Tuesday, December 6, 2016

More Shocking News

In September of 2014 we put shocks on the trailer. They made a big difference in the ride - I was an immediate fan. Last summer, the left side shock mount failed when we were in Cheyenne on our way home. I called Orbital Machine Works and they sent out a new pair of lower brackets of an improved design.

It's a poor picture and a misleading angle, but you get the idea.

The new mount is shaped differently and has a one piece welded flange that extends the length of the bracket. Much stronger design!

It mounts to the wheel using the brake backing plate studs and furnished all-metal locking nuts. Very nice!

On the other side, I unbolted the lower shock bolt and swung the shock out of the way so I could change the bracket. Good thing I changed both sides - this one was just starting to develop a crack in the same place, right at the tip of the arrow.

Right side installation complete. I'm real glad to have the left side fixed and the right side updated before it also failed.

I can't say enough good stuff about the folks at Orbital Machine/Perfect Casita. They replaced the shock brackets without question. I was super surprised to see the original break, but the updated bracket is clearly a stronger design. I'm looking forward to testing it this summer.

The other outstanding issue we experienced on our summer trip was a crack along the weld at the base of the gusset. I cut and shaped a piece of 1/4" material that could go under the gusset and bridge to the sides of the hitch but I didn't have tooling to make the complete cut of the gusset so instead the old bead was ground out and rewelded. We'll keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Full House

I really enjoy building unique geocaches but I'm always looking for new ideas. We decided to host a cache building workshop in the hopes that we would pick up some new techniques, or ideas. It was a bit tough clearing space in the garage, but we figured we could handle about 30 people teaming up in a cache building contest.

The event didn't turn out quite the way I'd expected. While there was lots of cache building materials available, no caches were built. Everyone stood around drinking coffee and chatting.

Some were looking at caches that others brought with a few light bulbs going off as people figured how they could adapt concepts to their own builds.

As much as I tried to get people to get hands-on, chatting was the order of the day. For many, this event drew a different crowd of geocachers, resulting in lots of first time meetings. Conversation flowed easily and folks commented how much fun they had even though the event that happened wasn't the one I'd conceived.

One of the conversations mentioned 'jail' which got my mind going a whole different direction. This one isn't a cache, but rather it will serve as the first way-point for a multi-cache. Cachers will need to figure out their next coordinates from careful reading of the cache description and examination of this structure.

The next one may be a more complex jail themed structure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I must say, I've been enjoying this very lazy approach to blogging. I thought about stopping entirely, but I use the blog to mark other blogs I regularly read, and I couldn't stand seeing my content sitting there static. It won't be updated as often as it was the first few years, but it will continue to primarily reflect travel, Scamp mods, and geocaching.

For the first time in years, we ended up with all the siblings in one place. My sister and I both headed to Nashville early in the week which gave us time to wander around town and to teach her about geocaching.

We found a series of public art pieces along the river that made for an interesting view of downtown Nashville and the Batman (AT&T) building.

I couldn't go to Nashville and not visit the Antique Archaeology store. I love the History Channel's American Pickers TV show and wanted to see their store. I recognized some pieces that had been featured on the show, but was very surprised by the small space. Loved seeing the creative re-use of the old Marathon auto factory.

The Tennessee branch of the family took us out to Millers Grocery in Christiana for lunch. Of course, I had to check out their home delivery vehicle.

You can't go to Tennessee and not check out Tennessee Walking Horses, especially not when the family is breeding them.

But the real reason I went to Tennessee was to celebrate my youngest niece's wedding.

Got a picture of some of the West Coast family with some of the Tennessee sisters. Great fun with family.