Monday, April 17, 2017


I was crouched down trying to get a closeup of a flower when I heard that distinctive buzz. I looked over to see Smith backing away as a good-sized rattlesnake flowed forth from it's lair.

It was ready for battle and quickly assumed the position. I, in my most authoritative outdoor voice, told Smith, "NO!" She, of course, ignored me.

Apparently she got the gist of its intent and began walking away. As she stepped on a curved stick it twanged up. With lightening speed she gave it a good whack...just in case someone was watching and thought she was intimidated. This coulda been you buster!!

It's been over 35 years since I encountered a rattler. We've been a bit more cautious since; almost a Zen-like influence, but it was encouraging...where there're snakes, there are mice, raptors, foxes, and other animals,,,many of which have disappeared in the name of range management. This gave me a bit of hope....they haven't ALL been killed off.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Manzanar on Interstate 40

They say, "Don't get mad, get even." and this is a wonderful example.

Wandering in the blazing sun, still suffering guilt for the blankets with smallpox, I kept wondering, "Where's that pointy obelisk that symbolizes how we put it to them?"

Sky City is the nickname for Acoma Pueblo where the Spaniards, led by Don Onate, in 1599, cut off the right foot of 24 men, a hand from each of two men and enslaved hundreds of women and children for twenty years. (Wiki: Acoma Massacre) In 1998, during the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Spanish colony of New Mexico, the right foot of a statue of Onate in Alcalde, a community a few miles north of Espanola, was removed. Like the Holocaust and 2001, folks remember.

There IS a fine view of Mt. Taylor and a water spigot on the other side of Phoebe with a big sign: WINTER WATER SUPPLY.

West bound to Utah. Exploration ho!!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trini Saavedra - Custom Crafter, Superb Mechanic

It was the day before that Dorothy, the owner of Koenig's Metalmorphosis in Albuquerque, had decided to just do art. I had to PLEAD to get her to accept the job of crafting Phoebe's roof rack. Once completed, she referred me to Trini Saavedra to attach it. He did a superb job.

Last weekend he built a frame for a cargo net. It'll give me a place for lightweight stuff such as my Arctic-Duty-Station blow-up doll, poncho, catfood, snacks, and before retiring for the night, my clothes. It has multiple attachment points and will also suspend the Wave 3 heater.

Trini used to build and race mud-boggers. He gave the winnings to a charity for children with terminal cancer. He still builds custom motorcycles, mainly Harleys, and is a master body and paint man. I recommend him for all your repair and custom-crafted needs.

I damn near shouted out loud it looked so real!!!

Note webb below seat. Fender is rebar. Someone else did the upholstery.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bonanza Flats

Highway 128 parallels the Colorado River between Cisco and Moab. It's so magnificent, it often takes a full day to move from one spot to the next. In the course of exploring and scouting for a camp I got caught out too far from BLM lands and was looking for a hidey-hole when the "campground" at Castle Towers Climbing Area turned up. The two-acre site was purchased for $600,000.00 by Utah Open Lands, a non-profit organization. There is a donation chamber similar to those at National Forest C.G.s where I left a $20.00 bill....a large amount for me. During the night a young couple came in, set up camp and, before dawn, quietly departed. Otherwise it was quiet. There are only two level spots where one can pitch a tent. The "parking lot" slants on both sides so steeply a trailer tongue would likely get stuck. It's a great spot and if it weren't for the folks below it likely wouldn't exist. FYI: Author Terry Tempest Williams (Finding Meaning in A Broken World and Red), one of my favs, lives in the nearby community of Castle Valley.

Park City Announces Bonanza Challenge Grant

Mayor & the five members of Park City Council make saving Bonanza personal, pledging $25,000 out of their own pockets
Help Utah Open Lands & the 11 member non profit coalition meet this challenge grant. Beginning today, donations to any of the non profits will be matched dollar for dollar until the challenge grant is met. "The Park City Council is excited to make our personal contribution towards the purchase of Bonanza Flat," says councilman Andy Beerman.
Utah Open Lands sees this as an opportunity to grow support from community leaders across the Wasatch front and Wasatch back.

Help us meet the match! Visit or to donate. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Jumping Jacks

As an anxiety-eater whose dysfunction is exacerbated by barking dogs, blatting Harleys, car alarms, sirens, the cumulative hum of refrigerators and the banging of the neighbors' pots & pans, my beam tends to broaden whenever we find ourselves in "the city".

The Lurpac, Smith (scroll to bottom), eats as she always does but doesn't get enough exercise to maintain the legendary litheness that strikes terror into the hearts of watering Reeboks across the land. Thus, we've taken to visualizing (it's the first step) how to combat the effects of our visits to urbanity.

Herewith are depictions by Double El .

Cornea transplant consult rescheduled for April 5th. We hope to head west the day after.