It was a good travel day-cloud cover, good roads, reasonably priced fuel ($3.69), light traffic, varied scenery, manageable winds and best of all, the arrival at La Vista Campground. Above Rye Colorado, there is a small lake, Lake Isabel. We have not explored this part of Colorado a lot and never have been up here. We had a hard time finding a place not far from I 25 that was wooded, secluded, and without a burn ban. These three campgrounds fit the bill. We were told they really weren’t open for the season yet and we would probably have it to ourselves. We were thrilled! After living with so many people in and out for 4 months next to us, we were ready to be in the woods. If we could have found a place to dry camp we would have but the rangers said it wasn’t recommended in this area. Continue reading “Our Colorado Arrival, Got Air??!!”
One of the nice things about the Bitterroot Valley is the large number of hiking trails that head out through the Bitterroot National Forest towards the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
At 1.3 million acres, it is one of the largest designated wilderness areas in the United States. It spans the Bitterroot Mountain Range, on the border between Idaho and Montana. It covers parts of Bitterroot National Forest, Clearwater National Forest, Lolo National Forest, and the Nez Perce National Forest. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is immediately to its south, separated only by a dirt road (the Magruder Corridor). Together with adjoining public land, the two wilderness areas form a five million acre wild region.
That’s a lot of hiking opportunities! We have only been out on a few so far but they have all been rewarding. The Tin Cup Creek trailhead (TH) is just outside Darby and it runs some 20 miles or so up into the wilderness. We’ve only been a few miles up it so far and have yet to get out of the forest although we did see a bull moose in the creek. Too many trees in the way so I did not get a picture. Blodgett Canyon is located just outside of Hamilton and we hiked 4.5 miles up the canyon to the Lower Falls. It was an amazing hike, the canyon is reminiscent of Yosemite and it deserves a post of it’s own.
The picture above was what awaits us when we go back to finish the hike up Little Rock Creek. We found it the other morning while heading to Lake Como for a short hike as we were limited by time and it’s easy. However, on the way to the trailhead I got distracted by a sign pointing to the Little Rock Creek TH which I had read about the other day. Seemed a lot more interesting so we detoured and ended up driving several miles up the forest road and eventually found the trailhead.
The trail wound up through a lot of new forest growth (pines about eight feet tall) and then reached a point with a view of Lake Como, back east to the Sapphire Mountains, and west up Rock Creek. It then turned left and provided the view at the top of the post. The trail descended the side of the mountain eventually reaching Little Rock Creek and entering the Wilderness. We continued hiking through the forest but ran out of time and had to return. Definitely want to go back and finish this one if time permits.
We had an awesome time this past weekend at the Rallye Glenwood Springs. This is the longest running Rallye in the country and this year marked the 60th Anniversary. It is hosted by the Rocky Mountain MG Club but all drivers are welcome.
We had been planning to go since we really enjoyed the event last year. We took the Jag on a shakedown cruise a few weeks prior with the British Motoring Club of Northern Colorado to Rocky Mountain National Park. We made it almost all the way to the top of Trail Ridge but the Jag was once again having trouble with the engine overheating and we ended up having to turn around. I knew there was no way we could successfully complete the Rallye with the cooling system not functioning properly. So, I bit the bullet and pulled the radiator out. I took it to a radiator shop and had them clean it out. Got everything put back together just a few days before the rally and did it ever make a difference.
The first Rallye Glenwood Springs began with a hardy group of MG sports car owners who discovered the joys of top-down motoring in Colorado when MGs still had running boards and the new TR2 and powerful XK-120 were just beginning to be sold by Colorado car dealers. Imagine what Colorado mountain roads were like during that 1953 Rallye—gravel (some pavement!), no guardrails, single-lane bridges, hairpin curves, sheer cliffs, and thin air.
The Rocky Mountains of central Colorado, with some of the most breathtaking scenery in America, have formed the backdrop for the Rallye Glenwood Springs through fifty-nine previous years. Vintage and classic cars from as far away as California and Illinois have shared the twisting mountain roads with their newer counterparts for octane-related festivities. Enthusiasts have come from as far away as England to drive borrowed MGCC-RMC cars through such fabled Colorado mining towns as Leadville and Aspen on their way to Glenwood Springs.
This year the event started off with the Tour Rallye. We picked up our registration packet Friday morning at the Start line in Arvada (Denver suburb) and found that we were car #88. Yes, I was a delinquent and didn’t register until the week before. This meant we had time for coffee before it was our turn to cross the Start line. We got stumped almost immediately by the first tour question…something like “You wouldn’t want to go here if you had zemmiphobia” but after that we started getting most of the questions figured out as we headed west out of Arvada and up into the foothills. We found a number of scenic highways and back roads as we worked our way through Black Hawk, Idaho Springs, Frisco, Vail, and eventually down the spectacular Glenwood Canyon into town and a well deserved dinner with friends.
Saturday was the Time Speed Distance (TSD) rallye and we headed out under another beautiful sunny Colorado day with the top down on the XJ-S. We were actually doing remarkably well on this event, at least for us…one or two legs completed just under a minute off from the perfect time. The day passed swiftly as we worked the course but alas, we totally blew the last leg. Missed a turn altogether and subsequently missed the last checkpoint. Bummer.
Wow…I got my first photo published!
I had submitted a short article and some photos of the Glenwood Springs Rallye to Classic Motorsports magazine back in July. The editor made a few comments like they might use it but I never saw anything in the next issue so I more or less forgot about it. Today I got the November issue in the mailbox AND an email from the editor asking for my mailing address so they could send me a check. I quickly flipped through the magazine and sure enough they used my story and one photo. WhoooHooo!
It will be interesting to see how much the check is for. I hadn’t really thought about getting paid for it but I suppose that’s how it works. [Follow up – I got the check but decided I had better keep my day job]
Mark one off the Bucket List. I’ve always wanted to participate in a road rally and last Friday we were car #52 and crossed the Start Line at 8:52am. The 59th Annual Rallye Glenwood Springs was underway. This was Time Speed Distance (TSD) Rally and Rhonda was the designated driver…I was the navigator. A little background may be in order.
A TSD rally consists of a set of instructions specifying a route to travel, and a speed at which to travel. A team, consisting of a driver and a navigator, attempt to travel the specified route at exactly the specified speeds. A TSD rally is not a race. Traveling too fast results in penalties as does traveling too slowly and no rally will ever require you to drive in a reckless or illegal fashion. Arriving too early at a checkpoint hurts your score, as does arriving too late. You are scored on how closely to the correct time you arrive. The rally route generally takes you over lightly traveled rural roads in the scenic countryside.
The weekend was a great experience and we had a really terrific time. The people were wonderful and the event was very well organized. The Rallye traversed a Westerly route out of Arvada, CO into the foothills and eventually connected to US-40 which took us up over Berthoud Pass (11,307 ft) and through Winter Park. It wasn’t too difficult to follow the route instructions but there were some tricky spots that messed us up and we lost time getting back on course. Somehow it just didn’t seem all that important given how much were enjoying the drive through the mountains with the top down on a beautiful Colorado morning.
We continued on US-40 till we made Kremmling where we stopped for lunch. We then headed South on Hwy-9 for a short ways before diverting Southwest onto the back roads eventually coming out and ending the event at I-70 and Dotsero. The latter part of the route tended to have slower speeds and made the drive a tad bit tedious but the scenery made up for it. We had varying scores…too early…too late…almost spot on, and in fact I’m not sure what our final tally was. They haven’t posted the results yet. If you want to read some more about the basics of Rallying look at this article: Rallying for Beginners…and others
The Tour on Saturday was actually more fun than the Rallye or at least I thought so. It is not a timed event but has a similar flavor to Rallye in that you have to follow a prescribed course (more or less) and find answers to the Tour “questions” along the way. For example; one question was “British Car owners would like this Ranch _____”. So when we drove by the “Spare Parts Ranch” we knew we had nailed that one and went on to the next Instruction…”Turn Left onto Surface Way Rd”. Typically, there were three or four questions to be answered in each of the small towns we went through. This created some amusing scenes of British Cars roaming back and forth through the town at very slow speeds while driver and navigator craned their necks looking for signs. This route went on a southern loop down around the Grand Mesa National Forest and back north along the west side of the Maroon Bells which were absolutely stunning.
Sunday was the Car Show in Two Rivers Park and the cars were parked right along the Colorado River on a beautiful, sunny Colorado morning. There were plenty of interesting cars including a 1936 Triumph Gloria Southern Cross which I had never seen before.
Next year will be the 60th Annual Glenwood Springs Rallye and the plans are underway to make it a very special event. Do mark your calendars for the second weekend in June 2012 and come out and join the fun. Here are some photos of the events:
The Slideshow thingy is not working …just click on the first picture then arrow through them.
Hobbies come and go and I am currently in transition. Sometime back around the 1st of October I ran across a startling opportunity to fulfill one of those once in a lifetime events that I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time now. You see, even though I live in close proximity to a 14,000 ft mountain, I’ve never lost my desire to make an extended road trip up through Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks continuing on to Banff in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
I guess this comes from a certain fascination with Vintage Rallies. We Americans don’t have much appreciation for this sport but the Brits do a marvelous job of planning these events.
Many years ago I got on the mailing list of a couple of British rally coordinators and from time to time I still get a brochure in the mail that sets the imagination running wild. Peking to Paris…..or how about… Continue reading “Hobby Swap – New Project”
It has been a year now since I made the switch from film to digital photography. Overall, I would have to say that it has been a very positive change. There have been many favorable elements and to be honest, I can’t think of one thing about film that I miss. The one downside to the digital world is the additional effort required to process your images before you print them. But, on the other hand that is where the flexibility lies too. You can fix things that did not quite work out. Adjusting the exposure after the fact, or the white balance, tweaking the color saturation a bit to make it look like it did in real life.
The end result is a lot better picture. Looks like it did when you were standing there taking the shot. I have found that some caution is necessary though because it is easy to push the color saturation a bit too much. Doing that can make for a striking photo but there tends to be a shade of unreality to it when you do that. The tools for manipulating the image are simply mind-boggling. The industry standard is Adobe’s Photoshop. I put off buying it for a very long time. Not only is it expensive but it’s so powerful and has so many features that the learning curve is quite high. I decided to go ahead and make the plunge last December while I still had my academic credentials which allowed me to buy the package at a deep discount. As I expected it is a challenging package to learn. In fact, I think it will be a life-long process.
One of the neatest features I’ve found so far is the ability to select a certain portion of the photo and lighten or darken just that section. That feature alone has allowed me to save a number of photos. One of the other big reasons for using Photoshop is simply because all the articles/tutorials/how-to’s for digital photography are inevitably written for Photoshop. So, I have started inching my way up the learning curve. Someday I’ll probably be an expert. Continue reading “Photography Update – 2008”