Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Dog's Life

Phoebe about six months. Classic Pyrenees helmet head

Lani (Khalani) asking when Phoebe is going back

Phoebe claiming the loveseat as her own. About 10 months old, still has the fuzzy puppy ears

Phoebe a 14 months, quite the ham. About as tall as she will get, but will start filling out now, is still that rangy young dog.

Phoebe on rabbit watch. Stands about 5'6" now.

Lani in isolation (caught in the act here, that bench was up against the wall), trying to show remorse.

And the breakout, that bench weighs about 70# she forced it back from the wall with her muzzle

Watching for squirrels. Lani stands a bit taller than Phoebe in this picture, but Phoebe has now passed her up a bit.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - Mines around Sunset

I sifted through the online catalog for the Boulder Library and I discovered that there was a pretty prolific map maker in the area named Henry A Drumm. He was in the first graduating class of the University of Colorado in Boulder (1882 and he was literally the first graduate to receive his diploma. There were six members in the first graduating class).

A good chunk of his maps are available digitally from the University of Colorado, although finding them can be a bit tricky. The CU maps mostly feature mining claims in Boulder county, they are blueprints and typically only show major geographical features such as streams, creeks, rivers and mountain summits. The railroad line is not typically featured on these maps but combined with a couple of other maps you can get a good idea of how the claims around Sunset intersect with the C&N. I have taken a look at the dates on the maps and most of them are after the C&N (or DB&W) was dismantled so that could explain why you don't see the railroad on them.

There aren't nearly as many claims in the area around Sunset as there are around some of the other locations along the C&N. Enough to justify a couple of mines but not much more than that. Salina, Ward and Eldora have dozens of overlapping claims.

Here are the two maps that I found for Sunset.
This is a snip from a larger county map. Unfortunately it doesn't include Ward which is just off the top of the map. You can see from this map why the C&N was also known as the Whiplash Route.

These are the mine claims around Sunset. I'm rather surprised by how much they overlap.
I know that the Dolly Varden was actively worked as there is a picture of the mining structures. There are 34 mine claims in the area and 1 placer.
 Compare the Sunset map to this one from Salina which is east of Sunset.

Friday, April 13, 2018

A Family History Lesson

We visited my mother over the weekend and I mentioned that she hadn't shown me the pictures of her trip to Norway, which had actually taken place in 2014. She had some copies of the pictures that she gave me which I can't find now so I headed out to the internet to see what I could find. I think the most interesting part of her trip was finding a family member's headstone at this awesome little church.

Apparently the bulk of this side of the family hails, more or less, from the area around Balestrand which is on the coast (?) of the Sognefjorden (the name of the fjord) in Sogn og Fjordane (the county, I think). The Kvamsøy Church is on Kvamsøy island which lies in the fjord itself. I managed to find some pictures of it on wikipedia.

The church only holds services twice a year now but is available for funerals and weddings. It is closed completely from October through May. Its an interesting piece of family history. She visited a couple of other graveyards and was able to locate other family members as well. There are distant relatives living in and around Bergen but she didn't have the time on that trip to find them.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - the Mines

Before I decide to change the C&N track plan significantly I figured I should at least take a look at how much space a couple of mines might take. Quite possibly I would have to extend one end or the other to accommodate these structures.

There are a number of commercial kits out there that would certainly be appropriate. I would love to get my hands on the J&L Mining kit from Stoney Creek Designs but that one is likely to fall way outside what I'm willing to pay for it. Banta Modelworks makes the Little Creek Mining kit but this one is a little on the small side for what I'm envisioning. Wild West Models has three kits; the Quartz Hill Mine, the Flack Mine and the Atlantic Cable Mine. I think that either the Quartz Hill or the Atlantic Cable would be good choices, the Flack Mine is a little small again. Those were really the only commercially available kits that I could find. I'm sure there are others out there I just didn't find them (I'm certainly open to suggestions if anyone wants to provide some links).

That brings us to the possibility of scratch building these two structures. I'm certainly capable of doing that. I first turned to plans from the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. Instead of pawing through all my hard copies I search through the NG&SL CDs. Much easier and much faster! Here is what I was able to find:
1) The Vicki Jo Mining, an HOn3 diorama by Ron Morse, MMR

2) The Saratoga Mine Revisited by Kelly Morris

3) Up Rattlsnake Hill, Part 1 and Part 2 by John Campbell

4) Up Clear Creek on the Narrow Gauge, Part 33: The Hukill Mine Head and Ore Bins by Harry Brunk
Later on Harry would discover that this is actually the Maude Monroe Mine, not the Hukill

5) The Saratoga Mine by Malcolm Furlow

6) The "No Name Mine" by Harry Brunk

 I have always like the Saratoga Mine and the revisited version really shows off what could be done with it. Its also capable fitting in a relatively long and narrow space which may be all that I have to work with. The designs for the Rattlesnake Hill are very versatile with all the structures being very separate from each other. I could easily just build the ore bins and use them on another structure. I need some good sized ore bins to justify rail traffic for these mines. The Hukill is the only "open" structure so that one will get some serious consideration. I like the Vicki Jo as well but there really aren't any plans for it in that article but it is similar to the Rattlesnake Hill mine and the arrangement of structures is intriguing.

There were a few others I found that are worth considering in a couple of my structure plan books.
From "Structures of the Early West" by Joseph Crea and Elwood Bell:
1) Silver Mine; Leadville CO, page 18

2) Crown Pointe & Virginia Mine, Idaho Springs CO page 28

From "Early Wood Frame and Stone Structures" by Pat Harriman, MMR
1) Samantha Morgan Mining Company, page 141

The Leadville Silver mine is a neat complex but it would absorb a lot of space. I have always wanted to build the Crowne Point & Virginia but its significant depth may rule it out. The Samantha Morgan Mining company is very similar to the Vicki Jo and if I utilized the ore bins from the Rattlesnake Hill mine it would be a more complete complex.

So those are the candidates for the Sunset area mines. From those candidates only two will emerge. In the mean time I'll make some paper foot prints to mess around with and see what kind of track arrangement I can come up with in the defined space or if I need to expand a little (and I have an idea building in the back of my mind for just such an expansion without adding more length to what I have).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Kickstarter Watch - Bob Naismith's Overrunners

 What can I say but Wow! These are the kind of Sci-Fi minis that I have really been looking for, although Reaper's IMEF minis were pretty darn close. This one is a bit pricey so I'm not sure I can get in on it especially with a big vacation coming up in May. The renders look amazing, I would like to see some prints though and see how that compares to the renders. On the other hand I have always been a fan of his regular sculpts so I doubt you could go wrong with these anyway.
Basic Squad

Heavy Weapons Squad

One man bike

Two man bike

Jeip with crew