Sunday, June 25, 2017

Good Times

Dynomite! Wait, no I am not talking about the 1970's sitcom with Jimmie Walker.  I am talking about the awesome day we had today.  Last night I loaded the truck with my fishing gear, a couple of chairs and out frisbee discs.  We were planning to head down towards Canyon City but didn't have a firm plan on what were going to do.

We left the house early and our first stop was Brush Hollow

Reservoir.  Brush Hollow is just northwest of Penrose.  It is reported that it has a wide variety of fish (Bass, Trout, Bluegill and more.  I have never had a lot of luck fishing it, but them I am fishing from the bank and not from a boat.

I ended catching bluegill today.  I caught four and had a lot of bites that I missed.   I wasn't fishing for them was looking for something bigger, but they kept hitting the worm.  The lake was way up for this time of year so it was difficult to get out to the deep water.

We hung out for a while and then decided to move on.   We loaded up everything in the truck and headed out.   We soon found ourselves and the Beaver Creek Wilderness Area.  I love going here, and it is not heavily used.  It is a rough and rocky dirt road to get to it.  The road is narrow and difficult for vehicles to pass each other in most areas.   On our drive in and out, we didn't pass anyone.  When we arrived at the parking area, there were only two cars.

After loading the pack and getting Pebbles ready we made our way to the trailhead and took the fork in the trail to head towards the creek.  Along the way, we came across all type of wildflowers that were in bloom.  The creek was running high and fast.  Pebbles was busy chasing all the grasshopper jumping around and sniffing everything out.  

I took a small pole and some artificial bait with me in the backpack. On the hike, I would stop along the creek and throw out a line.  I ended up catching 3 small trout.   The biggest was maybe 8 inches long.   I let them all go, to be caught another day.

Once we were back at the truck we drove over to Florence, CO.  and had some lunch and then walked through a few antique stores.  I didn't see anything I needed but did see a couple things that I would want.  Didn't get anything but had a fun time looking.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ladder Ball

I had to go to Home Depot this evening and pick up some parts for our outdoor faucet.  It has been leaking and was time to fix.  I got the parts I needed and figured while I was there I would grab some PVC pipe and make my own ladder ball catchers.   I bought 4 10ft 3/4 inch PVC pipe, 12 3/4 inch Ts, and 4 3/4 inch elbows.

I cut 10 pieces at two feet each and 16 pieces at 1 foot each.  Then it was just a matter of putting it together.  This new setup works great and we should have many hours of fun playing in the backyard or we can take it with us.

I still have some painting to do on it to finish it up.  I spent $20.00, about what I paid for the POS setup that we got at WalMart.  In addition, I was able to make two, so now we don't have to walk back, down and back again to throw, we can throw from each end.

Want to play?

And yes I did get the faucet fixed too.

Happy Fathers Day

It was a nice day around here.  Didn't get too hot today, I think we got into the high 70's, low 80's.  Was a nice day to be outside.  I was up at 6 AM and got the smoker going.   I had added the charcoal last night and had the wood soaking.  All I had to do was get the coals going.   

I put a brisket on at 7 AM.  The heat was just right at around 225.  Candy cooked up some eggs and reheated some bacon that we had cooked yesterday for breakfast.  It was a great way to start the day.   Dug out the lawn mower and mowed the yard and ran the weed eater around the edges.  

At noon I had to open the lid on the smoker and added some trout. The trout smoked for an hour and then I took it off.   We cut up some cheese and had some grapes and strawberries.  It was wonderful, we ate it with crackers.


After lunch, I headed back out to the smoker and pulled the brisket off the smoker and wrapped it in foil.  Once it was all wrapped I placed it on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven for three hours at 300.

With the weather so nice we spent most of the day in the backyard. Yesterday we bought a ladder ball game and played this afternoon out in the yard.  Had a great time playing but the ladder was a piece of crap and ended up breaking shortly after we started.  Fixed it with some duct tape.  I am sure I could build my own.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Meadow

So we have a new addition to the household.   I would like to introduce you to our new 7-week old cat.  We had to run to Wal-Mart to get a few things last weekend.   When we came out and walking towards the car there is a family with five kittens and they are giving them away for free.

I kept walking but Candy stopped and looked and that was that.  Five minutes later we are leaving with a new kitten.  Not sure what is wrong with us.  


We already have a dog and cat, so not sure why we thought we needed another.

Meadow is fitting in nicely to the home dynamics.   Everyone was a little standoffish at first but with a little time everyone is getting along and now starting to play and sleep with each other.

Meadow keeps egging both Pebbles and Brooks on, by going after their tails.  They will turn and chase her, but she is back at as soon as they turn.

Meadow has been great so far, already using the litter box and likes to spend time outside in the backyard.   We have to keep an eye on her as we worry a hawk may come through and carry her off.  She's pretty cute and seems that she is going to fit in just fine.

Berry Madness

Last year's berries plants all came back this year and it looks like it will be a record harvest.  We should hopefully have enough to be able to make raspberry and blackberry jams.  Jam making will be a first for me.  The grouping on the left is raspberry's and the flowering plant is the blackberries.  You can't see it from this picture, but further down there is another raspberry bush and another blackberry. 


Being that plants are doing so well, I decided to start two new garden area's and add some new plants.   Along the fence, I planted five blackberry's, two red raspberries and two yellow raspberries.   I planted them two weeks ago.  Been a while since I have made an entry in the blog.  I added some edging and mulch and it came out really nice.  Mowing along the fence was always a pain in the ass.  So with the new garden, we won't have to deal with mowing on the slope and the fence.  Better yet the sprinkler system will keep them wet, so I shouldn't have to hand water them.  From the time I planted to today, they have really taken off.   I won't expect much out of them this year or next, but year three they will really start producing, that is if I can keep them alive.   They get good sun for most of the day.

Then I moved my attention to our rock wall.  They are hard to see, but behind the berry plants I expanded the garden and planted five jalapeno and four tomato plants.  They are doing well and hopefully will take off and produce some fruit this year. 



In another area of the yard, I planted eggplant and squash.  They are growing but they only get a little sun, so not sure they are going to do so great.  We will see.

Candy made Clark and me hats to commemorate our hike in Phantom Canyon.  They are pretty sweet and a very thoughtful gift.  Here I am, posing for a picture with mine.

So the last couple weeks, we have just been working around the yard each weekend.  It has been really hot.  I blew up the pool and filled it with water and placed in in the only flat area that we have in our yard.  

When I needed to cool off from planting I would hop in the pool.   Yes, I am such a goober, but what can you do.  It was hot.

The yard is looking pretty good this year and excited about all the berries.  Hopefully all the new plants this year will take.   

Monday, June 5, 2017

Home Again

We got back from Wichita on Sunday afternoon and had Monday off for Memorial Day.  Needed to have at least one day off at home. We worked in the yard and I cooked some ribs on the grill.

Ended up spending the evening sifting through email and getting ready to head back into the office for Tuesday.   I made it through Tuesday and Wednesday and then off again on Thursday and Friday.   

Thursday and Friday were our days for making our hike.   Well, we did it and I had a blast.   Candy dropped us off at about 8:30 AM.  Clark and I put our packs on and headed down the road.  It was a great morning and not too hot.  It was 10 miles to the campsite we had scouted out earlier in the month. We would break at about every three miles.  Catch our breath and have a drink of water.


When we arrived at the spot we had picked out, it was taken.  Well, that sucks, so we kept on walking and found another spot that would work for us.   We started setting up camp, got our hammocks hung, wood gathered and had a bite to eat.  We both had beef stroganoff for dinner.  Just open the pouch and add two cups of boiling water and let set for a few minutes.  

I had a tarp that we hung up over our hammocks, but it was really made to cover one and not two.  I didn't take a tent for this trip as the plan was to sleep in the hammocks.  Well about 4 PM it starts to hail, then the hail turned to rain and it rained hard and then would let up and then rain/hail hard again.   We took everything down except for the tarp and we hung out underneath for the next couple of hours. It was still raining at about 7:30 PM and if either one of us would have had cell signal we would have called for a ride.

The rain was starting to lighten so we took down the tarp and headed out to see if we could find a little better place to set up camp.   We walked about a mile and came across a bridge.   We climbed down the embankment and made our way underneath.   We were able to hang our hammocks from a couple of support beams.  At this point, both of use were pretty tired.   We dug out our sleeping bags and got into our hammocks.


I can't say that either of us slept all the great.  Water was dripping down from the bridge, but less than being out in the rain. I woke up every other hour or so.  The sun was coming out around 6 AM and by 6:30 AM, we were back on the trail.

We had another 10 miles in front of us to make it to Victor.  We moved along at a pretty good pace and was in Victor by 11 AM.  We walked up to the only restaurant in town and had some breakfast.   We called Candy to let her know that we made it and she headed over to pick us up.  On the way home, we shared stories about the night we had.

It was a rough trip with the weather, but I would definitely do it again.  It was nice to be able to spend time with Clark, one on one and I am sure it is a trip he will remember as well.

Wichita Trip

The last several weeks have just been a blur.....    Moving really fast and trying to get a lot done.  Work has been crazy and the home front just as much.  

We were in Wichita for Memorial Day.  We did some work on the house and spent time with family.  We added new dirt around the foundation trying to keep the water away.   I had 13 tons delivered and we used a wheelbarrow and then my dad had his tractor over and was to able to move dirt where we needed and Candy and I would shovel it out.  That's a lot of dirt and was one hell of a workout.

With the help of my dad's tractor, we were able to do some demolition.  There were several dilapidated chicken houses, an old hot tub and decking and a lot of other shit.  We were able to get it all piled up and hopefully have some trash removal coming in the next week or so.

For Memorial Day I smoked a brisket, salmon, and trout.   Got the brisket going around 8 AM  and put the fish on at 11 AM and pulled it off an hour later.   It was perfect.  I have always loved the salmon but have to say I think smoked trout is my new favorite.  We had some cheeses and crackers to go with the fish.  It was a great lunch.

The brisket was done around 5 PM and wow this was one of my best.  Came out super moist and tender.  Had a couple of sides and it was a great dinner.  I think everyone really enjoyed it.

Parents had the pool open, so we were able to jump in and cool off.  The water was still a little cool, but it felt great.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Scouting

Saturday, Clark and I headed out about 11:30 AM on our way to scout out our route for our hike.   
Our first stop was at Brush Hollow reservoir.  We dug out the fishing poles and fished off the bank for about an hour.  No luck so we moved on. 


Made our way over to Phantom Canyon drive.   Our plan is to start about 5/miles in, where the dirt road begins.  We kept track of our distance on the way so we could start looking for camping spots at about mile 11 and beyond.  As we drove we found a place to pull over and eat our lunch.  We hung out and goofed around the creek.  Pebbles loved it and she even got into the creek to cool off.  Clark chose to use the log cross the creek.   We tried to get Pebbles to follow up but she wasn't up for it.



We found a great spot, but we will have to get a full 15/miles in on day one to get to it.

We are going to be sleeping in hammocks instead of a tent.   This will be a first for me.   Today I set up my hammock so I could see what is the max distance I can have between trees.

The spot we found is off the road a bit, and there are some great trees that we can tie up to.   We stacked some rocks for a fire pit and we spotted some good wood close around for us to use for our fire.

We continued up the canyon and ended up in Victor, CO.  We stopped in town and parked in front of a beer joint.   Went in and had a cold beer and sat and talked about our plans and things we will need to pack with us.

Then we headed over to Cripple Creek to hit one of the casinos.  Clark had never gambled on a slot machine so we thought we should give it a try.   I think he dropped $20 in and he ended up walking away with $52, pretty decent for a first timer.


We got back to the house just after 6 PM and grabbed Candy and went and had some dinner.   Now that we have driven the route I am even more excited about a trip.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Counting Down

June 1st is just around the corner and I have some work to do.  I need to get more miles in and ASAP.  Going to have to get up early and get out.  I bailed on Mon/Tues and drove, so I suck. 

I searched through the blog and the last time I did this hike was Oct. 4th, 5th 2008.  I was hiking pretty much every day then and doing some serious distance.  It was a rough trip then and am sure it will be just as rough this time too.  Better go pack my work clothes for tomorrow.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

California Dreaming

This week I had to travel to California for business.  Business, well actually to play golf.   Our company was sponsoring a golf event with a partner and the team member who was supposed to go was unable to do so.  I was fortunate to be able to attend in his place.

The event was scheduled for Thursday, so I took Friday off and flew Candy out with me.  We left on Wednesday and stayed at the resort where the golf was being played.  We had three of our customers join us and sadly this was the first time I had met them.  

We had a blast, all three of them were pretty cool to hang out with, none of us were ace golfers, but all had a decent game.  I even played decently for someone who doesn't play all that much.  I had some great shots.  I birdied a par 3 with a nice shot next to the hole. That made me pretty happy.

It started at 7 am and we finished up with the lunch and awards by 2:30 pm.   We didn't bring home the gold, but we did end up coming in fourth out of about twelve teams.  

Once done Candy and I headed over to Palm Springs.   This was our second time going and we both really like this area.  We arrived about 6:30 pm on Thursday, checked into the hotel and then headed out to the street fair.   We had Thai food for dinner and then walked up and down several blocks checking out the various vendors.   Then we headed over to the Casino and dropped twenty dollars.  That went quick, so we just headed back to the hotel.

The next morning we were up early and off to Tahquitz Canyon to do some hiking up to the falls.  We had out swimming suites with us so we could jump in and cool off. 

Tahquitz Canyon
The water is really cold, but it is so much fun to get back behind the rock and under the falling water.  We hung out for a while getting in and out.

When we finished up we were ready to head back down the trail and we came across a rattlesnake.  After seeing this one, we had our eyes open on the way down.

Tahquitz Canyon
Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon
We saw lots of other wildlife including lizards, hummingbirds, butterflies.

Water is definitely life. You are surrounded by desert and where there is water you will find a variety of flora growing and wildlife is all about if you are looking for it.

Tahquitz Canyon

On Saturday we drove out to the Indian Canyons and hiked on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation.  We did Murray canyon and found another great waterfall to play in. 

Seven Sisters

This hike is a little longer than Tahquitz but well worth it.  Part of the trail is desert and the rest follows the water.  There are large palms all along the water that you go through.   You have to cross the water several times and balance on the rocks.

Murray Canyon

Murray Canyon
Murray Canyon
Murray Canyon
Palm Canyon