Monday, July 30, 2007


Black Magic in Dillon, Colorado, on Monday morning before we rigged and launched.

Black Magic is in the water, and the water is just fine. Provided you don't mind chilly water. Or switchy mountain lake winds.
On Saturday, we hauled her out of the water at Heron Lake, de-rigged, and parked her in the driveway at Five O'Clock Somewhere. With just the two of us, de-rigging took a bit longer than when we have more crew. "Tadpole" was visiting his grandparents, preparatory to going to Hummingbird Music Camp on Sunday for an intensive half-week workshop with his fellow members of the Albuquerque Youth Orchestra. Previously when he was in the orchestra he played string bass, but this year he's in the orchestra as a cellist.
Sunday morning we drove, boat and all, to our community center (Shroyer Center), where we joined several dozen other land owners for the "Bluegrass Breakfast" and then I attended a meeting of the Shroyer Center board along with the other officers and board members.
Then Carol Anne and I were able to drive north into the high mountain country. From our cabin, at an elevation of about 7,350 feet, to Chama, at an elevation of about 7,850 feet, we then climbed to Cumbres Pass (just over 10,000 feet above sea level, exact height depending on whether you view the highway sign or the railroad crossing sign), and the even-higher La Manga Pass before beginning the abrupt descent into the Conejos River valley.
Fortunately, we'd had the trailer in for maintenance the week before, including replacing some burnt-out LED (light-emitting diode, more efficient than old-timey incandescents and more resistant to burning out when flooded) lights, installing Bearing Buddies, re-packing wheel bearings, and doing an electrical check and making sure the electrical brakes and brake controller were ready to go ... and stop.

We had to mind our navigation, since Alamosa featured a bit of construction on the southwest edge of downtown. The north side of Poncha Springs has a turn that one has to watch out for (Carol Anne says it's obvious), and the south edge of Buena Vista has a highway leading off to the east that one has to remember NOT to take. Leadville was a place we considered for a late lunch, but parking is limited in its downtown. (For future reference, there's parking near the northeast part of downtown Leadville, at either the Family Dollar, or at or next door to the Pizza Hut.)
With only a V-8 gas engine (as opposed to a truck diesel), it was a long climb up each time we had a major ascent. The drive up the San Luis Valley to Poncha Pass was one such climb; then so too was the long road up through Buena Vista to Leadville, at some 10,200 feet. And, that wasn't the vertical climax of our journey, which appropriately occurred near Climax and the Climax Molybdenum Mine at Fremont Pass, at an elevation of about 11,300 feet. The mine sponsors an am-radio broadcast that tells of what a wonderful job they're doing on environmental remediation and paying taxes and such (even though the mine isn't producing moly currently). "Tadpole" would be interested in visiting the mine, since he spent a week this summer at New Mexico Tech learning about mining engineering.
Leadville is only about 30 miles from Frisco and Dillon Lake. On the way down from Climax we passed by a National Forest parking area with some unusual vehicles occupying it ... a "Big Red" emergency response bus, lots of vans and trucks from television stations, and raising dust in the center, a large military helicoper. Later we learned that volunteer search and rescue team members and a helicopter had successfully rescued a hiker who had suffered a heart attack while traversing steep terrain made even more challenging by loose scree (small rocks or cobbles).

View astern of Black Magic on Monday afternoon. A few other boats were out on the water ... but we expect many more next weekend.
In Dillon, we left Black Magic and her trailer next to the condo we're occupying for the week and unloaded and unpacked our duffle. Next was a visit to the Frisco Marina, where we paid for and located our slip. Then we found that a favorite restaurant from last year had closed, but that was no bother after all, because we then made our way to Pug Ryan's brewpub and eatery. There Carol Anne found the perfect French onion soup, accompanied with a house salad with bleu cheese dressing and washed down with the Scottish Ale Formerly Known As Kilt Lifter. It certainly lifted her spirits and the meal left her with a welcome feeling of contentment and satisfaction. (Near synonymous descriptors used for rhetorical emphasis only; I may be wordy (and prolix), but please don't accuse me of painting the lily or gilding gold, to use the original allusion and not the debased cliche'.)
Grocery shopping and a bit of scenic driving took care of the rest of the day, leaving us to settle in our condo Sunday evening. There we found the place well stocked with provisions; former renters had left quite a few goodies for us, including food and booze. A couple of challenges had to be figured out, since the means of getting the computer going and getting us connected to the Internet took some special engineering involving some very creative connections of phone lines (a previous renter may have lost or absconded with a phone line to the computer).
Sunday's activities in rigging Black Magic are pretty well described in Five O'Clock Somewhere ( ). We came, we rigged, we broke for barbecue. (Foremast Latin: veni, rigi, bbq-y.) Then it was time to bend on a couple of sails, launch (the keel just barely touched bottom during the launch), and sail for a bit.

Sailing in Dillon means sailing within sight of a whole big heap of mountains.

and more mountains. Summit County has the highest average elevation in the USA. Flatlanders may find it takes a while to become acclimated to the altitude.

The dramatic profiles of some nearby peaks are a local hallmark that appear on the Dillon Yacht Club burgee. The DYC advertises itself as the nation's highest yacht club. (Brax, this refers to altitude and not necessarily to mind-altering substances. However, the lack of oxygen, the stunning views, good local microbrew beers [made much more potent by altitude], and all the healthy-looking people to ogle, suffice to make newcomers more than a little dizzy. )

Boats in the mooring field east of the Frisco Marina. Several dozen sailboats moor here.
After our sail, we returned to the condo, where we recovered for a bit and began dinner preparations. I returned to the marina to kayak for a while and take more pictures, then worked on more rigging and preparation details for Black Magic. I got some more telltales placed and got the shroud tension corrected to good values for practice sailing this week, and dug up some parts we will need for working on the boat. Then it was time to buy some groceries at the Frisco Safeway and report back home for dinner.

Another beautiful day on the water.


At 12:52 AM, August 01, 2007, Blogger Carol Anne said...

One minor correction ... The photo of Black Magic on the trailer was shot in Frisco, not Dillon.


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