Thursday, February 25, 2010

San Diego




I am lightly planning my next trip. I am thinking of either Southern Utah, Salt Lake City Ski areas or maybe Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It would be in two or three weeks.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ft Ord - ammunition bunkers




A new bike = Raleigh Supercourse

Here is my new bike: It is a Raleigh SuperCourse. It is all Carbon Fiber. It rides so very great.

I picked it up in Marina, CA, which is Fort Ord. I got it at the REI in Marina, CA.
I had to pick it up at an REI town which does not have a regular Raleigh dealership.
It was either Marina or Denver and I went to CA. I wanted sun.

I went for a 15 mile bike ride along the water in Fort Ord. I got to go in the munitions bunkers and by the deserted military housing. Fort Ord was closed in 1995.
I got a motel in Pismo Beach, CA last night. I drove all night the night before so I could get the bike early. I took a couple of cat naps during the night drive.

I drove down Highway 1 yesterday and it was quite beautiful. It goes right along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and has mountains right up to the road on the other side. Beautiful.

Today, I will bike ride around Santa Barbara because I am told they have great bike rides there. Hope all have a great day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Death Valley = Unforgiving

Always have water with you in Death Valley! Each week from early Feb. the temperature rises. Within weeks, it will be 90 degrees in Death Valley.

10 years ago, a family of mom, dad and 3 kids went to Death Valley in the summer. They disappeared.

Two weeks after being missing, the rented van was found with shredded tires but no people. The daytime temps on the ground are 120 degrees and at night it is 100+ degrees.

A month ago, some hikers found bones. they believe they are the bones of the lost family.

Death Valley in the summer is dangerous. The heat is unforgiving.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Death Valley - Sunset / Sunrise

Stars: You can see forever at night. There are few clouds so you just see stars - everywhere. You turn out the lights and the sky lights up. Amazing!

The Sunrise pictures were taken on a ridge above the camp site. I wake up in the morning when it is dark and start hiking until the sun comes up. I find a rock with my name on it and I sit there, listen to the quiet and take pictures. I am also scouting out a path to take the kids later in the day.

The first day we got to camp and we were the only ones in the canyon - we saw 4 Big Horn Sheep. They came down within 100 yards of our camp. I probably have a picture of them actually - forgot that. They came down, looked us over and we did not see them again. I feel privileged for seeing them. We also saw a skinny coyote by the airport.

Isolation: There were a lot of cars and motorcycles on the road but once we got in the back country - it was away from everyone. Such a pleasure.

We eat well on camping trips. No camp fires are allowed but a propane stove can cook some pretty simple, yet amazing meals. Food tastes better when you are camping.

Death Valley - Pictures!!!!

Here is Death Valley from the car. It is about 190 feet below sea level in one picture.

We had planned on camping in one area but the road was closed. They had monsoon rains a few days before and they had to let the roads try out. The paved road was even had puddles on it. The only place to camp looked like th KOA type camp area. We decided to take one last look at a remote spot and the road was open. We saw a 4 wheel drive come out and it was caked with mud. We got to the mud area and we got through with the Subaru - lucky us.

We camped in a river bed about 10 miles from the road on the only open back road. We were the only ones in the canyon. We camped for 2 nights before people started coming - it was amazing. We took a daily trip out of our camp to check out something or to eat in a restaurant.

The quiet of Death Valley is amazing! I woke up as soon as the sun would break and hike a ridge. Birds would be chirping hello and I would watch the sun come up from a ridge above our camp site. The quiet was amazing. The rocks are sharp however. It is tough on the hands. Next time, I will plan on taking leather gloves to save the fingertips.

Better pictures are coming!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Death Valley was GREAT!

We camped out 3 nights in Death Valley and it was GREAT! 75 degrees and we camped in a valley with no one around for 2 nights. It was amazing. We hiked ridges, valleys and it was so warm!!!!!

It was a great break from winter weather. Pictures later.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wells Bike Ride - The Swamp

The pictures I took during a bike ride this past week in Wells, NV. I was going up the road to Angel Lake.

The Swamp: The swamp was another favorite play area. There was a huge Weeping willow there which draped all the way down to the ground. It was a great place to imagine whatever kind of world you could make up in your mind.

The swamp was year around but it flooded in the spring and fall if it rained. We would make rafts with wood we found in the dump, or around the neighborhood. We even found wood around the railroad tracks or the truck depot. We would find old packing crates from the trucks. We made the rafts and I don't think we ever got them to float with weight on them. In many ways, we were lucky we did not drown. Safety was not our concern. We were invincible. We always had one kid on the raft in the swamp and the others were on ground laughing because the raft was trying to sink and someone was up to their knees in stinky old water.

Tadpoles, Frogs and Stink: The swamp had frogs. We would wade into the swamp and get frog eggs and watch them grow day by day and week by week. The swamp could smell very gross which meant we smelled pretty gross. We only got a both once or twice a week because we had to heat water on the stove. Personally, I hated baths because I had worked so very hard to smell like I did.

The swamp is now where the tribal police office is located. It was a pretty big swamp.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Favorite Playground & Wells Pictures

My favorite Playground was: THE GARBAGE DUMP!!!!

The garbage dump was heaven to me. Big machines, people dumping stuff for me to check out, dodging cars and trucks - what more could a kid ask for. We would go to the dump grab crap and drag it home. The following week, mom would put our great stuff from the dump back in the garbage can and then we would have to go and try to find it again.

We found so many wonderful things: We even found food. Once a grocery store caught fire and the food ended up in the dump. We spent a lot of time grabbing cans, cereals and potato chips and ate like kings. The food did have a smoked taste to it. We also lived by a milk distribution building, so we would go work to earn some real milk and use REAL MILK in the cereal we got from the dump.

To get to the dump, we had to go across an empty field. Cross the highway which went to Seattle, cross the railroad tracks, over a railroad bridge and then over to the dump. (Our dogs kept getting run over on the highway but we never did. I thought we had smart dogs too.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Grandparents - Wells bike riding

I am going to write some childhood memories along with pictures of what and where I am at present. Pictures are of what I see as I bike ride. Story: Grandparents

I saw Grandma Miller (Mom's mom) about a dozen times as a child. I met Gilbert Beach (Mom's Dad) - one weekend when I was 18. I never met Grandpa Brisco and have no stories of him. I met Grandma Jose Brisco, once when I was 22 and just got out of the Army. I drove through Roswell and saw her.

I met Grandpa Beach when I had hitchhiked from Tacoma to CA to see my dad, Delbert L Brisco. I was grossly disappointed in seeing my dad and I went to San Diego to see mom's brother and his wife (Uncle Don and Aunt Lilly?) Uncle Don took me in his truck and on a weekend, we went to China Lake, CA to see Grandpa Beach. He was in a little house and laying down. He was ill. It was my first time to the desert in the summer and the 120 degrees was very hot. We just spent a few hours with Grandpa Gilbert and I never saw him again.
Grandma Jose Brisco: I had dreams of a Grandparent who baked cookies and was warm and loving always. I was hoping for a Grandma like my mom actually. When I met Grandma Jose at 22, I felt I had found that Grandma. She was the sweetest great little lady who just like being around me. She even had cookies. Marcia and I were only there for an hour or so but it was a very memorable and warm feeling that was left. She was a great, wonderful and warm Grandma. She passed away just a few years after that meeting. I feel very fortunate for meet her that one time.
I did have others in my life who were kind of like Grandparents. One lady knew I liked Lemon Mirang Pie and she made a pie for me weekly.

Since I had little Grandparent contact as a child. I am trying as a grandparent to play a part in my grandkids lives. I want them to have memories with me as a grandparent.

Grandma Miller - part two


Grandma Miller had an old Cushman Scooter once when I was about 8 or 9. The scooter had a big basket in the front which was big enough for kids to stand in. Once, she took me and one of my siblings for a ride down River Road to Puyallup. It went slow because it was a scooter and it was carrying 1 adult and 2 kids. We got pulled over by the police. She was given a warning for going to slow on the highway. She was mad as hops and mubbling all the way back home. She went into the room after we got home to play the fiddle and I ran down to the swamp.

Grandma Miller was on a restricted diet later in life. We were having breakfast at my mom's house and grandma took the salt to put on her food. Mom told me to go get the salt from her and I went up and said, "Grandma, please give me the salt, your diet does not allow it." She looked at me and said: "Get away from me, I want salt."
She had salt. I told my mom, "I'm not taking the salt from grandma. You can if you want."

At 70 years old Grandma Miller got up on the roof to patch a leaky spot. It was at least a two story house. She climbed the ladder, got on the roof and did some work.
Pretty amazing lady.

Grandma Miller's Fiddle



This is my Grandma Miller's fiddle. When I was a kid in Tacoma, WA, she was the only grandparent I ever saw. She would come and visit once or twice a year, I thought she was a grump. She would go in the back bedroom and play her fiddle. I would hear the squeeks and moans of the instrument.

That sound was my sign that I did not have a babysitter watching me and I took off.
The choice of where to go was hard. Do I go to the swamp, the big willow tree, the Indian Hospital, Under the railroad bridge, On the railroad bridge, go play on the freight cars, go to the city dump or just run with the dogs.

I had a great life as a child... That fiddle brings back so many memories.