Tuesday, December 18, 2012

R.I.P. Jake

My header dog Jake had to finally be put down last Friday.  He just got too old to walk.  He wasn't my dog, he was my friend's father's dog, who adopted him.  Then when the father died Jake went to my friend.  And now he's gone to that place where all good pets go when they die.

He was a good dog.  He didn't jump on people, he wasn't out of control, and he didn't bark very often.  He measured his barks.  He was a friend to all who met him. Too bad all dogs aren't more like he was.

R.I.P. Jake. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Flathead Lake picture

Ok so I found my photo (above) of Flathead Lake on someone elses blog again.  I think it's the same guy who had taken it before and moved it from Wordpress to Blogger.  I first posted this picture back in 2006.  I've asked that the photo be removed from his blog and we will see.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

The original post is Seeing Bears on my side bar..

I guess it's been one of those days..   

Friday, November 23, 2012

Canned Ham Travel Trailer

I noticed the unmistakable shape of a vintage canned ham travel trailer ahead of me on the highway as I drove to Thanksgiving dinner.  I wanted to get a good look at it and I had to speed to catch up.  I just managed to snap this picture as it took an exit off of the road.  Of course I had my camera set wrong, but I still got this image.  BUM it said on the back.. Bum, I thought.. Hmm,..

I've often felt like a bum going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving dinner.  And I do like vintage travel trailers that others might consider junk.  I finally got to my exit and left the freeway.  At the stoplight there was a homeless guy.  As I looked at a text on my phone, he flipped the cardboard sign over he was holding and on the other side it said "Drive Safe"..  Is this guy a bum I wondered?  He probably lives in a cool vintage travel trailer, I thought as the light turned green and I drove off to get my free turkey dinner.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kootenay National Park pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of the Kootenay River in Kootenay National Park B.C.  Queenie and I had a nice time exploring the shore.  We've decided to camp in the Aristocrat travel trailer here on our next vacation.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Aristocrat Travel Trailer

Here's a picture of our 1968 Aristocrat travel trailer on it's happy summer parking spot.  I'm pretty sure it is a Mainliner model based on what I can see from the Tin Can Tourist website.  They have the exact floor plan in a Mainliner publication.  This one looks like a Loliner from the outside though.  It has the dropped axle and it's low to the ground, but it's not like any Loliner I've seen on the inside.  It doesn't have the lowered center floor and doesn't have the kitchen in the center.  The kitchen on this one is in the rear and it has a toilet room with a recirculation toilet.  Having the toilet is a big bonus in the middle of the night when camping in bear country..

Anyway this thing is a pleasure to camp in.  There's plenty of room to lounge around and lots of windows to look out of.

I miss camping season already. What a care free thing to do.. I just can't get enough of it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cedar Trees in Idaho

Here's a picture of some Cedar trees in Idaho.  Soon there won't be much color in this part of the world.  Just snow and shades of grey.  But right now it's pretty in the forest even when the sun isn't out.  Smells nice too.

Big Arm Bay Flathead Lake

Here's a picture of Big Arm Bay in Flathead Lake.  I split up a some fire wood and did a few other chores, and then deicded to take the canoe out as the lake was calm.  Very peaceful, and I had the whole thing to myself.  I often get the feeling that I'm on the edge of the planet when I'm at Flathead Lake. Sometimes you feel like you are floating in the sky when the lake is like this.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Stove top at the cabin

A morning picture of the stove top we have at our fire pit in Montana.  This thing has my old man written all over it.  I still cook on this thing.. Well not directly on it..

And here's a picture of mom's eggs (and meds) inside the cabin.  The fall morning air was crisp even inside the cabin.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Retro Camping with the Aristocrat travel trailer

Here are some pictures of the 1969 Aristocrat travel trailer and 1979 Ford F250.  Just some retro fall camping in Montana.  Sometimes I wish things weren't changing all of the time.  I don't want to sound "old" but some things were better back when.  Now it seems if you want a travel trailer it has to be huge.  WTH? (what the heck?)  I pulled into Cascaed Campground along the Clark Fork River in western Montana late Saturday night and had a hard enough time backing the little Aristocrat travel trailer into this spot in the dark.  (and I can really back up a trailer,..)

Anyway I wish they'd stop changing blogger too.  This is my first post since they changed the editor so we will see.  I have no idea what this post is going to look like.

There is of course a lot of forest fire smoke in the air throughout the west.  It made for some very warm lighting.  It's also been sort of hard to put up with all of this smoke as i have a very hard time breathing in it.  None the less I had a nice time camping.  Played guitar a little and got to read a little too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vintage Schwinn Varsity

Here's a picture of my vintage Schwinn Varsity. I found this bike at the dump in Montana a few years ago and had to make a dumpster dive to get it. It's an early Varsity as it has the drop tube shifters, and had a 1963 if I remember Bozeman bike license on it, which was actually like a small metal license plate. I've modified it so I could ride it but I did keep all of the original parts.

Like any bike, wheels and tires make all of the difference. These wheels which were off of a newer Schwinn Continental and are like new, and the tires are new 27 inch Continentals. That makes this old dumpster find ride like new. It's going to be a great town bike, and the cockpit is now comfortable enough for me to go on distance rides with. Other changes I made were; saddle, bars stem and brake levers and pads, pedals, clips, chain and cables. Lastly I found some NOS Varsity fenders on Craigslist. It sounds like a lot but I had most of the parts I needed on hand. Oh,. and I put some white Benotto cello tape on the bars. It's hard to find cello tape nowdays. Never thought I'd see that day...

Varsities aren't that bad. They got a bad reputation when lighter more high tech bikes came to the states in the bicycle boom of the 70s but I think they make great casual retro rides. I've always wanted one and after I get the rack on it, I'll be riding this bike to and from work the rest of this year. It really has a nice feel, and was far too nice to just throw away. It just needed some attention..

And now I have two red bikes.  My Gitane Tour de France is below.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Big Arm Bay Flathead Lake

Here's a picture of Big Arm Bay on Flathead Lake from out on the kayak this morning. There was a lot of forest fire smoke in the air, but it's always nice out on Flathead in the mornings. You can see Melita Island just above that bird on the horizon.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Flathead River

Here's a picture of the Flathead River south and west of Flathead Lake as the sun went down recently. I forgot I took these pictures. They turned out kind of strange. There was a lot of light around even though it was sort of dusk out, so I set the camera to 400 and took a few shots.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Two Medicine and Saint Mary

Two storms moved through the park while we were there. One was bad enough to close the Going to the Sun Highway for a day. It just poured down rain. We had two small leaks around the windows of the Aristocrat during the first rain storm but it was easily fixed with a little silicone when the weather cleared. While we were in Two Medicine the ranger warned us about the "perfect storm" that was going to hit us again. But we decided to go to Waterton anyway and spend the day in the sunshine to the north. When we got back to Two Medicine (above) the storm was clearning.

The picture above is Saint Mary Lake with clouds rolling in.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Logan Pass photo

I know a lot of people take this picture at the top of Logan Pass looking east but I thought this one had good color. We drove up the east side of the Going to the Sun Highway this trip and I haven't been up that side of the pass in years. Lately we've been taking the free bus up the west side and I think that's really the thing to do instead of driving up, especially when there's lots of people, plus it saves on gas. It's often hard to find a place to park if you go up during the middle of the day anyway.

The red busses aren't free though just the more modern shuttles, but it's still nice that they are around as they give the park that nostalgic feel. I'm just the kind of guy that if I can be on a free bus or pay to take the red one, I'll go on the free one every time! Here's a red bus above Upper Saint Mary's Lake.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Glacier Waterton park vacation

Queenie and I spend the week up in Glacier National Park with a day trip up to Waterton. Here's a pic I took of Waterton. I've been wanting to go up there for a long time now and finally got to do it on a beatiful day. I'll post more pics of that area later.

We camped on the west side of Glacier for the first part of the week in Apgar and then we moved to the east side and made Two Medicine our base camp. Here's a pic of the 1969 Aristocrat travel trailer that was our home for a week. It was very comfy and everything worked with the exception of the oven pilot light which kept going out, but I'm sure I can resolve that problem. The fridge worked as did the toilet and we kept dry in the most intense rain storms.

Here's a pic of queenie and me on Logan Pass. I haven't had time to blog lately but I plan to post more pics of this vacation as we took a lot. It was really beautiful up there and there's a lot to go through.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wild Horse Island pine trees

Here's a picture I took of pine trees on Wild Horse Island as I made my way back down to the shore.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Boat trip to Wild Horse Island

I made my first trip to Wild Horse Island recently. I beached the skiff at Rocky Beach and while I was there some people came in and hit a big rock under the surface with their ski boat. Man it made a loud bang. It's always so nice being on Wild Horse Island.

I came upon some bucks in the velvet. These deer are going to have some impressive racks this fall when their antlers fully develop. A storm moved in so I had to scamper back down the hill to get off of the island and back to the cabin.

The weather can change quickly on Flathead Lake, but my skiff is a very safe boat for its size.

Here's a picture looking back at Melita Island and the rain behind me as I raced home to out run the storm. Melita Island is just south of Wild Horse Island.

Replacing the roof vent on the Aristocrat travel trailer

I had to replace the roof vent on our vintage Aristocrat travel trailer. The old one did not have the proper lid which was just taped in place, so of course you couldn't open or close it. Thankfully it didn't leak. First I had to grind and cut away the goop that covered all of the screw heads so I could get a socket on them. That took forever and was a difficult task. I used my Dremel tool to grind around them and then an Xacto knife to cut the screw head free.

After I removed all of the screws, I pulled the old vent out and then cleaned the opening removing all of the old putty tape.

After I cleaned off the old goop and putty tape I scrubbed the area with steel wool and then cleaned the area with rubbing alcohol. Then I positioned the new vent in the opening and marked where it would be centered. I drew around the vent flashing with a marking pen. That mark also allowed me to position the new putty tape.
I positioned the new putty tape inside the lines I had drawn with the marking pen. I overlapped the tape in the corners and squished it together with my fingers.
I attached the new vent using #8 by 3/4 sheet metal screws. The wood was perfect in the framing and the screws went in well. Next I need to go around the edge of the flange with a sealant I got at the RV place. I'll do that tonight.
Here's what it looks like from the inside. I left the original metal interior trim in place and didn't use the plastic one provided with the new vent. I think it looks more retro with the metal interior flashing. Aristocrats seem to have this wire for lighting going along the walls and ceiling. My parents Aristocrat had this same sort of wiring also. Anyway, now I have the vent and rear window fixed. There's still more work to be done, but the only thing I really need to do now is fix one of the window screens and we will be able to use the trailer for our vacation in Glacier.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brown black bear

Here's another picture of a black bear with a brown pelt, that I took in Canada last weekend. I just rolled down my window and snapped a few pics and then went on my way. They look slow and awkward but they can run really fast and can be on you in seconds. Plus I didn't want its filthy paws (and claws) on my nice clean lilly white car... This one looked pretty mean, but I've noticed that when you get close to bears they all look sort of artifitial. This bear and one other one were feading on dandilions. Who knew they ate dandilions? It wasn't growling, it just had a mouth full of dandilions.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Retro camping

We took the retro camper to Fairmont Hot Springs in BC last weekend. Here's a picture of it with the Columbia Valley in the background. I say "retro camper" because one time I was camping in it and some kid said "nice retro camper!" to me,.. and I was thinking it was just a camper but now I guess it's retro. And come to think of it, maybe I'm retro along with it?..

Queenie has been collecting Melmac to go along with the rest of our retro camping gear. So we got to have coffee for the first time in the lovely cups she found, and we made the coffee in the retro Revere Ware coffee pot that used to be part of the Gochenour collection. I appropriated it for our summer camping.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Painting in Missoula

You have to be careful when you pick someone to paint your fence in Missoula,.. I'd be happy with the job this person did.

They did a nice job on the Garage too,. Not sure who the artist is but I like it,. Only in Missoula.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Big Arm bay Flathead Lake

Here I go again,.. another picture of Big Arm bay in Flathead Lake.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vintage Melmac Dinnerware

Queenie bought this lovely vintage Melmac Dinnerware for us to use in the Aristocrat travel trailer when we go camping. I already have some other pieces to go with it and the hunt is on for more. We have to go for the full retro experience because modern things just aren't quite the same now, are they..?

Aristocrat travel trailer

Well I've been working on the vintage Aristocrat travel trailer to get it ready for summer camping. The previous owner had removed the awning that covers the front windows. It protects the windows from rocks on the highway and provides shade when camping. Plus they just look cool and the Aristocrat looked naked without it because trailers this vintage usually had them. Anyway the awning came in pieces with the trailer. So I managed to find all of the pieces, clean the years of grime off of the fiberglass pieces and figure out how it all went back together. I still have to get a few sheet metal screws for that. The picture above shows the awning closed, and below it is open.

Next I need to work on the truck side of my lighting issues. I think I have a bad ground somewhere in my truck connector as I get very weak lights on my boat trailer as well and I don't have this problem with the other tow vehicle, so I'm going to take apart and solder all of those connections. Then I need to figure out the wiring situation inside the trailer. The interior lights work but I don't understand how the running and tail lights are hooked up or how the RV battery plays in. I might even have to take this in to someone to reslove this but I'll try myself first.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kootenay National Park pictures

Queenie and I went to Kootenay National Park over the weekend and took a lot of pictures. This is the Kootenay River at Dolly Varden.

Looking the other direction from the same spot at Dolly Varden.

Here's a picture of Queenie taking a picture of the Kootenay River. We both enjoy photography and Kootenay Park is beautiful this time of year as everything is coming back to life.

But watch out for the Bears! They are coming back to life too. This is a black bear with a brown pelt. A brown bear in color only and not a Grizzly. Between us we saw a total of seven bears in the park. We saw a black bear sow with two cubs, one that was black and one that was brown like the bear above. It isn't the best picture but here they are below. My uncle would call a brown black bear like this a "cinamon bear". So I think there's a lot of confusion when it comes to calling a bear a brown bear, because Brown bear technically means part of the family of bears that includes Grizzly and Kodiak, and that's different from a black bear. But I can see why we get confused. Brown black bears do look different than regular black bears.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Melita Island in Flathead Lake

Here's another morning picture I took a few weeks ago of Flathead Lake with Melita Island in view. I just zoomed in more on it. The Mission Mountains are off in the distance.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.