THE HUNT FOR R.E.D OCTOBER

 

The hunt for a Retired Enjoyable Driving job starts in October! So far I have identified a position which I believe to be ideal and perfect for myself.

33 miles up the road from Dolores is  the 5 Star Wilderness Resort, Dunton Hot Springs, which is open year round, and requires full time and part time drivers to meet the resort and guests needs.

Initially I saw this opportunity shortly after I retired from school bus driving back at the end of May. However I was committed to my summer gardening and cycling and did not wish to pursue the post. By the time I was ready the position had already been filled but on checking with their web site they were still in need of a part time driver.

Full of enthusiasm last Monday morning I attempted to upload my application  on the  computer only to discover I was on battery  power as the nice cat had chewed through the power cable!

Not deterred I drove up to find the establishment on Wednesday armed with my most recent resume. I’m familiar with the first 20+ miles of the run as I used to drive it as  sub for Dolores School District. After 25 miles it becomes  gravel road, but well maintained, and smooth. A nice colorful drive at this time of the year. Resume left, I was told to ring later as the GM was in an all day meeting.

The quest begins

Well maintained gravel road

Scanning the terrain  ……. “what are those people doing in that mud hole?”

“Its a hot pool Sir”

“Good God man, …  its an awful color, …..and they pay to do this?”

“tally ho……. the entrance”

A phone call on Friday to the GM and I’m invited back for a chat type interview on Saturday morning. Sarah, the GM, tells me she has the owners coming Sunday through Wednesday so please give her a call this Friday when she will have more time. Having spent an hour with her I’m quite hopeful.

The main building

The weather has gone into rain mode and we are looking at the left overs from “Rosa” a Pacific storm that is currently pounding Phoenix with torrential rain and moving Northwards towards the Four Corners and should be with us for the next 4 days. As I’m not riding in the rain I’ll continue with my story and some in depth research.

On arrival at the site impressions are not of a 5 Star Resort, mainly due to the rustic appearance of the buildings. Indeed it has that look of an abandoned ghost town until you research a little of Dunton’s history and upgrades into the 21st century.

Tuesday was indeed wet and miserable with a steady rain and then periods of heavy showers. More rain overnight and now bright and sunny so perhaps a ride might be in my future. Currently the total stands at 4229.72 for the year.  The day warms up nicely, the wind stays calm and quick 15 miles pre lunch and a second helping in even warmer conditions in the afternoon topping off at 25.65 miles. So, two unexpected rides in what I thought would be a busted flush week weather wise. Seeing Facebook pics of Phoenix it would seem Rosa decided to linger a little longer down south and there are some unusual pictures of “waterfalls” on Camelback mountain, something I don’t remember seeing in my 13 years in the city.

More overnight rain and a brief lull before the next downpour at 1000 and then windy and blowing leaves to remind me once again its only just October.

The Bathhouse and hot pool

Back to Dunton then, an interesting read of all that transpired through the years from 1880 when mining for gold and silver began and the miners built these buildings, and finally stopped in 1919. More history up until 1990 when the current owner bought the property and spent 7 years rebuilding and changing the ghost town to its present luxury high standards while retaining all the charm of an age gone by.

The bar has kept a lot of the history, and some say the names carved in the bar top are supposedly genuine dating back to 1885 post his first bank raid over in Telluride.

It could be true ? …. after all his major hideout was just over the state line in Utah at Monticello and the mountains just behind the town.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

FALL AND OCTOBER THINGS

Fall colors again

September flashed by and now some serious work needs to get completed and a part time job found to stop me becoming brain dead watching TV.

This last week has seen the finals of both our 8 and 9 ball series which have been running since early January. The 9 Ball Final was    on Wednesday but unfortunately Brenda was out of it with a vile flu like cold. I started well with 2 good wins and with only 16 qualifiers only needed that 3rd win to be in the money!

I’m now playing Nancy (a regular tournament player) and I win Game 1 and we are playing best of 3. She wins Game 2 with a super combo on the 9 and we start into Game 3. No opportunity for a combo shot anywhere along the way and Nancy is in good shape for the win. She has the 9 parked midway along the top rail and just needs the 8 and a follow on with the cue ball for the 9. She sinks the 8 but the cue ball is rolling along to the top left pocket. I have visions of the cue ball going in and getting “ball in hand” for a simple pot on the 9 but, the cue ball stops right on the lip of the pocket and is behind the corner lip of the cushion. Again I can’t see her hitting the 9 let alone making it but somehow she just brushes it ???? Well no matter I have a relatively simple shot …… highish angle and 9 tight on the rail. Remember all the good advice and keep repeating the sage words to myself over and over again. “Don’t aim at the ball aim at the cushion, ……. don’t aim etc” Nice soft shot and it rolls to the pocket but bounces off the jaw! I can’t believe it!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, Benda is better and I’m still fuming over my 9 Ball loss, but here we are for the 8 Ball Final where I’m the No1 seed. As such I get a “bye” in round 1 but win my next two games. I need one more game to get in the money but can’t sink the Black on my first attempt and the opposition cleans up for the win. I win two more games from the loser’s bench and finish with a consolation prize in fourth place, but at least I got in the money!

The weather forecast is all doom and gloom for the coming week with a lot of rain for five days. We have a lot of things that must be done as there is also a threat of the first frost. The No1 job is this awful backwash valve thingmejig that we were forced to install or the Town will turn off our water!

It’s marked it’s spot!

After spending $2000+ on this ugly little bugger we now have to build a “Doghouse” that it can shelter in and keep it from freezing with heat tapes and mega insulation. Newest development on this nuisance valve is that it also has a pressure relief valve which is constantly in flow so more expense as we need another drain so that it doesn’t soak all the insulation.

Second job is replace all the Shower and RV Dump signs before the hunters arrive for the first session of rifle season.

Badly faded and buckled

Bent and wind ravaged

They have lost their colors and have been subjected to mega winds and look decidedly tacky!

Third and last task (hopefully)  of the day is a LEVEL pad for the Beemer to deploy it’s center hydraulic/electric stand on as it has an onboard sensor that won’t deploy the stand if the ground isn’t level. Germans think of everything!

Slabs ready ……. get digging!

A couple of spare slabs should do the job, now back to the Dog Box for that backlash/wash pest thing.

Section of the floor to become the front door

First step is to cut a section of the floor out such that it will go over the ugly pipe assembly and will also become the Dog Kennel front door to keep the wind out.  Brenda assembles the kennel while I measure up the section to be removed.

Sides and roof of the kennel for our waterhound

Front door which now needs blocking off

The cutting begins but like most things there is always a small problemee insomuch that as fast as I cut the panel the plastic rewelds itself and I have to go over it a second time before it will separate.

Drill the holes to secure the front door but the screws I have are 1/2″ too short. Never mind Brenda will now complete the heat tape lashing to the pipes and then apply the insulation. Well nice idea, but it seems we have used ALL the electrical tape or misplaced ALL of them ??  …… looks like a quick trip to Slavens in Cortez for bolts and tape.

40 minutes later and I’m back and work resumes on the water valve thingey  which is getting a good lashing! In my absence Brenda has replaced all those outside signs so that’s one job complete.

Much better

The Beemer pad was completed before lunch and is now working well.

Done

It seems both wheels have to be level before the sensor will allow that stand to deploy worked on the premise that if it lifts the bike YOU may not be able to push it OFF as it weighs in at 850 lbs.

Back to the dog box and finish the door and Brenda adds a seam of insulation around the doorway to stop cold winds.

Door screwed in ready for final construction

Final bolting up and its an “up and over” and the kennel is in place.

WOOF!

Jobs for the day complete. Now about that part time job?

 

TONY DOWN

FOLLOWING FLORENCE

It seems this monster hurricane had a track distance of 4544 miles as it crossed the Atlantic before crashing into the Carolinas.

Having past my personal 2018 goal of 4000 miles it was interesting to see what 4000 miles looked like on a map and this Florence map intrigued me. As Mother Nature has much to catch up on I think we can expect some serious rain and snowfall this coming winter to make up for the drought and wildfire conditions of this past year. All our local lakes are way down and its going to take a considerable amount of precipitation to address the shortfall.

That having been said, the question then is when? Snow can arrive anytime from October onwards  and indeed our first year up here in permanent residence saw snow on the ground from the end of October to late in May! If that is the case this year, then my furious pedaling will be shutdown in about 6 weeks, so perhaps 4500 is my next reasonable target.

First, back to another round of gardening, yes, the dreaded arsebine is back everywhere, and the edges need cutting along with some pruning of the roses. Strimming and mowing, all get completed and the Waterfall bed gets a once over. Edges recut on the Scuffy beds, but its hurting my shoulder as the ground is so hard. Hoses back on and try again tomorrow when its softer.

This morning and the weather has indeed changed, overcast, much cooler, and now its started to rain and the forecast is 50% chance of rain for the rest of the day! So my planned cycling rest day is now on 3 unless I can get out this afternoon.

Great!

After lunch the skies are a little brighter, but still cool, so long non thermal pants and matching long sleeve with a light weight rain jacket in the pocket. 2 miles into the mission and it starts to spit so time to slip on the rain jacket. A little later at the furthest point from home it gets substantially harder verging on downright unpleasant! Set course for home and arrive just a bit damp but its another 10.86 in the books.

Thursday and its brighter and yesterday’s rain has moved on. Still that awful wind so elect 19 miles around town as I forgot to put my phone on charge. After lunch finish the job off clicking another 25.10 onto the total.

Now time for the first ride on the Beemer since October 2015 when I was going through the pneumonia debacle. Still windy, but 850lbs is more stable than the 16lbs of the Roubaix. Into Cortez, bright, full sun, but very windy. Slaven’s is the store I’m after and now armed with BMW blanks hand the “key lady” a couple and the Beemer remaining ignition key. A short while later she hands me the pair and tells me “No charge!”

Back home one works, the other doesn’t? …… but it was free! So no complaints.

Friday and a better looking day but cool to start with and the infernal wind is still blowing. Again not a day for riding up the main Telluride road as it will be a non stop headwind!

Sunday and to add to the fun the computer is on “low light” which means the power cable has usually come out, but in this case the devil cat has chewed through it!!!    they tell me this is a normal thing that cats do as in the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation film when the visiting puss eats the Christmas tree lights.

 

Aunt Bethany brings her “gift wrapped cat” for Christmas

The tree catches fire ……   “It was an ugly tree anyway”

The replacement tree

Its a Cat thing!!

“wasn’t me”

The computer goes in for repair and I carry on with the cycling and finish the month on 4202.27 compared with last year’s 2976.27 and now the weather is beginning to change.

 

TONY DOWN