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May 23, 1999
a year ago

Left Hand Canyon

In the morning, I was glad I'd done all that I'd done with the espresso machine. I then tried to use it to brew espresso and steam milk.

It turned out to be more of a juggling act than I really wanted it to be. One of the stupid moths had gotten in to the carafe that the espresso was going into, so I had to do a quick swap to a glass. Then, I tried to start steaming milk when the espresso was done, but since it was a boiler-type instead of a pump-type espresso machine, whenever I tried to lessen the steam, the coffee would start filling with more steam again. So by the time I was actually done with the milk, the coffee had nearly overflowed the glass and was quite a bit weaker than I'd wanted it, though still bracingly strong straight. John drank that happily as I went back to the boiler and tried it again.

A quarter pound of coffee makes about eight two shot espresso drinks, so that's about 32 ounces of espresso. It goes a ways.

We were supposed to meet the local Land Rover club folks to go out to Left Hand canyon to wander about on some 'easy' trails at about noon. We went up to Longmont, stopped at a pub to eat lunch, and got to the place at two minutes past noon. There was no one there. That shocked me, a bit, but I did entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, they'd actually all met before noon and drove off the moment the minute hand hit the tweleve. That's what it would have taken for us to completely miss the convoy of Land Rovers. I thought about it again and went, "Naaaahhhhh..." Then said to John that usually when it's Land Rover owners meeting, they get together a bit late, sit around talking about the trucks, then fix something that has to get fixed before actually taking off on the adventure.

Sure enough, around fifteen after, the guy in charge of the mini-meet popped out of his house, told us he'd been off getting lunch and sorry for the wait. Then we talked with him and his visitor from England while they sat and ate, then we all congregated in the garage to do what was necessary to plug the winch into the new battery he'd bought. While we were supposed to meet other Land Rover owners at quarter to one at the bottom of Left Hand Canyon Road, it wasn't until ten til one that we left the house. THIS is more like Land Rover timing. Land Rover Time is a bit more leasurely than other kinds, I think.

We met them at the bottom of the canyon and then went up into the mountains. We hit gullies, creek beds, and rocks bigger than I really like to think of being under the undercarriage of a truck. The D90 did famously, really nice articulation. I've put a bunch of pictures up here. It's just an index into the actually pictures, so no big loading time there. The trail got a whole lot tougher than we thought it would be, at points, and John banged a good dent into the back of Borax; but it's a good battle scar, and John really learned how the truck handled, which was very, very good indeed. And the toughness of the trail turned out to be a cool thing at the end, because we got through stuff I had no clue we could actually make it through. While the whole thing was on trails, there were sections where the trail had turned into creek bed and the rocks were just enormous. Kinda scary, but we got through all of that really well.

We didn't get off the mountain until sometime after 6:30, went to the hotel Dan was staying at and called their room, but they weren't there. We'd thought about doing something with Bonnie and Dan Sunday evening, but neither of us quite made it, which was okay, as we'd both said it would be tentative. While we were trying to contact them I spotted a local ice cream shop and we stopped and got still long enough to just sit and enjoy an ice cream cone. Yum.

Dinner was a bit pot of green chile stew. I had chicken breasts that had mild freezer burn, and after the last run from Seattle, we had a ton of green chiles stowed in the freezer. There were potatos starting to grow in their bag on the counter, and a bunch of vegetables in the vegitable bin, so I just dumped a lot of stuff into the stew. Garlic, onions, the chicken were all browned, first, then potatoes, tomatoes, chopped green chiles, and then I added a can of sweet Trader Joe's corn because I wanted corn in it. It turned out to be a good mix of flavors and textures and was relatively little work while I let it simmer. I didn't put too much chile in it, as I really didn't want it hot, but it scented the whole batch and added its distinctive flavor. I also added chopped oregano from my herb box and a couple bay leaves for an interesting accent.

Stew is good for clearing out the refrigerator.

After dinner, I got ambitious while John watched TV, and I mixed up a one gallon batch of the ginger beer and then asked John to find the bottle capper. He came up with that pretty quickly, as I think he'd run across it yesterday while searching for the espresso machine. So he capped while I bottled, and then we laid the ten bottles on their sides in a box in the laundry sink. I've heard a lot about how ginger beer can explode, so I think it might be safe there. It's supposed to sit around for a few days and get fizzy before we fridge it and drink it, and I figured that ten bottles should be good both for fitting into the fridge and that it'd last the week before the next batch was ready.

The moths appeared when we had already turned out the lights and were getting ready for bed. This time, though, there were fewer as John had left the moth killing lamp down in the basement for a while and in the garage for a while. Moth Carnage. It also looks like they didn't get into the yarn in the chest of drawers in the basement, so I don't have fiber damage at all. We still haven't figured out where they're coming from, but they do seem to appear when the lights go out for a bit.

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