The days are long enough …

Kitty sunrise

Repairs and Mods – Furnace edition

Last week I came back from an event on a 14* night and walked into a cold house. Brrrr! The furnace had failed to light while I was away and the heat inside slowly flowed to the great outdoors. It failed a dozen more times to light while I was standing over it shouting encouraging slogans! After a couple hours I gave up on the idea of it working and I went and bought a second electric heater to keep us warm through the night. I kept the fresh tank from freezing by circulating the water through the water heater and back to the fresh

The next morning I woke and dove into the great YouTube looking for answers. Sure enough, people have made videos about this.

This pesky bit does not like cat fur

Seems the issue was cat fur on the sail switch that kept it from closing and telling the gas valve to make some hotness.

Here I am learning about furnaces

I cleaned the fur off the sail switch and all the other bits and parts inside the furnace box then put it back together. Now it makes toasty, toasty hotness!

New turn signals

The Husqie Adventure-450 wrapped up and ready to go

The stock brake/ turn/ tail lamps were not that great to begin with and I’ve been planning some sort of brightness upgrade for awhile. I’m mostly concerned about it when I’m going slowly and have the 4-way flashers on. Putting the Adventure-450 on the back of the trailer changed the game by blocking the lamps completely. Call to action!

New LED stop/ turn lights are visible above the Adventure-450

I ordered some 10-LED lamps from etrailer (because no one near me stocks things like that) and installed them above the Adventure-450. The LED’s are much brighter than the stock cheapo-lights and they can be seen above the bike. I bought surface-mount lamps and installed them with some 3M double sticky tape. I ran the wires on the surface and into the bottom of the existing lamps. It’s kind of lazy-looking, but I didn’t want to cut into the walls and ruin the insulation or the water-tightness

Even with 14″ of snow the lights are still visible

Note to self: go south for winter

Mini Road trip

Rifle Falls

I was visiting Rifle Gap State Park so I drove up the canyon to Rifle Falls too. I haven’t been there for probably 30 years. The last time I was here was with my grandma back when she was living in Parachute. She grew up in the valley and her hubby use to take her to Rifle Falls for picnics in the early 1930’s. I spotted a few wild turkeys on my walk

Lots of parts

I fixed it!
One of our mowers got a broken frame. It’s an expensive mower so the park decided to fix it. I took it almost all the way apart to get the broken bit out then reassembled it. I runs! I’m always amazed when something that taken apart goes together and runs

I made a thing

My new Moto-lifter picking up Kirk’s KLR 650


A few weeks ago I was off adventure riding motorcycles which were too heavy for me to pick up. When I dropped one I needed help to get it on its wheels again so I made a motorbike lifter. Basically a single leg strap-jack like some of the lifters I’d seen on the internet.

I made it out of 6061-T6 aluminum tubing, which is what airplanes and expensive mtn bikes are made from. I tested it on a friends KLR 650 and it seems to work so now I’m sending it off to friends in Texas to test on the 100-pound heavier Honda Africa Twin and the even heavier Honda VFRX1200. Wish us luck!

Solar Tube Light

Wires, so many wires

As you may recall I cut a hole in the ceiling to install a skylight a few months back and what I found was a bunch of wires in the way of my grand scheme. After a loooong and fruitless search for an affordable port light with a trim ring I decided to give up and go all high-tech

The new skylight system collects photons from the sun via a roof-mounted collector and converts them to electrons. It then beams them through the roof to an emitter which changes the electrons back into photons and spreads them out in the kitchen area

New light installed
Installed a piece of 7mm ply to back up the light and give a place for screws to go

Okay, so it’s really just a solar panel powering an LED light but I tried

Got the light installed over the test hole I made last winter

The long-time summer camp host returned to the park this week and bumped us out of our super camp spot. The boys had a couple months of playing in their own little patch of rabbit brush and now we are next to a smaller patch of brush and closer to a busy road. Gotta train them to stay off the road and watch for cars

Up the creek to the wild
Just a little sore – I’ll be fine
Me at the cabin on the D3 trail

I finally made it up Devils canyon to the cabin. The maps I saw said it’s 5 miles round trip, my GPS said it was 3.4, and my watch said it took me four hours. I suspect it’s more like 7 miles since I was walking 2.2 miles per hour. Whatever distance it was it was about an hour too far for comfort. My feets hurt

The view from one of the Devil’s Canyon trails (D3 I think)

Next day Peter and I went out to West Water Utah and rode some amazing trails including parts of the Kokopelli. We did 18 miles which made the rest of my body hurt. Tomorrow I might manage a ride into Fruita to hang at the big bike festival.

Wild flowers are blooming

I made it into town for the big fat tire festival. Beer, bands, pizza, and friends. Fruita closes the street for a couple blocks so that’s nice. We walked around looking at stuff we didn’t buy then went over to the Hot Tomato to eat and listen to the music

Cacti are in bloom this week

Slow News Day

The view from our shop


After a few weeks of fixing things in the shop and cleaning up after the campers the big excitement was getting a parcel delivered to my door! Over the winter one of the other hosts trained the UPS and FedEx drivers to bring parcels to the host camp site. The plus for them is they get to drop the package and don’t have to come back because the office is closed. The plus for us is ToYs!

Home Delivery

Since I’m not spending $500 a month on fuel I can afford to splurge on some things. Nice
I bought new boots to hike in and new shoes to mtn bike in plus some shorts without holes worn in them. Gettin’ fancy around here. The kids are still barefoot though so not too fancy

Helped Peter take out a window,
And install a sliding door
A Honda Africa Adventure Bike. I’m planning to get on this and ride it for four days without any practice on it beforehand. Once you learn you never forget – right??

I also put down a deposit on a rental-bike for a trip this July. Planning to ride with my friend from Tennessee when he comes to Colorado to Adventure Bike in the mountains. Hope I don’t get wet!

Spring – Sprung!

Nice parcel on the road to the Kokopelli trail


The first signs of spring are in the air. The water is back on at the camp sites, two days of riding in shorts, and campers in the park. (Later that same week) The temperature dropped to 25*, the water got turned off again, and it started raining and snowing. Mud season!

PFFeeww – Whirrrrrrrr
Damage control to the bridge!
We suffered a failure in our primary Dihydrogen Oxide containment system. Luckily I was in an adjacent compartment when the line blew and I heard it go PFFFffffffew, then the pump came on. I jumped into action and shut the pump off then cleaned up the mess in the storage compartment.

An increased pressure in the heating tanks caused the compression fitting to let go of the PEX tube in my handy-dandy shower hot water re-circulation system. I likely didn’t get it tight enough the first time. I corrected that oversight during the repair phase

Friend is in from out of town so we meet up in Glenwood Springs and made faces at the camera

Lets cut that open and see what’s inside!

These are Zurn water hammers. They gave their all for the cause and we cut one open to see what is inside. Turns out it has a bellows in it. Fancy

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