Thursday, May 14, 2015

1-12 May, 2015 Heading Home

Temps were getting up there in Nevada so we headed back home.  We didn't head straight home though, we made a few stops on the way.  I've posted just a few of the photos we've taken.  For more follow the link to Susan's Blog.

Despite our many times using a tent we didn't really have a good one for "normal" camping so we bought this one.  It's a three season tent with mesh walls and a good rain fly.  This is the first night we've put it to use and we loved it.  

Our other tent is a four season tent that will really take the wind well and is great in all kinds of inclement weather but it's kind of like a cave.  Not much fun in warmer weather when you'd love to be able to see the stars at night.  (This was taken about a year ago.)

The campground outside of Independence, CA where we spent the night.

These were taken at  our campsite in Joshua Tree National Park in California.

These guys were looking us over pretty good.  I think they were waiting for us to leave so they could see if we left any food behind.

Scott on one of the trails at Joshua Tree NP.

Scott and Susan on the trail.

More of Joshua Tree NP.

Scott being "tired" and hoping that Grandpa will carry him on his shoulders.  It didn't work, we only had about a hundred yards to go and despite his protests he made it just fine.

More Joshua Tree NP.

Death Valley

At Badwater Basin in Death Valey

Yep!  Same place!

Self-explanatory!  We really loved Death Valley and Joshua Tree and plan on going through them again next winter.  We'll take the camper and spend a week or so exploring each.

Morrow Bay and our first view of the Ocean.

Scott wanted to take this home with us.  He was greatly concerned that they might put it in the water and it would sink.  We tried to explain that it was meant to go below the water but he wasn't pacified.  I think he really just wanted a good excuse to take it home with him.

Fishing boats moored to the dock at Morrow Bay.

Otters in the bay.

More otters!

Susan talking on the phone while enjoying the surf.

Scott doing lookout duty.

Susan and Scott playing in the sand.  The sand that wasn't wet was almost hot and Scott loved it.

He and I were running from the waves when one caught up with him and plowed him over.  He didn't get completely submerged because I grabbed his shirt and hauled him out of the water but he was still pretty wet.  

So then he wanted to play in the sand some more.  The sand stuck to his wet clothes and he looked like a sand-boy!

We made a side trip to see this house.  It was built completely out of cast-offs and materials others had thrown away.  It's a recycling marvel but I doubt if it would pass any building codes anywhere.

It is a California Historic Landmark.

Now we're at a different beach (San Simeon).  Susan spent time on this one in her late teens so it was a walk down memory lane.  She's looking over rocks on the beach.

Scott decide he'd had enough of the ocean at Morrow Bay so he sat this one out and played on a large rock nearby.

Elephant Seals doing a little sunbathing.

Well, not all of them are relaxing in the sun!

Home again!  We arrived on the evening of the 9th so we could celebrate Mother's day at home. There is plenty to do.  Here I'm doing a little landscaping in the back yard.  The ground is pretty rough so I'm running the tiller over it and leveling it with a rake.  The wheel barrow is for rocks and small stumps I dug up.  I also had to take the carburetor off the tiller and clean it out in order to start it.  It's gotten to where that's a yearly event anymore.

I also had to set the rain barrels  back up and run the siphon hoses to the storage tank.  Then I had to put the rain gutter back up on the back side.  The snow had ripped it off the cabin.  After that I spent a little time tilling up the garden.  The ground squirrels are really bad this year so I've been capping them off with the .223 whenever I get a chance.  I have one trap out for them but need to set out a bunch more.

Scott has his tether-ball back up and anointed the sand with water to make it more fun for playing in it.  Susan has been getting the cabin in order and helping with the raking and other outdoor projects.

We've had a couple of days of rain since we got home so I used one to catch up on some of my reloading.  I'm loading .223's on this photo.  The rainy weather also gave me a chance to get some paperwork done.  I'm still way behind but I'll get caught up!

Susan working at the computer.  If you go to her blog (link posted above) you'll see how many photos she's been posting.  While we are on the road we are limited by the amount of data we can use so some things get left undone until we have access to unlimited internet.  On the road this means we post photos while at a library or McDonalds (gives Scott a chance to play so we have more time to work).  Once we are near the time to go home we put some thing off until we get home.  The phone company has gotten a lot of complaints bout slow internet and made some changes after we left last fall.  So far our internet is much better than when we left ... so far!

Monday, May 11, 2015

16-30 April, 2015, More miles on the road.

We have spent  lot of time on the road the last several weeks.  The temperatures down south were steadily climbing so we knew the time to head north would soon be upon us.  In the meantime we still spent as much time as we could doing things outside and enjoying the heat and sunshine.

One of the learning games we play with Scott involves M&M's.  I use them to spell his name and to test him on his colors.  He has to say what the letter is then he gets to eat it.  We sometimes used different colors for the same purpose.

Then there's always Scott's "after class" chocolate face.

While on the way back from Kansas and Illinois we got word that my niece had died so I headed to Colorado a couple of days after returning from our first trip.

I-70 goes through several tunnels in Colorado and follows the river for much of it's length.  It was about 650 miles each way.

Then the first night I was there it dumped about  a foot of new snow on everything.  I did bring my winter coat with me but after endless sunny and warm days in the desert the snow was not welcome.

Utah in particular has some absolutely gorgeous scenery.  This is just a taste of it.

Almost home!  A quick run through the Virgin River Gorge (which may be kind of slow depending upon the current road and bridge construction) and I'm back in Nevada and only an hour from "home."

We managed to take the kayaks out a couple of more times.  In this photo Susan is in the two-seater with Odie in front of her and Scott in the very front of the kayak.

Scott loves getting close to the marker buoys.

Time to drain the gasoline out of the generator to store it.

We took one last hike in the desert.  Scott packed and carried his own Spiderman backpack.  Besides plenty of his favorite candy he packed a hat and his Junior Ranger vest.

Break time on one of the sandstone caves in the area.

The view looking out.

Another break in another cave.

We stopped for lunch in this one.  We hiked several miles and Scott did very well considering his age.  It will be even more fun next year when he's a little bigger.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April 1-15, 2015 Blowing Sand and Easter Egg Hunts!

Road trip continued!  We took some time to go to Kansas and Illinois to visit and do some book research.  We also stopped in Colorado to see a friend who is doing a cross-country bicycle trip.  It was a nice trip that covered a couple thousand miles total.

Odie smiling for the camera.

Scott is getting some soccer lessons from his 2nd cousin.

Going to see my mother wouldn't be the same without a day at the zoo.  Here Scott gets some elevation for a better view. 

The mountain lion was feeling frisky.  I could see it in the back with it's ears laid back and the end of it's tail twitching so I played peek-a-boo with it.

Susan got some good video of it charging me.  Then it decided to play with the tire they have hanging in the pen.

There's an old tank at the park too.  When I was young you could still rotate the turret from inside and raise and lower the barrel.  Now everything is welded shut.

Sunday morning Easter egg hunt!

Trailer re-packed and ready to hit the road.

All we have left to do is strap on the kayaks.

We took back roads on our trip and got to see some of the small towns along the way.  The rivers were up considerably in Missouri and Illinois.

And the mighty Mississippi!

That's a lot of water!

The lowest gas prices on the trip ($1.99.9)

On the way back to Nevada.  This was taken in either New Mexico or Arizona.  Can't remember which!

Susan reclaiming some of the plants she left with a friend while we were gone.

One of the locals.

Scott with his space suit on.  (Again!)

Thrift store finds ... A ten-gallon hat and a horse! 

More time in the lake.

Scott finally figured out how to make it go.  Now he needs to learn how to work the brake.  We are in the Overton Park in this photo.

Then a  dust storm moved in. Note that you can still see the ridge in the background.

One minute later it is gone.

On the way back to camp at the lake.

Driving by the outhouses at Stewart Point.

Just tot he right of the photo there are people staying in a tent.  They weathered this storm fairly well but got hit hard in a wind/rain storm a week later.