Friday, April 26, 2019

Nice, then scary, then nice weather day

Not much riding today, work kept me pretty busy along with rigging up a light to show the water level in the fresh water tank; since the monitoring sensor has gone on the fritz this trip.

No sunrise pics for this posting.  Kept looking out the wrong window when deciding whether to get up or not to capture the sunrise.  Doh!

The weather was sunny to partly cloudy all morning and until perhaps 3:30 PM, shortly before then then I watched dark clouds approaching from the west along with some pretty strong wind gusts at times.

 Storm clouds approaching from the West

 Shortly after I took this picture, a wind gust hit Yagi
on the left, and knocked her over.

The view to the East before the storm arrived.

Then, I felt a few rain drops, heard a crash as Yagi toppled over, and all of a sudden it was like Mother Nature flicked a switch and I was in the middle of a wind storm with some rain in the mix!  The winds were coming from the west so hitting the URRV on its left side causing it to rock at times.

I hurriedly brought everything in, starting with the slideout which didn't like the wind hitting it at all!   Everything buttoned up, I was ready to start the URRV and point her into the wind.

Then, Mother Nature flicked that switch again, and it was bright skies, puffy clouds and warm temperatures again.  The saying is for Colorado, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, it'll change.  Today I was reminded of this....a pretty awesome display of Mother Nature's forces.  The whole thing was perhaps 20 minutes of "interesting" weather.

 After the brief storm, nice skies again.....

The rainbow was a parting gift from Mother Nature.

Now, sunny and 78°F (25.5°C) as I type's like the storm never happened.

Tonight's sunset was a non-event....low clouds blocked the horizon and so blocked the light from the setting sun.  Oh well.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

More Boondocking - Visiting two other SWAs and Yagi proves some what cargo capable.

A pretty good sunrise today:

Today I found myself missing the enormous cargo capacity presented by the sidecar of a Ural rig.

I was low on fresh water and some other foodstuff so it was time to head into the somewhat nearby town of Hugo, CO.

Using a ratchet strap (which didn't really handle the bumps well) and some bungie cords, I got the water and groceries onto Yagi and we made it home with only some water spilled onto my backside when the jug came loose from the ratchet strap.

Yagi did not feel nimble or as agile with all that weight in the back.  We're talking five gallons of water and a full spare can of gas and groceries in the top box.

After work, I rode Yagi over to two nearby State Wildlife Areas or SWAs.  First up was the Karval SWA about 19 miles away to the south and west.  Not a bad little area surrounding a lake but zero cellular coverage.  Camping here would be nice but it'll have to wait until I am free from the bonds of internet access.

There was only one person camping there, a woman in a tent in the main parking area.  She was taking pics also, you can see her below standing on the dam in the pink hoodie.

Karval SWA

Next up was the Lake Kinney SWA located a little bit north of the Hugo SWA.  It must have been "Cows get in free Day" at this SWA as the place was swarming with cattle.  They were blocking the trails and I had to get pretty close to the stubborn ones to make my way past the herd to explore the rest of the area.

Lake Kinney did have signal but it wasn't very good, a booster would probably be required her for internet access.

Again, there was a woman there onsite with me, she was fishing though and not camping, being surrounded by cows didn't seem to bother her.

Alas, half the area is now closed off from the last time I was here with Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol.   So back I went and encountered more cows as I made my way back to the entrance.

Finally, made my way past all the cows as they decided to move off in a herd over to larger pastures away from the lake.  I guess they got tired of watching me and wondering what I was doing there.

Got back to my campsite at Hugo SWA South and relaxed for a bit.  Doing a bit of chores and just enjoying the sun, which felt really nice in spite of the chilly winds that dominated most of the day.  It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow.

Clear skies still resulted in a warm sunset of sorts, given yesterday's sunset though, I didn't spend a lot of time taking pictures of it, just this one:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Boondocking again at the Hugo SWA (State Wildlife Area)

The day started with one goal and after several factors ended up with me boondocking at the Hugo SWA, one of my favorite boondocking spots.

Late sunrise at Oil Well Flats BLM site

First I thought I'd find a spot to park near Pikes Peak and take Yagi up America's Mountain.  The search for a spot to leave the RV and trailer proved fruitless and after wasting some time on the southern portion of Rampart Range Road, the weather had moved in and going up the mountain was no longer attractive.

Note to self, the first 20 miles or so of Rampart Range Rd, starting from Garden of the Gods, doesn't allow camping!

Having given up on Pikes Peak, and finding the northern end of Rampart Range Road still closed till May; I ended up in Woodland Park and from there on US24 heading east towards Hugo.

 A cloudy afternoon after I got camp set up in 
Hugo SWA South Site

I relaxed a bit waiting for the sunset in the warmish weather, though there was the occasional breeze to remind one it isn't summer yet.

Hugo SWA South is the best of the three camping sites for sunset pictures don't you think?  It does pretty good for sunrise pictures as well, hopefully there will a chance for some.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Glamping in the Oil Well Flats BLM Area

Spent Monday and Tuesday glamping at a new site north of Cañon City along Red Canyon Road.  I'd spotted the place during my ride on Shelf Road and decided to try it out.

Monday's weather was light rain and solid overcast.  Rode around some but not very scenic area to start with, and definitely no chance for pics when the clouds obscured even the nearby hills!

Tuesday, I tried going over to the Shelf Road (about ten miles away) hoping for "in the clouds" shots but nope:

Perhaps an hour after I got back to the URRV, the skies cleared up to "partly cloudy" and the sun started to warm things up nicely.

Went for a ride around the BLM area, checking out the other campsites and other trails.  Found a small herd of stubborn cows, wouldn't yield the right of way on the trail!  I had to turn around when the big momma cow started approaching me.

Not much in the way of scenery, even with good weather, but here's a view of the nearby hills:

Spent part of the afternoon troubleshooting the fresh water level indicator on the RV.  Ended up breaking one of the sensor wires without fixing it.  RichardM helped out via texts but the results we got were confusing.  Once I managed to break the wire, I decided to stop before causing further damage.  Guess I'll have to figure out a way to live without a working water level reading for fresh water....

Not a big deal really, I've a rough idea of how long a tankfull lasts and the pump's behavior tells me when I'm out.  Then I take one of the 5 gallon containers I keep in the tub and refill the fresh water tank from them.  It's just annoying, that's all. 

RichardM recommended a product call SeeLevel that is more accurate but I'm not ready to pay the money or run the wiring yet.

Another bunch of clouds moved in to spoil tonight's sunset.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

T-Dubing along the Shelf Road from Cripple Creek to Cañon City

Today Yagi and I rode over to Cripple Creek using part of the Gold Belt Tour Road system, using CO9 to CR11 ending up in Cripple Creek where we got onto the Shelf Road aka Teller County 88.

But first, some pictures of the sunrise I woke up to, not too shabby:

The northern part of the Shelf Road is a bit of a twisty roller coaster, narrow dirt road, steep hills and lots of blind curves with careening cagers speeding their way through the area.  It pays to stay alert.

 A lovely view of far off peaks near Cripple Creek

 The rock formations on the Shelf Road are much more
scenic than the ones on Phantom Canyon Road IMHO

 It's been several years since I've been on this road, 
and the Eye of the Needle ridge is quite the sight.

 The other side of the Eye of the Needle Ridge.

The following pictures illustrate why they call this road the Shelf Road.  Once you cross over Wilson Creek, you gain some altitude and the valley floor drops off very fast giving you these views:

At the end of the Shelf Road, the road becomes Red Canyon Road and one comes to the Shelf Road Recreation Area, a BLM campground with decent cellular data coverage. 

Further on down the Red Canyon Road, you come to another BLM site, Oil Well Flats.  The entrance is a bit tricky for a long RV but I think Umarang could do it.  There were a couple of wide camp sites with decent signal as well and the road into the area was better than what I drive to get into the Penrose camping site!

 The view from one of the campsites at Oil Well Flats BLM

After three turns or so, you end up in Cañon City's 15th street that you can take all the way to US50.  

Fire Station Mascot?

Once on US50, it was 3rd street all the way back to the Penrose BLM area to avoid the higher speed traffic on US50.  Boy my butt was feeling it after almost 5 hours of sitting on Yagi's seat; and that's with a Maddog ATV seat cushion on top!

Still, a good day of riding.  The Shelf Road is not in as good a shape as Phantom Canyon Road but its quite Uralable, so a piece of cake for Yagi.