Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mid-November Colorado Sunset

I was sitting in the living room, relaxing after work and I got a text from my loving wife Martha stating there was clear viewing conditions of the front range mountains.

I looked at the clock , saw I had plenty of time to position Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig in a known good spot for sunset pictures.

Minutes later I was geared up and riding towards the church parking SE of the intersection of Smoky Hill Road and Orchard Road.  It's the same spot where I recently posed Stewie, Martha's Genuine Buddy Scooter 125.

Once the lighting conditions were just right, I started taking pictures.  The angles required me to basically lay on my stomach to get the shot I wanted.  I must have been quite the sight as a lady in a car pulled up close to me asking me if I was alright.  :)

In sequence then.....the shots that came out best.  I hope you like them.

Pikes Peak in the distance

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Uraling in Snowy Neighborhoods

Yesterday, it snowed lightly most of the day here in the Metro Denver area but I was stuck inside doing work.

This morning however, no work to be done and the sun was out in force, showing us that uniquely blue sky that we get to enjoy here in Colorado, since we're about a mile closer to the sun than the rest of the country.

I headed out to the usual neighborhoods near my home, noting how the main roads were quite rideable on three wheels though there was the sporadic slipping of the pusher tire where snow remained thick enough.

A nice view of snow-covered Mount Evans
from East Sand Creek Road

The Front Range Mountains
from Rockinghorse Parkway

From the Saddle Rock Golf Course
using my old Panasonic Lumix ZS5

Same viewpoint but with the Nikon Camera and it's
lesser zoom capability

Scarlett and I started riding with temperatures around 5°F and the cold was not really a factor.  By the time we were headed home, temperatures had soared into the teens, the snow on the main roads was gone leaving behind wet roads.  

I was wearing so many layers that I was actually starting to get too warm!  Got home, cleared the driveway and sidewalks of snow with the snow blower and now sit warmly ensconced in my house writing this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Uraling in the Cold

We're having a cold snap crossing the state since Monday, today we woke to temperatures at around 1°F and we had perhaps a couple of inches of snow on the ground.  Yay!

I bundled up and left the house hoping to catch sunrise pictures.  Alas, while there was plenty of snow on the roads, the mountains were not visible and the sun was blocked by gray clouds.  It felt like we were inside a frosted over glass globe you know?

Today is our wedding anniversary, can you believe Martha has put up with me for over 19 years?  I should put her in for sainthood!

As I was due to work at the data center in Highlands Ranch, I left the house a bit early and swung by the grocery store to pick up flowers for Martha.  I delivered them in person, while riding Scarlett of course.

Martha liked them a lot and proceeded to drag me around the admin offices, showing off her flowers.

It was 0°F when I left the high school and proceeded towards the SW portion of the Metro Denver area where the data center is located.  Road conditions on the main arteries were not bad, some snow but the channels left by cars showed clear road.

The city streets were clogged with cars, so I rode on E-470 and made it to work with no issues and in good time.

Work went well, racking some equipment for an upcoming migration from old to new server.

We were done by 2PM.  I went to the parking lot and started Scarlett after several cranking attempts by the electric starter.  I am still running 20W50 so not surprising, made a mental note to pack the small jump starter kit, just in case.

Warming up Scarlett

Once the engine caught, I finished donning my riding gear.  One of the two snap buttons that hold the breath mask onto my Skidoo Snow Helmet failed, so I had to ride home with minor fogging issues, but no problems overall.

Got home with no issues, used the snow blower to clear the driveway and the cul-de-sac's sidewalks.

Temperatures had soared to 4°F by the time I left Highlands Ranch so I didn't have to tuck my boots' toes close to the the engine jugs as I had to do in the morning!

I used summer gloves while riding today, I think I'll switch to medium weight gloves for the next ride.  My palms and fingers were warm enough with the heater control at 50%, but the outside portions of my hands felt slightly cold.  The Kolpin grip covers are working pretty good, I wish they were a little shorter but otherwise, no complaints, and they sure keep the cold air from my hands!

Oh, and my Bell Cyclometer?  Apparently it doesn't like cold weather, it refused to work to show my speed.  Oh well, I guess the designers didn't expect some fool to be out using their cyclometer in such cold weather?
Update: a new battery on the sender unit of the cyclometer did the trick, now its sending data, at least at 14°F anyways.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day, 2014

Today is November 11, 2014 and once again the nation takes time to pause and remember its Veterans; both alive and dead, for their service and sacrifices.

To those who served and have left active duty, Martha and I extend our sincerest appreciation.

To those who still man the ramparts in our country's armed forces, we also send our thanks and wish you all Godspeed and a safe return home to your loved ones.

I rode today in what RichardM would consider a balmy 17°F (-8ºC), with a very light snow falling on us here in the Metro Denver area to Fort Logan National Cemetery this morning.

Warmly bundled up in layers and with the new Kolpin Grip Covers, I didn't feel the cold at all except when I would remove gloves to take pictures.  I was riding Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol and the wet-looking streets were of no consequence.  The streets were clear, for the most part, and the snow flakes were simply blown about by the light winds across their surfaces.

Once at Fort Logan National Cemetery, I parked by Section 44 and paid a visit to SSGT Brian Joiner.  He was the son of a co-worker friend of mine.  Brian passed away while serving in the US Air Force.  Bryan is about as personal a connection I have to the thousands buried at Fort Logan.  I share, with the remainder, the satisfaction and honor to have been able to serve my country.

 In the center of the picture, Brian's tombstone.

 Part of Section 44

 At one of the small ponds within the cemetery, there were
flocks of geese both in the ponds and flying overhead this cold day

 A little bit of Fall Color hangs on...

 I think of this flag pole as the Main Post's flag pole, 
from when this cemetery was previously an active Army post.

On previous Veteran's Days there would have been more flags
lining the main avenue into the cemetery; perhaps I was just too early.

Temperatures are supposed to continue to drop for the rest of today, with the weather-guessers calling for small amounts of snow tomorrow.  

I arrived home safely, gazing in satisfaction at "the colors" that flew from my home.  Martha and I have both served with and met great leaders and great soldiers, and wish all Veterans everywhere the very best of days.

To those who remember a veteran  who gave his or her all, we share in your sorrow even as we honor their sacrifice.