Sunday, June 30, 2024

Home Early due to Lack of Spark

 Thursday, June 27

I did a little bit of target shooting in the morning along with more policing up of spent brass left by inconsiderate shooters.

Then, in the afternoon, I had been pootling around with Yagi, my TW200, down forest trails when she suddenly stopped running.

Hmmm.  I thought perhaps I'd run out of gas though the tripmeter was telling me otherwise.

Yagi would crank and crank but the engine would not "catch".

Much diagnosing later, and with the help via phone with Chris Z., it was determined there was "no spark".  You need three things for an engine to run: Air, Fuel and Spark.   I'd confirmed the first two and Chris Z. helped me confirm the lack of the third.

Chris Z. walked me through grounding the spark plug on a metal ground to see if a spark would arc between the electrode on the spark plug and the ground metal chosen.  Nothing.

Of course, this all happened about a mile down a rather narrow and hilly trail.  I couldn't push the motorcycle up even the first incline.  I called Jeremiah P., a neighborhood friend and handy guy and he immediately agreed to come help recover Yagi.

I walked back to camp, which was perhaps a quarter mile further than where I had to abandon Yagi.  Say about 1.5 miles?  At camp, I waited the 2.5 hrs it took for Jeremiah and his lovely wife Stacy to arrive.

They drove their Ford Super Duty Truck with a winch in the bed and we proceeded to drive to where Yagi waited.  I don't think the Honda CR-V, which I'd previously entertained going to get along with trailer, would have avoided grounding on some of the holes in the trail.

Jeremiah's truck did fine as it has higher ground clearance and 4WD.  We got to Yagi and in less than 10 minutes she was being tied down in the bed of the pickup truck!  

Back to camp, we unloaded Yagi from Jeremiah's truck and then he helped me get Yagi onto the cargo rack at the front of the VRRV.  Rescue complete!

I said my thanks and goodbyes to Jeremiah and Stacy and they left me to spend one more night at the campsite.

I would wake up the next morning, did some more diagnosing and troubleshooting and realized it was either the ignition coil or the CDI module (which controls the spark generation).

I packed things up at that point and by 9:30 I was on the road back to the cesspool that is Metro Denver.

Presently awaiting delivery of an ignition coil, hoping that's the issue since it's the cheaper replacement part, if not it'll be the $100 or so CDI Module from Ebay.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Another Bear Sighting, A Dump and Views from a Rock Pile

This morning, as we were finishing breakfast inside the VRRV; Martha spotted the local camp host nosing around just outside the camper: 

pic by Martha

The bear detected movement through the window I think, as I moved to it to grab my camera.  The bear then moved smartly away from our campsite, and by the time I got outside with the telephoto lens; I watched it disappear into the woods across the road!

So the above is our only photographic evidence.  Cool experience, I was very surprised to see him, as was Martha. 

An hour or so later, Martha left to go home to take care of some stuff and left me to finish off the camping trip. 

I went riding on Yagi to check out both the Revival Site (site of yearly camping trip/meetup) and also the Hotel Gulch Road.

I turned too early along FR324 and ended up at a different site than the Revival site. It's good that I did though because I found a large garbage dump at the end of the trail! 

Some ass wipe or ass wipes for using the Forest as a dump site for their trash!  Damn them.

I got the GPS coordinates and later sent the pictures above to the supervisor's office for the Pike NF.  The lady, Christina, that answered the phone gave me her email and she said she would send pics and GPS coordinates to the appropriate authority.  

It was just way too much trash for me to try to pick up, besides the normal trash pickup I do at the campsites that I use. 

Such dump sites only confirm for me that humanity mostly disappoints.

After the above find, I made it to the Revival site and climbed the rock pile that is next to it:

It's not as sketchy as it looks, climbing this pile of rocks.  There's a doable path of sorts and you just have to take it slow and steady both on the way up and down.

Here's the view from the top:

Looking down at the Revival's camping area

As you can see, one can observe quite a lot from the top of the rocks.  Pike National Forest is quite large considering how close it is to the overcrowded cesspool that is the Metro Denver area.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing at camp, it rained mid-afternoon but not too hard or too long.  It barely got the ground wet!  It's started to rain again at 9PM as I type this but I don't expect much accumualtion.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Boondocking Again along Rampart Range Road - Pike National Forest

 Martha and I left the overcrowded Metro Denver area at 10AM and by 12:30 PM were setting up camp on the southern end of Rampart Range Road in the Pike National Forest.

The day was already hot when we left the neighborhood with an expected high of 98°F (36.6°C).  It was much cooler at the campsite with a high of 78°F (25.5°C) forecasted as a high.  The fact that it got cloudy helped a lot as well. 

The site was occupied when we got there but the camper flagged us down as we were leaving to find a different site and told us he was leaving soon.  So, we pulled in and waited a few minutes and got the site!

No winds to speak off, just light breezes.  Perfect.  Well, almost perfect, initially there were a lot of biting flies but eventually they went away.

Our view of Pikes Peak

We just relaxed at the campsite the rest of the afternoon and enjoyed a nice sunset to start off a few days of camping.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Uraling to Berthoud Pass and Jones Pass

Yesterday, I rode Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol to the summit of Berthoud Pass on US Hwy 40 to see what conditions were like there.

No snow issues anymore, still some snow as you'll see but not where it impacts vehicles.  The day was quite cloudy and it would feel chilly when the sun was blocked but not bad when the sun would shine on you.

The requisite pic of the Pass Sign

Looking north towards Winter Park

US 40 heading north

Shortly after I started descending back down towards I-70, I stopped at what turned out to be a lovely little rest spot with a small creek running strongly with Spring snow melt.

One of several hair pin turns on the road to
Berthoud Pass

Further on down, I was stopped to take a picture of the peak and happened to look behind when a bear popped out of the woods to the left in the pic below!

The bear was cognizant of traffic before he dashed across the highway and tried to find a way to the woods on the other side.  He ended up rushing along the guard rail for a bit, away from me, until he found a spot that wasn't hanging up high in the air.

A stupid cager who came up on the bear, followed along, probably shooting video for his/her IG account and scaring the poor bear all the while.

Here's the spot where I was standing when I spotted the bear:

Further on down, closer to the settlement of Berthoud Falls, I rode onto Jones Pass road to see if it was open and clear of snow.

I wouldn't make it all the way to the snow but could see from where I was forced to stop that there was snow on the trail.  I "ran out of clutch" you see, and I didn't want to stress it further after it cooled down.

This is as far as I made it....the pass trail runs along and below the ridge shown in the middle.

I found a couple of sites closer to the main trailhead for Jones Pass Road that looked quite doable for the VRRV.....the one below was the largest I found but would be hard to "hold" by a single rig.

I then attended an event at the Easter Seals camp where a Muscular Dystrophy Camp was holding an event for their kids to give them rides in sidecar motorcycles.

Uralisti friends of mine had attended this yearly event before and this time I was in town so I figured I'd help out.  The event was great if a bit disorganized in terms of paperwork.  Still, I did get to give one 11 year old girl, Clara and her counselor Alyssia (sp?) a ride on Scarlett.  Sorry, no pics.

There were way more sidecar rigs than kids available to give rides to due to paperwork issues.  I ended up leaving while the kids were at dinner so I wouldn't get home in the dark.

Got home just fine, with only minor rain sprinkles along the way.  I'm getting old, 4-5 hours in the saddle and I was feeling quite sore and in some pain.  Ah well, it beats the alternative eh?

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Hail and a Day Ride on Rampart Range Road

 Sunday, June 9

We got a severe thunderstorm warning and shortly afterwards got hit by heavy rain and marble-sized hail (some almost golf ball-sized)!

Buildup from the gutter drain pipe out front

During the peak of the hail storm:

Thing 2's Toyota Pickup Truck got lots of hail damage on its horizontal surfaces.  I'm presently waiting to see how a neighbor's damage survey goes with USAA, an insurance company we both use, to see if I should ask for an inspection as well.

The roof tiles are less than six months old so hoping they withstood the hail's impacts.

Update: July 3.  Roof Inspector checked out our roof and declared it good.  Some minor damage and definitely some dents on the roof vents but nothing to cause me to file an insurance claim!

Wednesday, Jun 12

No chores, so went for a day ride on Scarlett to check out road conditions and campsite availability on Rampart Range Road in the Pike National Forest.  It's about a 2 hour ride each way which highlighted to me how out of shape I've gotten in terms of long hours in the saddle!

Lots of campsites in the Fee Area and also in the dispersed camping area closer to Woodland Park.  Road conditions were dry, a lot of washboard and some gravel in spots.  I did find a couple of new sites and recorded them accordingly on Google Maps.

Some views of Pikes Peak and road conditions:

Topaz Point

As you can see, things clouded up pretty good as the afternoon wore on.  I would end up getting sporadically rained on as I rode home via Colorado Springs and CO Hwy 83.

The winds got really strong and gusty as I neared Parker, CO and it felt like I was getting sand blasted when it picked up the road dirt!

Got home just fine, Scarlett did great and she went over 75,000 km during this ride.  So I changed out her engine, transmission and final drive oils before dinner.  The next day, checked Scarlett's valve clearances - AOK.

Also checked Yagi, TW200's valve clearances, found intake too tight for .003/.004, loosened and adjusted to loose for .003 and very snug for .004.  Exhaust was fine.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

A Sunset with Scarlett

I finished prepping Umarang the VRRV for storage and drove her to Buckley Space Force Base this morning.  I rigged a single solar panel to keep the house battery charged and then rigged a second cable from the house battery to the chassis battery to keep it charged up.  

There'd been rumors of damage to the RVs in the storage lot but I didn't see any.

This afternoon, I worked on lessening the lean angle Scarlett's tug.  I discovered that the front upper support arm was pretty much locked tight with rust.  Several applications of penetrating oil and lots of effort produced little gain in freeing the threads to do adjustments to the lean angle.

Much grunting, cursing and sweating in the 90 degree heat later....all I was able to get was a 1 degree reduction.  Sigh.  I didn't want to force things as I feared breaking the upper forked rod.

She felt fine as I rode to catch the sunset tonight as part of the test drive.  I might work on it more but then again, perhaps not.

It was hot and sunny today, with a brief period of severe thunderstorm warnings in the afternoon.  They proved much ado about nothing for our area.

Update: June 9

Found a spare "Rod with Fork", and realized that I could remove the seized one on Scarlett's front upper support arm.  I couldn't screw it inward you see, due to the threads having seized.

rod with fork

Took some effort but finally got the old rod out and the new one in.  Now I could "easily" adjust the lean out of the tug!  

I think I have the leanout correct now and it doesn't look like I'm leaning to much to the left!

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Back Home Early mostly due to Midges!

Wednesday, June 5

Lazy day today after a brief recce of the North Sand Hills Recreation Area.  The recce reminded me how unsuited it is for my camping requirements.  The access road is sandy and the access to campsite locations even sandier.

The trails are very sandy and Yagi, my TW200 showed me how unhappy she is on loose sand.

I rested the rest of the day away, as it turned warmer though still windy in the afternoon.  Still, the wind apparently had kept the swarms of midges under some control.  Luckily, the midges don't bite, just like to swarm in thick clouds.

The sunset was bland but I went out anyways for pics.

Uma at the Walden Reservoir

Here's a pic of the alpenglow on the mountains behind the town of Walden.  Note the swarms of midges hovering behind the VRRV, out of the winds.

Thursday, June 6

I woke late, almost 8 AM, it felt good.  The plan had been to hang about one more day before heading home on Friday.  However, a quick walk outside changed this plan.

The winds had died down you see and the swarms of midges had increased exponentially now that the winds were calm.  Though they didn't bite, it was a bit freaky moving about surrounded by them, occasionally one or more trying to get my attention by either flying near my ears or up my nostrils!

By 10:30 AM I had broken down camp, and left the midges to their own devices.

Four hours later, I was home.  Traffic was fine and only heavy at the expected points as one neared the overcrowded Front Range where Metro Denver is located.

Home for a bit I think, we'll see.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

T-Dub'ing to the State Forest State Park

This morning, once things warmed up at bit (56 degrees), I rode my TW200 on CO Hwy 14 about 25 miles to the State Forest State Park's Moose Visitor Center.

Buckhorn Sheep came by to visit

A view of the campsite from CR 15a

State Forest, yep that's the name of the forest, a bit uninspired perhaps?

The visitor center was pretty small but it did have some stuff to look at:

Barbed Wire Moose

The above moose is supposed to be designed the same size of a record moose.  That hump on it's back its 6 feet off the ground, I stood by the statue and the hump was a couple of inches taller than me!

The info pamphlet from the visitor center recommended cruising County Road 41 for moose sightings.  So off I went in search of moose.

Alas, no sightings of these magnificent beasts, but some pics of nearby mountain peaks:

I saw and cruised through a couple of large campgrounds, not bad in terms of dispersion and location.  There were few rigs onsite this time of year.

I rode back towards Walden in windy conditions, not as bad as yesterday but definitely windier than I like.

As I approached the campsite by the Walden Reservoir, some pics:

The bugs were out in force with the warming temperatures!  Luckily for me, though they fly in thick clouds, they don't bite.  Google Lens says they're midges.

In the afternoon, I rode out again to try and circumnavigate the reservoir.

Walden from near the "top" of the reservoir

From across the campsite, can you see Uma?

Furthest point reachable.

As I returned to my campsite's vicinity, I made a short detour to get closer to what looked like a whole flock of pelicans:

Tomorrow, perhaps a recce of the North Sand Hills Park about 25 miles to the north of Walden.  

So far in this area, I've seen Buckhorn Sheep, Geese, Pelicans, Seagulls, assorted small birds, ducks, one Blue Heron, Beaver Lodges but alas, no moose.

Clear skies for tonight's sunset but nothing to make me drag the camera out.