Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mesa to Truth or Consequences, NM

It's taken me three days to travel from Mesa, AZ, to Truth or Consequences, NM. Along the way I got to see some interesting desert communities and enjoyed a couple nice hikes.  Here's a couple pictures from the last few days.

If I ever move to Tucson, AZ, I will live on this street.

From Southern States

And shop here.

From Southern States

The Autohome on a cool night.

From Southern States

Nice day for a hike, Coronado National Forest.

From Southern States

Not the best campsite ever but the price was right!

From Southern States

Another nice hike, also the Coronado National Forest, but a different part of the state. This was near the town of Portal, Arizona. The trail went to a mountain top, around 8000' above sea level. I went to about 6500' and the snow was almost knee deep. Since I was wearing jeans (not good for snow) and carrying almost no water, I chose to not go to the top. No point heading up there and getting myself stuck...

From Southern States

(camera dangling from a tree for this shot)

From Southern States

A little ways down the road was a "Desert Museum." It turned out to be a large gift shop, a private (under glass) book collection, and a neat reptile house. Among the couple dozen snakes were two very grumpy rattlesnakes. Just walking past there glass cage was enough to get them rattling. Making faces at them really stirred them up!

From Southern States
 
Not pictured: Lordsburg, NM is a tiny place on I-10. There was a free museum that featured a nice display about the POW camps there during world war 2. Japanese, Italian, and German prisoners were housed there. The display included graffiti made by the prisoners on the walls of their barracks, photos, recreations of the bunks, actual prison fence, and more.

Sierra Vista, AZ: Just a couple miles from the Mexican boarder but there was snow on the mountains around town. Amazing views in every direction.

Between Silver City, NM and Truth or Consequences: I crossed the continental divide at over 8500'. I wanted to stop for the night but wondered if I had enough layers to keep warm sleeping in a tent at that elevation. Another day....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mesa, Arizona.

It rained here in Arizona.  Mesa is low enough that we were spared/cheated out of the snow, some parts of the state got over 50" of snow!  We had to settle for several days of rain, which kept me in the house.  Fortunately, I was able to load the van on one of the only sunny days this week.  Everything fits which was a big load off my mind.  Now time to hit the trails.

I'm leaving here tomorrow, heading east, planning on two or three nights to get to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  More updates and pictures when I can...

I dumped 1.5 inches of water out the day before, then this.
From Southern States

Friday, January 15, 2010

Meet Mr. Ed.

Another highlight from my trip to Las Vegas was riding a horse. I got to ride "R.D." which may stand for "Really Destructive," or maybe not. Here's a couple pictures from the day.

First, RD is allowed to warm up.  You don't want to pull a muscle throwing a new rider!

From Horse!

Roxie shows me how to ride a dusty trail...

From Horse!

RD and me (I'm the one in the yellow shirt)

From Horse!


From Horse!


From Horse!
Horse riding was followed by some amazing beef and chicken BBQ, and home-made brownies for dessert.... YUM!  I could get used to that country life.

Now I'm in Arizona again, just a few more days.  I was hoping to take a bicycle-camping trip but the weather may keep me from camping out.  Check back here for updates.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Took a nice bicycle ride today in the Valley of Fire State Park. I felt like a slug near the end of the ride but later looked at a graph of the ride and saw I did 2700 feet of climbing in my 29 mile ride, including 1400 feet in the final nine miles!
The rocks were the highlight though. Lots of geologic history on display. Here are some of the pictures.
 
Nice ride in the park...

From California part 2
Be quiet.  You really do not want to wake the 150 million-year-old wood.

From California part 2

More red rocks.

From California part 2

4000 year-old petroglyphs.  Early blogging?

From California part 2


From California part 2

The red really stands out in this picture.  ;)

From California part 2

Looking tired heading for the van....

From California part 2

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Las Vegas

I'm spending a few days in Las Vegas with a close friend.  More details to follow. 

Meanwhile, here are a couple pictures from along the way.

Autohome.  Your view may vary.
From California part 2

From California part 2


Check out this monster.  It makes van-asaurous rex look small!
From California part 2

Sunday, January 3, 2010

San Francisco

I've been in San Francisco since New Year's Eve and I'm taking off again on Monday. On the way here I finally got a chance to sleep in my new camper. Not a great camp site, but with the right angles from the camera it doesn't look like a walmart parking lot.

Here's a couple action shots of a place to sleep.
From San Francisco

From San Francisco

From San Francisco

I stayed with my sister who made sure I had enough to eat and room to sleep. Thanks Pat!
From San Francisco

I got to see my friend Jake, and we went for a nice bike ride, which included a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Here's the proof, and a couple more shots from the ride...
From San Francisco

From San Francisco

From here I'm off to Las Vegas, then on to Phoenix. I wouldn't mind spending a few more days in the Bay Area visiting other friends but I have plans to keep which require moving on.
From San Francisco