THE CASPER COLLECTION

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What started out as going to be a great riding year on the trials bikes has been a busted flush across the board! Plans were to ride all the events apart from the first NM rounds as the Safari was still winterized and doesn’t come out of hibernation until  May. As I get to the end of bus driving in May all rebuild plans tend to go on hold as there are so many other things to do and get ready.

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This year was no exception as the workshop was a complete tip and I needed to give it a major top to bottom clean. The Safari generator decided to play up again and despite best attempts I could not get it ready in time for Turkey Rock. Well, no matter, still plenty of events left and now that I have nearly 3 months at my disposal the rest should not be a problem.

Then Brenda’s last year birthday present, which she had been giving the full restoration project, turns out to be literally dead in the water as neither of us knew that the motor has to be stored in the vertical position.

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Net result lower half gets frozen, giant retainer for the prop shaft gets pushed out and the motor will cost about $2500 to fix. Now if that isn’t bad enough they also tell us the transom is “soft” and to fully restore that will cost another $4000 !!!

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It looked wonderful after the gel coat restoration!

Clearly that is a non starter, so off we go to find something suitable, running, and not in need of any major repair. Fortunately we find a delightful 4 Winns boat locally and it seems to fit the bill.

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Now we have to find a way to pay the “bill” ??? Seems Brenda’s ears are too heavy and the diamond ear rings that were purchased during the days when money was not a problem are sold back to our favorite jeweler in Scottsdale AZ. The rest of the money came from my pensions and despite the sudden drop in the exchange rate a fistful of cash was extracted from UK funds and Brenda adds another boat to her fleet.

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“I’ll take it”

During all this changeover and ship building mayhem the workshop and trials bikes have still not been touched and it becomes clear that I’m nowhere near ready for Tuckers.

Running out of time so decision is made ….. No Tucker’s for Tony! Well better book an RV slot at Sipapu, the week after my birthday. Work continues with “Plan B” and workshop shelving goes up in the boathouse and I finally get to make a start in the workshop which was actually worse than I had expected.

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Boathouse shelving done!

By now the plan for Scuffy has become clear and she is placed in dry dock and 17 tons of river rock join her.

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Dry dock for Scuffy

The Yamaha Superglitz gets her annual do over, wheels out, brake pivots all re-greased, chain degreased and carb cleaned and blown out. Finally the workshop is habitable and up  to standard.

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Superglitz back up to its shining glory

Daily Crawdad fishing fills birthday week along with more and more river rock placing and still no work on the Cub but the workshop is done and looking very good. Closer and closer to departure for Sipapu and still nothing done on the Cub so once more another 2 Day event goes out the window. That only leaves 4 rounds which is really not worth doing this year and at work there is no way I’m going to get 2 days off for Mosteller’s which as many of you know is my favorite event of the year with all the mud and rocks in those rivers and creeks.

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What a shame to miss this

In honor of what I’m missing (and the fuel I’m saving by not driving 1200 miles) I have put together my “Casper Collection” of shrubs from Big R which will adorn the other side of Scuffy.

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The “Casper Collection” will go down the driveway side of Scuffy

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4 “boxwood” plants to edge the steps

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A variety of Hydrangeas for summer color

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Some taller white/yellow roses

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Red roses to match Scuffy’s hull

12 rather nice shrubs, and hole digging begins. Thankfully all the storms have dumped enough water on the driveway and I can actually dig deep enough in the earth/sand/gravel mix  without having to get the pickaxe out!

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Hole digging begins

It takes a good 30 minutes to dig each hole and then plant up with fresh topsoil but after a full week the planting is complete and the results look pleasing.

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Walkway becomes defined

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Boat entry done

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All 12 planted, just rockwork to do and rake out the gravel

The final stage of the project will be to complete the bed edging with colorful rocks from the remains of the 17 ton pile. So far 3 more wheel barrow loads have been sifted and washed but I’m still hunting for a few more big’uns which must be in there somewhere.

While the search for the rocks I want continues the winds have been increasing and burnt many of the leaves on the plants and I also noticed some were not thriving due to the water bypassing the root system. A few “spikes” with a long screwdriver soon remedied this problem.

I now need a couple of uninterrupted hours (solo) to finish off the rock laying and complete this simple job which has taken far longer than I ever envisaged ….. but I hope the final results will be worth it!

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Last of the washed piles ready to go in

1030, it’s going well! seems to be coming together and I’ve nearly finished all the rock piles I had laid out and will most likely need a few loads more, still no shortage on that score……..

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Oh NO! here comes the bloody cattle drive again !!!! last time they made a mess of the front lawn, munched just about everything and nearly drank the waterfall dry …….. better get Clint Eastwood to help!

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But they just keep coming!

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“Sorry Sir, I’ll have someone clean it up”

Fortunately  “they” keep THEM OFF MY LAWN and no damage is done this year. By 1300 I’m wrapping up after another two barrow loads and all the red brick wall (that Brenda hates) is now covered in river rock ……. here are the results:

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My work on “this” project is now done!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GROUNDHOG REVISITED

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A lot of “real” water under the Dolores bridge!!

A lot of proverbial water has past under the bridge since we were last here on 4th July, and indeed it was here that Brenda got the bad news about Scuffy.

Being short of School Bus drivers this year there was absolutely ZERO chance of taking Thursday and Friday off, as I always have done in the past, to make the 2 day drive to Mosteller’s for my favorite trial of the year. Traditionally we would drive as far as Grand Junction, and night stop at the Peach Tree Distillery and enjoy a “tasting” before a purchase or two and then sampling the best Bloody Mary’s in town! Stay far enough away from the tracks and enjoy an alcohol induced sleep before setting off for day 2 and loading up with Palisade Peaches and Olathe Corn, not forgetting a few cherries, jams and chutneys.

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Having fun at the Distillery

Well as none of that was going to happen …… how about going back to Groundhog ?  …….. sounds like a plan! Only 35 miles, cheap RV slot by the lake with full electric for my “iron lung”, and easy enough to take Plan B and the Cadillac as well.

Brenda wanted to leave as early as possible but found a good sleep more to her liking. Alarm goes off at 0700 ….. CNX …….. I wake her at 0800 but still not interested and we finally leave at 1200. I too, am not in any rush as its been a very hard working summer, but most pleasurable, and with a ton of memories. Of course there are still lots of things left to complete while the weather is relatively nice but I can only do so much and if truth be told I’m pretty  pleased with my efforts for the summer of 2016.

On the road by 1200 then, and all is well until the changeover to the dirt road 15 miles in. It now gets VERY washboard and the Safari does not like it! Fortunately a few miles further the road has been re-graded, which it was badly in need of, as last time we were down to 5 mph on this stretch. We complete the 35 miles in 1 hour and 10 minutes which I thought was excellent going compared to our previous trip.

Its a little windy, cooler, and with some black clouds drifting in. A few arrival drinks, dog walking and bus set up but the question of boating and fishing does not get much in the keenness answers! So before the storms roll in time to fit the new boat cover. Me thinks it needs a little stretching as its very new. The storm rolls in  and it rains. Well at least the boat stayed dry.

The weather never seemed to get much better so it became a drinking afternoon and then a steak for dinner. Very tender but a (George Bush) on the cooking front with a classic “misunderestimated” on the timing. However it was a nice piece of meat regardless of cook’s incompetence.

Rain and storms overnight and windy again this morning. Forecast breezy with 30 mph gusts ……. hmmmmm!! Well, could be some shoreline fishing so off for a walk. Not too cold but no sooner walked a 1/4 of a mile and it starts to rain again. Time for a Bloody Mary!!

Very windy, and table blows over ……more Bloody Marys and the day continues with a read of the blog going back to the end of school bus driving and what has happened since …  WOW !!!

Wind increasing, white caps on the lake, more Blood Marys and out with the cribbage board. 5 games of 121 later and of course more Bloody Marys time for a walk and then up to the shop to buy another 2 mugs and some ice cream. A windy selfie …….. time to light the fire and start supper.

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Monday and still windy but no clouds so perhaps give this boating thing a try. Captain surveys the situation and declares a NO Fish day so camp is broken, goodies stored and we set off for home!

 

TONY DOWN