USB Cord Surgery

Last weekend when heating up caustic last weekend to clean I burned the USB cord on the HLT temperature and float sensor.  Multi tasking the boil, hop additions, manning the pumps and trying try to get the hoses all sorted out I failed to notice the cord got pretty close to the high output burner.  Didn’t notice the issue at first but the temperature shown on the screen was decently far off so I ran the troubleshooting menu and noticed the mis formed cord sheathing.  It felt a bit crispy.  I cut off the burned section and decided to put a female connector up higher and use a USB extension incase it happens again I can just use any USB cord vs having to do this again.  Once I opened the cord it occurred to me that this will be somewhat of a chore to solder and repair.  I got the tools and order the cables and gave it a shot.

Once the outer sheath is pealed back there is a mesh weave that has to be cut, this provides pull strength on these types of cables.  Once that is gone peal back the foil and you will be presented with a red, black and three shielded pairs (some string and other strength wires as well).  Pull off the plastic and foil on the pairs and separate them all out , you should have 8 separate wire at this point.  Get them all organized and straight, strip a short section off each and start splicing them together.  Once the pairs are spliced together hit the wire with the fine tipped solder gun, apply the solder to the wire and wait for it to flow on to the wire, making a one piece connection.  Once a good splice it made I went with liquid electrical tape to each connection to minimize a short.  When its all sealed and your happy with you work apply some heat shrink wrap over the splice and give it enough heat to make the joint nice and smooth.

A splice in wires this small will never be as good as one solid piece but it works and was a good way to save a chunk of change over buying an entire HLT sensor.  They only sell this entire assembly so stainless and all.

I would like to see MoreBeer make a connection near the top to one could just buy new cables as I am sure this will happen again.  There is no way to keep the cord entirely protected when they are cut to specific length and the HLT burner kicks out some serious BTU’s.

All done and tested, success.  It lives to brew another day.

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Chilcotin Country


For the long weekend I decided to check out the Chilcotin area and Cariboo region that I have heard so much about.   With no real plan other than to see the Gang Ranch and end up in Bella Coola, BC I headed north.

Day 1
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Seattle to Hurley Pass BC

Pulled out of Seattle around 3pm and headed North on I5 to Sumas to drop off a jacket that I sold. After the exchange and stop at Tim Horton’s I headed north on 99 with a burger in Pemberton in my sights. Stopped at the favorite eatery in Pemberton, The Wood, for a delicious burger before grabbing some beverages for the evening. I Headed out Pemberton Meadows to attack the Hurley before it got too dark, with the long days there was plenty of time to get over the pass. After summiting and starting the descent I pulled off and camped just over the summit along the river. Great remote spot with amazing views. After a few BC brews to dull the thought of becoming a bear snack, I passed out to the sound of the glacier fed river near the tent.
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Day 2

Hurley Pass to Gang Ranch
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Got up at a decent hour, made some coffee and Spam breakfast burritos before heading out of camp on the first real morning. The road down to Gold Bridge is pretty tame, allowing you to take in the ample views on the way down. After crossing the river in Gold Bridge there is a section of surprisingly good pavement almost all the way to the dam at Carpenter Lake. I watched the crew at the dam picking up driftwood for a while then headed in to Lillooet to refuel and grab some snacks for lunch. Headed north out of town to W Pavilion Rd and set the GPS to the Big Bar Ferry. By this time it was 1pm and the last ferry run was at 6PM if I recall, so I had plenty of time. As the canyon started to open up to some amazing views so did the sky making for some baby shit like conditions on the road. The baby shit definitely slowed progress on the 1200 but nonetheless made it to the ferry in plenty of time. The canyon heading in is quite the sight to see, so much wildlife and many views along that stretch. Boarded the cable ferry and spoke with the captain during the crossing, what a guy. He has seen some shit.   Took the road out of the canyon, once across the ferry and headed toward the ranch. The road traverses some farm land and huge grazing ranches across an abundance of cattle guards. The slick conditions continued, dry and fast in some and slick as hell in others. After almost going down while hauling ass around a super slick corner I decided to take it slow since I hadn’t seen anyone pass in a while. Might be sitting in agony for a while if I kept up my shenanigans. Crossed the Gang Ranch bridge and setup camp on one the bluffs looking over the river. It was an epic place to camp. While it’s not an “Approved” campsite I was way out of sight and took care to leave it untouched when I left. Didn’t see anyone the whole night other than cattle which made sleeping a bit easier. The mindset was that cows would be an easier and tastier target for the bears than a stinky dude on a bike.

 

Day 3

Gang Ranch to Bella Coola
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Waking up on the ranch was epic! After coffee and breakfast I headed out of the ranch and set the sights on Farewell Canyon. The rain held off for most of the morning so it was a quick trip out. Sent the drone up and got some epic aerials of the canyon surround area. This area is worth the trip alone! Took in all the cool scenery I could as it rained and headed north to find some fuel. Fuel is a little short in these parts but the little reservations usually have it if you have CAD cash. After fueling up I headed west to Bella Coola. The highway there is pretty uneventful till you get to Tweedsmuir park which is gorgeous and fairly untouched. After leaving the park you start to head over “The Hill” which is the pass that leads down to town. Bella Coola being much smaller than I expected the food selection was not great but I found a spot to grab a burger and a shower was in order so got a hotel for the night. Headed down to the marina after dinner and grabbed some shots around dusk of the old cannery. BC has a ton of interesting maritime history. Got some Kokanee’s from the hotel, showered and hit the sack.
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Day 4

Bella Coola to Watch Lake
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Packed up and headed out after a quick continental breakfast at the hotel. Today was mostly back tracking the previous day so not much to report other than a bear sighting in the park. Stopped in Williams Lake to get some provisions for the night and enjoyed the great sunset with a campfire at Watch Lake.

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Day 5

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Loaded up the bike one last time and headed south with home in sight. The weather was great and the roads were nice. Boston Bar, Hell’s gate and riding along the river were fantastic. Sent the drone up one last time at one of the overlooks and got some good river footage. From Hope BC to home is pretty uneventful but provides a good transition back to the day to day routine.

All in all was a great trip that is worth going back to see. I would cut out the long trip out to the coast since other than the park it is pretty uneventful. The ranch and canyon is amazing and I will be back to explore further. END OF REPORT

Weekend Update

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While the northeast has been getting slammed we have had an extremely warm and dry winter, I guess you could say its payback for the Super Bowl.  Saturday I headed out early to catch the 8am ferry out of Edmonds to do some riding on the Olympic Peninsula.  Trails were fast and empty for the most part, despite the nice day, most people hiking/biking close to town.  It was a short day due to some time constraints but it was fun.  Sunday Ashley and I slept in way to late with Ham, he is quite the Sunday snoozer.  Coffee and Breakfast were made and the afternoon was spent scrubbing the mud from previous weeks off the noble steeds.  Next weekend looks wet for now but, Ham is crossing his toes for sun since we are headed to his Frenchie Frolic with his smush face crew at Magnuson Park.

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Goat Lake Hike

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With a sunny day in early March and the bikes out of commission for a few days we set off to check out Goat Lake.  Located about 31mi east of Granite Falls out Mt. Loop highway, nestled between Foggy peak and Sloan peak.  Approach is fairly level with a slight gain as the wide trail winds into the valley before forking giving you an option on what trail you want to take.  We took the upper approach headed in and the lower river walk on the way back.  There wasn’t much hiker traffic but more than I expected due to how far out it is.  As you approach the lake the trail meets up with Elliot Creek, the outlet to the lake, for some pretty waterfalls.
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The lake is very picturesque, as are most of the alpine lake in the region, partially frozen it was very calm.  The mass of logs near the outlet makes a great picnic spot to take a load off before you start your decent.

Make sure to keep a lookout for the fork in the trail as it is easy to miss on the way down, I would suggest taking the opposite fork on the way back to get more bang for your buck.  While not the hardest hike in the area its very doable with spring unconditioned legs. 1400′ feet in total ascent and 10.5mi in length.  Put it out your spring list.

WABDR section from Ellensburg to Cashmere WA

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Paved roads head north from Ellensburg toward Table Mountain and Lion Rock Lookout in Wenatchee National Forest. High elevation and twisty dirt roads with views of the Central Cascade Mountains make this a very enjoyable section. From Lion Rock to Beehive Reservoir the route is stunning, rugged and remote. The path at 6,000 feet along Table Mountain provides views to the west.  From there the road traverses a ridgeline with spectacular views of Devil’s Gulch and the Columbia River to the North. The route passes nearby Beehive Reservoir before descending the Mission Creek Valley to the town of Cashmere.  Tracks and more information can be found at the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route website at http://www.wabdr.com