Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fall Colors along Squaw Pass Road

Also known as Colorado Highway 103, a scenic and twisty mountain road that links the towns of Idaho Springs and North Evergreen.  It also provides access to Colorado Highway 5 also known as Mount Evans Road.

I rode out on Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig, shortly after 8:15AM and transited across the traffic cesspool that is the metro denver area and used US Highway 40 to parallel westbound I-70 into the mountains.

I made it to Idaho Springs with no issues and fueled up before getting onto CO103 for the way up towards Echo Lake.  I didn't really see any sign of Fall Colors till several miles away from Idaho Springs, but when I did, there was a very nice amount of it!

Reaching Echo Lake, which is near the junction with CO5 (Mt Evans Road), I stopped for a picture of the lake and surrounding mountains.

After Echo Lake, it was time to traverse the eastern half of the loop road which is CO103 or Squaw Pass Road.

 I believe that's the summit of Mount Evans

 I always tend to stop at this spot, where on a clear
day, one can see "forever"

Last picture was taken near the sign for Squaw Pass.  Fall Colors, those evident in some areas, were not as widespread as on the western half of CO103 however.

As Scarlett and I descended from Squaw Pass, Fall Color foliage grew more and more infrequent.  It's all altitude-based you see, and the colors haven't made their appearance in the lower elevations of Evergreen, Bear Creek Canyon Road and the small mountain towns of Kittredge and Idledale.  Soon, but not today.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Farkle Review: Innovv Power Hub 1

Back in December of last year, the folks at sent me an email asking if I'd like to do a review of their motorcycle power hub.

It took some time for me to respond as I had other mechanical/electrical matters on my motorcycle work queue.

After I responded and some exchanged emails later I was approved to do the review below.

Some Notes:  These folks are in China so it took a while to ship the review unit to me, in fact, I'd forgotten about the whole thing.  Still, I got it this Tuesday while I was out Glamping so I got around to installing it today on Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig with the Beemer engine.

The unit comes in a really nice box, reminds me of the box that iPhones come packaged in:

 What's inside....plenty of wire provided by the way,
I didn't even need to use the extra wire loops provided

 Yep, it appears all the power leads are "switched" power.
Meaning that whatever is being powered is only
getting electricity when the ignition is on.

 My original cabling mess
 Look how many positive cable connectors
crammed onto the positive terminal of the battery!
(I actually had to use a longer screw before!)

After installation, much cleaner.
All the above wiring is hidden when I
install the side panel cover onto the frame.
Note the yellow (switched power) wire which
I tapped onto the riding light's circuit so the
power hub is only supplying power when the
ignition is on.

Now the only things on the battery's positive 
terminal are the main power cable from the wiring
harness, the cable to the jump start node (easier to clamp onto)
and of course the main power lead for the Innovv power hub.

Very well built and put together hub I must say.  The instructions, printed on the side of the box are sparse but enough.  For instance, I had to re-read them to figure out the second black wire coming out of the unit (first one of course goes to the negative terminal on the battery) is to provide a ground for all your accessories using the power hub, very nice.

All the power leads are fused with 5A mini fuses.  My stuff uses 15A fuses so I replaced them as I used each lead.

The main fuse for the power hub is 40A, I left that as is.

Took the opportunity to do some wiring cleanup, and now have my aux lights, USB/Cigarette Power unit wired easily onto the power hub.  Both of course are switched power so no worries about someone turning them on by accident or mischief and draining the battery.

This still leaves me three more power leads for more farkle!

Easy installation, I look forward to testing this unit under upcoming Fall/Winter riding conditions and see how it holds up.

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 Remembrance

Sixteen years since the cowardly attack on New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon building and Flight 93.

After that heinous act, this country stood united as rarely seen before.  Now, sadly, this country has become, seemingly more every day, more fractious.  Fake news, echo chambers, the Northwest aflame, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, its no wonder some of us reject the news in order to reduce stress in our lives.

I ask you though,

Never Forget

Never Forgive

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Uraling to a Sunset on Skyline Drive

Martha, my loving wife, and I drove Umarang, the URRV towing Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol to Cañon City, Colorado for a one night glamping trip.

After exploring a couple of BLM sites, we ended up choosing a nice spot at the Royal Gorge/Cañon City KOA Campground.

We relaxed during the afternoon, waited out a small rain storm and around 6:30 PM or so left on Fiona to catch the sunset on nearby Skyline Drive.

We got to the prime viewing spot and hustled up the Dakota Trail up to the high point of the road, at least, it felt that way to my lungs!

 Looking south, that's US50 down there and 
Cañon City, is to the left of the ridge road or Hogback

 The setting sun lit up the rocks we were standing on

 Views of the Hogback from where we stood

Martha trying to make me look heroic...

 Martha and Fiona, you can see the rock formation
we'd been standing on in the first few pics 

 Martha and her selfies....

It's good that we got there when we did because the neighboring mountain to the west started blocking the setting sun over 15 minutes before actual sunset time!  The sun illuminated the clouds nicely, not great, but nicely.

 Note how Martha decorated Fiona with 
a small Daisy flower

We came off of Skyline Drive and cruised through the town of Cañon City where there was some small festival going on.  We skipped the festival, cruised on back to the KOA before it got real dark.

Uma, the URRV at the Royal Gorge KOA

Update: September 10, Sunday.

Martha didn't get enough of Skyline Drive yesterday evening so we drove it one more time this Sunday morning on the way to recon some possible RV boondocking sites north of Cañon City.  (The sites didn't pan out, either rough terrain or no cellphone reception or both)

Friday, September 08, 2017

RV Trip: Chief Hosa

Just a short two day RV Glamping stay, at the Chief Hosa Campground, near the Metro Denver area just past the foothills to the west.

Objective, to capture sunset/sunrise pics at Lookout Mountain and also at the Buffalo Overlook exit on I-70 where one catches the first glimpses of the Continental Divide's mountain peaks.

Due to the smoky haze that has cloaked the state, shots of distant mountain peaks proved impossible.  The fires in the nation's northwest caused this smoke, but did make for some interesting shots of the diffused through the smoke/haze sun.

Views from the Buffalo Overlook Exit:

 The red shows where the sun dipped into the thicker 
smoke/haze layers

This is the view of the Continental Divide Peaks I'd
hoped for, without the snow of course.

This is how the same view looked like back before
the construction of the Super Slab known as I-70

Umarang at the Chief Hosa Campground

I didn't make it to the the Sunrise on the 6th, but did capture the sunset while cruising along nearby Lookout Mountain Road.  The first two pictures required much post-processing to be made usable, due to hazy conditions.

 Views of para-gliders enjoying the thermals near
Lookout Mountain

 At the Buffalo Bill Museum's parking lot

 A little further down on Lookout Mountain Road

Got home on the 7th and Scarlett and I enjoyed a nice sunset in our usual spot: