The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

One For All

On the left is my hand-me-down iPhone 4 I inherited from my wife when she had to get the new model, which now happens to be an old model by two generations.  Surprisingly, Smartphones take really nice pictures.  But not when they are in my hands.  I cannot seem to hold the phone still enough while tapping the screen to make adjustments and "snap" the picture.

In the middle is my DSLR another hand-me-down from my wife when she had to have a newer model some years back.  It takes great pictures.  But I have grown tired of lugging it around on my hikes especially when I include two extra heavy lenses in the load.  So it has come time to say good-bye to the DSLR.  I sold my 70-300mm zoom and my 105mm macro lenses on eBay but will hang onto the camera itself, for after all it really is my wife's camera.

On the right is my trusty old point & shoot camera.  It used to take great pictures, but things have changed a lot since it was born and now it takes just okay pictures.  It is now in semi-retirement.

This is my new camera that will replace them all.  You cannot tell by the picture but it is the same size as the point & shoot up above, only a wee-bit fatter with that lens.  It has a 20.2 megapixel sensor. Now I am not all into counting megapixels as some people are.  But as it was explained to me by the guy at the camera store, the sensor on my old Canon was about a quarter inch square in size. This camera has a sensor the size of a large postage stamp.  Sony came out with their RX100 that has the same large sensor and this was Canon's response to it.

I compared both brands to each other reading all the "experts" reviews online and went with the Canon for I was already familiar with how they are set up (I didn't have to re-learn all that much), it had some qualities I was looking for and the Sony had some features that were not important to me. Also the Canon was cheaper.  I took my new camera out for a test ride on a hike yesterday.  I am not one that really notices all that much difference in pictures taken by one camera to another.  But even I could tell a whole world of difference, especially in the video I shot!  I like my new camera and so does my back.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Trail Courtesy

Horses reign King on the trails.  This lowly peasant has to walk through their poop.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Blogging Respite

For awhile, postings to my blog are not going to be as frequent as they have been in the past.  Simply said, I just do not have any new material to blog about.  I haven't had anything all summer so that is why we've just completed re-visiting the Bodie Ghost Town trip from two years ago.  Although I have many other trips from the past I could re-visit, I just do not enjoy rehashing old material.  I learned this while re-doing Bodie.  I'll try to continue visiting the blogs I follow meanwhile.

I am loosely planning a fall trip to the desert but this kind of hinges on Sinbad's health.  He just turned 17 (as near as I can reckon his birth date based upon his age when I adopted him) but if the trip seems to be taking a toll upon him I'll abort and return home.  The well-being of my scrawny little deaf cat is of high priority with me.

So if I post anything, it will stuff like this: Here is a beautiful fat rattlesnake, around four feet long, I discovered on my bicycle ride yesterday.

Here I have greatly cropped the photo (you didn't expect me to get up real close did you?) so you can make out the rattles on his tail next to the X.  A rattlesnake will add a rattle each time it sheds it's skin and if generally snakes shed their skin once a year then that would be a good judgement to its age.  Not necessarily so with rattlesnakes.  In their first year they shed their skin multiple times.  As they mature their growth rate slows down to where they may not shed their skin over the course of a year.
In case you are wondering, no he wasn't rattling at me.  He was quite calm.  So was I.

These photos were taken with my old iPhone and whereas some people get really good pictures from their phones I don't seem to do so well.  I just cannot hold the phone all that steady while trying to tap on the screen to set focus and exposure.  I need to take my regular camera with me more often.

Friday, September 25, 2015

We Say Good-bye to Bodie

The entrance station which is greatly protected from being smashed into by the distracted tourist driving a motorhome.  The boulder will stop you on a dime.

The long dirt road leading into and out of Bodie.  You can see why a driver might not be paying attention.  After miles and miles of this, you see the town; "Finally we're here! Ooo...look at that!"

Me, I enjoy the scenery wherever I am.  
Here the Sierra mountain range in the distance provides a wonderful view.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One Final Home in Bodie

I'm sure this at one time was a fine home with nice furnishings.

This jar of mayonnaise may be a bit past its "Best by" date.

A cropped close-up of the label.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

One Last Bodie Car

What is so unusual about this car, what's left of it, is the fact that the motor is still in it.
Many of the vehicles there have had the motor removed to serve some other purpose.

Only reason I took this photo is I am a inline six cylinder fan.  I had owned more cars with 6 cylinder engines than those with a different engine design...I think.  I'm not going to try and figure out if I am right on that or not.  Too many cars in my lifespan.  The valve cover looks as if it has been polished.  Maybe so with numerous visitors rubbing their hands across it. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

How to Keep Cool

when it is 100 degrees (38c).

I have to go use a sink in another room but I don't mind.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Bodie Motel

My room for the night.
What?  No coffee maker!  I'm not staying there again.
(Just kidding.  Not a motel)

This was original cotton material stuffed between the windows to keep out the cold blowing wind. 
 It must have been placed in there nearly 100 years ago.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bodie Church

I can honestly say there were more saloons (65), gambling halls, brothels and opium dens in Bodie than there were churches.

These seats probably filled each Sunday, mostly with women probably.  Maybe not.

It appears there was a picture or tapestry within this framework.  Also notice around the frame a cleaner appearance to the wood.  Something was there at one time.

Monday, September 14, 2015


It was a nice day, the day I was there.  Do notice the low cold for that winter.  I'd be dead.

I was wondering why I took this picture with these people in it.  I usally wait till the scene is clear of people before I click the camera.  These pictures are from 2012 and I didn't think I could remember.

There's that guy again.  Then it came to me.  This guy must have taken a bath in the most offensive men's cologne you could imagine.  I was in that house (previous post) when all of sudden I was struck with this terrible smell.  "What the...?"  I turned around and there was this guy.  My nose burned, my eyes began to water...I am not making this up or embellishing it any.  It was all I could do to squeeze past this guy in the hallway, without touching him, all the while holding my breath.  He was some European tourist.  Why?  Seems like European men go for this over indulgence of foo-foo juice.  The lady above was not with him.  He was alone as far as I could tell.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Scenes of Life in Bodie

This is one of the better if not best homes at Bodie.  I cannot help but to think it was staged nevertheless it was done so years ago.  Just look at that dust. 
All the rooms were wired off so people could not go inside.  That is why they look so undisturbed. 

My guess this was a child's bedroom complete with radio to lull the kid to sleep.

My dream kitchen in my dream house in the desert somewhere.

Silly tourists!  Throw some of that stuff my way if you don't want it.
Notice the sewing machine.

This is one of my favorite scenes I took that day in Bodie.
  I've always meant to get my pen and ink set out and draw this but...  

And Theresa of Round*A*Ranch, if you read the above, I know, I know.  You don't have to tell me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Behind the I.O.O.F.

In the lot behind the Fellowship Hall was this old wagon.  
What lies in the foreground is a fence that got too tired to stand up anymore.

Making a wheel for a wagon was craft in itself.

If I were the phone company for Bodie, this is probably something I would have made.
Anything more would be too complicated for me.

Monday, September 7, 2015


This is the Odd Fellows hall, the wood building to the right.  See the I.O.O.F. painted at the top.
International Order of Odd Fellows.  Their main purpose is  "To improve and elevate the character of man."  Okay.

There you (if you were a man) could come and workout in case you didn't get enough of that from working in the mines all day.  I'm sure it was more of a social meeting place for the men.

 See what I mean.  A social meeting place.

This is an over-exposed picture so you can see deep in back better.

This is why it is important to hold your camera lens flush to the glass when taking pictures at Bodie.

And should you need to make a quick and discreet escape from the Odd Fellows hall for whatever reason, here is where you would do that, at the rear of the building.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bodie Hotel cont.

 That is a nice service to have at a hotel.

Just imagine...

I wonder if they were in the middle of some remodeling 
then just decided to close up the business for good and walked away from it.

So this was the best to be had in Bodie when you stepped down out from the stagecoach 
after a long hot dusty day of traveling to get here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bodie Hotel Outside Looking In

The main room which included the dining area.  
Looking from the right over to the left through the windows.
Note the old canteen and the bar in back.

That cockeyed blackboard on the back wall reads: Today's Special. Something and onions.  I cannot make out the first word.  It may be liver.  I like liver and onions.  "I'll have the Special, ma'am."

Notice that fancy undercarriage for the pool table.

I'll sit at the kid's table too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Bodie Hotel

I'll show some interior shots but first I will sit out here and have a smoke.  Can you imagine the men of Bodie being time-travelled to today's cities and having to go outside to smoke their cigarettes, cigars and pipes?  I remember Old Gold cigarettes.  Wondering if they are still around I did some research and found that they are but are hard to find and there is no advertising done for them by R.J. Reynolds who now owns the brand.  They date back into 1800's when they were sold in 
paper-wrapped bundles. 

No, I don't smoke and never did.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Typical Scene in Bodie

This was a hard life, no doubt about it.

  The cold for me would be the worst aspect of living here.