Sick van, me, and 20 degree nights

Sunday night i drove out to beaverhead. The road climbs steeply up to the flats. I turned off rt 179 heading uphill. I pushed on the go pedal which produced no expected acceleration. Wtf? Just get me to the top of the hill and we will go from there. Engine runs but no power. Forecast is for wind event and precip and my gits are giving me issues. I chose a more head into the wind parking spot for the night. Wind did rock me. Yesterday was a federal holiday and i was unsure if the repair shop was open as well as medical treatment. I drove up to voc with no van issue. I needed coffee beans. A previous visit introduced me to an in house local coffee roaster who educated me of bean procurement who suggested an African bean which i was keen to enjoy. While waiting i ran into a chiro who has adjusted me in the past. Hmm. Decided for a session. He said i adjusted easily which must be good.

Windy and showery day. Furnace running. Started making phone calls. First was tepair shop that was open. Come in around 2 for problem investigation. Health care ended with 10 min hold finally voice mail. Drive to west Sedona has several short hills and no shoulder. Apprehension for van’s performance. Drove to garage. Mechanic hooked up computer to read van codes. Revealed needed egr valve. Ordered replacement for perhaps overnight delivery(?). Very unsure of van’s performance. I gingerly drove to uhaul store whete i have permission to park in his lot. I picked a spot out of the way for the night. Very windy blowing rain showers. Ran the furnace which can’t keep up with heat loss, inside temp drops with outside temp.

Ran into George who owns the laundromat and enjoyed a friendly conversation.

Gastro office finally returned my call: did not receive my referral and can’t schedule appointment until received. Call primary care, left voice mail, called back saying just resent referral. I waited until almost 5 and called gastro office. Still no receival. As of 10:45 today no call. Fax transmission issue. Wtf?

Temp dropped to 21 degrees this morning, inside temp was 50 degrees. I pulled down my 20 degree sleeping bag for a quilt. Warmed me up. 6,000 btu furnace output just falls short.

Waiting for calls from both fix it shops.

Forecast temp is for 20 degree nights and 40 degree days with snow flurries mixed in. I saw blooming daffodils which were tempted to bloom during previous shirt sleeve weather.

This morn i tried to start the catalytic heater but the fuel valve would not open. I repeated pushing the heat control knob to no avail. I added percussive and explicatives method to no avail. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. On a whim i turned the heater knob to run even though it wasn’t lit. Darn, that action opened the valve and the heater fired up. This heater produces more heat. I will attemp running it tonight.

No willing to ride with outside temp making it to 40 degrees and a suck van running me aground behind uhaul. Sitting at table inside whole foods typing this on my phone. Street walking for errands.

Finished rereading Wendell Berry’s Jaber Crow the first of his books i read after being introduced to him back at Snake Creek Gap bike race at Dalton, GA back in ’09. I give my read books to The Worm which is also the uhaul place.

Off to consume time.






Ride it while it’s good

Sat AM I drove up to west Sedona while listening to Wait Wait… Being on the road b4 10 usually escapes the touron traffic backup.

I stopped at laundromat and asked to use the step ladder which I used to get up high on the van then laid a bead of sealant on the body panel join. Precip is forecast for later this week including snow. I will learn if my repair plugged the leak.

My ride plan was for monstrous Last Frontier etc. I parked at the cultural park, geared up, then pedaled away. I made about 200 yds when my phone rang. It was Bill Z from bean fame. I described what i wanted to ride which convinced him to join me albeit almost 2 hours later. I putzed around in the parking lot. A rig with a bike on it pulled in beside me: it was Matt from VOC, another friend. We watched birds drink water from a nearby puddle. He knows birds: western blue bird and evening grosbeaks.

Bill arrived. we took off. Bill disclosed that he only rides once a week. He pushed himself staying ahead of me. He is a few years younger than me, not by many. We rode Last Frontier connecting to Western Civ to Cockscomb to Rupp then rode the wander thru the desert on social trails till we joined Girdner with its painful climb out of Dry Creek.

Bill Z in front of Cockscomb

Back at the parked rigs we enjoyed post ride beer from my fridge. He left. I drove back into town for a shower and exotic groceries at Whole Foods not sold at the VOC IGA. Late afternoon leave Decided to drive thru Cornville out to Beaverhead instead of contending with touron jam on 179. Picked road at mp 3. Drove out to first unoccupied turn out. I saw a rig in the distance. I was outside doing something when the white rig almost made a press fit to my van. It was Ian who was out figuring rides out in cattle land. They left about dark. I listened to the Zags on XM.

The furnace is not lighting consistently. When it doesn’t light the inside temp drops which chills me below what my blanket cover warmth. I cycle the control knob which causes the furnace to kick on. I pull over the overlap blanket for warmth and fall back to sleep. After awhile the furnace has warmed up the inside which makes the overlap blanket too hot waking me up. Kick off the additional layer. Cycle again

Today after a pancake bfast which I forgot to add an egg I drove to VOC. I park behind the sheriff’s office. I am on friendly relation with an officer who is retiring later this year. We visited.

Forecast for today called for a wind event afternoon. My intent was to get my ride in b4 breathing blowing sand. I was not motivated to be sharp. The FS is armoring eroded pitches and doing a great job. The features in Breezy that were so short with Sandy rose to their normal unrideable height again. Just couldn’t make it happen.

White line at Chicken point

Snow is forecast for later this week. Paved overlook parking.

The rock here is predominately sandstone which is soft. To me it seems that riding the rubble is sort of stable as when the rocks are moved because of their softness they jam against others forming a stable berm Harder rock pieces bounce off others lessening something to bank against. Big 2.5 tires on wide rims at low pressure helps.

Off to PJs for a beer then out to desert and changing weather. 3 day weekend, potential desert dwellers becoming mudded in tomorrow. Lessons learned.


Rain fell as gravity commanded each drop. Where that drop landed was per nature and physics. Wed night when I crawled into bed I learned that the head of my bed was wet. Those drops that would have rolled off the van roof a quantity found their way onto my bed. Thus began recovery and sussing out the point (s) of entry. For the night I laid out an ensolite pad over the bed then used my 20 degree down bag. Ran the furnace at low comfort level. Woke later in sweat as the bag was too warm, I orientated the wet down blanket for dry to be over me then fell to sleep. Yesterday was laundry day. I washed the mattress pad and dried the blanket in a dryer. I borrowed a ladder from the laundromat then climbed up to survey the roof. Previously noted the suspected seals were well protected by structure. A guess is a gap in the spot weld roof panels is the source. Dunno. I bought a sealant but need to connect to another step ladder. Forecast calls for clear (no rain) so I can put off sealing. Today I put the bed back together, tonight I will learn if I air dried the memory foam pad long enough.

Last night was s bash at the hilton celebrating their multi million dollar renovation to focus on activity. Free hor d’ ourves and beer. Lots of wealthy people rubbed elbows with locals who cannot afford the nightly room rental. Connected with several locals not yet encountered.

Zags played last night. They won and SMC was beaten by USF dropping them to second place. Go Zags. Game was on espn3 and XM did not broadcast. Slept at the overlook with slow internet reception following the game.

Today as expected hero dirt. I connected again with Sandy for a ride from the bean.


Our ride took us down HT, down the armored stair steps. She ratcheted up her self confidence and rolled the stairs. What joy to share the experience of another rider over coming fear to successfully masterĀ  something that scared them. She was almost white from fear and her body shook from success. Further along she rode another sketchy piece for the first time.

The FS trail crew is doing a nice job armoring erosive spots. This one is on HT.

Nice job, pitched rocks for traction, plates for armor.

Up then back down

Following Elizabeth

We finished our ride riding down Slim. Only a few wet spots. Rain”glued” the sand grains together. No dust.

Sandy is a stronger climber and I am a faster descender. We swap leads depending upon the pitch.

Authoring this behind the sheriff’s office where internet is fast. Stopping for groceries at webers than out to Beaverhead and no cows, just excrement left behind.