Fog in Garden of the Gods

Colorado gets about 300 days of sunshine and is very dry, so something that is quite rare for us is foggy days.  It happened once before when I was driving tours through but I didn’t have my camera that day, this one I did; it was early October (last year) and this cloud was thick, heavy and hovered over Colorado Springs all day.

People that day weren’t very enthusiastic about tours, which gave me plenty of time to drive around the park myself and take pictures.

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Sketch

If you walk into our headquarters, you will see caricatures lining the wall, portraits of all our drivers.  Sketch has been hired to do those for years now, and that led to him getting a job with us last year.

Dutch

Driver spotlight:
Dutch used to be a professional photographer back in the ’70s and ’80s, has some camera equipment lying around that I’m trying to get him to give/sell to me.  It’ll happen sooner or later.

(don’t tell anyone but I think he’s about old enough to be my grandpa…)

The shooting continues

After having to drop an unexpected $600 on my car, I had to hold off on buying film, and then had to wait for Kodak to get their new online store up and running.  Now that it is, I have my stock of film for this summer,
10x Vision3 50D
5x Vision3 200T
5x Tri-X
(plus some 35mm film from Cinestill which arrived at the same time)

If you’ll forgive the digital picture:

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Blue, 1982-2017

This is a tribute to Blue, one of my six favorite jeeps (we have six CJs, all 1982-1983, I would have rated Blue in the top three).  She was a good jeep, but sadly she’s no more.  It’s hard to see a beauty like this go out.

 

Actually I was the last one to drive Blue, and something in the engine compartment caught fire as I was taking a group down Rampart Range Rd. just above Balanced Rock, exactly a year ago today.  You can see in some of the pictures where the fire fed off the paint on the top of the hood.  I wish we had spent the money to put her back in commission but sadly it’s not to be, it seems.  She’s just sitting at the lot now, there for whenever we need a part to keep the other five CJs running and so far has donated a windshield and a gas tank to other jeeps.

Personally I’d rather drive one of the old carbureted jeeps any day but I’m in the minority.  I had many drivers (tired old guys) congratulate me on killing Blue off and asking if I could do the same for Bulldog and the others.  Ugh…

I didn’t have my camera with me that day (it’s become a bit of a superstition for me since), but evidently one of my passengers took a pic with her iphone, and one of my fellow jeep drivers got a hold of it.  I post it below, but do not own the image:

bluefire

Bulldog

The legend of Bulldog is that right before it was purchased by our company some 20+ years ago, it was involved in a head-on collision with a Mack truck.  The Mack truck was totaled, the only thing they could salvage was the hood ornament, so we took it…and the Jeep came through without a scratch.

Probably not quite a true story, but still an entertaining one.  Bulldog is the flagship jeep, and usually driven by Denim who besides driving tours is the resident mechanic.  It’s considered an honor to drive the Dog, and this Summer I’ve gotten the honor quite a lot.  Most of these pictures are from 2016, with some from 2017.  I haven’t even developed anything from this year, which means there are probably a lot more Bulldog pics waiting to be shared…

Our company has I think 20 jeeps at last count, 6 of which are early-’80s Jeep CJ-8 Scramblers, of course the most fun to drive: no nonsense, no frills.  That is to say, no automatic transmission, no cloth interiors, no doors or windows, no working gauges, just metal with vinyl seats, easy to hose off when it gets dirty.  Bulldog also features a high-torque first gear/reverse and isn’t used in regular driving, just for pulling other vehicles out of ditches.  As well, it doesn’t have power steering, which makes it akin to wrestling a bulldog, especially when driving up those all-dirt mountain roads…