Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Books Upon Books

Heaven protect me from used book stores and National Park gift shops...

Went away on a very nice four day weekend, visiting Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.  More on that later.  

Of course I found books at the gift shops of said national parks and a used book store in Springdale, Utah, as well.  Purchasing ensued.

Hiking the Southwest's Geology: Four Corners Region

Bryce National Park: Impressions

Zion National Park: Impressions

Arrowheads & Projectile Points: Identification & Values

Themes in Southwest Prehistory

Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins

It was a fine long weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Man Cave Is About To Get Cozy

A home improvement adventure in daily doses...

This summer my new deck was unplanned and quick. My new roof has been carefully planned but long-delayed, due mostly to the high desert's monsoon season. This will be a standing seam metal roof (forest green) laid over three inch nail base insulation. I'm having it installed by a Lowe's contractor, they having done right by me on my window replacement project last summer. When the roof is done the walls of my log home will have the lowest R-value of the entire place - compared to the floor, windows, and roof. We'll track the progress of the roofing saga on a daily basis. Stay tuned.

Day One - Wow! The shingles are off the front of the house, the three inch nail base insulation is in place, and the tyvek has been applied over it. They found some bad planks on the corner near the chimney. Upcharge #1 I suppose...ChaChing! There was an inch of styrofoam under the shingles, which I didn't expect. What a weird little house. The job site is spotless; I'm very impressed.

Day Two - Less progress, more mess. Seems the north side of the roof is more complicated. The whole roof is stripped and insulation laid down over 1/3 of it. The existing addition on the back of the house (which we think was created by enclosing an even older porch) was so weirdly built that roof debris ended up inside the laundry room. The more we dig into my little log home the stranger its construction appears.

Day Three - Repairs were completed in the southwest corner by the chimney and the work continued Thursday. The metal roof panels start going on Friday.

Day Four - Ooh! Aah! The roofers said they'd make progress in front so I was more than pleasantly surprised to find the back essentially complete as well!

Day Four - This picture of the front of the house is pretty dark, but I wanted to capture the sight that awaited my arrival home this evening.  They still have some detail work under the porch to complete, the fascia wrap to install, and the ridge to cover, but this is coming together very much as I had hoped it would.  Very, very nice!

Still looks great the morning after.

Monday, October 3, 2016

I Can See For Mile And Miles

A Hike To Spruce Mountain Lookout...

We took a hike to Spruce Mountain Lookout Sunday.  After parking at the intersection of Spruce Mountain Road (Forest Road 52A) and Watershed Trail 299 (1.6  miles in and 600 feet up from Senator Highway) we made the 4.8 mile round trip on foot.  At 7,700 feet elevation, the change was about 900 feet.  We could see the San Francisco Peaks of course (~80 miles), but also west into Skull Valley and southeast toward Bumble Bee.  

It was a very nice day...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Treated Myself

To my first Lagavulin...

Lagavulin has been on my To Do list for some time now.  After a day of chores around the homestead I had dinner at The Prescott Brewing Company last evening and treated myself to a dram rather than a dessert.  On first try it seems better at doing everything I like about Scotch whiskey than even Ardbeg or Laphroig, some of my other favorite Islay single malts.

It's a good thing its so expensive or a fella might become too attached to it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Visit To The San Luis Valley

A brief road trip...

I took some much needed time off last week and made a brief road trip to visit Erik in Crestone, CO, He's been interning at the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. At the end of the month he moves on to his next AmeriCorps contract in Massachusetts. The Baca NWR, where Erik has been interning since July, abuts the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado.

I did my best to use no road twice. I took AZ 87 from Camp Verde to Winslow instead of Interstate 17 through Flagstaff. Had supper at the Holy Cow in Albuquerque with my old friend, David Puthoff. Crashed at a convenient motel across the street that demonstrated what sort of room $37 buys in Albuquerque. Pro Tip: spend a few more dollars and stay at the Days Inn across the parking lot instead...

After accidentally crossing the continental divide I took a serendipitous (utterly unplanned) detour on NM 537 north through the Jicarilla Apache Nation. The drive though Carson National Forest on NM 84 from Tierra Amarilla to Tres Piedras was beautiful. Had lunch at the Chili Line Depot in Tres Piedras.   Their pulled pork sandwich was very nice and their home made potato salad was just right. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge outside Taos was an unexpected surprise. Then it was north through San Luis - the oldest town in Colorado, and west to Alamosa. After attending a going away party for another team member, Erik and I stayed at the Riverside Inn, a cozy old school motor lodge.

We spent Saturday at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We climbed the Great Sand Dunes, visited Zapata Falls, and sampled the first and second batches of beer at the new Crestone Brewing Co. We ate too; I had the locally-sourced yak pot roast. Instead of camping in or near the park we crashed at Erik's bunkhouse at the refuge.

Sunday morning I drove (and Erik motorcycled) from Moffat to Salida for breakfast. What a beautiful stretch of road and living history. Sunday afternoon we soaked and were massaged at Joyful Journey Hotsprings Spa. We slept in a yurt.

I drove home today by way of Durango, CO along US 491 south through the Navajo Nation to Gallup, NM. Should have stopped at Shiprock for a picture but I was focused on getting home. I used the mundane I40 to I17 to 169 route to arrive home after an uneventful 11 hour drive.