Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tusher Tunnel / 3D / Spring Canyon

Jack led a caravan of four jeeps over "3D" to the Tusher Tunnel and then Spring Canyon...

Intrepid explorers

Light at the end of the tunnel

Stormy testing the limits of the Rubicon

View from 3D overlook

Going down Spring Canyon

Although I used the dash cam to video the Spring Canyon ride, I prefer an earlier video of the canyon which I filmed as a passenger in a RZR...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mineral Road Switchbacks

We drove BLM 129 (Mineral Road) from Highway 313 (Canyonlands Road) to the Colorado River. The views from the switchbacks going down the mesa are impressive...




Fruit Bowl

A while back, I came across an awesome 4K drone video of slack liners walking across the Fruit Bowl, so we drove the jeeps out there to see it first hand. Unfortunately, the site was empty and the lines had been removed but the scenery was still great...


Corona Arch Trail

We hiked 1.5 miles back to the Corona Arch, a massive 140 foot tall rock formation. The weather was just perfect; mild temperatures and a cloudless sky...

That's Bowtie Arch (left) & Corona Arch (right) in the background

Michele & Sunny training for Mount Everest

Years ago, a pilot named Tim Martin flew his airplane through this arch
(click here to see him flying)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Long Canyon

Here's a video clip Sunny shot last Tuesday of us coming down Long Canyon. The highlight of the trail is driving under a humongous rock that fell across the road some years ago...


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hells Gate

Here's a video of Preston and Greg climbing Hells Gate, an optional obstacle on Hells Revenge...


Who says there are no "real men" left

Update: Greg & Merry's video of an old man in a RZR 900 XC coming up Hells Gate...


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wings @ Moab Brewery

Once again, our group takes advantage of 25 cent wings at the Moab Brewery...


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Gooseneck State Park

Much to our surprise and delight, Preston & Lois, Cory & Cheryl and Greg & Merry from the Arizonian RV Park were already at Gooseneck State Park in southeast Utah when we arrived. A great time was had getting caught up in the afternoon and then sitting in front of a log fire and star gazing that night.

These are professional RVers, do not try this at home

View from my RV

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is huge. It protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings...



Friday, April 14, 2017

Cascade Canyon

Sunny, Stormy and I took the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad up to Cascade Canyon and back. I had originally wanted to do the Soaring Tree Top Adventures, a series of 27 different zip lines that range from 56 to 1,400 feet in length but it was not open for the season as was the ride to Silverton. We had a perfect weather day which made for great photos and videos...





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Very Large Array

If you saw the movie, Contact, with Jodie Foster, then you have seen the Very Large Array (VLA), a group of huge radio telescopes about 50 miles west of Socorro, NM. Fortunately, I had my friends, Sunny & Stormy Weathers, with me to explain the highly technical aspects of the VLA and related equipment...




Undoubtedly, the highlight of the trip was a fly-by from ET and friends...


Monday, April 03, 2017

Yuma Territorial Prison

If today's prisoners think they have it tough, they should have spent some time at the Yuma Territorial Prison when it was operational. The extremely small cells housing multiple inmates with only a bucket for sanitation must have been insufferable in the heat of summer...


Although the prisoners called it the "Hell Hole", ironically, the citizens of Yuma called it the "Country Club on the Colorado" as the prison had more modern amenities than most homes in town. Click on photos to enlarge.










Here's a photo of a typical cell block...


However, for those inmates that broke the rules, there were "dark cells" which allowed no light in at all and were pitch black. Now, if that was not bad enough, rumor has it that the guards would occasionally toss in a rattlesnake or scorpion. Yikes!

Lastly, the phrase "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" must have had this woman in mind...

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Boondocking

Camping in the desert is surprisingly peaceful and relaxing. I am staying overnight in the BLM's La Posa area south of Quartzsite. My nearest neighbor is maybe a half mile away and the only sounds, other than my snoring, are the wind and an occasional airplane. If it was not for that restraining order from the American Society for the Prevention of Blindness, I could run naked through the cactus (there's a mental image that's going to haunt you for a while). Here's the view through the RV's rear window...


Another reason for staying here is the opportunity to see how well my two Honda generators hooked up in parallel run an air conditioner. I bought a Honda EU2000i Companion back in the early 2000s for my trip to Alaska. Even when I had the Fuzion toyhauler which had its own generator, I would use the Honda at night to run the TV and charge the battery because it was so much quieter and sips gas. However, 2000 watts is not enough for a 15,000 BTU AC which I understand needs 3500 watts so I purchased a regular Honda EU2000i. By running both units with Honda's parallel cabling, I now get 4000 watts which I am happy to report runs the AC just fine...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Captain's Log Stardate 94841.33

Log Entry

  • My two day mission to go where far too many people have gone before was successful. I dropped off my Jeep & RZR (thanks Kim), refueled the ship and headed back to Lake Havasu.
  • The OK RV Park was full and Moab was crowded as Jeep Safari 2017 approaches.
  • South of Monticello I passed through a strange nebula that turned everything white...
  • Arrived back at the RV at 19:30 hours after a very long day.
  • Consumed life-saving quantities of American Honey Bourbon (medicinal use only).
Captain passes out.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Captain's Log Stardate 94838.55

Log Entry

  • I-40 between Kingman and Flagstaff is in serious need of President Trump's infrastructure spending. There were places where it was easier to drive in the potholes and dodge the high spots in the road.
  • Near Williams it appeared that a massive manhunt was underway. Law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing were parked along the south side of the Interstate for miles with officers overlooking the fields and woods. I would not have wanted to be on foot in that area today. Update: they caught him.
  • It was 51 degrees in Flagstaff at 1:00 pm. A rude awakening to my finely tuned constitution.
  • Arrived safe & sound in Blanding, UT where I will be spending the night (tip of the day: motels in Blanding are cheaper than Moab this time of the year).
  • For the non-trekkies out there, click here for a Stardate calculator.
Captain out.

Monument Valley

Sunday, March 26, 2017

John's Drone Video

John (or more likely, Jan) from the Arizonian RV Park uploaded a video to the Guest Photos page of the blog. Unfortunately, only a single photo was displayed so I downloaded the video to my computer, edited it by deleting all the nude scenes (don't want a NC-17 rating from the MPAA) and added titles and music. Here's the "G" rated version...

Use the arrows in bottom right of screen to enlarge video
You can also set the quality of the video by clicking on "Auto"
(if you have the bandwidth, I recommend 1080p)

Travel Plans

I am getting ready to haul my Jeep and RZR to Moab, UT tomorrow and then return to Lake Havasu to load up the RV. It's a bit of an inconvenience having to make two trips but well worth the effort to have both my toys in such a remarkable OHV area.

Before returning to Moab, I am going to take a long side trip to Yuma and Tucson to see if those are areas where I would like to spend next winter. Then, it's on to Las Cruces to join that dynamic duo, Sunny & Stormy Weathers, and explore New Mexico & Colorado on our way to Moab. We plan to visit Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Cascade Canyon via the Durango & Silverton Railroad.

As I once told Willie Nelson, "it's good to be on the road again".

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Old Rules Do Not Necessarily Apply

When I was growing up, I was taught that getting an education, working hard and saving your money was the way to succeed in life. Although I still consider that good advice, a lot has changed as the result of the Internet.

I am amazed by the number of people who are making huge amounts of money by publishing creative content on social media sites...


Here are two examples that defy the norms:
  1. Casey Neistat - He dropped out of High School in the 10th grade at age 15 and did not return to school or graduate. He later ran away from home. From age 17 until 20 he lived in a trailer park with his girlfriend and infant son. Prior to moving to New York City, he worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant and short order cook. His first job in New York City was as a bike messenger. Today, he earns an estimated $140.6K - $2.2M per year via YouTube.
  2. Sailing La Vagabonde - Riley and Elanya are a young couple that met in Greece just after he purchased a sailboat. He had been working on off-shore oil rigs and she had been bumming around Europe singing in clubs. Without any formal training, they started making videos documenting their travels sailing around the world. Today, they earn an estimated $5.9K - $95K per year via YouTube and almost $9,000 per video via Patreon (they make approximately one video per week).
The two things these people have in common are a good work ethic (I know from personal experience that creating quality videos is extremely time consuming) and they enjoy what they are doing. Granted, not everyone has the imagination and talent to do what they do but if you can, what a great way to live.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sign of the Day

I saw this on the back window of a pickup truck...
"Legal gun owners have over 300 million firearms and 50 billion rounds of ammunition.
Seriously, folks, if we were the problem, you would know it."

Friday, March 17, 2017

How Do Deaf People Think

Occasionally, I come across something that makes me wonder why I never thought of it before. Today, it was "how do deaf people think". Those of us with verbal language skills, think using words. However, if you were born deaf and never heard a word, how would you think?

It turns out that if an individual has learned sign language, that's what they use to think. However, if they never learned sign language, then they have a problem. Language (both verbal and sign) is an integral part of how the brain functions and those with no language skills are generally mentally impaired and elected to political office in California.

How did I become this fountain of knowledge you didn't ask... why YouTube, of course.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Immigration Ban

I see a Hawaiian judge has blocked President Trump's temporary immigration ban. My suggestion to the President would be: "send all the refugees to Hawaii". Wonder how long that restraining order would last then.

Why does Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf States not take Muslim refugees

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Maggie Mine Slot Canyon

Wow! How often do you get to drive and hike a narrow slot canyon? Maggie Mine Slot Canyon is not easy to find or get to but is definitely worth the effort. After leaving I-40 you follow a rough, dirt road about 50 miles before turning into the canyon. Most of the time the scenery is primarily Joshua trees and jackrabbits the size of small kangaroos. As there are no signs to the canyon itself, I have uploaded a track to Gaia GPS where you will be able to view data on the ride and download the file in several different formats.

Do not attempt to drive the canyon in a vehicle larger than a jeep. As you will see in the video, there are some very tight spots...



Lastly, there are several spur canyons off the main one that are suitable for hiking only...


Monday, March 13, 2017

Patreon

Patreon is a website where individuals can get paid for their creative content. It's really amazing when you think about it. For the first time in history, a person with very little resources can make an amazing amount of money just by publishing items online that others enjoy seeing.

Not one to be left out of cutting edge technology, I have created my own site at https://www.patreon.com/jb1800. I am still in the process of learning how to use the various posting options so there may be changes as I learn what works and what doesn't.

Just in case there are some "high rollers" out there who want to become a Patron, I have created a "rewards program" for contributors at various levels:
  • Basic $2.00 Reward - Check under your couch cushions to come up with enough change to make a non-deductible $2.00/month contribution to this blog and receive the highly prized "atta boy/girl/in-transition" reward (no gender bias here).
  • Totally Reasonable $5.00 Reward - For the moderate sum of $5.00/month, you will enable me to continue living life on the road without selling blood, bone marrow or a kidney which I am sure is reward enough for the kind and generous Patron that you are.
  • Who Am I Kidding $10.00 Reward - For the outrageous sum of $10.00/month, I will be able to live the luxurious lifestyle with which I would like to become accustomed and you will receive a photo-shopped picture of me next to a Rolls Royce limo in front of a spacious mansion (clearly, I am having delusions of grandeur but a guy has to dream).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Rovey's Needle

Rovey's Needle is a unique rock formation off the Cattail Cove trail south of Lake Havasu City. I would recommend approaching it with a four wheel drive vehicle due to the sand washes (may be impassible when wet) and several steep inclines. The last section involves a short, rocky hike.

Approach to Rovey's Needle

From here you have a short hike

Eye of the Needle & Honeycomb Rock
(severe case of "rock acne")

Geocache

View of the Colorado River on the return

Due to the rain we had this winter, the desert is alive with Spring flowers

Friday, March 10, 2017

Crown King Arizona

My friend, Terry, sent me some photos from Crown King, Arizona...

Click on photos to enlarge

Obviously, my kind of town! What more could a guy ask for?