Storm Shelter Installation

Installed by Vet’s Septic Service. The installation guys were friendly and fun to work with and the installation went smoothly. Mark is an artist with that backhoe.

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Rockies Retreat Weekend

Rough plan:

Depart Thursday Aug 29th after work for Colorado
Reach Woodland Park CO in time to order from the breakfast menu at McDonalds, stock up on supplies from the Super Walmart.
Head for Buena Vista.

Reach the trailhead at Alpine lake.

Alpine Lake

Reach lakeside mountain base camp friday morning. Spend day resting and relaxing, fishing, hiking,

Baldwin Lake – Base camp for Friday

Interesting things around Friday’s Basecamp:

Mount Mamma Abandoned Mine (Half mile from base camp)

Grizzly Mountain Hike (1 mile from base camp)

Ridge Hike to Cronin Peak (1.1 miles from basecamp)

Saturday: After a good rest head up mount white hike around a bit, then cross the valley over to Antero (2 miles apart)

great pics of the trip:

Antero Road

View from Mt White

View from Antero summit

Drive down mountain & head to the ghost town strip trail.

On our way to base camp 2 we will pass:

Ghosttown – St. Elmo

The Mary Murphy mine lower level

And the upper level after several steep switchbacks

Allie-Belle Mine


Iron Chest Mine

Eventually we will traverse the treacherous Tincup pass to get to Mirror Lake. I attempted this in the subaru one year and made it about half a block.

Tincup Pass summit

Reach base camp of mountain/objective #2 sometime in the evening.

Base camp for saturday evening: Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake Fish

Sunday: Leave Mirror Lake and head for base camp charlie. This will be a challenging trail with large rocks, but nothing dangerous. At the end of the trail is an area with at least 27 visible ghost town structures high up in a mountain valley. I have not been able to find any photographs or name for the area but it appears to have been a large mine.

Charlie1 Charlie2 Charlie3

download, rename this pdf to .zip and uncompress the file. import it into google earth for full view of trails and waypoints.


Sweet Score at the Scrapyard

200 pounds of 4340 steel in an annealed state (ready for easy cutting) new condition still in the packaging! It’s very rare to find metal precisely labeled at the scrap yard, knowing exactly what metal this is opens up all sorts of options!

Ni 1.82%, Cr 0.50% to 0.80%, Mo 0.25%, C 0.40%  Atlas4340

This can be hardened to 58 HRC with water quench! For an extremely break resistant steel this is a very high hardness level. After a water quench and a 450F heat treating the blade edges should retain a hardness of about 52-55 HRC. The properties of this alloy should allow me to differentially temper blades to the same extent as 1080 high carbon steel would, but without the lesser impact resistance to breaking. I’m thinking about 55 HRC on the edge, 35-40 HRC on the back. This steel is really good stuff. Any blade made with it will be as strong as a pry bar with an edge almost as keen as the steel used on the edges of Japanese swords.

This is a very tough, very abrasion resistant & corrosive resistant steel alloy with enhanced hardenability properties. The 0.40% carbon places it on the very bottom end of the high carbon steels – meaning it can be hardened but normally not to a degree that higher carbon content high carbon steels can(1060-1095) – but the alloys in it will allow it to harden to a much greater degree than standard 1040 carbon steel AND have the extra toughness and abrasion resistance inherent in this alloy. It’s basically super powered 1040 high carbon steel. All for the same price by weight as rusty rebar (30 cents/lbs) LOL! What a great find!!

200lbs of 4340

Check out the properties of 4340 vs 1095…..

Vastly superior hardness, tensile strength and yield strength.



Lumberjack Dave

So the recent storms motivated me to get to work on clearing out the cluster of tree in the back yard that would plow through our living room if they were to fall. A very tricky chainsaw cut for sure, one mis-cut or improper angle and the trees would go right through the living room. All done with a beefcake electric chainsaw I ordered last year.