Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A good use for a snow board

The need to expose Alexi to extreme weather and cold was calling again so I had to fix his chariot.
I found an old snow board. Ripped it down the middle with a tile saw (Man, did that feel good to do to a snow board. I highly recommend taking that action to any snowboard you may find). I then matched the two halves in a vice so that the new edged was exposed. A belt sander then made a very nice strait edge for the inside runner. The Shaping was designed to maximize front shovel area with tappering down in the rear (thus a long, thin triangle of snow board was removed). the struts were mounted off center to the inside to aid in chariot stability. I fixed base gouges with petex and waxed the bases with blue hydroflurocarb. The next thing to do was to test the new beast.
A quick pit stop check on chariot driver with auxilary crew (lowie and theo) looking on.

Wiffy testing the new rig.

It worked fantastically well. Slightly heavier on the up, but not much. On the down it was a dream. Floating perfect and very high nearly no drag as it tracked smoothly behind the skier.

Two teething in Tetonia

What response do you expect from two rabid snow junkies when you ask:

Where do you go for a good powder fix away from the crowds?

Go up to the Tetons for some pow skiing of course!!

The Tetons up near Jackson Hole is a fantastic place to get away.
We have been going for nearly 15 years strait. Since we had to go, and leaving behind our new found joy is an unconscionable offense to such an agreeable child, we had to take Alexi.
Alexi was a pretty good trooper. He certainly enjoyed getting out and about. Or getting cuddled in the yurt.
But the trip was not free of misshaps. Alexi was a bit cranky and on the way in a minor disaster happened. We were about 3 miles in from the trailhead with a little over one mile to go. We were sliding along under a blue-bird blue sky. Things were going so smoothly. ......Too smoothly.

Then it happened. I was towing the chariot on the skin track and came to a moose track crossing. Not thinking too much about the lurking danger, as my long skis always span the chasms of moose footprints, I crossed over them and moved full steam ahead. Our little chariot has much smaller skis. The frail little things dropped in a moose track hole and augured into the snow. Momentum, usually my friend, was not here. The weight of gear and Alexi in sled caused the ski skid to snap. Bellow is a picture of the after math damage (taken in my garage).
Not to be deterred, it was time for field improvisation. (As most of you know, this is one of my specialties and it was time to rise to the challenge). I found my trusty Gerber tool and proceeded to hack down a nearby willow sapling. The tool blade snapped off in mid project, leaving me staring in disbelief at the broken blade poking in the snow.

Luckily someone else came prepared and had a imitation Swiss Army knife. Well, the blade on this one was up to the task. I fashioned the stick to insert a few inches into the top mount providing cantilevered force back to the tip of the skid. A little duck tap and, Viole', ......go as new, (sort of).
The "field fix" held up remarkably well. I was able to summit Beards Mt and get photo op of the Bug with the cloud shrouded Tetons in the background.

Later on we found out why Alexi was a little fussy. He has just popped out two new teeth!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

jungle jumperoo and walker

OK, Went out and bought another expensive digi, because hey, people got to see the little one in action.

My little bug, he likes to jump. Got him a Jungle Jumperoo and boy does he go a boing-boinging. Sometimes it take a little bit, but when he gets going he really gets going.

As you can see hang time is quickly becoming a passion for Alexi. Guess he kind of takes after his old man.

But wait, that is not all he likes to do he is getting very close to walking. We got him a walker and he like to walk. And clap. He is becoming a very proficient Walk Clapper. Not sure if it is some kind of innate religion of native Ethiopians, but it sure fun.

You should try it some time. Yes, do it now. Just get up from your chair, walk around the room and clap your hands. Yes, go do it!!!

Now, didn't that feel good. Feelings of giddy and fun. Kind of cathartic wasn't it? Cleansing almost. Expelling those bad vibes and letting the good ones in.

Oh what the little one has to teach us about life.