Kayaking after work – Pueblo

One of my co-workers laments that he’d like to get out on his jetski more often, so I suggested we try to get out once a week to one of the lakes within an hour’s drive. We’ve been talking about this since last summer. Since June and July have the longest days, now is the time to act. Today was our first attempt and it worked out nicely.

We headed down to Pueblo Reservoir in Pueblo Colorado which is about an hour drive from work. I pulled his jetski on a trailer behind my truck and loaded my sea kayak on top of the truck. Pueblo reservoir has two marinas and we put in at the north marina.

Pueblo Reservoir's North Marina

Pueblo Reservoir’s North Marina

The air temp was warm   Continue reading

Colorado Snow Pack and Water Supply

As we’re getting into the prime paddling season in Colorado it’s helpful to have an idea how much snow pack  there is and therefore the upcoming melt-off/run-off we’ll have for flowing rivers and filling reservoirs. Some rivers, like the Yampa, don’t have reservoirs in Colorado which means there is a very specific time to float the river. The water is unregulated so, later in the season, it may not be very floatable. But, it all depends on the amount of snow in mountains.

Colorado has quite a bit of snow in the northern half of the state, but the southern half, well . . . not so much. Check out the Colorado Snow Survey and Water Supply report at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for Colorado. It’s a pretty handy site. Click on the latest month and scroll to the bottom of the press release to see the, percent median snowpack, percent last year’s snowpack, percent average reservoir storage and Last year’s percent average reservoir storage.

So, putting this in perspective, our paddle last Saturday at Rampart Reservoir showed the water at only 3 feet or so below what appears to be the high water mark on the boulders. And, though the water comes from near Buena Vista, there is still plenty of snow in those mountains as well as on Pike’s Peak, as you can see in the photos.

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Don’t let the weather . . .

Don’t the let the weather run your life. Or, so the saying goes. Sometimes I forget this and don’t do things because the weather forecast says it’s going to rain, or I look outside and it looks cloudy and not even close to ideal.

Earlier in the week we decided to go for a paddle on Rampart Reservoir on Saturday, but the forecast was rain and the skies were cloudy on Saturday morning. I wasn’t feeling like I wanted to go, but I hoped that if I just got to loading the boats my attitude would change. And, it worked. Also, knowing that the weatherman isn’t always correct, we decided to give it a try anyway.

When we arrived were rewarded with mild temps and light breezes. Once out on the lake we paddled past some friends in a motor boat who were returning from a morning of fishing.

Rampart reservoir with Pikes Peak

Rampart reservoir with Pikes Peak

 

We paddled in and out of coves for an hour or so and found   Continue reading

Crystal Creek Reservoir – Pikes Peak

If you’ve ever traveled the Pikes Peak Highway, or saw highlights of the annual auto race, you know that it goes to the top of Pikes Peak at 14,114 feet. But, along the way there are three reservoirs which capture some of the melting snow and is then used for local drinking water. The highway drives across the Crystal Creek reservoir dam, but you need to leave the highway to get to South Catamount and North Catamount reservoirs. The area is known as the North Slope Recreation Area. It costs 4 dollars per person to take the highway to the lakes for the day. Most of the visitors are   Continue reading

Chevy Avalanche Intake Manifold Gasket

Now, for something completely different. Heck, I don’t even have a category for this one. I don’t typically post about auto repairs, but my post about my Coleman backpacking stove repair draws some unexpected interest, so I thought others may find this helpful.

2003 Chevy 5.3L V8

2003 Chevy 5.3L V8

My 11 year old Chevy Avalanche, with the 5.3L engine and 158,000 miles was having trouble running smoothly after a start in cold weather. I did some research online and there were several opinions. Maybe it was the throttle position sensor or mass airflow sensor and I think a few other suggestions. Then, I read a post by someone who described some symptoms which matched, in more detail, my symptoms. The truck started fine and idled high, as expected for about 15 seconds, then it sputtered and knocked . . . sounded like it was either going to throw a rod or just die out altogether. After about a minute or so of this torture (I never timed it) it just smoothed out and ran perfectly.

The problem, according to someone   Continue reading