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Monday, September 19, 2016

La Pine Site 2 - Sep 2016 - Holding...

Ok, so I'm bored, getting Antsy and thinking it's time to move on.

I'm up here, La Pine, OR, as I had a Bend, OR VA appt (PITA for something that should have been easy but that's another story)  and need to reconfigure "Stuff" as in dropping off several things that take up space in the camper/trailer and carry on the truck.  I use the Rugged Rubber Action Packers for side storage things.

Weird forms, not fitting in the Action Packers, like the stove, campfire and BBQ (dive tank) on one side,

Packers on the other.

Packers contain the backup stuff, like water hoses, battery charger and misc stuff that is needed from time to time.

I'm also in the process of a "Friendly Turn in" (whatever that means - no benefit on this end) with "Li'l Nel", the Polaris ACE 900.  I tried to do this before in March? but their signing agreement left too much to chance and income increased a little bit, being the Optimist that I apparently am, not really a good thing, I thought I might get through it.  Not so..  Like a sinking ship, I need to get rid of the overweight, $$$, items...  and income is dropping again, so off she goes, barring any further complications.


With that in mind, I need to be able to carry all the "Stuff" on the truck/camper.  Thus the reconfiguring.  I was using the buggy trailer as storage also, lazy I am.

I'm set to go down to Haslet, TX (DFW area) and do the Amazon Workforce thing till the day before Christmas.  While I don't have a firm start date, tentatively it's mid Oct. or so.  I was planning on staying here, in La Pine, till the start date, but me thinks I should just start down next week, stopping at BLM campsites (Free also) along the way.

Not sure on the routing yet, I had one route that was more direct, but if I leave earlier then I can meander around or? maybe just sit it out in the "Q" (Quartzsite AZ) dunno yet..  I have to keep an eye out for weather, snow passes, while appears to be a little too early for that concern Montana had snow at a pass, so it's coming.

Once at the Amazon shipping  warehouse, I'll be there till Christmas and then able to move on.  Not sure where to, but I'll have plenty of time for trip planning.

The only 'Good news' about this, is that it's near a Six-flags Roller coaster park, and will plan on doing that, when not doing laundry and resting up.

(Not active yet, but this one is)
I'm planning???? on doing Alaska around May or so and then down, across Canada to Newfoundland, then down through Main and try to "Knock off" all the lower 48 states..  While not planning on anything on the East coast, who knows, might even like it.

It'll be just the Camper so no hassle of towing anything.  Makes camping a lot easier and more spaces I can get into.

I'm hoping to get the Bumper/Winch set up before I do Alaska and self recovery.  I got caught once, lesson's learned.

So, with all that being said, hopefully with luck, I'll be back on the road next week, heading south...

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, La Pine on the Deschutes River, Letting "CARMEN" (see side acronyms) out for a while, but going back into storage shortly.


All Galleries here

La Pine Site 2 Gallery here

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Panguitch to Cathedral Gorge to La Pine, OR

Panguitch to Cathedral Gorge to La Pine, OR

So leaving the KOA in Panguitch, UT, going on the 'Route less Traveled' headed over to the Cathedral Gorge to check it out.

On the way over, was surprised by the various views.

The park was well maintain, groomed sites, only electric, no water at sites, power $10 extra.  Having solar made it a non issue..

CG was pretty much empty and the sites almost level which makes it all nice.   Unusual rock/gorge formations and went exploring the following day to two..

They have 2 basic hikes, one along the sides of the wide  gorge, 4-miles and one to a overlook at the top of the gorge, apx 1/2-mile.  .

The 4-miler was ok if you like hiking in the desert, 2-miles up the gorge, 2-miles back along the other side.  Not really seeing anything new so you need to 'like' just plain ole hiking about.  Trails are clearly marked for the most part.  You follow the brown stakes and then a stream bed..

The shorter hike to the lookout at the top is the "Mo funner one".  .


Hiking up the narrower canyon was nice and the views along the way really kewl..

Hiking up some stair to the lookout, you get different perspectives of what it was..

It was a lake and it still is, during the rainy season, that actually feeds into the Colorado River..

Nice hike..


Upon leaving the CG, I had to go back down to St George for the Employment Test Amazon requires, 2-hrs each way outta of my way.  I had forgotten just how nice it is coming into St George, quite a site...  A little ticked at Amazon as they requested estimated location and dates which i gave them and they booked the test after I already went past there.  It was 4-hrs out of my way.

Was trying to make the Lehman Bat Caves in the Great Basin area.
Once in the Lehman area, there are 4 campsites, Lower/upper, one way up the mountain that is restricted in Vehicle sizes and one near the visitor center up a long dirt road.   I was too big for the "Way up one", but I did see other truck/trailers zooming up there that were longer, with motorcycle points clearing the way, it was getting late and needed to find a spot. (No pics)

Tired lower CG, only one spot available and it was like parking on the side of a mountain, uneven.  Tired the Upper, but it was closed and  luckily the maintenance guy was just closing the day area gate, I was able to turn around.

Tried  the one by the visitor center but only spot open was too short, sigh, getting dark now.  Headed back to Baker on the main road and found an RV Park that I was able to get into.  Fun Tavern right next to it, part of the complex and I was ready, 8:30pm for a beer.

Next day drive over to Illipah Reservoir, NV, just west of Ely by 30-miles.

It's Labor Day weekend and wasn't sure on how crowded the campsite would be.  I was about half full and lucked out with a campsite with a view of the water..


Not bad, but windy.  Very windy.

I was hoping to be able to set up the BBQ but too windy.  Even with the shelters it was blowing....

Next day, broke out the small BBQ, SCUBA tank, and seemed to work ok, didn't blow out the flame.  So, "Tube Steak" it was just to make sure it worked ok.

Then off to La Pine, via Jackpot, NV.. haven't been on that road yet... A lot longer drive and I got off late, which seems to be the trend now-a-days... so got the Twin Falls, ID area and called it quits for the day, luckily found a KOA and got their last spot...  One lesson I've learned from the "Le Droppe" (Tear Drop) days is that KOA and McDonalds are your friends... may not be the best things, but most are dependable and reliable to use.

Currently at Fall River, Bend, OR sitting it out..

Amazon WorkForce sometime in mid Oct I suspect.  Getting ACE prepped for it's retirement and sitting tight until heading to Haslet, TX.  Might head over to the "Q" (Quartzsite) if it's cooled down a little to break up the trip.

All Galleries here.

Cathedral Gorge pics

Bryce ATV Rally, UT - Aug 2016

Arrived at Panguitch, UT for the Bryce ATV Rally.

While it's not really in "Bryce" I suspect because it's on the border it would be harder to call it the "Panguitch Rally".....

Pulling into town, my "Arch Nemesis", Garmin, couldn't find the address and the check-in site location wasn't signed at all that I could see.  It brings me back to the same ole thing, that People who talk/post/do/promote things, that "They" know what there're talking about, but confusing to the outsider.  It would be like me saying "Meet me at Bob's"...  Huh?? WTF-over??    I, of course meant Bob's Big Boy Hamburger drive-in in Pasadena, CA.   So through trial and error found the fairgrounds and got registered..

Registration was quick and simple and the Welcome Pack included a very helpful brochure with the trails listed, by numbers, mileage, descriptions etc...  also a neck tag with the signed up rides and times.  Very helpful..

Then headed over to the KOA about a mile south of the staging area and got set up.  Space was a little short so moved trailer to the additional parking area..

Some of the longer rides left at 8am and the rest at 9am.  Breakfast was served although I didn't jump in on that one..

Casto - 1st Ride.  
This was the best ride of the 3.

I chose as it eventually hit the "Red Rocks" of the canyon.  .

It was really nice riding the trails up and around the various hills and gullies and eventually coming through the Red Rock area.

Very nice and highly recommended.

I could have spent a long time photo-ing the area..

Lime Kline - 2nd day ride.
This one, I really had no idea of what it was about left at the 8am start time.  A longer ride, had to carry gas just incase.  .

Initially, going on the same trails as the day before then turned up in the hills. Winding over hill & dale, through valleys and pasture land with cows appearing in the most unlikely areas.

I just keep wondering, how do they round them up... Free Range is a large place.  I was told by someone, that the cows "Know" when to come back to home, dunno... but there are pretty scattered that I could see..

So it started to rain.  Rain squalls, then stops.  Rain means mud.. and Mud means a "Slip'n & Slide'n" up and down the hills.  This "Mud" was more like clay.  I could have molded a clay squirrel like in Caddyshack... but didn't.  Buggy, got pretty well caked up, a little "Dusty" as it was....

The pic is of the mud, note the clods, as they are throw-offs from buggies.

It was as slick as ice and had to go slowly down the trails and speed up trying to get up them.

A mess it was but got through it..

Laundry - 3rd day
Was a local ATV rodeo etc day at the Fairgrounds.   I had to do laundry at the KOA and catch up on stuff, so didn't go.  Apparently, along with the rain, there was a tornado down at the staging area, Fairgrounds, skipped  it..

Butch Cassidy - 4rd day  
Original ride I signed up for was cancelled and this one was modified due to weather.  

Interesting on this ride was the history of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid... apparently this was a local home for Butch, with the houses etc..

Ride was Ok, long and winding through the hills, dropped down to a small town for lunch, I brought mine, but did get an ice cream...

and then headed back toward Panguitch on a loop..

All in all, a nice riding area, Casto, was the best, Li'l Nel preformed flawlessly which is good.  Tires are getting worn and not gripping as they should be.  Not sure what the future will bring, but I have two more rides committed to, San Juan ATV in Monticello, UT and then a Moab ride 1st of Oct  with some local PNW riders.  Looking forward to that one.
(Had to canx those two rides, need to let " Li'l Nel " go... sigh, again.. this time for sure, regardless of the outcome)

Now on to La Pine via Cathedral Gorge.

ALL Galleries Here

More Bryce Rally Pics here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Castle>Dunes>Train>Panguitch, UT

Taylor to Bishop's Castle to Great Sand Dunes to Durango Train to Bryce Canyon ATV Rally, Panguitch, UT
(Durango>Panguitch - route was different.  Google reverts to the most common route when trying to show/embed the map, sigh.. )

So leaving Taylor RZR Rally,

I headed down to Bishop's Castle.

Stayed at a nice little NFS park, Ophir Creek, which was about a mile or two north of Bishop's Castle.

For 1 night, not bad. next to a stream, hidden a bit, but there nonetheless.

Next day, on to Mssr. Bishop's... about 2 miles away, so it was close..

Bishop's Castle was pretty kewl.  Just imagine what was done.  Sorta like cleaning a dirty spot in the kitchen and then  end up cleaning the whole house.  One brick at a time eh?

Parking was on the side of highway, not a problem if not crowded.  problem if it is...

All built by hands... two hands, by one man.  Each brick 'Handled' apx 6 times to get to the final resting place.

Then look at the size of it..

Amazing to say the least...

(and NO, I didn't try the above)

Next stop, Great Sand Dunes, CO, largest in  North America (apx 750' high) and can't be ridden, ORV, which is a good thing.

Frankly speaking, they didn't look that high, but? they say it is, so it's got to be true.

What did surprise me was the Photo affects i was able to get... blew me away and I'll look at the dunes with a different light, a-hem, in Adobe's  Lightroom.  I mean, its just sand right?  How exciting can that be??..

People were hiking up it and sand sliding down it...

It was good to see,  The campground was full, two sections, one for RSVP (as 'Mammy Yokum' used to say, 'Roast Skunk Very Possible, aka 'Skunked'???) and one FCFS (First Come, First Served) See 'Acronyms' on rt side bar.

Heading over to Durango, CO for the Durango-Silverton Train ride and to do Hwy 550.  A quick stop on the way to Creede, CO, just looked kinda kewl with the rocks.

I had a great Gourmet Tube Steak for lunch...

Durango Train ride, famous train shuttles, out and back, to Silverton, apx  3.5 hrs each way.

They have several riding options, I had to do the Cattle Car, opened and had rain gear packed.

You start at the station downtown, right next to McDonald's for a reference, plenty of 'Lot parking' apx $6 worth it as the streets are very limited and jammed.

A quick easy walk across the tracks gets you to the station and looking for your car assigned seat.

Rant here:
While being single can have it's benefits, it's a PITA when two nice yuppie couples buy tickets at the LAST Minute, get on but assigned different seats, one of which was next to mine.  They then "Ask..." if I could swap, so the could be together.. .Ahhhh, sooo Sweet... Gawd... and the single seat was on the other side of the train, not sure what the views would be.   While i agreed, reluctantly, I told them to wait till the train gets going.

As it turned out, my side was right along the river and outside of the gorge.  They came back and we all worked it out, crowded, but it worked.  They said they changed their mind to allow me to have the river view for photos (he had done the ride before and knew it).  It all worked out, but crowded, but the idea that since I'm a single, I would give up my seat cause they just felt at the last minute to book a train ride..
Rant Closed.


The ride was nice, a long one on a padded bench seat

and wandering around town was interesting.

Something to do once, wouldn't do it again unless I had "Two Busty Blondes" in my Red Ferrari that wanted to go at the last minute.. heheh, yeah, I know, next life...

I also wanted to do the Famous Hwy 550 and when asked about, everyone says, ohhh ahhh... steep and scary to drive.  Heheh, so why not...

I started, obviously, from Durango, heading towards Silverton where I was earlier yesterday on the train.  The road over, Hwy 550, wasn't bad at all, and I kept wondering "WTF is everyone talking about, just like a slightly normal Highway, like going up to Mt Wilson, Pasadena, CA... only a little steeper and drops offs too.

Then... making the turn just before Silverton, headed over to Ouray, CO.. never heard of it.  heheh, now I KNOW what they are talking about.  Hit rain squalls, narrow roads and coming back off the pass/summit, whoa... nice.. certainly doable, not problem, but you wouldn't want to be "Texting" it (nor photoing it) while driving it and don't recall any turn outs..   A must do, just to do it...

Ouray, CO was unique little town, apparently a great ORV jeepers area and many little restaurants on the main drag. I'd go back just to see/walk the town and eat... nice surprise...  I kept flashing  back to the Stargates' Ori or whatever they were called, due to the name.

On to the Bryce ATV Rally in Panguitch, UT.

As mentioned before, I like to go the back roads and try not to go on the same roads as before.  Obviously, I do have to hit the same roads, but if there's a back road, I'll try it even if it's longer miles/time, just to do it.. and mark it in the Map book.
The road I took surprised me, went right through a canyon and it was spectacular.

I could have spent  year there just photo'ing  it all...   A nice surprise.

Saw the rain squalls and I think a little hail, lightening and thunder, all the trimmings of a great storm.


I wen into Monticello, UT and overnighted at "The Devil's Canyon" which apparently is a great ORV riding area and which I further learned is where I have the "San Juan Rally" booked for middle of the month, Sept. heheh, small world eh??

Camp Host is a single track, bike, rider and gave me some ideas/maps on locations etc.  Not sure how this will all work out as campsite is between  and a few miles from Monticello and Banding, UT

Spent night there and then on to the KOA in Panguitch, CO.

Next stop?  Panguitch, CO Bruce ATV Rally.

Gallery Pic here:
Bishop's Castle
Great Sand Dunes
Durango Train