Bus Driver Jim has been an eclectic computer programmer and photographer since the early seventies. A recent twenty year stint in the transportation industry has earned him the handle and this blog is a documentary of his life and travels.
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…
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…
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…
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 :-)
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
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…
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?)
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.