Odell's Isolation Ale, completely last year. By the time that winter had arrived, it had vanished from the stores!
As the owner of a small Pueblo liquor store with a good craft beer selection put it, "Beer is like clothes these days. They sell the fall line in the summer, and by fall, it's gone."
This year I timed it right. They seem to have switched to cans. Oh well, I can still pour it in a glass — except when there is firewood to split.
The liquor store owner says it might last through November. Then it's time for the spring seasonals, apparently. Time is out of joint.
November 03, 2019
October 21, 2019
|Hunter walking a North Dakota tree row.|
In the program's best years, the 1950s–1960s, hundreds of thousands of trees were planted. North Dakota alone had 55,000 miles of shelterbelts planted since the 1930s. They are not all there now.
“Those windbreaks still play a huge role out there. They do a lot to encourage protection from erosion, up to 10 times the distance of their height. They increase row crop productivity by 10 to 25 percent, and livestock sheltered there see improved weight gains of 10 percent,” [Larry Kotchman, head of the North Dakota Forest Service] said. “A farmstead will see energy savings of 20 to 30 percent in less heating and cooling.”Shelterbelts changed the environment for wildlife, providing more habitat for songbirds and encouraging whitetail deer to move into more areas. Thanks to the increased deer population, eastern North Dakota—where I am writing this—now even has a few mountain lions.
Trees can also provide an important refuge for wildlife. Two years ago, [when] the snow was very deep, wildlife suffered when their grass and food plots were buried, [Diane Erickson, district conservationist in Clark County, S.D.] explained.
“Deer and pheasant loss was high,” Erickson said. “Shelterbelts or thick tree plantings are their main source of shelter and even a good food source. Wildlife needs habitat, and tree belts are the best winter habitats.”Today, government agencies still encourage and fund shelterbelt planting, but more and more are being bulldozed in the name of "stewardship," which means profit. An agricultural-business site reports,
Fields often are divided into quarter sections (160 acres) and "80s" (80 acres.)
Decades ago, one or more shelterbelts often were planted on a quarter or 80.
That divided a single field into several -- for example, an 80 might have become two 40-acre fields -- and protected topsoil in all the fields from wind erosion.
Shelterbelts did what they were supposed to, but times have changed, [Terry Weckerly, president of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association] says.
Most farmers today use production methods that leave more organic matter on the field and disturb the soil less, greatly decreasing the need for windbreaks, he says.
Shelterbelts often become "a nuisance, an obstacle," he says. For example, branches breaking off trees and falling into fields complicates farming, he says.
More significantly, shelterbelts make it more difficult to apply chemicals properly, he says. (Emphasis added)So let's review this. Shelterbelts, once established, provided all their agricultural benefits for free while benefiting multiple species.
But "Being a good steward of the land is more than just putting trees in the ground."
Evidently, "being a good steward" means cutting the trees to gain a few more acres, then spraying all kinds of herbicides and insecticides on the ground, which run off with the snowmelt and also filter into the groundwater. That is what "no-till" farming requires: lots of honeybee-killing Roundup and the like.
(See the picture-perfect farmstead with the neatly painted house, the huge metal equipment sheds, the rows of stately trees—they don't cut the ones by the house—and the perfectly mowed lawns? Who knows what is in its well water?)
Plus convenience: "Another reason farmers have wanted to take out windbreaks is to make it easier to turn equipment. In the wet years two and three years ago, when sloughs took over parts of fields, tree rows made it harder to navigate tractors and combines—especially since equipment is all larger than it was years ago."
Nevertheless, the financial incentives to plant new shelterbelts and replace dying trees are still there, through various agencies. Those staffers keep making the same recommendations that they made in the 1950s—and they are still good ones.
And the same farmer who defends today's methods—who says that he needs them to pay off his loans—will sit across from you at lunch and agree that there aren't as many sharptail grouse as there were even ten years ago, that there aren't as many big whitetail bucks as there used to be, that there aren't as many birds in general.
No contradictions, nope.
October 13, 2019
|Split into six or eight or ten pieces, each round might last a mid-winter day.|
In process, I ended up with a lot of juniper too, most of which has been drying through the summer, and I am moving it now. That is a one-seed juniper in the background.
Meanwhile, the butt section of the pine tree, which had been soaked by snow, is now dry, so I finished cutting it up today. (That small chunk next to the saw is from another tree.)
Intuitively, I thought the juniper offered more value as fuel, but it does not come in convenient pieces like pine.
But pine surrenders gracefully to the saw — juniper wants to hurt you. If it can't pinch the chain, its rigid twigs will rip your shirt.
Back in 1913, the eight-year-old US Forest Service was answering that question. "The object of the investigation is to determine the heating values of the woods commonly used for fuel in New Mexico and Arizona, including about 10 different species."
They compared them to coal, since many people burned coal for home-heating back then, and also to "Bakersfield crude oil."
The tests were conducted using a "bomb calorimeter." I would like to own one of those just for the name. ("Professor Murcheson will now demonstrate the bomb calorimeter.")
The big winners were alligator juniper and the bark (not the wood) of Douglas fir, both of them delivering more than 10,000 BTUs per pound, or 76 percent as much per pound as Cerrillos anthracite coal. (The area around Cerrillos and Madrid, N.M., used to produce a lot of coal.)
One-seed juniper was almost as good, 9,900 BTUs/lb., equivalent to 75 percent of Cerrillos anthracite.
Ponderosa pine sapwood produced 8,856 BTUs/lb., while the bark produced 9,275.
Aspen (quakies), incidentally, came in at 8,555. They did not measure Gambel oak, but another source placed it almost as high as the one-seed juniper, which fits what I feel standing next to the stove. Piñon pine, 8,629. Some people would that it burns hotter than ponderosa, which I always thought was true. At least one other site supports me.
Another site calculates heat values in million BTUs per cord, a cord being a tightly stacked pile of wood measuring 4 x 4 x 8 feet. (The method of measurement is not specified.)
Here we see ponderosa pine at 21.7 million BTUs/cord; cottonwood, 16.8; aspen, 18; Douglas fir, 26.5; white fir, 21.1— and they don't measure Gambel oak, one-seed juniper, or Rocky Mountain juniper.
What this means, in the end, is that I will pick up any piece of juniper that is as big around as my wrist.
October 04, 2019
|The Green Roof Farms honor-system farm stand. |
Your money goes in the white-painted ammo box at lower right.
|Scott's working 1950s Farmall Cub tractor, perfect for the small operation.|
M. was at the hair salon last week, and her stylist, who lives in Colorado City, was lamenting how her garden had produced poorly this summer. Well, join the club. I have been hearing that a lot.
Let's review the year.
After a cool wet spring. Colorado was declared drought-free. I expected a great spring wildflower show, and while that was true at higher elevations, it was not true here in the ponderosa pine forest. Some regulars, like wild geranium, hardly showed up at all. Subsoil moisture still not replenished?
Then it got hot in July, but that was followed by a decent "monsoon" that gave us an adequate if not great mushroom harvest in early August and the usual flash floods below the recent burns.
|Wild bee on some kind of |
groundsel, at about 9800 feet,
Then more hot and dry weather all through September and into October. Up near Poncha Pass, a lightning-caused forest fire, the Decker Fire, that was burning up beetle-killed timber in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, has now crossed control lines and is moving towards foothills subdivisions and little communities along the Arkansas River like Swissvale and Howard.
The violent changes have been hard on garden plants and flowers. In some cases, we have just cut back perennials and let them go while focusing on collecting seeds from annuals. No hard freeze yet at this elevation, but the dryness is as good as a freeze. I have rolled up hoses and pronounced the season over.
In Florence, where there is irrigation water, truck gardeners Scott and Robin have been supplying us from their farm stand, which often just operates on the honor system. (M. says that reminds her of her girlhood visits to the Vermont side of her family.) If you are in that area, you can find them under "Green Roof Farms" on Facebook.
Thanks to them, we are drying tomatoes and have plenty of squash, peppers, and onions.
Some migratory birds left on schedule (black-headed grosbeaks, for one) while others are hanging around way past their usual departure dates (band-tailed pigeons, broad-tailed hummingbirds.) But that is another topic.
September 27, 2019
During mushroom season, which peaks in August hereabouts, there is a ridge in the Wet Mountains that M. (my wife) and I try to visit every week. It abuts an area that we named The Mushroom Store; unfortunately, that spot has been discovered, but we are willing to walk farther at 10,000 feet than some mushroom hunters are.
We have been visiting that area for more than ten years, so we have our landmarks: the "long meadow," the cow elk's skeleton, the "little gate," the "big gate," and so on.
The plan, as usual, was to walk downhill parallel the "long meadow," loop around to the south and back east to the crest of the gentle ridge, where we would hit a barbed-wire drift fence that we would then follow north to "the big gate," and from there it is a short walk to where M's Jeep Wrangler would be parked.
So we did that. We were going along according to plan, finding an occasional "good" mushroom, and I was feeling pretty about my deep-woods navigational skills. (Don't get cocky, kid!)
At some point, as we swung back toward the top of the ridge, I looked down to my left and instead of a glimpse of the "long meadow," there was a steep ravine there, so steep that fir trees barely clung to its sides. Where had it come from?
It was between us and the Jeep (I figured), but I did not want to go down into it and try to climb out again
I looked ahead — the top of the ridge was only maybe 200 yards away. M. looked at me and asked if I was lost. I said something noncommittal, but afterwards at home she said, "I can read you like a book. You were lost." (She will cheerfully admit to being a poor navigator herself, so she trusts me to do the job.)
That feeling you get, a punch in the stomach. Where am I? How did I get here?
On the ridge crest, I looked south. There was Little Sheep Mountain, a little closer than it should have been, and also a road that I recognized. I knew where I was — I just was not where I should have been.
"Nice job, pixies," I said aloud.
Since I was high enough up to get a signal, I pulled out the iPhone, turned on the GPS and loaded the Avenza Maps app with a county road map. Yep, there we were — the pulsing blue dot — about where I reckoned we were. Thus oriented, we walked down the other side until we hit a certain little dirt Forest Service road and followed it to the Jeep.
At home, there were mushrooms to be sliced and dried, and life otherwise got in the way. But after a couple of nights I opened Google Earth, where our mushroom sites are marked, and took a look. Everything seemed as it should have been, but I could not find that steep ravine.
OK, so Google Earth gives false ideas of slope. Next, I studied the topographic quad map for that area. I could not find the steep ravine there either.
In the old stories, you go through a portal into the fairy mound, and you eat and drink, and when you come out, a hundred years have passed. Or something like that.
We went back a couple of weeks later for one last foray. Maybe we should walk south and try to find that ravine, I suggested.
"Let's not, and say we did," M. responded.
I did not try to persuade her otherwise.
September 21, 2019
Some shots from this year's Chile & Frijoles Festival in Pueblo, still going on through Sunday. My visit was early, while the sun was still up and before the bands started playing, so it was a sort of sparse crowd.
But what you could not buy were fresh-roasted Pueblo green chiles. Evidently the vendors don't think that anyone wants to walk around with a ten-pound sack of peppers, even though they are the best.
Next year: CBD-inflused green chile beer. I will bet you money.
|It's more or less a celebration of every Southwestern street food|
to which Pueblo County's Mirasol green chiles can be added.
|And there were a lot of CBD (cannabidiol) products as well.|
I foresee a certain convergence, a synergy if you will.
|Yes, every kind of fast food and finger food.|
|Loaded-up fry bread ("Navajo tacos") is all right once a year.|
|The "Pueblo Chile Beer" is from Walter's, an old label that has been revived by craft-beer aficionados. |
"Pueblo chile beer" is not one of their pre-Prohibition recipes, however.
|These men are examining ristras of red chiles (sorry about the sun flare). |
They were for sale along with many varieties of powdered dried peppers.
Next year: CBD-inflused green chile beer. I will bet you money.
September 15, 2019
One o'clock on a week day is a bad time to assemble a crew. I and another work-at-home volunteer arrived and started out in a brush truck, soon joined by a young ranch hand driving his own one-ton flatbed truck.
A locked gate blocks the one road into Deathtrap. My partner punched in the code that she thought was correct. It did not work — they had changed it again. Would we have to drive back a mile to the station to check the new one, which I knew was written on the office chalkboard?
T., the young ranch hand, reached into his pocket and pulled out a notebook with the new code (now stored in my iPhone). But what stopped me was that he had a Moleskin notebook (or could it have been a Leuchtturm?). That will teach me to associate Moleskin only with travelers (never "tourists") writing their thoughts on remote islands and mountain trails.
Maybe you are someone who keeps a Rite in the Rain notebook in your pack because it seems better for outdoor use. (I do.)
As it happens, the Rite in the Rain placed at number 31 on New York magazine's review of 100 different pocket notebooks:
This shrunken notepad is best equipped for grocery lists, daily tasks, or highly abbreviated notes. It takes up minimal room in a bag or coat and could be stuffed into a back pocket. It’s impressively weatherproof, too. After I scribbled a page with Sharpie, dribbled water on it, and wiped it with my hand, the ink didn’t smear or bleed through. And, when dried, the paper returned to its original texture, without telltale waterlogged waviness. Ideal for intrepid reporters on drizzly days. —SKThe Leuchtturm was at number 11 — "It’s a classic right up there in the ranks with Mead and Moleskine and is beloved by both bullet journalers and regular note-takers alike."
The cowboy's Moleskine placed at 19 — "This style always seems better suited to travel [than office use]. But it’s a classic for a reason."
And the winner was . . . you will have to read the whole thing. And wonder if you should ever buy pocket notebooks in the supermarket school-supplies aisle again.
As for the fire, as you can see from the video, it was a plume of white dust from a water well being drilled for some Texan's mountain mini-mansion.
September 14, 2019
|Fisher's Peak Ranch (Nature Conservancy photo).|
For generations, the 9,633-foot-high Fisher’s Peak has been a big part of both the physical and social landscape for people in Trinidad and other parts of southern Colorado. But it has been off-limits because it was on a large private ranch. . . . .A statement from Colorado Parks and Wildlife reads,
In December 2018, The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land signed an agreement with the ranch owner, French Trinidad Co. LLC. Great Outdoors Colorado said it would contribute $7.5 million and Colorado Parks and Wildlife pledged $7 million toward the $25.4 million purchase price.
Yesterday, Governor Jared Polis announced that a diverse partnership — including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the City of Trinidad, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, and Great Outdoors Colorado — is working to make the 30-square-mile Fisher’s Peak ranch, located outside the city of Trinidad, Colorado’s next state park.
Spanning from the New Mexico border north along the east side of I-25 to the south side of Trinidad, the property's iconic peak and diverse landscape of grasslands, forests, rugged mountain and vast meadows are the first thing you see crossing over the state line into Colorado. “It's a true gem,” said Governor Polis.
Until park plans are put in place, the property will remain closed to the public. Project partners are planning guided trips and ways to gather input during the process before the state park is opened.According to the Denver Post article linked above, the governor said he would like to see the park open in the fall of 2020. Can the bureaucratic wheels turn that fast? Read the full news release from Governor Polis' office.
September 13, 2019
|If you see something, say something: Josh Brinkley and Daniel Lucero|
say they definitely "saw something." (Photo: Taos News)
The Santa Fe County residents had just come into Taos after several days in rugged terrain near Cerro de la Olla, also called Pot Mountain, northwest of town near Ute Mountain.
They went hunting for elk.It's when you are not looking for the Other Folk that you find them. Someone should tell that to all the Bigfoot hunters out there with their night-vision goggles. Like this: you hear the sounds, you "know" where they are coming from, you use night-vision equipment and then powerful white light and . . . not there.
They encountered aliens or something else so strange they don’t know what to call it.
September 10, 2019
|Pholiota squarossa, shot with the Nikon Coolpix.|
But aside from a really artistic shot of aspen-bark graffiti, which would have appeared on this world-famous blog, I was not too brokenhearted. It had cost me only a little more than $20 on eBay.
Two years ago, I did a little smartphone-versus-pocket digital camera field test, "iPhone versus Pentax Point-and-Shoot," followed by a musing on cost-versus-speed of access, "The Smartphone vs. the Pocket Camera, Revisited."
Now I have a different iPhone (an SE, not the latest, but I like the pocket size) and a second little Nikon Coolpix off eBay, probably at least a decade old. The Nikon still wins for cost, spot-metering, and genuine optical zoom. The iPhone . . . well, Instagram.
Even that retro set-up is increasingly post-retro. The digital camera market — both high-end and low-end — is in free fall.
Camera sales are continuing to falling off a cliff. The latest data from the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) shows them in a swoon befitting a Bollywood roadside Romeo. All four big camera brands — Sony, Fuji, Canon, and Nikon — are reposting rapid declines. And it is not just the point and shoot cameras whose sales are collapsing. We also see sales of higher-end DSLR cameras stall. And — wait for it — even mirrorless cameras, which were supposed to be a panacea for all that ails the camera business, are heading south.Meanwhile, in the acoustic world, vinyl records may soon outsell CDs. So who knows what will happen next. (Vinyl represents 4 percent of all music sales, to put it in perspective.)
August 31, 2019
|The short focal-length iPhone camera exaggerates his size a bit.|
Then she looked for herself. And there really was a tortoise, marching determinedly eastward up from the shallow gully between us and the county road, past the greenhouse, and on toward the steep ridge behind the house.
A neighbor's dog had been barking across the road, a steady woof-woof-woof-woof that I had thought maybe meant it saw a deer, but there were too many trees in the way to tell. Obviously the tortoise had passed that house too.
I knew we had to do something. It was heading into an environment where it might survive for a time, but not permanently. There are no native land tortoises in southern Colorado — the winters are too cold.
Furthermore, its appearance was a mystery. We have lived 27 years in this rural subdivision. We never heard of a neighbor who had a large tortoise. There are some relatively new people who think that they can pasture four or five horses on five unirrigated acres, which is why M. calls the guy Mr. Dust Bowl. It had come from that direction, but was that a clue or just coincidence?
Since the tortoise was heading right for our driveway, it was an easy matter to catch it and put it into the large dog crate. (Its shell was too big for the medium-size crate.)
At the thought that the tortoise might have escaped from Mr. Dust Bowl, M. went into full Underground Railroad mode: "We are not taking it back there!"
We called our friends the wildlife rehabilitators. They deal almost exclusively with mammals, not ectothermic tetrapods, but they had a large gravel-floored enclosure that had just been cleaned after its former inhabitants, two young mountain lions, had been released.
"Bring it over!" was their response.
Not being herpetologists, we were all doing some quick research. Hmmm, it appears to be an African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), native to the Sahel. (Bred for the pet trade, I suppose.) In the wild their status is "vulnerable," which means the Chinese have not incorporated them into some kind of virility potion and wiped out the whole population, at least not yet.
Could it have been abandoned, the way people dump dogs and cats in the country? Sadly, that is possible, maybe probable. One article calls sulcata "America's most adorable mistake."
|At the wildlife rehabilitation center.|
But you’re bound to run into problems when you combine breeders who produce thousands of cartoonishly cute hatchlings a year; buyers who get the third-largest tortoise species on a whim without educating themselves; pet stores that sell the animals without warning buyers how big they’ll get or how to care for them; and wonderful, knowledgeable owners who nevertheless age out of being able to care for a heavy and long-lived pet. Sulcatas are nearly guaranteed to outlive their owners. Experts aren’t sure exactly how long they live in captivity, since the pet trade started only around half their lifespans ago, but educated guesses peg it at over 100 years.
With the tortoise temporarily housed, the center's director drove to town to buy fruits and vegetables for it — "him," we now believe.
M. and I went home and waited. No one had walked up the road calling, "Here, torty torty torty."
No signs appeared on telephone polls or at the post office two miles away, which serves as a community bulletin board.
And nothing appeared on any of the active county-wide Facebook groups, where people are always reporting lost dogs — or found dogs — or strayed horses, or whatever.
After a week, the rehabbers called someone they knew at the Denver Zoo, and today a carload of zoo herpetology volunteers showed up, including someone who is already caring for an African spurred tortoise.
They took "Sully," as the rehabbers had nicknamed him, away with a plan to find him a "forever home." I have no idea how that will all work out, but it is better than letting him wander the San Isabel National Forest looking for a non-existent mate, or whatever his tortoise brain was telling him to do.
Don't get me started on why people think that they have to possess these creatures.
A little pop-culture note: that was an African spurred tortoise in a certain famous scene in Breaking Bad. Here you can learn about the "making of." No tortoises were harmed.
August 30, 2019
We bumped into an acquaintance there. John and his wife live on a ridge top, off the grid, which puts them in both forest-fire and lightning zones. They know that.
He said that a recent lightning strike exploded a big pine tree near their house. Along with the tree (and some baby rabbits), the strike fried their generator, inverted, and on-demand water heater — and of course it meant that they could not pump water from their well.
"We were back in the Stone Age!" he said.
It got dark, they wanted to read and play chess (they are serious about chess). What to do? Being a handy sort of guy, John rigged up a bank of LED lights with a 12-volt battery. It was too bright, his wife said.
But he could have made rush lights, if he had started a little earlier.
It bothers me to see movies and TV shows set in the past where there are masses of (petroleum-based) candles blazing away. Like the HBO series Vikings —by Thor's ring, they had so many candles that they must have brought them back from their raids by the longship-full. Kings could not afford so many candles!
But what the common people had were rush lights, as demonstrated in the video clip above. You have to overlook the non-medieval heat gun. The Brits are getting really absurd about safety issues.
So there you have it. Find some pithy grass and soak it in animal fat. Hold it in some kind of clip or support, and you have light, without the need to raid an abbey.
August 29, 2019
There was a herd of Black Angus cattle near our campground last weekend at State Forest State Park — I will be writing more about the park itself soon.
Tuesday morning they were right down around the trailer, noisily crunching grass, bumping the trailer (just once), and mooing, led by the cow-municator in chief.
He is not in this video, but there was a white Shorthorn* bull in with the Black Angus cows. That is one of his offspring there, I suppose.
Now I am thinking about a bovine smartphone app, like this one.
*I may have cousins in the cattle business, but I make no claims to expertise myself. But I think he was a Shorthorn, with the jowly face.
August 18, 2019
A couple of weeks ago, my friend R. and I were talking about trailers and RVs and such (maybe because he had recently gotten a new-used boat), and we both had the same question: When did pickup campers go away?
They were the inexpensive gateway to car-camping if you did not want to sleep in a tent due to weather or (conceivably) bears.
"And you could tow your boat behind it," R. pointed out.
We both remembered how when we were kids, a lot of the dads in the Boy Scout troop or whatever showed up with campers mounted on their 1960s or 1970s or maybe early 1980s pickups.
Sometimes the camper was slid out of the pickup bed in the off-season and left sitting on sawhorses in the side yard, while the pickup was used for other hauling or just as a daily driver.
Was this just another example of American Feature Creep? More and more gadgets, more and more dollars? Did Plain Jane pickup campers not offer enough profit margin compared to motorhomes and camping trailers? I suspect that they did not.
I still see a few, often with pop-tops, which helps with the wind resistance out on the highway, but nothing like during my childhood.
August 13, 2019
Today I noticed that the road up to our mushrooming grounds had gotten noticeably rougher in just a week, to where if I don't slow down, the lightweight Jeep Wrangler will want to start dancing sideways.
So what is going on? Some physicists worked on the issue:
Just about any road with a loose surface — sand or gravel or snow— develops ripples that make driving a very shaky experience. Physicists have recreated this "washboard" phenomenon in the lab with surprising results: ripples appear even when the springy suspension of the car and the rolling shape of the wheel are eliminated. The discovery may smooth the way to designing improved suspension systems that eliminate the bumpy ride. . . .
"The hopping of the wheel over the ripples turns out to be mathematically similar to skipping a stone over water," says University of Toronto physicist, Stephen Morris, a member of the research team.
"To understand the washboard road effect, we tried to find the simplest instance of it," he explains. "We built lab experiments in which we replaced the wheel with a suspension rolling over a road with a simple inclined plow blade, without any spring or suspension, dragging over a bed of dry sand. Ripples appear when the plow moves above a certain threshold speed."At Midwest Industrial Supply, which sells dust-control and soil-stabilization products to counties like ours, they note that
Protracted periods of dry weather can also lead to washboarding, as arid conditions cause the crust that forms on the surface of gravel roads to loosen and become more susceptible to reshaping by passing tires. Conversely, if a gravel road doesn’t have the appropriate crowned road profile, water won’t be able to drain properly. Water will then accumulate in depressions and ripples in the road, which will in turn be deepened by passing traffic.That "certain threshold speed" is about 3–5 mph, depending who you ask, and speed does make the washboarding process worse.
All this raises another question in my mind. Did horse-drawn carriages and wagons create washboard surfaces too? (I expect that their narrow wheels mostly left ruts, but I do not know for sure.) And if so, did the advent of washboarding lead the old-timers to cuss those newfangled motorcars for ruining the roads?