Wednesday, December 11, 2019

TN and CO wanderings

Hello from Texas!  Long time no blog - well, not on this blog at least.  I've got another project in the works that I'll announce here soon.

In the meantime, I found a few photos that will get everyone caught up on where we've been lately.

Starting back in Tennessee.  John has been cleaning and re-coating the roof of our travel trailer (Howie) over the years, adding sealant and keeping up with potential issues before they become leaks.  He also removed skylights that didn't stay sealed.  So we never had any major roof issues.

We're working on a big upgrade to our solar system, so it seemed like a great time to get the roof completely redone.  John found a place that could do it, not far from the Big Dog race, on our timeframe, and even with a spot where we could live in it while the work was being done.  So we spent a few days parked at Camper John's near McMinnville.  We can highly recommend them, by the way.

They even let John help with the work, which he seemed to greatly enjoy:

It's a bit remote but not too far from the town of McMinnville (they have a good library and little restaurants).  Our camping spot in the yard worked out well:

They took up the membrane from the top and replaced the plywood:

This was a great opportunity to make a few other changes at the same time.  John suggested we remove the bulky air conditioner and I was all for it (we'll eventually look for a more efficient alternative).  Camper John bought our propane generator and a few other items.  Slimming down!

The new membrane and a happy roof:

We had an extra day to do a bit of exploring so we headed over to Fall Creek Falls for some hiking.  The waterfalls are magnificent!

You can ogle this one from the top and also trek down the bottom to look up at the giant plume of water:

We enjoyed the rocky scenery, the overlooks, and the autumn colors:

And John enjoyed doing a bit of trail work, as usual:

Another lovely sight:

Fun suspension bridge:

Quick selfie on our way across:

Fast forwarding a bit... we drove to East Texas and then flew to Colorado so John could work on a short-term project.  I got to go with him this time, super cool.  Mostly that meant John worked every day while I explored the area around Copper Mountain.  It's a good thing John likes to work or I might have felt bad about that.

He did have time to come with me for a long hike up the Colorado Trail/CDT, up from Copper, across a long ridge to the east, and eventually down to Frisco.  We grabbed our microspikes, some snowshoes, a few warm clothes, and walked up the side of the hill.

The views from the top were most excellent, even with a few low clouds that morning:

Wait, what was that?  Pika squeaks!!  Eek, eek!  We couldn't see them but we were stoked to find their tracks.  This is probably the first pika tracks I've ever seen.  Even their tracks are adorable.

They were up in the rock piles, but it was too cold and windy to sit for 15 minutes and wait for them to show their cute little faces.

One last try to see if we can spot a pika:

OK, gotta go.  We spent a couple hours down in the Miners Creek drainage trying to follow trail markers and slog through deep snow.  That was a good workout... eventually we found some ski tracks and worked our way back toward civilization.  John decided he didn't need to take the snowshoes off for this short log crossing:

We found the main trail system (packed down, yay), ran to Frisco, grabbed a bite of soup and grilled cheese at The Uptown on Main, and hopped on the free shuttle back to Copper.  Super fun day!

But it was good to get back to Texas where winter isn't quite as icy and white... more pictures coming soon.

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