18 Jul 2016 7:11
The early-morning shadows are still long as I sit on my back patio in one of the Adirondack Chairs made from pallets. It’s become a regular routine in the early morning of the days that I don’t rise even earlier to go to work, looking beyond our property to Pikes Peak in the distance, listening to – and watching – my surroundings “before the world wakes up,” a phrase coined from my long-since-passed father years ago.
The un-snow covered peak in the distance is a usual site this late July time of year, but it doesn’t last long. There’s always some white left above the timberline until about mid-June and we’ll most likely see the snow’s triumphant return in a few short months.
I know the shadow keeping me cool at my vantage point of roughly 6840′ will become incrementally shorter as the well-lit ground creeps its way towards my feet. I get about an hour per foot of shade in the beginning, things speeding up as the angle of the sun rising over our home at my back steadily increases.
A few other early morning risers are already at it, flying their Pipers, Cessnas, and homebuilts out of the small strip less than a mile NW of here (three miles if you use the roads). Just outside the pattern, it’s hard to miss the sound of the engine as they sporadically fly over, competing for attention with the native Colorado yellow-breasted bird singing to his mates from the top of our T-post & cattle-wire fence. He’s also a usual visitor this time of day.
Did I mention the hot-air balloon drifting by about an hour ago? They also take advantage of the early-morning coolness, but their preferred launching field is a few towns south and more than a few hundred feet lower, so with the rolling foothills blocking our view, we usually don’t see them from here. He was a special site and a welcomed visitor this morning.
The sound of the plains gradually gives way to the sound of the planes as more and more flyers evidently make their way to their hangars, me on my third cup of coffee. I’ll be making plenty of my own noise I’m sure, later in the day; but for now I’m still sitting, a spectator in the still-damp-from-yesterday’s-storm wooden chair.
Clifford, our big red bloodhound, stuck his head out the propped-open back door to see that I was here. He must have been content with what he saw because he just disappeared back inside instead of coming over for his usual greeting. Barkley, his brother rescued from an Aztec, New Mexico shelter just six months after we adopted Clifford some years ago, is nowhere to be found yet. I’ll check to see they have water for the day before beginning my own.
I intended to write about the electronic ignition I built for the 235 in the ’36 but somehow ended-up here. I’ve got all the step-by-step pictures loaded and am ready to share the how-to from-points conversion using a previously computer-controlled V-6 distributor, but don’t intend to sit here too much longer. I’ve got a hot-shot battery charger made from an alternator and old go-cart engine that’s half-way done and calling to me from the garage. Once I get the bulk of it complete and working, I’ll pull the voltage regulator out, do a little re-wiring, and set it up as a portable, gas-powered welder as well. Something like that might be useful from time to time around here.
Maybe I’ll sit down to write about it too…
Thanks for visiting.