April 25, 2009

10,000 Hits

After just two years, our little blog will have reached 10,000 hits this week. If only we got a buck for each hit! If I would have crowded the page with advertising, we could have made 10,000 x 1.2% x $0.63 /24 months = $3.15 per month. Not even enough to cover a grande carmel macciato upside down. I think we will keep this an ad-free site.

April 20, 2009

Holcomb Valley

We just got back from two nights at Holcomb Valley, just north of Big Bear lake. Legend has it that in the 1850's Bill Holcomb was out hunting and wounded a grizzly bear in Polique Canyon. He tracked the bear over the ridge where this photo was taken, and while looking for blood tracks, found gold in the valley that would soon "bear" his name.

The Boy Scouts have a camp in the valley, and our good friends Paul and Linda run the place. We went with our friends Wendy, Jana and Robert, and the six of us had a real good time. Paul and Linda treated us like royalty all weekend, and we got to tour the 400 acres on quad-runners, shoot rifles and shotguns, hike and stay in one of the cabins instead of camping in the cold.

Riding the quads was incredible fun, but it did kind of go against the environmentalist in me. While we were out, we saw several deer, and the sun-bleached bones of several horses who had spent their last summer in the valley. We also poked around the remaining buildings of the Hitchcock Ranch, the predecessor to the Scout Camp.

I put together a short, three-and-a half minute video of our weekend, but it doesn't even come close to showing how much fun we had. Never the less, enjoy.

By popular demand, here is another three-minutes of video from our trip.

April 11, 2009

Time to Lookout

Wednesday evening was the reconnect for the returning volunteers for the Fire Lookouts. I've missed my time at Strawberry Peak and can't wait to get back up to my post.

This year I am going to try to work a few shifts at Black Mountain Lookout near Idyllwild and San Jacinto Peak. Black isn't the electronic pin-cushion that most peaks have become. The tower sits on top of a large rock outcrop and is frequently visited by gliders riding the thermals. I can't wait.

April 5, 2009

Flat Tire

The Caboose had a flat tire this weekend. I went ahead and rotated the spare, but I learned some things when I was checking out America's Tire Store's information.
  • In approximately three years, roughly one-third of the tire's strength is gone.
  • It is suggested that trailer tires be replaced after three to four years of service regardless of tread depth or tire appearance.
  • The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles.
  • Use tire covers to protect the tires from direct sunlight.
  • Use thin plywood sections between the tire and the pavement.
  • For long term storage, put the trailer on blocks to take the weight off the tires. Then lower the air pressure and cover the tires to protect them from direct sunlight.
  • Clean the tires using mild soap and water.
  • Do not use tire-care products containing alcohol or petroleum distillates.