Wednesday, August 31, 2011


USFS foresters were surveying the giant old ponderosa pines here in the campground today.

One of their procedures is to take a tiny core sample and count the rings to age the tree.

There is a really cool giant ponderosa that is on our campsite.


This quiet, gentle giant, sometimes whispers us to sleep at night. It provides shade for web surfers at the aluminum tables, shelter for the firewood pile and keeps hail stones off of our little 4x4.100_2918 

The deep shade of this ancient tree has listened many a campfire tale. We had guessed it to be around 100 years old because it was beginning to get that golden color to it’s bark. We missed it a bit.

Here is the core sample site that will fill with sap and protect the tree.


Here is a look at the core’s length.


Here is a look at the texture of the cores rings.


Click on photos for a larger look.

So, how old was the friendly giant that lives in our yard  ?

Ninety two years old.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Located in the Rio Grande National forest Along the Continental divide.


A Gold Mining town !


The stunner campground is in our district, but, is an un attended campground.

Free camping in a very cool, historical place.

Lots and lots of old gold mines located here. Lots of old cabins and shacks still stand today.

Thirty plus miles of rough dirt road, just  to get in there. Oh, yeah, but it’s worth the trip !

Be sure to bring your camera !

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Part of our wheel bearing repacking operation is to inspect the brake shoes and the brake drums, to see how much wear is remaining on them, and the wear on the electro magnet that activates them.


Inspecting the brake drum for signs of excessive heating or wear is easy to do at this time.


This is a great time to take a close look at the lug nuts and bolts.


Should any be suspect in any way this is a good time to replace them, rather than beside the freeway on a scalding hot day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Breakfast around the campfire with the critters.


A light rain fell all night long. It was great sleeping !

A crackling campfire and a hot cup of coffee, shared with the critters. This morning the clouds are hanging low as we have breakfast around the campfire with the critters. Here is a video look.

Stellar Jays, Chipmunks, Hummingbirds and Golden ground Squirrels


Campfire smoke nearly hides some of the critters.

Campfire, coffee, camera and critters, a great start to another day in the Rocky Mountains.

Here is a much shorter video that will load quicker.

Feet up, coffee and camera in hand

Early in the morning we make our rounds, then it’s coffee, campfire and critter time !

Monday, August 22, 2011


Aspen Glade Campground, Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado.  Here is a video look.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Bill and Martha had backed their 5er carefully until it was nestled in amongst the old growth Ponderosa pine trees.

Here is a look at their comfy camp with a view.


This panoramic, stitched together photo taken by Bill Harmon. Click on photos for a better view.


Early morning sun light filters down through the ponderosa pines.


We chat with coffee cups in hand,


as the last minute, pre trip inspection and checks are made.


Angel says: “come on, you guys !”

Then it is time for OTRA, On The Road Again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Gathered up under the cover of the screen house,


we enjoyed some of Martha’s great Cherry Bars made with fresh Bing cherries. Lip smackin’ good !

Then we enjoyed a short Summer Monsoon Shower. Here is a look.

Aspen Glade Campground Rio Grande National Forest Conejos District

Yep, in the cool of the evening, it is time for a campfire.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Silver Mountain Disposal picked up our bear damaged dumpsters and traded them for some refurbished dumpsters in their place. Thanks Silver Mountain !


Our dumpsters have been turned over and damaged by bears so often that the Department of Wildlife and the USFS have put a game camera on one of our dumpsters.

The idea is to see if it is the same bear all of the time or a different bear each time.

This morning at 0515hrs, we heard the upper level dumpster as it crashed over.

The bear didn’t get into the dumpster but was able to reach through a crack between the lids and pull out a small amount of trash. Here is the way it looked just after daylight.


The game camera is mounted on a tee post with a sign on it, in the background.Here is a close up of the game camera.


Click the photo for a larger look.

The dumpster’s are heavy enough that we use a heavy rope and the 4x4 pickup truck to turn them back upright. Not everything that we purchase over the years has been as serviceable as this simple hank of rope. We have been using it for thirteen years ! It was the bow line on our “Harm’s Weigh” boat for twelve years. Here is a look.


Sun bleached, yet still serviceable !

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Here is the old guard’s casket team folding the flag.

Old Guard Flag Folding

Here is the commonly accepted urban legend about the flag’s folds:

There will be many American Flags folded and handed to windows and mothers.. do you know what it symbolizes?
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life. The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our hearts that, "We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the fathers, for they, too, have given their sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians' eyes, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust."

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Web surfers are always scouring the internet for a closer look at campgrounds they think they may want to camp at. We constantly hear, “we are here because of a video you posted”.

We see folks from other sites nearby, driving through, looking for potential camp sites for future trips. Because of that, we shoot our video tours of the campgrounds from behind the wheel and across the hood.

Here is a couple of videos that give a look at Aspen Glade campground located beside the Conejos river, a trout stream of international reputation. 

Rio Grande National Forest, Conejos District, Aspen Glade campground, upper level, 2:49 in length.

Rio Grande National Forest, Conejos District, Aspen Glade campground, upper level

Rio Grande National Forest, Conejos District, Aspen Glade campground, lower level, 2:55 in length.

Rio Grande National Forest, Conejos District, Aspen Glade campground, lower level

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Silver Mountain Disposal’s bear proof dumpster.


The not so bear proof dumpster, had it’s lid torn off easily by the bear.


When the campers leave on Sunday the dumpsters are overflowing. The garbage must sit until Wednesday when Silver Mountain makes it’s run.


Here is a closer look at the lid.


In classic bear behavior, he left a trash trail as he drug away his trophy.


Dumpster with one lid torn off.


Bear scat. He, he, that’s exactly what I thought when I first viewed this mess, “Bear Scat !”

Monday, August 1, 2011


Last year we didn’t have a 4x4 to prowl about the front range of the Rocky Mountains. This year we brought our Nissan, and we are a’ prowlin’ !

Today we climbed up to around 10 thousand feet to look over Prospector peak and Los Mogotes peak.


In the distance below is the town of Fox Creek.


In the distance below is Alamosa.


Below is a burnt over area caused by lightning strikes. The Carson Hot Shots put it out quickly a week ago. Then they overnighted at the Mogote campground before moving on to the next forest fire.


Along the way we found this cool old log cabin.


The logs were hand hewn by axe.


The broad axe marks are still visible.


The doors, windows and corners were hand sawn.


The walls were mud chinked. It was a great day for a ride up high in the cool alpine air.