Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 29th - Kingman Sand Drags

Something different today, took a drive out to a brand new motorsports park in Kingman where they were holding their first event of the summer season. It was a beautiful day with warm sunny weather and a nice breeze. I went on Friday the opening day figuring most people and the crowds would be there Saturday. I was right.

Not a great selection of big sand rails but some really nice and fast cars, lots of noise and good old boys having fun with their various vehicles. But it was a time for kids as well, there were a bunch of kids racing on 4 wheelers and a few bikes and some interesting custom built sand rails powered by motorcycle motors, some were pretty darned fast with speeds up to 75 MPH or so and real quick.

I managed a few interesting pictures.

This was the youngest racer of the day and it was pretty funny - she was 3 years old and determined!

All in all a fun day doing something different - today is clean the trailer day and maybe an afternoon drive to find some wildflowers and a hangy thing (not sure what??) for Pat in Oatman!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Road Trip with stop at Valley of Fire State Park March 23rd

It was time to make my annual visit to the Dr. in Salt Lake City the vascular surgeon for a check of my carotid artery following my stroke of a couple years ago. So the plan was to leave the camper in Kingman and make the 500 mile drive up to Salt Lake, so I decided since I pretty much had to drive right by Valley of Fire to break the trip up into 2 segments and stop at Valley of Fire and check out a new trail to a section I have been wanting to see. They call it the "Fire Wave" and it resembles the rock coloring in the "Wave" in Arizona another place I want to visit. So my plan was up early and drive to Valley of Fire and spend a couple mid-day hours hiking and taking some pics, then move on towards Salt Lake and spend the night at about the half way point in St. George, Utah.

For those who really give a shit - the Ultrasound results were fantastic - no change since last year, increased blood flow and no sign of any further restrictions. So Doc says I am doing well, letter off to the USCG and they will be happy to know I shouldn't have any problems and be good until next years check again!

So up early and awoke to a wonderful sunrise!

Then on to the trail to the "Fire Wave"!

Creative trail marker - although this is how I felt on the way back!

Finally at the "Fire Wave"

The rock coloration is amazing and worth the .6 mile hike one way to see it. Although I would like to meet the park Ranger that measures these trails, seems further to me!! The color is almost identical to pictures I have seen of the "Wave" in Arizona although that is a bigger formation and you need a special permit to get in they only allow 12 people a day. I have applied like 6 times for a permit, maybe next year!

I returned back to Kingman from Salt Lake on Thursday and now will be busy finishing up some work for the Lodge and making final travel plans for the long drive to Alaska, plan on leaving Kingman on April 8th and starting North! Hope the weather breaks soon up that way!

Stay Tuned for the adventurous trip to Alaska!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Friday, March 15, 2013

Grand Canyon - Wednesday March 13th

Finally took the drive from Kingman over to Grand Canyon National Park the South Rim. It was about a 166 mile drive! I guess it would have been worth it, if I had never been there before, but I have been there before and so quite frankly it was a disappointment. It really is just a huge hole in the ground and since it was past March 1st you have to ride the shuttle buses to several of the better viewpoints...and I am not much of a ride the bus type person. So rather than stand in line with all the tourists, I saw what I could see and left.

It is very difficult to get a decent picture that really shows the expanse of the canyon anyway. Besides, once you have rafted it and seen it from the bottom, you pretty much have been spoiled. Years ago did a raft trip and rode a mule back up from Phantom Ranch and that was a true experience, so looking over a railing at the deep hole, just didn't cut it!

I did manage a couple pictures so here we go!

When I left, I decided to stop in Williams at the drive through animal park again to see if I could get some better pictures of the Canadian Lynx and I did, but that is for tomorrow!

If you have never seen the Grand Canyon and have no desire to raft it or hike or mule ride to the bottom, then I guess the view is worth the trip. However, you can go to Deadhorse Point State Park in Utah and see pretty much the same thing and much less crowded. Or raft through Cataract Canyon or even Labyrinth Canyon and experience the feeling of the depth of the canyons and see just as good of scenery! Of course that is just my biased opinion, but it is my blog, so tough!

Stay tuned, more tomorrow!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Season's In the Mist - Finally ready to Publish!

I will start out with some info on a road trip I took yesterday! My best friend from Florida was scheduled to be on a little vacation with his mother in Las Vegas, so we had made plans to meet up for lunch to catch up and give me the opportunity to see his mother, which I hadn't seen since Thanksgiving almost two years ago just before I left Florida for good. Tommy was up to the Lodge last year for his annual fishing trip, so I had seen him since leaving, but just over a 100 miles away and it was time for a road trip. So yesterday I hit the ATM, filled up the truck and drove a little over a hundred miles for a lunch date! We met had a wonderful lunch and great conversation. Then I headed back to Kingman although I took a more circuitous return route and decided to gamble a little in Laughlin NV. Well I had $200.00 to gamble and time to kill, so why not, well a few hours in the casino went through $180 bucks pretty quick, but then the tide turned and the fish started biting so to speak and suddenly I had the machine up over $200.00, so played it down to $200.00 and cashed out. Not one to quit too early, I realized I still had $20.00 of my original stash, so dropped another $20.00 in the same machine and lo and behold, ran it up another $200.00 plus and decided to absolutely quit at $100.00 plus. Which I am proud to say I did. So left with $200.00 to gamble and came home with $300.00 not bad for a days work and got to spend some great time with my good friend Tom Halinski and his mother, great family friends!

On my return to the campground, I stopped by the office since I was expecting a proof of my latest publishing project - "Season's in the Mist".

One of my larger winter projects is finally complete and ready to publish! It is a fun publishing project highlighting some of my experiences as a Alaska Fishing Guide at Yes Bay Lodge - recap of my 6 years, although there is no way I could relive all my experiences I wanted to document a few of the times fishing in Alaska!

Here is a preview of the book and if you click on it you will be taken to a place where you can order your own personal copy!

Season's in the Mist!

Feel free to order a copy for yourself! It is a great memory for past guests and guides with plenty of pictures around the Lodge and some fun reading about fishing at Yes Bay Lodge!

Road Trip to the Grand Canyon tomorrow! Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday Road Trip March 3rd, 2013!

With all the work on the computer and around the trailer, I was anxious for a good weather day and needed to get out and shoot some pictures, so all day Saturday I worked on planning a Sunday Road Trip. I have been anxious to make a trip to the Grand Canyon and was interested in seeing the western side of the Grand Canyon, since I had never been there yet. But after a couple hours of researching the Skywalk and reading a zillion negative reviews and looking at the entrance fees, I decided that I needed to find somewhere else to go! sadly Saturday evening I got pretty sick, so slept in on Sunday and had to make sure I was feeling good enough to travel and be away from the bathroom long enough to get where I wanted to go. Several weeks ago I have done some research on Williams, AZ and a tourist trap there peaked my interest. It is called Bearizona and is one of those drive through animal parks with quite a selection of animals, so that is where I headed. I was not disappointed although this is the off season and they have a fair amount of construction going on, but the price was reasonable and they have a senior discount and also since the construction was going on, they knocked a couple extra bucks off the entrance fee, which was nice.

Anyway - on with the pictures! There are quite a few!

The park consists of a 2 mile drive through various areas with different animals and it is pretty interesting. The animals were pretty close and easy to see. Then after the drive there is a parking lot and an area to walk through which was very nice and they had a "petting zoo" for kids, but great animal viewing in a fairly natural environment.

It was worth the $20.00 and I would go back and may do so before I head North.

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest