Char

This was a much-needed lazy weekend. I was surprised when the winch for my ATV arrived on Thursday, and I spent a little time that evening installing it. I only got the winch itself installed when some high winds and rain started up very quickly, and I had to hurry and put all my tools and the ATV back in the garage where it’s too cluttered to do any work. I wasn’t feeling up to working on it more Friday, but I spent most of Saturday wiring everything up. I wanted it to look factory-installed, and I was very particular about where and how I routed the wires. I used about eight feet of wire loom and almost two rolls of electrical tape. Space was very limited in the compartment behind the battery, but that was the only space at all to mount the winch relay, and mounting it and routing the wires was a tricky prospect. I didn’t get finished until about dinner time, then I tried the winch out in the back yard. I attached the winch cable to a tree, locked up the front and rear brakes on the ATV, and reeled the cable in. It dragged the machine effortlessly with all four tires locked up. I still need to get some real-world experience with it, but I’m confident that it’ll get me out of most situations that I get myself into. I just need to make sure I don’t use it as an excuse to get into bad situations in the first place. ­čÖé
I took the boys out for a short hike today in one of the forks of Cordingly Canyon. I’d seen what looked like a hiking trail up the left fork from the end of the road in this canyon the last time I was there on my ATV, but there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground at that time and I only hiked about 100′ before turning back and making a mental note to try it again later in the year. I finally got around to it today. The road was rougher today than I remember it from a couple of months ago, and one part in particular was definitely more washed out, probably due to the rain we had all last week. I found myself wishing that I’d ridden my ATV today instead of driving the truck. The hiking trail that I thought I’d seen only went a few hundred feet farther than I had hiked along it earlier, but we kept going up the canyon after the trail petered out. It was very slow-going, with a lot of downed trees and boulders to negotiate. There were also a lot of burned trees from a wildfire two years ago, and I think we all got a bit of charcoal on our skin and clothes. We hiked almost exactly 0.3 miles from the truck as the crow flies, but the round-trip distance came out to 0.9 miles due to all the zig-zagging around obstacles. I might try the hike again without the kids some other day. There’s a mountain peak at the head of the canyon that I want to hike to, but it’s not somewhere I would try bringing my children. I would also like to explore the right fork from the road’s end–I’m hoping to find clues up there as to why the road was built in the first place (presumably prospecting for coal?), because there sure weren’t any indications up the left fork.

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