Trip #4 / Night # 11: aka Our First Post-Winterization Boondock
- Dates: Oct 21 & 22, 2017
- Route: Front Range / Denver -> Pike N.F. in Park County, CO (near-ish Tarryall)
- Highlights: Great dayhike on empty trail via Lizard Rock Trail - plus water for the dogs; clear starry skies. No hookups = no problem, even if winterized. We just carried water separately. FYI fridge turned to "0" and no television = negligible battery use, even with digital Alde panel on full time and use of LED lights intermittently.
- Campsite: Pike National Forest (dispersed, boondock). Rating: Great. Dispersed camping is low use this time of year. Users are much more conscientious in cleaning up after themselves here than closer to Front Range (ie Jefferson Area). Much less trash, ammo casings / clay pigeons & human waste. Scout any Forest Road ahead of pulling in a T@B. Washouts, ruts, and rocks make many sites inaccessible. Hunters in the area. Blaze orange on the dogs and on ourselves full-time during hunting season.
- Lessons Learned: Alde freight train syndrome. It's a little high up for propane-fueled heat without the LP pressure modifier thingie.
Camp, with Lost Creek Wilderness in the background.
Pike's Peak, elevation 14,114', from camp
Happy hiker and happy camper. Trip #5 / Night # 12: aka Double-Check Your Tools, My Friends!
- Dates: Dec 2 & 3, 2017
- Route: Front Range / Denver -> Pawnee National Grassland
- Highlights: Nearly-Supermoon (planned) and true Supermoon (not planned, see "lessons learned", below), great hikes in great weather, happy dogs, comfortable trailer that finally has her name on her.
- Campsite: Pawnee National Grassland (dispersed, boondock). Rating: Good. Very few sites, so plan accordingly. The oil and wind energy industry has changed the landscape dramatically since we first began hiking here.
- Lessons Learned: Double check that your lug wrench fits the nuts on your trailer AND THE SPARE, and get a bottle jack. "Somehow" when "we" moved the spare to the tongue, "we" used a tool in the garage, not a tool in the T@B's toolkit. It was 90 minutes each way on gravel roads to the gas station that was closed, and then to the Walmart that was full of Christmas shoppers, to get the right tools. Plural. Because "we" didn't know what size would fit. And then a second transaction to go back and get the bottle jack as shown in this video, direct from Pleasant Valley, that I watched in the Walmart parking lot. If you haven't ever thought about changing your tire, think about it right now and watch Pleasant Valley's video. Then, double check your tools against the hardware on your trailer. And if you have a portable / emergency tire inflator, ALWAYS BRING IT WITH YOU, for goodness sake .
Our trailer Tuesd@y & TV on the horizon, top left!
Happy hikers in the native grassland in late afternoon. The bright orange grass is Little Bluestem, one of my faves.
Nearly-Supermoon and Buttes to the east (above), sunset on the west (below).
Tuesd@y got her name on her! A custom purchase on Etsy, installed myself.
Also see newly-purchased Brahma lock, a Black Friday special with free shipping - thanks Louisa at Brahma! A HUGE relief to have this on Tuesd@y while we were gone, and for future trips. Based on experience now, ya never know where we'll have to temporarily abandon her...
Day 2: Tuesd@y stayed at camp while we visited 3 corners of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, plus a very random hike nearby.
So this happened.
We returned to camp around 1pm, ready to tow home, only to discover 7# of pressure in Tuesd@y's tire. A simple tire change turned into a 3-hour roundtrip drive to get the paraphernalia strewn about. See "Lessons Learned", above, in trip description. Once the right tools were on hand, watching my husband change the tire was really easy.
Raced sunset and made it out before dark, and before this week's cold front / snow. The Supermoon rise and first hour was obscured by thick clouds, so we were happy to have seen it nearly-Super the night before.
Turns out the tire itself wasn't damaged, it was a slow leak in the valve. Husband's guess is the damage was from the high-pressure nozzle at a gas station... has anyone had this happen to them?
Next Trip: Heading south/west in January to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society
in Kanab Utah and adventure along the way. It's my birthday present! We hope for towing weather!!!