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.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Driving Home in April

When coming home from a trip and entering my mountain valley in Colorado, I usually think about how good this feels--to have been somewhere, perhaps to do errands in the city, or coming home from a distant adventure as was last the case coming home from Cincinnati, then Santa Fe.

Well, I was only coming home from Salida, a town 20 miles down the valley. No big deal there, but it was a spectacularly beautiful late afternoon, almost evening. I wrote notes to myself which I'll use now.

Driving Home....

Home from Salida. The sun had just gone over the snowy peaks ahead, sunlight still wrapping around their summits. Near peaks looming, others going off stepwise to the north. Each jagged, pointed, all geographically associated by forming a straight line up one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley.

Nearer, a few sprouts of green. Water flowing in irrigation ditches. Low houses, farm buildings, and sheds where tractors are. A pickup moving along an unseen road. Pieces of irrigation pipe scattered, about to be assembled. A few clumps of trees, not leafed yet. The highway stretching off ahead, one car behind with lights on, two coming, one with lights.

Rounded hills behind me, the high sweep of the Sangres beyond. Scattered clouds hovering, contrails far above, pointing toward major cities. Brown grasses stirring in the breeze.

Crawling Inside

A recent bit of work on my Sinus required that I crawl back into the fuselage to mount the trim linkage. This will be operated by a trim control knob located between the seats, with cables going back to the linkage, which will be connected to the elevator pushrod with springs.

I had to crawl a number of times into the space shown below to do this work. Though on pillows, this was irksome, troublesome, and even a bit painful at times.

The second photo below shows the mechanism I installed. Drilling the mounting hole at the front (near) end wasn't bad, but the rear one was!


In the above photo, a static tube is on the left. This will connect a probe mounted on the vertical fin with a variometer on the instrument panel. This will provide rapid information about vertical speed, which is essential to soaring flight because you're looking for lift (rising air). You need to know when you're in that lift--right then, not several seconds later.

Next toward the center is one of the rudder cables, with a similar cable on the other side. These divide here, to be operated by both sets of rudder pedals. When I swaged these fittings, I hoped I'd never have to crawl in here again! But no such luck.

The metal piece mounted to the two bulkheads is the trim linkage. The lever in the middle of it will be operated by cables from the cockpit knob. The bottom will be attached through springs to the elevator pushrod, seen underneath the trim linkage and extending rearward.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ripley, Ohio--a Big Step Toward Freedom

The Rankin House, on top of a high ridge overlooking Ripley. This house was a "station" on the Underground Railroad.

Implements near another important Underground Railroad house down near the Ohio River in Ripley. I believe the owner was also involved in the casting of metals, hence these steel pots.

The Ohio River from Rankin House, and the town of Ripley below. The Ohio River was a very important goal for escaped slaves. Though still in danger from slave-hunters, crossing the river was an important step toward freedom. A large towboat makes its way upriver.


Tents and sleeping gear drying on pavement at our last campground. It was a sunny afternoon and this worked well.
End of the trip in Oberlin, Ohio, a little west of Cleveland. Here, bikes were loaded into this truck along with baggage, and transported back to the Enterprise vehicle rental lot in Cincinnati, where our cars were. On the ride back, we stopped in Ripley, OH, to learn a bit more about the Underground Railroad.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Receiving these posts...

When I signed up for this blog-thing, I put down a few emails to be notified when I posted. I thought they'd just receive notice that I'd posted. But they've received entire posts. Well, I just learned that one of these people has been receiving garbled posts where words overlap photos, and can't be read. Moreover, Blogger sends what I post first, though I commonly find errors in what I've just written, and make edits. But the first (unedited) version is the one that gets sent out, often making me look like some sort of illiterate fool. So I'm gonna cancel all of these. But do check my blog now and then, if your interested  in what I post about!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Bike Ride, Late Afternoon Today

I've been feeling a lot like a stump lately, without much physical activity. I felt that way again today, so later this afternoon, maybe 6:40 or so, I got on my Cruzbike for a ride. I turned toward my valley, following the county road east and then south for maybe three and a half miles, powering up the only significant hill, and also up the steepest one. I went to where I'd have had to cross a cattle guard which has presented difficulties in the past, so there I turned around and rode home. Mostly gentle ups and downs, and then the steady climb to my house--but it all felt great! That was about five hours ago and I still feel great. More like a person now than a stump, and this is a good change.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


On the next to last night, rain fell hard for several hours during the night. I'd set my tent up as a "minimalist shelter" and it was exactly that in such extreme conditions. I'd packed with river duffel bags, but some of my stuff was wet because I hadn't done a good job securing my camp. Others had an even worse problem, but we had to pack up and go in the morning. At our last camp, many of us dried our things in the warm sun.

Not September--These Were All Latest July.

A nicely lit field with farm buildings
At times, our bicycling route was like a tunnel through greenery.
In my experience, everywhere in the world I've been has its own way of making haystacks. This is central Ohio's way, well-illuminated in the morning light.
There were a couple of days with some serious hills. This was one of them, later in the day. Another day had hills, but they occurred in the morning and then were overwith.
(I've been trying to remove this photo because it's a duplicate. Blogger won't let me.)
A tree right by my camp that night. Hmmmm...is this an example of that old saying, "leaflets three, let it be?" Looks like it here, but I didn't notice anything at the time. And it was in a commercial campground where such things as poison ivy would probably be taken care of.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Camps and Steep Hills

Another grassy camp, and our supply truck

A broader view of camp
One particularly steep hill. Somebody mentioned that these might be drumlins, but I forgot to notice. People are walking their bikes up, as did I.

Lunch Stop

Lunch stop on a wet day

A Grassy Camp

One of our camps. An advantage of a humid climate is lots of grass

Grandmother and granddaughter set up their tent. We had great camps each night of the trip.

Map Meeting, Farm, and Fog

From top, Trip Leader Dave Cox speaks to the group during an evening "map meeting." Second down, Ginny also talks to the group. This was following our day of rain, during which I didn't do any photographs.
Last two photos--of a farmhouse across a valley, and a photo leaving camp in the morning. Fog hung in the air from all the moisture the day before.
On this post, I'm working with a newer layout screen. It seems better, and it shows the images again! But it looks like I'll have to type captions as I enter each photo. I can't seem to open up space between the photos for this purpose.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Another Evening at Santa Fe

Back to August 27: Don Giovanni was, as usual, magnificent. Opera productions vary, so it was fascinating to see the Santa Fe Opera's staging. That is, how they staged it this year. It was much different from their last production of the same opera.

The final act of Don Giovanni involves the entrance of a statue--the man of stone--jokingly invited to dinner by Giovanni. I’ve seen this staged in several ways, most often with a large statue that appears from behind and comes forward. Or it might even be a large backdrop.

Opera staging is full of surprises. The stage at Santa Fe appeared to be blocked by other props, so that as the time approached, the possibility of such an entrance dimmed. Well, the statue (a man in a stoney-looking costume) entered from stage-front-left. Giovanni was by then eating dinner served by Leporello (who screamed and hid) at the opposite end of a long dining table. The statue at one point went offstage to immediately reenter from the opposite side (as a different man in an identical costume, I suppose) and then reappeared inside one of the props (likenesses of large cabinets) that were still there. Emerging from there, the statue sang the rest of his piece, and when it came time for the unrepentant don to go to Hell for his deeds, the cabinets all opened up and a bright light shone forth from each---particularly the center one, which was placed atop a trap door in the stage and grew to about three times its height. Into it lept Giovanni, last seen descending through the stage to the legendary place of eternal punishment, from which bright white light shone.

Last seen, that is, until the curtain calls, at which time Giovanni came onstage to thunderous applause for a job very well done. Of the two very different operas we’d just seen, Patty preferred La Traviata while I preferred, ever so slightly, Don Giovanni. It was a hard choice. Mediocracy is not part of the Santa Fe Opera experience. We're going to see La Traviata again this fall, in a University of Colorado production in Boulder.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Almost Forgot

Here is a rusty old bridge along our route. We bicycled over it and on...

Note: Blogger isn't working properly. On their layout page (where I'm typing this caption now) the photo doesn't show. There's just a block of code that controls the placement of the photo. Though I can find the filename in that block and know what photo will show there, it's easy to miss one. But here it is.

I've been wanting to put my blog on my website anyway, so maybe this is a signal to get busy on that.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Cycling On

A farmhouse and other buildings along our route

A stately house in one of the towns--probably South Charleston

Down the road we go!

Light and shadow, and a cornfield