Monday, March 28, 2011

Eureka Springs, Arkansas - March 26, 2011

Over the weekend, my wife and I headed about two hours southwest of here to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for a day trip. It was sort of a birthday outing, mine having been the day before. Here's a few pics.

First a stop at Gailey's Breakfast Cafe, before heading out of town. We sat at the bar, since the kiddo was at her grandparent's.
Breakfast at Gailey's before leaving town

Eureka Springs, Arkansas - Basin Park Hotel in the back left, standing in front of Kaleidokites Kite Shop.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas - Basin Park Hotel in the back left

Inside Kaleidokites Kite Shop - www.kaleidokites.com
Kaleidokites Kite Shop - www.kaleidokites.com

Flatiron
Eureka Springs, Arkansas - Flatiron building

Lunch @ Basin Park Hotel
Lunch @ Basin Park Hotel

Lunch @ Basin Park Hotel

Lunch @ Basin Park Hotel

View of Basin Park
View from the Basin Park Hotel

Inside the Basin Park Hotel elevator
Elevator floor tiles @ Basin Park Hotel

Silly Chile - A great shop with hot sauces, etc.
Silly Chile - Hot sauces, etc.

There are dozens of bed and breakfasts like this one. Usually in a Victorian Era home.
One of many bed and breakfasts in Victorian era homes

Me and The Mrs.
Us

Cherub - there are little eclectic things around every corner and in every yard
Cherub - there are little eclectic things around every corner and in every yard

A cat in the lobby of the Crescent Hotel
A cat in the lobby of the Crescent Hotel

From the roof of the Crescent Hotel
View from the roof of the Crescent Hotel

View from the roof of the Crescent Hotel

View from the roof of the Crescent Hotel

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Winter 2010/2011 Sailing Outrigger Project

A couple of years ago I got the bug to go sailing. I spent a couple of days with friends on some rental Catalinas (22'-25') up on Stockton Lake and had an absolute blast. But, funds being tight and sailing lessons and rentals being quite expensive, I opted to go the home-built route.
we went around this island (B-3) and back up towards the marina

I built a small plywood dinghy last winter, a Phil Bolger designed Elegant Punt, named "Anna Jane", after my late grandmother who I spent many a summer on the lake with as a kid. Eight feet of tubby, pokey, home-built sailing goodness. Easily cartopped, I sailed the heck out of that boat all last spring, summer and fall. Any chance i got, I was on the water. I sailed Springfield Lake, Fellows Lake, Stockton Lake and even made it as far as Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma for the first annual SailOklahoma Messabout. I met some really great like-minded small boat enthusiasts there.
"anna jane", first sail

dam nice time of day

ready to go

Getting ready to sail a boat i've never sailed before... in a race

Boats on Lake Eufaula

Boats on Lake Eufaula

the new gunter rig worked pretty well. i need to iron out a few things, but i was pretty happy with it.

This winter I decided to put together something a little more substantial and speedy. The EP sailed much like the turtle it resembles. I am currently working on a sailing outrigger design by NZ boat designer, Gary Dierking. It's called a Wa'apa, I'm building the 16' tacking version. Based on Hawaiian three-board canoes, it should be considerably faster to sail than my last endeavor.

Here are some pics of the build, to date. I hope to have it completed by May or June, given the free time.

First I built a model, the shunting proa version. Deemed to difficult to sail in shifty Ozark lakes, I have opted for the easier tacking outrigger version.
finished the wa'apa model. not rigged exactly correct, but i've never seen a proa in person

Getting started on the big one. Transoms and bulkheads.
transoms and bulkheads are cut and planed flat. i'm not doing curved top bulkheads, since i was thinking of putting in rectangular deck hatches like the malibu outrigger or many of jim michalak's boats seem to have.

I made one side panel, shaped it up a bit, then used it as a template for the other three.
tracing my master side panel on a second sheet of ply.

Framed the bulkheads and transoms, applied the gunwales and chine logs and installed the inner stems to make it 3D.
dry fit of one main hull half

Set it up in front of my house just to see how big it was.
both halves of the main hull are dry fitted, the planks are there for visual reference to where the iakos will fall.

Installed the bottoms and outer stems, then shaped them.
outer stems are on and shaped

Made the plywood shear web for the ama float.
stringer/shear web for the foam ama

Where it pretty much sits at this point. I have done some shaping of the iakos (cross beams) and have glued on some locator blocks where the iakos cross the gunwales of the canoe. But have stalled on the build do to being busy with home stuff. I hope to get back at it this week and install the plywood doublers at all the iako beam tie-down points. Then it will be installing hatches, painting the inside of the floatation chambers, gluing up the ama float, glassing it, etc. Lots to do still. i like to think I'm halfway there.
determining where to place the iakos/cross beams, exactly. so i can affix the plywood doublers at the tie-down points.

For more build pics, go here...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12235211@N02/sets/72157625305053212/

Rush Ghost Town/Indian Rock House, Arkansas

My buddy Brian and I headed south on Saturday morning to hike and camp along the lower Buffalo River in Arkansas. We had planned to leave the night before and hike a larger loop trail, but rain and high water kicked the trip back a few hours and made us choose a Plan B. So, we hiked Indian Rock House Loop and then wandered around Rush Ghost Town, checking out the history of the place.

A building on the way down, in Yellville, Arkansas. It was shaped like a pirate chest.
This building was in Yellville, Arkansas. Shaped like an open trunk, I had to get a pic.

At Rush Campground
My tent at Rush Campground

Since we usually camp in fairly cold weather, we often have campgrounds completely to ourselves.
We camp a lot in cold weather, we often have campgrounds completely to ourselves.

The Buffalo River at Rush.
The lower Buffalo River

The view from Buffalo Point. I've canoed this stretch once, about 7-8 years ago.
The view from Buffalo Point.

Brian and I
Brian D. and I

A small waterfall along the trail.
a small waterfall along the trail

a small waterfall along the trail

There were markers along the trail that explained anything of a historical nature.
There were signs along the train explaining the historical info of the area.

This mine entrance went back about 30 or so feet, then ended in a collapsed ceiling.
I mine opening.

Small flowers, about the size of your fingernails.
tiny flowers

Inside a cave with a sky light
a small cave with an opening in the ceiling

Bear in the cave.
bear (cookie) cave

trail sign

Indian Rock House Cave - There's evidence of people living here as far back as 7,000 BC. With a stream exiting one wall behind us and entering another to our right, it's easy to see why.
Indian Rock House Cave

this stream came out of one wall and went into the next, inside Indian Rock House Cave

this stream came out of one wall and went into the next, inside Indian Rock House Cave

Indian Rock House Cave

Indian Rock House Panoramic

There are two deer in this photo, can you spot them?
there are two deer in this photo, can you spot them?

Rush Ghost Town - Zinc was mined here till World War I and the town had a population at one point over 5,000 people. Then the market on zinc bottomed out and so did the town. Nothing remains but mines, buildings, rusting implements and daffodils.
area description

buildings at Rush ghost town

inside a home at Rush ghost town

daffodils are often the only sign of where a homestead once stood.

buildings at Rush ghost town

buildings at Rush ghost town

smelter at Rush ghost town

blacksmith shop at Rush ghost town

A bald eagle landed just across the river from us Sunday morning, while we were having coffee around the campfire. It hung out and watched us for a couple of hours.
a bald eagle landed just across the river from us Sunday morning, while we were having coffee around the campfire

We heard coyotes and owls at night, saw close to two dozen deer, by foot or car and saw some signs of beaver in the area.
beaver trees

Right to the left of this, a spring literally rolled up out of the hillside like it was boiling.
beaver trees

It was a nice trip. A bit lazier than usual, but I had only had four hours sleep the night before heading down and the rainy cold weather sidetracked us a bit.