Showing posts with label ScooterBob. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ScooterBob. Show all posts

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Snowy Colorado Goodbye for ScooterBob

Along with some pretty cold temperatures, (high today was 3°F (-16.1°C) and about 2-3 inches of snow, it was a good day to get ScooterBob for one last outing with myself and one of my rigs.

Scarlett is the one best equipped to let me deal with cold weather riding so she got to go out in the pre-dawn hour to see what we could see.  The battery however, is not holding a charge very well unless once keeps her on a charger.  It's less than three years old but I guess I am hard on batteries.

Still, she was OK once I jump-started her and we headed off into the lightening gray skies covering the Metro Denver area.

I also need to, it seems, replace the pusher tire as I was not getting good traction with the rubber that remains on it.  I had to engage 2WD to get out of the cul-de-sac and actually left it engaged through the entire ride!

Stayed close to home due to the battery issue, temperature was -2°F (-18.8°C) as we started the ride and it was rise to perhaps 1°F (-17.2°C) an hour later when I returned home.

 A view of the cul-de-sac, the untouched snow a blank canvas...

 Trees at the local high school where Martha used to work....

 A couple of shots of the tree lined street near yet another local high school

 A view of the Mormon Stakehouse across the street from Eaglecrest H.S.

 All wheels nicely packed with the fresh snow....

 I'd mentioned the cul-de-sac was a blank canvas?  
Hopefully you can the the markings left by Scarlett as she headed out
and came back in, doing a few donuts in the snow of course.

 ScooterBob let me know, as I was putting Scarlett back on the charger
that he wanted to go out once last time while here in Colorado.

Scarlett and I, this time with ScooterBob in the trunk, left shortly before Noon to take my oldest son Patrick to work at the local Sprouts grocery store.

As we were out, and the sun was out, it was time to visit the somewhat nearby ranching neighborhood to see what we could see.

There wasn't as much snow in this area as in my neighborhood, but we made do:

ScooterBob declared his satisfaction with the snow conditions, and then said it was now OK to leave the sub-freezing 3°F (-16°C) temperatures and go back home.

Roads remained snow-packed but the sun was already working on clearing some spots.  Cagers of course were in their usual rush to get somewhere; which made the last couple of miles of riding interesting but with no incidents.

Shortly before sunset, we all headed out one more time, this time to catch the sunset and to pick up Patrick from his job at 5:00PM.

We decided to head down to the tower located in the Tuscany neighborhood down the road from our own neighborhood.

 The tower is purely decorative, my guess it's supposed to evoke
thoughts of Tuscany, Italy's architecture style.

It was 0°F (-17.7°C) when Patrick finally clocked out and we four headed home in the darkness.  Scarlett convinced me do do a couple of donuts in the cul-de-sac, both surprising Patrick and hopefully amusing my next door neighbor who was out there shoveling his driveway in the dark.

ScooterBob will be packed up tomorrow, along with all his belongings, and shipped all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska.  The idea is for him to experience some "really cold" weather while being hosted by RichardM.  Richard being a fellow Ural/Beemer rider who has real experience in riding in extreme cold weather, ScooterBob will have so much fun.....  ;)

Friday, December 09, 2016

Snow Week Wrap Up

We experienced some true winter weather here in the Metro Denver area this week, finally!

Lots of snow in the mountains of course, to the delight of skiers and the ski resorts but all we got around my home neighborhoods was about an inch or so.

Still, it was so cold (low teens) that it was the fluffy kind of snow, so not hard to clear off one's driveway but it stuck around long enough for me to get some pictures.

Here's some from Wednesday morning, after the snow had started falling the evening before:

Here's what it looked like on Thursday morning, after the storm clouds had gone east and the sun came out:

To finish off the week, we had a pretty good sunset this Friday evening.  The roads are dry and the snow has pretty much disappeared from the metro area roads.  More snowy weather coming I hear, we'll see what shows up.

 The above shot to give you an idea of how small the puddle was that
I used to get the reflecton shots.

Red skies over Colorado Springs, that's Pikes Peak in the distance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Return from Bueva Vista and a mystery cleared up

Last night was expected to get down to 10°F (-12°C), I figured the Olympian Wave 8 Catalytic Propane Heater was up to the task and went to bed early, anticipating a 4 hour drive back home in the morning.

I woke up around 4:30AM feeling slightly cold, couldn't get back to sleep so I got up and did a check of the heater and to see what the temperature of the water from the fresh water tank was at.  I did notice the thermometer on the dinette table to be 48°F (8.8°C), this was lower than the 61°F (16°C) that I'd gone to sleep with.

I turned on the water pump, opened a faucet but only a little water flowed out.  Hmmm.  I didn't hear the water pump kick in as usual.  Hmmmm.   I used the touchless thermometer and found the piping under the bathroom sink to be in the low 20s!

Went into a bit of a panic and without taking a reading from the battery (dammit) I turned on the generator so I could run the tank heat pads.  I also kicked on the coach furnace and blower, running both on high to bring temperatures up.

I thought, you see, that something had frozen and worried the pump had failed due to frozen water.  Or worse, the water in the fresh water tank had frozen (it was 10°F (-12°C) as forecasted) and had cracked open, resulting in no water.

While troubleshooting I verified no big frozen puddle of water under the fresh water tank.  The fact the pump wasn't working was worrying.  After about an hour and half of mucking about, I tried removing one of the two power leads  to the pump, checking for power with a multimeter, and reconnecting it.

Whether it was me removing/re-engaging the lead or things had warmed up enough by then, the pump kicked on when I tried it next.  Hurray!  Still, barely a few drops of water came out.  Hmmm.

At this point it was after 6AM so I decided to pack things up, tie Scarlett down in the trailer, and get setup for travel, hoping that as the day warmed up, water would start flowing again.  I decided, in contravention of safety practices, to drive with the propane valve open so I could run the coach furnace as I drove to help things heat up.

Here's the view as Uma and I, with Scarlett in tow, exited the area along county road 375:

Dawn along the Collegiate Peaks

I drove down towards Salida, the idea to take US50 East towards Colorado Springs via CaƱon City.  The CDOT site,, reported that route as dry vs US285 which was shown as "frozen".

At the Chalk Cliffs Overlook, I pulled over and posed ScooterBob for at least one picture for this trip:

ScooterBob with Mount Princeton (I think)

The rest of the drive was just highway driving with no weather issues.  I checked the water flow when I got home and it poured out of the faucet, under the water pump's impetus, just fine!

So, that's the mystery that had been puzzling me since the first boondocking trip Martha and I had done where we'd seemingly run out of water unexpectedly.  It was then, as it was this time, that water had frozen somewhere in the fresh water plumbing!

I am lucky that nothing froze to the point of bursting!  

Next time we go boondocking, I now know that neither the coach furnace nor the Wave 8 Heater keep things warm enough to keep the fresh water flowing.  We need to "winterize" the fresh water plumbing and use pre-stored water inside the coach for washing, cooking and flushing.  The grey and black water tanks can be used, with periodic addition of RV Antifreeze deposits as liquid levels in each tank grow.

If we're in an RV Park with electrical hookups (which allow the running of tank heat pads and perhaps a small electric heater aimed at the plumbing under the bathroom sink); then it should be OK to keep water in the fresh water tank (disconnecting the city water hose at night).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

More Fall Colors

This Sunday, given the hordes of leaf-peeping cagers currently swarming over the popular highway destinations for Fall Color, I decided to stay somewhat closer in to the Metro Denver area.

The main destination was the Switzerland Trail in the hopes it had some Fall Colors.

I crossed the metro area using the I-25 to US35 slabs to get to Boulder or the PRB in good time.  I transited through the PRB and turned west using Left Hand Canyon Road.  Not much color to report on this nice and twisty canyon road until you get higher up in altitude and closer to the Peak to Peak Highway aka CO Hwy 72.

 On Left Hand Canyon Road, approaching CO 72 aka the Peak to Peak Highway

Once Scarlett and I reached the Peak to Peak Highway, we turned South on it to keep some distance from the cagers who were most assuredly swarming over Estes Park about 30 miles north.

I turned off on County Road 93, heading towards the Boy Scout Camp to look for Fall Colors.  I found them too, a nice bunch of it at the private lake that is Beaver Reservoir.

 Fall Colors next to the Beaver Reservoir

 ScooterBob gets to witness Colorado Gold

 That triangular peak is called Sawtooth Peak for obvious reasons.
It's one of the mountain peaks visible also from the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Back on CO 72, we headed a little further south, this time turning west into the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.  It's a fee area and it cost me $10 to get in.  It's more of a hiking destination however, I'll have to go back some day if I ever do pick up hiking.

 A vista of the nearby peaks as one heads into the area

 Pawnee Peak on the left and Mount Audubon on the right

 ScooterBob near Brainard Lake 

Exiting the recreation area, we headed south once again and this time stopped at a favorite spot for pictures.  Unfortunately, the colors in the vicinity were so brilliant that the place was swarming with leaf-peepers, getting in the way of many picture angles.  I got only one:

Heading away hurriedly from the milling cagers and leaf-peepers, we rode a short way further south and I posed Scarlett near the edge of a pullout area.

 Along the Peak to Peak Highway south of Ward, CO

Shortly after the above shots, I found the turn off for Gold Hill Road.  This dirt road was pretty much lacking in terms of Fall Colors however.  I did find the turnoff for the Switzerland Trail and spent the next hour or so bumping along slowly on this rocky trail.

Progress was slow as I didn't want to loose the fillings in my teeth or parts off the rig as we descended down into the valley.  Again, no real fall colors or very scenic shots so no pictures taken.  Finally, reached a junction with County Road 118 which became Four Mile Canyon Road.

Very nice and twisty, this canyon road, but again no Fall Colors or much in the way of scenery.  A few miles down this road, we came upon this imposing rock/brick structure that used to be a mill for the Wallstreet Gold Mine Complex back in 1902:

Not much remains of the other buildings but there was the Assay Museum just a bit further on from the mill structure.  I didn't stop, but if you're so inclined, the museum is waiting for you.

Update: 22NOV16: While searching for something else, found this picture of what the mill looked like back in the day:

source: X-61546

Four Mile Canyon dumped us onto CO119 which we took towards Boulder.  We took CO93 from Boulder to Baseline Road and from there swiftly left the PRB and transited north of the Metro Denver area to I-25.

I-25 would take us to 104th Street east, to Tower Road at the town of Reunion.  From there it was just boring usual roads back to the home neighborhoods.

Scarlett ran pretty well though once in a while she'd run a little rough in first gear.  I think the air filter might need replacing.  I'll find out this coming week as Scarlett went over 40K Km during this ride and it's time for services!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Two Pass Day for ScooterBob

September is the month where the Fall Colors appears in the Colorado high lands.  There had been rumours that it might be a week earlier than usual, the peaking of said Fall Color so I decided to do some reconnaissance.

First, it was a ride to Loveland Pass and the Continental Divide.

ScooterBob and I rode Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol, using both frontage roads and also the I-70 Superslab where it couldn't be avoided to ride towards the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The Eisenhower Tunnel crosses the Continental Divide and is the main route for vehicles crossing the state along it's northern half.

Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) carriers are obliged to take US Highway 6, aka Loveland Pass Road since they cannot use the tunnel.

Loveland Pass is a favorite destination of mine, especially when it's covered with fresh snow, I find it near and quite beautiful, perfect for a day ride.

There was very little traffic, as the western end of the road was blocked for a Triathlon Event.  Skies were clear and sunny and the morning chill eventually wore off as we rode along.

 Another Pass Summit for ScooterBob

 At a nearby picnic area just west of the summit parking area.

 A view of the mountain peaks to the west of Loveland Pass

 Seven Peaks

 Grizzly Peak?

 The ski runs at Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort

As you can see, not much in the way of Fall Colors yet but I did see the beginnings of it in spots along the road.

Once we were done with Loveland Pass, we took I-70 eastbound to the nearby town of Georgetown.  We did stop briefly at Silver Plume just before Georgetown hoping to see the old vintage locomotive but it wasn't on duty today apparently.

So we tanked up Scarlett at Georgetown and then headed along the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway to check Fall Colors along that road.

I will say, it appeared the northern half of Guanella Pass Road was sporting more Fall coloration than the southern half.

 Scarlett's and ScooterBob's first good look at Sawtooth Peak

 At the Guanella Summit Overlook

 A view of Sawtooth Peak from a lower level parking area.

 ScooterBob at the requisite pass summit sign

There were a few other spots but this was the best I could find on the
southern half of Guanella Pass Road.

So, yes, Fall Colors are starting to come in around the areas I rode through today.  I would say it's still a couple of weeks before they really peak though.

I am using this map put out by one of the news stations as a planning guide, I was in the "pinkish" area today.

Update: A different couple of maps for Fall Colors prediction: