Sunday, August 23, 2015

Milestone 65 - A Day for Reflection

I never imaged I would be this old and that the time would fly by so fast! This is a long post - 65 years of it, so sit back and enjoy!

I have a ton to be Thankful for - I have had a good life...I grew up with the best family possible. I had a father who devoted his life to making mine better and was always there for me. My mother was the best, she never hesitated to volunteer and make my childhood better - Cub Scout Den Mother - always active at School. My Dad was a little league coach and also active in our kids Bowling League...The town was the perfect place to grow up - Barberton was a small enough town to know everyone, low crime in those days - I could ride my bike all over town and be gone all day with no issues...

My Perfect Family!

Lucas Family Christmas

I have the BEST Sister you could ever ask for - from beating the hell out of anyone who picked on me when we were little to being understanding through all my trials in adulthood and my roaming lifestyle!

Beverly Roop - 2007

She even drove the boat on Biscayne Bay - Note my father watching carefully that she didn't hit anything!

Frances Lucas, Beverly Roop and Chuck Lucas - sailing in Miami

A great Extended Family of Cousins!

Fell in Love a few times with some wonderful women!

My first Love - Sara!

Then Mimi!

Jim Lucas and Mimi Purcell wedding - December 12th, 1981

And there was Sharon (affectionately known as Godzilla) who gave me a wonderful stepson William!

William and I had some great times together!

And wonderful Jeannie!

Most people have no clue on the various Milestones of my life....

I took vocational printing in High School and promised myself to never be a printer - well that did not work out as planned - spent 35 years in the printing industry from the lowest position melting hot lead to President of several large National Printing Companies - overseeing hundreds of employee's...Glad that is over! I did manage to work a number of years for myself in the Diving and Travel Industry before returning to printing. I always wanted to be a photographer and after High School went to photography school, but soon realized the type of photography I wanted to do did not pay well!

Corporate Jim!

However before that managed a few real Adventures and Milestones that will be forever remembered!

Like leaving Bermuda for Europe to deliver a 50 foot sailboat to Spain!

Trying to find our way across the Atlantic!

Arriving Gibralter a month later!

Standing on the top of the Rock of Gibralter!

Enjoying a Bullfight in Estepona Spain!

Bullfight - Festival in Estepona Spain on the Costa del Sol - Taken with a Nikon EL with a 75-150 Nikkor Zoom Lens - Kodachrome 64 ASA film - scanned with a Plustek OpticFilm 7200 slide scanner.

The Quiet Solitude of the Azores!

Quiet Solitude overlooking the Harbor - on the island of Faial, Azores - Portugal - Taken with a Nikon EL with a 75-150 Nikkor Zoom Lens - Kodachrome 64 ASA film - scanned with a Plustek OpticFilm 7200 slide

Hanging out with pretty girls on the French Riviera!

Fishing Remote Islands in the Bahamas!

Sitting in a Ghost town in Bannack, MT

Scuba Diving and taking pictures all over the Caribbean! (Yep that is me)

Picture of Jim Lucas taking Underwater photos in Roatan Honduras

Deep diving in Honduras!

Catching a few fish in my life!

Captain Jim

After "Retirement" a few years having fun rescuing people with Sea Tow!

Had a few beers along the way!

Fishing Guide at the Best Lodge in Alaska!

And to think it all began with my first day of school at Oakdale!

I guess I am now enjoying my "Golden Years" - well I damn sure don't want 65 more of them, but hope for a few more years as I have a couple more adventures to experience.

Now after all these years I can finally take the pictures I wanted to be able to take all along! Still don't make much money at it, but I really don't give a shit anymore!

I can experience sunrise at Yes Bay in Alaska and share it!

I can torment my good friend Jim Flinchbaugh to stop the friggin car there is a good shot there!

I can stop my good friend Lynn Hewitt - at his birthday party mid-sentence and say hang on there is a good shot here!

All things considered, things are well - outlived my asshole but everything else seems to be working fine! Still wonder why you can't buy brown underwear!

I am Happy and Thankful for a wonderful life and all the good friends who I have been lucky enough to share it with!

Time for a BEER!
Stay tuned I ain't quite done yet!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blog Update - Making Plans and more Repairs

This seems to have been the summer of repairs...5 years on the road and the old RV needed some love!

I am now working on the last couple "To Do" items on the list for this summer.

Since I got the trailer the propane heater has not worked properly. The fan motor bearings are shot and the thing sounded like a 747 taking off...and because of that the drain on the battery was intense. So the heater is pulled out and a new motor is on the way, already got a new thermostat. Should be repaired and put back in before the end of the month. Also during the removal the exterior exhaust was destroyed so that part is also ordered.

I fixed the kitchen sink drain leak which has been an issue for the past year or so. New Bathroom sink fixture is now installed and changed the window crank since the new fixture kept that from working properly. One more roof hatch to install along with another cover and the roof stuff will be done.

Travel Plans!

I am in the process of making some short term travel plans and some long term plans.

Short Term!

My plan is to leave Kalispell Montana the end of September and stop in Dillon, MT and meet my good friend Steve Carter for a little fishing on the Beaverhead River at Clark Canyon is an annual event and great fun.

Then head to Salt Lake for a couple days rest and then depart for points South maybe doing a little exploring in New Mexico. I would love to find a place around there for next summer. More on that later! Then ending up back at my winter home in Twentynine Palms, California for another winter of fun!

Long Term!

I have begun searching for a place for next summer - either in Northern Arizona or Southern Colorado or Northern New Mexico. I am considering spending next winter in Florida back in St Pete with my old friends. Nothing for sure yet, but I am investigating. So ideally would like to find something heading East! But not too hot, something in the mountains with good scenery and fishing.

If I could find a place to work in Ohio near Barberton, I would consider spending the summer there, then head down to Florida for the winter? Need a campground that needs a worker in exchange for a site.

No pictures this update - have been busy staying around the trailer and making repairs and getting prepared for my complete physical on the 27th - been studying for the urine test!

I also spent the week upgrading my photo web site on SmugMug and also the one for the Lodge, seems SmugMug upgraded their system and it required a complete rebuild - pain in my ass, but it is finished!


Here is a pic I changed to simulate an Oil Painting!

Stay tuned for more details and travel plans as they materialize!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Blog Update - Another night at the Races August 8th, 2015

It was another night of frustration at the race track with not only some more car problems but now we add in some track problems - and it looks like our season is over here in Montana.

The crew spent all week tracking down a couple problems with the car - remember last time out we had a bad miss. The car was backfiring badly on deceleration which had a detrimental affect on the exhaust headers so they got replaced which was a major job and required some fabrication. We also located a problem with the carburetor which got a total rebuild and the gear on the distributor was chewed we left for the track yesterday feeling we had the problems licked...

The car is handling pretty good and in the first couple practice laps was running good. On the second set of practice we had the miss again, not as bad, but there was a miss. Took the carb off again and checked it all and then looked for an electrical problem. We found a wire that was shorting out and fixed that and the miss pretty much went away but not entirely.

The crew at work!

We went out for the main event - 100 laps with the full intention of running the full race but if the miss developed again, pull off the track and save the car...well we went out and after about 14 laps - Dustin felt a bad vibration and came in. Night was over!

As for the track problems which pretty much ends the season - they have decided to combine two classes - our class the Super Stocks and the Late Models which are faster, so basically it makes it nearly impossible for us to compete. Any more races for number 84 will more than likely be at another track, like Idaho!

There is always amazing scenery in Montana, even at the race track!

And a hot air balloon interrupted the scenery!

Stay tuned for more updates and adventures this summer!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blog Update - RV Upgrades and tasks accomplished

Still enjoying Kalispell Montana!

Since returning from my vacation on the North Fork, I have taken the opportunity of time gained to make a few upgrades to the RV and also get a few personal items taken care of.

I am now officially a Montana resident - registered to Vote and a new drivers license. This is important because I am still trying to get the title to my truck corrected and legally registered. The nice thing about Montana is there is no sales tax on auto sales, so inexpensive to register here. Also they allow permanent plates on vehicles and RV's which are over 10 years old - so one set of plates and forget about it. I have to have a State Trooper come out and do a VIN number verification since the title is not correct as soon as that is done I will register the truck and also the RV with Montana.

Since I don't have an address here in Montana and cannot prove residency I had to find a work-around. To get a drivers license you have to have a statement for rent or utilities to prove you live here, or a voters registration. Voters registration does not require proof of I registered to vote and then used the registration to get my drivers license. You need a Montana Drivers license to register a I have jumped through 2 of the hoops in the bureaucracy! All should be accomplished before the end of the month. I am happy to have gotten this done.

I am also in the process of scheduling a major physical with a local internist and cardiologist. That will get done in the next two weeks, now that I am officially on Medicare!

Saturday Night was another night at the races, it was not the best night as we had car problems for the first time this year. We had high hopes since we had four new tires and expected to be able to really compete with the car now handling well. However, we timed in for the time trials in first place which was nice, but the car developed a bad miss and was backfiring and shooting flames out the exhaust and did not have all the power we needed. We still finished in 4th place in the 75 lap main event...had it been running good we all feel we could have won the race.

This week will be finding out what the problem was - we tore the carburetor apart at the track 3 times and checked electrical and the distributor...we will have to dig deeper.

New Tires!

First Place in the time trials...

Now to the RV Upgrades!

Since putting in the new batteries, I was amazed at them lasting the whole time I was at the North Fork but wanted to be able to quickly determine the voltage without going outside and digging out my meter and measuring. So I added an interior gauge package which also includes 2 USB Ports for charging things and a 12 volt outlet (Cigarette Lighter type). It works great and I can now monitor the condition of my batteries easily at a glance.

I have wanted to add covers to my roof hatches which allow them to be open even in the rain. These also protect the hatches from the sun. I installed 2 and have one more to go - so that all my hatches have the ability to stay open in the rain.

I am also replacing the bathroom sink fixture which was broken and I removed it when I was installing the outdoor a nice new shiny bathroom sink fixture!

HOT! It has been very hot here again - broke a record Saturday it was 101 - thankfully we had a decent breeze at the track but it was very hot there. Yesterday was 98 and the same for today - so getting outside work done in the mornings...supposed to cool down later this week. And there are fires everywhere and smoke. Most of the smoke here is actually from a large fire in Washington!

Stay tune for more adventures....

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!