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ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER MESA

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER MESA

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER MESA

With some persuasion, I was eventually sent to the “other” Mesa on one of my “Off” days to learn to
drive the tram. Wetherill Mesa is on the other side of the Mesa Verde National Park and is certainly the
area less travelled by the the hoard of summer visitors, although it is becoming increasingly popular.
It is however home to Long House which is the second largest cliff dwelling being only one room less
than Cliff Palace on the other Mesa which has 151 rooms.

Long House at Wetherill Mesa

As part of the recovery program post the major recession 3 purpose built trams were given to the
National Park Service and Aramark is the operator, hence we get to drive them. The Park Service’s
answer to the Bullet Train operates at a cracking 15mph along a purpose built tram road some 5
miles in length. The road is now begining to break up and is just wide enough for the single tram to
pass so we have a crossover point where the incoming tram has to wait until the outgoing arrives
and then we are clear to go back to the start along the narrow one way road.

The trams are bio-diesel, a two car design seating 30 in the back car and 17 in the front plus the
Park Ranger and the driver. These trams take the tourists out to the Long House tour every half hour
between 1000 and 1600 and then we run a couple of “sweepers” to collect people before a final run
at 1730 to close the park.

The National Park Service 15 mph Bullet Train

The rear car is a foot wider than the front

Driving one of these is a bit trialslike as on nearly every corner, of which there are many, its all about
front wheel position to keep the back car on the road, and to make it even more fun on each of these
corners there is an under road culvet which is marked by two big posts hammered into the dirt on
both sides of  the road acting as section markers or a skiers slalom gate !

Approaching the uphill right slalom gate

The wider rear car just goes through….. see lower mirror!

Usually the first morning run is straight forward dropping off all the passengers at the Long House
Trailhead and then a gentle 5 mile meander through the park looking at all the wildlife of which there
is plenty including a 50 strong herd of wild horses who came up onto the Mesa after the 2000 fire and
have been there ever since.

Wild and free

At the water hole

My favourite horse, not that I’m a horse person, is a gorgeous roan stallion who I call “Hot Chocolate”.
The old stallion died last winter so there a four younger ones looking to take over the job. HC tends to
be just on the outside of the herd and gets chased off on a regular basis by a rather scruffy battle
scarred black male who clearly doesn’t like him.

“Hot Chocolate”

Other wildlife includes a multitude of squirrels and chipmunks and birds a’plenty. A very young
Kestrel landed in front of the tram and rolled over a couple of times from the impact, he then flew into
a tree and immediately fell out! Second attempt at the tree was better but his balance was poor.
Clearly this was Day1 of flight training and the “first solo” wasn’t going too well. About an hour later
he was gone.

The baby Kestrel takes time out after crashing on his first solo

Other things flying in the park this week were the Medivac Chopper who was called when a woman,
with a history of seizures had one!  Of course no medical bracelet or necklace and she didn’t have
her medication with her. Within 40 mins of the attack the ambulance had her out of the area and on
the chopper, all for only $12,000 on top of her $3.00 tour ticket! As they say you can’t fix stupid and
she was lucky we had someone on hand to kickstart her after her heart stopped 4 times.

The chopper lands near the waiting ambulance

all aboard for a $12,000 ride

While I enjoy driving the tram the Tour Bus still remains my favorite task but it seems I’m getting type
cast over here!

TONY DOWN

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PETROL, PETROL, EVERYWHERE

PETROL, PETROL, EVERYWHERE


PETROL, PETROL, EVERYWHERE

This years project complete

With the waterfall all completed it seemed that my summer tasking on major projects was done……. and then after another 10 hour driving shift I refill the Beemer and arrive home for
a couple of beers in the shade garden. ……. what’s this ?…….. a smell of petrol ?…… well
maybe I overfilled it ?……… no puddles so forget it and attack those welcoming beers.

Next day the same smell of gas but as nothing is apparent put it down to residual smells on
my gloves. Day 3, and riding home I’m getting a sensation that my right foot is getting WET !!
….. and then a slight burning sensation as he fuel has penetrated my sock and is now burning
my skin.

Inside and consult the Oracle “Google”, prompted by an earlier email from a blog reader
who also has the same Beemer, and sure enough there is the factory recall notice to tell me
the high pressure fuel lines and their quick disconnects are likely to fail spraying fuel onto the
riders right foot !

Consultation with a local Beemer man, who has the replacement parts, gives me the low
down on the subject and it seems the male portion of the connection fails or fractures and
can be eaten by the local crap fuel we are forced to use. Answer fit a metal part!

Well of course BMW in their wisdom and good customer relations will do the work if you
take the bike to them. Nice idea but my nearest dealer is 200 miles away in Grand Junction
and would you be foolish enough to ride 200 miles with high pressure fuel being sprayed
around all over the engine ? Well of course not so I would have to put it in the trailer and
tow it up there for an 8 hour trip + whatever time it would take them to fix. Therefore the
easy answer is to buy the upmarket parts from my local Beemer man, who can’t do the
recall as he isn’t a dealer, and do it myself.

These quick disconnects are obviously on the right hand side of the bike and under the tank
and burried in the bowels of the engine room under all the fairing. How to get in ? Easy if you
have the workshop manual but a bit Sherlock Holmes if you don’t. First undo all the crash
bar coverings including the chromed plastic bit that got broken when the bike fell over on the
Napa trip on the ghastly California cart track roads. Small “gotcha” with the puddle light as
that has to come off to boot!

Now for the main fairing but first remove the glove compartment cover where yet another
bolt lives! Now remove the right side turn signal, the wing mirror, and the moveable lower
air screen, and finally the side fairing itself.



Mirror, turn signal, lower screen, crash bar bits and the broken chromed plastic

Full right side fairing

At last the quick connectors are revealed and a quick start up shows one to be toast. Well
I’m replacing both but one at a time so start with the culprit. The disconnect is hardly
necessary as its broken off inside the female portion and requires the old screw in bolt trick
to remove the offending plastic and its O ring. With that removed now time to remove the
BMW crimped pipe clamp.

The broken quick disconnect

New units fitted, restart, no leaks, so happiness in the form of a few beers is on the Friday
night horizon after refitting nearly all of the right side of the machine.

New metal connectors fitted

All the Torx bolts and the puddle light

TONY DOWN

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

The biggest and most awkward 400lb river rock…. but I had to have it !

Another day closer to the deadline for the waterfall and some progress on the next load of mega
rocks. Donny from across the road turned up with a tractor of sorts and we managed to haul some
big mothers back to the site.

The 800 pounder that will be the main front center piece

On reflection one is too big so that will be deposited in the lawn fir tree bed and I’m hoping tomorrow
we can lift the biggest one with chains and then gently lower same into place as the frontespiece
which will give all the necessary height. The pillars and cottonwood chunks have been removed to
make way for the tractor and if my measurements are correct  3 of these big rocks will form the front
and then it will be time for the plumbing.

Of course natural rock and natural waterfalls flow where they wish so to try and make rock behave is
not an easy task. I may have to resort to a little cheating and put a few beads of clear silicone on a
couple to control direction…… I’m sure it can be done, just not quite sure if I can do it.

While all the mega rock planning is going on wheelbarrow loads of river rock keep getting deposited
to cover all the holes between the big ones and once the plumbing is done I’ll be looking for a few
more tons to cover  the backside of the structure.

Other tasks for the day include an oil change on the Beemer (bus driver’s transport) filling in my UK
old people’s pension application and thinking about the weekly ritual of mowing and strimming which
could be deferred until Thursday night.

The day starts well with another Cadi load of rock and more washing of rock. Next up the Beemer oil
change and after a few referrals to Google I have the technique fine tuned and all is well now that I
have a Beemer oil filter wrench.

Donny turns up and the mega rocks are lifted and steered into place. With that all done time to think plumbing and off into town for the extra bits that I need. I get a bit of a runaround at the hardware store
but after dealing with dummies I finally get what I want and I’m back at the coal face armed with
stanley knife and screwdriver. By 2000 I’m done, the water flows, and its time for a beer and some
food.

Donny arrives with the mini tractor to tackle the “big one” with chains

All the front rocks in place

The back pillars are done and the 1000lb sandstone lump gets pushed in

Still enough room to work on the plumbing

Only problem was on splitter 4 where the pump lift can’t quite deal with my design but no worries I
will design a lower fall to take care of the problem. The splash trap seems to be working well and
most of the water is finding its way back to the lower pool.

Testing, testing…. the exposed pipe on the right needs adjustment

Now with 3 days to party time I only have to fine tune things and in fill….. and NO MORE mega heavy
lifting!

Another 0330 up to drive the 0500 Shuttle and finally back around 5 after a visit to a friend’s memorial
tribute in the Hollywood bar which should have kicked off at 4 but the son never turned up so it was
back to working on the pool and falls. A bit of struggling trying to get one of the falls right but after
several attempts at the jig-saw the pieces came together and it flows and looks natural.

The new look “Bismark Falls” with frog topping

What will become “Eagle Falls”

Dusk over “The Falls”……. time for a beer !

A butt crack of dawn start again on that Shuttle but more work on the pool completed after another
load of Cadi rock. Finally completed the in fill and all seems to be balanced and looking good. One
day off now to fine tune all the gaps and finish off the non water side. Time to start thinking pot plants
and where they will go. Noah has got the boot in favor of frogs so some adjustment to the whimsical.

Party Day -1 and counting so time to wrap up with yet more river rock and do the final accounting.
Down to 4 seasons for the required plants and they seem to have had a bad year of it and not much
is left that will go with the planned decor. Some grasses and sages are found and a few ground
cover rockery/alpine plants finish the job off.

The backside of the project needs extending again to accommodate the huge rock and a “masker”
is found to cover yet another visible red spot from the original selection process. The last of the river
rock is washed, bucketted in, and suitably scattered.

Edge needs to be extended ….. again!

Suitable black masking rock covers the red dot

New edge all filled in

A few more adjustments to the falls and the “perfect stone” is found, and it fits, for the new renamed
“Eagle Falls”. One of the frogs gets a job holding the dragonfly light and everybody else is located
amid the rocks.

 A bit Mt Rushmore, the Eagle head rock is found

Frog armed with dragonfly

A well read frog

“Swing…lo”

“I see they finally sunk the Bismark”

My “free canvas” now has the Louis XIV holes for the pot plants and by 2130 with lawns mown and
water flowing I’m finished on contract, and on time, and well within budget !  Now what would this
have cost if it had been contracted out to a landscaping company …… $10K  ?      $20K ?

10-20 tons of assorted rock                                     FREE

Pump, hoses, splitters and clamps                      $130.00

Whimsical frogs                                                        FREE

Plants various                                                            $80.00

Sweat equity                                                               Untold !

Working waterfall, on time, happy wife                 PRICELESS

 Party day, final clean up of residual junk, a few left over rocks, weed the side of the drive where the
rocks had been lurking and my task here appears to be done even if I’m as sore as hell and can
hardly move. So to recap, from this…………

The fish pond from the last 10 years



Start again

to this……. The new look with 6 waterfalls

……  and they all work

The backside all filled in and planted up



The ” action” side

I think I’m done with this project!

TONY DOWN

  

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BUILDING NIAGRA

BUILDING NIAGRA

BUILDING NIAGRA

When we last left the waterfall project the ground had been prepared, many more loads of rocks had
been collected, and the final mental picture had been drawn. Now its time to see if I can build what I
had envisaged without ending up with a hernia!

Where we left off……

First stage is to build the splash trap as a lot of the water tumbling over natural rocks won’t go exactly
where I want it and if I don’t re-route it back to the source then I’m in a total loss situation and will have
built myself a swamp.

Splash trap designed and graded

With the ground suitably graded time to get the old butyll liner in and test the system. Well it seems to
work but now I need some channels for the water to flow on its return journey and this is achieved
using a load of the red brick she hates. Now that this looks like it will work I need to extend the area a
couple of feet at the back to get the slope right for the upper falls…… more sod removal …… SOD IT !

In with the liner, and a “test” firing

The operation gets bigger!

Now the heavy engineering begins rolling and lifting the mega rocks that will form the side retaining
walls where the red brick once was. At this stage a couple of the cottonwood tree “bite sized chunks”
are used in the front bed to support the side walls of the lower pond and also give me a couple of
level platforms to work with. Now time to use the red paving slabs to form a couple of pillars in the
lower pool which will support the final falls. With those in place some of the selected pretty rocks can
be positioned and topped out with river rock of all sizes. That’s the fun part and you can see your idea
coming to life.

Pillars and the cottonwood stumps in place

2 X ‘king heavy rocks on the pillars

Edge masking underway along with mega rocks and pebbles

The post lady is now giving me a hard time about the rocks in the drive as she can’t get to the mail
box so much rock moving is required to keep her sweet and ensure the mail gets through!

US Postal not impressed !!

Next phase is the “jigsaw” portion laying out all the small pieces and trying to form a natural edge
over the sides of the black pools. When this portion of the plan comes together you actually feel you
are making some progress. Yet more river rock required so wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow load is
acquired, emptied on the drive, washed, and redistributed to finish off the theme.

Edge work complete

The Frogs and Noah pay a visit

“This will be worth watching….. he’s quite mad you know”

Time for a little “whimsy”  and frogs, Noah, and some fish join the project. Final tasks before more
mega rocks arrive are to form the collesium pillars that will support those big rocks and give the
project height. More big “bite sized”  chunks of cottonwood are hauled over and the last of the paving
slabs are used as the dry under supports.

Supports for the big rocks in place

Waiting………

Time frame wise, I have 2 days left to complete this as she wants it finished for Saturday and our
annual party. I think I’m on time and so far the cost has been zero but a whole load of sweat equity
has been invested.

Getting closer

TONY DOWN

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  • 6/24/2011 11:39 PM Scott Eldredge wrote:
    Recently found your site. Wanted to ask you a few trials questions. Do you have an email I can use? Regards, Scott
    Reply to this
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DRIVING ON

DRIVING ON

DRIVING ON


One week before the schools closed for the summer break we had what appears to be the annual
end of year driver’s get together party…… a sober affair as there was little drinking, apart from myself
who had a designated driver!

While on a smoke break, Joan, one of the other subs suggested I give Aramark a call as they were
looking for drivers for the summer season at Mesa Verde National Park. Sunday morning and I fill in
the on line application. Joan rings a bit after 7 and says I should ring her boss….. NOW !

Monday morning and over at their HQ filling in all the forms and it seems the game is on. Some quick orientation, the mysteries of the “Time Clock”, which I have never once used in my working life and I’m working on Saturday straight off the bat.

The tour buses

Saturday I’m riding shotgun on one of the tour buses so up the mountain and see how this goes. The morning is a 4 hour guided tour with an on board park ranger and we tour various sites with the party
getting on and off and looking at the progression of Indian development finishing up with a one hour
trip through Cliff Palace. The afternoon trip is similar but 1/2 an hour shorter. At the end of all this I get
to drive the bus back down the mountain.

The tour bus picks up at the Far View Lodge

Monday and time to learn some of the other tasks which I start out on with the Shuttle. The Shuttle is
the employee bus and takes the workers up and down the mountain to their various places of duty.
The morning run starts at 0500 ferrying cooks, servers, bottle washers and uncle Tom Cobbly up the
hill to the 3 mainstay facilities of the operation called Far View Lodge, Far View Terrace and Spruce
Tree Terrace. 5 runs up and down the twisty tight mountain bends on the morning shift also acting as company mailman between all the sites and several visits to the Girl’s Dorm to pick up the
housekeeping ladies and yet more bottle washers. The shift goes on until 1430 when we hand over
to the night “B” shift.

The 22 seater employee Shuttle

The interesting drive up and down the mountain

No surprizes then when I’m shotgun on Tuesday night’s B Shuttle where we do basically the reverse operation in the evening bringing down all the day workers and taking up the night restaurant team
for the upmarket dining in the Metate Room in Far View Lodge. The last run up leaves at 2130 and
then waits until all the staff have finished cleaning up and then we can set off down the hill in the dark
usually ending up at around 2330.

Waiting for passengers at Spruce Tree Terrace

The rest of my week is spent on this B shuttle. The next week I’m on the B shuttle ALL week as the
normal driver is away ……….. and then the schedule comes out for week 3 of my three weeks with the company when I see I’m on this bloody B shuttle AGAIN !!  ………. time for a “meeting of the mind’s”  so
I explain I didn’t join to do a night driving job, don’t like nights…. period, hated night flying when I was
in the RAF,…… and it’s not good for business here at the RV park. I also added that having spent
most of my working life as an Instructor that I thought my services would be best utilised on the tour buses………. eventually that seems to have got through and I now have this Fri/Sat on the tours, 2 days
off and then 2 days on the butt of dawn A shuttle.

One of the stops on the canyon edge

Two days on the Tour Bus came and went and very enjoyable they were too as you certainly feel you
are on the coal face with the customer.  The whole scene, which is open to interepretation, as nobody
really knows what exactly happened or why, is very interesting so after much research and listening
to many Park Ranger’s takes I have formulated my own “layman’s’ ideas.

The Park Ranger gives most of the talk, but I can interject here and there with other points of interest
and best camera shots as we trundle along the edge of the canyon. As many of the visitors are elderly
I tend to assist with unloading and boarding and walk with them and give them the talk if they can’t
keep up with the main party. All this of course can sometimes be reflected in the “tip” which we we
may accept even though the ranger can’t.

At 0745 the daily tour run begins at the Lodge picking up the guest lists and boarding the first group
of clients. From there over to the Terrace where the second group and breakfastees should be. I then
give them a short talk on bus safety followed by personal aspects such as lack of oxygen, 7000′ etc, everything is an effort, altitude sickness, sunburn and dehydration. All this with a bit of humor
explaining that as I’m both British and American I will be driving on BOTH sides of the road !

We then move to an area for a geography lesson, it is called “far view” for a reason, and then off on
the Top Mesa Loop hoping to spot some wildlife along the way. We start at “Pithouse” circa 600AD
which is a home in the ground dug out with sticks. Next on the loop is Square Tower from about
1100AD and is a cliff dwelling. Now time for 3 Cities which is a collection of homes built one on top
of each other over a 200 year time frame. Clever excavation shows all three homes and their
improvements through time. Another stop on the side of the canyon to view all the cliff dwellings and
point out Cliff Palace which they will be going through with a different ranger. Down the canyon edge
and stopping for photo ops at the many spectacular sites.

Cliff Palace from the overlook platform

The Ranger briefs the customers on the “do’s & don’ts”

Another potty break and they assemble ready for their 1 hour tour of Cliff Palace. Meanwhile after
seeing them off I move the bus to pick them up when they re-emerge all puffing and red faced
having climbed all the ladders and stairs to get out of the canyon. Only 30 mins left on the tour and
they are quite pleased there is no more hiking and all the rest will be “drive bys”.

Tour Bus moved and ready for the red faced out of breath clients when
they make it out of Cliff Palace

Being a quick learner the techniques for being a “tour bus operator” and what the customer wants,
and that “extra mile”, are being moulded and so far the results are very promising and lucrative!

TONY DOWN

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DRIVING ON

DRIVING ON


 One week before the schools closed for the summer break we had what appears to be the annual
end of year driver’s get together party…… a sober affair as there was little drinking, apart from myself
who had a designated driver!

 While on a smoke break, Joan, one of the other subs suggested I give Aramark a call as they were
looking for drivers for the summer season at Mesa Verde National Park. Sunday morning and I fill in
the on line application. Joan rings a bit after 7 and says I should ring her boss….. NOW !

 Monday morning and over at their HQ filling in all the forms and it seems the game is on. Some quick orientation, the mysteries of the “Time Clock”, which I have never once used in my working life and I’m working on Saturday straight off the bat.

The tour buses

 Saturday I’m riding shotgun on one of the tour buses so up the mountain and see how this goes. The morning is a 4 hour guided tour with an on board park ranger and we tour various sites with the party
getting on and off and looking at the progression of Indian development finishing up with a one hour
trip through Cliff Palace. The afternoon trip is similar but 1/2 an hour shorter. At the end of all this I get
to drive the bus back down the mountain.

The tour bus picks up at the Far View Lodge

 Monday and time to learn some of the other tasks which I start out on with the Shuttle. The Shuttle is
the employee bus and takes the workers up and down the mountain to their various places of duty.
The morning run starts at 0500 ferrying cooks, servers, bottle washers and uncle Tom Cobbly up the
hill to the 3 mainstay facilities of the operation called Far View Lodge, Far View Terrace and Spruce
Tree Terrace. 5 runs up and down the twisty tight mountain bends on the morning shift also acting as company mailman between all the sites and several visits to the Girl’s Dorm to pick up the
housekeeping ladies and yet more bottle washers. The shift goes on until 1430 when we hand over
to the night “B” shift.

The 22 seater employee Shuttle

The interesting drive up and down the mountain

 No surprizes then when I’m shotgun on Tuesday night’s B Shuttle where we do basically the reverse operation in the evening bringing down all the day workers and taking up the night restaurant team
for the upmarket dining in the Metate Room in Far View Lodge. The last run up leaves at 2130 and
then waits until all the staff have finished cleaning up and then we can set off down the hill in the dark
usually ending up at around 2330.

Waiting for passengers at Spruce Tree Terrace

 The rest of my week is spent on this B shuttle. The next week I’m on the B shuttle ALL week as the
normal driver is away ……….. and then the schedule comes out for week 3 of my three weeks with the company when I see I’m on this bloody B shuttle AGAIN !!  ………. time for a “meeting of the mind’s”  so
I explain I didn’t join to do a night driving job, don’t like nights…. period, hated night flying when I was
in the RAF,…… and it’s not good for business here at the RV park. I also added that having spent
most of my working life as an Instructor that I thought my services would be best utilised on the tour buses………. eventually that seems to have got through and I now have this Fri/Sat on the tours, 2 days
off and then 2 days on the butt of dawn A shuttle.

One of the stops on the canyon edge

 Two days on the Tour Bus came and went and very enjoyable they were too as you certainly feel you
are on the coal face with the customer.  The whole scene, which is open to interepretation, as nobody
really knows what exactly happened or why, is very interesting so after much research and listening
to many Park Ranger’s takes I have formulated my own “layman’s’ ideas.

 The Park Ranger gives most of the talk, but I can interject here and there with other points of interest
and best camera shots as we trundle along the edge of the canyon. As many of the visitors are elderly
I tend to assist with unloading and boarding and walk with them and give them the talk if they can’t
keep up with the main party. All this of course can sometimes be reflected in the “tip” which we we
may accept even though the ranger can’t.

 At 0745 the daily tour run begins at the Lodge picking up the guest lists and boarding the first group
of clients. From there over to the Terrace where the second group and breakfastees should be. I then
give them a short talk on bus safety followed by personal aspects such as lack of oxygen, 7000′ etc, everything is an effort, altitude sickness, sunburn and dehydration. All this with a bit of humor
explaining that as I’m both British and American I will be driving on BOTH sides of the road !

 We then move to an area for a geography lesson, it is called “far view” for a reason, and then off on
the Top Mesa Loop hoping to spot some wildlife along the way. We start at “Pithouse” circa 600AD
which is a home in the ground dug out with sticks. Next on the loop is Square Tower from about
1100AD and is a cliff dwelling. Now time for 3 Cities which is a collection of homes built one on top
of each other over a 200 year time frame. Clever excavation shows all three homes and their
improvements through time. Another stop on the side of the canyon to view all the cliff dwellings and
point out Cliff Palace which they will be going through with a different ranger. Down the canyon edge
and stopping for photo ops at the many spectacular sites.

Cliff Palace from the overlook platform

The Ranger briefs the customers on the “do’s & don’ts”

 Another potty break and they assemble ready for their 1 hour tour of Cliff Palace. Meanwhile after 
seeing them off I move the bus to pick them up when they re-emerge all puffing and red faced
having climbed all the ladders and stairs to get out of the canyon. Only 30 mins left on the tour and
they are quite pleased there is no more hiking and all the rest will be “drive bys”.

  

Tour Bus moved and ready for the red faced out of breath clients when
they make it out of Cliff Palace

 Being a quick learner the techniques for being a “tour bus operator” and what the customer wants,
and that “extra mile”, are being moulded and so far the results are very promising and lucrative!

TONY DOWN  

   

THE WATERFALL

THE WATERFALL

THE WATERFALL

I have to say that when the NEW “project” was announced I was not too keen on the idea. However,
since destruction/construction of the old fish pool has begun my enthusiasmn has increased and I’m
now ready to give it my “all” and see what creation can be achived from the “mind’s eye”.

Early stages of deconstruction

Initial preparation of the site has been completed with all the previous plants and weeds removed and
the less than perfect pond layout levelled!  A new edge has been cut and now my next task is to create
a border from which I can grade the splash trap to collect all the water that won’t go exactly where I
want it. Once the butyll liner is in place for the splash trap then my plan is to use several of the large
bite size chunks of trunk from last year’s removal of the dreaded cottonwood tree thereby saving on
collecting tons of rock. The bigger pool will have central pillars covered by some largish rock and
hopefully the final effect will be a sort of mystery “where does all the water come from and go to ?”

Relevelled and ready

On the rock side the prime commodity will be sandstone interspersed with river rock. There will be planter “holes” left for suitable plants which will be container grown such that they can be moved
periodically to change the effect, a bit like Louis XIV at Versailles who had his 1000 strong force of
gardeners change the entire layout every night so that he could see a “new” garden every morning.

Changed every night !

However, getting on with the project seems to always be one step away as weeds are flourishing everywhere and once again we have a seasonal mess requiring my immediate attention. Some
progress over the weekend and the front is looking more like it with only the driveway to do before yet
more mowing and strimming to stay one jump ahead of the grass.

Hanging baskets acquired, brackets resecured, mainstay weeding nearly all accomplished and  with
a few days off on the horizon time to get back to the task. In the mean time rocks keep arriving out front
and a whole load more have been “earmarked”……. it continues!

Suitable rocks join the pile

Something like this with a few more water sources

Two days off, the grass is cut,  time to get on with it !

TONY DOWN

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THE WATERFALL

THE WATERFALL

 I have to say that when the NEW “project” was announced I was not too keen on the idea. However,
since destruction/construction of the old fish pool has begun my enthusiasmn has increased and I’m
now ready to give it my “all” and see what creation can be achived from the “mind’s eye”.

Early stages of deconstruction

 Initial preparation of the site has been completed with all the previous plants and weeds removed and
the less than perfect pond layout levelled!  A new edge has been cut and now my next task is to create
a border from which I can grade the splash trap to collect all the water that won’t go exactly where I
want it. Once the butyll liner is in place for the splash trap then my plan is to use several of the large
bite size chunks of trunk from last year’s removal of the dreaded cottonwood tree thereby saving on
collecting tons of rock. The bigger pool will have central pillars covered by some largish rock and
hopefully the final effect will be a sort of mystery “where does all the water come from and go to ?”

Relevelled and ready

 On the rock side the prime commodity will be sandstone interspersed with river rock. There will be planter “holes” left for suitable plants which will be container grown such that they can be moved
periodically to change the effect, a bit like Louis XIV at Versailles who had his 1000 strong force of
gardeners change the entire layout every night so that he could see a “new” garden every morning.

Changed every night !

 However, getting on with the project seems to always be one step away as weeds are flourishing everywhere and once again we have a seasonal mess requiring my immediate attention. Some
progress over the weekend and the front is looking more like it with only the driveway to do before yet
more mowing and strimming to stay one jump ahead of the grass.

 Hanging baskets acquired, brackets resecured, mainstay weeding nearly all accomplished and  with
a few days off on the horizon time to get back to the task. In the mean time rocks keep arriving out front
and a whole load more have been “earmarked”……. it continues!

Suitable rocks join the pile


 
Something like this with a few more water sources

 Two days off, the grass is cut,  time to get on with it !

TONY DOWN

  

A TRIALS SABATICAL !

A TRIALS SABATICAL !

A TRIALS SABATICAL

My favorite Ahrma section, “The Waterfall” at Casper which sadly I won’t
get to see this year

There is a major difference between retirement, loss of interest, and or, ability and having something
forced upon you. Regrettably I’m suffering from the latter as I find myself unable to go to my nearest
Ahrma event at Turkey Rock this weekend. Not being able to compete due to lack of finances does
nothing for ones morale and is a far cry from my riding heydays pre the recession.

Recent repairs to the RV were expensive and now it needs 6 new tires at around $1500-1800, and all
this before refuelling at around the $4.20 a gallon ! ………. so this year I might as well sit on my arse and
give the trials scene a complete miss as I can’t get anywhere close to qualifying……. all very, very sad.

However life is not all doom and gloom as I turn 65 in August so I will pick up another couple of
pensions which might just finance my trials riding in later life. The bikes are still keen, and so am I, so
maybe this year I’ll just be a backyard trialer and ponce around doing figure of eights and pretending
they are $ symbols.

This morning up bright and early only to be reminded I’m not 8000′ up a mountain at Turkey Rock and
I’m not in an RV and getting ready for two super days of trials that Ed will have laid out. The only time
this venue was on the calendar was in 2009 and I’d just come off a clean card at Milliken post my
return from the Scottish Pre 65 Silver Jubilee. Day 1 went very well with 3,4 and PI riders going out in
the morning and the rest of us checking for them. With roles reversed my afternoon outing produced
another zero card and I seemed to be on top form.

Day 1 on top form

Plenty of “Ups”

……..and downs

Day 2 should have been another perfect performance but a nervous dab on the first section spoilt
that plan and then for no rhyme or reason I went the wrong way on a very simple section for a dumb
5 ! Well that was something I hadn’t done in a long time so I then had to get the act back on track but
after cleaning the hard part of the next section I stalled the engine on a turn and finished the first loop
on a dismal 11.

Up the hardest part of a Day 2 section

Looking good until I stalled the motor…………. DUMB!!

The next two loops went as planned with a zero score and fortunately for me my opposition was
faring even worse and racked up scores in the 20’s.

Happiness was cleaning loops 2 & 3

I’m sure the Enfield would have done well there this weekend but we will never know.

TONY DOWN

What did you think of this article?



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Leave a comment


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A TRIALS SABATICAL !

A TRIALS SABATICAL

My favorite Ahrma section, “The Waterfall” at Casper which sadly I won’t
get to see this year

 There is a major difference between retirement, loss of interest, and or, ability and having something
forced upon you. Regrettably I’m suffering from the latter as I find myself unable to go to my nearest
Ahrma event at Turkey Rock this weekend. Not being able to compete due to lack of finances does
nothing for ones morale and is a far cry from my riding heydays pre the recession.

 Recent repairs to the RV were expensive and now it needs 6 new tires at around $1500-1800, and all
this before refuelling at around the $4.20 a gallon ! ………. so this year I might as well sit on my arse and
give the trials scene a complete miss as I can’t get anywhere close to qualifying……. all very, very sad.

 However life is not all doom and gloom as I turn 65 in August so I will pick up another couple of
pensions which might just finance my trials riding in later life. The bikes are still keen, and so am I, so
maybe this year I’ll just be a backyard trialer and ponce around doing figure of eights and pretending
they are $ symbols.

 This morning up bright and early only to be reminded I’m not 8000′ up a mountain at Turkey Rock and
I’m not in an RV and getting ready for two super days of trials that Ed will have laid out. The only time
this venue was on the calendar was in 2009 and I’d just come off a clean card at Milliken post my
return from the Scottish Pre 65 Silver Jubilee. Day 1 went very well with 3,4 and PI riders going out in
the morning and the rest of us checking for them. With roles reversed my afternoon outing produced
another zero card and I seemed to be on top form.

Day 1 on top form

Plenty of “Ups”

……..and downs

 Day 2 should have been another perfect performance but a nervous dab on the first section spoilt
that plan and then for no rhyme or reason I went the wrong way on a very simple section for a dumb
5 ! Well that was something I hadn’t done in a long time so I then had to get the act back on track but
after cleaning the hard part of the next section I stalled the engine on a turn and finished the first loop
on a dismal 11.
 

Up the hardest part of a Day 2 section

Looking good until I stalled the motor…………. DUMB!!

 The next two loops went as planned with a zero score and fortunately for me my opposition was
faring even worse and racked up scores in the 20’s.

Happiness was cleaning loops 2 & 3

 I’m sure the Enfield would have done well there this weekend but we will never know.

TONY DOWN