Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A few days ago we were having smoke that had traveled all of the way from Arizona. That fire came under control and the smoke ceased.

This morning early, before daylight, the wind shifted and we started getting smoke from the Los Alamos New Mexico fire.

Officials at the fire area had put in place a mandatory evacuation order and by mid morning we began receiving refugees from the evacuation area, here in the campground.

Most had grabbed important papers, medications, pets and fled the area in their camper.

The great American “bug out” or “bail out”, kit or bag, is often times the family RV !

Our extra phone line with internet dsl has been busy helping refugees connect with family members and make necessary arrangements.

It looks like our normally busy fourth of July weekend will be extended by a forest fire, that’s over a hundred miles away !

Monday, June 27, 2011


Will it ever run again ? Can I remember where all of those parts go ?


The wireless remote start/stop has a small servo motor that activates the choke if needed during the start process. The plastic lever on that servo motor broke off.


As you can see, I have pretty well scattered the generator during the process of  cyphering it out.

Betty just shakes her head every time she walks past my tailgate work bench here in the campground.

Here is the final result, will it ever run again ?

Plastic choke arm broke, home made choke cable added.

WooHoo !, that sweet little Yamaha generator is hummin’ again !

Saturday, June 25, 2011








The photo’s pretty much say it all, Bob, W5TX is ready for field day !


Here is where the business is conducted.


All of the activity starts today at noon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



When we talk about the bears here in the Rocky Mountains, Choke Cherries nearly always come up. The cherries are such an important food source here at intermediate elevations of the Rocky’s, many species depend on them.

There is a large, beautiful Choke Cherry bush in our front yard and it is just beginning to bloom out. Here is a look.


Here is a look at the size of the bush.


No Bears so far, here at Aspen Glade Campground.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Amateur Radio field day.  8500 feet up in the rocky mountains, Bob is getting ready for field day.


The multi band inverted v antenna is up.


The temporary ham shack, out in the National Forest is up.


The solar panel is deployed and the battery bank is topped off.

There is no electricity where this amateur radio operator is “Hamming it up” in the remote Rocky Mountain campsite. With only limited generator use, W5TX will operate his radios for the duration of the field day. Here is a look at one of those radios.


Sunday, June 19, 2011


Didja’ ever put pennies on the railroad track ?


We drove up to a remote crossing with friends  from Texas. That’s him in the shade of a ponderosa pine, with camera in hand, waitin’ for the train.


Her and Betty plan a penny smashing episode as he checks his camera.


Look at that grin ! Yeh, you know we both had to have a smashed penny !

Here is a 57 second video of the actual smashing process.

Penny Smasher in action

Edit to add penny’s photo:


Saturday, June 18, 2011


Memorial Day weekend, high winds were forecast. They were right. As the last of the campers pulled out on the highway headed back home, we made a round of the campground to start getting ready for our next round of campers. We found the road blocked on our lower loop. Sometime after the last of the campers left and while we were cleaning restrooms, a large tree fell. Here is a look.


The trusty chainsaw was in the back of the pickup and with Betty dragging the slash out of the way, we soon had the road back open again.

So how powerful was the wind ? Geeze, I dunno ! But I can show how big the tree was in a few pix.


As soon as the road was back open the fly fishermen started passing through again !


The tree had looked great to us before it came down, but, a close look after it was down, showed what appeared to be some very old lightning damage. Here is a closer look.



It didn’t take too long to open the road back up but the clean up will take some doing. Here is a look at the campsite with the near miss.


Here is a look at the campsite after a some chain sawing and raking.


Camping in the Rocky Mountains, Ya’ just can’t beat it !

Friday, June 17, 2011


We used some of our Cabela’s points to purchase these chairs and to pay the freight to our location up in the Rocky Mountains. They were on close out. The price was right for heavy duty king size chairs.


Both chairs were the height of the one on the left. The chairs are very heavy duty and comfortable, it’s just that our feet wouldn’t touch the ground !


A little hacksawing, drilling and measuring, and the one on the right is just right for Betty. I hope mine comes out as good !

Thursday, June 16, 2011


As we pulled into Aspen Glade Campground in the Rio Grande National Forest, we could hear a clattering /grinding sound, that came from the area of the tow dolly, each time the brakes were applied.

When I pulled the wheels off to inspect and repair a small wiring problem, I noted a rub line on one of the wheels. Here is a look.


Note the corresponding rub mark on the brake caliper.


A missing bolt, the lower one, let the caliper swing down to rub the wheel. Here is the missing bolt’s location.


Here is a look with the wheel removed. It looks ok at first glance, but then I found the rub line on the wheel, that shouldn’t be there. Follow up inspection to detect the cause, revealed the missing bolt.


After tightening the other three brake caliper bolts, a quick call to the factory has a replacement bolt on the way in the mail.

I view this not as a manufacturer’s short coming, but as simply part of the owner’s responsibility of maintaining the rolling stock that he herds down the road.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The Land Train was a new experience for us. Everything worked well. The “Kawabunga” truck pulled the land train readily, even in the Front range of the Rocky Mountains. Eleven hundred miles for the first trip.

During our first pull of the land train, we noted only one problem. The driver’s side, tow dolly clearance light quit working. In this photo it is the square amber light on the front side of the fender.


After we settled in at Aspen Glade campground, I pulled the wheel off to get a better look. Here is what I found.


The assembler had left too much slack in the wires and they were rubbed into by the tire. Upon discovering the problem, I checked the other side and here is what it looked like.


Yep, it was rubbing also ! Though not rubbed completely through, it will need some attention to keep it from failing also.

Solution: A little solder, a little heat shrink spaghetti and a couple of tie wraps, and it’s a done deal.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Built in 1963, the bridge that goes to Elk Creek campground has done one heck of a job.


Sure, it’s been refurbished a time or two in it’s forty eight years of service to America, but, that’s still one heck of a track record.


We get to travel over this piece of history, each trip to the Elk Creek Campground.


We know that the bridge’s days are numbered, so we take this opportunity to look it over before it is gone.


The new replacement bridge is being built right beside the old one.


I wonder if our modern construction techniques will hold up for 48 years.


The contractor’s start date was in 2010.

In our lifetime the size and weight of recreational vehicles has increased astronomicly.  I’m sure that it was a tough call for the USFS decision makers, to remove such a cool old bridge. However safety is rule number one, as the US Forest Service serves America.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The USFS road from Cumbres pass to the Trujillo Meadows Campground is still snow bound.


The several feet of snow on the road must be cleared before the contractor can get into the campground to work.


Snow removal equipment is at the ready. So, it won’t be long before the road is open.


Several days pass and we check back to see how the snow removal is going.


The crew has battled it’s way nearly to the summit.


But they have another mile to go to get to Trujillo Meadows campground.