Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blog Update - May 20th, 2014 - Summer Job Underway!

Well, my first week of work is complete, actually 2 weeks...and all is well! Job is a little different than what I thought, but then again, I expected that so no problems. Took a few days to get an electrical problem solved (bad breaker) in the RV Spot I preferred, but they jumped right on it and I moved the trailer to my permanent spot a couple days ago and now the trailer is level and in a wider, bigger spot and I am happy.

It has been very hot and a little windy here for the past few days, had a busy weekend this past week and have a super busy weekend coming up with over 20 boats leaving in one day - it will be a zoo, but yesterday we started staging the boats to get ahead of the game and that will continue on my two days off, today and tomorrow, so hopefully all will be ready to go the day before the rush, which is always the goal. Luckily, about 20 new people arrive this week and will be in training, so it will help with the workload and another 20 or so start next week, which again will be a great relief.

The new boat - Axiom is scheduled to arrive on the 28th - 2 of them and one is going out on June 1st - so that boat will have to get ready right away, I am anxious to see this wonderful boat...pictures look beautiful....stay tuned for it's arrival!

While downloading pictures from my camera this morning I found a few from the campground in Capitol Reef and the drive over to bullfrog.

One mule deer photo from the campground!

The drive from Capitol Reef to Bullfrog!

This is a distant view of the marina where I work....

Took this after the long walk back to my truck the other day in the wind!

This is my RV Site - have trees on the right for morning shade!

Need to get some weed killer - those weeds in the foreground are sand spurs and I stomped on one in the middle of the night, was not fun....now I make sure there are none on my shoes when I come in the trailer and try to avoid getting near the plants!!

Sat Dish!

Several people have emailed about the type of Sat Dish I got for television, so figured I would put a picture up - it is fully automatic and powered through the cable - put it out, make sure it has a clear view to the south and in about 10 minutes it is up with the program guide all downloaded! Works great!

The job is tiring, I must walk about a zillion miles everyday, legs are fine, but the old feet are beat by the end of the day, not much time to sit down on the job and the lunch time is welcomed! Made a mistake and wore new shoes the first day and got a blister, so that is healing and should be better in a few days, stupid on my part!

Today is laundry day and run a few errands, but mostly rest!! Gonna be a very busy week this next week! Memorial Day!

Stay Tuned for more updates and some new pics I hope to take today and tomorrow!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blog Update - May 14th, Ready for Work!

Well, it has been an interesting week and a half since I left my Good Friends in Salt Lake City, who by the way is heading to Dillon on Friday to fish the Beaverhead, wish I was going with them! But have plans to make the trip this fall!

I drove from Salt Lake to Torrey, Utah and had an easy drive. Stop at a nice RV Park and withstood the cold, rainy weather and spent time getting the trailer squared away for travel. Contacted my new job only to discover that my RV spot was not ready and I could not arrive until Sunday the 11th of May, so I had to regroup and find a place to stay a few more nights, the RV park was a little pricey and my budget dictated a more frugal existence. Did a little research and found a that Capitol Reef National Park had a wonderful campground within the park only about 12 miles away and I was happy to find out that with my Senior Pass the cost per night was only $5.00 per night, fit right into my budget. It is a dry campground with no electric or water or sewer, but it is beautiful. I had some gas for the generator and plenty of water and the waste tanks were empty, so on Tuesday I left in the morning from the RV park and got a good spot before it filled up (no reservations allowed).

So, I spent Tuesday through Saturday at the "Fruita" Campground in Capitol Reef NP and could not have been happier!

Here is a nice sunset picture from the RV Park in Torrey!

This was the morning I left the RV Park in Torrey and drove to Capitol Reef!

On the way to Capitol Reef I stopped and took this pic of the truck and trailer! I used this pic below for my new footer!

This is the campground in Capitol Reef (Fruita Campground)!

This is my neighbor behind me in a new Airstream - the "Bambi" the smallest model, real nice!

Every night a herd of small mule deer came down to the campground!

I took a couple drives in the park - wonderful scenery, but it was cold, windy and rainy most of the time. I still managed to get a few good pictures!

I also took a walk to see the petroglyhs! Amazing!

Also saw a nice robin!

On Thursday I drove to Goblin Valley State Park! This is a 10 shot panorama to show the size of the valley!

It is hard to describe Goblin Valley, but it is one of my favorite places in Utah - the Valley is full of these sandstone goblins which you can walk through and explore - must be 2 miles square! You can actually see a couple people in the above picture in the Valley!

Of course the other scenery is breathtaking as well!

On Sunday I drove from Capitol Reef to Bullfrog - met my new boss and found a temporary spot with electric for the night and took a little tour around the marina. Monday I moved the trailer to a more permanent location with full utilities. It is not very level so will be moving to the site next door when maintenance gets a bad circuit breaker replaced. Much nicer with some trees and a little larger site. Should get that done this week.

Tuesday I had HR and paperwork and orientation to go through. Then back to the site and set up my Sat Dish so I could watch my favorite shows - NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and Person of Interest...love the tailgater by Dish - took about 5 minutes to set up.

Today I was required to attend more training - the Boater Safety Class! Interesting, but pretty much only a requirement as I think I knew everything! Then back to the trailer this evening for a nice ribeye steak and some sauteed onions and a salad!

First official day of work at 0800 in the morning, I am excited to get started. I have only taken a couple pictures around Bullfrog, hope to take more on the dock tomorrow and will get my spot shot when I move the trailer.

Like the location, it is amazing here and my boss is a real nice guy and this place is going to be very busy starting next week, so I anticipate an intense week of training getting ready for the Memorial Day Rush!

Stay Tuned for more updates in a couple days!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Blog Update - Weeks highlights and on to Bullfrog today!

Interesting past few days...after Salt Lake I arrive in Torrey, Utah and stayed at my planned stop at Thousand Lakes RV Park. Nice campground although it was very windy and just hung out and got the trailer squared away after the trip. Before leaving I filled the water tanks and emptied the waste tanks knowing that I would be spending the rest of the week at the "Fruita" Campground in Capital Reef National Park. The campground at Fruita is a beautiful site, nestled along a river bottom with green trees and shade and grass between the sites. It is all dry camping with no hook-ups, but a wonderful campground. The cost is $10.00 per night but with a National Park Senior Pass it is only $5.00 per night, a real bargain.

I arrived in the Fruita campground about 1:00 pm on Tuesday and found a nice site right away, but within an hour or two the campground was full. This morning a few people left and within about an hour by 10:00 am as I was heading out to explore the campground was full again. So if yu are planning on this place, it is first come first serve and you need to get your site in the morning, the earlier the better.

As expected the weather took a turn for the worse today, so before the weather and rain hit, I did the 10 mile scenic drive right out of the campground and it was beautiful. This park lies off the beaten path and does not get the traffic it deserves, it is an amazing place, everywhere you turn is a georgeous view. I am glad I decided to delay my trip down to Bullfrog and spend a few days exploring the area.

Major mishap today, just as the rain hit I decided to drive the 10 miles bak in to Torrey and retrieve my emails and hit the ATM for a little cash. I was expecting a deposit and thanks to Kevin Hack it was there! Wonderful still doing work for the Lodge and earning a few extra bucks. However on the way back to the campground, I heard a loud screetching noise and looked in the rear view mirror and watched my bed cover lift up from the front and disintegrate before my eyes, before I could pull over and stop. So that will need to be replaced, will surely write the company a letter as one of the front hold-downs failed and once the wind at 55 mph got underneath it, it was toast!

On my early morning drive I attached my GoPro camera to the windshield with my new suction cup mount and took some pretty interesting video, will get it up and online as soon as I can get a WiFi signal. No cell phone service here or of course no wireless. So it may be a while before I post this and get the pictures uploaded and the video processed.

Tomorrow morning weather permitting, I am going to hike to the Hickman Bridge and hopefully get some good pictures in the morning light.

Right now it is raining pretty hard with a few snowflakes mixed in...little chilly, but not cold!

I spent the entire week at the Fruita campground and it rained almost every day - which made it bad for picture taking...it rained all last night pretty hard and it is still raining this morning on my drive down to Bullfrog. I am in Hanksville right now in the truck where I can get a WiFi signal and decided to get this uploaded!

More pics tomorrow after I get hooked to electric and can upload some pictures.

Note the new truck and trailer pic at the bottom!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Blog Update - Thankful for friends and the journey to my new summer job!

I departed my good friend Steve's house yesterday afternoon and arrived part way to my new summer job last evening, just in time to catch a very pretty sunset!

This is my view this morning!

Some thoughts and old memories!

I have long felt that you only meet a few lifetime friends and I am fortunate to have a couple in Salt Lake City! Ironically we all met and worked together over 26 years ago and have remained close after all this time, even with me leaving Utah in 1993 and not returning for a visit until about 2009 or so....and it seems we continue to grow even closer together with the passage of time.

Some history!

I left Florida and moved to Utah in 1988 and wound up getting a job at K/P Graphics a medium sized commercial printing company in Salt Lake. I started out as a temporary fill in estimator and wound up full time as the plant manager in short order. I was tasked with organizing the production team from the existing staff.

Recently while staying in my good friend Steve's driveway he and I spent an evening with our other co-worker and he mentioned he found some old slides from a photo shoot for a capabilities brochure from K/P. Steve volunteered to scan them and give us each copies which he did. So I have a few old pictures of my good friends to share!

First my "Camp Host" for the past several years while in Salt Lake and fishing buddy in Montana! Steve Carter!

Note the ancient old typesetting computer to Steve's right! Steve was our customer service rep, graphic designer and typesetter and also did some sales!

Next the production team!

L/R - me, Marie Diamond (Planner), seated my good friend Lynn Hewitt (Estimator) and standing right side Renee Gardner (Scheduler. It was a great production team and the basis for my long term friendship with Lynn and Steve!

And Renee and I at the scheduling board

So after all these years - my good friend Steve makes his driveway my home whenever I pass through Salt Lake which is at least twice a year for the past couple years - North and Southbound. The past two years we have also met up in Dillon Montana for a little trout fishing on the wonderful Beaverhead River!! Great Times.

He is such a gracious host, I can never thank him enough for his accommodations when I travel through, most recently with health issues and things to get done on the truck and trailer and my annual Doctors appointment I was there for 24 days!

So Steve Carter Thank you for your hospitality!

With the weather being a little funky, it looks like my visit to Capital Reef and Goblin Valley will be cut a little short, the wind is howling today and looks like some rainy dreary days are arriving tonight and tomorrow, so more than likely will drive through Capital Reef and head on down the "Trail of the Ancients" to Bullfrog in fairly short order! I am sure that there will be quite a few pictures along the way!!

Stay Tuned! Note new picture of truck and trailer in the footer!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Well it has been a busy week and yesterday was a pain in the ass!!! What should have been an exciting and rewarding day turned into a challenge!

Friday I hitched up and took the trailer to the waste dump and emptied the tanks and rinsed them out good. Sandy (City) has a wonderful clean and well designed dump station for RV's....as soon as I was done with that I headed to the tire place and got 5 new tires for the trailer, so it is now ready to travel.

Saturday was a shopping day with a trip to Costco for some bulk meat for at least part of my summer at Lake Powell. Got that accomplished and then it was time for my reward! I have been saving for a portable satellite system and camping world had them on sale, however they were out of the receivers, so I had found one for the same price from Amazon and it was delivered on Friday...so Saturday I only had to get the antenna (Dish), the model is called a Tailgater and is totally portable and automatic to find the satellites! I also wanted to pick up some tank cleaner for the waste tanks as my gauges were gunked up and not reading correctly.

So after returning to Steve's I unpacked the Tailgater and was anxious to get it set up and contact Dish Network and get the unit functional....but decided to add the tank cleaner first - dumped half the bottle down the kitchen sink and then headed for the toilet, while filling the bowl I discovered that the water fill valve was spraying water from the back of the toilet...retreated to my toolbox for a mirror so I could see where the water was coming from and lo and behold the plastic intake valve had a pretty serious crack in it...slip joint pliers and removed the water connection and the valve literally fell apart in my hand - so much for longevity the thing is only 20 years old???

Pulled the toilet and then off to camping world to see if they had a new valve although it was questionable on being able to repair since the place the valve mounted was also broken so a little over a hundred dollars later, I left with a new toilet, a taller one which would be more comfortable.

Returned to the trailer and proceeded to attempt to install and lo and behold the footprint is a little larger so got the sawsall out and removed a small partition behind the toilet which covered the pipes and it fit, this also allowed me to pull the water pipe up to compensate for the higher toilet. After some deliberating and time on my hands and knees, soon the new toilet was installed and functional, right in time for Happy Hour!! And it was needed! So a couple cocktails then some nice grilled Alaska Halibut for my going away dinner with Steve! All is Good - albeit a little behind schedule, but Good!

However my goal of hooking up the sat dish and testing its operation was delayed until today! This morning early I un-packaged all the meat I bought yesterday and Steve broke out his food saver vacuum packer and I individually broke the large Costco packages into reasonable portions and vacuum sealed them all for the freezer!

Now a few more things on my to do list and hopefully on the road by mid-day or so! Still wanting to do the dish before I leave!

Heading to a town near Capital Reef NP for a couple days of exploring and taking some pictures, then by Friday I will be at Bullfrog ready to start my summer job!

Here is the route - shortened to to delays!

I want to spend a couple days exploring Capital Reef and then hit Goblin Valley for at least a day or so then head down to Bullfrog! Plan to be in Bullfrog by Friday end of day!

Stay Tuned for my travel updates!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blog Update - Salt Lake City and Chores! May 1st, 2014

I am still in Salt Lake City getting some issues with the truck and trailer resolved, now that all my health issues are over, I can finally make some headway on lowering th front of the truck and getting new tires on the trailer.

Last week I located some new shackles for the front leaf springs on the truck, they got ordered and I received them straight away with free shipping! So yesterday I went to the place where I am buying my tires for the trailer and they removed the 4 inch lift shackles and shocks and installed the new stock shackles and new shocks and now the truck is sitting level and it even rides a little better without the springs being stretched the extra 4 inches! They also managed to fix the electrical issue I had with the plug-in for the trailer and I now have taillights and running lights, on the trip up I had brake lights and turn signals but the wire for the taillights and running lights did not work, so could only drive in daylight!

Here is how she sits now!

I have listed the 4 inch lift components on a Ford Truck forum and hopefully will get that sold soon, before I leave here with a little luck, if not by the time I get to Bullfrog!

Here are all the components ready to pack and ship!

Tomorrow I am scheduled to hitch up and head to the local dump station and empty my waste tanks and then take the truck and trailer down to have 5 new tires put on the trailer!

I am still working on my route South and will more than likely shorten my trip a little due to the delay in getting things accomplished here in Salt Lake. I will keep everyone updated and post my route in a day or so, weather is supposed to change early in the week when I plan to leave, may leave on Sunday, not sure yet!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!