights when I'm on the bike. Found 'em at Harbor Freight for like $4.

An LED light that has a hook and a magnet (for multiple ways of stickin' it where you need it)... for a sweet lil' trouble light that'll give a goodly amount of light where you need it.



working in the dim light of that garage that lil' light let me see down in the engine compartment so I could see what in the hell I was tryin' so hard to screw up! :)

It was actually a lot darker in there than the camera flash and the light from the light shows in this pic!

Now... a competent mechanic could probably have the bad pump out, the good one in and be done up and sittin' in the shade in under a half hour.

I... am NOT a competent mechanic... I just get the job done... eventually... I was done before lunch!

I took quite a while with a scrubbing pad and even some 320 grit paper making sure the mating surface where the new pump's O-ring would seal was as clean and proper as I could make it. Didn't want to have to redo things 'cause I got in a hurry.

But bottom line is anybody with a bit of common sense and some ambition can swap the water pump on his old diesel truck and save himself (or herself) a goodly number of dollars in the process.

With the truck repair done... I've been tinkering the past couple of days getting the bike ready for a run... Got invited to a "mini" rally down in Flagstaff... Can't say I've the dinero to get there and back... but what the hell...

... I've been setting here in this place for nigh on two months and that's too long... Time to roll somehow... some way... some where!

So... next week... I'm straddlin' the saddle of that polished up Yamaha Raider and rolling South West for Northern Arizona for a few days...

Brian

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park for the Sick and the Restless

Thought I'd recovered enough to sit in the car for a run up into Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park... maybe even over the top. That and I've been here in this camp too much for too long and I'm needful of some windshield time.

Sitting in a car on a sunny drive in the mountains takes no effort... and mountain air is the best cure right?

Down at the mouth of the canyon they were, I believe, scaling the slopes above... knocking down loose boulders and rock... so we had to wait for a bit...


 The Big Thompson is running strong but nowhere near what the Poudre is carrying. I wonder why. More snow pack on that side of the mountain?

Or more rain caught that drainage in that couple weeks of rain we had? no idea... but I'm sure the folks living up this canyon aren't complaining.

All that rip wrap along the roadside of the bank is new. Repairs where much of this section of road was heavily damaged.
 It's gonna take a few years for all the scars of last years floods to heal.

That bare dirt... didn't used to be bare.

I wonder if anyone will rebuild on that ground the river scoured?

... or if they'll be allowed to?

 Farther up, near to the top the snow is still deep and heavy where it drifts and banks up through the winter.


The wind was blowin' so hard here I had trouble gettin' the car door open to get out and capture the photo...



...and as for that mountain air curing a fella... not this time.

Almost made it over the top. Almost... Made the mistake of feeling good enough to eat a light late breakfast back in Estes...big mistake... whatever this bug is... it don't like me consuming anything edible...

By the time we got to the top of Trail ridge that food had me so swole up I couldn't breathe... so rather than drop off the west side, just tucked my tail and ran for home...

Real slow days around here just now... nibble a bit and wait for the pain... seems if I nibble only tiny lil' bits... the bloating is sized to fit the groceries... Idea is to get my innards to get back to some sort of normal a bit at a time... so far... the only thing that's happening is time is passing.

Took three days to do two hours worth of mowing, making passes on rubber knees in between nibbles and groans... I'll tell you... I'm NOT good at this sick business...

Or this... being in one place... first time I've set in one camp for more than a couple weeks in four years! ~ I don't like it ~ I've been a gypsy nature my entire life. The past four years have shown me... that is where I've always belonged.

Goin' somewhere with my nose in the wind. Nowhere in particular... just goin' ... is where I belong.

Nursing my feeble self
Brian

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Here We Go Again...

I knew the river was high... but found it out for sure the other day when I got the bike back together.

Took a ride up the Poudre a ways...




That river was running bank full on Friday.


The problem really is... it keeps raining down here and up country.

It's starting to build that same sort of situation that hit last September with the big flooding. The ground was so saturated there was nowhere for all the rain to go.

I turned back just a bit farther up the road. It had been raining lightly most of the ride, which I don't mind at all.

But up above me to the west it was getting a lot more ominous looking.

The further west I rode the darker the skies got. You could smell it in the air...and I just didn't have the ambition for a thorough soaking...


video

Yup... there just isn't much room in this river for any more water...

Mid day Saturday I was feeling kinda poorly. I thought a run up the Big Thompson canyon to Estes Park would turn me for the better. Though that river is running strong, it's not near as full as the Poudre.

...and then... Saturday afternoon/evening hit... and with it some nasty flu bug that has been whuppin' my butt since... and continues today...

The Poudre continues to rise. It's got fields near Fort Collins flooded, and farther out on the plains, after a couple more smaller tributary creeks flow in it's closing roads in the Greeley area. This could be a rough spring if the rains don't quit adding to the snow melt runoff...

Gonna just go sit and feel lousy now...
Brian