Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lots O Fun

My wife and daughter have gone off to have fun without me; visiting the beach.  It works for me since they get to talk, talk, talk and I get to enjoy the quiet at home.  Definitely a win-win. 

I took our usual walk this a.m. with the dog out in the desert.  We walk along the road for about a quarter of a mile.  This morning we found this:  the remains of a rabbit.  Looks like the coyotes have a nice little dinner.  They sure didn't leave much.

It rained last Thursday; that's a week ago.  Well, here's another photo from my walk.  The earth here is nature's Tupperware!  It is still muddy from last week.

This trail is actually on the map as a road.  People drive here even though it is not what you might call 'improved'.  It is mostly pickups and ATVs that use the path but you do see the occasional car.  This is one of those places where putting too much reliance in your GPS can get you in trouble!

Some time ago I bought a shed kit from Sears intending to protect our well from the elements.  I'm finally putting the thing together.  Well, I should say I've started to put it together.  I worked all morning and got the floor frame together.  It has what seems to be thousands of tiny screws and nuts and bolts to connect all the pieces.  Just getting the site leveled is killing me.  I put one of these together when we lived in Orlando and I don't remember it being such a hassle.  Of course I was twenty years younger then.  LOL  Maybe that has something to do with all my whining. 

Gotta go.  Have a good one.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Two posts in two days!

Just when I've been saying my life is pretty quiet, yesterday happened.  All in all, it was a long day!  It started with an appointment with my opthomologist in Las Vegas.  That was actually quiet; too quiet.  Got there about 12:30 and didn't get out until about 14:45.  Why it took so long is beyond me; but then again, doctors don't seem to care much about the patient's time do they?  The outcome was I'm good to go for another year at least.  So it is almost 16:00 by the time we make it back over the hump.

Our daughter missed my birthday and wanted to take us out to dinner to celebrate, at my age I don't know if you should celebrate another birthday or just another day above ground!  Anyway, she was only about 10 minutes behind our arrival.  We had a glass of wine and chatted then went to an early dinner at our local steak house.  The dinner was really quite good and we all enjoyed ourselves. 

On the way home we were perhaps a mile from the house when someone came right up behind us and started tail-gating us.  Hmmm.  My wife and I both encouraged our daughter to slow and let them past; amazingly she did so!  (Later she said that she only drives that carefully when her parents are along. LOL).  This little gray car zooms around us and tears off but within a couple hundred yards went off the road and slammed into a driveway culvert.  Smoke was issuing from the entire vehicle and some steam from the radiator.  It was quite a sight. 

Naturally we stopped and tried to see if the occupants were ok.  The car's airbag had deployed and the driver and only occupant, a woman, seemed unconscious.  The car was rapidly filling with smoke, the police later told us it was from the airbag.  Anyway we tried all the doors; only the right rear and the back hatch would open but it did clear the smoke out.  Meanwhile my wife was on the phone to the police & fire departments.  They had pretty good response time.  The deputy was there in four or five minutes I would guess.  He just checked that there was an accident and called for backup; we had two more police cars before the fire department showed up.  They couldn't get the door open to free the driver either so they got out the 'jaws of life' and cut the entire roof off the car!  It had rained today so the ditch was filled with water.  The poor guy cutting the top off got pretty wet!   (Photo, btw, is from our daughter's cell phone.)

The whole process was quite interesting but for us not so neat as we were left standing around in the cold for well over half an hour watching while we could have been nice and warm at home.  All the deputies did for most of that time was to watch the firemen at work.  They did look over what remained of the car after the driver was off to the hospital.   In the end one of the deputies gave us 1 page witness forms to fill out then we were told we could go.  They could have done that much earlier!  Anyway, it certainly gave us something new to talk about.

I haven't been able to see any report on the condition of the driver.  She was taken away moaning on a back-board and one of the deputies said her injuries were minor but I can't find conformation of that.  (We could hear her from 50 or 60 feet (20m) away.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beautiful places near home

I haven't been very inspired to blog lately but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about you all!  It's just been pretty dull around here.  However, on our walk last Saturday morning my wife had an idea.  We have always wanted to visit Mt. Charleston; why not make a day trip up there.  Cool idea!  We've heard it is beautiful but have never made the trip.  Why not!

Let me explain a bit of background.  The photo of the mountain on the blog header is Mt. Charleston.  It is like the 3rd or 4th highest mountain in the continental U.S. at almost 12,000 feet (3,600m).  It is the centerpiece of the Spring Mountain range that divides our valley from the Las Vegas valley.  The thing is that you can go across the range south of Mt. Charleston or you can go north; it's quite a trip either way.  We decided to drive north of Pahrump on highway 160 up to where it intersects US 95 then take US 95 south until we could head up highway 156 to the Mt. Charleston peak area.  That alone is a 2 hour trip.  Then we thought we'd take highway 158 south along the side of the mountain to the little town of Mt. Charleston then go east on highway 157 until it connected with US 95 about 10 miles south of where we had left it.  Basically, all it amounts to is a short scenic loop that takes you up to about the 8,500 foot (2,600m) level. 

All was good until we got onto highway 156 to go up the mountain.  Turns out there was a 'special event' Saturday; to wit, a bunch of bicycle riders going up the mountain then coming back down.  Of course it slowed us down but actually that was kind of an advantage as it gave us more time to enjoy the scenery while we weren't trying to avoid the cyclists.  We got up to the place where we needed to decide whether we wanted to visit the ski area (and all the cyclists) or just turn south.  We chose turning south.  The road was very nice with a fair number of turnouts for sightseeing and letting others go past. 

The whole loop was very scenic with the desert gradually giving way to actual trees.  Did I take my camera, hell, no!  The way I plan for these things, you'd might think me an idiot.  On the way back to US 95 we got to drive through a couple of campgrounds.  They seemed quite nice but were basically unimproved and I wouldn't want to take a big rig in some of them.  We saw a couple of 35 foot motorhomes in the Kyle Canyon area but there weren't any big trailers or fifth-wheels!  Nice area but not for us.  In addition, because of the weekend, it was packed. 

It was 13:00 by the time we made it to Las Vegas.  We spent a good 15 minutes looking for a special restaurant my wife wanted to visit; happily we had both the address and the suite number - they are gone.  Not even a glimmer of a restaurant.  So we went to a fast food joint!  The things you've gotta do when it's late and you are hungry.  Anyway, then it was just a quick trip home in plenty of time to feed the dog. 

Sunday was pretty quiet but then Monday and Tuesday I was laid low by vertigo.  I had an episode early in 2011 so it wasn't as frightening this time but it isn't fun.  Basically the only thing you can do is lie down and shut up until it goes away.  I had some drugs I was given for it back in 2011 so I took some of those to ease my recovery.  Anyway, by Wednesday I was back in the land of the living. 

So there are my last few days.  We had talked of going up to Zion or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon but decided there are things around here that we need to be doing.  After the vertigo episode, I'm sure glad we were here!  Hope you had some nice fall weather!