After months of thinking and list-making it’s finally time to start piling up the gear I will take on the trip
It feels like I’m wearing more than I’m carrying in the panniers. The riding pants, jacket, boots, hydration-pack, and helmet feel close to 30 pounds. There is about half that weight in the panniers
I tried all the things on while it was close to 90* outside and it feels hot too. The ride out to meet my friends will be in the 80’s and 90’s. Where we’re going is forecast to be lows in the mid-30’s and highs in the upper 70’s. I suspect I’m going to be both hot and cold on this trip. If the weather holds I might not be wet so that would be a plus
I forgot how wickedly twisty Pudre Canyon is. And rough, twisty and rough. It was a tedious drive for the first two hours then busy and trafficy for the last two hours. Whenever I come to Denver I really appreciate how calm the Western Slope is
I spent a few days going to doctors and sharing meals with friends then headed back to the desert for more volunteering. Google thinks it’s a 4-hour drive, but with pulling the trailer over a rough-ass I-70 it will be a lot closer to 6 hours
When I was planning my escape from Denver I thought about the high summer temperature for about a minute then dismissed it in favor of getting some extra stuff done before I left town. Not a grade A plan
With the outside temps around 90*F when I left I had to do battle with the engine heat going above 190*F as I climbed over the mountain passes. I saw a few people with trailers who had lost the battle with engine heat and were sitting beside the road with the hood up
There were more people with big new trucks pulling bigger trailers than mine racing up the hill without a worry than broken trucks, so that’s a plus
Four days out from a freezing MeadowFest and it’s over 90. Quite the change!
After 14 years I think I’ve worn out my cycling shoes. I’ve nursed them along with gorilla tape and new holes for the laces for the past few years and now they are heading into retirement. I bought the same brand and size (EU 43) to replace them, but the shoes are nowhere near the same size. I ended up going two sizes larger (EU 45) to find a pair that fit. Seems like the EU is shrinking*
I also semi-retired my old hydration pack which has lasted 15 years so far. The main compartment zipper had a work related injury about 5 years ago and never recovered. The other zippers are getting hard to zip so when I found a new pack on sale/ closeout I ordered it. Converting to the new pack was harder than I thought it should be. Finding a place for tools and other goo-gaws was tough. The pack needs more small pockets
There is a new trail in the Loma area. They completed work on the Wrangler trail from the upper trail head to the Kokopelli trail head and it’s nice. I rode up Mary’s and down Wrangler as a fellow rider suggested and it worked out. I don’t think I have the strength to climb it from the bottom up, but if you do then it would be fun that way too. They also added a half-mile to Steve’s and it’s a great addition to an already great trail!
I made a science discovery this week. I found proof that Space-Time is four-dimensional! 24x16x6x1 to be exact. Take that large hadron collider! Also in the news this week was the first picture of a black hole
I went riding with some people I met in the camp ground. I like riding with people I meet here. Anyway we had a great ride except for the part where Jen fell and broke a bone in her thumb and snapped the ligament. YIKES!
Even with a broken thumb she was way faster on a bike than me
(*) It’s a Brexit joke. As I write this Britain is busy shooting itself in the economic foot just because they don’t want any more foreigners on their island. Stupid British government
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!
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
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!
This place reminds me of Radiator Springs! I was wondering around and met Paco. Paco has been here for 20 years now. He drives the local tow truck (yup, Mater). He told me the place was founded in 1924 by a family who ran it until 1980. Back then there was no I-15. Highway 93 (maybe) was the route from Barstow to Vegas and it was a bit more bendy and followed the curves in the desert. Paco said back then there were gas and repair stations about every twenty miles. He said that was because twenty miles was as far as a car could go before needing repairs.
Now there are three families living and working at the Beacon Station Shell gas store. The current owner also has a plane which occasionally lands here. There use to be two runways, but now it looks like only about half of one runway is still useful. They got a water well when the new owners took over, before that they hauled water in.
A walk around the desert was a trip back in trash-time. There are cans strewn about the desert many of which are oil cans from a time when oil came in cans. There are drink cans which were opened with a church-key, drinks opened with removable pull tabs, and modern cans too. Some of the vintage cans are all-steel, while other have an aluminum top. The aluminum top lasts way longer than the steel can.
It’s amazing how long trash lasts. I hope a hundred years from now people will be as interested in old starbucks cans as we are in old oil cans. On the other hand diapers from 1930 decomposed long ago. Not so diapers from the 21st century.
I stopped overnight near one of those semi-truck wash places and since Truck 2.0 and trailer were covered in failure from our attempt at Donner pass I thought a clean slate would be good. Truck washes are too brutish for RV’s!
I had been told by other RV’ers that a truck wash was an okay place to get clean, but I guess they went to the kind one.
I covered the fridge opening, but it got wet anyway. I taped up the things I though were sensitive and I missed the fresh water door. The latch got busted. They also blasted dirt & water into all the door locks and the furnace vents. I had water on the floor inside from the furnace.
And they didn’t get all the crud off. There is still salt gunk under the side panels and wheels. To their credit Truck 2.0 looks nice. And even at that the $70 didn’t last but two days before we drove through more nasty roads and picked up more salt gunk
Speaking of failures. The outside temperature sensor didn’t survive a months worth of wet CA weather, though the rear-view camera has dried out now that we’re back in the desert
We made an attempt to climb over the mountains before the storm. Started out at 05:00 and ran into the snow around 06:00. Ran into chain laws around 07:00 and since I don’t have chains for the trailer Cal-trans said no go Reno
Since I was apprehensive about the northern route I decided it was a message from god and we turned around and headed back west and then south at Sacramento. Adds a couple days to the trip and I’ll miss driving on america’s loneliest highway, but I get to see Barstow and Vegas – YaY!
We also scored another entry in our worst roads list: Hwy 99 through Merced CA is another concrete shit-storm. Thanks again Cal-trans. My experience with Hwy 99 is mostly a continuous ribbon of traffic passing a nearly endless supply of commercial and residential development. Just north of Fresno we started seeing fruit trees in bloom. That was nice