Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sink or Swim

Our Scamp, as delivered, has a little, shallow, white plastic sink. Although it has never happened to us, we've often talked about the result of a hot pan in the sink.

A couple weeks ago we were wandering through the local Ikea store when their sink selection caught our eye. Seemed like a simple idea to get rid of the plastic sink,

and replace it with something larger.

Turns out, it was very nearly too large, with the cutout spanning from the front faceframe attach point to the inside of the belly band. An inch smaller would have been easier.

I had to create some mortises for the sink holddown hardware on two sides, and then coated the edge of the counter top and the mortises with epoxy so that any water couldn't seep into the wood.

To be continued ...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spare Tire Mount

While I was washing and waxing the trailer last week I noticed that the spare tire has been digging into the gel coat.  I once toyed with putting the spare under the trailer but didn't like the resulting ground clearance. I've thought about moving the mount from the body to the bumper or to the front of the trailer using a receiver like Kamper Bob built for his generator, but so far I'm too lazy for those solutions.

The short term solution has been to install something for the tire to rub on other than the gel coat. I thought a leather ring would work well but I didn't have a big chunk of leather.  I did, however, have a big chunk of thin neoprene from my boat building supplies.

I cut out a big donut, added some piece of old double faced tape

and stuck it in place. I used the old double faced tape because I expected it to stick well enough to hold the neoprene in place until the spare tire was mounted, but wouldn't stick so much that removing it later would be too big a chore.

With the spare back in place, the neoprene ring is squeezed between the tire and the gel coat. We'll see how well it works. I may still be shopping for some leather one of these days or plugging in the welder for its annual exercise.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thankful for my Sister

During the process of scanning boxes of old negatives and pictures, I've been reminded of how fortunate I've been to have an older sister. She's always been the better thinker and student - a process that clearly started young.

She made sure that I got plenty of fresh air,

taught me to smile when caught red-handed,

and read to me long before she learned to read.

She taught me to feed the lamb, 

and was always there to lean on when I needed her.

Most of all, she taught me to never consider an obstacle too large. 

She gave me my first driving lesson, too, but I haven't run across any pictures of that.  ;-)

Seriously, I've been blest to have a wonderful sister. It's not her birthday or any other special day - just time to say thanks for the memories!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Hints of Fall are starting to appear in the Valley of the Sun. We actually had several days in a row that didn't break 90 degrees. With the cooler weather it was time to drag the trailer out and give it the well deserved wash job that it didn't get when we came home from the Alaska trip.

The trailer is now 3 1/2 years old, always been stored inside, and still looks good but I decided it was time for its first wax job. Back in July of 2010 a thread about using acrylic floor wax was started on that is now over 40 pages long. I decided to follow the crowd and applied Zep Wet Look Floor Finish using a microfiber cloth.

I was surprised and very pleased with the additional gloss resulting from the Zep finish. The gallon will last me a long time since it only took about a pint per coat.  One more project done!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yellowstone Bears

Those of you that saw my previous post know I'm in the midst of scanning old family photos. It's always interesting to see what you find hiding in the shoe boxes full of prints, slides, and negatives. This series is from a 1952 Yellowstone National Park trip.

I'll admit to doing some cropping, but I'm thinking that the photographer (I assume Dad or Mom) was also way too close for comfort.

Apparently the driver of the Studebaker wasn't sharing, so ...

Maybe the passenger will. And here I thought tourons were a more recent phenomenon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dredging up History

I've been busy the past few days scanning photos, slides, and film from Mother's collection. A lot of it is reasonably current, i.e. the past 30 years or so, but occasionally I hit pay dirt. Old black & white negatives that I'd never seen. I guess it's pretty obvious where I get my love for farming, (late 1940's or very early 1950's)

animals, (about 1936)

trucks, (late 1940's or very early 1950's)

the outdoors, (September, 1954)

or camping. (about 1963)

While the scanning project is mostly boring, every now and then I run across something that really makes me appreciate my parents and my heritage!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Green River, Day 10

Today's the end of our Green River trip. It's been the 10th trip for me, but the first time to combine the upper and lower flat water sections for a 100 mile trip. When I got up, our camp on the Upper Spanish sandbar was still in the shadows with the sunlight starting to show on the tops of the cliffs on the west side of the Colorado river.

As the sun continued to rise and highlight the Doll House, the clouds built and the breeze increased. We were glad that we didn't need to paddle into the stiff southern wind today.

When the jet boat arrived from Tex's for our shuttle back up the Colorado River toward Moab, there was something different. It had shrunk.

Our solo boatman today was Kenny. After we teased him about not getting any sleep (he has a brand new baby girl at home) he started calling for gear and loaded their small jet boat with all the boats and gear from seven people - the five in our group and the two that had followed our lead. This was the first time we'd had an opportunity to experience the small jet boat.

Leaving the confluence is always a little sad, even more so with the longer 10 day trip. Peace, quiet, beauty, solitude have been our diet and now it's time to head back to reality.

The clouds and shadows kept building and moving but it never rained on us. The cliffs on the Colorado are as beautiful as the cliffs of the Green as the jet boat ride completes our circumnavigation of Canyonlands National Park.

The south wind worked against the current of the river to build some chop which made for a bit more noise and a bit rougher ride than usual, but the light and shadows kept up their show.

As we got closer to Potash the clouds seemed to decrease.

Potash is where we transitioned from the river to the road. The small jet boat goes on a trailer towed by the van instead of on a semi trailer like the big jet boat does.

We stopped for a quick look at some of the Fremont petroglyphs along the Potash road and then headed back to Tex's office where the boats and gear were unloaded, mostly into our cars. I got off light - the canoe was staying at Tex's for a couple days until BJ's trip with her gals when it would hit the river again. If you beg, maybe you can get her to share some about her Labyrinth Canyon trip.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Green River, Day 9

Actually, the title is a bit misleading - we spent the day at Spanish Bottom on the Colorado River about 3 miles below the confluence. It was a lazy day for me, waiting for the sun to start showing on the cliffs at the lower end of Spanish Bottom

before starting to fix breakfast. It was an oatmeal, fruit, and coffee morning. Always something quick and easy although I'd planned to do cinnamon rolls before the stove decided that half-hot was hot enough.

There were a lot of tracks around the tent this morning but whatever it was hadn't bothered me and more importantly, didn't start gnawing on my drybags.

With the boat cleaned of most all of the mud from the trip,

the remainder of the day was spent sitting in the shade. Some of the others headed for the first rapids in Cataract Canyon to watch rafts go through and a couple headed up the trail to visit the Doll House rock formations.

I figured watching the rock formations was enough effort for me.

It really was a tough day!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Green River, Day 8

I got caught in the act making breakfast - granola, fruit, and coffee - before packing up the campsite and loading the canoe.

Once we were on the river, it became real. Like every trip, we were running out of river sooner than I would like.

We stopped at Jasper Canyon so that the first timers could see the structure there. The tammies have grown enough since the fire that it is no longer visible from the river.

Our desired destination for the day was the confluence of the Green & Colorado Rivers. In most years there is a large (sometimes very large) sandbar there but this year it was very small, low, and muddy with a very shallow approach.

We continued 3 miles down the Colorado river to the upper camp at Spanish Bottom. Parts of it had burnt since last year but the sandbar was large enough for our group and the two other guys that had been leveraging our experience since our initial launch.

After dinner, we resort to the same activities - watching the light change on the canyon walls and then enjoying another clear night sky.

Water flow on the Green was approximately 2000 cfs for the day.