Friday, October 24, 2008

and we are near to the end of our trip and the truck won't start

but we had a great time...
we're headed home after three hours of trying to start it and being very far away from anything remotely resembling a gas station. When it started we felt like we had actually won in Las Vegas.
This trip has a happy ending!

Pretty Little Plant

Lovely Little River

We Are Headed to the Mountains

I kept looking for the perfect Joshua Tree but this ended up being the photo I liked best.

This Was the Weirdest Sign for a Grocery Store

In the saddest most depressed town we have ever seen.
It appears their only employer was a salt/mineral plant. That's it.

The Sheriff and His Deputy - Ballarat,Ca.

His Eyes Were Soooo Blue I Almost Couldn't Look at Him

This guy has the bluest eyes I have ever seen - and the biggest hands and the twirliest legs.

Ballarat Picnic

So inviting...and the only place to sit, here in Ballarat.
A gold rush ghost town that now mostly hosts off road vehicles and lost travelers looking for a place to eat lunch. 

The Manson Family's Escape Vehicle

Well this is the story - which seems plausible and makes for an interesting photo.
They say that the family was on the run from the law and got stuck in the salt flats and then took off on foot, leaving the truck. Later the residents pulled it out and used it until it broke down. That is pretty much the state of things here. Used until it broke down.

Death Valley

Death Valley is Next and We Are in For Some Fun

Poor Ej drives for hours to Death Valley. We get there and we are exhausted and the campsites leave a bit to be desired but we find one. And we get all settled in - there are a few campers around us using tents and two guys on motorcycles in sleeping bags and then a few campers. There is a nice gentle warm breeze blowing and as time goes by the wind is blowing harder, and harder.  After watching the guy next to us place little rocks around his tent, apparently to keep it from blowing over, we decide to go to bed. And as it gets later the wind starts to really crank. It's blowing so hard now that it is rocking the camper. We can't sleep at all - it goes from something like a 40knot wind to relatively calm and then off in the distance you hear it coming again and it all starts over. So finally we wake up at around 3 or so to everyone in tents packing up and leaving which was hysterical to watch. And in the morning we saw the two motorcycle guys walking all over camp gathering their things. They were young so probably hadn't even noticed the wind and thought some ass hole had messed with their stuff.
 That night was like a lifetime and we REALLY wanted to leave. Plus I was getting a cold...

Oh yah, and my Bro will like this: I turn around and EJ has a piece of PVC and a hack saw and he has decided to reconfigure the camper's plumbing - in the middle of Death Valley. He has actually brought along pipe cement. Well I figure this can only be a bad thing. But wouldn't you know it, this is the only time he has worked on pipe and had all the pieces he needed. This will never happen again. 

Some Random Images From Valley of Fire

The Secrist's Have Left the Building!

Yes, and it's a good thing. One can only take so much cigarette smoke, traffic, and people who have just gotten out of a Jimmy Buffett concert. On the way we decided it would be fun to play a game where you had to be the first to spot a hooker, crack dealer, or possible filming of Cops. Not Cops 2.0 though. 
Instead we had a great dinner and went to see Ka. Very cool. There were the two dudes who ran on a wheel that reminded us of the two trouble makers in the Dr. Suess series. If you see it you'll know what we mean.

Off to Valley of Fire for some campin'. Also.

I Saw This and Was Immediately Bummed

We just put a new roof on our house and had no idea that this option even existed.
Definitely would have picked this over the metal roof that EJ and Johnny Farr put on.
And yup we were still in Las Vegas. 

Well I Forgot Our Breakfast in Las Vegas

So who do you think picked Lucky Charms and who picked Raisin Bran?
It's sad cause I can't even get a little risky in Las Vegas.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Hoover Dam

Just a completely overwhelming structure. Really hard to imagine what it took to build this in the 30's. How people could think on such a huge scale. My mind thinks in little ways. My husband thinks in big ways. I am the safety monitor and he is the mad scientist.

The Best They Could Do

All that money put into Homeland Security and they rip off Mad Mag. On the other hand it's pretty freakin' cool. I did find myself wondering if the guy doing dastardly things on the bridge would really look like this. I mean he'd be way easier to spot.

Hoover Dam From the SIde

I sort of like this because of the shadows from the transmission line towers.

Hoover Dam Turbines

Back Side of the Dam

Rebel Without a Cause

They print this warning just for people like my husband. He really wants to be standing on the edge freaking me out. You can see - he has that look on his face.

This Was the Closest We Came to the Famed Long Horn Sheep

Bridge Across the Hoover Dam in the Making

The beginning of the bridge across the Hoover Dam. This is going to be the largest concrete bridge in the US. So these two arms will eventually meet in the middle - if everyone did their math right.

Gas Prices Make Up For Your Losses at the Casino (sort of)

When was the last time you saw a 2 at the beginning of the price for a gallon of gas?
Only in Vegas baby!

This is Just Wrong on So Many Levels

Figure the Odds!

So we were rushing around all day trying to get everything done and all kinds of things kept happening - clamp broke - forgot this or that - Subaru broke down on last trip to Friedmans - massive amounts of Friday traffic out of this hell hole we call Sonoma (just kidding) and we drive, drive, drive, make numerous stops the next day, make a couple of wrong turns - end up taking the wrong turn-off which diverts us through Death Valley (the long way to Las Vegas) and this is just day one of our trip. And as we come down the hill into Stove Pipe Wells we see a bunch of people around a bus and we are thinking "could that be Glenn and Bev's group - nooooo that would be crazy" and then on the other side of the bus is a very familiar crazy lady jumping up and down and waving  and we were like "hey that looks like Bev"  and what do you know it was Bev - and Glenn too!!

Crow in Death Valley

I just love these birds and one day I will take a very cool photo of one.
This was what I got on the fly - so to speak.

3 Horses

This was taken in a spot that I had been thinking about for 6 years. However, the image that I wanted didn't turn out but this one did. I'll take what I can get.

Mono Lake with Log

Just a pretty picture. 

Mono Lake and My Personal Very Handsome and Loyal Sherpa

Here is the beautiful Mono Lake. We didn't realize what time it was or we would not have stopped - cause we were running late. But so glad we did. Light was perfect and Eric, as always, was willing to schlep my camera crap around. 

Hot Springs On The Way

We were driving and saw some steam coming off the ground and with a little trespassing we found that there was a hot spring there. Eric said it was really hot, smelled bad, but tasted okay.
I took his word on that.

On To Mono Lake

So I have no idea what this means because I am 50 now! But I thought it was funny that someone went to the trouble of making it. And then sticking it on the railing by the overlook to Mono Lake.

Our First Stop

Here is our first camp site. The funny thing is that the highway is 15 feet behind the truck. 
It was pretty but had that roadside killer feel.