Monday, June 30, 2014

Blog Update - Sunday Drive - June 29, 2014

Even though it was cloudy and overcast and threatening rain I decided after lunch that a Sunday photo drive was in order. Still looking for the barn shot with the Canola Fields and of course anything else that looked interesting. I decided to head towards Glacier National Park via some back roads untraveled so far.

I found the Canola Field and farm shot I was looking for!

Took a few at Lake McDonald in Glacier!

Had to get a picture of the raging river!

However some small details after the rain made me switch to the macro!

Also stopped by the Lodge to see an old friend and got the famous tour cars! Wonderfully restored!

Today is a very busy day getting ready to head up the North Fork on Wednesday! Need to fill the truck with gas and the generator and the spare tanks, water needs filled, propane tank needs filled and head to the grocery for some supplies and some beer and Boodles and tonic!!

Have a great 10 days or so planned on the river and today my new camera body arrives, so may have to make another afternoon drive to try it out!! The timing is perfect the E-30 had been having trouble focusing...seems to be an issue, tried everything by cleaning the contacts and still struggles. Must be time for a new camera!! Today is the day!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blog Update - Around Kalispell 6-28-2014

Just an update to showcase some pics from the past few days! Things have been busy around here and the weather has NOT been cooperating.

Thursday Jimbo and I took the boat out to see if we could find some fish - no winds when we left but light rain, the new top on the boat worked great - amazing engineering feat by Jim - he made the frame and sewed the fabric was nice a dry and worked well! Sadly the fish did not cooperate and we got skunked...bagged it early when the wind came up and the rain continued even least the boat got washed.

Jimbo at the helm and under the cover!!

Rainy day on the water!

Went for a short drive to take some pics of the Canola fields and some barns and stuff on Friday morning before the rain and managed to surprise a deer and her baby in the Canola....sadly the baby was hiding at picture time!

The deer!

Weed in front of the Canola Fields

Watering Wheel!

The field!

Montana Fence Post!

Spliced barb wire caught my eye!

Storm clouds over a Montana barn!

Old Homestead - wonder what lives began and ended here??

Storm over the farm!

Tons to do over the next couple days in preparation for our next adventure up the North Fork - will be up there about 10 days or so, fill up the camper with water and food and fishing gear shopping, laundry, load firewood in the truck. Hopefully this weather will clear up and get nice - have to load up the rafts and frames.

The trailer is a mess with cottonwood seeds, need a good pressure washing before I leave. I'm just happy my new camera is due to arrive on Monday, thanks Toni Ard for shipping so quick.

Stay tuned, still lots of adventure and picture taking to come!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blog Update - Flathead Lake Test Ride and Summer Snow!

Been busy the past few days -helping Jim get the boat ready - needed new gimbals in the outdrive and rebuild the carb and finish putting the top on the boat...all finished except the top on Monday so took an evening cruise to check things out and also scout some fishing locations!!

We had a great evening boat ride!

Jim even dropped a line for a few minutes but no bait or jigs!

Only in Montana!

Beautiful evening!

In Black and White!

Summer Snow - the damn Cottonwood trees are shedding big time!!

The good news - fishing gear rigged and ready to go!!

Plan to take the boat out tomorrow - rain predicted - so digging out my Alaska rain gear! Then next week leave for a trip up to the North Fork and float the river for some fish and fun - will be up there at least a week and maybe more!!

Stay tuned for some fishing fun...Oh and added to my arsenal of camera gear - a friend was selling her E-5 Olympus and I made a deal - Thanks Toni Ard - can't wait to try out the upgrade!!

More later!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blog Update - Kalispell Montana June 22nd, 2014

Finally the weather has changed and the rain stopped and it has been beautiful the past couple days. Been busy working on Jim's Camper getting ready for our trip up the North Fork of the Flathead River, leaving on the 3rd and of course as soon as the camper realizes it is almost time to go the fridge takes a dump and needed replaced...not a cheap fix to be found, so a brand new Dometic got installed then the front window showed a small leak during the monsoon, so removed that, cleaned all the old caulk off and reseated - just like new now.

We will be spending this week setting the menu and getting things packed up and ready to go...have to get the rafts ready and the fishing gear all in order and the RV's ready!!

This morning I went for a short drive to take a few pics of the Canola fields - some are in bloom and it is amazing....

Also found a few wildflowers along the road!!

Saw a pheasant along the road and he took off as soon as I got out of the truck!

In Flight!

What I went to shoot!


Stay tuned for more adventures!!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blog Update - settled in for the summer - Kalispell

Well, I arrived at my friends Saturday mid-morning and got settled in for a while.

Trailer is parked in my old spot and got electric strung and finally found a spot where the sat dish could get a clear signal - that was a challenge.

Great News today - you may recall when my tonneau cover blew off the back of the truck when I was camped in Fruita in Canyonlands National Park - well I had asked the company Bestop to replace it and they agreed, after I sent them pictures of the part that failed and what was left of the top!! Hoowever, I had discovered that when the top was in the folded position I could not see the hitch in the bed of the truck to hitch up the fifth wheel and it was a pain to get in and out of the truck twenty times to line up, so I asked the company if they would replace it with the roll up model. They told me that they had to replace with the like kind...I did not argue, figured I would get the new one and sell it on Craigslist and then buy the roll up one...but I missed the delivery of the first replacement and it got returned - I contacted Bestop and they could not re-route the shipment so sent another one to the address here in Montana. When it arrived today I discovered this shipment was the roll-up model - very pleased with Bestop - great company, great products and they stand behind them and offer fantastic customer service!! If you need a tonneau for your truck or a top for a jeep - buy from Bestop!!

No fancy pictures today - but here are a few!

The new tonneau!!

Camper Location! Nice and shady!

Sat Dish location - on the roof of the shop! Yep, had to build a platform!

I have certainly gone from one extreme to the other 107 degrees in S Utah and now have a winter storm warning for the mountains here around Kalispell and could see 2 feet of snow in the passes...Ironically the road crews just reached the summit parking lot from the west side on the Going to the Sun Highway and was hoping to get it open in a few weeks....that may be delayed, they are still plowing the parking lot up there and the East side of the road! They have about 15 feet of snow up there on the roads!! And more to come on Thursday!

Planning a week or so get-away to the North Fork of the Flathead river around the 4th of July with Jim and some other friends - going to float the river and do some fishing and should get some good pictures!

Stay Tuned - More to come!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blog Update - On the road to Kalispell!! June 14th, 2014

Great being back "On the Road"...I love the feeling of freedom and just passing the time seeing the sights along the way.

I left Salt Lake and my good friend Steve's on Thursday and had a wonderful easy drive to Dillon, Montana - trip leg was about my max for driving while towing - I try to keep it around 300 miles - it was 367 miles - truck did great made it on one tank of gas, love the bigger tank in the new truck (except when filling it) - and managed to get 12.8 MPG which I think is a record while towing! Checked in at Southside RV Park my normal spot, great people and they gave me a nice discount since I stop in all the time! Back in site but they helped direct me in which is nice! Unhitched and off to dinner...that is a whole story itself, but anyway had a great dinner and back to the trailer for an early bedtime - traveling again in the morning.

Up early - hitched up and headed closer towards Kalispell. The drive was fine for the early morning but hit terrible hard rain and high winds on route one point following a big truck we were doing about 45 MPH - played hell with the gas mileage but it cleared up after about 50 miles. I have been "Jonesing" to take some pictures, so decided since I would get near the Bison Range around lunch time - I would check in at a nice small RV Park and take a drive through the range.

So dropped the trailer - topped up with gas - 10.16 MPG - weather and wind makes a big difference.

Took these two the road at the "Continental Divide" rest area!

Then the Bison Range!

This is for Millhoff!!

I was disappointed in the Bison Range, usually a ton of antelope around for some great pics - but not one yesterday?? The Bison typically don't cooperate and get real close, but saw some deer a black bear a few distant bison and of course the flowers and birds!!

Now I got a hankerin for some ice-cream - watch out Flinchbaugh's, I am just down the road and will be there soon!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!