Category Archives: Vacation 5

Backing South

I don’t get backrubs these days, we just don’t seem to do those things anymore, and the hot tub has been broken for years. I stressed my back out a bit today pulling the sand bags from the back of my truck and pouring them into the wheelbarrow with a flat tire. Have you ever tried pushing 300 lbs across a garage floor by brute force?

Hot springs are high on my agenda as summer approaches and I ready my truck for travel. Filters were replaced today and snow tires are coming off tomorrow. Lake Havasu is in my sights for the end of the month and a steam room would be a nice addition to a stop, so I better get looking…

Update: Went to Green Canyon Hot Springs on Saturday with Brian and Annie. Yea!

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I wish I was in Kanarraville, Utah right now, actually, just south of there, curled up snuggly in the back of my truck ready to blast through Vegas on a Saturday sunrise. But, I’m still here resolving issues to protect my kids. I’m no longer pulling up sideways at Barrels and Bins in the afternoon and letting kids fly out in both directions. Now I continue down to the Targhee Shuttle stop and unload there. Gymnastics kids go left down the walk and everyone else hoofs it back up the sidewalk. It worked great today.

As to Utah, I just checked out motels in Mesquite, NV and they’re either booked solid for Spring Break or their rates are jacked up like crazy. Screw them, I’ll just fall back on good old mile Marker 44 again ( here, here and here ).

…and here’s the new spot:

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Laughlin Places

I used my new program ZypDown to locate all of the cool places around my Spring Break destination: Laughlin, NV. Too many places, too little time…

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I signed up with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service yesterday, shelling out $25 PayPal bucks for one year. I installed it on my desktop and my travel companions: the Nexus 10 tablet and my Acer Windows 10 netbook.

The primary purpose of this system is to keep me from being hacked while using public and hotel wifi connections. It cloaks your computer’s actual IP address and sends all traffic through a worldwide server of your choice (I chose one down in Utah), encrypting the data along the way.

One time last year I was using a hotel’s wireless service when my firewall caught a php program trying to sneak into my system. Hey, I write php code and I know what it can do! I killed it of course but when I walked out to the lobby later I spotted a towel-head hunkered down in the back area of their office, with a laptop. The bastard was probably intercepting their wifi hotspot and planting code on people’s computers to steal their data. I decided then and there, that the next time I travel, I wear protection.

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Next Friday morning I’ll be pulling out from my driveway at 0500 in the dark of the damned daylight savings time bullshit. I will travel through projected snow roads with street treads until the sun comes up, avoiding wildlife, and arrive ten hours later at the Virgin River Hotel/Casino in Mesquite, NV for a one-night layover.

I’ve got an outside bottom room booked at this sprawling hotel where I can park my truck next to the door and blast out quickly in the morning. Saturday I’ll arrive at Laughlin, NV where I have a four-night stay reserved.

On Sunday, I plan on hitting up the great swap meet down at Lake Havasu, wander around down by the London Bridge, try to get my picture taken with a bunch of scantily clad summer breaking college girls, and then head back to Laughlin to find an Easter dinner to consume.

That’s the general plan, after that, who knows…

It’s 800 miles from Driggs, ID to Laughlin NV, in case you’re interested…

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Ready To Roll

This is the setup in my little travel truck. The Uniden scanner is mated to an amplified speaker, both powered by USB from my trucks battery. The small oval device up on the dash is a special GPS that provides consistent location data to the scanner, so as I travel, all of the local emergency frequencies will be automatically selected.

There’s also a grounded AC power adaptor coming out of my power supply, just to the left of the scanner, which gives me AC charging capabilities for my phone and computers. And, my main GPS has a do-rag.

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Still Winter

As my 0500 Friday departure to the warm sandy beaches of southern Arizona approaches, one storm has blown through and another promises to arrive Thursday night. The weather gods know I’ve got my desert tires on. These bastards have been messing with me a lot the last few years. I don’t care, watch out deer, I’m blasting out of here with high-beams on and as Karen told me, get past the dry farms and you’ll be fine!

Meanwhile, I picked up some healthy goodies for Steph. Hopefully, she can integrate these life-changing ingredients into her diet and drop a few of those diabetic pills she’s been popping lately.

And this will probably be my Easter meal:
Pioneer Hotel
Bumbleberry Flats
Easter Brunch: carving station with slow roasted prime rib, pesto crusted turkey, bone-in ham; hot line includes oven roasted pork loin; herb crusted salmon with lemon burre blanc; stuffed chicken breast; lobster mac & cheese; bacon and sausage; garlic mashed potatoes; country potatoes; harvest root potatoes; vegetable pasta and cream sauce; omelet station made to order omelets and eggs; cold station with crab legs, shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon; complete dessert station with chocolate fountain, Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee and more... Price/Time: $25.95, Sun, March 27 (9 a.m.-6 p.m.).

Thursday night update: The weather gods took pity on me, it looks good!

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My Amazon Prime shipment of Maps just arrived. I was getting concerned since I ordered them last weekend and that Denver blizzard delayed them. Anyway, just in time since I road trip in the AM.

Big easy to read printed maps are a sweet luxury in these days of GPS and Google Maps. There’s nothing like stopping in a Rest Area, spreading out a real map, and planning your next move. I’m old, I’ve had many road trips in my life, and printed maps were always an integral part of the adventure.

Now they still are…

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I left Driggs this morning by the light of a partial full moon around 0440. It snowed last night and the roads were a bit dicey for my trimmed down truck with street treads on but I ended up behind a snow plow doing the dry farms run and I just tagged along at 45 in a 65, until Newdale.

Things opened up after that and I cruised on down South. My fuel gauge doesn’t work, so I drive about 175 to 200 miles, and then fuel up. With the great prices I was doing $9 in Pocatello, $10 in Salt Lake and $13 in the middle of the Utah badlands.

The picture below pretty much sums it up: layers off, window down, and cruising at seventy. I’m at Mesquite, NV now…

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Coming into Bullhead City from Vegas this morning I encountered some crazy wind. At times, it literally picked me up and tossed me into the other lane. Fortunately, I was out there by myself.

When I got to Bullhead I pulled in to a station for fuel and when I stepped out my drivers side and turned around, I thought I was in the twilight zone. My canopy was gone and all of my stuff was laying there on my bed, exposed.

I’ve made many trips in my little truck over the last few years and the thought of losing my canopy never crossed my mind but here it was, reality baby, and I better deal with it!

I bought my fuel and then took off down the road. I stopped on a quiet street and begun pulling everything from the bed of my truck, including my bed, jamming it all into the cab. Then I started looking for a dump, no luck, and I could hardly see out my passenger side window. What a way to start my vacation in Arizona!

I spotted a little store with an empty dumpster so I pulled over and brazenly approached the owner offering him $10 to let me dump some stuff. He said sure. I threw away the foam for my bed, the two containers with three drawers each that held my miscellaneous stuff, my portable blue chair, my big water container with our well water in it, and the flat board and tarp that lined the bottom of the truck bed.

What an amazing transformation my little truck has gone through, even before I checked into my Laughlin motel for a four-day stay, and now I can’t camp out anywhere.


This is what she used to be: here and here.

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