IT BITES!

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Sunday and my right ear is sore and itchy! looks like a nice mozzie bit it during the night. It is beginning to go RED and is getting bigger and bigger as they day goes on. By lunchtime I’m like the front page of MAD with the cartoon character, or maybe Prince Charles, and by 1600 its beginning to flap like Dumbo.

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Ear, ear

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Feeling Prince Charlesish

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HELP !!!

Well of course my learned colleague, Brenda, thinks this is hilarious but I’m not overly happy…… and of course it itches like hell, and I can feel it getting bigger and bigger.

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The afternoon continues and I make one lap of the giant center bed weeding myself into oblivion! Now time to follow the Doctor’s advice and drink heavily!

About 9 pm Brenda wanders off and is gone for over 10 mins and I wonder where she is. Soon after that I’m called as she has been bitten by a DOG!!!    ……. 911 and medics and Sheriff are here in no time. She is worried that this animal (part Chow) has bitten her nose completely off ?

Eventually we get to see the extent of the damage ……. not pretty, but no surgery required thank God. She was making friends with this dog and gave it three treats with the owner right there and then she leant forward to stroke it when it flew off the ground and sank its teeth into her poor face.

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With tons of Neosporin I think the damage is only cosmetic and there will be no lasting scars but a very frightening experience nonetheless. I can now return the “favor” as she looks a bit like Homer Simpson with the big top lip where it got smashed into her teeth and bled profusely.

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NOT Happy!

Clearly an animal like that has to go and can’t stay in our park as it could attack a child next. Here is what Brenda would like to do to the owner.

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TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

BRIGHT SHINY THINGS ….. & SOME REDNECKING

Things in the boat house are coming together and bright shiny things are about to be bolted back on.

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In the Boathouse

When this phase is complete the rig will be towed to Big O Tires and we will have the tires checked and the wheel bearings. If as I suspect the tires are toast then I’ll go for the Redneck changing procedure and as every wheel has the rubber removed I’ll be spray painting the wheels in their parking lot prior to them being replaced.

Meanwhile the “stainless” bolts are costing a fortune and no matter how many I buy I always need more as everything comes together. Today some shiny bits back on, artifacts up, and the hole covers cut and replaced ……. much drilling and resizing for those bolts and another run to ACE scheduled for tomorrow.

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Covers for these holes(4) cut, and fitted

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Tidy job

Stainless bolts, extra washers and nuts all collected along with some new drill bits and the forward trailer chain couplers. More bits go on but I’m still missing  more bolts as she wants to cover all the other holes where various things were once bolted or badly screwed on.

Friday turns out to be a great day, and after another visit to ACE I’m armed with enough bits and bobs to hopefully complete my end of the operation.

Up front (the bow end, I’m told) some extra long bolts required where there are some double seams in the top of the hull and somebody mounted units using wood screws straight into fiberglass rather than THINK where the hole would be! On goes the repaired light, and a cover plate for an ill positioned bimini hood.

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Light  and fish finder back on

Down the arse end, (stern) 4 round plastic covers set  where cables and controls run through and 12 vacant holes blocked off with stainless bolts and fender washers. These I was able to do by myself as my arms were long enough to operate screwdriver and wrench at the same time.

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Holes blanked off

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Grab handles on

Most of the others are a team effort with Brenda upside down somewhere in the hull screaming for help and cursing more broken nails! …… more of this come Saturday.

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Finger nail breaker

Last mission of the day was to fit the 2 NEW security chains and this went together well and without any problems.

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Trailer finished

Here we are again at the weekend after another pleasant evening down at the Brewery. I enjoy my Friday nights with a few beers and pizza after an evening ride on the bicycle. Usually the wind has dropped by the time I go out and yesterday was no exception and with the evening mileage added to the morning run I clocked up 27.23 on the odometer. Still can’t find a way out of this town!!!

So today, more boat screws to go in, (team effort required) then gardening for me with dead heading of roses, and weeding that center bed!….. She will continue with gauges various and complete the refit of the dash panel.

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More broken nails

Early session with 12 more holes masked off down the port and starboard sides, then 5 across the front where the windshield originally was. One unknown by the light and 3 more down the side for the wiring looms.

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Wiring clamps in place

Work switches to the gauges and while I’m prizing out units and changing covers Brenda refills the compass and it actually seems to work!

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Changing cases

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……. and here is one I made earlier

Some weeding gets done but its hard work, although I did find one of my bushes has given birth to an offspring so this will join its siblings from previous years who are all doing well after transplanting, of course there may be more hidden in the mass of weeds.

Meanwhile in the Boathouse the “dash” is coming on well

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Super Job !!

Around the garden in other beds the Rode-what not is doing well and continues to defy me by putting out new leaves and actually growing!

The Clematis are going well in the whisky barrels and the roses are producing a great show. Lilies and pinks are coming out and will be good if the bloody gardener gets his act together.

 

Sunday, Brenda finishes up and adds the last few items to see how it all looks together.

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The Coleman’s are in

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Flags are up

Last task what can you do with a broken, unobtainable plastic logo?

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It gets painted and I make the arrow head from a washer ….. will be fitted soon.

Monday 6/27 the boat goes in to Reliable Marine

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

OTHER BATTLES

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Phase IV (the waxing) now complete

With tons of work in the boat house, and some good results there time to turn my attention to other pursuits. Gardening continues, more plants rescued from the Walmart Mortuary where plants get sent to die…… a sort of hospice for healthy plants which left their nursery and were sent to Walmart Cortez where dehydration is sure to set in within 2 days and they will die a sad and lonely death.

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Waterfall area all weeded

The Waterfall area was weeded and the last of the “new wm’s”  located, planted and watered in. More weeding on the driveway and then the 2 day battle on the front bed which is now the last of this year’s weeding zones to be attacked.

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A few rescued Walmart plants

Out on the road the “Dolores 500” has been completed so the next hurdle will be the 1000 which I guess will take another 2 months if enthusiasm can be maintained.

Strange day, a hint of thunderstorms but nothing happened apart from the odd boom and a few sprinkles. The boat fenders got their last dose of paint remover and their first sanding. The mountain bike was cleaned and is ready for the next 500 ?

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Ready for the next 500

With all the parts taken off the boat, rollers and their bars, fenders, the winch system,  tie down chains etc, all made their way to the paint bay.

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The last units get their coat of paint

All the other bright and glittery bits are ready for de-tarnishing and of course more new parts have been purchased to replace rusted and broken bolts and the winch system which was less than perfect.

Tasks for today, are new trailer lights, polishing, final coats on boat house artifacts and back to the front bed and drive for yet more of the weeding.

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More nautical artifacts

Meanwhile the peonies and roses are blooming, hopefully the roses will NOT be harvested by the thieving bastard who cut them ALL last year!

I’m back in the workshop…… but so is the Cottonwood fluff and we are in full blizzard mode every afternoon as the whole town is subjected to this annual pest.

The weekend arrives and the days tasks are; Trailer lights and then refitting the freshly painted fenders, side rollers, and winch system. Brenda completes the Phase IV waxing …… and it gleams! She also fits some cushioning on the side rollers and joins me on the bright parts polishing and rectification.

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Bright parts polishing

More gauges are found on Ebay and she gets what we hope will be a good deal. The Tower of Power also gets a waxing so now for those trailer lights.

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The “Tower of Power” gets a waxing

First inspection shows the system was beyond repair with bare wires and a dead end on the ground or earth wire. The entire mess is stripped from the trailer and rewiring begins. One side has welded lugs that take the cable while the other has zero. Mucho drilling required and a new bonus set of Makita drill bits make short work of the project through the 1/4″ steel. All nicely secured by cable ties. Another hole required to secure the ground/earth wire and now the final wiring of the 7 pin RV plug.

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Beyond hope!

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New lights go on

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Wired up to a new connector

Shade garden watering complete, time for a beer, and test the Sidi cycling shoes I used to use on my many rides around Phoenix back in 2002. The shoes have those “cleats” which lock into the pedals and are made by a well known ski binding company. They keep your foot firmly anchored on the pedal so you get max power from each pedal stroke. However, this I always thought was bloody dangerous on a mountain bike as you have to twist your foot to break the binding lock should you need a quick “dab” on a mountain track. I decided to remove the cleats so this was the first outing without ……… not a great idea as without them the shoes and their hard sole slip about all over the pedal ! They have been replaced and I’ll stop being a wimp and try again. Nice couple of beers and a good well earned pizza completed Saturday.

Sunday and its a planned day of bolting all the freshly painted bits back on ………. here is my horoscope for Sunday.

 

Hi, here is your Daily Tarot for Sunday – Jun 19, 2016
The Pope:
Save those creative, foot-loose and fancy-free activities for another day and focus on the nuts and bolts. If you’ve been putting off doing something necessary but not fun, knock it out now and then feel accomplished when finished. You can earn a lot of regard and admiration for this. You won’t be allowed to keep too low a profile, so just step up and do what’s important for today. You should encounter no resistance.

 

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Rollers and fenders back on

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New winch and post on

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New block and “custom” spacers

Everything goes back on and all the new bolts and nuts tightened with just the winch to go. The bolt holes do not match up so more work with the new drill bits and the winch is operational ….. well, nearly as the new strap is 5′ too long so that will have to be changed for the shorter one.

The Cadi is backed up, lights connected and they all work and she likes the job!

Monday, and Brenda sets off to get the trailer title and register the boat. Not so fast Mrs Boatowner! ……… you need a VIN inspection. No matter try the boat registration……… sorry, closed on Mondays well at least she got the winch strap and the boat shop found a matching cleat so something positive in an annoying morning.

Back home I’m into watering and the last of the driveway weeding and a quick look at the roses which were looking good. Now a fu7%^ deer has eaten all the new buds just before they opened …. yum, yum!

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Seems the thief was a deer!

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“IT” left us some to enjoy

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Driveway finished at last

Brenda is none too happy with her morning failures and rings our local Sheriff who is at the Town Hall. Sheriff is round in a flash and the hunt for the VIN number begins …… nothing! Hardly surprising on a 1960’s trailer but we do find some letters under the paint  ….. S  H  E   …….. FF    1 ELD   ……. I had to laugh and explain to the lady Sheriff that it spells SHEFFIELD  where these girders had been made all those years ago. However, lady Sheriff is on the phone, says “No problem we have a paper trail ” and signs off on the paperwork.

Some time later Brenda returns with a NEW license plate and it is duly bolted on. By now I’ve finished weeding the side of the boathouse and also managed to get the cover off the stern light.

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Freshly weeded boathouse

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Happiness  is a Colorado registered trailer

Tuesday, so winch strap to go  on, then “bright shiny things”

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All winched up

Winched up but Brenda decides its time for cleaning and washing out the inside of the boat ……. and what came out was pretty nasty but a great job.

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What a mess, but very worthwhile

Wednesday, and its officially “Bright Shiny Things Day” and with another bag o’ stainless bolts……. let the action begin!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

IT’S ONLY A SETBACK

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“The Tower of Power”

Makitas whirl madly, shine returns, and the crazy woman finishes phase II in the Boat House. Now she wants to run the mighty Mercury 1000 (The tower of Power)…….. battery recharged, fuel dumped, tanks cleaned and new 50:1 made for the season. The engine is lowered and a few spoons of water drip out followed by a few drips of oil. The hose adaptor is fitted and I just happen to notice there is a large threaded piece, about 4″ in diameter, spinning free on the prop shaft. Clearly, even though I am not a marine engineer, this should not be ???

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Engine trials are postponed while further info is sought. Not good! Worst case scenario would seem that because we didn’t winterize the motor the bottom portion called “the lower section” could well be toast! All that was required was to let the motor down to the vertical position where these couple of spoons of water would have drained and then  change the transmission oil. Most likely what was left in that lower section froze and then expanded pushing the locking ring out of the alloy casing taking all the threads with it.

However, what is done is done and work continues and Phase III is now complete. On my side, all the side rollers have been removed along with the two heavy steel fenders and have had their first dose of paint remover.

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First dose

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“hubble, bubble toil and  …etc”

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The remaining glue on the front portion where the carpet was has all been scraped off with a razor blade and now awaits a piece of custom marine teak which is being made for us in NM.

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Get scraping!

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A few hours later

Meanwhile “goodies” keep arriving with anchors, paddles, new trailer lights, edge trim, coolers, life jackets and even some boat house décor.

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Retro Coleman Coolers

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Box o’ goodies

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The Boat House gets a “nautical flavor”

Work continues unabated and the seats are clean and the white side panels come back to Scuffy from “scruffy”. The winch gets removed and will be next for the paint shop. Two rounds with the paint remover but the fenders still have more to remove!

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50 years of grime

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I’m impressed!

Decals are next but Brenda is looking for further instructions as these were VERY expensive and WE don’t want any mistakes here!!

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So far so good …… now the BIG ones

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On, with NO mistakes

God knows how many coats of paint were on the fenders but now I’m down to bare metal and a full can of Zip Strip has been used! Highly  recommended, does the job and will burn exposed flesh so BEWARE.

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Ready for painting

The gas tanks were polished and waxed and retain that 1960’s patina and look pretty good!

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Clean or Paint?

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Cleaned up nicely

About ready to paint the fenders and roller stanchions and then replace the trailer lighting just in case the miracle happens and we get called to bring the boat in to inspect the engine.

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Round 1 complete despite the Cottonwood FLUFF!

Grinders grind, polishers polish, and the rattlecans rattle! The tip of the workshop is returned to normal ops and is reclaimed for painting and drying. 1st coats go on and many cans of beer are consumed in these non-stop working days. Still a lot to do, but WE are on target.

TONY DOWN

 

 

IT NEVER STOPS

Now into June. Yesterday picking up the Safari in Farmington, and of course more shopping for Brenda and friends and then a visit to my lung Doctor in Durango on June 2nd. All seems well here after a chest scan, a breathing test and he is impressed with the 25 lbs weight loss and the 400 miles  + of cycling.

More shopping in Durango with some good must have plants from Home Depot and more bits and bobs in Walmart. Tikki lamps for the garden, more hose bits, and 4 lifejackets for the boat. Lunch in the Steamworks Brewery  and both the beer and the sliders are excellent. Home and shirt off again and just time to move an electric meter from the Safari berth to Slot 1 which has been missing one since the snow plow got it during the winter.

With the Safari out of its berth for a few days time to do the yearly clean up of leaves and weeds and then set about all the branches that were in the way. By Saturday morning the entire property gets the strimmer action after all the street side trees had been trimmed.

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Safari bay cleaned up

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Branches removed ready for strimming

Saturday morning (pre-strimming) a quick visit to 4 Seasons for some whimsical shopping in the form of some “lady birds ” which I know she had taken a fancy to.

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Whimsical Morning!

With strimming done the start of the major chore of weeding the waterfall bed and then the big one of the firs and diminishing heathers that really don’t like it too much in Colorado. Not a great deal done but now is “Party Time” and that concludes Saturday.

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About 1/2 way through this bed

Sunday and “Irrigation Day” after charging the boat battery for the dry in dock start….. time to go back to Cortez for piping, joining bits, and a little routine shopping. More Waterfall Bed weeding and today its bloody HOT !! The white (now pink) body needs recovering or thee shall peel. The irrigation leak is located and now the next trench must be cut for the drip lines to the tomatoes.

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Here’s the leak!

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The NEW line is planned

Bullet hard ground and time for the mattock and flying stones but its finally dug, the leak is repaired, and the new line to the “toms” is in place,leak tested and life giving water flows to the tasty fruit.

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The Mattock cuts the trench and the line is laid

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Drippers in place

Enough for today! Tomorrow put it all back on timers with new hoses from the “boat house”.

 

TONY DOWN

GETTTING WITH THE PROGRAM

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With school finished all the planned work has got under way and progress abounds. Last Thursday the Safari was delivered to Farmington, a long desired Red Lobster Fest was consumed and a look and (light shopping) visit to, Lowes, Home Depot and Hobby Lobby …….. nearly didn’t get them out of there!

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Perfect combo for me

Friday and work began in earnest on the garden and the boat with a full weekend to follow. Hops and Clematis restrung, hanging baskets and other plants acquired (its only the beginning!) ……. the Cone Flower bed was weeded along with the side bed and the rose bed surround was weeded.

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Hop, hop ….. hooray!

Baskets all hung along with replacement hanging Toms and irrigation systems checked. Big clean up of leaves and trash in the boat house and more bits and bobs removed for the whirling dervish of Brenda and Makita.

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Baskets up with Padlocks again

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Super toms and eating them already

Cycling continued with a record 71.89 miles in the book last week and a NEW high on the odometer of 16.26 on Memorial Day. Somewhat fitting that Ratcat’s & Luna’s final resting places have been restored and maybe improved.

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Ratcat and Luna   R.I.P.

Out front the Side Bed got some new plants with a giant rose and some petunias while the big part of my day was spent re-doing the rock edges to the Rose Bed that some dickhead had reversed into knocking everything out of position. Some more intensive weeding in the bed itself along with pruning and then petunia planting has it ship shaped again!

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An addition for the side bed

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Weeded and repaired

Meanwhile, talking of ship shaped, Brenda has moved into phase II of IV on the refurbishment program and if progress continues at this rate Sea Trials can be only a few weeks away!! More planting in the Shade Garden completed the day before “Cocktail Hour” was called.

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Coming close to the end of Phase II

A bit windy this morning so cycling is postponed as I have a mega shopping list to complete in Cortez. New sprinklers, hose bits, pots and of course more plants fill the car.

With the Cat Graveyard redone the adjacent bed around the old cottonwood tree was repaired (nice children!) and replanted with lilies and pinks.

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Rebuilt and re-planted

A couple of large Astilbes  that were bought on the Farmington run finally get planted after mattocking  through a mass of roots in the Shade Garden raised bed. An annoying sulky little bush called Rhode – something was re-homed in the Cone Flower bed and by 1945 I have a beer in hand!…. Rhododendron! that’s it.

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Wednesday, and back to Farmington for the Safari which has just cost another $460. This time it seems the valves were sticking open, hence low compression and no start when cold. Also I replaced 2 brake lights so home again. Warm enough for shorts and No shirt so maybe summer has arrived and the lawn gets mowed again and the new sprinklers throw much needed water on the grass.

With the snow melt in full force the river has raged and flowed at high speed but now the lake is full and the water is piling up locally and its burst its banks down where we had Day 1 of the first Escalante Day Trials. One of the sections we used coming up the 39 steps to the End Gate is under water!

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Seriously full!

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The “39 Steps” section is flooded!

 

TONY DOWN