Saturday, February 20, 2016

18 February, 2016 Hiking, Biking, Campfires and Sunsets

We've been busy the last ten days!
Camp fires are always fun and whenever the weather cooperates we like having one.

This is Scott sitting on Grandma's lap while enjoying the fire.

I love watching the fire burn down to glowing embers.

We have been riding a loop trail several times a week.  This is a road taken out years ago and made into a hiking/biking trail.  We try to improve it by taking some of the rocks out.  By doing a short section every time we've made pretty good progress.

Scott playing in the sand Susan transported to his play area.

We got out and charged up his electric scooter but it wouldn't go.  I went through all of the wiring and switches but found nothing wrong. So I gave the motor a sharp rap with the plastic handle on the screwdriver and it began working again.  I should have tried that first!

When the leases are up on the cabins at Stewarts Point the owners are required to remove them and restore the lot surface.  This one was scheduled for demolition.  The work crew brought in an excavator and a couple of large dump trucks.

Day one.

Day two.

Part of our volunteer work is checking for weeds in back-country areas.  This is the gate to Overton Beach which has been closed to the public for years since the lake has receded so far.  Obviously no one is willing to share their keys or combinations with anyone else.

A cholla cactus in the desert near the former Overton Beach camp ground

I don't know what kind of plant this one is.  It's very small (about the size of a dime) in real life.

Where the camp ground used to be at Overton Beach.

Scott, me and Odie heading for where we parked the bicycles.

We walked down to the stream bed where Odie got a drink and quick swim then we rode on a trail the parallels the river all the way to where the lake is now.  When we got to the top of the boat ramp this guy was waiting.

He wasn't unfriendly but he wasn't friendly either.  Both of us were quite happy to keep a respectful distance between us.

Scott playing on his tablet.

Me making a phone call.  We are in a bit of a hole and have very poor and sporadic cell phone signals.  The best place to make calls is on the roof of the motor home.

On our way back from Overton Beach I must have picked up a thorn in my tire because it was flat the next morning.  I tried out on of those "pre-glued" tube patches and it seems to be holding okay.

Another campfire.  I'm grilling pork chops on this one.

Susan and I often ride to the top of the road going into Stewarts Point.  It's about three miles each way.  First up the hill, then down the hill.  Down is my favorite direction.

We drove into St George to have the oil changed on our car at the dealership there.  They are doing bridge work in the gorge so traffic was backed up a ways.

Part of the Virgin River Gorge.

On the way back from St George we hiked up a canyon into the Beaver Dam Wilderness that starts about half way through the Virgin River Gorge.  This was taken looking back where we parked our car.

Some of the rock formations.

The road went up and up and up.  We'd have driven except our car doesn't have enough ground clearance.

Some of the cactus...

More Cholla.

Rest break!

Rest break for Scott.  He was supposed to carry me on the next uphill stretch but he reneged!.

Getting closer to the top.

Almost there!

We made it!  That's a camping area in the center of the photo.  We plan on testing it out next year when we bring the Suburban.

Telephone poles always look a little weird in "wilderness" areas.

Scott enjoying the view.

This is outside a small cave we explored on the way back down.

We had to get some things in Henderson so we stopped at one of the parks for a couple of hours then went to McDonalds for a few more hours.  Scott kept finding kids to play with and as long as he had playmates we stuck around,  Here he's between kids and playing the computer at playland.

Susan and I both leached off their WiFi to catch up on computer and phone stuff.

This is going to another spring to check on the fence condition.  We stopped here for a quick snack before hiking in.  We rode our bikes to this point.

The spring was fenced off years ago to stop damage from the burros and feral cattle.

Part of our volunteer work includes checking these out and fixing the fences if the damage is minor.
Here a section of the fence is flat on the ground.

The problem is that the steel (and wood) posts on the west fence have rusted or rotted off at ground level.  They can send a crew in here to do the work.  I don't think I want to pack in the fifty or so posts it will need to restore the fence line.

A look at the area that the fence surrounds.

We found a pillar of salt outside the fence.  There's a lot of salt and alkali deposits which probably helped rust through the steel posts.

We're on the way back to the bicycles to go home.  I brought a machete along in case we needed to cut through the brush but it wasn't needed on this trip.  Scott had been very good with no complaining about being tired so when he asked for a ride I gave it to him.

Of course he also got to ride on the seat on Grandma's bike too.

Susan and Scott doing crafts. Susan is making a butterfly out of felt.  They'd just finished putting together a wooden train model.

A morning visitor.  He's about 400 yards away in this photo.

We had some of the worst wind ever the last couple of days.  I had to full-field the wind generator to keep it from self-destructing.  We also got pelted with dust and sand.

A little bit of beef on the hoof in our front yard the other day!

We bought this at a yard sale several years ago.  These use a magnet that slides back and forth across a conductor coil to charge a capacitor.  Unlike a battery, the capacitor never looses it's ability to recharge.  Batteries will hold a bigger charge though so it's a trade-off.  We have several of these laying around.  We keep them in kits where we seldom need a flashlight.  That way we don't have to worry about the batteries running down and leaking.  My favorite rechargeable flashlights use solar panels to recharge them.  Strap them on to the top of your pack or bicycle bag and they charge during the day for use at night.

Sunset at our current "home."