Georgie Lake

Georgie Lake
Georgie Lake, Vancouver Island


Go with Your Gut

When the tow truck dropped Serenity at David and Sons my gut questioned if they had the resources to repair the engine. Ron assured me that he could handle the job, so off I went down the rabbit hole.

Fast forward to Redlands Truck and RV's engine assessment.....

Engine using oil: Oil leak at front of oil pan/timing cover gasket. 5 of the 8 spark plugs are oil fouled, engine compression low in 5 of 8 cylinders. Appears to have been an in frame rebuild of the engine possibly. It's possible that the piston rings were improperly installed at time of rebuild. Recommend replacing engine or disassembling to repair issues, if repairable. 
 Additional notations:
      Starter wires hanging loose
     Left exhaust manifold leaking at head, both manifolds leaking at pipe connection
     Spark plug wires melted

Bottom line, Serenity is getting a new engine.


Back in the Land Palpable Air

The heat increased as I descended Cajon Pass into the brown blanket that envelopes Los Angeles.  As Angalenos say, "Don't trust air you can't see".  I am back at my sisters in West Covina, CA for maintenance and repairs. The engine rebuild was not totally successful. I had add a quart of oil every 600 miles this summer. Serenity is headed for Redlands Truck and RV next week to get checked out.


Navajo National Monument

I took the ranger guided tour down into Tsegi Canyon to visit Betatakin which means "House Built on a Ledge in Navajo. The lush green growth of aspen, oaks and Douglas fir trees form a relict forest that has survived from the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

We descended 1000 feet into the lush green canyon on a trail built by the Navajos in 1930. They hand carried tons of limestone blocks into the canyon to create numerous steps.

Going down the easy part.
First view of Betatakin

100 to 125 people built, lived in and then abandoned Betatakin in a brief period of 50 years. 

Pictographs of Big Horn Sheep
and the Fire Clan symbol.

Big Horn Sheep petroglyphs

Going up not so easy. I got a good cardio workout.

Million dollar view at the free Canyon View Campground.

Current location  35.218472 -112.377909


Chimney Rock

The 535 million year old Chimney Rock stands guard over this pueblo village that was once home to 2000 ancestral Pueblo indians. It was built 90 miles north east of  Chaco Canyon on a high mesa and inhabited from 925 to 1125 AD . It is what the archeologists call a satellite community to Chaco Canyon.

Off we go

Kiva on the self guided tour.

Metates for grinding corn

Christie and Jim try their hand at grinding corn.

We chose the $12 (senior) guided tour that allowed us access to the Great House on the ridge top. The Great House was built in 1076 and expanded and finished in 1093. It consists of 36 rooms and two kivas thought to be a ceremonial center.

The Great House and kiva with a spectacular 75 mile view.

The gangs all here.


Starter Hotel

In 1887 Henry Strater built his name sake hotel for $70,000. It became a popular winter retreat for the locals who closed their homes in favor the Strater where each room boasted its own wood burning stove and comfortable furniture.
The hotel evolved through several owners until in 1926 a group of business men lead by Earl A Barker purchase the aging Strater. In 1983 Earl's son began an extensive Victorian renovation. Each of the 93 rooms exhibits it own unique Victorian decor. The hotel's boasts the largest collection of American Victorian-era walnut furniture in the world.


Beautiful room at  $400 a  night

Period correct wall paper by Bradbury and Bradbury
That gold color is 24 carat gold

The closer ceiling light is an original Tiffany,
the farther one a reproduction.

An operational phone like the one my
grandparents had on the farm.

Office Spiritorium bar

The exquisite woodwork through out the Strater is created and maintained by the hotel's full time carpenter.

Current location  37.292484, -107.872075


Durango to Silverton Narrow Guage

The 45 mile railroad from Durango to Silverton is one of a few remaining remnants of narrow gauge track that once hauled livestock, freight, and most importantly ore through out Colorado in the 1800s. In 1882 William Jackson Palmer with great difficulty extended his Denver and Rio Grande railroad to Silverton. The thin air prevented smelting the ore on site, so it was hauled 3000 feet down the mountain to Durango where the silver and gold could be extracted.

Three foot wide narrow gauge is cheaper to build and can make sharper turns than 4 foot 8 inch wide standard gauge. If the road bed cut into the cliffs had been wide enough for standard gauge, it would have tripled construction costs.  

Don't look down

We chose a car that offered historical narration. Kathy, in the persona of Palmer's daughter Dorothy, presented a very knowable and entertaining account of Palmer family history and the building of railroads narrow gauge railroads in Colorado during our 3.5 hour ride up to Silverton

Commercial use of the this route ended in 1968. These cars were left behind

We did not stop at the restored depot outside Silverton. Thankfully the train continues another mile right up to the edge of town.

Current location 37.400874, -107.535779