High Mountain Doings

From 8200 feet along one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado, my blog is about many things: travel including river and bicycle trips, and other experiences as well. The focus is on photography, not lots of text.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Sinus Work

Most recent work has involved getting the rudder cables, from the pedals to the rear, connected. This may not sound like a long job, but it certainly has been. There are four cables (from the two sets of pedals) that need to be double-swaged and connected with cables that go on to the rudder, as will be shown in another post, as soon as I work up the photos.

This shows the center part of the cockpit, where the two control sticks will attach to the black metal bar seen through the square openings. To get that metal bar to fit in, I had to do what's shown below:

This is a view from holding the camera down through one of those square openings and making the photo blind. No flash here. Except with a mirror, I've not been able to see what the camera photographed. I had to Dremel away a lot of material shown here on the upper portion of the indentation in the center post. This allowed the metal bar to fit into place. It would not fit before. I did the work blind, by holding the Dremel tool where near where it needed to be, turning it on, and cutting some of the material away. Then I would feel the notch to see if I thought it was big enough, and it finally was. The metal bar, seen here on the right, partly installed, finally fit. The opening through which light is coming is the right hand square opening seen above. I was unable to get the mirror into this space while also using the Dremel tool (an electric rotary tool into which I can install any of several cutting bits).

This is the tail of the Sinus, where the rudder will mount. The slotted rod is the elevator pushrod which will mount to the lever that's beside it. The bolts with red paint around their tops are bolts that hold part of the mechanism inside the vertical fin. The red paint was applied with a paint applicator (a felt tip pen with paint in it). The paint will provide a quick way of looking to see whether a bolt has moved during aircraft inspections.

Inside the fuselage: This is where I've been working in recent sessions. It's rather uncomfortable. I've been connecting the two rudder cables which emerge from the two white lengths of tubing to two cables each that run from each of the four pedals.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Denver Tonight

No motorglider work today! I drove to Denver this morning and afternoon to get Patty at the Denver airport (DIA). She'd been in Washington, DC, visiting with family, one of whom was graduated a day ago. She gets on another airplane at six Sunday morning, so I'll take her back to DIA and then go home.

("Was graduated" is the proper expression here, though while driving I just relistened to a Teaching Company CD course on the development of human language. This particular lecture was about how all language changes over time. It may be that "graduated" is so universally used that its the defacto-standard. Languages can work in many ways--in at least one, you don't sleep--rather, you "have a sleep." Other such expressions work similarly.)

Anyway, we're both about done in by our deeds this day, and are in danger of collapse. So we're about to give it up for the night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hike Near Kenosha Pass

While taking Debbie to the airport to fly home, she, Patty, and I stopped for a hike near the summit of Kenosha Pass, which borders South Park, Colorado. Here is a view that overlooks northeastern South Park. It was one mile (more exactly, 1.03 miles by GPS) from the trailhead.

Here come Debbie and Patty down the trail.

The trail, which is a segment of the Colorado Trail, passes through heavy forest most of the way to the viewpoint pictured above.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BalloonaVista 2009

Patty, my daughter Debbie, and I got up early on Sunday morning, June 7, to observe the balloon launches at BalloonaVista, an annual event held here. Patty and Debbie did more than just observe--they also got in line for a short, tethered liftoff!

One of many balloon flights that morning, seen here against the Collegiate Peaks.

We also went to the site near Buena Vista the evening before, when balloons would be inflated and lit up (momentarily, by their own internal propane burners). The display was spectacular against the late evening sky.

Desolation Canyon

In the very recent past,this season, in Desolation Canyon, Joe Hutch Canyon Rapid was very much intensified by a debris flow that came down a canyon (in fact, it was Joe Hutch Canyon) from the right. There are said to be huge rocks the size of cars and trucks strewn about on the gravel fan, and apparently the first part of the rapid is now steeper. The water therefore goes much faster, and it piles up against a cliff where the river turns a little to the right. It's done that for a long time, but now the intensity of the place is way up!

It seems to me that all rapids on the river are changing in a cyclic manner. Say a rapid has almost washed away whatever obstacles stand in the way there. The rapid is therefore a mild one. But now suppose that a giant debris flow (a slurry of dirt, rocks, and water) comes bursting down the tributary canyon and really ups the intensity of that rapid! That very instant, the river starts to erode the bed of the rapid, rocks wash out, and before long, that rapid returns to the milder version of itself. The rapid is cyclic. It will endeavor to clean out its channel and become a milder version of itself. But a rapid is most often associated with a tributary stream, and this may flood again. The cycle continues...and I suspect that Joe Hutch Canyon Rapid is at the top of its cycle right now!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Slickhorn Canyon Photos

The photos of Slickhorn Canyon, posted five posts ago on here, are probably very much out of date now. A HUGE flash flood roared down Slickhorn a little over a week later (I'm not sure about the exact date) and I'm sure a lot of sediments (including boulders) have been rearranged or swept entirely away.

I'd love to see the place again now! Other canyons entering the lower San Juan were similarly affected. As I've written before, this is how the continent develops, as chocolate-colored floods move stone toward the sea. Things change.