Sunday, July 23, 2017

Uraling in Grand Lake, CO

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast and some electrical troubleshooting of Bob's pickup truck (brake lights weren't working), we all headed out North towards the town of Grand Lake.

The guys were going canoeing in the lake and I had plans to explore the area by Ural.

We got to Grand lake by Noon and soon the guys were off on their respective canoes:

 Bob and Steve

 Dale, Jim and Rick

 Grand Lake from West Portal Road

 Grandby Lake, near Stillwater, CO

 Granby Lake

Oh, and I found a good candidate for a future glamping event.  The Stillwater Recreation Area campground located next to Granby Lake.  Good cell signal, nice location, the only con I could see in the short recon of it was no trees for shade.

As previously arranged, we all met back up at 2PM and we found a local eatery for a late lunch:

me, Jim, Bob and Steve...Rick and Dale were
on the other end of the bar.

Proof that not all my pics involve motorcycles....
a display of flowers next to one of the shops along
main street.

We all headed home in our respective vehicles, Dale staying as the monkey on Scarlett.  There was a brief detour for the guys to hike the short trail to Adams Fall but I skipped it, waiting for them instead under the shade of a nearby tree in the West Portal area.

The ride home was uneventful and we relaxed the rest of the afternoon on the balcony of the rental home.

Sunset approached and I rode out on Scarlett in the hopes of finding a good spot.  Found an "OK" spot near Tabernash:

Near Tabernash, CO

After the above colors had come and gone, I tried heading west a bit to see if I could find a spot on the other side of the trees you see in the above picture.

I did find a nice spot if ever I'm in the area for a sunset shot at this time of year, it's located near the Fraser Valley Gravel company:

Headed home and finished off the evening listening to and telling stories from our past, everyone was tired and in a mellow mood.  We all, with the exception of Steve, go back to our respective homes in the morning.  This pleasant sojourn is near its end.

Rollins Pass and my First Rodeo

I am spending the weekend at a VRBO property, a guest of a neighborhood friend of mine: Bob W.  Actually, it was five of us total, who were at Bob's rental unit for a weekend of manly camaraderie.  The rental house was near Fraser, Colorado and so I took US40 through Berthoud Pass and past the ski resort of Winter Park to get there.

Approaching Berthoud Pass

Shortly after I arrived at mid-morning Saturday, the decision was made to go up Corona Pass Road.  This is the road that takes you to Rollins Pass.

Riding Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol sidecar rig, with Dale B. as my monkey, we tore up the road, followed by Steve L on an ATV and the rest of the guys in Bob's pickup truck.

photo courtesy Jim M.
Dale B. and yours truly

 The view from a pit stop along the way up
to the top of Rollins Pass

 Left to right: Bob our host, Steve, Rick, Dale and Jim

photo courtesy of Dale

Steve would be the monkey on the first part down
the mountain

 A nice alpine lake 

Railroad Trestle Bridge from back in the day

Rick would be the day's last monkey, he and I
got pretty wet as it rained on us as we left Corona Pass Rd.

Returning to Fraser, we relaxed a bit at the rental house and then we packed all six of us into Dale's car and went to the High Country Stampede Rodeo nearby; this would be my first rodeo.

The opening ceremonies were very patriotic and well done.

Most of the photos I took didn't work out, its quite difficult to shoot horses and riders moving fast it turns out.

photo courtesy Rick
left to right: me, Bob, Dale, Jim, Steve and Rick

Fun day with friends, Dale, Steve and Rick were initiated into the ancient order of Sidecar Monkeys and I've finally ridden both halves of the Rollins Pass Road!

A video compilation of events I saw at the rodeo:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Buena Vista Boondocking 18-19JUL17

Spent a couple of days in the vicinity of Buena Vista, CO.  I was in Umarang, the URRV and towing Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol.

The idea was to test the use of the old Honda eu1000 portable generator in terms of providing electricity to the RV except for the tasks of air conditioner use and microwave oven use.  These two items require at least 1500 watts which is beyond the capacity of the small Honda generator.

I wanted to also find out how long it would last on one tank.
Wednesday: started at 730am.  Using it in eco mode where it ramps up automatically under high loads then throttles down when not working as hard to provide power.

Some data for record:

Found on Internet: Normal conversation: 60-70db

Coffee Maker: 800W unit.  while heating: mid to upper 50s db
While not under load, low 50s db.

70db 20 ft from left side of rv where generator is mounted.
60db 25 ft from right side of rv, with bulk of RV blocking some of the noise.

The Honda will NOT provide enough amps for the air compressor I carry.

Straight run duration, light loads: 5 hours to out of gas.

 The view from the RV's window, as I worked on
Tuesday afternoon.

 A view of Mt Princeton as I rode out with Fiona
after work, to scout sunset locations.

 Mt Princeton, on Wednesday morning.

A view of Mt Princeton from the boulders located near
the RV at the campground.

Here's a short time-lapse sequence showing the clouds above Mount Princeton as the storm front moved in....

Sunday, July 16, 2017

SLC RV Trip - Day 8: Boyd Lake State Park

Although the original plan had been for me to continue heading west while Martha flew home from Salt Lake City today; the continuing very hot weather led to a change in plans.

I shall try for a RV trip that reaches the west coast sometime during Fall Break perhaps.

So, Martha and I packed up Uma the URRV and we headed east on I-80 out of Utah, through Wyoming and ended up stopping for the night at Boyd Lake State Park just south of Loveland, CO.

We were about 2.5 hrs from home at this point, perhaps less, but the prospect of arriving tired, in the dark and still having to put things away just led us to instead have a relaxed evening near Boyd Lake.

Nice RV park, not much on amenities but they did have electric pull-through sites and good cellphone coverage which is all we needed for one night.

Our site had good views of the setting sun, but the sunset itself proved to be a mild one in terms of color.

 Yep, didn't have much time after setting up camp to unload
Fiona, so she's on the trailer still....

Note the mast used to raise the weBoost cellular
booster antenna to a height of about 18 feet for
a -21 dBm gain in signal strength.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

SLC RV Trip - Days 6 and 7: Hot Weather

NSTR (Nothing Significant to Report) for day 6 except for really hot weather, no fun rides and dinner at the Texas Roadhouse Steak House with the Machidas.

RichardM did provide tools and wise counsel/guidance in the mounting of a universal tractor seat bracket obtained from the Tractor Supply Store.  Now the Harley-Davison Police Solo seat I'd mounted is far more secure.

Day 7 would prove to be one of the hotest days I've ridden a motorcycle in.  RichardM and Bridget got on the road to Idaho and said our goodbyes as we were staying one more night.

 Uma and Fiona

After Bridget and RichardM left for Idaho, Martha and I started the day's sweltering riding with an errand, then we went to the Fort Douglas Army Museum near the Army Reserve center of the same name.

A nice, small museum, covering a bit of the early days of the US Army's involvement with the Utah Territory, the Mormon rebellion known as the Utah War and a nice display of Army weapons, uniforms and vehicles.

There was an emphasis of course of vessels, military personnel related to Utah.

 The business end of a 155mm Howitzer

 M551 Sheridan Light Tank, I saw it used in 
the 82nd Airborne Division

A WWII icon, the M4 Sherman Tank, though
not as armored/powerful as its opponents in Germany,
it's prodigious numbers overwhelmed superior German tanks.

After the museum, we gassed up Fiona and then headed up Emigration Canyon, the road used by early settlers to get into the Utah Valley.  Not much to see but a nice short ride.  We then got on Interstate 80 for a short bit to get off at Park City, UT.

It was still very hot and all we did was a short potty break off of main street and then we escaped this ski resort town for UT 224 and the road up to Guardsman Pass.

The summit of the pass was choked with cars as folks had come out to try and get away from the heat of the valleys.  It was 79 degrees Fahrenheit up there but it did feel cooler than the 94 degrees Fahrenheit down in the valley as we left it!

Today's heat beat my record of 101 degrees Fahrenheit with a new record: 103.6 degrees Fahrenheit!  It was truly like riding inside a blast furnace.

Our sunset for our last evening in the Utah Valley:

I finish this with a couple of photos, by Martha, of the iconic Mormon Temple in downtown Salt Lake City.

Friday, July 14, 2017

SLC RV Trip - Day 6 Uraling to Guardsman Pass

Hot day in the Utah Valley today!

We displaced via RV to the Pony Express RV Park about four miles north of the BMW Rally held in the state fairgrounds in Salt Lake City yesterday.

After work, RichardM (who's attending the rally) came by the RV and we then met up with Ry of the Two Wheels to There blog for a meet/greet and ride.

Ry led us via surface streets, in the sweltering early evening heat, to a nice Vietnamese diner where we had a nice chat and sandwiches.  Lots of veggies in those Bahn Min? sandwiches, probably healthy for me.

After eating, Ry lead us to the Big Cottonwood Canyon road which twisted and turned their way upwards and into blessedly much cooler conditions.  The road led us past the Solitude Resort and we eventually ended up on top of Guardsman Pass.

Quite the view from there, you can see to the east the valley where Park City is located.  You could use this road to get past the big mountains that form a wall to the east of SLC I suppose.

Ry and RichardM on Guardsman Pass, Utah

Ry, knowing my penchant for sunset shots, had timed things so that we were at Guardsman Pass at the right time to catch the sunset on the side of the road, just shy of the pass summit.

an attempt to capture the sunset on Ry's Moto Guzzi's
gas tank

 and the sun went lower....
 and lower....
and now behind the distant mountains

We stuck around a bit longer hoping for last minute illumination by the sun of the overhead clouds but no dice.

We headed back down the mountain/canyon towards SLC and after a brief tour of both the LDS temple and the State Capitol areas, were back at the RV Park by 10:30 PM or so.  No pics, we just cruised by these sights.

Thanks Ry for the tour!  Very good to meet you in person!

Note: we saw a low of 61 degrees Fahrenheit on the summit and temperatures in the mid to high 90s in the valley!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

SLC RV Trip - Day 5: South Jordan

We checked out of the Lakeside RV Park at 11AM and by noon we were at our friends house in the city of South Jordan.

Brian and Jennifer had recently retired and moved to Utah to be nearer to one of their daughters and her family.  They generously allowed us to moochdock in front of their house for the night as our reservation at the Pony Express RV Park didn't start till Thursday.

We had a great time visiting with them and their daughter Hannah who lives nearby with her two lovely daughters, Norah and Nellie.

Sidecar rides were of course one of the events of the visit.

First up was Norah, the eldest daughter, held 
by Hannah, her mom.

 Second was Nellie, Hannah's youngest daughter...
she seemed unsure about me....or perhaps my
driving skills.

 Jennifer, our hostess and long time friend
from my active duty days.

Rides done, I was introduced to Hannah's neighbor Mike who in another example of "small world" owns a Ural sidecar rig!

Yep, he's got a 2006 Retro and he showed the rig to me in his garage along with a beautiful Moto Guzzi:

After a great dinner by Brian, we just sat in the cooling evening, reminiscing about old times and discussing life in general.  A very good time was had, and we even saw Jupiter in the night sky!

Pretty nice sunset too but I couldn't leave the great company to capture it, so here's one of Uma with the colors of the sunset showing:

Here's some more pics of the family the next morning after breakfast:

 Martha and Nellie

 Norah, Jennifer, Nellie, Brian and Hannah

Jennifer, Norah and Martha