Part 16: Alamosa to La Junta, CO


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The Trip

We spent the night at the KOA in Alamosa, CO and had a pleasant night.  From Alamosa, we set our sights on Colorado Springs to meet with some fellow HiLo trailer owners.  From Colorado Springs, we traveled a short distance to Monument to see my neice and husband, Becky and Peter, then on to La Junta to start on yearly maintenance and upgrades.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Traveling north from Alamosa, we had a nice view of Blanca Peak.

At the western foot of the Sangre de Christo range are the Great Sand Dunes, visible above as the light tan area.  This area is now a National Park.

We had lunch in Salida and then headed down the Arkansas River canyon toward Canon City.  The river was flowing strong, but long stretches were seemingly placid.

Anywhere the gorge narrowed, the river turned into whitewater.  Because the access to the river is easy, many rafting companies run tours on the Arkansas River.

Outside of Canon City was this large mine on the side of the mountain.  I am not sure what they are mining here.

We turned north toward Colorado Springs and our path took us past Ft. Carson where we spotted this helicopter.

The chopper was landing in a remote area and we could not tell if it was a training exercise or whether they were actually on a medical evacuation.

Ft. Carson is a large base and it has its own rail yard and fleet of switching locomotives.

We met the HiLo Owner's Rally at the Colorado Springs KOA.   Kathleen and I were besieged by the other rally attendees that wanted to know WTF was up with our truck.  They dogged us until we finally burned out about 9pm.  There were about 80 HiLo's that participated with many of the owners drove from far-away places (like Ohio) to attend the rally.  We, on the other hand, happened to be in the area and used the rally as an opportunity to do a re-supply and stage the next visit on our trip. Thor is visible at the bottom right of the photo above.

The campground was next to Fountain Creek and there was a substantial amount of water flowing.

Our travels in the Colorado Springs area took us on I-25 where we passed a very large concrete pumper being towed by a large, industrial wrecker.

We spent several days at Becky and Peter's place to the east of Monument, CO.  They had a great view of Pike's Peak in the distance.

They have a very nice home that was lucky to have been spared by the fires in the area several years before.

We left Monument and headed to the Terry Lee Enterprises facility in La Junta.  Rob, the owner, has an interesting collection of antique safes and strongboxes.  The box on the left is a Mosler screw-locking safe that was state of the art for it's time.

We had a pretty long list of maintenance and enhancement action items.  The list included the "normal" things like oil and filter change, chassis lubrication, brake fluid replacement and general inspection.  In addition, our plan was to rebuild the brake master cylinder, add a bigger turbocharger, an intercooler and paint the cab.

The first action was to rebuild the brake master cylinder and refill the system with fresh brake fluid.  Above, the pressure bleeder is being used to eliminate the air bubbles in the system.

This is the stock turbocharger that will be replaced with a higher volume unit with a waste gate.  Downstream of the turbocharger will be an intercooler that will use water as the coolant.

Tire rotation is necessary for extending service life of the big tires.  As part of the rotation, we changed the stock lug nuts for "skirt nuts".  The skirt nuts are not cheap and a whole set was about $400, almost $10 per nut.  The side effects of the change, in addition to the cost, were we needed new sockets and wrenches and we had to remove the front protective plate.

We damaged our awning on an extremely tight section of the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park.  The awning was never useful to us, so the damage sealed it's fate: it was removed.

Kelly and Rob used the 20' manlift to remove the canopy.

The water-based intercooler arrived.  This is a substantial piece of equipment.

This is the radiator for the intercooler. 

This is the new, higher-volume Holset turbocharger with waste gate.

We were just getting ramped-up on enhancement actions.  There is a lot of plumbing that will be required for the installation of the intercooler and not all the parts have arrived.

Next: fabrication of mounts, re-plumbing and painting.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights reserved.
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