Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gunnison

Never easy to leave Ridgway, but we’ve done it. Now we’re in Gunnison. Tomorrow’s job is not in Gunnison, it’s in Crested Butte, an hour away, but there aren’t any RV Parks open for the season there yet. We’re in the Gunnison KOA. It’s not open either, but will be soon, so they let us stay. We were welcomed by the owner…. David Taylor. Conversation with him revealed he has a brother Tom Taylor. A brother Bill Taylor too. Want to guess the name of David Taylor’s first Kid? Right. Mike.

It feels like home.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Slam dunk

We don’t have any rosy finches. Most birders don’t have any rosy finches; rosy finches have a very limited range. But the place you go to see rosy finches… Colorado. All you have to do to see rosy finches (there are three kinds), is drive to Georgetown in the winter and watch the feeders around town. The finches come down out of the high country (and down from the north) in the winter, down to maybe eight thousand feet, and bask in the snow and cold until it’s time to return to their more arctic conditions. All you have to do is drive to Georgetown. Every birding guidebook says so.

We’re not in the Colorado high country in the winter any more, so it is a matter timing; get to Georgetown to see the birds without spending the winter in the mountains. At our latest opportunity last year, in November, we drove to Georgetown and located all the bird feeders that could be seen from the street. No rosy finches. We were too early.

This year, back to work in Colorado, we tried again. Another drive to Georgetown, this time in April, and a creep around the streets in the car, checking out the feeders. Nothing. Just a little too late. The birds are gone for the year.

On the way out of town, we stopped at the visitor center and they had a live person to chat with. Rosy finches? Haven’t seen one in years. They must be wintering somewhere else now.

We weren’t just too early, then too late. We missed them entirely.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Two buck chuck

It’s not like I never drink. In fact I’m supposed to have the occasional glass of wine; it’s good for my heart. I’m an experienced drinker. I’ve had that glass of wine with dinner several times over the last few years.

We made friends with some neighbors at the RV Park in Glenwood. As they were leaving, they dropped off a card attached to a bottle of wine. Charles Shaw wine; two buck chuck. Two dollars a bottle. My brothers know about it. I’ve heard mention of it several times over the years, but I’ve never actually encountered it. Well, we don’t want to isolate ourselves from any enriching cultural experiences, so I decided to have a glass before dinner. Two buck chuck…. Not bad.

I was just finishing the glass when dinner was served, so I thought I’d have another… I thought I’d have another, but I was wrong. I got halfway through it and got so buzzed I had to go lie down.

Two Buck Chuck. I was no match for it. Two Buck Chuck kicked my ass.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ridgway state park

Gone from Glenwood. Finished the job.

Interstate 70 west to Grand Junction, south on highway 50 to Montrose. A little farther south on highway 50 to Ridgway State Park in the canyon between Montrose and Ridgway.

Swainson’s hawk, golden eagle, our first hummingbird of the season in colorado (black chinned), steller’s jays, chickadees, bluebirds, townsend’s solitaire, cassin’s finch, our first goldfinch of the season in colorado (American).

Next week… Gunnison.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Decorations

A magpie tree.


The coloring on magpies; they look like little flying orcas.




Monday, April 23, 2007

Can you spot the ...

Can you spot the mallards?


(hint: there are two)


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Glenwood

We’ve moved on. Back to the western slope. We’re settled outside Glenwood Springs in a park at the entrance to Glenwood Canyon.

Tomorrow, the public radio station in Carbondale.


Can you spot the ...

Can you spot the house finch?


(bonus points if you find more than one)


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Life on the road

Another marathon day; this one consisting of staying away from the coach. We had that little oil-leak-drip to fix. We drove to the truck repair place the night before and slept in the parking lot. That happens when you live on the road, sometimes you sleep in parking lots. We vacated the coach the next morning so they could work on it. We were almost at the 10,000 mile interval, so as long as they were looking at the oil drip, they might as well go ahead and change the oil.

… and flush the injectors. We should get the injectors rinsed out every once in a while to keep everything running clean.

… and the valves. We should get the valves adjusted. They hardly ever need to be adjusted, but in fact we were supposed to get them adjusted after the first 10,000 miles but never knew it, so now at 35,000 miles it is for-sure time to get them adjusted.

… and the tires. The tires are supposed to be at 100 psi. Seems like they always need some air.

We stayed away from the coach all day. They worked on it all day. Then it was time to go home, but they didn’t go home, they just stayed and finished it (the valve adjustment alone took over half a day). It’s tough to be banished from both your house and your office for the entire day, but finally, we did get it back. Dropped it off at 7:30 am and got it back at 9:30 pm. Thirty two quarts of oil, one fuel/water separator, one fuel filter, one injector flush, one valve adjustment, install insulators and bundle some loose hoses discovered in the process, a large quantity of nitrogen (we had them replace the air in our tires with nitrogen (larger molecules, less likely to lose pressure)), various shop supplies, and a three page invoice.

We don’t do this very often, but preventative maintenance does have to be done. We save it all up and do it once or twice a year, just like our doctor/dentist/optometrist/veterinarian appointments.

Now we’re back south to Chatfield in preparation for our drive to Glenwood Springs over the weekend.

Life on the road.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life on the road

Relocated to Chatfield yesterday. Spotted an oil drip as we arrived. We’ll need it taken care of sooner or later, so might as well do it now. Off we go tomorrow, back north to our favorite engine place, TransWest Truck Center, about five miles from St Vrain State Park, where we were before we relocated here.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pawnee

Paid a visit to Pawnee National Grasslands in search of some prairie birds, specifically, mountain plover and chestnut collared longspur.

Horned larks everywhere. Meadowlarks. An immature golden eagle. Kestrels, falcons, killdeer. McCown's longspurs doing their twittering flight displays. Mountain plovers and chestnut collared longspurs? A little less conspicuous. Must not be here yet.

Maybe next trip.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

St vrain

Abundant canada geese, cormorants, herons, red-winged blackbirds, grackles. Killdeer. Mallards. A couple pair of cinnamon teal. A great horned owl. A kingfisher.


Yellow headed blackbirds paid us a visit.


Friday, April 13, 2007

The neighbors

... are noisy.


But they're canada geese; they're supposed to be noisy.




Thursday, April 12, 2007

My six-pack

... has turned into a seven-pack. Saw the doctor about that yesterday. “No problem”, he says. “When you get to be our age…”. The abdominal muscles can separate under certain conditions, allowing some protrusion, creating that extra bump in the middle.

Just an extra bump. No problem. No repairs needed.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Saint vrain state park

A busy day. Left the house by 7:30. Two annual physicals, one blood drawing, one probing (I won’t be so indelicate as to specifically describe the body part that got probed, but let me go on record that I now feel I’ve been abducted and examined by space aliens), stopped by the post office, two dental checkups/cleanings, a quick lunch, bought a new printer for the mobile office, a drive by the house, two haircuts (for no apparent reason), one waxing, and one rabies shot. We visited with McKee, picked up the mail at our forwarding service, said hi to Luanne, and picked up dinner on the way home. A busy day.


Monday, April 9, 2007

St vrain state park

Travel day. Moved from Chatfield State Park on the south side of town to St Vrain State Park on the north side of town. Got to spend the evening with Becky, Brian and the kids.

In response to comments about the picture of the Taylor guys I sent out yesterday, yes, that is Willy Nelson in the picture. He has been in the witness protection program for years now, cleverly disguised as a renegade accountant.

On the road again…….


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Chatfield

A change in the weather. No more of that low twenties and freezing rain. We woke to low twenties and heavy snow. Snowed off and on all day, but the temperature did get up to forty degrees, so the snow was almost gone by dark.

Meadowlarks, robins, cedar waxwings, horned larks, great flocks of mountain bluebirds, and a cooper’s hawk.


Chatfield

Some Taylor guys.




Saturday, April 7, 2007

Chatfield

We woke to winter ice wonderland. Temperature in the low twenties. The freezing rain had stopped, but still very slippery out. We kept an eye on the weather forecasts and road condition reports all morning. Got our break during the heat of the day. The weather window we wanted. All the road conditions improved from “icy in spots” to “wet”. Left at noon, got over Monument Divide in dense freezing fog, and settled at Chatfield in Littleton by three. Got a visit with Matt, Alex, and Austin. That’s the new baby’s name: Austin Lynn.


Friday, April 6, 2007

Santa fe

That’s it for Santa Fe. It has been a busy time here, five jobs in three weeks, but three weeks in Santa Fe is not enough. I want more. Still more donkey cart path streets to explore. Old Santa Fe Trail Road. Old Pecos Trail Road. They intertwine.

But time to move on. Colorado here we come. Here we come, right at the same time as a change in the weather. Had the exit conference at eleven am. Back to the coach for lunch at noon. Packed up and gone by one, just as the wind and rain were setting in. We decided to drive north over Raton Pass, before the weather got cold enough to snow on us and strand us on the south side of the pass. The rain changed to freezing rain, but we made it over the pass before the roads got too slippery. Headed for Lathrop State Park west of Walsenburg. We always head for Lathrop State Park whenever we get in the neighborhood.

Hunkered down for a cold night. We have reservations at Chatfield State Park in Littleton tomorrow night, but now it’s a skating rink out there. Freezing rain. Freezing fog. Lots of roads closed. It was too slippery to go for a run outside in the dark tonight, so I ran laps inside the motorhome.

We’ll have to see what weather tomorrow brings.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Santa fe skies

... and a house finch with a white forehead.

Santa fe skies

This is the place with the antique farm machinery.



Sunday, April 1, 2007

Tent rocks national monument

And tent rocks too.



Tent rocks national monument

Then a slot canyon.



Tent rocks national monument

Along the way, a canyon.

Tent rocks national monument

Tent Rocks National Monument. It has an entrance station and a trail to an overlook.


Kids

The kids at Estes Park: