Lava Field

Eruptions occur at the Craters of the Moon every 2000 years and it’s been longer than that since the last one. Every eruption adds fresh lava to this 618 square mile lava field.

It’s a cool place and I noticed there were roads through the field so I stopped to drive out into it and get some photos. Unfortunately, there was also a guard shack with someone in there extorting money from tourists for the right to enter the place.

I’m sorry, but I flat out refuse to spend a dime to gain access to national parks that should be fully supported by my tax dollars. If there’s not enough dollars then cut back on Obama’s lavish vacations! I’ve been noticing this trend for years now and it sucks.

So, the next best things are cutouts on the side of the road…

Update: I just checked out their website and the fee is $8 bucks which is highway robbery unless you have a Senior Pass which let’s you get in free. Ah, now I’m pissed off at myself because I have one of those…

Categorized as Vacation 2

Tori’s Triumph

I got back from my little road trip this morning and spotted those training wheels on Tori’s bike as I pulled into the garage. Aha! Today’s project.

One of life’s moments that I most regret missing was Riley’s first bike ride. I was there for most of his firsts but my friend Dave’s son filled in for me because I was in California writing code. Apologies to Tori’s mom and dad but today we went riding!

I removed her training wheels and lowered the seat. I taught her to keep her hands on the edge of the handle bars and start her peddling with a primed right foot. She quickly learned that her long legs could catch her if she lost balance. We went into my office and watched YouTube videos of young kids riding for the first time without training wheels. I think it gave her the confidence to keep on peddling without bailing.

After several assisted ups and down our driveway I got her out into the road. The first video here shows Tori taking off from our garage, biking out to Ski Hill road, and returning to the garage. Sorry about the wind noise, but the girl is riding! The second video, well, she’s riding and riding…

Categorized as Family


Last night I camped next to a sadomasochistic meth head who called himself Starsky. I was sitting at my truck office creating the daily post and I watched his bizarre antics as he danced around his truck full of stuff.

Shortly after I clicked the Publish button he came over and asked me if I had any drinking water. I gave him a bottle and told him I’d just dumped two beers in the garbage (no alcohol allowed in the park) and he could dig them out if he wanted. He said no, that wasn’t his vice and besides, he was already high as a kite. I asked him on what and his voice lowered slightly as he muttered the word “Meth”.

I ended up visiting with him for the next hour as he told me his life story, gave me a tour of his truck of stuff, showed me his nipple binding tools, his stash of bondage porn and his Obama phone. I guess I’m just easy to talk to as he also shared that he’d been up for three days and used needles to get the meth into his body.

We tend to think of meth heads as miserable people but this guy seemed genuinely happy, in a mentally deranged way. Suddenly he jumped in his truck and was gone!

The photos are disturbing, even after I cleaned up the set, but if you wish to get a glimpse into the life of this character, click the picture below to open the photoset.

Or watch the SlideShow, or just move on…

btw: That strap around his neck was connected to two steel balls inside his…

Categorized as Vacation 2

Fished Out

I was concerned about this place from the moment I turned off the highway. The body of water known as Little Camus reservoir was nowhere to be seen and the large expanse of flat land off to the right sure looked like it was once a lake bed.

I drove down the dusty dirt road for about a mile before I came up over a hill and spotted water. This is what a once large reservoir looks like drained. I had really expected campers, and fishermen reeling in starving fish as fast as they could get a hook back in.

There was nobody. I spotted a rocky cliff and figured it would be a good place to throw a line in but I really wondered if I was wasting my time. Then I remembered that I’d just driven several hundred miles to get here so I grabbed my gear and hiked over to the cliff.

The place had rattlesnake written all over it but fortunately none were encountered which was good because (did I mention) there was nobody there to help me.

I hooked up some tasty bait with a bobber and tossed it out from the cliff. Fifteen minutes later without a single nibble it dawned on me, this place was fished out and dying a quick death under the hot sun.

As I walked back to my truck I was content knowing that the adventure alone is often better then just catching a bunch of smelly fish :-)

SlideShow (Fished Out)

Categorized as Vacation 2


I took the clan over to St. Anthony this morning for their big parade. I’ve been pimping Tori all week about the fact that a couple of local radio personalities (Neal Larson and Cala Curtis from 590 KID) were going to be in the parade and if we yelled out the secret word dolphin they would throw out a bunch more candy then normal.

Tori made her presence known to our neighbors at the parade and told them the secret word, at which they nodded approval. I had to explain to them later what it was all about and when the 590 parade entry arrived everyone in our spot started yelling “Dolphin”!

Neal and Cala broke into big smiles and suddenly candy was flying out of Neal’s hands fast and furiously as he drove his van by us. The folks around us had to wonder what the hell was going on :-) It was the highlight of the parade!

Unfortunately, I was having so much fun I forgot to photograph the event but I did grab some shots of the parade.

Click the photo below to show all 69 parade shots or run the SlideShow

Categorized as Various

Little Camus

I heard on the radio today that Little Camus Reservoir, east of Boise, is being drained for irrigation. Yea, I’ve never heard of it either but the Idaho Fish and Game has opened it up for unlimited fishing for licensed fishermen. Actually they opened it up in May so hopefully the place still has fish.

I’ve just finished up a tough week as the TRPTA intercity driver (ok, two days this week, but hey, I’m out of shape :-) and I’m ready for my next adventure. Tomorrow I’m taking the house clan to the St Anthony parade and then I’m off to Little Camus on Sunday for some fishing and camping. I’ve had Boise on my mind as my next destination so a little fishing followed with some off season college town time sounds good!

I’m taking Route 20 out of Idaho Falls straight across the flatland of Idaho (I assume it’s flat…) through the Craters of the Moon national monument. Here’s my route.

The only issue I have is what to do with any fish I catch…

Categorized as Vacation 2

Bus 474

My mechanic said you shouldn’t judge the age of a vehicle by it’s years, but by its mileage. I slid behind the wheel of our new 2012 Chevy Express 4500 bus for the first time this morning and noted it’s paltry 2,768 miles. It didn’t get activated into the fleet until last month so as far as I’m concerned, it’s brand new!

The fact that it’s a Chevy made me smile as I’ve been driving nothing but Fords for years now, and I’m a Chevy guy. The dash and controls are a sharp deviation from the Fords which never seemed to change from version to version. It’s Glaval body is a slightly different 12 seat layout but matches the rest of our fleet in quality.

The ride is noticeably softer but after a few miles I got right into it’s seductive rhythm. Acceleration hesitates on first press but moves smoothly up to speed afterwards. This contrasts sharply with the buggy Ford trannies. Every time I mentioned gear transition issues to our contract mechanics they just shook their heads and said It’s a Ford

The turning radius is alright but our 12 seater Fords beat it out slightly. Overall, I give this little ride a big thumbs up! Driving along the spacious dry farms today at 65mph was effortless and the cruise control kicked in quickly and stayed true over rolling hills.

The communications tablet is a Panasonic FZ-A1 government issued industrial strength brick running Mobile RouteMatch on the Android OS. It’s not bad but there’s way too many clicks to perform a ride. (Sally, can you talk to these guys?)

SlideShow (Bus 474)

Categorized as The Bus

Nature Nap

I had to put some time on the old company clock this morning and it wore me out! I guess summer vacation gets you out of work shape pretty quickly.

We’ve got one of the new Chevy buses at our base and somehow the sign glass over the drivers compartment got smashed. I’ve been called up to drive a couple of routes with this bus but I had to get her over to the glass shop this morning for a repair.

After 50 minutes of stressful vehicle management I was ready for a nap so I headed up to Teton Canyon. It’s so cool that I can drive five miles from our house, cross into Wyoming and find a quiet little spot in the National Forest to take a nap.

SlideShow (Nature Nap)

Categorized as Vacation 2

Birthday Thai

The birthday boy got taken out to dinner tonight. It was great leaving my wallet behind as Steph drove and Sis bought mine.

Steph cleaned up at the balloon rally over the 4th by getting a ride in the sky and winning the $35 Teton Thai raffle, so we had Thai food.

I also got a cool gift from Sis called the Magic Bullet. Sweet!

Categorized as Family

Cloud Climber

When you leave your garage door open overnight you can’t complain about mystery stuff appearing on the floor. I guess large animals practice the pullout method also!

Categorized as House

Sixty Nine

Tomorrow I will be two years away from what researchers identify as the second happiest time of your life: 69. It’s supposedly a time when you’ve gotten past all of your old regrets and I guess you’re just finally content with yourself. I have to admit it has been one of my favorite numbers…

The first happiest year of your life is 23. I honestly can’t tell you exactly what I was doing at that age but it is my lucky number and 69 is a triple. Extrapolating, 46 should be a somewhat happy age and at the time I was raising a young Riley and I was happy.

So what does this all mean? I’m a numerologist so it should mean a lot! I believe that numbers guide our destiny so if these researchers have it right, my life is going to peak in two years.

But, here’s the kicker. I just got this information live from the Sunday TV edition of ABC Nightly News. I went looking on their website for links backing up this claim and found none, which leads me to believe that this was just a fluff piece made up by somebody in their newsroom to fill a couple of minutes. Why do I watch these idiots?

Anyway, despite the stupid source, I’m rolling with it. Sixty Nine, Yeah!!!

Categorized as Various

Cheesie Scrambies

Your laugh for the day: “Comprehensive immigration reform would significantly reduce our deficit, expand economic growth, and raise wages.”  Jay Carney – July 19, 2013

Your synesthesia test for the day: So which image is Kiki and which is Bouba?

Our day: After breakfast (an event where Steph put some cheesie on her scrambies) we mosied over the big mountain and hung out in Jackson, WY.

I wheeled Ms Betty around town in the borrowed W/C (thank you Carol Stratton :-) and grabbed the obligatory antler arch shot. We finished the trip by returning via the Palisades Reservoir with a great lunch near Swan Valley.


With Benjamin Franklin

Getting friendly with Benjamin…

Either a very big elk or a very small girl!
btw: There is no correct answer but 95% named the jagged shape Kiki :-)

SlideShow (Cheesie Scrambies)

Categorized as Family

Cache Bridge

My latest painting, the Teton River at Cache Bridge.

Categorized as Paintings

Ten Cup

Treyvon Martin could have been me. When I was his age I used to wear hoodies and beat up on Mexicans when I couldn’t get high on Morning Glory seeds. And I was tan!

Today was Ten Cup day and Tori got her face painted.

Tori popped some balloons and got to pick out a tootsie roll.

Tori and Dan won their respective race divisions.

It was a nice day in Driggs.

SlideShow (Ten Cup)

Categorized as The Valley


Steph called me this afternoon on our fancy expensive smartphone system and asked me where I’d landed on this little get out of the house road trip south. I declined to answer.

Sometimes a man needs to travel without being monitored and land where he lands. This applies to women also but they just don’t exercise the option…

So, without divulging my actual spot I offer up some shots from an amazing little nowhere bar I’ve landed at.

SlideShow (Nowhere)

Categorized as Vacation 2