Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dumpster Diving?

Is it still dumpster diving if you pulled it out of the ditch?

Periodically we have a problem with people dumping trash along the county road going out to our house. A fridge here, washer there, etc... It's really not that common, but it does happen. Eventually a county maintenance crew finds there way out there and hauls it off, but sometimes it can take several weeks. I can honestly say that I've never been tempted to stop and pick anything up out of the ditch... until today!

When we were going out to run in the canyon this morning we noticed one of those battery operated cars in the ditch along with some other trash and decided to go back and check it out. It didn't look to be in too bad of shape so we loaded it up and brought it home to clean up and to figure out if I could get it to work or not.

I'm trying to charge the battery with a trickle charger so that is taking some patience, but everything else actually seems to be in working order. This evening Eli and I cleaned it up (hopefully it can get wet, cause I used a hose!) and played around with it some. If he pushes the little gas pedal you can push it pretty easily, but if he lets off the gas pedal the wheels lock up so at least that part seems to work. It has a few scratches, but overall it seems to be in pretty good shape. Not sure why someone would leave it in a ditch 3 miles from town, not sure if they didn't want to buy a new battery or what. Of course I thought about it some more and maybe they stole it and didn't have the charger so they just tossed it in the ditch. It doesn't really look that big in the pictures, but it is probably too big to fit in a normal sized dumpster.

Oh well, it will be interesting to see if I can get it to work or not. A new one costs $350 and there is no way we would have ever bought him one new. A replacement battery costs $56 and a charger is only $18 so we might spring for those if everything else works.

Here's some pictures of Eli playing with it.He is turning into quite the ham. He's smiling for the camera here.
And here's the current mode of operation for it!

Been a long time since I've picked up someone else's trash with the intention of using it myself, but Eli seems to really like it and the price was right! Hopefully we can get it working without spending too much money on it.

I've been working out, getting ready for elk hunting in just under a month. Got in 2 - 4 mile runs and a 30 and 35 minute hill climb session on the elliptical for the equivalent of about 14 1/2 miles this week. Last week I peaked at 18 miles in a week with a 6 mile run so I think I'll get there pretty easily this year. At one point I had a thought of running a 1/2 marathon this year, but I think I've had second thoughts on that. It will be good to be in decent shape bushwacking through the brush in Wyoming though.

That's it for now. Nathan

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Well, I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Austin and back. 375 miles each way!

I left the house at 4:45 this morning and made it back at 6:00 this evening pulling our new to us travel trailer!If you don't know me, you might be wondering why in the world I drove to Austin to buy a used travel trailer. If you do know me, you already know why I drove to Austin. For a Deal! ;-)

It is a 2007 model, a Cherokee Lite made by Forest River. It is an 18' travel trailer and only weighs 3,700lbs empty so it is supposed to be fairly easy to tow with a 1/2 ton pickup or even an SUV. I was able to tow it back relatively easily, but the truck did have to work at it a bit.

It would have been smarter and easier to just rent one in Wyoming, but I'm not always very smart and I tend to make things harder than they need to be!

Here's the other side.
And here's a picture of the storm that I drove through just before I got home. I don't have a weight distributing hitch or sway control bars yet, and I was thinking I might not need them until I got into the gusty winds coming through the storm. It wasn't too scary but I got down to 50 mph at one point in some heavy rain. It seemed like the wind was behind me, but the trailer really pulled hard going through the rain. I think it was more of a cross wind when it was all said and done.

I think that trip gave me a decent test for the trip that we will be making in just over a month to Wyoming and the reason why we bought the trailer in the first place. People don't think that Texas has much in the way of hills and that is true for much of Texas, but they don't call the area around Austin the "Hill Country" for nothing. That, and the fact that Austin is around 500' elevation and Lubbock is at 3,250' elevation means that I climbed more in that 370 miles than I will climb from Lubbock to Denver! From Denver to where I'm headed in Wyoming isn't much of an elevation gain overall, but there will be several ups and downs before it is all said and done.

I pretty much stuck to 65mph and the truck handled it pretty well. I kept it in 3rd gear pretty much the entire time and the truck runs right at 2,500 rpms at 65 mph in 3rd gear. It dropped down into 2nd on a couple hills and runs at 3,500 rpms at 55 mph in 2nd gear. If the hills had been much longer I might have had to slow down some on the biggest hills as it peaked at 99 degrees outside on the drive home and the truck started to get a little warm toward the top of one of the longest hills.

I was hoping to get 10 mpg and I did on the first part of the drive, but as I started climbing I got a little worse mileage. Overall I ended up getting 9.3 mpg for the trip home. I got 17.1 mpg going down there so pulling the trailer makes a little bit of a difference!

It is too tall to fit in our barn, so we're not sure exactly where we are going to park it permanently. Here's it's temporary resting spot out beside the barnWe looked at several different floor plans before pretty much deciding on this basic layout. Pretty much all the RV makers have a floor plan like this. There is a couch that folds out into a bed up front, a dinette and the kitchen stuff in the middle, and a double bed with a single bunk above it and the restroom in the back.

It hasn't been licensed in a couple years as the previous owners hadn't used it much at all. The interior looks pretty much brand new.

Here's the jackknife couch at the front.
And the beds in the back.
The dinette and the stereo. Not sure why all the RV's have to have a fancy stereo but they do.

I took a picture of the bathroom, but then decided against posting it. It pretty much has a commode and a tub/shower. Nothing special, but it should be functional.

That's pretty much my Saturday. 750 miles with 1/2 of that pulling a travel trailer.

I'm about ready to go to bed.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Well, I have a ton of stuff to post on about the past week or so, but I'm not getting around to it very fast. I did get a neat picture of a young buck moving past my hunting blind on Saturday morning that I thought I would share though. It was still early in the morning and the buck was moving so the background ended up blurred behind him. It was mostly by accident that it turned out that way, but I thought it ended up being a pretty neat picture. (You can click on the picture to make it a little larger if you want) I also got some more pictures of the tall 8 that is now the tall 11. I think the antlers look so cool when they are in velvet. They are pretty much done growing now, when the tips end up in a point they are done, when they are still rounded on the ends they are going to still grow some more.
He really is a pretty deer. There used to be a mineral rock at this spot and that's why he's nosing around on the ground there.
Last picture of him. Hopefully I will be able to pass on him this year and he'll make it through the season. He will be a monster if he makes it to next year!
I've been procrastinating at work too, and have a bunch to get done so this will just be a short post. I may be around to posting more on the last couple weekends at the land, but it was mostly just manual labor and some mishaps so not much in the way of pictures that I can share.

That's it for now. Nathan

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

Well, I've been pretty bad on posting lately after doing so good there for a while. I've been pretty busy, just haven't had a chance to really post on things.

I've been down to the land a couple times in the last week already and am going back down this weekend to get some more work done. I'll try post on that next week.

Last year I called this buck the "Tall 8" (He is on the far left in this picture). I saw him nearly every time I hunted and found both of his shed antlers last year. If you give him a spread credit of 13" he scored just under 100". Maybe just a little better than normal for a 2 1/2 year old around here.

This year I guess I'm going to have to change his name to the "Tall 11". That's the same buck in the middle of the picture this year. He has a split G2 on his left side and although his G4's are pretty small he still might grow a tiny bit more this year. I think he would score close to 130" this year as a 3 1/2 year old.

Hopefully I'll be able to pass on him again this year and hopefully he will stay on my property enough again this year that he won't get shot by a neighbor. There are a couple other bucks I'm getting occasional pictures of that would be higher up my hit list than this guy. If he makes it to next year he will be REALLY nice!

I haven't gotten any pictures of Stickers in a few weeks so hopefully he hasn't already abandoned my property for the season. Most of the work I'm doing is designed to try to keep the mature bucks on my property but it may be a case of too little too late for him.

I'll report on my progress next week and post a few pictures.

That's it for now. Nathan