Monday, July 30, 2012

Plenty To Do!

1. Now that I've shut down my audio amplifier repair business, Mrs Elliott will be moving her company into my former shop's space. This will free up the downstairs den area which her business is presently occupying. I can install a decent stereo and do man-cave decorating. But there's a lot of stuff to throw away and sell on

2. I've got a camping trip to prep for: with our hulking ex-military son watching the place, Mrs Elliott and I will be heading east toward Idaho (or wherever fancy and impulse take us) next week. Redfish Lake, Ida., is said to be nice. Right now I'm trying to figure out a way to easily carry two kayaks without spending an arm and a leg at Rack 'N' Roll downtown.
My options are:
A) Mount some "J cradles" atop our 1984 VW poptop camper. The upside is that we don't need to bring a trailer for the kayaks. The downside is that neither of us is tall enough to wrestle kayaks up and down from the poptop, and that with the kayaks up there, it will take more strength than I possess to pop the top. 
B) Mount some J cradles on my little camping utility trailer. Not a bad idea, but the tongue of the trailer is short, so the kayaks interfere with opening and closing the van's rear hatch; we would have to either unship the kayaks off the trailer or unhitch it and move it away from the van. 
C) Get a dedicated trailer with a long tongue, set up to handle two kayaks. This is the most expensive solution, and I'd need to find a place on our tiny property to stash the trailer when not in use, but we're looking at some offerings on craigslist. 
There are also a bazillion other details to attend to.

3. Then a backpacking trip: right after we get back from the camping trip, I'm-a headin' out on a solo hike for five, six nights somewhere in the Three Sisters Wilderness. The hike I took in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness a few days ago was a good shakedown, and I reckon I've got pretty much everything sorted, gear-wise. It's just a matter of packing more food and fuel for my alcohol stove, and deciding what shelter and clothing to bring in response to the weather forecast. Which, as anyone who lives hereabouts will tell you, is only a Serving Suggestion.

[Edit: oh yeah, I also need to clean out the damn garden shed. This thing was loaded up with stuff when we moved here in 2008 and sorting the shed out was near the bottom of my stack of Things I Gotta Do so I put it off. In 2009 I got ankle surgery, so I put it off. In 2010 I, uh, just put it off. Same for 2011: I had so many fun summer activities scheduled that, once again, I put it off. I cannot put it off any more: there are garden chemicals leaked all over the place, rusty paint cans, gardening implements of destruction (e.g., rakes and shovels) scattered hither and yon, and other random crap in helter-skelter, desultory, thoughtless heaps. Something Must Be Done. Where are the servants when you need them?]


  1. Pop-top struts, for popping the top with kayak(s) or other stuff stored up top.

  2. Pop-top struts. Got 'em. But how to mount two (2) kayaks (w/o expensive parts) isn't clear to me. Hoisting one is not too difficult, but two might be a real struggle, I think.

  3. Let's hope Mrs. Elliott doesn't get those styrofoam penuts all over the shop floor. I really am enjoying your blog and glad you're enjoying retirement.


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