Saturday, November 21, 2015

Road Trip

Start of a week off and my motorcycle trip in New Mexico was cancelled due to a big snow storm. So I take a day and a half off from the resin and glass and drive to Dolores, CO to visit Andy Hutchinson's shop.

Here's Andy finding a piece of wood he uses for his hatch frames and gutters to show me how he does his. There are a lot of different ways to do this, some fairly straightforward, and some more intricate requiring many more cuts and pieces (and time and maintenance, maybe skill). You can see how Brad and Kelly do their's by looking at their blogs, linked on the right. 

I'm going to be doing my hatch lids and frames, and maybe my decking (depending on how the Core Cell supply holds out) in  3/8" marine ply and Port Orford Cedar. Mainly b/c I can't imaging making, glassing, and fitting all of the small parts in foam core. Plus there are some concerns of durability of various attachments into glassed foam, such as hinges, latches, and footman loops. I also recall from a private conversation with Mark, who built an all Core Cell boat, that if he were to do it over, he'd do the same. 

The goal is a waterproof hatch, although I'm told that no method is 100% and some water will get in. 

Lot's of cool thing and ideas to see in Andy's shop. Here's a quick release holder for the top spare oar. One pull on the tucked in block and the oar is ready to be pulled out from the front tie down and slammed into place. Looks like there's a little wear on those roller blocks Andy?  :)

Top pic of a gunwale on his Briggs boat. 

Maybe my favorite acccesory. Found this inside a hatch lid on his wife's Briggs. 

Discussed and looked at lots of other stuff.  Places to put holders for umbrellas, and ways to mount a center pole for my BD Mega Mid tent.

Nice seat cover from Flagstaff River Equipment (Wet Dreams).

Flip up oarsman seat, for back rest.

Leaving Andy's I took a different route home. 
First, the appetizer of a cruise up the upper Dolores valley. Looks like lots of fun 2's and maybe a few 3's, at higher water. Little does this water know that it is destined to a different fate farther downstream, perhaps doubtful to ever again float a dory, or maybe any boat, below McPhee dam, drying up what was once possibly my favorite trip ever in a kayak. Great float and camping, pretty much mellow with a little rise in the heart rate at Snaggletooth. It seems the water is now consigned for better things in some people's opinion, such as irrigation for winter wheat, alfalfa, hay and pinto beans in the River of Sorrows valley. Crops we pay farmers back east not to grow. 
I've considered naming my boat the Dolores, honoring the GCD tradition of recognizing ruined or lost places.  No better candidate than this one. But Andy tells me there are already at least 4 out there. No matter, it's still near the top of the list. 

Moving on to the main course. The trip over Lizard Head pass after a fresh snow on a sunny day has to be one of the best spots in Colorado, if not America. Yet another reminder of how lucky I am to live here.

But I'm still not seeing the "lizard head".

And then on to the dessert, after a dark trip down the San Miguel canyon through Norwood and memories of kayak runs here in days past. The views from the Dallas Divide, looking out over Ralph's Double RL ranch at the Sneffels wilderness rival those of Lizard Head. 

All in all a good day. A very good day. 

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