Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quiet Day

Having a quiet day in the neighborhood today. The air is filled with smoke from the fires burning down by LA. It's 250 miles away (400 km) but we haven't been able to see the mountains most of the day. Now it's breezy, even windy. When you see the bushes rustling here you know something's up!

Had fun watching Kimi Raikkonen win the 2009 F1 race at Spa. We visited Spa when we lived in the Netherlands. It's an interesting corner of the world. What we loved about Kimi's win is that it was unexpected. Ferrari hasn't been doing all that well this year and we like the unpredictability of F1 racing. What was even more amazing was the 2nd place of team Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella. Force India has usually been in last place but today they were hot.

Walked again this a.m. - a couple of miles but as we discovered when we visited Washington, walking here in the desert doesn't prepare you for hills! Found a neat website yesterday; this guy has visited all the Historical Markers in Nevada. It's quite an accomplishment. He is a photographer whose speciality is Nevada and the Great Basin. Go to the bottom of that page and check out the sign. (That's 240km!) His photography is found on his other page. Nice stuff and a bit different. BTW, we live in southern Nye county.

Take care. It's dangerous out there!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lest we forget...

Ted Kennedy died last night at 77. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom a couple weeks ago by President Obama. We will be hearing what a wonderful man he was; what a leader; a true hero. Lest we forget, he was also the coward responsible for the death of a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne back in 1969. To me it's a classic story of a rich, no-longer young asshole (he was married with three kids) who just couldn't believe that something this bad could happen to him. And, in fact, it was pretty well covered up. To the point that Mr. Obama disgraced the Medal of Freedom by giving it to him. Anyone else would have been at least arrested and tried for manslaughter; Kennedy lost his driving privileges for a few months. Of course he did have his chauffeur; the same guy who gave him the keys to the car the night Mary Jo died.

The White House blog says "Sen. Edward Kennedy is one of the longest-serving and greatest Senators of all time. He has worked tirelessly for health care reform over the last five decades." Yeah, sure. That's why our health care system is in such wonderful shape now.

I should be thankful; at least he didn't get to be President!

Take care; it's dangerous out there (unless you are very wealthy).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gotta post, gotta post, gotta post

Unfortunately I've almost nothing to post about! Life, post trip, has been exceedingly dull; which is what we were looking forward to experiencing.

Not a lot changed during our three weeks away. They are starting work on a lot on our main street (Nevada state highway 160). No signs are posted so no one knows what is planned but it isn't all that large a space. My crystal ball is cloudy so I'm just waiting for the surprise.

We got actual RAIN last week. It was a heavy shower by any standard but only lasted ten or fifteen minutes. The rain showers around here are quite small and so since we don't have a rain gauge I've no idea how much rain we received. The paper didn't say anything about it so I'm guessing that officially, we received no rain in Pahrump.

While we were gone something happened that is typical of the town; one of the things that endears it to us. Some guy got stopped for speeding and was ticketed for doing 41 mph in a 35 mph zone(72/56kph). He got pissed off and wrote to the paper talking about how he took his niece out to dinner and getting the ticket really spoiled the evening. The next two issues of the paper had letters, long ones, explaining to this guy how he is really an asshole. One letter was from the sheriff pointing out that the deputy actually clocked him at 51 mph(82kph) but knocked it down to 41 so he wouldn't get in so much trouble with his insurance. The others all pointed out that 1)speeding is against the law, 2)he is teaching his niece it's ok to break the law, 3)exceeding the limit is dangerous and several other points I've forgotten. It was really great to see people pointing out to this guy that he was totally in the wrong and ought to go soak his head somewhere. Cool. It's been a long time since I've seen that kind of response; of course it's been a while since I've heard anyone complain about getting a speeding ticket in public! Too bad the deputy didn't get him for DUI (Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol) while he was at it.

Gotta go make some calls. We need a cover for the new trailer and we aren't going to get it if I just sit here! Be careful, it's dangerous out there!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home at last

Made it home on Thursday afternoon. Backed the trailer into it's spot and parked the truck in the garage. It's good to be home though we did have a great trip.

I've decided to call the latter portion of this trip the Volcano Tour; we visited Mt. St. Helens; Crater Lake and Lava Beds National Monument. It was not without it's drama.

Mt. St. Helens was clouded over so there wasn't much to see. We had a good time checking out the visitor's center and such. Things have sure grown over in the almost 30 years since the eruption.

We visited Crater Lake coming in from the North; the road was on the side of the mountain and there was no guardrail; NOT a fun trip. I can't imagine how that situation has come to be but it's nasty! The lake itself is amazing but there were tons-o-tourists too. Couldn't find a parking space at the main lodge so went to a place on the edge of the park for lunch - $9 hamburgers and $2.50 cokes. We were hungry enough that it sounded ok to us!

We were parked in the Escapee park in Sumerlin, OR and made Crater Lake a day trip. That worked ok but it was quite a long day. The park was nice but we really didn't meet anyone. There were tons of deer around and I got this photo from out the back window of our rig.

Lava Beds NM was kind of an impulse thing. It is northern CA. The local mountain blew up long ago and left lava deposits that are really quite impressive. I didn't get any photos because it just didn't seem to lend itself to photos. They have some lava tubes that you can explore as you might a natural cave. We checked out the one that is lit and left the other to people who like that kind of thing. Neither of us cares for crawling around in the dark!

We were staying at the fairgrounds in Tulelake, CA. It was kind of a weird place with several sites available but no one around except another group campers (3 guys) who had an rv, tents and several bbq's. Have no idea what they were about! The grounds keepers were watering the grass like crazy; the county fair is in early September and I guess they wanted the green grass award. Seemed like a terrible waste to me; at the fair when I was a kid I remember the grass being worn to nothing in about a day.

From Lava Beds we were only two days from home. So we hit the road. Stopped overnight in Fallon, NV; just outside Reno. Another town that is there because of irrigation; add enough water and the desert will bloom. Aside from having FOUR separate people try to pass us when they didn't have enough room, causing us to have to slow violently, driving home was pretty uneventful.

For me it had all the earmarks of a great trip: I was looking forward to it; I am happy to be home; had fun; nothing awful happened. What more can you ask! Next week we'll be conferring with the dealer about the little things we found in the trailer. That should be illuminating. ;)

Take care; it's still dangerous out there!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Internet Free Zone

We've been in an internet free zone for a few days. First in a state park; later at the last relative's house. Now I'm catching up. No photos right now because I'm trying to do laundry and type at the same time. Our trip started out hot but now we are down to normal temps - 70 for a high, say 20C. It's a nice change from the hot; we'll get plenty of that when we get back to Nevada.

Things have good well. The trailer is ok but I have trouble because the turning radius is different from our old truck-trailer setup. Twice I've had to stop half way around a curve and back up a bit to get a better angle at it. I'm probably just being careless. Scraped something once on a turn that went violently up in the middle of the turn. We shouldn't have been on that road actually!

We are headed up to see Mt. St. Helens tomorrow; haven't been since the 80's. Next year is 30 years since the big blow. We were living in Seattle at the time but it didn't really affect us directly. The wind blew all the ash eastward and Seattle was spared any trouble. After St. Helens we are headed for Oregon and Crater Lake.

Take care, it's dangerous out there!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Real Washington State

Here it is:

Fog and trees and water - what's not to like? Today it is a relief because it's been unusually warm. When it's been like this for a month, you yearn for the sun! The woman at the camp office is complaining about the 16 hour days 7 days a week but that only lasts for a couple of months; then they are alone for ten months. That seems to be the way of life; way too much then scarcity.

Gonna move on today away from the Elwha river area. Off to the coast where we hope it will be cool. It has been pretty warm in the inland areas. A few days away from family won't hurt either.

Take it easy, it's dangerous out there.