Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Driving the Sammy with Chris and Lori of Blazeourway

 This morning, while the sun was out and before the skies clouded over with predicted afternoon rain clouds, we had a chance to do some driving with the '87 Suzuki Samurai.  We explored some muddy forest trails, checked out some nice views, and played in water.  Fun was had by all!

The campsite looks better in bright sunshine eh?

First up was Chris.  He rode passenger as I drove to show him a forest trail which was a favorite of mine during the Fall season when the Aspen trees turn color.

We went further up the trail than I had before using the T-Dub, finally being stopped by a fallen tree.  We would be at 9844 feet in altitude at this point.

Retracing our route, we then wandered closer to US285 to pose the Sammy with the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the background:

photo courtesy of Chris Z.

Heading back to the campsite, a picture of Mount Ouray:

Once back, it was Lori's turn to be the passenger and we set out once more to drive (a bit faster this time) pretty much the same route as before.  There was much enjoyment and more comfort experienced as I had taken Chris' suggestion and aired down the tires to 15 psi.  "Mo Better"

photo courtesy of Chris Z.

I drove to the small campsite located by a running creek and we got pics and video:

photo courtesy of Lori Z.

video courtesy of Lori Z.

Sorry about the jerkiness of the video at first part of the movie, some artifact produced either by the slo-mo function on Lori's iphone or how Windows' Movie Maker handles such effects.

Made it back to the campsite with no issues except that Mariko is bit mud-covered now:

Monday, May 17, 2021

Boondocking near Poncha Pass with Blazeourway's Lori and Chris

Saturday, May 15

Here's a video of the campfire we enjoyed Saturday night, we didn't do any riding, just hung out at the campsite, all four of us.

video courtesy of Lori Z.

Here's some sunset shots as well from Saturday night:

photo courtesy Lori Z.

photo courtesy Lori Z.

In an earlier video, here's what Uma the VRRV looks like while towing the Sammy:

video courtesy of Lori Z.

 Sunday, May 17, we displaced from the Penrose Common Use BLM campsite and made our way to Cañon City.  Chris and Lori secured supplies and I drove ahead to secure a campsite at a BLM/Forest Service camping area south of Poncha Pass, CO.  Martha returned to our home in Centennial and the joys of her career.

pic by Lori Z. of the weather we would face the next few days

I got to the camping area without issues under darkening skies and found a new spot for us to camp in.  My favorite spot in this area has been designated for "Official Use Only" so it wasn't available to me.  I basically had the area to myself, I expect more folks will show up to camp as the Memorial Day Weekend approaches!

Here's the pic I sent to Lori and Chris from my phone as they made their way to me from Cañon City, about an hour or so behind me.  It was to prepare them to brace for the "dismal view" from our campsite.

There's a lot of evidence of recent tree cutting/clearing operations.  I think the Forest Service is having contractors cut down and clear away the pine trees killed by the Pine Beetle infestation that has plagued Colorado these last few years.

Monday, May 17

Still under gray skies and the prospect of cold afternoon rain storms, Chris and I set out in the Sammy to explore some of the trails nearby.  The Sammy did great in the rough sections though I did manage to back her into a tree while turning around on one trail!  No major damage, the spare tire basically pushed into the flimsy tailgate metal.

A view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range

See the two little white dots in the distance?
That's our campsite.

The forecasted rains and winds showed up mid-afternoon as I typed this post.  Supposed to get into the 30s the next couple of nights so the heaters will be fired up for sure in our rigs!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Boondocking with Lori & Chris near Penrose, CO

 Two days ago, Thursday, Lori & Chris had retrieved their fully functioning, non-oil leaking overlander rig.  I retrieved my VRRV and we left mid-morning and headed out for some boondocking therapy.

Our destination was my old standby: the Penrose Common Use BLM area, near Penrose, CO.  The usual spot was taken up by a couple of Sprinter vans so we drove in a bit further in:

There is of course, no easy hiding of the big beast that is Stewie.....

This outing is also first time for Yagi's new saddlebags, cheap knockoffs that I'll not mind getting beat up during falls.  I hope to find it easier to separate from the motorcycle during a fall, now that the gray plastic toolbox is no longer in the way.

Chris and I did go for some riding in our respective TW200s but alas, no pics taken as we were having fun.  There was however, an occasion for video:

Friday was a relaxation day, no riding of motorcycles, just enjoying the quiet and sun.  I did take the soft top off of Mariko to do some fastener repairs and then took her for some pictures.

I think, I'll remove the roll bar/cage from the sammy at the upcoming Samurai Rally in Kentucky and see if someone will buy it from me.  It's not bolted direct to the frame, instead only to the body, so it really won't be of much protection after the first roll-over, if even then!

For my part, my driving in conditions that might cause said roll-over isn't something I intend of pursuing or even coming close to allowing to happen.  I think it'll clean up the looks on the sammy when the top is off, and allow me to fold the soft top and carry it along; presently, the bow that supports the soft top binds on the rear support columns of the roll cage.

Here's another view of the rear of Chris & Lori's Overland Rig, nice amount of outside storage eh?  I also really like the antenna mast they use for Internet connectivity.

Monday, May 10, 2021

A visit from Lori, Chris and Big Stewie

 So a bit over a week ago, we welcomed Chris and Lori Z to Colorado, as they were making their way to Oregon where Chris planned to work as a camp host for a few months.

Lori writes a blog on their Overlander Journey here:

Making their way through Kansas:

photo courtesy of Lori

photo courtesy of Lori

Unfortunately, while transiting Kansas, Big Stewie (called thus by me since Martha has little Stewie the scooter) had to be towed to a shop due to the transmission on the truck having gone into "Limp Mode".  While there, it also suffered a small fire in the engine compartment resulting in more repairs having to be made.

Apparently, the air heater relay had failed catastrophically, causing what was fortunately a small fire which fortunately was put out quickly by the shop's technicians.

photo courtesy of Lori

photo courtesy of Lori

photo courtesy of Lori

The hole in the regulator was a result of the short circuit

photo courtesy of Lori

So, after that fire's damage was repaired, along with the transmission work, Chris and Lori continued towards Colorado.  Here's a video of them arriving at hour home, Thursday before last. 

Unfortunately a couple days later, after Chris and I (mostly Chris) had fixed a leaking oil fitting, Big Stewie sprung a much bigger oil leak at the air compressor where it mated to the engine while at the car wash getting cleaned up!

Chris and Lori then arranged to have Stewie towed to a truck shop in the Denver area where it now sits awaiting a replacement air compressor.  

photo courtesy of Lori

photo courtesy of Lori

Readers of this blog might find it a bit of a change for me to not be reporting failures in my own vehicles.  The Samurai or Sammy is actually running quite well, I've got the carburetor behaving pretty much well and no major problems exist.

In fact, its the Sammy which we've been using to run errands and such with Chris and Lori!  Here's a video of them borrowing the Sammy for a trip to the shop to check on Stewie last week:

She looks and sounds pretty good eh?  No big clouds of smoke on startup!  

The hope is for Big Stewie to start being work on by tonight (the compressor has been received).  In the meantime, we continue to enjoy the company of Lori and Chris as we go through a particularly wet bit of weather here in Colorado.