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The last weekend of the School Bus Driver’s Vacation and what a summer it has been! Today is Round 2 of planting up Scuffy who got some attention yesterday after our run to 4 Seasons for some autumn 1/2 price flowers and displays.

Brenda liked the variegated geraniums in the stern well and they give a nice contrast to the re-polished red of Scuffy’s hull. Brenda now wants to replace the horn and light up front on the area that will need some black paint.


Geraniums in the stern well

Next question is can I cut a plant holder in the hull ? Seems I can and after some careful measuring, circle drawing, hole drilling and final checking the jig saw begins cutting. It works with no problems and the last of the variegated geraniums has a home.



Hole cut, does it fit?


Recon’ so

Grasses are next and a new area has to be created at the stern which will keep them healthy and out of the prevailing wind.


The two main displays are leveled and placed in the troughs of the bow waves.



I’m done for the day

With this complete I continue tearing out the lawn grass around the new maple tree bed which will hold another display grass and mums yellow pot.


Before that can go in I must reload all the “gold nuggets” in the wake plumes and then tier the bed.

Back on the boat Brenda wants the throttle box refitted along with the aforementioned lights and horn and of course the fitting of the Bimini top.

As if I hadn’t got enough to do I had someone come to take down the majority of a dead cottonwood tree. He turned up on time and started taking down a few limbs. I checked with him later in the morning and he assured me that he would be finished within the hour so I duly paid him and we went plant shopping. On our return I went to see the final results expecting it to all be done and cleaned up!!!!



Seems he just cut the last trunk and then F&*%#$ OFF leaving the limb where it fell and all the other branches and crap all over the place. I now have the pleasure of cutting it all up and picking up all the little pieces. Angry ? I don’t think that QUITE conveys my feelings and I shall not be using his services again!

The weekend begins, the Bimini top gets fitted, more rocks go in the maple tree bed, and all the “gold nuggets” get spread up the wake plumes. Work continues on the interior and the front gets a coat of black along with the bar stools from the Dollar Store getting painted black.


Bimini top relocated and Brenda tries a “test cocktail” and the new barstools


Last of the gold nuggets go in the wakes


Black paint up the stripe

With all this work going on in and around the boat various strangers and townsfolk stop by and very soon Scuffy is in full party barge mode! By nightfall the party is done and a successful Saturday is in the books.


Random guests arrive!

Sunday and rock work continues and the Maple bed is finally finished with lilies and more red geraniums. Up front the 4 Mexican heathers are planted. More rocks and some steps for the side are dragged in, which needed more sand to level them but its done.



The Maple Bed is planted up


Mexican heathers go in up at the front


Side steps for driveway entry


Guest entry from the now “clean” driveway

Inside the throttle box goes back on, after extensive degreasing, and the side panels start to get refitted along with the forward lights and horn  ……. nearly there. Just time for a clean up as the weather changes and a storm rolls in.


Throttle box back on along with horn and lights

So, one non sea worthy boat, 17 tons of river rock, a few 1/2 price plants and shrubs, 21 days of hard work, and a few duty cocktails and we have ourselves “Scuffy’s at the Cozy”

A quick recap from the thinking time to completion…………


Will this work ?


17 tons of river rock


Some plants


A few more

………. and what do you have?     ………. a new bar in town!


…….. and your friendly barmaid to welcome you aboard.








The convict is back to his rock pile and the daily grind begins! With my decision made and not to go to Sipapu this weekend life now switches to trying to complete Scuffy’s new resting place. The 17 tons of river rock and sand are quite a challenge and my 70 year old arms and shoulders are feeling the effect. (excuses, excuses!)


“17 tons …. and what’ya get? …… another day older and deeper in debt”


With the boat level, the wall rebuilt, wasp nests eradicated, and all the debris from rotting railroad ties in the bin the layout can begin. Two bridges had to be built as the wall has a drainage channel through a massive pipe under the driveway.


Basic layout and design set

A new bed around the Maple tree will join into the “wake” plumes that I will construct with the bright gold sandstone which has other stone compressed into it .



Borders around the wake and the forward section are laid out and yet more wheelbarrow loads of sand and smaller rock are humped in. A new set of steps are built by the engine and small gravel is collected and laid in the flower bed drainage channel.



Steps go in



Gravel drainage under the bridge

Up front attractive rock is placed in the headstone area and the biggest rocks form the bow wave. More egg sized pretty rocks are collected and washed. With everything formed up all that remains is the placing of the rocks and then the fine tuning of the smaller rocks to fill in all the natural gaps.


Up front


Bow waves created


More gold nuggets!


If only it were GOLD!

Once this is done and I’m happy, the Bimini top (now painted black) will be correctly relocated and provide suitable shade to the party goers enjoying adult beverages.


Bimini gets a coat of black

By Monday I should be on the hunt for suitable plants to decorate the entire edifice. None of the garden centers seem to be having a perennial sale as yet but I can’t believe they are going to keep them much longer as some are beginning to look a little leggy and moth eaten!

So tomorrow, as I enter the last week of summer vacation, it will be time to sift the rock pile and see what is still hidden in the last 5-6 tons that are spreading their way over the drive. Then lay the last side and attend to minor details.


The last side is finished


Bow waves in


All done with about 5 tons leftover

The last side gets done after unearthing many more of the bigger and interesting rocks. With the mission almost complete time to call Casey and get the remaining pile off the drive.


Driveway clear!

A good collection of bigger rocks appear as we sift our way through and dump the pile over on my proposed vegetable garden (one day, one day!) 45mins later we are done and all I need to do is wash my new found gems.


Nice big rocks for other projects


Gorgeous colors


Yet more nuggets

They wash up good!  Now “The Hunt for Red Plants That Last Until October” Better ask Sean Connery.


“Yuri I’m looking for some Red plants for October”

Lets see what he recommends and the “Das Boot” saga will continue next time.









Birthday time and what a birthday it was! Brenda had put time and effort into every aspect to produce a superb and memorable day for me ……. thank you, very much it was truly worth it.


My No1 present with a ton of new tools to go in it

I was particularly impressed with the “joke” shoes which cost a fortune for the birthday boy to wear once and only once!!These gorgeous shoes had been on my “wish list” for a few months and I liked the design very much but they were a little expensive so I was delighted when I undid the box. They fitted perfectly and were exceedingly comfortable! 1300, and ready for action the shoes are donned and the first drink is in hand …… let the party begin ……..







Guests arrive, Shade Garden and Pool Room in full swing and adult beverages flow and more endless tales of daring-do on the high seas, Harleys, pool, women, and bouts off ill advised drinking and car buying.




Doctor Jen works the crawdad boil and Brenda has done a superb brisket while other guests bring dishes various…… eating goes on, and on and on!







Many bottles later…… beer, wine, and 5 empty tequillllllia its “TIME FOR CAKE!”



Even COPD does not stop the candle blowing ritual and then as darkness falls a return to pool and the discovery that my shoes have completely disintegrated!!!!




Beyond repair

So endeth the 70th







Work begins

Having cracked the magic “70” time to get in that workshop and spanner a bike or two. Very pleased to finally achieve my ambition of cleaning the entire workshop and sort out all my tools ready to prep the machines.


Brakes and axles


Nice clean chain

Work begins on Superglitz (what a fabulous machine) and a lot better than my original bike that I rode in the 1974 Scottish Six Days. I can remember asking Yamaha if I could have one and writing them a letter saying I had won the “R.A. Castle Trophy” in 1970/71/72 and  I had an entry for the 74 event. Amazingly they said YES and it was sent to the UK by air and picked up by Brian Leask as Yamaha did not have a trials importer back then. The bike was collected at Heathrow and delivered to the Officers Mess at my RAF base in Yorkshire at 2300 hours having been assembled in the van on the way up the M1.

EPSON scanner image

1974 at the SSDT start

The 1974 SSDT was fun and the bike was a delight on the road with its very high top speed running with full choke on the Yam mechanic’s advice who were there for “Mick”. The Maestro was riding another Yam that looked very little like my stock TY250A.


On the lower sections of Ben Nevis

Many years later while I was in Phoenix I built the “Glitzmobile” which was very successful and then having sold that, built another as my “1974 Replica” which became a museum piece and was sold to the same man who bought Glitzmobile.


The first of the GLITZ

Time to build the improved “Superglitz” which becomes the bike that you always wanted! Perfect handling, powerful motor with just a “snappy” touch that the A model was famous for. Mick Andrews borrowed it on one of his visits to the US and liked it.


Mick liked it



I enjoyed a lot of success with this one with many AZ Championships and a 3rd and 1st place in the AHRMA Championships in 2004 and 2005.


Ahrma at the old Perris CA


AZ at Clown Rock


A joy to ride


Glitz was laid up for a couple of years but was then brought back to life in new colors for the start of Mountain West Trials. A complete strip down and sell off of many of her finest assets followed. Highly polished forks and triple tree hit Ebay followed by the shorter Showa rear shocks. The fully chromed exhaust sold well as did the custom signed Mick Andrews tank.

How to improve  this mighty steed?  I have a pair of TY350 forks in the shop, all I need is the main bearing as the stem is different. A wheel from an IT400 is sourced  and new rear shocks come from Magicals. Shedworks provide  the tank/seat unit and rear fender and a special front fender and brace comes from GasGas in matching yellow.


TY350 forks and an IT400 wheel


Magicals and the Shedworks tank/seat unit


GasGas mudguard and a very carefully filed brace

Barrel and head are sent to BJ Racing to be breathed on and a special big bore, through the frame, exhaust comes from WES along with a flat side OKO 26mm carb. Time for some iridium plug power and that should complete the mods.


Through the frame Big Bore pipe from WES


OKO flatside replaces the Mikuni VM26

It makes its debut at San Ysidro and wins the Clubman Class on both days.


Goes well at San Ysidro first time out

More mods are in the works and new stronger footrest hangers come from Sammy Miller and a much better set of rests from Apico complete the under foot with a new shifter in light alloy. New sprockets and chain, including the matching yellow tensioner block, have the transmission department fabricated, although as a traditional (no clutch) man, I’m now forced to join the one finger brigade as sections get tighter and tighter! The pull gets changed along with a ball bearing style lever. The Magical shocks are anything but and they get binned after one season and the vastly improved RockShocks replace them. Finally my alloy high lift Renthals  jump ship and get fitted.


New stronger hangers and Apico rests


Yellow it is!


Underside clutch mods


Roller bearings lever by Moose


Some real shocks at last!

Superglitz rides very well but sadly for her I keep riding the old Cub and she doesn’t get to show her form often enough these days.


Great section at Casper


Under the bridge at Dolores


More fun sections at Casper

All the work is done on Superglitz but with Sipapu only 3 days away and zero work having been done on “No Excuses” I have to make the decision that we won’t be going this year even though I had booked a RV space.



Back together and all re-polished!





An olde trite saying etc, etc. As many of you may have guessed from the Champers picture the “1000 by the 7th” was achieved with 2 cracking weeks. The first (17-23 Jul) racked up 109 miles to add to the 756 already in the book.

Setting off with 2 weeks to the target date the score was 866 with 134 to hit or 67 a week. By Saturday 30 Jul another 122 had been pedaled leaving a smidge over 12 miles to complete the mission. So Sunday 31 July and a quick visit for 2 cold bottles of champers and the intrepid cyclist pedals off into the distance with the task of hitting 12.25 to make the 1000! 70 minutes later (how appropriate) the lone rider returns having knocked up  14.16 !!! DONE! Done, and DONEEE!!


My that tastes GOOD !

Well, job done, champers tastes good, so what’s to do with this extra week? My current thought is “The Extra Mile” ie; each day I will go 1 mile further …… so Sunday was 14.16, today Monday, 15.27 ……. so 16 for Tuesday, 17 for Wednesday and so on up to Saturday.

Thursday and monsoon storms arrived yesterday so it was a bit wet and miserable this morning with the forecast of 70% heavy rain for the next 2 days! Good time for the bike to go in for NEW forks and if it does pour with rain I have the wet weather program in the freshly organized workshop.

The forks got done …… good job Nickolas and only $10.00 for labor I’ll be back! The forks are a later model of Rockshoxs and seem to work well on the 7 mile test run I gave them. They also have an extended length so the handlebars are about 2.5″ higher which is quite comfortable. The pouring rain, combined with other jobs is not helping the cycling plans and I can’t see me getting a ride today in this weather.


NEW forks go on


Bars come up about 2.5″

Friday and I’m out of time and its raining hard, there was a brief chance but I’ve already ridden over 70 miles this week. Maybe tomorrow but I think the boat and birthday jobs will take priority.

The boat wins, its my birthday, and after that time for some trials riding. Better start thinking about Winter riding in Colorado ?







Grass is cut awaiting the arrival of Scuffy

What’s to do with a non sea worthy boat?  Answer plant it in the front garden and use it as a bar! It will henceforth be named as a bar and now becomes “Scuffy’s at the Cozy” we won’t be having live bands but there may be music and drinking of course, and some foretell of Santas and much lighting later in the year with a mass of presents in the stern.


Scuffy is loaded and sets off for her final resting place

Step 1: reverse boat and trailer onto the lawn and park by the driveway wall. Drink heavily! Consider other options overnight before moving to Step 2.


Let’s think about this ?


Drink heavily

Step 2: remove the strop from the front of the boat and add 3 more ratchet straps and secure around the convenient Maple tree and back to the boat anchor points.


Stern lashed to the Maple

Step 3: attach faithful Cadillac and drive slowly forward (the car that is) while the boat, hopefully holds still, as the trailer is extracted from her underside ….. a bit like a landscaping dental procedure.


I hope this works


Gently does it


Heave ho me’ heartys


No stopping now ……


Scuffy in dry dock

Step 4: contact Casey and get an estimate for 10 tons of river rock to hold her level while Jon Taffer from “Bar Rescue” attends to décor and seating arrangements.

While I wait for Casey, Brenda goes shopping and I’m back on weeding the “Cone Bed” and  “Rose Bed” surround. Lunch comes and goes and an interested party shows up and asks if we want to sell?  His offer is where we want to be and he is off to see his father. Casey arrives and we talk river rock and dollars and then father and son team arrives talking much vintage boat jargon and soft transoms etc………. they have until 1000 tomorrow or Casey gets the rock order.

10 o’clock comes and goes and Casey gets the call for Rock! While I wait for delivery, either today or tomorrow,  I fit the tilt bins in the workshop and set about loading same with all manner of hardware items.



My “No1 Birthday present” arrives and more wheel fitting and she looks good as the prime toolbox for bike duties and 2 day events… thanks Brenda…… luv u !



Just as I’m wrapping that up the mighty chug of a 10 wheeler heralds the arrival of the river rock …….. little heavy with the loader some might say and by my knowledge of 10 wheel dump trucks I’m thinking about 16-17 tons to be hand positioned before Sunday!!!


Just what I wanted


Crawdad traps are off on a trial run as one of our local Vets, Doctor Jenny, has volunteered to do the “Crawfish Boil”. Both traps in the water at Puett Lake where my previous Crawdad supply came from a few years ago.


Let’s see what happens

Back to Scuffy and aspen logs are hammered in around the keel and she is now almost level. The engine was dug out and maybe someone will buy it……. at least there is some interest.

Lunchtime Wednesday, and now armed with more tools of the garden variety I’m ready to hammer in more aspen supports and then start on the 17 tons by hand!

Quick check on the Crawdad traps and they produced much bigger mini lobsters than Groundhog Lake but smaller in number. Will try a test run in the Dolores water and see what that produces.


Not too bad

The forecast monsoon storms arrived last night and everything is pretty wet this morning as we come to the 3 days to go banner. All the wood was fitted under Scuffy yesterday so if I’m lucky I should be able to start playing rock laying if the rain holds off. Forecast is more rain (heavy) for the next 2 days!

It spits with rain and drizzles a bit but nothing serious to deter the ardent boat planter. The untidy mess of wiring looms gets stripped and snipped and the mega heavy leads and controls to the throttle box also have to go.


Wiring not required in the BAR!

Whoever the shade tree mechanic was who did the electrics to the throttle did not get my vote!! Finally box and rods + electrics all removed and rock work begins.


Not good!


I’m glad WE didn’t use this

Brief interlude to replace the crawdad traps back in Puett lake and then collect the bike with the new forks and more rock laying until 2000 hours.

Friday, only 2 days left to complete this project. Day starts wet and miserable but I MUST have a hair cut and lose this mountain man image. Over to Puett Lake and another 75 Dads join the party but sadly 15 of their friends have died, drowned, or suffocated awaiting the boil. 2 more nights to see how the final total goes, currently 127 alive and well.

Of course it is now raining, well I guess I was lucky yesterday, but faint heart etc, so back to the grind. Got about 1 hour in and killed 2 wasp nests living in the brick wall but then it suddenly opened the heavens and I’m forced inside for either an early lunch or a change of plans and maybe the final clear up in the workshop?

30 mins later and the sun is back out and its hot and humid. Stack some of the red brick retaining wall that Brenda dislikes and start again …… 3 bricks later and more wasp nests and I’m out of spray! Off to the Dollar Store and rearm for the next battle as I’m sure there are more.

Back to it and as I suspected another 3 nests under these red bricks. I come down one layer on the wall which was badly rebuild by the clown that drove over it a few years ago. Wall redone, minus wasps, a walk through created, and the old rotten railroad ties removed.


Ready for the NEW layout

The right side of the boat gets its rock stacking and with the rear already done there is just a chance I could complete by this year’s deadline.


Lowered  and rebuilt wall…….. first rocks go in

The border of the Scuffy Zone is laid out and multiple wheelbarrow loads of sand are moved from the pile which never seems to get any smaller. Colored rocks are identified and will have a special use later in the project.

See what happens in Part II










Chaos!  … one day, one day

2 months since we stopped School Bus driving and the time has just evaporated with non stop gardening and boat building. Throughout the time frame I have been continually promising myself that I would get to it but boats, weeds and grass seem to have had first priority.


Boathouse shelving …… done!

Today, 22 July and having finished building shelving in the boat house I’m finally at a point where I can make a start! Of course missing the 2 Day at Tuckers doesn’t sit that well except that I have been working non stop on other satisfying projects so overall I’m well pleased.


“Satisfying projects”


The Captain has possession


One happy Captain


Sure is pretty ……. boat isn’t bad either

More and more junk get sorted, amazing what gets kept for that “just in case scenario”, and finally I can see what I’m doing. Manic work with vacuum sucking up leaves, cobwebs and the dreaded cottonwood fluff that gets into everything.

I can see progress, and I think 2 more days of this and I just might have the workshop back to somewhere I can do some fettling on the bikes and know where things are.


More shelves for the workshop

Many years ago, and I remember buying them from ACE, I found some racks of clear plastic drawers for nuts, bolts, washers and all the bits and bobs in regular use. I can really use another set of these. Now on order so should arrive on Monday.


Need more of these

Brenda will be taking the ladies out on the boat this morning which will allow me time to get on with some final cleaning and moving. Still a lot to do but I have a mental picture of where things need to go and in what order.

The cycling mission continues, only 65 miles to go to make the 1000 but yesterday a new chain had to be fitted as the old one was “clacking” and complaining. Nickolas, the bike tech, says my forks are toast so they need replacing so there goes the money I had just made selling the ladies Giant bicycle yesterday! Windy again this morning so I’ll save my ride until the boaters are on their way.


SOLD but I need new forks on mine

Turns out to be a rest day on the cycling but plenty gets done in the workshop and a few areas get the gardener in for routine weeding. Getting closer and closer and the mind is already reveling in all matters trials.

Friday once more and the 1000 gets ever closer and a NEW record today of 20.39 miles this morning at altitude 6936′.Bike goes in for the new forks and I await someone coming to view the trolling motors.

Meanwhile the 2 left over filing cabinets that were hauled up here when we closed “Upgrading” have now been emptied, vacuumed and are ready for their next use. Individual DID turn up, paid cash, and is on his way!!



First of the trolling motors out the door

Back to pick up the bike but Nickolas has run out of a star washer which is essential so the project is now on hold until next Wednesday. Another annoyed 10 miles goes in the book with the up town downtown riding.


Main tool chest all cleaned up

More cleaning of cabinets and moving things. Should make some good progress over the weekend after a visit to our new Dollar Store for some plastic bins. Being Friday its pizza and beer so yet another 10 miles + wrapping up the day at 40.93 which is now my record for one day at 6936′.

Plastic bins/totes now in hand so should get this job 90% finished today with just the new tilting clear containers to fit on Monday. A lot of weeds coming back up so one more round of that to go on gardening Sunday. Another enquiry on the other trolling motor so maybe some “recovery” funds coming in.


Coming together


Another zone complete

Clean up continues and I do believe the end is nearly in sight! The work bench drawers were all cleaned and vacuumed, just one last cabinet to do and I’m 3/4 way through the paints, oils and polishes so about another hour to go.




The second trolling motor sold at the asking price so only the big evap cooler to go before we are into “Scuffy” parts on Ebay.

Oils, paints etc all cleaned, sorted, or discarded and everything is now ready to start prepping “No Excuses” and “Superglitz”


Oils and paints all cleaned




Where are those last bins?


The last items arrive, one from Fed Ex and the others from UPS