Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red Rock Canyon Vacation Day 5

April 21, 2011

On occasion, we have had the need to just drive up out of the canyon to Hinton for ice or some other thing. (A Sonic Blast comes to mind.) At some time this morning, Jo needed to drive out to make a phone call without fear of losing her signal. While she went to do that, I got out the Thetford “Grey Boy” to perform my first-ever duty of relieving our gray water tank situation.

I rolled it around to the side of the trailer and began to figure everything out. Remove cap from Grey Boy hose end and hook it up, remove the cap off of the vent valve, and open the valve on the coach. I didn’t want to risk overdoing anything, so I didn’t even begin to decide to see how full I could get it. While the system is designed to shut off automatically when the float at the vent valve raises up, I didn’t trust it to be effective, even if it is brand new. It would have been nice if they had made the plastic a little more clear so one could see just how full the tank really was getting.

I then had the fortune of finding that most of the people in our area of the campground had gone somewhere, including all the guys on motorcycles in the next campsite going toward the dump station. That way, no one got to see me leading my “pet tank” down to the dump. It works pretty well at towing since it has the dual wheel arrangement under the front so that one doesn’t have to hold up the weight of the tank as well as pull it.

I was also pleased to find that the swivel mechanism in those front wheels was metal instead of plastic. The ones I had seen in videos on the internet were plastic. Pulling was pretty easy, although I’d hate to pull 27 gallons up much of a slope. It was also easy to switch hands as I went along. I only need to get an adapter that will “twist-lock” onto the end of the hose and be a right angle adapter to fit into the dump station hole.

At the dump station, I learned my lesson. But, before you envision me being wet down with questionable water, it wasn’t that that I learned. Not thinking, while it was dumping I lifted up the one end as it ran out. After a bit, I was surprised that the tank wasn’t emptying. So, I sat it back down on all the wheels. It took a few minutes before I realized that the drain in the tank is in the middle of the tank and not on the end. Duh!! So, I learned that a Thetford needs to be down on all wheels to properly drain.

As my good luck would have it, Jo drove by while I was at the dump station. My good luck came about because she didn’t get to see me struggling with why the water wasn’t all running out. There are times that a man just wants his wife to be ignorant of his failings, even if they are only occurring for fleeting moments.

I learned that the adapter that will twist onto the end of the hose would be valuable when I used a 10 foot extension for the dump system. While the hose worked fine, it was a bit of a hassle carrying it back to the campsite. I didn’t want a moist hose hanging around my neck, so I laid it on top of the tank as I pulled it back. Needless to say, it kept falling off the tank. So, I either need the adapter or something to use to tie the hose to the tank.

While messing with all that, I also took the opportunity to take a picture of the coach wheels on the leveling “blocks” that I cut out from the barn stall mat that I had posted on some of the forums. The weight of the coach does compress them a little, but the biggest issue seems to be that they want to shift when driving up on them. The mats are somewhat smooth on one side and textured on the other side. I may need to experiment to see if putting the textured side of one mat against the textured side of the other mat will tend to make them stay put. As it was, I had them arranged with textured side against smooth side. I’ll comment later after I have a chance to do that.


The only other thing of note we did today was to walk one of the nature trails today. The trail was interesting, however they don’t seem to be keeping up the signs along the way that explain about the features at each point of interest. A second nature trail in the same area turned out to only go back about 50 feet. That was a disappointment. But, here are some pictures from the one good one.

While this sign is in regards to the Rough Horsetail Trail, the center map gives a good layout of the entire canyon.


A portion of the trail.  I can’t recall whether the horizontal tree is still alive or not, but we saw several that were.


Like this one.


This is labeled as a “Plunge Pool” on the signs because the water running off of the canyon walls “plunge” into them.  A lot of the water in the pools along the nature trail were somewhat scummy, just like the pond in the main canyon.


This tree just didn’t seem to know how it wanted to grow.  It goes strangely on both ends of the horizontal part.


Note how the water in the center of the stream is scummy, but it is clear to the left and the right of the scummy part.


Looking at the bottom of the picture, you can see that they have had to put large boards almost like railroad ties but smaller into the ground to serve as steps.  Check out the configuration of that tree to the left.


A number of areas on the nature trail almost seemed to have the feel of a swamp.  However, I’ve never really seen a swamp, so what do I know?


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