Thursday, December 08, 2016

Oatman Arizona

Oatman is an old gold mining town known for its "wild" burros...

It is also located on the longest, continuous stretch of historic Route 66 still left...

When I first entered Oatman, there was a large group of Asian tourists wandering all over main street taking pictures and oblivious to everything around them (even the burros had enough sense to get out of the way of oncoming traffic)...

Fortunately, the local sheriff stepped in and quickly restored law & order in town...

Caveat: Parking for your buggy can be a little difficult...

Lastly, for those young-at-heart but a little older in other places, remember the 60s TV show Route 66. Perhaps, Buz and Tod stopped here to fill up the corvette...

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Desert Oddities

While driving across the California desert on Highway 62 in the middle of nowhere (there's a lot of that out here), I came across a couple of sights that I thought were worth photographing.

For my friends, Sunny & Stormy, who are back on the east coast experiencing bumper to bumper traffic...

Rush hour
(click on photos to enlarge)

Next was a large collection of shoes on a fence...

Then there were these names formed from rocks on the embankment of a railroad track. It was not just one but hundreds of names that ran for miles and miles...

What I found particularly interesting about the above items was that as far as I could tell there was not a house or any sign of civilization within 30 miles. Must get pretty boring in the desert.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Truecaller App

If you have a cell phone, there is a pretty good chance you are getting spam calls from robo-dialers. And following Murphy's Law, these calls generally come at inopportune times.

A Google Play search for "cell phone spam blockers" brought up a number of apps of which I chose Truecaller due its good reviews and high number of downloads. It has only been on my phone for about a week and already has warned me of several spam calls which I have blocked for future calls.

The software has a number of other features which I am beginning to explore but it is the spam blocker that I use the most. It's still early but as of this writing, it works as advertised. If you have tried similar apps and like them, please feel free to comment in the section below.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Snowflake Protesters

I've been watching these snowflake high school and college students protesting on television and I'm thinking "what a bunch of wimps".

When I was growing up, we were so poor we could not even afford water; I had to squeeze hydrogen and oxygen together just to have something to drink. To get to school I had to walk five miles in deep snow, uphill (both ways).

And in an age where corporal punishment is now forbidden, I had to deal with this...

Click on photo to enlarge

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bob "The Gray Fox" Micklick

In the Spring of 2013, I had the good fortune to pull into a space next to Bob Micklick at the OK RV Park in Moab, UT. Bob had over a million miles in jeeps and had been coming to Moab since 1967. We became friends and he was kind enough to take me with him on several rides and show me what a jeep can do in the hands of someone who knows what he is doing.

Unfortunately, Bob passed away on July 4, 2014. I had put together a compilation video of him conquering some pretty gnarly obstacles but until now never had the bandwidth to upload it to YouTube...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Online Order Reply

Like a lot people, I order stuff online for the convenience and pricing. If I get an email reply, it normally says "Thanks" and lists the item purchased. The response I got from Right Channel after ordering a CB installation kit is so unique and funny, I am posting it below...

All was quiet today until the Right Channel warehouse intercom crackled to life: 

"Listen up, people!  We've got a new order for James Brown from Arizona ....."

....but no one could hear the rest of the announcement over the thunderous roar of applause. Champagne bottles were popped. Tears of joy were shed. “Don’t Stop Believing” rang from every speaker. Even Alan our peak packer smiled—and Alan never smiles.

Simply put, your order caused pandemonium and everyone is thrilled you're now a customer. Thank you!

Update 11/22/16...

After our celebration of your order subsided, we went sprinting off down the warehouse isles to find, pull and pack your purchase.  Soon, your items were safely packaged and we handed them off to Eric, our trusty off-road courier.  

He set off in his Land Cruiser FJ40 from our wooded Montana warehouse braving deeply rutted roads and swift streams.  After winching himself out of an especially muddy section of trail, he finally arrived at our rural Montana shipping station.  Mud spattered and weary, he dashed inside with your package under arm, just in time to catch the last truck leaving for the day. 

We've got some good news! All of the items from your order have now been shipped.

Update 11/23/16...

We know you've never needed those pesky in-the-box directions.  And we're guessing you won't need them for your CB upcoming install, either.

But just in case your "buddy" runs into trouble with his install, we thought we'd pass these resources along.  They cover everything from tuning your antenna to troubleshooting high SWR issues.  We hope they're helpful (to your buddy, that is).  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Casino Ride

Don, Cathy, Dan, Lynn and I followed the power line from Black Meadow Landing to the Indian casino on the California side of the Colorado River where we had lunch...

Along the way, we came across several wild burros...

Including one who checked out the inside of my jeep...

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Cabin

I joined Mack & Joleen and their friends on a ride to "The Cabin" which is out in the middle of the nowhere southeast of Lake Havasu City (think 40 miles from land, 40 miles from sea)...

The money stapled to the rafters reminded me of Tortilla Flat...

There was even a ball & chain for ruffians, scalawags and politicians...

And who could forget the bat cage...

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fremont Street Halloween

If you have never been to Fremont Street in Las Vegas on Halloween night, may I suggest you put it on your bucket list. In my opinion, it is right up there with Mardi Gras in terms of energy, excitement and dare I say kinky weirdness.

I started out the evening with a "single bypass burger" at the Heart Attack Grill (which is not known for its "political correctness"). As soon as you enter, one of the "nurses" puts a hospital gown on you...

I am not sure if this is an omen but if you sit at the bar, the seats have safety belts...

And if you are a bad boy...

Did I mention they are not politically correct

Then it was on to the Fremont Street Experience...

Lastly, for my cousin Chris, who prefers photos of dancing girls...

Once again, photos do not do the experience justice. You just have to be there.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

RV Add-ons

The more RVing you do, the more interesting rigs you see...

Click on photos to enlarge

And for the economy minded...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Running For Office

In case this retirement thing does not work out, I have been thinking about becoming a politician; after all, that's where the really big money is. Plus, you cannot be fired; if you screw up, you simply retire with a generous pension (think Lois Lerner).

In preparation for such a move, I have been watching political ads on TV for tips on how to run (side note: although I believe forcing detainees at Guantanamo to watch these ads would be a much more effective interrogation technique than "water-boarding", I am pretty sure the courts would strike it down as "cruel & unusual punishment").

Here's what I have learned so far:
  • Run only negative ads with a minimal amount of truth so as to mislead uninformed voters and hide the fact that you have no accomplishments of your own nor a realistic plan for the future.
  • Lie like a rug when talking to the public and press. However, if you are under oath and threat of perjury, either take the fifth or better yet, use the "cannot recall" defense.
  • Promise voters everything for free, after all, it's only taxpayer money. 
  • Surround yourself with "yes" men & women who will do the dirty work for you. This gives you "plausible deniability" in the rare case there is someone in the media who is unbiased and wants to properly vet a candidate.
  • Let special interest groups know that all that talk about helping the poor and the middle class is just political rhetoric. If you want help, it's just a matter of contributing to the campaign. 
Anyone, who has additional ideas as to how I might run for office, please feel free to comment in the section below.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Blog

Although the number of visitors to my blog has slowly increased over the last five years, there has been some interesting activity in the past week. Several times a day, someone or something has been viewing ~30 pages at a time...

I have no idea of what is going on. Perhaps, the Russians or WikiLeaks are trying to hack into my account. If so, I hope they do not find that embarrassing photo of me in Mexico involving a sombrero, whipped cream and a pole dancer. <grin>

Then last night, I get an email informing me that my blog "has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 RV Blogs on the web". I was even given the very rare and extremely prestigious "Awarded Top 100 RV Blog" badge (I'm 99 out of 100)...

I have to wonder: "is my blog on the verge of going viral, leading to immense personal wealth and popularity... or is this simply as close as I will get to my 15 minutes of fame".

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sand Hollow State Park

If you think you are ready for some extreme 4 wheeling, may I suggest Sand Hollow State Park, UT...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mavic Drone

DJI has introduced the Mavic, a compact drone that has all the features I have been looking for in a drone. Although I will probably wait a while in order for them to work out any "new product bugs", I think this is the unit I will buy.

This got me to thinking about how I would use the drone or better yet, how I might justify its cost. Then it hit me - action videos on YouTube that will attract millions of viewers.

In as much as Moab is home to some of the best base jumping in the world and I will be there next Spring, this seems like a good place to start...

Then on to bicycling in Sedona in the Fall...

All I need now are adventure-seeking volunteers who like to live life on the "razor's edge" and have lots of insurance. I will share all profits from the video with you... or your next of kin.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lesser of Two Evils

I received my absentee voter ballot this week which got me to thinking about the two main candidates for president. You would think that in a country with a population of ~325 million we could have chosen two more qualified and likable individuals. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have major character flaws. This year it feels more like we will be voting to keep one candidate out of office rather than putting the other candidate in office.

How do you decide who to vote for? In my opinion, you have to look at the role you want government to play in your life. If you want bigger government, higher taxes and more regulation, you vote for Hillary and the Democratic Party. If you want smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation, you vote for Donald and the Republican Party.

In recent years, politicians have slowly moved our country in the direction of "socialism". Ironically, as Thomas Sowell said: “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it”.

On the other hand, "capitalism" has been the greatest generator of wealth the world has ever known. Even communist countries such as China and Russia have moved in the direction of a free market system.

Unfortunately, professional politicians have found it easier to buy votes with taxpayer money by offering people "free stuff" rather than confront them with the hard choices that are needed to turn this country around. As a result our national debt is approaching $20,000,000,000,000 ($20 trillion). That's over $164,000 per taxpayer!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Virgin River Gorge

I dropped the Jeep and RZR off at the Havasu Falls RV Resort yesterday (where I will spend the winter) and returned to Marysvale today. I will pack the RV tomorrow and head to the Las Vegas RV Resort Saturday for the month of October.

In the past five years of being on the road, I have seen a number of things while driving that I wished I could have photographed or videoed. Hopefully, the new dash cam will enable me to record some of those moments. Here's a two minute clip of the drive up through the Virgin River Gorge...

View at highest HD setting possible

Monday, September 26, 2016

Last Ride

I did not intend to ride today but the weather and the scenery were just too darn nice to resist so I took one more trip up the mountain. It was a great way to end my stay here on the Paiute Trail. Click on photos to enlarge...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Paiute Trail 77

After several days of inclement weather, the sun and blue skies returned which gave me the opportunity to check out the snow and fall foliage at the higher elevations...

Note deer in lower right portion of photo
(click on photos to enlarge)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Z-Edge Z3 Dash Cam

After my recent experience with the hay bale truck, I purchased a dash cam to document any future accidents. I will also use it in the jeep to record my off-road adventures.

The Z-Edge Z3 is a compact, easy to use dash cam with excellent video recording capabilities including resolutions up to 2K. It has an impressive range of features but rather than listing them here, I will refer you to their website. My initial impression is it is a great camcorder for the price.

The only disappointment to date is that it arrived without the 32 GB TF or Micro SDHD card that should have been included with the unit. I have emailed their technical support group and am awaiting their reply.

Here is a video segment that was recorded at 2560×1080 (30 fps). If you have the bandwidth, enlarge the video to "Full Screen" and view at one of the HD settings...

Update (9/27/16): The manufacturer has refunded $15 to my account for the purchase of a card. Although I paid $26.46 for a 32 GB SanDisk card at Walmart, I liked the fact that their customer service department got back to me within 24 hours of my original email and initiated the refund.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Early Snow

Here's what I woke up to this morning...

Click on photos to enlarge 

Weather permitting, I will try to take the RZR up the mountain later to get a better view of the snow and fall foliage. My timing for heading south next week is looking pretty good.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dash Cam

For a while now, I have been thinking about buying a dash cam to record everything from critters passing in front of my vehicle to accidents. Unfortunately, in regards to the latter, I am a day late and a couple hundred dollars short (estimated repairs).

While driving north on Highway 89, an oncoming truck loaded with hay bales took a curve much too fast and dropped several bales into my lane. I got as close to the guard rail as I dared and although this kept me from hitting them head-on, both fenders on the left side of the jeep were partially ripped off. By the time I got stopped and inspected the damage, the other vehicle was long gone.

The problem with this scenario is that without another insurance company to pay the claim, my insurer would consider this a "collision accident" and I would be responsible for the deductible. Plus, my rate would probably go up next year. The good news is I have an appointment next Monday to have the jeep repaired and I am still alive to write about it.

With a dash cam I could at least show the bales of hay falling off the truck into my lane and proving the accident was not my fault. Knowing that I am driving to Las Vegas next week, I just ordered a Z-Edge 3 from Amazon.

Here are photos from the crime scene...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Willis Creek Slot Canyon

Willis Creek is actually a series of slot canyons that you hike through by following the creek for about 2 miles. The creek is a couple of inches deep so you will want to wear appropriate footwear. As always with slot canyons, make sure there is no risk of a flash flood.

Although Willis Creek is a little hard to find, it is well worth the effort, particularly, if you have never hiked a slot canyon (click on photos to enlarge)...



Monday, September 12, 2016

Barney Lake

Dan, Holly, their rowdy friends and I rode up to Barney Lake...

Click on photos to enlarge