Thursday, September 24, 2015

Brint Brown's TR3

I'm continually amazed by the timing. I'd spent the day exploring dirt tracks off highway 128 and had just returned from the one that begins at The Dewey Bridge. I was swigging water and contemplating my next move when a TR3 turned into the parking area. I nearly choked!! 

I'd owned one in my youth and that experience plus a later one with a Triumph Bonneville 650 motorcycle had inspired awe for anyone that ventured more than a few blocks from their mechanic. And here, at The Bridge, it's 25 MILES to Moab! 

Brint Brown became enamored of British cars in his teens and has (and still does) owned several including 40 years with the gleaming specimen shown above. He bought it from a friend whose parents used to drive it, on weekends, from Salt Lake City to Elko, Nevada (naivete/chutzpah?!!).

He also told the tale of the bridge. When you're there you'll notice there's no deck...just cables dangling like a bunch of dead daddy-longlegs. Brint said a local philanthropist paid for the bridge's restoration and it was, for years, enjoyed by hikers and sight-seers from near and far. Then, in 2008, an unsupervised 6-year-old set fire to the bosque. When the fire reached the bridge, the deck, which was wood, went up in smoke...leaving nought, as you'll see, but the cables.

When Brint heard I needed water he invited me to his shop where I got to see his other vehicles: a 1973 Land Rover that looked as if it'd just come in from an episode of Marlin Perkins' Wild Kingdom 

and a 1968 VW camper bus with its original wood paneling still gleaming under a fine coat of dust. He also has a '60s model Baja Bug with the full sunroof that extends back to the rear seats. All were in road-ready condition and only in need of fuel and a battery to be on their way.

He said he'd started at the Porsche dealership after high-school and had been factory trained. He owned his own business for many years and since retiring does some work now and then for friends. But he said he'd be happy to recommend someone if you're in need. His shop, Sandstone Garage, is at 1238 S. Hwy 191, Moab. Phone: 801-259-8516.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Yampa Bench Road - Dinosaur National Monument

Yampa Bench Road, also known as County Road 14N, continues the experience of being indescribable (see prev post). 

That said...

There's one wet spot near the Echo Park junction that looks much worse than it is; the sides are soft but the middle is rock solid. That, of course, was determined after careful assessment. (I once spent an afternoon extricating us from a creek that LiED to me about its passability. Fortunately, it was a nice day and we had no other commitments.)

Unbeknownst, Nadja & Bruno (link to their photos) were documenting my risk-analysis. 

And though speed was unnecessary, the windshield splatters leant drama to the moment.

Photo Courtesy of Nadja Krebs - Bern, Switzerland

Bruno took the video while Nadja captured stills from their vehicle. (The date on the vid is incorrect. I left it that way as proof of something.

It's 42 miles from the junction of the Echo Park turnoff to Elk Springs, Colorado, with 15% grades on the switchbacks, some ruts and an occasional large rock. Top speed is 15mph. The views of the Yampa River from the overlooks are (lest you arrived with lingering skepticism) worth it.

LAND spreddin' out far & wide!! 

The switchbacks are steep and tight. Perhaps, as you began the descent to Echo Park, you noticed the cautionary note about trailers over 25 feet.

I got water at Echo Park Campground before setting out. The first day a young woman in a Jeep stopped to discuss the location of the trails. Later, in the afternoon, a guy went by going the other way.

Still Life with Sunglasses

The day after -- 9/23/15 -- was busy....four cars. The 3rd day, which included the 15 miles from the Monument Boundary to Elk Springs, I had it to myself. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Echo Park - Dinosaur Nat'l Monument

This is Canyon Country non-pareil....words don't exist to describe it. Suffice to say there's water (during the summer) at Echo Park C.G.

Somewhere not far from the Yampa's convergence with the Green. (I'm a Buster Keaton fan and when asked of my whereabouts frequently have to answer, "Damfino.")

Rafts landing.

Now you can see...

A short vid of river reflections. 
The kind of thing that makes bein' out there diff from bein' in town.

The old Chew place. Homesteaded in the late 1800s...

The Chew's RV (aluminum siding was de rigueur in the mid-1800s)...

A lite cleaning and it'd be ready to go... 

Somebody coulda been killed!!!!!

After fording...sorta like post-coital, but diff.   ; - )

Thursday, September 17, 2015


It's the web, right? So it was only a couple of taps from the Washington State International Kite Fest to landsailing in New Mexico (THIS vid is in Wyoming.) 

I emailed to ask about building plans and was surprised to be invited to try one out in SW Wyoming. 

Waiting to Go

The design is the result of over fifteen years of testing. They're built to withstand the challenges of difficult terrain and the abuse of newbies such as myself. Contact Rick Hypes at for more info.

Jim & Dave


They also had a very cool firepit made from the tub of a washing machine. It breathes better than the National Forest fire rings, is deep enough to contain sparks and leaves no trace.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gold King Mine Waste Disaster - August 5, 2015

A National Forest signboard on the Animas River near Silverton.  The orange color is from an "accident" caused by Environmental Protection Agency personnel. The "accident" decimated the Animas River and it remains to be seen what the long-term consequences will result.

A closeup of the poster at the far left. "Respected" is, in this case, a jargon term letting you know you're on or crossing private property. 

Are they being disingenuous? The tradition of trashing public lands continues, but we should always remember to be especially careful with private lands. 

The aspen were starting to drop their leaves.

Now don't forget: Leave No Trace. 

(Peerz tuh me hits alreddy bin traced tuh duh max!)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Silverton Green Works - Colorado

So there I was trudging from gallery to gallery jonesing for some art when the muse giggled. I went inside and there, just waiting to be appreciated, were three paintings by Jon Schneck. It's the Silverton Green Works on 13th Street, a recreational marijuana store. 

Jon checked out about ten years ago, but one of the owners, Jason Carroway, knew him and has had the paintings for many years.

Only 39, Jason had had a stroke six weeks earlier. Still reveling in being able to talk, he kindly took time to tell me about Mr. Schneck. He'd known him since he was six and said Jon was eccentric and kept to himself. His mom knew him better and when he died he'd left her his paintings. There are over 100 and they have yet to see them...they're in a storage locker. He said he's had these three for many years and considers them priceless.

When I asked about the store, Jason said he spent a year and a half getting to know folks around the state before deciding who he wanted to work with. The "foyer" has a couple of couches and overstuffed chairs and feels like a living room. And with the paintings and some large photographs of the Durango-Silverton Train, it's a lot like a gallery. 

                           Philip Carmody (on right) is co-owner and manager. 

The store is in the back -- must be 21 to enter -- with  friendly people carefully chosen by Jason. Our conversation was intense and focused on entrepreneurship and the importance of relationships.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An Idea Worth Spreading - JBT's TED talk

I read about Jill Bolte Taylor in an essay written by Ann-Marie Priest in The Best Australian Essays 2009 edited by Robyn Davidson. Thanks to the internet you can see Ms. Taylor, looking quite well, in this presentation in 2008.

Ms. Taylor's description is identical to many others who took LSD. What's interesting is that even though she recognised her experience stemmed from a physiological condition (a stroke), that didn't diminish the value of it. Her book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey has the details.

My explorations occurred at a much younger age, but the insights are still unfolding and continue to provide the foundation for my day-to-day behavior. I can only hope my stroke, if/when it occurs, is as elucidating as the experiences of my youth. Something to look forward to!!