Saturday, February 28, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Visit of White

With the last six weeks of warm weather I was kicking around going to San Diego to get Kobae early. Perhaps not.

The Every Morning Choir

Just prior to the arrival of the sun, in the starkness of a winterized Cottonwood tree, gather the musicians of morning. For your listening enjoyment I give you the Every Morning Choir. The melody is carried by the Red-winged black birds with occasional oohs and aahs of Eurasian-Collared dove. In the sound shadows are love songs of House finches and White-crowned sparrows accompanied with tweets of joy from the smallest of the flock the Dark-eyed Juncos. Turn it all the way up and take it away Maestro.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More Lockhart

Scorpa 250 Long Rider

When I moved out here eight years ago I had two friends that had gone trials riding with me inside the company I ran at the time called Let's Play. So I bought three Scorpa 250 Long Riders. These are masterful bikes. Well made and in the hands of a good rider can do magic. One friend immediately moved to Austin and the other to Brazil. Then the insurance company forbade me to let guests ride the trials bikes, so I have three trials bikes.

These bikes are geared more like a tractor. My top speed is probably 40 or so and that's wide open in fifth gear. I'm guessing because there are no instrument gauges, no lights, no seat, and a .6 of a gallon gas tank. I had seats put on mine big enough for one cheek or the other and a 1.2 gallon tank. That's not much but they aren't designed for what I'm using them for, long range exploring. Yesterday I filled the tank, carried a gallon of gas on my back, and two 32 ounce Poweraide bottles of gas in a fanny pack. A little over 2.5 gallons total. Two canteens of water, a couple energy bars, small took kit, camera in pocket, Go Pro on baseball cap and there's not much room for anything else. Had I broke down it was a 30 plus miles walk back to here and or a ten plus mile walk out to the highway in Needles where there is little traffic this time of year. There is no phone service, the walkie talkies don't work from that distance, and the low last night was 18. I'm careful as I can be on a road with that many challenges.

Here is one of the amazing machines that allow me to do long range exploring. You ever wanted to feel like you're a big horn sheep dancing in the rocks, this is the way. The last picture is coming out of the canyon to merge with the Chicken Corner road and the short five miles or so back to the lodge.

28 Miles Down Lockhart

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Still Here

On January 2nd I posted about finding the Black-throated sparrow at Tiffany's for the first time. There would up being three of them. Usually the first three out there each morning. In the Tiffany's Go Pro on the ground yesterday turns out they are still here.

Thursday Ride Lockhart Basin

On Thursday I went 20 miles down Lockhart Basin on one of the Scorpa trials bikes. The bikes are unbelievably gifted for navigating through difficult terrain. Obstacles that rock crawlers, side by sides, four wheel drive vehicles and even regular motorcycles struggle with are in the hands of a good rider sometimes fairly easy. Trials bikes are very light but sacrifice to make them so. Usually the gas tank is under one gallon, as low as point six tenths of a gallon and they don't come with a seat. My Scorpas have been modified with a 1.2 gallon gas tank and a seat. A small seat that pretty much only one cheek or the other can rest on when the road is good enough that you can set down and 1.2 gallons doesn't take you a long way in this kind of terrain. I carried two Poweraide bottles with gas and after the 20 miles down and 20 miles back I had about a teaspoon of gas left. Here is the 80 minute ride back in spurts with changing terrain and road conditions.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Busy Nightly Ritual

The first two hot dog night for the skunk.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Beach

I walked down to the river for probably the first time this year even though it's only about a two minute walk. Usually the beach is 100 feet wide and a couple hundred feet long. This year is odd. About 50 feet wide but it stretches all the way out to the island that use to be in the middle of the river.