Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Drone, Two Passes, Three Uralisti

Great riding weather yesterday here in the great state of Colorado!  Things started a bit cool with temperatures in the mid to low 50s but would climb into the high 80s by the late afternoon.

I met two other Uralisti, Scott M and Mike S. at the gas station near Morrison, CO at 8:30AM.  After greetings and looking over Mike's new Black and Silver Patrol sidecar rig, we set out north on CO93 towards US40.

We motored smoothly into the mountains, paralleling the faster traffic on the I-70 Super Slab, heading towards US6, aka Loveland Pass Road.  The objective today was to try out Mike S.'s flying drone setup with attached gopro camera.  There was high hopes for cool video shots of our rigs as we moved about Loveland Pass.

 Here's Mike by his pretty black Patrol with silver trim, 
behind him is the drone, a DJI Vision 2, as he worked to set it up for flight operations.

The winds however, proved too strong for the lightweight drone in the Loveland Pass Summit area so we moved westward a bit to a more sheltered area to try again.

 Just west of the Loveland Pass Summit, there's a small parking area with 
picnic benches nearby.  We posed our rigs once again and once again Mike tried
to get his drone flying correctly.  Unfortunately, technical issues involving some damage to
a couple of the propellers resulted in unstable flight behavior.  

We decided to carry on without the drone, relying on our respective cameras instead for the rest of the riding.  We made our way west towards the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort and stopped at a hairpin turn where one can overlook the ski area to once again pose our rigs:

 Near the A-Basin Ski Resort.

A video snippet of Mike and Scott on their rigs on Loveland Pass Road

A composite of two screen snaps from the above video

Scott M. left us at this point, he was going on to Vail where there was a swap meet scheduled for folks looking to unload their old ski equipment, bargains were to be had apparently.  Mike and I headed East back towards Georgetown for lunch.  I somehow managed to not get a photo of Scott M during all this, hopefully Mike got a good one of him for this posting.

Lunch was at the Lucha Mexican Restaurant in the downtown area of Georgetown.  Chile Relleños, hmmmm, tasty!  Mike even paid for lunch, such a good deal.  We parted ways afterwards, he heading home and I riding up to Guanella Pass with Scarlett.

The northern half of Guanella Pass, which in rides past had been a mess of potholes and constructions, was now a nicely paved road all the way to the summit area.  The skies were that deep Colorado blue hue and they framed the nearby mountain peaks nicely.

The southern half of Guanella Pass Road however, was all torn up for construction!  I dimly recall it having been mostly paved, now it's all packed dirt and gravel with assorted rocks and boulders to keep one entertained on the way down from Guanella Pass.  I was following this car, trying to keep back to keep from inhaling the dust that all the vehicles were spewing from their tires on this part of the road!  I was glad I had the full windshield on Scarlett today!

I made it down to the southern terminus of Guanella Pass Road, the small settlement of Grant, and the junction with US285.  Scarlett and I motored eastwards towards the Denver Metro Area along with very light traffic and steadily warming conditions.

As I got to within a few miles of home, I was monitoring the odometer reading on Scarlett and as soon as the magic figure below showed up, pulled off the road for this picture:

Made it home with no issues, having learned a lot of the logistics and conditions one must consider when deploying cameras on an airborne drone.  Much to consider!

This was the first time Mike S. and I had ridden together, though we've known of each other since my days with Natasha, my '96 URAL Sportsman.  Mike S. used to have a Troyka URAL but had given it up around the time we initially met.


Richard M said...

There seems to ba lot of rules being batted around on the use of drones, expecially those with cameras and, even worse, They were predicting that the ground around "scenic wonders" will be littered with the carcases of out of control drones.…

It looks like you had a beautiful day.

SonjaM said...

Dom, your pictures seem to be taken right out of a Ural commercial.

Trobairitz said...

Wow, such brilliant blue sky.

I can't believe you are still getting those warm daytime highs. Enjoy them while you can.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM: "littered with the carcasses of our of control drones..." funny, but it wouldn't be carcasses, just propeller remnants, small pieces of plastic....

SonjaM, thanks very much.

Trobairitz, the weather was nice, but it's time for some snow....

Gary France said...

Great pictures Dom. I am looking forward to seeing the drone videos, when the system and wind are aligned.

Charlie6 said...

added one new pic, a composite of two screen snaps from the video.

VStar Lady said...

Awesome sky and temperature for this time of year. Enjoy it while you can.