lodging on wheels
After much head-scratching, sketching, erasing, sketching again, measuring, measuring again, cutting, and glueing, Mike produced a two-piece bed / storage unit for the main cabin of The Sprinter.
The goal was lightweight yet strong construction: this was accomplished by use of thin plywood and wood glue, with a minimum of screws.
Careful planning produced a bed with room beneath to conveniently fit several of our approximately 5,000 Rubbermaid tubs that we have acquired since moving to Reno. Further accoutrements include a folding bench and more shelving. Also on deck is a kitchen / cabinet / commissary box unit … all stories for another day.
sherpas for hire
Mike had worked hard on design and production of the bed, and it was time to relax and take a road trip. We headed south, and spent two days helping install a climate station in the Sheep Range, just north of Las Vegas.
This collaborative project aims to establish and maintain two multi-station climate transects at varying elevations within the Sheep Range (southern NV) and the Snake Range (northeast NV), where we went last summer on another fieldwork trip.
The stations collect and transmit basic meteorological data, including temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, etc.
Since we couldn’t drive to the site, the eight of us hiked in tools and supplies — about an hour of easy walking up a wash and a low ridge. In the two days we were there we put up a 25-foot instrument tower, solar panels, and other infrastructure, enjoying sunny days and clear nights.
The webcam on top of the tower is now operational! Enjoy the view here. It’s still in testing mode, however … so if the link doesn’t work, it’s being tinkered with.
On to red rocks
It was time to leave the crew to fine-tune the communications equipment. Since we were so close to the sandstone canyons of Red Rocks, we headed there for a couple of days of climbing before driving home.
The first day was extremely windy. We tried to find something sheltered, and ended up in Black Velvet Canyon on the very popular Frogland. This route is normally crowded, but the 30-40 kt winds must have kept the crowds away — no lines, no waiting.
The next day things had calmed down a lot, so we went to our original destination, Windy Peak (!) on the southern end of the canyons. The route for the day was Jubilant Song, one of the first ever put up at Red Rocks back in the early ‘70s. It was fully worth the stars it got — challenging climbing, a summit, and a lovely well-marked walk-off descent.
On the way home we drove through Death Valley, where we spotted spring wildflowers. Leaves were beginning to appear on cottonwoods.
We arrived in Reno to strong gusty winds and snow. Guess it’ll be a while here before spring comes here!