Monthly Archives: March 2016

Home Again

I jumped out of my no-tell motel bed in Provo, UT at 0430 and was fueled, caffeinated and hitting I-15 North at 0500. I asked the young Mormon cashier boy at the 24 hour Maverick store if I could beat the SLC morning commute by leaving now and he just smiled with glazed over eyes and said I suppose, which really means he doesn’t get out of Provo much. I did beat it and Piper’s purring on my lap now as I write this.

It was a fun adventure and I’m glad I went. I had my share of close calls though, like walking down a straight 3-story flight of stairs at the Virgin River carrying my bags and my old knees started to give out. I had visions of me toppling down head first, and it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t, but after loading up my truck I took off into the early morning, spotted a convenience store and after confirming nobody was on the road, turned left towards it. Some little blue car pulled out fast from somewhere and we almost smacked but my cat like reflexes saved me again. There’s just something about Mesquite

The next day I was standing on a cliff overlooking Laughlin, NV as the wind began gusting really bad. I had battled the wind climbing up there to take some pictures but I thought for a minute I was going to become a kite! I managed to get out of there and avoided all rattlesnakes. This is the same wind by the way that had ripped off my poor canopy earlier in Arizona (or was it Nevada or California, they all converge here).

Anyway, the pluses outweighed the minuses, I’m tanner, and home again.

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Tempura Saki

My goal was to pull out of Laughlin this morning at 0500 for my return home and I hit it on the mark. I decided that my midway destination would be Provo Utah which is just south of Salt Lake and five hours from our house. I’m here now.

I’ve never been in Provo before but I found downtown and a downtown motel to hang out in. I had a craving for some Asian food and I ended up in a Japanese joint that served up some fine Tempura and a strong Saki. Stomach content, I mosied around and took some shots which you can see by clicking the photo below…

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My Maid

I met my maid this afternoon, a cute bubbly little thing that just had to tell me her life story about getting divorced a year ago after 20 years and her old man ripping off the cabin they were living in and, you know… I felt a possible hit coming on so I mentioned my significant other, got my garbage dumped and towels changed, and then tipped her $20 for taking care of me these last four days. As she walked out the door she gushed why can’t I meet a man like you?

Very flattering, checking out early tomorrow, heading North…

I guess I still got it, not that I need it, as I approach 70.

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Belle

I took a walk from my room at the Pioneer tonight, over to the Colorado Belle Casino. The area is undergoing record winds tonight so my main goal was to not lose my Tilley Hat. I’ve lost enough on this trip…

Despite the wind, it was a beautiful evening and the Belle is very photogenic from the outside. On the inside, not so much, just a bunch of cigarette smoking losers. I can’t even enjoy a bar in these joints as every seat has a gambling machine in front of it and there’s no human interaction at all.

Meanwhile, I’m discovering that my camera takes very nice night shots. Click the photo below to see if you concur…

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Lunch

Lunch in Laughlin. Nuff said…

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Pioneer Walk

I took a walk around the hotel this morning, down by the river. It was very quiet and peaceful and you can share the vibe by clicking the photo below…

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Havasu Stroll

Two ducks have lived at the Pioneer Hotel pool for a few years now, I remember them from my last trip. According to the old crusty security guard I chatted up prior to hitting the hot tub, she’s expecting. I don’t know about you but I don’t think duckling pool diapers have been invented yet, much less adult. How can people get in that pool?

Me on the other hand, having watched a crowd of people hang at the hot tub last night, had to be sure it was well maintained, thus the chat with the guard. He assured me they dunk chemicals in there all the time, and that was good enough for me! I have to say, there are two jets that deliver an amazing deep tissue massage, the best I’ve ever experienced, but I digress…

Earlier today I mosied on down to the Lake Havasu swap meet. It was alright, warm as usual, and I bought Steph a hand carved picture holder with her name. Two actually and I took one down to the river to do a trick shot. I’ve had cameras in the past that could pull the focus off, but alas..

Anyway, still digressing, so here’s the photos:

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South

Sometimes you just need to head South to find shit. I’ve run out of things to find in Teton Valley, been there done it, several times over, bored. So I head south on Spring Break to find new things and after walking around Laughlin and shooting eclectic shots, I realize I’ve done this before too.

Sigh… Oh well, there’s some interesting shots if you wish to click the photo below.

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Homeless

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.

Homeless…

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

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Southbound

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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Maps

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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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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Tracks

Steph got me out of my warm office this evening to look at some tracks she spotted in the yard. They were big, about 5 inches across, and they looked like bear. I dropped the contrast down a bit for this shot and they certainly appear to be black bear tracks.

We’ve lived here for more than a decade and I’ve never seen a bear, even with multiple trips up to Yellowstone. Now one walks through our backyard, and I missed it…

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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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Progress

I made some amazing improvements to TetonValleyMap today, in between our run down to the Super Walmart in Rexburg and a stop at Commercial Tire for a service. Supplies for my trip next Friday were bought, my truck had her alignment and charging system tuned, and I still had time for some cool code before and after.

You can now select one or more cities, type in a partial address, and then perform a search. For example: select Driggs and Victor and then specify a numeric street number (ex: 11) or a partial street name (ex: mou) in the Search area, and submit.

If you would like to try it out, click here.

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