Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Got Oxygen?

Do you ever feel if you had just a little oxygen you could
breathe better? 

 There are different reasons why someone would need to use oxygen; but for the most part it has to do with cardiac or respiratory problems.  However, there are other times when it is needed on a temporary basis.  Why are we talking about oxygen?  We'll get back to this shortly...

We needed to waste sometime today, our motorhome was in the shop, getting a leaky hub fixed on the front right wheel. It probably could have waited, but rather put safe then sorry, you just never know about the unknown.

There were several places we concerned to go see; such as the "Caves of the Winds", "Gardens of the Gods", or "U.S. Olympic Training Center", however we had our fur child with us, so those places didn't really work for us.  SO WHAT TO DO????

The decision was to do what we like best - take a scenic drive, see if we could find any fall foliage to enjoy. 

And we did just that.... the aspens didn't let us down!!

Of course you can't go to Colorado and not enjoy the mountains, however sometimes it’s just from a far and other times right in heart of the scenery. Neither of us had ever seen Pikes Peak at close range, so today was our day.

~ Welcome to PIKES PEAK America's Mountain ~

Pikes Peak ranks 31st in elevation among CO's 54 "Fourteeners" @ 14,115 feet

Pikes Peak Highway starts at 7,800 and ascend to 14,115 in 19 miles.  If you are not use to altitude you  could become light headed, shortness of breath, or even pass out - this is where having a little oxygen might help out - LOL.   Actually it is not recommended for people who have cardiac or respiratory problems to make the ascent to the summit, nor should you take an infant under the age of 6 months.
There are all kinds of amazing Pikes Peak defeats from thrill seekers, fund-raisers and publicity hounds that have been attracted to Pikes Peak for decades. From pushing a peanut to the summit using their nose in only 21 days, to a crew of six who successfully arrived at the windy summit ten hours after leaving the toll gate dripping basketballs and soccer balls, and another group pushed a 5,000 pounds, $10,000 Steinway piano up 2,075 feet in just 2 hours and 29 minutes braving mud, winds, and freezing temps. We only encounter several cyclists challenging themselves to peddle to the summit - that was amazing enough for us.

Did you know the summit views inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write "American the Beautiful" in 1893? 
Not too sure today's views could have done the same with all the smoke from the Wyoming fires.  We could only image how stunning the views must be without the smoke. Highly  recommend a visit in the spring before fire season begins! And don't forget your jacket as it get pretty cold in high altitudes.
If you prefer not to drive the narrow winding road, you could catch the cog rail train in Manitou Springs. 
Tell next time, be safe!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Enjoy your flight ~~~

WELCOME to “The AIRPLANE Restaurant”

This fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker is the centerpiece for The Airplane Restaurant. Built in 1953, this magnificent airplane refueled aircraft throughout the world. Then, in May 2002, it began its second mission~ to be the preeminent aviation restaurant in the United States. Forty-two passengers can actually eat in the plane of the 275-seat restaurant. Rich in aviation history, displaying 100's of pictures, memorabilia and rare artifacts, which offers a flight through aviation history.
Inside the plane
We found the food to be average to decent, along the line of a chain restaurant. The prices were definitely higher than the quality of food should command, but the novelty of eating in the airplane was worth it all.

When we came in for lunch the place was near dead.  We were one of only three parties inside the plane, which is attached to and one flight of stairs above the main restaurant. The table tops in the plane were made from old flight maps from all over the world – ours from the Seattle area.  The menus are interesting, printed as a newspaper that you can take home as a souvenir that has all kinds of interesting historical aviation facts.
 One Propeller inside the restuarant

If you prefer to eat inside the conventional part of the restaurant, there is still plenty to see. The wing of the airplane, complete with the prop cuts through the main dining area, and there is plenty of memorabilia scattered around. The bathrooms also pipe in sounds of takeoff and landings.  We understand they use to have a 3D projector on the wall as if the aircrafts where coming straight toward you – how cool would that be with the landing sounds!

I wouldn't recommend this restaurant solely on the food, but the combination of the novelty and decent eats makes it a great one time stop for anyone interested in aviation or for families with kids.

What a view from the cockpit

Bucket your seat belts, turn your phones off, and enjoy your flight....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hangin' In Colorado

September 8th - who knows when .....


Fall 2004

Colorado is such an magical state for us; breathtaking scenery, stunning  wildflowers, crystal clear water, abundance of wildlife, outstanding OHV trails, and just the history no matter where you go.  Of course there are the winter activities, however that has not been our cup of tea.

Deb's first experience was the summer of 1997, when Jerry had  planned to take a summer vacation with the boys.  We tent camped in the Weminuche Wilderness, part of the San Juan Mountains in Pagosa Springs right along the creek. 

Can't remember location - sorry

We are always looking for new "boondocking" (free camping) spot to stay of the evening or even a few days, which if we had our choice it would be a nice sceneric spot, off the beat path, and by water of possible.  Well our friends over at Denning RV Travels told us about a place that sound like our kind of place.  It had all the crietria and the big monster could fit - double bonus!!  Max and Jerry enjoyed a little water activities, but the water was much too cold for Deb.

Jerry enjoyed his luck at gold panning (no such luck), which Max enjoyed swimming.  Sometimes, we think we have a fish instead of a dog as our companion - LOL.

If you are interested in the location, here you go...  Hwy 70 exit 133 (West of Gypsum, East of Glenwood Springs), go North toward Burns until you see a brown Nat'l Forest access sign on right, take road off to the left.  Follow the road as it "Ys" stay to the left.  You will see private property signs on both sides of the road, it's okay just stay on the road.  That takes you to the camping area; we stayed in site #3 - only one for BIG RIGS.  The roads are maintained dirt roads, but still some wash boards - just drive slowly.

Spring Flowers - Silverton

Twin Bridal Falls, Tellaride
Thought we would head to Leadville and do and little trail riding (OHV), but once we arrived it was 62 degrees and raining.  So we decided to go down south a little more and try to get out of the rain.   Northop was our next stop at Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park, as we have stayed there a couple other times.  Just as we got parked the rain set in for two days, so we just enjoyed our downtime. 

We are onto Colorado Springs to visit our friends Jack & Karen.  They have actually adopated Deb as they granddaughter; they say she looks and her actions remind them of their granddaughter Katilyn.

Mama bear with her two cubs

Then we will travel further south to Alamosa to visit another friend, a wheelin' buddy, Alec & Jodi.  Looking forward to pulling the cruiser off the trailer and hit some trails.


You see the trail, right?!?  
We drive many of roads that look this this - narrow road and drop-off.

The precarious position of the Allie Belle Mine building in 2004. 
This is off Hancock Pass Trail for you trail lovers 

Got to get ready for dinner, so tell next time - Peace Out!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Welcome to the "Bone Yard"

September 7th

Ever been to a place where there were thousands of bones just laying beneath the surface? 
 Any palentologist would love to hit that kind of jack pot!!
Do you see all the bones?  Any clue what kind of bones they are?
Welcome to Dinosaur N. M. in Utah/Colorado 
Yep, it's true, the dinosaur quarry still has about 1500 bones in the same format in which they were found, and the only park area set up to protect a historic dinosaur quarry. 
Complete neck and skull
It all began with Earl Douglass discovered the dinosaur quarry in 1909 while he was working as a paleontologist for the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA.  In 1915 the Carnegie Quarry’s world-class bones of late- Jurassic dinosaurs were protected.  Today the park has some 210,000 acres to explore the quarry and the scenic and historic Green and Yampa rivers, as well as American Indian petroglyphs dating back some 1,000 years old. 
Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.

All It's Beauty: Flaming Gorge

September 6th

In spring 1869, Major John Wesley Powell and nine men boarded small wooden boats at Green River, Wyoming to embark on a daring exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers.  Powell and his men slowly worked their way downstream, successfully completing the journey in late summer.  On May 26, 1869, Major Powell named Flaming Gorge after he and his men saw the sun reflecting off the red rocks.

Want to visit; get more details here. The stunning views (even with smoke in the air) was well worth the drive to the gorge, couldn't image the view from the river - maybe someday!

Could definitely see how the canyon would come alive when the sun is shining on the red rocks!

Time Back in History

September 6th

Jim Bridger's Trading Post

Fort Bridger Historic Site was not far from Evanston, so we stopped by for a visit and a history lesson.  The past came alive through costumed interpreters, museum displays and reconstruction of Jim Bridger’s trading post.

“I have established a small fort, with a blacksmith shop and a supply of iron in the road of emigrants on Black Fort of Green River, which promises fairly…”

Thus spoke Jim Bridger in a letter he dictated to would-be suppliers in 1843.  While the small fort only last less than a decade, Bridger’s words proved to be prophetic.  Not only did the location “promise fairly,” it proved to be one of the main hubs of westward expansion used by mountain men and Indians to emigrants and Mormon pioneers, the U.S. Army, the Pony Express, the Overland  Stage and the Union Pacific Railroad.  If it happened in the opening of the American West, it affected, or was effected by, Fort Bridger.


School House (tin)  for Bridger's four children
& Wash / Laundry Room (stone)

Old freight Wagon

Military Guard House
So much to see and the history lesson was incredible, well worth the $4 for admission.
Tell next time....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taking the Scenic Route ….

September 5th
After looking at the weather in Oklahoma and Texas; the decision was made to take our time - explore and enjoy the scenery.   Not quite ready for the 90 - 100 degree temps after a year of being in high 80s or lower.
US-50 "The Loneliness Road" runs coast to coast crossing through a dozen different states and four state capitals, as well as the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.  Along the route are some of the country's most manificent lanscapes: the Appalachian, Rocky, and Sierra Nevada mountains, the endless farmlands of the Great Plains, and the desiccated deserts of Utah and Nevada. 
Although we couldn't take the full route we decided we would take it from Reno, NV to Great Basin N.P.  And if you know Nevada you already know our route is the desiccated desert, however after five months in the Sierra Nevada mountains it was a welcome change.   
US-50; gas up as there are long periods between towns
Where did all that sand come from?
There was a slight issue once we left Ely, NV; where did US-50 go, we ended up on US-93N.  Without looking at a map; does anyone know where that took us?  Maybe this picture will help. 
Sorry for the quality, there was a lot of smoke in the air
Any guesses?  A place were 622.407 mgh is acceptable...
How about ....

Yep Utah heading toward Salt Lake City… with our current rig we where unable to turn around and we hadn't been to SLC so why not. 

Plus we have a wheelin’ buddy that lives there, so hopefully we will be able to meet up with him.   After a couple of calls; we found out he had moved to Alamosa, CO about a month ago.  But that’s okay; we will be heading that way too ;)   

 With the “monster rig” we have right now (39’ rv + 18’ trailer) it kept us from getting into a lot of places, including SLC's attractions --- oh how this must change!   Before we knew it Evanston, Wyoming became our home for the evening.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

REALLY!?!… Is there a Full Moon?

September 3rd – 4th

We had some business to take care of in Reno (aka RV business), which required us to make a hotel reservation for four days.  After living full-time in a RV, that was the last thing we wanted to do!  If we have to stay in a hotel why not stay in a nice resort at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, which is also pet friendly!   They also have an RV park, which we have stayed at a couple of time to get other RV business taken care of, which is why we chose to try the hotel.
Old Living Room TV

New Living Room TV

So we arrived on Monday the 3rd, so we stayed in the RV Park in order to meet our 8:30 a.m. sharp appointment.  It didn’t take long to find out we would be sharing the RV & Hotel with all the “burners” (aka Burning Man attendees), as all the vehicles were covered in white dust.  It was fun to people watch and see all the neat rigs, as Grand Sierra held an after party for the burners.  This is just one of many rigs, Deb just happen to think this was a "FUN" way to travel.


Tuesday turned out to be a very interesting day – was there a full moon?  

·         Remember, we had an 8:30 sharp appointment, so Jerry decided to go ahead of me as I checked out of the RV Park.  All was cool until Deb realized Jerry forgot to leave the Toyota keys with her.  He had to get an employee to bring him back to the RV Park.

·         Then we decided to go by the cabinet shop to pick up our left over stain, so we could have some additional work doing later.  Found out they had used it on another job, so they had to get more stain made up and deliver it to us.

·         A quick trip back to the Sierra RV, brought bad news!  They were unable to perform the service because the wrong part came in – that is after waiting 6 weeks for it to come in.  Deb made a quick call to an childhood friend who lives in Nacogdoches, TX to see if he could handle the job – after all he owns Xtreme Graphics and Painting specializing in RV work.

·         The lady that purchased our Class C text to tell us they were stranded on the side of the highway (six hours before the tow truck showed up) – a tire blow, ripped out the battery harness, and shredded the compartment by the tire.  Later to find out the metal braces that support the compartment rusted out and fell on the tire, which is what cause the tire to blow and rip out the harness.  Man we felt so bad, even though we had no clue about the braces. 

·         You would think that is enough – Oh NO!  Our son call to tell us his dog (our grand dog) got stolen from a buddy’s back yard. 

Needless to say we were so ready for Tuesday to end, however we were so happy to
know we didn’t have to stay in a hotel for four days!!  Instead we stayed in the RV
Park one more night – in our own home – awe it’s the little things that make us
happy!  ;)

Hello World - Goodbye Tahoe Recreation ~

September 2nd
The time has come to pack up the rig, load the trailer, check the fluids, and say our goodbyes to our CLM (California Land Management) home.  It has been a beautiful place to live this summer, not to mention the wonderful guest we have meet.  THANK YOU for all the great friendships, advice on places to explore, lovely comments on the campgrounds, and the list can go on forever.  You all will be missed dearly!!

Bird watchers paradise - there were all kinds
We will also miss all the birds, raccoon, and foxes, but not so much all the little furry rodents (chipmunks and ground squirrels) or rats.  Max got plenty of exercise trying to keep them out of the rig - LOL

Max held the fox hostage in the tree
This was our first camp host job, which we say was grand compared to working behind four walls every day.  However remember it is still a job, so just like any other one, there are likes and dislikes.  Of course Deb’s favorite was talking with the guest; as her non favorite - driving the extra 14 miles to cover the other two campgrounds on a daily basis that lost its host.  The question has been asked by many --Would we camp host again?   Yes, the positives definitely out ranked the negative ones.   Just not sure it could be in an area where we had NO communication for long periods of time.
Some people have asked how you find jobs like this:  use the internet to search for jobs in the area you want to visit (Tahoe, Death Valley, Yellowstone, etc.), talk to others as you travel, or perhaps read books like “How to Support Your RV Lifestyle”.  If you are interested in working in the forest; you might want to check out CLM Services website:, as they operate in 5 states (CA, OR, WA, NV-Tahoe Basin, and CO).  Or check out they list daily opportunities in all parts of the United States.
Until next time, be safe and enjoy every moment life has to offer ;))
Now that is massive, think it's time to minimize

Bakery, Dirt & Wildlife…

August 2012
We needed a break from work and doing things around the rig, so it was time to load up the cruiser and head out. 
First stop was to Beckwourth Bakery in Beckwourth, CA. as they are known for pastries and cakes.  Didn’t realize they were that well known; they had a world map on the wall for people to put a pin where they lived – there had been people from all over the world – and now us.
Candian Geese basting in the sun
Apparently we enjoy the taste of dirt and scratchy eyes; as it seems most of our journeys end up on dirt roads (and of course we don't have the windows zipped down). 
 But why not; less people, endless spaces, mountains ranges, rivers/lakes, and usually always some sort of wildlife.  This time was no different….
Young coyote resting in the brush
Max enjoying his swim with hundreds of dragonflies

As we were about to come into a residential area, this little fella was right next to the road, then crossed in front of us.
  What a great way to end our day of exploring!!
We say; spread your wings and take a different path then usual or turn down that dirt road, you might just be surprised as to what you might see.
Falon soaring for us
Life is Good ~ get out and enjoy it! :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wedding Bliss; another year

July 18th
It’s hard to believe four years ago we were standing on the steps of the Southern Palace at Six Flags over Texas getting married in 100 degree temps, after a very long courtship of eleven and half years. 

Today we are in Tahoe National Forest enjoying a day of site seeing in mid-70 degree.




Meadow Lake: Remote Camping / Off-Road Trails

July 14th & 19th

Meadow Lake is located in a remote area within the Jackson Meadow Reservoir, about 8900’ in elevation, and only accessible by dirt roads.  Sounds like our kind of place, so off we go to visit some co-workers/friends and explore a new area with hopes to see the bald eagles living there.
These are our kind of roads, because few are willing to travel them.  4Wheel Drive is not required, however high clearance advisable – well unless you diverted off to other roads – then there are plenty of opportunity for 4Wheel drive. 

Well, this time Jerry decided to take the motorcycle (BMW F800GS) out for a spin on dirt for the first time!!!  After all it was designed to handle pavement or dirt, adventure riding.  However Deb wasn’t too sure, but went along for the ride – after all our co-workers took their 43’ rig up this dirt road. 
The ride had some stunning views with all the wild flowers in bloom, cliffs, and mountains, however a little nerving with all the ruts, washboards, and rocks in the dirt road.  After 10 miles of dirt road; we made it – and all in one piece! =)))
We never like going back the same way, so we decided to take a shorter route (8 miles) to go see the boss.  About a mile or so into the departure, we quickly notice we were going to have an interesting ride.  Here we were facing a whole other set of obstacles; for starters it was all downhill, deeper ruts, more rocks, and water crossings.  Hang on this could be interesting, says Jerry!!! 
All Deb could say is HOLY S#@& what have we gotten ourselves into to!!  Quickly, Deb decided she would walk to help Jerry have more control with less weight – as he already had the weight of the three saddle bags – plus she was a nervous wreck!!  Jerry had his work cut out trying to maneuver the bike down the hill dodging deep ruts and rocks; couple of times the road won.  Deb would come around the corner to find Jerry on the ground (twice) with the bike – you talk about being a nerves wreck!!  Every time he applied the brakes the front wheel would slid, which made the bike uncontrollable.  That is until Jerry realize he could turn the ABS brakes off, then he could have more control of the bike.  After about five miles of walking/running, we got to smoother ground for Deb to get back on and get the hell out of there. 
Thank the Lord for protecting us, as this could have turned out to be a very ugly situation!!
However, it didn’t stop us from going again in the FJ40; this time backwards so we could really see what we faced on the motorcycle.  Plus, we were able to get these pictures for you.

Safe Travels ;)
Jerry, Deb & Max