relo: Breckenridge back toward Leadville

Made coffee, breakfast, and broke down the minimal campsite. While I was retrieving the game camera (nothing fun to report) I saw something on a stump:


It’s a bullet, maybe a .45 ACP. It wasn’t too beat up so I think it fell down from the sky rather than bashing through the forest.

By 10am I was coming down the hill.

City Market

If memory serves, it’s been about 1.5 months since I’ve been near a decent grocery store. In the few moments I had ‘net access on the mountain I’d done some reading, and Breckenridge locals recommended City Market. I’ve seen these groceries before but haven’t been inside. I’m predisposed to like them, though, because the CM gas station in Grand Junction had a water spiogot. :-)

The fonts and other design features seemed familiar, and it turns out CM is part of the Kroger kraken conglomerate. Good news: my phone number might be on file for purposes of card-related savings. Bad news: it doesn’t see to work at all tentacles branches.

The store was of normal size (much bigger than the walmart in Frisco) and, being careful about selecting house brand and sale items, resulted in pricing roughly in line with walmart. Also in line with walmart: clueless shoppers blocking aisles, and clueless employees blocking aisles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much stock boxes in the aisles during daylight hours. It was effectively single-lane through most aisles, and a few aisles were blocked to tightly that carts couldn’t get through. I don’t think the fire marshall would be amused.

My cost for the restock was $106, which is on the right track. I budget $200/mo for groceries so if I spend ~$100 every relo I am doing ok.

I’d accrued enough that I got a 10c discount on gas. That was a welcome reduction from $3.85 to $3.75. I saw 4.95 for regular on the drive to Leadville, and saw 4.65 in leadville proper.

I started another Marie Callendar’s large turkey pot pie for the drive, or thought I did. Read on.


I started tooling west on I-70 heading toward the general area of Rifle. But then I saw a dynamic message sign (DMS, in highway-speak) warning that I-70 was closed due to a mudslide. I bailed and headed down toward Leadville again where I knew I could get water and a usable signal.


The first spot I checked was a bust; it was listed on freecampsites as BLM land but I saw no feasible way to get to it. I headed back in the general direction of my last campsite here as the rain had started and the sun would be going down.

I don’t like it, as I am probably in technical violation of the 25 mile rule.

pot pie fiasco

Found a spot and pitched minimal camp. I checked on the pot pie, which was thawed and entirely uncooked. I hadnn’t turned on the powerstrip tha t feeds the crockpot. Grrrrr.

It was raining but I was able to hold HI on the crock for about an hour before the panels could no longer support the 150w load. I lifted the pot pie out of the crock and put it in the dog bowl oven to finish up. Took about another 1.5hrs on very low flame for internal pie temps to exceed the stated 165F.

turkey pot pic

Lighting is a bit weird, as my preferred camera app (Open Camera) had a glitch that messed up the flash. I found the workaroundi after I took the pic (and after I ate the pie).

verizon phone as hotspot

I’ve been using used, previous-generation Verizon phones as my internet hotspot. It’s hard on the phones as they have to be plugged in all the time so the lithium batts end up degrading.

My present Verizon phone is a 2014 Droid Turbo. The battery is shot and the micro-USB port is getting janky. I looked at YT videos of replacing the battery – I’ve opened up devices and replaced batts before but this one is a royal PITA. I miss the days when you could pop off the back cover and pop in a new battery. :-(

I’m replacing it with an Amazon open box Motorola Moto G Fast. I considered having the Droid’s battery and port professionally replaced, and it appears I could get that done for ~$100. But the Moto is about the same amount of money and has the following benefits (most to least important for me):

  • additional Verizon bands - might help get a signal in more places
    • 5 - 2g/3g spectrum being converted to LTE
    • 66 - along with 4 (which the Droid does have) 66 carries the bulk of Verizon data
  • works with all major carriers, not just verizon like the Droid. Appears to be fully functional on Google Fi, in case that network suddenly gets bigger than Verizon’s (not holding my breath)
  • USB-C port, which has given me far fewer problems than micro-USB. Heck even the old mini-USB was less finicky and easier to orient. I do like that USB-C is orientation-agnostic – just plug it in however you find it.

To save the battery, I am thinking about plugging a charger into a timer and doing 1 hour ON / 1 hour OFF or whatever ratio it takes to the phone in th 50-90% state of charge.

At some point I guess I should get a physical hotspot or Verizon router.


I just realized it’s August now.


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