Road trip to Death Valley

Well, let’s cross another off the bucket list. Weather was in low 80’s on Wednesday, so decided to jump in the car and go to Death Valley (2 hrs away). Within 15min of the house we were in the mountains, and saw signs to watch out for bighorn sheep. (no sheep). In an hour, we were in Pahrump, It was a nice drive until we had an issue with our SUV. Just heard this thumping every now and then. Apparently something hit the skip plate under the car and tore a chunk out of it. I had the car serviced that morning, and thought that the dealership forgot a screw in or something, I went back the next day to the dealership to yell at them, but they put it on the rack and all the screws were there, and apparently we ran over something which tore the skip plate. Janis and I never saw anything in the road and have no clue how or when that happened.


We stopped at the Death Valley pay station to get a map once getting in the park, and luckily a family was there. The son was nice enough to tie it up so it wouldn’t drag on the ground and make it worse. It was very nice of him to do. He wouldn’t accept the $10.00 we offered. You can see it hanging down under the car.

Some of the panoramas I took. (5 stitched photos)

Here’s some of the non/panos that Janis and I took.

Unfortunately, we weren’t here at sunrise (or sunset,which was still 3 1/2 hrs away. The scenery was awesome, but not nearly as good if we could have gotten there at dawn or later in the day. For another trip!!

Road trip to Nelson, NV

Janis and I went to Nelson, NV (by way of Searchlight, NV) today. We went to Searchlight which is about 45mi outside Henderson, NV, as we thought there was some good desert flower/cactus available. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything out there. I knew that Nelson, NV was on the way back from there, and I knew there was something there to see.

Nelson is 13 Mi off highway 165, and is a very nondescript place. Not a lot to see, or do. About 2 mi outside of town on the other side, is a mecca of old rusted out cars, trucks, and other items. A lot of cactus too, not in the flowering stage, but they were close, and we’ll come back in about 2 weeks and those should be be in full bloom.

The people that run the place also live on the property, A very unique place.

Here are some photos from today..

Kauai Hawaii August 28, 2018

Went to Kauai Hawaii and stayed at an RCI property, Banyan harbor. A nice condo, pretty close to town and right across the street from the beach. Janis had never been to Kauai, I had been about 30 years ago.

We went on a Sunshine helicopter tour of the island. A GREAT idea, since so much of the island is not driveable. So much of the island is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” with its over 10,000 waterfalls. The helicopter ride was well worth it. They sold a USB of the ride (which has a little popup window that shows you in the video (WHO CARES). I’d much rather pay a little extra to get a nice clear video with no background music and having someone narrate the same trip (they all follow the same path). The audio we got had the annoying music and the whine of the helicopter which isn’t avoidable, but you can do a video and then put in the sound later. Would be much better.

There was a hurricane 3 days prior to arrival. It was a little dicey if we were able to do the trip, but it was a beautiful trip.

The Jurrasic Falls waterfall.

The Jurrasic Falls waterfall.

Mayan Palace Resort in Nuevo Vallarta 12/6/17

Went on a week long trip to Nuevo Vallarta, which is just North of Puerto Vallarta Mexico. A nice resort, there are 4 on the property, and they are all part of the Vidarta Time Share properties. The Mayan Palace is probably the third best hotel. The Grand Mayan is the first, the Grand Bliss is probably the second, and the Mayan Palace is the third. best.

It was a nice resort, had a lot of good food, entertainment was nice,

They do a sunset release of baby turtles into the ocean, and were lucky enough to see that. It was pretty neat seeing the baby turtles make their way into the ocean. They swim about 50 miles out to an island, and when they are able to breed, make it back to this same shore to lay their eggs in the sand and bury them for the next generation to do the same.

The Spanish Peaks

One of my favorite drives when I worked for Colorado POST was west on Highway 50 past the Spanish Peaks Mountains West of Walsenburg.. I always crank up my buddy Joh Chandler’s song of the same title while I’m driving past here. Jon and Pat have some land out here, and his ancestors are from this area. He wrote an awesome song and book about this area. The link is for the book on Amazon. com, I highly recommend it.


The Spanish Peaks.JPG

Road trip! Durango, CO

Drive to Durango, stay overnight, do a test, drive home, welcome to my world! 400 miles in 2 days. The college that I give the test at is right across the street from Mesa Verde National Park. Here’s a photo of the park.


The Silverton/Durango Steam Engine.

Silverton/Durango railroad

Silverton/Durango railroad


On the way home I went thru Delores River Vally, past Dallas Divide, and over to Telluride, where I had lunch. Unfortunately I was about 2 weeks too late for foliage. Some times you hit it right but it’s a crap shoot whether you are going to see foliage or not.

Back from Cambria, Uncle Eliot


Well we had a real nice time in Cambria visiting with Elliot and Rob.  We got to Cambria just in time too as Robbie called when we were turning on the street to the hospital saying Elliot was being released right then.  So we got there to basically take him out to the car and drive up to Elliots house in Cambria.   Our hotel rooms that we rented was in San Luis Obisbo near the hospital and the Madonna Inn, so we quickly cancelled that room and tried getting a hotel room covered with our 'points' near Cambria, but they didn't have any available.  It was spring break week up there so a hotel near the ocean was not going to be cheap.  Luckily Rob works as an auditor in one of the hotels so we were able to get the employee rate for 2 rooms (one was ocean front!)  so that was real nice. 

Saw lots of California poppies on the road driving up there, but not a lot of wildflowers yet.  Probably bout a month too early. With all the driving didn't get to play golf. 


Janis took this when I slowed down on the side of the road - great shot Janis!

On the way home from Cambria we stopped at Casa De Carlos, where Janis' family has been eating for 40+ years.  It was Phil's birthday on Friday so for his birthday dinner we took him there after a 5 hour drive from Cambria.  The owner now (son of the original owners) was there which was a nice surprise as Larry usually works at the Chatsworth location instead of the the Woodland Hills location which was down the street from Janis' family house when they lived there.


 By the time we got back from Woodland Hills and dinner which started @ 8:45pm, we got back to Solana Beach at 12:20 am!

California - Driving me crazy

We are in CA this week visiting Janis parents in San Diego.   Janis' uncle had 2 strokes so are driving her parents up to Cambria to see him.  Get to stay overnight on Madonna Inn Road  (not @ the Madonna Inn though) and then drive back home tomorrow, just to get in the car Saturday morning to drive to LA for the last Kings game of the season and then BACK down to San Diego to fly home on Sunday.

Did I mention I had a lot of driving to do? 303 miles up to Cambria and back = 606  and then SD to LA is 140x2 -280..  forget it my head is going to explode..

Hockey games!

Kings vs Sharks on Monday and vs Rangers on Wed.   Big storm coming in to So Cal on Monday..  But then again, we are getting snow Sunday and Monday here in Colorado when we fly out to So Cal.   Hopefully it will miss both places and we'll have nice weather for our hockey trip to watch the Kings. 

My sis and bro are coming out on the 19th for the holiday!! Should be a good time!

 Even though we moved to Colorado, we kept our Kings season seats that Janis has had since 1991. We go out to about 15 games a year (nice that airfare on Frontier airlines or Southwest is relatively cheap.