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Friday, November 30, 2007

Rachel Nevada (Extraterrestrial Highway)

Nevada State Highway 375 stretches for 98 miles from US-93 in the southeast to US-6 in the northwest. It crosses three large high desert valleys in south central Nevada: Tikaboo Valley, Sand Spring Valley and Railroad Valley. Except for a couple of ranches, the town of Rachel is the only settlement along the way.

In April 1996 Nevada State Highway 375 was officially named the Extraterrestrial Highway for the many UFO sightings along this lonely stretch of road. The highway is close to the mysterious Area 51 a super-secret Air Force test facility, and in the 1980's and 1990's there have been many sightings of unidentified objects near the base. Even today visitors and locals alike often see strange lights in the night-sky while driving down the highway.

Well you may or may not of heard of Rachel Nevada before, but if your into UFO's you will know about it. And if you don't know this about myself and hubby, we love to travel in our motor home and love to park in remote places. So one of the places we stopped was here, so thought i would share some photos and a bit of information about Rachel.

In its heyday Rachel had over 500 residents, mostly working for Union Carbide in the Tempiute tungsten mine. When the mine closed in 1988 the workers moved on, and today the population is down to less than 100. Most of the people living in Rachel are retired, work at the alfalfa farms or in one of the three local businesses. A few people work at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) or in Area 51, but of course those who really do can not talk about it.

Ever since the late 1980's Rachel has been a popular destination among UFO fans, attracted by the nearby Area 51, and by hundreds of UFO sightings in the area. Rachel has been dubbed the "UFO Capital of the World", and people from all around the world come to visit Rachel and the Little A'Le'Inn, and to get information to plan their personal expedition to that mysterious base in the desert.Well this was about all there was to the town. We didn't even stop in the store or the restaurant, we just moved on back to were we ended up spending the night in this remote area off the road. One of the joys of traveling in a Motor home with all its conveniences
And this is what we watched before going to bed, Did we see any UFO's? Nope sure was looking tho.
Have you ever seen a UFO?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sky Watch Friday

I thought i would finish the post of Glacier National Park with this sunrise photo.I took this early in the morning .

And end it with these sunset photo, of when we were coming home from the Monster Truck Show a few weeks ago.Click on the photos for a larger view and maybe you can see the mountains better

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ABC Wed Sandcastle Sculptures

History of Sand Sculptures
It is hard to believe that there was ever a time when people did not sit down near a shoreline and try to push wet sand around until it resembled something else. My fellow sand sculptor Ted Siebert writes in his book The Art of Sandcastling that the ancient Egyptians made sand models of the pyramids - though I doubt this is more than conjecture. An Orissan (India) myth dating back to the 14th century makes reference to the poet Balaram Das who built devotional sculptures from sand, but the first documented references of serious sand sculpture will not appear for another 500 years.

It is commonly believed that the first artists to actually profit from their sand sculpting abilities surfaced in Atlantic City, NJ in the late 19th century. Spectators walking along the boardwalk would throw tips to the bowler-hat wearing artists. Some credit one Philip McCord with creating the first true sand sculpture in 1897 - it featured a drowned mother and her baby. By the early 1900s, word had gotten around that there was money in sand sculpture and enterprising "artistes" could be found at nearly every block -- so much so that the town fathers began to view them as a nuisance. In 1944 a hurricane ripped up the Boardwalk and demolished the sand dunes. The city government saw the change in landscape as an opportunity to ban sand-sculpting along the boardwalk, a law that has yet to be rescinded.

It would appear that sand sculptors were earning money - as well as a reputation for dodginess - on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1901, A writer by the name of Emory James wrote a rather lengthy article published in "The Strand Magazine" about a Professor Eugen Bormel, who was creating sand sculpture on the German coast at the North Sea summer resort town of Nordeney. He assures the reader that the good professor should not be classified with "the cheapjacks of the sands, who, for a hatful of coins and his bread and butter, deigns to display his artistic skill before the multitude." (Apparently Professor Bormel was renowned for donating all of his hard-earned pennies to charity.) His preferred subject matter - mermaids and renditions of the Sphinx - are still some of the favorite subjects of modern-day sand sculptors. The writer observes that the larger sculptures drew the most interest - something that has certainly not changed - and also rather dryly notes that "hair and lace effects are two things which the unskilled should leave alone." Words to the wise.

After WWII, when Americans started taking beach vacations, family sand castle contests started popping up in beachside resort towns all along the east coast. But modern day sand sculpture really started in California in the early '70's with the teaming up of Gerry Kirk and Todd VanderPluym, collectively known as Sand Sculptors International (SSI). This team set the standard for the art form by organizing teams of sculptors to create incredibly huge and detailed replicas of famous castles and fantasy architecture.

Today every beachside resort town worth its salt hosts at least one sand castle contest - I try to keep a list of the largest ones updated on this site - and western Europe turns into a virtual sand box every summer with multiple huge projects employing hundreds of sand sculptors trying to outdo each other in hugeness and special effects. Big sand is big business these days and it all seems to be getting bigger still by the year.

Glacier National Park Part 2

Click on Glacier National Park
Everything you ever wanted to know will be there.
Driving up the Sun Road we saw this doe and her 2 babies drinking in the creek, i wish i had a better camera to get a closer shot of them.

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For visitors who wish to drive through the park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is an experience to remember. Bisecting the heart of Glacier, this 50 mile long road follows the shores of the park's two largest lakes and hugs the cliffs below the Continental Divide as it traverses Logan Pass. Numerous scenic turnouts and wayside exhibits allow travelers to stop and enjoy the park at their own pace.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Glacier National Park Part 1

I love waterfalls and if you have never been to Glacier National Park, its a great place to visit. The sun road has many wonderful sites to see.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mt Bachelor outing

The anticipation of heading to Mt Bachelor in the motor home very relaxed son and relaxed Princess. As you can see there is grandson 2 fingers up. Is that a good thing? wonder if that's like heads up?

And here is Mt Bachelor with very little snow on it ,usually this time of yr it has a lot more snow, with all the lifts going, i think they said they only had one lift running.

Also notice the side of the road, very little snow, the sky was sunny and beautiful which was nice to drive in.

And here is the lodge as you can see not much snow in the parking lot, they have been using the snow machines to make some of the snow for the last few weeks.

Here is Princess having a ball playing in the snow, yup that is her ball, but she was more interested in watching all the kids and the other dogs running around.

Here is son and Grandson going up the hill in the inner tube, but as you can see lots of stumps in the way.

Hudson after taking several bites of snow,what faces he made

Now here he is trying his hand on snowboarding what a great jump he had.My favorite photo of the day.
A great day was had by all, only thing would of been better if there was more snow. And the patrol guy wasn't coming around to chase the kids away from the parking area, cause they wanted to make sure that they got there money for people going on the pay area. I think that patrol guy must of come around about 3 or 4 times and chased everyone away, but that only lasted till he left.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sky Watch Friday

I took this photo last Jan at Lost Dutchmen Campground AZ this is Superstitious Mountain.
If you have not been there it is very nice, a trip worth seeing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to all

click on this
Absolutely Beautiful

50 beautiful States something to be thankful for today.Do you see that steam coming from that turkey? If i look real close it almost looks like there is a face in it . Next to that is son getting ready to carve it, no one in the house knows how to carve a turkey, but he made a good attempt, As you can tell we aren't all that formal here.And this is son and grandson Hudson, and there is Don and Sharon Our friends from La Pine.

Well we have lots of left overs, had a 17 lb turkey and half a spiral ham lots of pie left Anyway want to come over for left overs?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ABC Wed "R for Roller Coaster"

Do you like Roller Coasters?

For many people, there is only one reason to go to an amusement park: the roller coaster. Some people call it the "scream machine," with good reason. The history of this ride reflects a constant search for greater and more death-defying thrills.

What you may not realize as you're cruising down the track at 60 miles an hour is that the coaster has no engine. The car is pulled to the top of the first hill at the beginning of the ride, but after that the coaster must complete the ride on its own. You aren't being propelled around the track by a motor or pulled by a hitch. The conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy is what drives the roller coaster, and all of the kinetic energy you need for the ride is present once the coaster descends the first hill.

Once you're underway, different types of wheels help keep the ride smooth. Running wheels guide the coaster on the track. Friction wheels control lateral motion (movement to either side of the track). A final set of wheels keeps the coaster on the track even if it's inverted. Compressed air brakes stop the car as the ride ends.

Salvation Mountain

I thought I would share this with you , Last yr on one of our trips , we spent some time at Niland California, a Place called the slabs.
click on the link to read about it. Its a very popular place for Rver's to spend the winter months for free. No hookups however, but going into town you can dump your sewage for a small fee and get water. It used to be an old military base. It has made news for many yrs.
Anyway The story of Salvation Mountain is quite interesting.

Leonard Knight has been painting and repainting his bright Biblical messages on the sides of Salvation Mountain for fifteen years. On the arid flats east of San Diego, his mountain pokes up into the bright sun. Odds are you'll get excellent photos, and Leonard will be busy repainting faded parts of his vision. He requests that all donations be in the form of paint, preferably acrylic.

Leonard Knight.At 68, Leonard is a classic lone dreamer, intent on feeding his vision. But he's friendly, welcoming all who visit. He sleeps in the Salvation Truck, a decorated vehicle with a house on the back. The truck, like the mountain, is lettered with biblical quotations and a large "REPENT" warning. The sight of Salvation Mountain -- his three story tall, 100-foot wide riot of concrete, adobe and paint -- greets him each morning.

A few years back, environmental fanatics stirred up the local government. Samples were drilled and tests were done -- Salvation Mountain was declared a "toxic nightmare" by county officials. Signs went up warning about "Hazardous Waste," and Imperial County was on its way to hosting a veritable Superfund cleanup site. Plans were laid to treat it like nuclear waste -- haul it away in trucks and bury it in Nevada.

We imagined a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" scenario: the first bulldozer cleaves into the sacred mound, and out bursts a blinding light. One by one, the bulldozers and environmentalists burst into flame, poisonous smoke filling the air. Soon, nothing is left of the troublemakers save for some greasy stains. Leonard pops out of his truck-house and starts incorporating the stains into his living masterpiece.

Salvation truck.This is not what happened. Actually, we don't know what happened, but maybe townspeople rallied to defend the important local attraction.

Niland, along the Salton Sea, is the gateway to Salvation Mountain, and two other post-apocalyptic sights: Bombay Beach(a half-submerged wasteland of derelict buses and vehicles), and Slab City(or "The Slabs," a WWII-era Marine facility where squatters and seasonal snowbirds live in RVs and vehicles among the concrete remnants, a "great place to spend the winter."). Salvation Mountain is now part of the cultural landscape, like the Watts Towers, or Carhenge. Salvation Mountain continues to thrive and grow. Steps carved into the mountain allow visitors to ascend to the upper terraces. You can pretty much climb anywhere you like for a photo opportunity. Just bring some paint.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What makes a Rainbow?

I woke up to the rain pounding on the Swamp Cooler about 3 am , it was really coming down, I like to listen to the rain if it doesn't stay around all that long. I know we need the rain, but it isn't one of my favorites. The sky is gray and gloomy,

for anyone that has a depression problem knows that its not a good thing. I guess that is why I like Bend in the winter time. Usually there is not much rain and the sun usually will pop out sometime during the day.
So as I was looking out the window I saw the rainbow, so i scrambled out of bed to grab the camera.

And be sure to go to the end for another recipe.
Click on the photos to make them larger.

What Makes a Rainbow?

Rainbows are seen when raindrops, falling in the distance, bend and bounce sunlight back towards your eye.

Raindrops reflect sunlight, like a mirror. However raindrops also bend, or refract, light, like a lens. The reflection is spread into a cone of light. The edge of this cone is bright, because sunlight is concentrated at this angle (called the rainbow angle).

Each colour of sunlight is bent and bounced in a slightly different direction. The colours separate around the bright edge of the reflection.

The collection of raindrops that send the same bright color towards your eye is curved. The center of the curve is the shadow of your head (called the anti-solar point). The rainbow always appears at the same distance from this central point, at the rainbow angle.

Applesauce Custard and Cake Pie

Pastry for one crust 9-inch pie

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 cup applesauce
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup molasses
1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sour milk*
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brewed coffee

  1. Prepare pie crust. Chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C).
  3. In medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and apple pie spice; mix well. Stir in remaining filling ingredients; blend well. Set aside.
  4. In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and butter; beat until well blended. Beat in sour milk, 1 egg and vanilla. (Mixture will look curdled.) Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; mix well. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Carefully pour filling mixture over batter.
  5. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes or until center springs back when touched lightly and top is deep golden brown.( Filling will sink to bottom during
  6. In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and coffee until of desired drizzling consistency; blend well. Drizzle over warm pie. Serve warm.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

* To make sour milk, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk; let stand 5 minutes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Calm & Serenity

No clouds to look at last night or this morning, so I went looking for a photo. This was taken at Silver Lake Oregon a lonely barn, I always wanted to sit next to it and just enjoy the calm of the land with the wildlife around me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This & That with land and remodel

So yesterday they took the Diner's sign down, Don & Sharon were here and we were looking out the window just waiting to see if they were going to drop that sign on the road or on top of a car or even themselves. But nope they did a good job once they got all the chains around it. So sad to see it go, NO NOT REALLY. So if you look under it there is a rose bush not sure what kind it is, but it has the prettiest roses in the summer time, i have been wanting that rose bush for a long time, and so Nevada went and asked the guy and he said help your self as we will be tearing it out anyway , so having to go buy a shovel, because Nevada sold ours at our garage sale. Anyway he will be digging it up tomorrow.
So here it is waiting to be put on the truck, they did a good job taking it down. No damage to it or anyone. Sure is nice to see that huge thing gone.That land is so open now sure looks huge.So here is son putting nails into the panaling, this closes off the office and the first room, so now we are back to having 10 rooms instead of 9, and a large office. Now to think of what and were to put all my DVD's for rent.Well this is what he did, he put the DVD's on the wall not even a dent to the movies i have so will have to sort them from oldest to newest I think he said there were 63 on there maybe it was more, i don't know but i have close to 180 as i buy a movie a week sometimes two.
So when we get it done i will take another one .
Now here is another recipe for Thanksgiving:

Mashed sweet potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp. Butter
1/4 cup milk
3/8 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Boil water.
Peel potatoes and cut into small cubes.
Put in boiling water. Let cook until potatoes are soft.
Remove potatoes, place in bowl.
Mash potatoes with potato masher or mixer.
Add butter and milk; stir.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon, stir.
Dish onto bowl or plate.
Sprinkle cinnamon lightly over top.