More Hiking

Desert flowers are blooming!

I hiked the D3 trail in the Devil’s Canyon area and went through some sort of warped space thing. I took my GPS with me and the trip out-bound was 1.8 miles. The trip back on the very same trail was 2.4 miles. There is probably a reasonable explanation* for the discrepancy but I prefer the paranormal vortex explanation

Me fending the boys off of my Sausage-stuffed date wrapped in bacon

My camp-host neighbors cooked up some tasty sausage-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon and smoked with apple-wood in their smoker/ BBQ. I had to defend my plate from the boys. They were super-interested in the tastiness

Like it says on the tin

It’s been raining for most of the past week so I’m a little bored and have some cabin fever. To break out of the doldrums I bought a new rice cooker and have been reading The Feed Zone Cookbook by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim. I’m inspired! Not enough to cook most of what’s in the cookbook, but enough to get a rice cooker and some vegetables

Cooking rice in the 21st century
One of the dinners from The Feed Zone Cookbook
Took one of the boys to the vet because he banged his chin. Saw this illustration of a very unhappy kitty. Luckily none of my boys acts like that
  • * My GPS was made in 1998 and in April 2019 there was a GPS clock roll-over that likely screwed it up

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Park Model

Kitty looking for rabbits at sunrise


2018 was our big year on the road. We visited friends and saw the sights. We toured from southern Arizona all the way to Canada. From Texas to California and back to Colorado. All told about 16,900 miles, more than 300 hours of crate-time for the boys. That’s enough hours to get a commercial pilot’s license! Too bad they were sleeping and not studying

2019 will be a year of sitting quietly, working on Park stuffs, and maybe some Repairs & Modifications (Like a sky light!)

I’ll post the interesting happenings as the spring turns to summer, then to fall once again

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100 Posts!

A year into our big adventure and we have posted 100 times! YaY!

Didn’t get stuck!

Sand Hollow State Park to Gooseberry Canyon Road
After a long day on the road we got muded out of our planned camp spot. Almost got stuck in the mud, but didn’t!

Kitty hunting big game in the Utah desert

We ended up in a nearby UDOT work yard where the boys got to play in the mud and make little kitty paw prints

Trip to the beach day

Day One

I totally spaced taking a picture of the ocean so here is a picture of kitty in his happy place

We took a drive from Cotati to Bodega Bay & Bodega Head to see the big water. It was a delightful no-rain day. The waves were fairly big and crashing into the rocks so I really enjoyed that.

We also stopped at a different spot on the beach where the under-toad was very strong! There is a big sign warning beach-goers of the danger. Apparently the surf can kick your legs out from under you and drag you far out to sea where only sea lions dare to go.

After the beach we stopped for fish and chips at a great local restaurant. I saved part of the fish for the boys 🙂

Day Two

Remembered to take a pic this time

Spent the day at friends house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The hawks were soaring and the deer were browsing while the wind blew rain against the windows. It was lovely even though we were too far from the ocean to walk down and touch it.

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Agua No Mas

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A working frost-free water hydrant

October is at an end and the water in the park is mostly turned off. There are a half dozen frost-proof hydrants scattered about, but not many are near a campsite. Site 2 (and 4 if you have a long hose) can run a hose to the hydrant near the dump station and site 25 can reach the camper service building. The winter-host has a special heated connection to the water supply, but the rest of us have to get water the old fashioned way ( I have no idea what that means, it just sounded nostalgic. Maybe picture an older guy with gray hair carting water in wooden pails up a snow-covered hill.)

There are far fewer Park visitors as well. There have been some rain/snow storms in the mountains so it is a chore to get over the mountains to/from Denver. I suspect a few cross-country travelers have taken the southern route along I-40 to avoid the snow. The amount of time it takes me to do my camp-host job has dwindled in direct proportion to the number of visitors so I’m spending more time working on Park repair projects.

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Watching for rabbits in the early morning fog

This is my first fall season living next to a river on the western slope and the fog has this interesting way of forming just as the sun comes up in the morning. The sky is clear as a bell before sunrise and as the orange glow reaches over the mesa and floats down the river the fog materializes out of thin air and hugs the trees. sometimes the fog thickens enough to blot out the sun, other times the sun heats the air and the fog remains a patch-work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alta Wy to Fruita CO

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View from our Teton Base Camp

Alta to Cokeville WY

First of three days on the road getting from the Tetons to the western slope of Colorado. We have a camp host gig in Fruita set up for October and November (stop by if you are in the area!). I choose the western route out of Driggs instead of climbing over Teton Pass to Jackson. I added a few miles but it saved me the agony of creeping down the east-side of the pass. The Snake River valley is still in peak colors too so that turned out to be a colorful choice. Yellows, reds, greens, orange – delightful!

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Last day in the Teton’s

The land between Driggs and Cokeville is wonderful valley-bottom surrounded by mountains. I can see buying a retirement villa there and whiling away my golden years watching cows, antelopes, and sunsets.

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Trail at Grand Targhee Resort

Cokeville to Somewhere south of Flaming Gorge
Well I have a new entry into my worst roads in america section. I thought WY 412 was rough until I came upon WY 414 from Mtn View to the Utah state line. Top speed on WY 414 was 45 MPH then I transitioned to UT 43 and it was like driving into the perfect shit-storm of potholes, frost-heaves, and cracks! I had to slow to 30 MPH to keep from bouncing off the blacktop. I’m not sure what the other roads to Flaming Gorge are like, but I advise taking a different route than I did. What a mess! (Hey, Utah DOT. Crack-sealing a shit-storm does not fix it. It just makes a crack-sealed shit-storm).

On the plus-side the colors along the Henry’s Fork River are peaking this week. I even saw a purple bush. And at 30 MPH I had plenty of time to tree watch. I could even read the historical markers without stopping.

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The boys are out for the evening. Please leave a message

UT 44 south out of Manila is in slightly better shape and winds its way through the side canyons near Flaming Gorge. Up hill and down with some of the slopes at 8% it’s a slow trek. The leaves are a few weeks past peak at this elevation and the grass has long been dormant. We found a camp spot in the forest before the afternoon wind kicked up to the predicted 25-mph gusts.

Why is the word for wind and the word for wind the same? The wind is blowing whilst I wind my way through the forest (winding my watch as I go). English is weird. Lets agree that from now on wind will be the thing that blows and wynd will be what roads do as they twist and turn through the mountains. Good. Proceed.

The Forest near Flaming Gorge to Fruita, CO
Tumble dry: Low heat
Wow! Colorado 139 from Rangley to the south side of Douglas Pass is rough, wyndi and steep!! It took 2 hours to drive 35 miles. The aspens on the north side of the pass were in full color: green, red, orange, yellow which made the climb nice. Down the south side of the pass took a very long time. The speed limit is 20 and the corners are 15 MPH. It was nice that we had a 25 MPH headwind holding us back on the descent.

If you want to have some idea what it’s like to pull a trailer on a rough wyndi road whilst the wind is blowing 25 MPH go to the Laundromat, put $50 worth of quarters in the biggest dryer there, get in, select tumble dry, and stay there until the $50 runs out. That’s been my life the past two days.

 

 

Camp-Host Wrap Up

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Clear skies
A strong northern storm pushed all the smoky air out of the area and for the first time in weeks the sky is smoke-free and clear as a crystal. All the colors are more vibrant. The air has a sweet arctic smell. Mmmm

Later that week
The clear skies were short lived. When the wind returned from the west it blew the smoke back in and the temperatures climbed back into the high 80’s

Wrapping it up!
We’ve been here for almost 5 weeks now and the first week of September marks the end of the season at Tongue River State Park. Next week we are back on the road heading for Boise ID. Our route will be back west across Montana on I-90, which will make the number of times we’ve driven that route three. Planning to stop at some of the places we skipped the first two times.

Bon Voyage
Raymond and Judy-Rae had us over for cake on our last night at Tongue River. Jim, David, and I had a great time volunteering at the Park and working with Raymond and Judy-Rae!

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Jim, Raymond, David, Judy-Rae, Mike

The boiz have not been in their travel-crates for 5 weeks so it will be interesting getting them back into travel-mode. They have been enjoying our month of sitting still and have marked out the nearby field as their territory. I underestimated how important it is for them to have a territory they can mark out and explore each day.

Pro-tip: don’t take outdoor cats on a road-trip