Monday, October 07, 2013

Parachute, Day 1

I rode from the Denver Metro Area to the small town of Parachute, Colorado for work today.  It took 5.5 hours at URAL speed, which fit the formula I've found to be a good guide when planning long rides using Google Maps:  Whatever time google maps says it'll take to drive a route, add two hours.

The ride was uneventful, a bit cool at the start with temperatures in the mid 30s but warming up into the upper thirties by the time I got to the continental divide and the tourist town of Vail which were the two highest points along my route which was the I-70 Super Slab.

I was, I might add, NOT the slowest vehicle today.  I managed to actually pass two vehicles with Valencia!

Still having issues with my Panasonic Lumix ZS8 and it's autofocus function.  I thought I'd figured out a workaround but its not focusing at all when using anything but the Auto mode button.  Sigh, looks like I'll be spending money for a new camera soon.

Here's the pictures that did turn out, sorry about the slightly out of focus look on them.

 The hillsides near and in the town limits of Vail were gorgeous!

 Rock formations formed by heavy erosion near the town of Parachute.

 Spotted this eclectic metal sculpture of a biker at a motel
parking lot in Parachute.

 A road that leads up into the nearby hillside.  I hope to explore it
tomorrow afternoon after work.  It's built to allow access to 
gas rig sites I believe.

I am here to get to know the network setup for the North and South Piceance Gas Drilling areas operated by Encana.  It's one of the larger sites in the South Rockies region and one of the reasons I was hired on as a contractor.  Should be an interesting next couple of days, they use radio units to prove network connectivity to the sensor/controls used to monitor and regulate gas flows.


Unknown said...


what good fortune to work for a company and then get to ride Valencia into the mountains, for work.

I can see some colours on the hill. We have similar erosion on our mountains near Ashcroft and northward about 4-5 hours north of Vancouver but those are our desert areas with few trees. We have more trees up in the Chilcotin but mostly Birch which turn yellow. Not many maple trees up there either. All we get is a splash of random yellow or brown as the leaves die. No red up here

Riding the Wet Coast

Lucky said...

Looks like a fun day of exploring.

So you were in Vail... I'm not sure what your home altitude is, but do you have trouble with the plugs fouling/rough running/lack of power when you get the Ural up that high?

Trobairitz said...

Getting paid to three-wheel it to a neighboring town for work, is a good gig if you can get it.

Good pictures Dom. The rock formation are neat to see especially when all we see around here are valleys and little hills.

RichardM said...

Those eroded cliffs are a great backdrop for your photos. I've spent a lot of time in similar areas of Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Arizona. Funny how Colorado was always somewhere that we passed through to get to the different field sites...

Nice that you were able to take your rig. Is the network all wireless or just from the sensors to some sort of base station?

Martha said...

Yes, getting to score a business trip to the high country during Peak Color season has to be a job perk that falls in the priceless category.

Next up you should try to score a trip to corporate HQ during perhaps my fall break? yeah...that would be just too perfect, but a girl can always dream.

Drive carefully, and please, watch your texting to the wife: "I just drove of high mesa" arrived right after you butt dialed me?! (the of was a mistake, but I then read it as off which really sent my heart racing!

redlegsrides said... was a nice perk. I hope to do the same for when I have to go to Riverton, WY.

Lucky, Vail barely tops 8200 ft, the Eisenhower tunnel is higher at 11,000+ feet. No issues either location. I've found idle issues before at 14,000 ft but since I wasn't up there long....(that was on Mt Evans and on Pikes Peak)

Trobairitz, not quite getting paid to three-wheel, just getting mileage paid. Still, it's a nice option. Thanks for the comment.

Martha: Yes dear, I guess context is truly everything, sometimes.

SonjaM said...

A very nice perk to get see such scenery on a work trip, and you could go by bike. I was on a recent work trip, too... they mad me use the company vehicle. For insurance reasons we are not allowed to use our own... Germans...

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, its a set of microwave radio towers using licensed frequencies linking all the rig and field sites to the office location in Parachute.

I was told, but didn't get a chance to go to, there's a location with views that rival the Grand Canyon somewhere near Parachute, on private land. I hope to see it next time.

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, I think that's why they insist on using company trucks to get to the remote sites and tower locations, insurance and land use restrictions/agreements with private land owners and other oil/gas companies. Guys with their own trucks can sneak in as it just look like a work URAL on the other hand....kind of stands out.