Under the San Francisco Peaks

June 18th, 2011

Rain enjoying her new big dog disc

Loving the B-day Disc

I really liked Flagstaff. It is a quaint little town, as little as a town of 60,000 can be, nestled in the Coconino National Forest. Amazingly enough, this desert forest actually has trees! Route 66 and the old Santa Fe Railway run through the middle of the city. Everyone there seemed super laid back and friendly. Granted, most of the people we talked to were seasonal.
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Snow Good

April 10th, 2011

I have to admit it. I normally detest snow but for some reason I was secretly excited about the prospect of snow up here on the mountain. It turned out to be everything I was hoping. When we woke up on Saturday everything was covered in at least 4″s of snow. It was so beautiful! The following pictures here taken a few hours later, after the snow started melting off.

Priorities! Notice the squeaky clean solar panel - Prescott, AZ
Alx (AKA David Driter) hiding from the snow - Prescott, AZ

Our rig was snowed in, as was our camp mate Alx‘s rig.

Our white campsite - Prescott, AZ
Our beautiful white campsite - Prescott, AZ

The campsite was pretty well dusted.

Could not have been in a better place during the snow storm - Prescott, AZ
Rain loves hiking in the snow - Prescott, AZ

Nothing stops Rain’s morning walk…. err hike! She’s not happy unless it takes at least two hours.

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Scavenging the Slabs

January 8th, 2010

It’s amazing the difference the mountains make. We were literally driving through rain all day until we finally crossed through the mountains into the California desert. Minutes later, it was dry and I was considering whether or not to turn on the air conditioner. Once again, we arrived at Slab City in the dark and were unable to find the primo campsite. So, we just settled for the same site we had last year, pulled in (checking for nails) and staked our claim.

Unlike last year, we had two bikes and didn’t need to get the scooter out right away. At least, we had two bikes for a couple of hours until Jenn’s pedal came off because it had been put on the wrong side. Back to one bike and two riders, it was time to get the scooter running again.

Just like last year, it had another fuel leak. This time, however, nearly the entire fuel line was dry rotted and I wasn’t able to clip enough from somewhere else to fix the problem. But, like Leonard Knight says, ‘If you go eight miles out in the desert, you can find anything you need.’

By way of introducing myself to our neighbors, I wandered over, dodging a vicious puppy, and said, ‘Hey, you know where I can find a piece of fuel line?’ Now, if you’ve ever been looking for some random part in the middle of nowhere, you realize I didn’t really expect anything from this except, just maybe, directions to the nearest auto parts store. Instead, I got directions to the Slab City mechanic.

Sure enough, when I found him, he was able to scrounge up a bit of vacuum line that was the right size to replace the fuel line on our moped. Sure, it probably won’t last too long, but neither did the cheap rubber on our Chinese moped. The vacuum line, had already survived a car fire, which is more than I can say for the original fuel line.

We have a few other scavenger hunt projects going on. I hope they all work out half as well as the moped. But either way, it’s an interesting way to meet folks when you get tired of scrounging around the desert and decide to ask directions.

Left For Dead In Joshua Tree NP

April 22nd, 2009

I got my taxes squared away. Unfortunately, Johnny was still doing his and seemed like he would be for hours. I wasn’t in any mood to lounge around the camper and decided it was time for some fun. So, I talked Johnny into unhooking the scooter for me and proceeded into Joshua Tree National Park. I wasn’t sure if we were going to drive in there before we left our boondocking area just outside of the park, and I wanted to see a damn Joshua Tree.

White Tank Campground - Joshua Tree NP

After working the scooter through the loose sand, I hit Cottonwood road and headed into the park. It was a pleasant ride, albeit slow. The first part was all up hill and the scooter was moving between 10 and 15mph. It was during this part of the trip that I realized I didn’t bring a jug of water. Not good. Once I made it up to the visitors center it sped up to about 30mph. From then on, it was smooth sailing. I stopped at all of the various markers and checked out some Ocotillo trees in bloom. I was lucky enough to see a rare purple aster that supposedly only grows in this area. The only wildlife I saw were a few lizards and a rabbit. No sheep for me… sigh. After a long ride in the Colorado desert, I finally made it in to the Mojave. I looked at my fuel gauge, but it hadn’t moved. I decided to go all of the way to White Tank Campground.

When I arrived there I was overcome by the scenery. The giant boulders surrounded by Joshua Trees were an awesome sight. I was so entranced I almost didn’t notice the time or my fuel gauge. I didn’t have a clock, but the sun was pretty low in the sky. The gauge read 3/4 tank. I thought, “Plenty of time and fuel, but I should head back.” I got to see a Joshua Tree! Too bad it took 30 miles.

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Mud And Life On The Moon

April 13th, 2009

Once we left Slab City, we went to check out the nearby mud pots as Ryan and Nicole suggested. After I wandered around for a while, we finally located them. That is, after a group of people who showed up with their own personal tour guide headed right for them. We were only given the cross streets for directions and being as I had never seen a mud pot before, I had no idea what to look for. I kept expecting them to be near water. However, they were in the middle of what appeared to be a dried up lake bed. My father the earth science teacher would be disappointed in me.

Mud Pot Eruption
Mud Pot Eruption

If you haven’t seen one before, I highly suggest it. Its not something us east coasters see every day. They are called mud pots, but I think that most of them looked more like mud volcanoes. They were four or so foot tall mounds that blew carbon dioxide and mud. The shorter ones blew more mud bubbles. They were the most interesting. The ones that were lower than the land around them acted more like boiling water pots than mud pots.

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