My boss caught up with me last Saturday and asked if I would cover a Rexburg route this week that went down a driver. I’m covering for Karen next week and still recovering from the last road trip, so I agreed. I needed to put some cash in the travel kitty anyway.
I left the base this morning at 0530 and returned at 1740, and this twelve hour day kicked my ass! It was a combination Saint Anthony fixed route with a bunch of rides I’ve never done, tossed in. Fortunately, my sweet GPS brought me to each door, across countryside outside of Rexburg that I’ve never seen before.
When I finally caught a break I headed to my secret spot down there that gives me shade, a place to walk with my shirt off, and quiet. In fact, it’s coded as Shade in my GPS. I also found a cool marker up on the hill.
Who would have thought this old risk taking hippy would make it this far, I certainly didn’t. Anyway, it’s a beautiful birthday here in the Valley, Brians getting the grill out, family is dropping by, and I’ll add a bunch of photos when the day ends…
Update: Had a fine birthday, click the photo below for some pictures:
Twenty years ago I gave myself a major gift when I turned fifty, I quit smoking. To pull it off I got rid of my car and started walking five miles to work every morning at 2am. Walking gives you the chance to solidify your intent as each step brings a bullet of fresh healing air into your body. Anyway, it worked, and here I am with lungs as pure as the driven snow off the Grand Teton.
A week ago Friday I woke up with an inspiration, it was time to give myself the next big gift as I turn seventy, quit drinking. It’s my last vice and it’s not my friend. The benefits to my overall health and quality of life would be immense and it’s the best thing I could give myself.
So, I started walking. For the last week I’ve been hunkered down, flushing my liver out with our well water, and walking up and down our road. This is day eight and I feel terrific! I’m meeting up with the boys (Brian and Dave) today and we’re heading to Green Canyon Hot Springs for a soak.
When I wake up on my birthday tomorrow I will have no vices. I take no medicine, consume no drugs, the only thing that enters my lungs is fresh mountain air, I eat healthy food, I take cayenne pepper, and I walk…
When I was visiting my boy Riley recently I popped the hood on my truck (which he used to own) to get his opinion on the state of my oil viscosity and I completely forgot to show him this thing of beauty that I know would have brought a smile to his face: my radiator fluid!
I had my mechanics do a radiator flush, with fresh fluid added, prior to last Spring because I was heading down into the dessert. It’s since gone through a Summer, a Winter, and another Spring and it’s still looking as fine as the day it was done and I haven’t added a drop. Sweet!
Ahhh, warm days, no predators, mom and dad inside just in case, so Piper can relax.
I’ve taken to walking our road several times a day lately. It’s spacious, hardly any traffic and the views are great. I walk down to the turn-around and back, and the four houses I pass are my neighbors, whom I know, so the likelihood of getting harassed for being a stranger is null. Sometimes Steph walks with me.
All I wear is a pair of black swimming trunks as I’m working on my tan in small doses to keep from burning. I’m trying to get healthy and the vitamin D is part of the strategy.
You can tell the type of potato being grown around here by the color of their flower.
These are Red Potatoes. (Shot today, coming back from Rexburg…)
I was at my computer today when a large fly came walking across my desk from the window, towards the back of my keyboard and stopped. I sensed he was in distress, probably been trying to escape outside through two panes of thick glass for days.
I grabbed a tissue and gently picked him up with it. He probably figured I was just going to squish him and put him out of his misery but instead I got up and carried him outside through the garage where I released the light pressure and he zipped right off.
Another life saved, and the big Seven-O looks sunny! Family members have been asking me what I want for my birthday and I answer to wake up…
Update: Video added
This was a challenging post. I’m at Lava Hot Springs today, which is about 170 miles from home. I’ve got this great campsite for my truck in spot number 13, up on the hill, overlooking the RV campground of the motel I normally stay at. Thirty-five bucks, full hookup and lots of privacy. I’ve made two trips down to the hot springs, one trip over to the river for some pictures and one trip downtown to the Blue Moon Bar and Grill for a BLT and a cocktail.
The sketchy internet connection up here on the hill has been tough but I managed to hook my Echo up, rock out, and get these photos uploaded. There’s no photo retouching out here in the boonies so when you click the photo below, you get what you get!
Wi-Fi + Power = Tunes:
I took this shot today reflecting off the rear window of my trucks topper. The road dust kind of distorted everything so I thought I would share it.
While on the subject of reflection and distortion I want to share an incident that happened when I was driving up through the mountains of Oregon last Sunday.
The highway was very curvey with two lanes each direction, separated. The speed limit was 75 and full of cars and trucks going as fast as they could to make it over the pass. I had the traffic pack behind me as I approached a curve and I saw a large travel trailer up ahead and assumed it was pulled over.
Nope, it was being pulled by an old pickup truck and it was squarely in the outside lane, stopped cold. As I whipped into the inside lane to avoid it I thought what was he thinking trying to pull a large trailer up a big-ass long hill with an old truck. He had obviously blown the engine and was just sitting there, unable to get off the road.
I envisioned a semi coming around the corner with traffic to his left. There would be no way out other than to totally destroy the travel trailer and run over the pickup, with the guy foolishly sitting inside. I would have been out on the road trying to direct vehicles around me, at least.
I never found out what happened, and nothing came over my scanner…
Well, I’m home now from that fun little run (one week, 2700 miles) through Elko (NV), Petaluma (CA), Medford (OR), Auburn (WA) and Missoula (MT).
Here are the shots left on my camera: Riley and Jess’s backyard, with some great barbeque, and fresh snow on a Montana mountain this morning.
I woke up this morning at 0445 in Riley and Jess’s side yard and proceeded to drive to Missoula, MT. It was a good run, the weather held out, and road chemistry was flowing. Until NPR radio hit my scan button…
There was a guy being interviewed who was part of the Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas where the cops got shot. He had brought his young son with him and when the shots rang out they ran for their lives. Later on, he was explaining the situation to his son and said that the shooting of the cops was a distraction and should not deter the movement.
I lost it and I’m driving down I-90 screaming What if it was your son that got shot, asshole!!!
Other than that, it’s a nice rainy night in Missoula and I’ll be home tomorrow…
I went to the Cornucopia street fair in Kent today with Riley and Jess. Actually, they indulged me by going, I think they realize that nothing is new and as I walked around I realized that for the truth.
I think it’s time to get over my annual pilgrimage here in July, just in the hopes that as I scan peoples faces I will see someone I know from my old transit days, with 12 years added on. It never happens but the people that do catch my eyes are the crazy old farts who walk around with giant bags of popcorn, eyes bulged out and scratching their crotch without a single worry about what other people think of them.
I was so uninspired by the sameness that I took only a few shots, yet when I encountered the Crash, which is a recent addition, I felt that the only thing I could do is make a post out of it.
I was watching Riley’s eyes as he assessed it. This is a man who makes his living fixing wrecked vehicles and the magnitude of the damage was reflected in his stare…
I told Skog and Grant a couple of nights ago that I would Stay up until I can’t and Leave when I can. Well, I’m still running on a sleep debt… But I’m good!
And I can’t complain as my auto body technician son has to work past 7pm every night because the people here really drive stupidly and aggressively, so he has to rebuild their wrecks.
I’m at his house now waiting for him to get home and I’ve set up my computer camp outside, next to my truck, thanks to Jess hooking me up with a wifi password and power. Heading into the house now for a bowl of chilli and hoping it doesn’t rain…
I’ve been a bit lax lately about posting here but that’s because I’ve been traveling, as opposed to sitting in my office talking about it. Tuesday I was in Elko, NV and Wednesday my GPS landed me at the front door of my friends Skog and Grant in Petaluma, CA.
I enjoyed Grant’s toys: a custom Mercedes convertible and a ’70s vintage Harley that he got off of some rocker dude. I returned the favor by rocking him out to pretty much every obscure title he threw at my Amazon Echo. Meanwhile, Skog perused my blog because she has no life… :-)
I’m currently in Medford, OR. I ate some Chinese food tonight and I asked for the hottest sauce they had and scoffed at what they presented. They don’t realize I eat cayenne pepper for breakfast.
Tomorrow: Washington, Riley, Cornucopia and whatever happens! Click the photo below to see the stuff.