Sept. 11, 2021

I finally made the time to get to Frying Pan fire tower.

An amazing view

I had planned to stay till dark and photograph the Milky Way behind the tower, but it doesn’t line up well.

When I got back to the trail head, another Tacoma had parked next to me – they are so cute stock ; )

I do like stickers

Bees sleeping

So I found a spot on the blue Ridge Parkway and waited, when it finally was dark enough, clouds rolled in and covered the Milky Way – just visible in middle of the sky.

June 25, 2021

Prepared for a long day at Toyota in Albuquerque. Pongo started making noise at 3500 RPMs and was loud at 4000 and losing power, we tried to find the problem at camp, checked intake, vacuum leaks, etc and Beth made a guess, failing fan clutch. I called several dealerships and they were all booked, but said I could drop off and wait to see if they could get me in. Larry H. Miller opened at 7am, I was there at 6:15 and 5th in line, by 7am, the line over 20 deep… I was prepared for a long day, but their temporary waiting room was amazing, free sodas, food, newspapers and wifi… I was done and fixed before 10am. Funny story, after confirming fan clutch, the tech wanted to ride with me to confirm the lack of power, he wasn’t used to driving a Tacoma with all the bumpers etc… we only needed the parking lot to confirm it was fixed. Glad all dealerships are not “stealerships”

Cactus blooming, since I figured it was a down day, spent the day at camp and a bike ride.

June 8, 2021

After yesterday’s disappointment, we decided to find more ruins and less people. Sand Canyon Trail in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument was picked.

It is listed as a mountain bike trail too, but wouldn’t be a fun ride we we hiked the 8 miles round trip.

There are 7 different ruin sites on the hike.

None as big as Mesa Verde, but they are very cool! Like most days, I captured way more video than stills, one day I will have time to edit.

Everyday I photograph cactus flowers, I don’t know why, but at least I got a bee in flight.

Surely you didn’t think I would not get another picture of Pongo….

June 6, 2021

Elizabeth decided we needed to explore the dirt roads of San Juan National Forest and since spring flowers were blooming, we called the day a Flower Safari. James thought the hills were alive with music…

So this was the trip, drive dirt road, see new flower, stop, take pictures and videos and repeat

That James guy….

I don’t know flowers, but it was fun and an awesome day to drive dirt roads.

I didn’t capture an image, but our lunch spot was amazing, a meadow with snow cap mountains surrounding us. That afternoon I mountain biked the Ramparts Trail again to make the video I posted below. Overall an awesome day (Day 24 of 49)

May 27, 2021

We only had a permit to camp in the Canyonlands for one night, so we headed out that morning, trying back roads to exit out the back door…

But that meant exiting through Bobby’s Hole, an exit listed as impassable most of the year… but it was dry and we took our time.

No damage to either truck other than some rock rash on the rims, sliders and skid plates.

That took us on Ruin Park Road, and to see the ruins Storage, Farm House and Tower ruins on BLM land outside Cayonlands.

Pottery piece

The cactus were blooming