The old homestead

A repository of memories that will never come again.



Rafting the Arkansas River

One of the services our company provides is a Jeep tour through the mountains from Colorado Springs to Cañon City for a half-day rafting trip on the Arkansas River.  I’d been down there several times and wanted to experience the trip myself, which I have to say is way more fun than just sitting around for 3 hours like we usually do.  I put a roll of Tri-X through the Weathermatic:

I definitely had a good experience, and as this half-day trip only goes over class-3 rapids, I didn’t feel particularly challenged; there was plenty of respite between the tricky bits which means I had plenty of opportunities for pictures (maybe Spring would be different).  Most of what I’ve shot with the Weathermatic has been ASA100 film and just occasionally the pictures have been a bit blurry.  I hoped that Tri-X’s extra 2 stops would keep that problem under control, but sadly it didn’t.  Not only was it cloudy but we ended up having some pretty heavy rain, and with the jostling of the boat there were a few unusable images there, though most weren’t too bad.

One of the worst offenders, though I still like the picture.

The Weathermatic only reads DX markings for 100 and 400, so other speeds will be overexposed.  It is a bit disappointing that the camera doesn’t prioritize faster shutter speeds for the 400 speed film.  I suppose for critical work, one would need a Nikonos but for what it is, the Weathermatic does well.

Views from Rampart Range Rd.

Rampart is one of the forest service roads running from Colorado Springs, passing by my town, Woodland Park, and continuing on North along the front range of Colorado.  We do tours up there during the Summertime but only the bottom 6-7 miles so that is the part I know best.

The first time I traveled this road was back in 2007 when my friends picked me up from the airport and took us to Woodland Park the back way in their minivan.  It’s a story I like to tell, mainly because if someone in a minivan can drive it, it’s really not that rough a road.  I’ve passed many a regular car up there and would have thought my own Chevy Blazer wouldn’t have much trouble.  Well…

That’s never happened on a tour.

The good news: the tires were only a year old and I made sure to spend the $15 extra per tire for lifetime warranty.  I’ve already got two new free tires out of that deal.

On rough roads in Colorado, you’ll find plenty of people willing to stop and help change a tire.  Unfortunately, none of them will be pretty girls.  Oh well.

Workin’ on the railroad

This is the cog railway that goes from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pike’s Peak.  2018 was the first year since 1891 that it didn’t run, which was a big bummer for a heck of a lot of people: if you read any brochure or article on the best things to do in Colorado Springs, the cog railway was always #1.  It’s owned by the Broadmoor Hotel, they had about a century of deferred maintenance to address, and what they’re saying is that it’s going to cost $95 Million to fix, and all the parts have to be machined from scratch from a company in Switzerland.

Thankfully, the Broadmoor has plenty of money and the last I heard, they’re saying that the railway will be up and running in 2021.  Never having ridden the train before (I thought I had plenty of time), it was a gigantic bummer, so I’ll be one of the first in line to get tickets once it comes back.  I took those pictures while we were waiting to hear of the assessment’s findings.  This train pictured was evidently their maintenance engine, probably the last time I saw any train on top of the mountain.

Here’s a picture of Ridgerunner pointing out the wear in the track:

Fujicolor 200 in the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80.  Autofocus at its finest…