Another 700 miles of mountain driving coming up !

A week of training Enumerators last week who will be doing all the ground work for this phase of the
Census. 4 days at the Cortez Service Center and my crew, which was initially 16, then whittled down to
10 as the task diminished, and then on phoning became 8. Eight is still a little on the overkill side but
within 30 mins of starting one got up and walked out. So the Magnificent 7 endured 4 days of me
talking to them and are now ready to leave the nest and start counting.

 My Enumerators after 4 days in the classroom

On Friday the assignments arrived and I’ve allocated them by geographic area and the odd balls I will
pick up myself. Permission to go on the Reservation has been obtained so another 170 mile round trip
to see whats there today. 2 places that I visited during the Rocky Mountain Rally have to be done again
even though they are closed but I have to hunt down the owners so another 200 miles of mountain
driving there. The last one, which I had planned to do myself anyway is at Telluride so wife and I will
enjoy one of our skiing days first, and off the clock of course, but the Bureau will pick up the mileage tab
and my driving time.

If my master plan comes to fruition then we should have this phase wrapped up by Thursday night.
Then what ?

Pack your bags team!

Brenda is regrettably sick with a nasty cold so the skiing trip has got the CNX but I still have the 140
mile round trip today to add to the 300 already logged from Monday and Tuesday. Looks like the
Enumerator task is getting difficult in the Durango area as my colleague Bret, the other Crew Leader,
tells me he is down to 4 for his phase and predictably won’t be able to cope so next week we will be on
soup kitchens, shelters and the like.

Still on target to finish by tomorrow night and get it all to the courier for onward transmission to the
office by 1300 Friday. Fortunately the nasty weather has slipped by to the north of us for the first time
this year and is dropping about a foot of the stuff over Denver but we have escaped with just a hard

The round trip to Telluride took only 3 hours and they had just had a dusting from last nights storm.
The road itself is badly in need of repair in Telluride old town and is a disgrace for a World Class Ski
Resort and one would have thought that with their overpriced fare the local taxes could have provided a
surface to drive on! The Hotel where I was visiting is a mere $400 a night !!!

Telluride Old Town with a dusting of overnight snow

Today the weather is good and I’m off on another 200 mile + trip up the other side of the mountains
back to Silverton. Should be able to make good time up to Purgatory but then its those bendy passes
over the Molas and down into Silverton. a quick visit, 180 and back to Durango and collect all last
night’s work. Check ever thing for accuracy and then get it ready for the courier.

Silverton with a bit less snow…… but the drop offs are just as nasty !

207 miles under the belt and all missions completed. On the run back from Silverton I was able to knock
up some “clues” for a BMW rally I’ve been thinking of organizing for August. 2 days of mountain riding
around the “Ouray Loop” with a Treasure Hunt going one way and a Poker Run, but more along the lines
of Amazing Race going the other. Could be a lot of fun.

Here is one of the clues for this strange roadside thing?    ” Early American Policeman, and a Belgian
Road Race Circuit ? ”

Pinkerton Hot Springs (Spa)….. and I have another 19 clues to go with this one to keep riders and rear
seaters thinking.

The tasks are all complete on schedule, we are moving into soup kitchens and shelters as a group and
then I’m told we will ALL be moving into another phase which might last until mid July. This will no doubt
mean another trip to Grand Junction for me and then more training for them at the end of April and once
more the Magnificent Seven will ride again.


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