Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rock Hound

The route we took this weekend was mostly one we've never traveled before.  We took US-95 North out of Las Vegas, picked up NV-266 West which brought us to the Nevada/California state line, where we picked up CA-168 West, which ends at US-395 in Big Pine, California.  

Part of this route took us through the Inyo National Forest, where a 4,850-year-old bristlecone pine tree named Methuselah can be found.

We did not see Methuselah, and never will since it's location has never been made public, but next time we're in this area we will definitely go into the actual Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and do a little exploring.

We stopped here to get a better look at the rock that these mountains are made of.  They looked like shale, and the piles looked as if they cleaved off in sheets, all straight and sharp edges, none of them were round. 

It was an interesting and arresting landscape. Does anyone know what kind of rocks these are?

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2016: The Bronx Terpsichoreans
2015: Best Shopping Trip Ever
2014: Laying Down The Hot Mix
2013: Yes You Is
2012: Window Shopping In The East Village
2011: Waiting For Someone To Service Me
2010: Rockin’ Rockaholic Haul
2009: Just Don’t Call Me Late For Dinner
2008: In This Case, R & R Means Recumbent And Recuperation
2007: Posthumously Famous In The World Of Cheap Lodging
2006: What Better Reason To Dine Out?
2005: Hudson Valley Summer

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Equestrians Crossing Since 1493

Riders in Mammoth Lakes, California
A brief history of horse use, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Though there is controversy over the exact date horses were domesticated and when they were first ridden, the best estimate is that horses first were ridden approximately 3500 BC. Indirect evidence suggests that horses were ridden long before they were driven.

There is some evidence that about 3,000 BC, near the Dnieper River and the Don River, people were using bits on horses, as a stallion that was buried there shows teeth wear consistent with using a bit.  However, the most unequivocal early archaeological evidence of equines put to working use was of horses being driven. Chariot burials about 2500 BC present the most direct hard evidence of horses used as working animals.

In ancient times chariot warfare was followed by the use of war horses as light and heavy cavalry. The horse played an important role throughout human history all over the world, both in warfare and in peaceful pursuits such as transportation, trade, and agriculture. Horses lived in North America but died out at the end of the Ice Age. Horses were brought back to North America by European explorers, beginning with the second voyage of Columbus in 1493.

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2016: We Will Rise
2015: The Whitewashed Domes Of León

Monday, July 24, 2017

No Small Adventure

View from the Twin Lakes Vista
The final destination for my surprise weekend was Mammoth Lakes, California.  I had a hard time guessing, even knowing the general direction of our travel, because Ed told me neither one of us had been there before.  Well, that left a lot of open space, but if you know the area between Arizona and here, the towns are spread out and there's a whole lot of nothing.  I kept guessing but couldn't come up with the right answer.

I've got to hand it to him though - Ed really knows what I like.  Trees, water, and SNOW.  Can you believe it??

This area is just stunning.  More pictures to come!

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2016: Do What Happy People Do

2015: Te Voglio Bene
2014: Dry Like An Oven
2013: I Saw And I Said
2012: Juicy Driving Treat
2011: Reckless In Rome
2010: Back And Forth, Back And Forth, Back And Forth…
2009: Eddie Enters A Copper Mine Friday
2008: Oshkosh B’Gosh!
2007: Queen Of The 21st Century
2006: Sketchbook
2005: A Queen’s Life

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Not Really A Loop

Ed and I celebrated our 13th anniversary together this week.  This weekend, he's taking me on a surprise out-of-town trip to celebrate.  I do not know the final destination.

This photo was taken from Arizona State Route 303 on the west side of Phoenix just after the rain passed through.  I'm not really sure why they call it a loop since it doesn't actually go around anything, but whatever.

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Food For The Spirit Inside Of You

2015: These Little Piggies Went To Market
2014: Just Another View From The Road
2013: Polly Needs More Than A Cracker. Polly Needs A Roll Cage.
2012: Hats Off To Tits And Ass
2011: Approaching Chi-Town
2010: Paneful Outlook
2009: Gray County Silhouette
2008: This Little Piggy Went To Market
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: The Heat Bog
2005: Five

Friday, July 21, 2017

Halo Of Color

This is the area I can see directly outside my living room window.  In the morning when I'm having coffee, I sit and watch the birds descend on the feeders, devouring seed for hours.

Last year I replanted these little cactus plants.  I was going to throw them away because they were tiny nubs, a nuisance underfoot.  But this area was empty so I just dug a few shallow holes and stuffed them in.

Well, a few days ago, they flowered.  Look how pretty they are!

These cactus are part of the genus Mamillaria, one of the largest of the cactus family. This particular plant has flowers that bloom around the top of the cactus, like a crown.  Some people call this a Halo Cactus because of the ring of color the flowers create.
We've had a lot of rain since it's monsoon season, and I've noticed a lot of the plants on my property becoming a little lusher.  I know cactus don't need very much water, but it certainly seems to have helped these little guys.
Look at that vibrant magenta color!  The delicate pink flowers are so incongruous with the dangerous spines that cover the rest of the plant.  

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Western Exposure

2015: Heroes And Legends In South Tucson
2014: A Decade Of Love, Travel, And Monkey Business
2013: Thirty-Thousand Square Feet Of Stuff To Spend Money On
2012: Truckin’ With Ed
2011: Way Better Than Seven Years In Tibet
2010: His Charm And Understated Humor Is Totally Contagious
2009: The Creature Comforts Of Home
2008: Checklist
2007: Happy As A Clam
2006: Two Things
2005: Good For Licking

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Place Beyond The Pines

This past weekend, Ed and I went to Flagstaff, Arizona so he could ride his new Kawasaki KLR 650 in the Mountain Madness 2017 event sponsored by the Coconino Trail Riders.
Ed, prior to getting suited up in all his riding gear.
It was a two-day Dual Sport ride in the mountains of Northern Arizona, 7,000+ feet high.  They offered A, B, and C adventure routes.  The A and B routes are the most challenging, the C routes a little easier and mostly designed for bikes bigger than 650cc.  Ed fell into the C category because of his bike and because he was new to this kind of trail riding.

Below you can see a map of Ed's ride.  The light blue line is the route as it was shown in the GPS, according to the GPS tracks given to him by the rider organization.  The dark blue line is the route Ed actually wound up riding.

In some areas he decided not to follow the course, in others he got sidetracked and got off course.  
The ride was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, with two breakfasts, lunches, and one dinner provided.  Saturday was an all day event, ending with a dinner for all the riders, and Sunday's ride ended by 2 p.m.  Ed only participated in Saturday's ride.  

The area is very pretty, with pine trees lining the back roads and lots of pleasant scenery.  At one point, Ed ventured off the C route and wound up on an A route.  He shot some video of his ride and I've got to say, the A route looked a little hairy!  Very rocky, very narrow.  Much more suited for the bikes in the photo below than the one Ed was riding.  But he made it through.  Yay, Ed!
He liked it so much that I know he plans to do more riding in the future.  Southern Arizona has a lot of desert and dirt, and I'd imagine it gets a little boring after a while looking at the same thing for miles.  The northern part of the state has scenery I'd find a little more appealing to ride through.  But I'm not riding, right?

If you're interested in this kind of riding, you can find dual sport events nationwide through this website.

Happy Trails!  

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2016: He Needs A Personalized Plate
2015: Get Down With Oscar
2014: Embrace The Heat Of Miami
2013: Oh, To Be A Kid
2012: Kind Of Like A Virtual Celebrity Bodyguard
2011: Jack & Jill Went Up A Hill To Fetch Some Aircraft Parts
2010: Live Longer. Live Better. And Be Sure To Have A Devil Dog Once In A While.
2009: How Can You Not Be In Love With The Man Who Invented Kisses?
2008: And We Wonder Why We’re The Fattest Nation On Earth
2007: Star Gazing
2006: Only A Southerner
2005: Do You Take Wolfgang Winkelmeyer To Be Your Lawful Wedded Husband?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Man Bun Burrito

I captured this guy, with his man bun, tattered sneakers, tattered belt, and tattered tattoos, in the Chipotle in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Not everyone can pull off the man bun.  It doesn't work on any of these guys.

But Ben Dahlhaus?  I can look at him and his man bun all day long.

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Boys And The Barn
2015: Not Your Average Meme
2014: Marine Transport

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Shift Change

Ed and I drive an 8/8/3/3 schedule.  This allows us to skip the Hours of Service mandatory 30-minute rest break and neither of us has to do more than 8 hours of driving at one time.

Let's say Ed starts driving first - he'll do 8 hours, and I'll sleep eight hours.  Then he stops and I do my eight hours while he sleeps.  When I'm done, he drives three hours, I sleep three hours, then I drive three hours and he sleeps three hours.  Then we begin again with the eight-hour stint again.  

This schedule works perfectly on our dedicated route and if we want to take a break we can but we're not obliged to do so.  
It's not for everyone.  Some people like having very scheduled sleep and drive times but we are used to this and it works for us.  
Finding what works and working it.  Isn't that the ultimate goal?

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A Chair Is Still A Chair

2015: Summer Calls For Cukes!
2014: Nature's Bounty Fills My Fridge
2013: Bags, Boxes, And Bikes
2012: Wrappers Delight
2011: Breaking The Spell
2010: It Never Ends
2009: 275 Square Miles Of Brilliance
2008: Four Standards, One Newbie
2007: Semantics
2006: 36 Hours Of Hell On Earth
2005: 11:11:11

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Seventeen Years Just Whizzed On By

This is a picture of my nephew Joe making his way around the track at Autobahn Indoor Speedway here in Tucson.

He recently celebrated his 17th birthday and it looked like something fun to take him to do.  I was initially planning to go but when Ed and MacG said they'd take him, I gracefully (wink-wink) backed out.

Boys and fast things on wheels.  What better way to spend an afternoon?

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Into The Mouth Of The Wolf

2015: We Have Our Very Own Air-Conditioned Theater
2014: A Real Weekend
2013: Gary Hits Me Up With Another Gem
2012: After Dinner Pusch
2011: Moments Before Sleepy Time
2010: Bakin’ It The Fake Way
2009: The Elegant Gathering Of A Life
2008: My, What A Nice Berg You Have
2007: The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Grapes Being Crushed Into Wine
2006: There Are No Words To Explain The Misery Of A Three Digit Temperature
2005: New York State Of Mind