Sunday, October 25, 2015

Old Friends and Belated Birthday Surprise

One of the main reasons I stop in Salt Lake City every time I travel North and South is to hook up with a couple old friends, this time was even more special!

26 years ago I moved from Miami to Salt Lake City and went to work at K/P Graphics where I met two life long friends, Steve Carter and Lynn Hewitt. They have both become like family. In the years I lived in the Salt Lake area I watched and enjoyed Lynn and Donna's family grow and now they are adults, my how time flies.

Last evening we all got together, Steve and I headed down to Lynn's daughters house for a get together with my extended family. Laurel, Julie and Will were all there and it was great to catch up. We had a wonderful time reminiscing about old times and catching up on everyone's current status. Then we all enjoyed a great meal and they surprised me with a belated Birthday Cake for my 65th!

We had steak on the Smoker / Grill - shame I only captured what was left.

Steve and Lynn in some conversation!

And Laurel made a special cake for the "Old Man"...

Laurel figured I needed one more chance at seeing a nice pair of boobs in a bikini!

During my stay in Steve's driveway - right in front of the "NO CAMPING" Sign I have taken some photos of the flowers and leaves in Steve's back yard.

Wednesday I will continue my journey South leaving some more great friends behind until the next time! It's just part of my wandering lifestyle, but great times and a promise to return someday.

BTW - They know what is important - Great gifts - a bottle of Boodles and 4 cans of Spam!

Thanks for following along and stay tuned for more adventures!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

I pulled out of Kalispell on Thursday, always tough leaving my good friend Jim Flinchbaugh and family - my spot under the trees was really getting pretty...

As I left Kalispell I headed down Rt 93 towards Salmon, Idaho. This was by far one of the prettiest drives I have ever taken The trip through Bitteroot Valley was astounding with the fall colors. The climb over the pass into Idaho is not for the faint of heart, it is a steep climb with many twists and turns, the speed limit drops to 20 MPH on many corners and they mean it. At the top of the Continental Divide (Lost Trail Pass) you cross into Idaho from Montana and it is pretty much downhill from there down to Gibbonsville, Idaho. I traveled on to Salmon and stayed at a small RV Park about 12 miles South of Salmon. It was called Heald's Haven RV Park and it was wonderful, built quite a few years ago by a couple, the husband is now deceased, it is run by his wife who must be in her 80's. The park is all pull throughs with full hookups on grass and it is spotless. The rest rooms are nice with good hot showers and the view of the Salmon River out your door is amazing. Deer wander through the campground most evenings. Don't miss this drive if you ever get the chance.

After leaving Heald's Haven the trip South down to Arco is just as pretty following the river bottom in many places you travel through rock canyons cut by the river. There is one more pass on the way to Arco - not near as high or twisty, with a nice rest area at the top.

I turned off in Arco and headed for Craters of the Moon National Monument. The campground is nice with pit toilets but no hookups, there are water spigots throughout the campground. You are camping on cinder and the campground is surrounded with volcanic rock, pretty interesting. I set up camp and broke out the Camp Chef and cold smoked a nice steak for dinner, along with some hash brown potatoes and a couple cold PBR's.

The evening sunset was nice but not exceptional - but worth capturing!

Cold smoked a nice steak on the Camp Chef!

Pleasant evening took some night pictures, slept well, temp dropped like a rock after the sun set and it was about 37 in the morning. French Press coffee in the morning, bacon and eggs and hash brown on the Camp Chef and then off to explore the park.

Craters of the Moon!

If you are a geologist or a really boring "rock person", then this is a must see. For a photographer it is pretty much a wasted trip. Nothing but black volcanic rock and unihabitable truly is like being on the moon. There are a few scrub pines trying to survive in the harsh landscape, but that is about it. I spent three hours driving and walking to several of the "highlights", well I was not impressed. I have visited over 25 National Parks and this by far is the most boring. So I went back to camp and decided to document my uneventful escapade into no mands land!

Chased this little guy around the campground!

Grilled sausage for supper and a large baked potato will be the highlight of the day and a couple beers...may try to shoot some stars again and work on capturing the milky way, it was visible for a short time last night but by the time I got the camera set up a few clouds moved in, hopefully that will ot be the case this evening. I did manage another nice shot if the big dipper.

Was planning on three nights but have decided to only stay two and head on down to my friend Steve's in Salt Lake, that is where I will be posting this.

I have a bunch to do in Salt Lake in addition to visiting friends. My role as webmaster for Yes Bay Lodge has been eliminated. It was a nice run for the past 8 years or so and an experience I will never forget. I caught a ton of fish and was able to fish with some great customers, many who have become dear friends. I will miss being a part of the Lodge Team.

My duties regarding the website and marketing will be brought in house and handled by Ryan and Nicky, I suspect they have no idea what they are getting in to and wish them luck. I intend to make the transition as smooth as possible for them.

Thanks for following along on my journeys! More updates as I head South later in the month!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Little Man - Favorite Song

The past couple days I have been working at securing a workkamp position in Ohio for the summer 2016. The time I spent in Barberton at my Gallery Showing convinced me that it may be time to spend some time there and renew some old friendships (Torment Michael Sigal and Ralph Foore) and photograph some of my history. Since I travel with my home on my back, why not! Just need to find a place where I can do a little trade work for a place to park my camper. So far the response has been real good and I expect to have something nailed down in the next month or so. Negotiating with a Park near Wooster and another in Spencer...both need web design work and summer help! I am hoping for the one near Wooster just a website rebuild the one near Spencer (Out past Chippewa Lake) has no website at all so mailed them a letter. They certainly need help the most as far as a website goes....we shall see, probably won't have anything nailed down anytime soon.

Part of the reason for heading that way, I am very seriously considering spending next winter back in Florida - seeing some friends and spending time in St. Petersburg. I also want to visit some friends around the State and my son in West Palm Beach - a new grandbaby will be there! Also time to go back and fish with a few friends. I don't want to spend the summer there so the idea was to find something on the way back towards Florida.

Why not Ohio and kill two birds with one stone.

Everytime I hear the song "Little Man" by Alan Jackson it reminds me of home. It is one of my favorite songs so I am reminded often. I really like Alan Jackson and found this wonderful video on You Tube which pretty much explains it all. Watch real close there is one old man who seriously resembles Michael Sigal!

Enjoy the video and song it is very good!

So what is happening right now?

I am still in Kalispell - I was supposed to leave Saturday the 3rd but waiting for a check to be deposited (that was supposed to happen on the 1st or 2nd) so I have traveling money. The fuel pump ruined my budget, now the check is delayed - so I missed meeting up with my good friend in Dillon for some fishing. Thank goodness I don't give a shit anymore or I would be really pissed and my blood pressure would be through the roof! I hate when a plan falls apart. Still not happy but trying to make the best of it! Not much else I can do. Gotta have plenty of gas money! So, I am sitting here listening to my ears ring and taking it easy!

I am using the time to make some longer term plans and re-route my trip South and figured why not contact some places for next summer and see how that goes.

Health shit seems to finally be resolved - new meds are working good, blood pressure is in control and I am feeling great. All reports are pretty good for someone 65 years old...

Trip South will now be direct from here to Craters of the Moon for a few days and then down to Salt Lake for a while then continue my planned trip South with a few longer stops at some of the more scenic places. Trying to arrive in 29 Palms around the 10th - 15th of November.

Fall is still happening which is nice! I got that going for me!

Stay tuned I will let you know when I hit the road....all is well! Just about time for a beer and some Alan Jackson Music...

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!