Saturday, September 23, 2017

RV Trip: Montrose - Day 2

A day of varied weather to say the least, rain, sleet, snow, more rain, sun and fog.

The day started with a capture of Courthouse Mountain on Owl Creek Road, just a bit north of the town of Ridgway, CO.

 The block shaped rock with the pyramid on top is
Courthouse Mountain

 The clouds got thicker as sunrise approached...

 Here the clouds block the mountains completely...

One last effort by the sun to get past the clouds....

I then returned to Uma to do some work scheduled for Saturday morning.  Work done, I just hung out at the RV while it rained steadily outside till about 12:30 or so when I saw the sun come out through the rain clouds.

Geared up and headed south towards Ouray, just in time to have the sun disappear and thick clouds and fog ahead as I transited Ouray itself.

 View of Ouray from the Overlook, loved the clouds
shrouding the tops of the mountains around town

 Leaving Ouray, it's a short ride to the stretch of US550 known as the Million Dollar Highway:



I rode onwards, past Ironton Park which is located on the site of the old town of Ironton.  The sprinkling rain got colder and heavier as Scarlett and I gained altitude and soon it was snowing.  It was snowing hard enough that I had to keep wiping ice off my helmet's visor every second or so.  Suboptimal picture taking conditions so I turned around at the third hairpin turn and headed back towards Ironton Park.

 The view of the hillsides and valley where
Ironton Park is located.

Continuing back towards Ouray, I made a stop at a hairpin turn where I normally pose my motorcycles when on this road.

 A peek, inside the forest pictured below:


Back on the Million Dollar Highway, I had to stop for this shot of the road.  There were several of these waterfalls along the side of the road; I image one day they'll wash out parts of the road if CDOT doesn't keep up the maintenance!


Finally reaching Ridgway, the sun of course came back out and though the peaks remained under clouds, the rest of the valley was sunlit nicely.



 Mount Sneffels



Rode back to Uma once more to dry out my riding gear, which was quite soaked from my short time in the mountains south of Ouray.

Soon after 6:00 PM though, after chatting with a couple of old timers at the campground about motorcycles and past lives; it was time to head out for sunset pictures!

 The Courthouse Mountain range lit by the setting sun

 Once again, didn't get much of a shot of the actual
setting sun itself

 The setting sun did light up the Courthouse Mountain
and the distant peaks quite nicely though

I know, a lot of pictures, and this was under sub-optimal picture taking conditions in the mountains!  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and with a high of 62 degrees Farenheit so brace yourself for even more pictures in the next posting!

RV Trip: Montrose - Day 1

September 22:

Spent the day driving Uma, the URRV with Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol in tow on the trailer.

Took US50 which turned out to be the slow route, what with construction, accidents and just plain old twisty roads that slowed one down.  Still, very scenic and I had the time so why not.

Got to the campground shortly before 5PM and got myself settled in before heading out for a ride to catch the sunset.  Kept going west, towards Telluride, trying to find a good spot but the sun set and I found nothing but high canyon walls instead.

Running low on fuel (turns out I wasn't but that's another story), I continued on towards the mountain town of Telluride to gas up.  On the way there, the motorcycling and sunset gods threw a couple of bones to me since I missed the actual sunset:

 Not sure which peaks these are, perhaps Uncompahgre?
This was on the road to Telluride after the sun
had set to the west.

 Saw rosy clouds in my mirror, to the north,
as I neared the gas station outside of Telluride.

After gassing up, it got really dark so it made for a slightly nerve-wracking ride back along canyon roads away from Telluride, through the Dallas Divide and finally back to the town of Ridgway.  From there it was perhaps another 18 miles to the campground, in a steady rain now.  Luckily, I had my Frogg Toggs jacket on top of my riding gear so it was all good.

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 innovv.com 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.