Back Together with the Z's at the Dragoon Mountains, More Trailer Work, and One Big Bird!
Thursday, January 24
Sunny but later very windy day!
I spent the morning doing some light hiking before getting started on some more reinforcement work for the trailer.
There's a learning curve apparently when it comes to drilling on steel and it took me quite a while and a few drill bits to make just two holes in the angle iron I'd bought beforehand!
In the meantime, the Z's had received all the mail and packages they'd been expecting, earlier than expected! So they drove the same route I did, got some groceries and some supplies for me. They showed up after 2PM and we were all back together again.
One of the things Chris bought for me was a new drill bit as I'd ruined the ones I had. Even with the new bit, it took me a while to figure out you have to go slow and through progressively larger diameter drill bits in order to get the job done!
Dinner was in the URRV, Spam and Fried Rice!
Friday, January 27
A warmer day today, though still windy at times after things warmed up.
I rode Yagi, my TW200, quite bundled up, to nearby Tombstone to see about getting some bolts and nuts at the local hardware store. Damn it was cold with temps in the low to mid 30s! Still, I got to the store with no issues except slightly numb fingertips.
After perusing the meager stockage at this small hardware store, I got myself some 3" long 5/16ths bolts with lock nuts. I also picked up a drill bit set made with Titanium portions. This was to finish the drilling of holes into the angle iron reinforcements for the trailer.
I started working on the trailer soon after my return, while the Z's offered occasional advice and guidance.
Turns out, you can teach an old dog a new trick! Finally, after decades of doing it wrong, I learned how to drill correctly into steel, without ruining the dill bit! Slow is the key, I'd always gone for faster drill speeds and putting heavy pressure on the bit, which is wrong. Also, lubricating the drill bit's tip with oil is key!
Below three photos courtesy of Lori Z:
Using the correct speed, oil lubrication, and stepping up the drill bit size to largen the hole soon had all the required holes drilled and ready for bolts and lock nuts.
They're grade 5 bolts so Chris Z. commented that the 1/8" thick steel angle iron would bend before the bolts would break! The angle iron, visible above, is on both sides of the trailer. They're to help support that last third of the trailer platform which has to support the heaviest part of the Ural Patrol sidecar rig.
The angle iron span where cracks had been created near the rear edge of the fenders where they meet the platform's edge wall. Not good, I am now pretty confident that further damage won't be an issue.
I also mounted a wheel chock generously given to me by the Z's, onto a couple of 2x6" boards. The boards will take the place of thinner fence boarding which I'd been using to "spread the load" of the Ural motorcycle tug.
Finally, done for the day, it was time to rest. There's a bit more reinforcement work to do but that's for another day.
Lori Z. in her natural habitat...enjoying the sun
and doing some crochet work.
After a short nap in the sun, I got out the binoculars to see if I could spot some climbers on the nearby rocky peaks. I did see a couple of people on top of the rock called Sheeps Head but didn't get the Nikon Coolpix 9900S camera with it's 30X zoom fast enough.
Lori and I use the trailer's ramp to steady our
More scanning of the nearby rocky peaks, I thought I'd spotted another person standing on a rock, silhouetted against the sky. I hurriedly got the Nikon 9900S and tried to capture an image using digital zoom on top of the 30X optical zoom.
Of course, doing it without a tripod, it was quite blurry and fuzzy. Below photo revealed the object I'd seen with the binoculars as a very large bird! Yep, 1.4 miles away and 1700 feet higher in altitude, yet clearly a bird. (according the the Peak Finder App)
Below photo of the zoomed in photo was post-processed to sharpen it and add contrast.
Then, I went to get the tripod to try to get a sharper picture. During the interval I was setting things up, the bird flew away. Further proof it was a bird. Here's the peak's top, followed by a closeup using digital zoom and post-processing to show the now empty perch branch.
Can you see the perch?
A more overall view of the peak for perspective
As the sun set, we all retired to our respective RVs for dinner and get out of the growing cold conditions.
Quite tired from the trailer work. It's supposed to be in the low 60s tomorrow!
Here's a YouTube video I found later which shows the proper way to drill metal. It's what I learned from Chris Z. today:
I’m glad you made such progress on the trailer! You didn’t post the ultra zoom in of the bird?
That was it Lori, what the camera showed us I couldn't quite replicate.
That looks like work! :) Your advice on drilling is so true and important. The video is very useful. Thanks.
once I learned the secret Coop, it was easy!
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