Time has simply zoomed by this year!

It doesn’t seem like it has been that long since I last did something here.
But, it has.
– – – –

What I haven’t done enough of this year is fish.  I’ve managed to schedule “away” things during what is typically excellent fishing in the part of the world. Some things I have managed this year, after tax season, are four Habitat for Humanity RV CAV (Care-A-Vanners) Builds.  I was in Springfield MO with about 200 other CAVs for a 25th Anniversary Rally, Build, and Celebration.  I also got to help build in Idaho Falls ID, as well as going back to build in Las Cruces NM again before going on to Hobbs NM for my first Build there.  Visit www.Habitat.org/RV for more info, check the Building Listing, read about the program, and see all the fun you’ve been missing.  Please shoot me a note with any questions you have – I’ll find the answer or help you get in touch with someone who does know.

I’ve also presented safety training as part of my HFH fun this year – two times for the two-day course (Idaho Falls ID & Tucson AZ) and a safety awareness short course during CAVs 25th Anniversary Rally, Build, and Celebration in Springfield. I’ll get back to this raggedy-ass blog in the not-too-distant future, but for now I need to finish up my online courses for my CE / CPE credits as tax season is just around the corner and I want to be fully up-to-date on the new laws and rules.

Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy your holidays!

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15 April is almost here – and none too soon!

Business has been good, too good in fact. Started into long hours earlier this year than last and it just hasn’t let up.

I am getting too chronologically advantaged to work 70+ hour weeks, week after week. It was certainly fun for awhile – meet the challenge and all that. But, I feel like I’ve somehow misplaced the last six or so weeks of my life.

I’ll miss it, as I do every year when it’s over. But I’ll more than welcome the change and new activities.

(For some reason, this got stuck in my Drafts box April 13- just found it tonight so am posting anyway.)

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The Pagosa Springs June RV Care-A-Vanners Team

Here’s a group shot we took last Saturday at the start of the work day.

Smiling Faces

The RV Care-A-Vanners Team (Habitat for Humanity)

It’s a good thing for us that we had Becky with us last week (young smiling face in the middle of the front row.)  She managed to pull our team average age down in to the mid-60s!

The house in the background is one part of the team stained over three days.  The homeowner is in the front row.  I managed to escape that by helping tear out some warped bamboo flooring (water leak), put down cement board, and tile an eat-in-kitchen in another home.  We’re also working on leveling a mobile home, having made and poured 20 cement footers for piers as the original ones had sunk pretty badly and many are leaning precariously.  More about that in another post.

The projects are part of “A Brush with Kindness” program under the umbrella of  Habitat for Humanity International.  This is my first “Brush” as my other experiences have all been with building “decent, affordable housing” for folks.

The RV Care-A-Vanners (CAV) is a sub-set of HFHI and consists of folks with various RVs who work around the country for a couple of weeks at a time on “Builds” and are all volunteers.  To find out more about the CAVs, go to www.Habitat.org, hover your mouse over the Get Involved tab, then click on Volunteer Programs.  Then, under “Short-term volunteer trips” click on RV Care-A-Vanners.  On the left sidebar, you can click on “Scheduled Builds and Descriptions” to see a listing of the various Builds around the country and even some in Canada.  The Builds with “DR” in the town / city name are Disaster Recovery teams and the “CC” are Collegiate Challenge projects.

I’m currently scheduled for two more Builds this year – one in Sheridan WY and one in Las Cruces NM.

It is a boatload of fun, we get price breaks on campgrounds (almost always full hook-ups), local organizations feed us lunch most every workday, and the community support is terrific.  And, we get cool T-shirts, too!  I’ve meet many wonderful folks and made several fast friends in my doing this a little now and then over the years.  The work is none too hard, nobody has to do anything that makes them uncomfortable and it is phenomenally rewarding to work side-by-side with the homeowners (“Brush”) or the future homeowners in the case of new-builds.

No, the home isn’t free.  The homeowners get a mortgage, just like you or I do, and they have to put in “Sweat Equity Hours” ranging from 300 to 500, depending on how many adults are in the family and on the local HFH Affiliate’s rules.

Check it out!  You might like it!  If you can’t take off a couple of weeks at a pop, check with your local HFH Affiliate – they are always looking for “locals” to volunteer.  Construction experience is NOT required!  There are umpteen jobs to be done and the opportunities to learn how to do various phases of construction are never-ending.

At the base of “Wolf Creek Pass, way up on the Great Divide”,

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Off on another HFH adventure!

Yes, I’ve left this almost-a-blog languish for way too long.

I’m in Pagosa Springs CO for a couple of weeks for an RV Care-A-Vanners Build. CAV is sub-group within the Habitat for Humanity organization – a group of RV folks, most of whom are retired, who are hosted by various HFH affiliates around the country to come in and help build homes.

This is my first foray into “A Brush with Kindness” – a program to help folks with repairs, painting (Ugh!), winterization, and the like. For this Build, projects we’ve got lined up include helping re-level a mobile home on which the pads have sunk and need to be repoured; replacing some flooring on a Habitat house that suffered a minor flood due to a plumbing failure; relocating and reattaching a porch / stoop that was “relocated” (on a mobile home) recently by a micro-burst; and some siding work on another home. We also have a home that needs to have the exterior stained as it is weathering badly and the owner is unable to do it.

These projects are mostly of the “Neighbor helping Neighbor” sort.

Met some new folks at the Welcome Aboard potluck last night as well as seeing a couple of old friends. It should be a fun two weeks and the local affiliate, HFH of Archuletta County, is a great one to work with – fine folks and this is a wonderful area. (Did I mention the river is a few hundred feet from my camper? And that there are fish to be had after work?)


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In the meantime, here’s a shot from my phone.

I took this the morning of OCT 06 before I left a BLM campground I’d stayed in the night before. I had stopped here for the petroglyphs and took the trail / tour in the morning. Nice stop up on the top, looking west. Finished up a cup of coffee sitting up here before heading out that morning.  The name of the area is Hickison Petroglyph Rec Area and it is right at the Hickison Summit on “The Lonliest Road.”  Noise level is negligible other than a vehicle on the distant highway wandering on to the rumble strip at the shoulder now and then.   My only gripe would be the amount of litter and loose trash blowing about.  Managed to fill up a couple of Wally World bags on my strolls about the area.

From the BLM website:
Hickison Petroglyphs are 24 miles east of Austin. This campground offers 16 campsites, a day use area, two vault type toilets, grills, tables, a one-half mile ADA accessible interpretive trail, and trash cans. Small to mid-sized RVs can be accommodated. There is no water. Open year round. Fee: none.”

The glyphs are quite interesting.  I did the short walk the next morning before I hauled out and continued westward.  I found this fine viewpoint to finish up my coffee and smoke part of a cheap cigar before wandering back around the loop path and to my rig.

Looking westward from the high point on the loop trail.



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And, so it ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

My time as an Amazonian came to an early end today, NOV 01.
Long story short – feet just couldn’t take it, despite trying various shoes, boots, insoles, orthotics, etc.
And, I’ve still not posted any pics of my trip out to Sparks or any of the few I’ve taken here. Hmmm – recurrent theme with me.
Anyway, underway FRI morning and rolling back to Colorado.

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Sitting in the Silver State.

Arrived yesterday, will be working on uploading some pictures and blurbs in the next few days after I finish my recon runs locally, including looking for some guillable trout in the Truckee River.

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Soon to be off on a new adventure …

Late today or early tomorrow I’m heading out, following the advice of Horace Greeley once again.

I’m going to go work at Amazon’s Fernely NV Fulfillment Center for a while, part of the staff-up for the holiday shopping rush. Should be a hoot!

I’m going to actually try to do some more frequent posts here, if for no other reason than I think it will be entertaining – not to mention good practice for me.

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Yep – STILL behind.

Got back from the annual Tetons trip last night, heading out in the early morning to go back to WI to do some more work on the farmhouse.
Should be back the end of the month – just in time to go fishing – again – some more.

Tight Lines!

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This and That.

Last night I got back from a three-week run to upstate Wisconsin where I was helping a friend do some bathroom rehab / rebuild on a 100-year old farmhouse to make it more capatable for a person with MS. She can use a walker some, but mostly relies a wheelchair around the house. Old, narrow doorways and a bathtub were somewhat less than convenient. Will put up a few pics of that this coming week.

While we didn’t completely finish, still some trim to install, I needed to hustle back as my house is in the pre-evacuation zone for the Waldo Canyon Fire that burned homes in Colorado Springs this week. “D” had gotten out my fishing gear (important stuff, you know), packed up some treasures/photos, and with the help of her sis and my bro gotten stuff loaded into our travel trailer which my Bro hauled up to her sis’ house in case we did (do?) need to evacuate. We’d have a place to live while awaiting the outcome.

Of course, I had the keys to the hitch locks with me in WI, so my bro had to cut the locking bolt for tow bar as well as the lock on the tongue of the trailer. Thanks, man!

The fire has settled down, the winds and weather are cooperating some, and the fire crews have done a helluva job in getting the thing under control. Unlikely we’ll need to evacuate, but keeping some bags packed “just in case.”

Coming back from Wisconsin, my buddy Tom and I stopped off at the SPAM Museum in Austin MN – what a treat! I highly recommend it if you’re near there – it’s worth a side trip to visit. Admission is free, but I did manage to spend $50 or so in the gift shop, including buying 12 cans of SPAM in assorted flavors.

I hope your June was as much fun and as personally rewarding as mine was.

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