The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

Originally uploaded by bad9brad

A quick photo of Emily, Lucy and Fabi at the summit of Boreas Pass. Yes, Lucy was still wearing a soft cast at this point. About a week after this photo was taken, the vet removed Lucy’s bandage completely and so far everything looks good. She places the foot “correctly” now and does not appear to be rolling and slapping the bottom of her foot, which was the cause of the ulcers.

She’s still on “light activity” for a while as she learns to live with fused bones and a titanium plate in her leg.

Average wait time: 54 minutes

Average wait time

Originally uploaded by bad9brad

They lied. My wait time was a little over 90 minutes, but the best was yet to come.

Colorado has a convoluted DMV/license plate system. Perhaps other states do, too, but ours is pretty messed up. Add to that system the current economic problems that result in reduced services and staff, and here is what you get:

When I sold my Audi (trade-in) somehow the new owner received a copy of my registration for the vehicle. This allowed the new owner/somebody to register my vehicle plates in their name. This is not supposed to be possible (as I was told repeatedly today) since vehicle plates are assigned to a person, not a specific vehicle. The really amazing part is how the plates were assigned to somebody else while they were in my possession. Everything I was told today says you can’t transfer them to another party without physical possession of the plates.

After about an hour of checking with supervisors, updating my records and phoning the other Denver DMV branch offices, the clerk “thinks” she has it all sorted out. Hopefully I won’t ever be stopped by the police and find out otherwise. The critical part of getting the plate snafu sorted was that I have a half-year of paid “credit” on those plates and I wanted to apply that amount to my new vehicle registration fee.

I felt a little badly that my turn at the window was taking so long. I could feel the eyes of the 100+ people waiting their turns burning a hole into my back. It would have helped if Denver DMV had more than 3 of the 10 windows running…

Two and a half hours and net $344 later, I walked out of the DMV with the same plates with which I entered. There’s no telling if they’re really “my” plates or not.

The hike that almost wasn’t

We had grand plans today.  After we stopped to fill up with fuel, the dogs and I headed up to Guanella Pass to hike back to Silver Dollar Lake.  It was forecast to be very hot in Denver today, so a little respite in the mountains seemed like a good idea.
Just before the turn off for the pass, a message sign informed me that Guanella Pass is closed on this side — I recall that way back in April they were prepping for reconstruction of part of the road, and apparently it’s still closed for that work.  Yes, I should have checked online at CDOT’s road condition web site first, but I was still bummed.

Seeking to make a little lemonade after driving this far, I decided to take the girls to their swimming spot on Clear Creek, which was just a few miles away.  Our swimming spot on the river is basically a big empty lot with easy parking and access to the water.  There’s been a sign there for at least two years promising that “Clear Creak White Water Park” (a rafting and kayak shop, I presume) is coming soon, but they apparently really really mean it now.  The lot was roped off and heavy earth-moving equipment was already in place.  Now what do I do?

I decided to loop back east and exit on the back side of Evergreen so I could cut over to the Maxwell Falls Trail.  We were just up there last Sunday but it’s a nice hike and there’s plenty of running water for the dogs.  Lucy made it farther than I expected, but she was showing signs of fatigue about 2 miles down the trail so we headed back to the trailhead.  She’s much too heavy for me to carry back out, especially on a mountain trail.  There was much running up and down the sides of the mountain and many chipmunks to chase.  Even the constant questions from every group we passed about Lucy’s injury didn’t bother me today.  All three of us had a wonderful time.

Once we were back in the car, both dogs were content to lie in the back seat with the windows open and the mountain air blowing over them.  They didn’t even get excited when I stopped in Kitridge at Jimmy’s Hot Dog Stand to grab a late lunch… until they figured out I bought a hot dog for them to share.  At that point, they had all of the energy in the world while they waited for me to tear the treat in half and let them have it.

In my book, this turned out to be a pretty good day for all of us.

Update:  It appears that Guanella Pass was closed due to rock slippage, not construction:

Guanella Pass Road(County Road 381) closed due to rock instability. No through traffic. Restriction began August 21st, 2009 at 5:00pm.

The road has only been closed since yesterday afternoon.

Fabi and her pack

Chasin' chipmunks