Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lewstone Fire 100% Contained; Rist Canyon Evacuation Orders Lifted

 Much thanks to the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, and the Poudre Fire Authority for getting this contained, and mopped up. This fire was near Morning Fresh Dairy Farm, right next door to the Noosa Yoghurt plant where the kids work, and the dairy people were feeding all the firefighters courtesy of their "Howling Cow Cafe" operation.

We went out yesterday to The Rock Garden, a local supplier of decorative rock up on the North end of town. They have pallets full of different types of "flagstone", in sizes from small bits and pieces, up to boulders you'd need to call the Army Corps of Engineers to move. Most of the rock is excavated from their own quarry a few miles away, so it really is a local operation. And the people we met there were quite a bunch of characters.

We picked up a dozen pieces of "Colorado Red", each about 12" square, to use as a walkway through the little garden area we have in front of the house. Our handyman guy had put some down last year, but they were spaced too far apart, and too small in size, to be of any use in walking through the mulch to get to the water valve for sprinkling.



Those pieces are getting placed in various other parts of the yard, and the new ones will get installed over the next few days.

Tomorrow we're going back to pick out "our boulder", so we can have them etch the house number and a graphic on it, and then they'll bring it by and set it for us.

And yes, SLW wants a gen-you-ine BOULDER in the front yard. This one weighs-in at around 600lbs:

I think she wants a bigger one, but that picture from The Rock Garden was handy. I'm thinking more of a "slab" of rock that we can prop up in the back with some smaller "boulders". The stone cutter needs one face to be nice and flat so his stencil will stick to it, and stay stuck, until he finishes sandblasting the design into the stone.

This is going to be an interesting little project, as we get to pick the font for the address, and add a graphic to it. The stonecutter does the design work on a PC with a graphics program, and then transfers the files to his "Plotter/Cutter" that makes a stencil from a rubber mat with adhesive on one side. He then sticks the mat on the rock, and uses a sandblasting rig to etch the design into the rock.

3M makes a whole line of products for this purpose, and I was first exposed to it about 40 years ago when I went to repair a BIG air compressor and the local headstone company. I asked them why such a small shop needed such a YUGE sandblaster (IIRC, it was about 60HP), and the owner proceeded to show me how they made the headstones. I'd always thought somebody sat there with a chisel, and he laughed and said they hadn't done it that for about 75 years.

So, I'm off on another tangent for a few days, along with filling, sanding, priming, and sanding some more on the Supra's front bumper, along with properly setting the new stone steppers, and other grunt work.....


  1. Glad to see the fire is out there. Our "Constellation Fire" is also under control and getting cleaned up east of town in the hills. God bless the firefighters and those who fed them.

    1. The communities here treat the firefighters well. When those guys roll out, they know they have the support of their community. I was really bummed that they canceled the Rist Canyon Mountain festival this year. It's a benefit for the RCVFD, and is more like a "county fair" with fire trucks and demonstrations, than a "festival" which makes people think MUSIC!

  2. For years the beetle killed pine has burned every year somewhere in the state. Between the "environmentalists" and the USFS, any kind of harvesting has been throttled. The resulting fires are so hot the ground is sterilized inches deep killing off seeds and the microbe soil life. What seems to grow back in ten years or so is spruce.

    An accessible example is Officers Pond just west of Frisco on I-70. Fortunately the area didn't burn. Burnt areas may be decades recovering.

    In the 1950's beetles killed much of the Engelmann spruce. Even now acre after acre is barren.

    Applause for the firefighter who got the fire out!

    1. All the new reports made mention of it burning in the beetle-kill areas. I didn't think things were so "greenie" out here, and that Forest Management was properly done.

  3. Praise God the fires are contained!

    God bless all.

    1. Well, this close one is about wrapped up.

      Pray for the firefighters out on the Western Slope. They have their work cut out for them.

  4. Great news, and kudos to them! Good luck with the 'rock'...

    1. Yeah, they worked their tail ends off keeping it from spreading. It was great to see the dairy and cafe providing them with food and drink. Gives you a real feeling of community when the locals all pitch in.

  5. The steel melt shop that I worked at for 35 plus years had open air furnaces, plus vacuum melt furnaces,for aerospace alloys, jet engine stuff, and space shuttle, turbo chargers for cars, etc. We had portholes that we looked through to monitor the inside of the furnaces. The glass was about 12" in diameter, and probably a bit over an inch thick. When the inside would get too much metal splash on it, we would replace it. I took the old ones home, to a female friend from highschool, of both my ex and myself. She would put a flower stencil or something like that, and sandblast it down,cutting it deep enough, that it removed all of the metal splash,and then would hand paint the inside, with water colors, sometimes only just one color,for a window display. The sunshine coming through in the morning was absolutely beautiful.
    I myself have no artistic talent whatsoever. I always wished that I could draw, at least well enough to draw the plans for a house, like my uncle the carpenter. I always wanted to be like him,but sadly, I didn't have the talent.
    He actually outlived all of his friends,and family his age. He had 2 daughters,but they were busy with their lives,and he was 91. I drove up the 40 miles and visited him often,near the end of his life. He always told me,that when he couldn't take the loneliness anymore,he would shoot himself. None of us really ever expected it,although I knew that he meant it.
    One day,his kids,and a grandson,had not heard from him in a day or so. They tried to call him,but no answer. So they drove to his house,and he was in his chair,surrounded by plastic sheeting on the floor, with a .22 magnum bullet hole in the back of his head, behind his ear.
    The ME of the town, was my lifelong family friend,and he just put down death by natural causes,as a kindness to the family,since my uncle Pete had not made it a secret that his plans were to kill himself when he had enough.He did leave a note saying that he was just so lonely. He told me before that after his wife passed away, life was just not worth living.
    I have always said, I want to live until I die. I cannot imagine much worse than outliving everyone of your friends.
    And here in my small town in Michigan where I was born, they treat their volunteer fire dept. much the same. Although we only usually have grass fires, in the spring of the year, during an especially bad house fire, or two or more at once,people will cook pots of chili,or fry up burgers and bring out food and drink to the firefighters.
    I remember when my dad was on the Dept.,and a farmers old barn caught on fire,the farmer said to my dad, " I will buy the beer, if you run out of water." My dad shut down his hose,and said, " we just ran out of water." They were volunteers,but were smart and professional enough to know not to drink, while battling a fire,since it is too dangerous. But they were not opposed to drinking a few beers after fighting a hot spring or summer blaze.
    And those men and women who put out forest fires, especially in the dry western states, are brave,and also heroes,for what they are willing to go through to not earn a paycheck, but to help save the homes and lives of so very many others. This nation has it's problems,that's for sure,but we also have people who sacrifice of themselves for their fellow citizens. All in all,we have one pretty great nation. Let's hope it stays that way.



Keep it civil, please....

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