Sunday, May 12, 2019

Gnats From HELL Really Bite, Literally

 The title says it all. OK, it really doesn't, but it is a true fact of life in Utah at this moment. Friday was the start of a 2 day jeep-concert-jeep trip to western Utah. The plan was simple. Jeep out to Wendover, rock and roll, then jeep back home. Sounds like a great idea. It. Was. Awesome. But, there was an issue the whole trip. We began at the Monarch Mine north of I-15 in Tooele County. I say north due to the fact there are 2 mines with the same name in the county. This trip we explored the area more in depth because we could. Last visit was during the winter and snow was everywhere. Friday, there was no snow but it was replaced by gnats. We opened the windows as we climbed up the mountain and before we knew what hit us, we were invaded on a mass scale by gnats. And they really wanted to make our day miserable. These little shits bit. And bit some more. They seemed to love our faces and we ended up closing the windows to save ourselves. When we reached the mines area and exited the vehicle, we were again under attack from the savages. It wasn't very fun!  We explored the area rather rapidly and soon moved on. 
 We crossed over the top and headed down to Marblehead. There were roads there I had wanted to follow and we ended up at the milk-can antenna. Some time in the past, this had been a high powered antenna for communication of some sort. Now, the can is filled with animal droppings and a couple of old switches. It has a really good view of the entire area and was worth the stop. I do wonder what it was used for and by whom. We finished by exploring another road to the top and again we were rewarded by spectacular views and of course, gnats. Now it was time to move on to Wendover. 
 On the bill for the evening was Grand Funk Railroad celebrating their 50th anniversary. 2 of the 3 originals still play with a new keyboardist and 2 new guitarists. Max Carl, pictured above wrote one of my favorite songs when he was with 38 Special. He was very friendly and answered a few questions for me on his time with them.
 The other guitarist is Bruce Kulick. I have seen him play years ago when he was playing lead for KISS. He was also kind enough to talk some KISS and get a foto with. I very rarely add fotos of myself in anything I do online, but this was the exception. The band kicked total ass and sounded awesome. They even threw in a surprise song that blew me away. Max wrote one of 38's number one songs and they played it that night. It wasn't my favorite but it was kinda cool. It was 80 minutes of good old kick ass rock and roll and they were great! Now, if they had only played my favorite song by 38 I would have called it the perfect show. Not to be rude, but I am thinking the average age there was between 65-70. What was scary was seeing these older farts acting like they were still 17, and some even dressed the part. One lady left a lasting impression that almost destroyed my eyesight. Note to self, do not wear spandex, fish net and leather when I am 70. 
 Saturday morning soon arrived and we were back on the road. South was our direction and Gold Hill was our first objective. Our first stop was the storage shed in the downtown district. Its contents are slowly disappearing over time but there are still hundreds of core samples located in the place on shelves. The samples are used to determine if there is ore in a specific area of the mine. The open box above shows typical samples from a certain area in a mine located nearby. I honestly don't know how they samples themselves are then tested, but they are kinda cool. I don't think I have seen an unbroken one out there in all my visits. 
 Standing at the front door I noticed that across the street was a saloon. In fact there were 3 buildings I had never noticed before. There were welcome signs out front but as the norm for Gold Hill, not a soul in sight. We walked up to the saloon and tried the door. It opened. There were no lights but it had the appearance of an old time saloon from the 1880's. The poker table above had real money on it. Seriously, there was money on the table. I was amazed. Someone is very trusting. There was even a notepad with names and what they had either won or lost. 
 Tending bar was none other than Donald Trump. Oh, and all those bottles you see are full. On the bar was a visitor sign in sheet. Of course we signed and I look back now and maybe I should have poured myself a shot for the road. There was also a huge John Wayne figure and a pool table. I could have spent a lot more time in there just checking out the antiques. It was amazing. Out side in front of building 2 was an air compressor with a note saying feel free to use it and just put it back when you are done. Building 3 looked like a store of some sort but it was locked and we couldn't get in. Wonder if it is an actual bar and they do sell drinks???  
 The trip now went east as we followed the Pony Express Trail. We stopped at a station to look around and came across Harold the Horny Toad. This was a time I wish I had a video recorder. This guy was interesting. He stopped where  you see him and froze. Shari picked a weed and began to scratch his back. He didn't run but he did go into his defense mode. The mode is frozen. She could put the weed under him and lift him off the ground. It was like he was petrified. They do that I am guessing to make themselves hard to swallow. I dunno. With all the horns and his killer tail, biting him probably wouldn't be pleasant. Since this was the first one I have ever seen, it was kinda cool to watch him. 
Further east in an area I wont mention the name of we ran into this mine. I am pretty damn sure it was a gold mine due to the fact it was basically an adit through pure quartz rock. It was pleasantly cool inside with no killer gnats and the roof was high enough to walk normal. It looked like it went on forever and I figure we were in 500 feet. Weird thing is, there really wasn't a tailings pile in front of it. Maybe it was used to bring ore out from a mine higher up on the mountain. I really don't know. I do know I have another reason to go back there and see where it goes and how far that is. We weren't really expecting to find something like this and we were a but unprepared. Next time! Look for all my fotos from this trip on my website and use the link above to get there. Jeep on my friends!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Beyond Death and a Return!

 Buenos Dias and welcome to another boring trip report on my activities in the west desert of Utah. The sun was finally out yesterday so we knew it had to be taken advantage of. We had be scouring Google Earth Pro for mines and buildings we had yet to see. The better half came up with some good choices in the small canyon east of Death Canyon. I searched topo maps and Google to find a name for it and the only thing I could come up with was Finders Road. The map I was using was old so just go with its the next road going north after Death Canyon. As you can see by the fotos, we struck paydirt!
The first mine we hit was one we had to work for. Some older maps show a road, most modern do not. And, there is not a road, per se. I am just going to tell you all to figure it out for yourselves. As for a name of this mine, again I struck out. The only named mine in the area was the Bar X over in Death Canyon. The better half found this interesting box in the cabin. This side says .50 caliber with tracers. Then the sides say something totally different. I figure some one needed a box and found what they could to make it. The building itself was interesting. Two telephone poles used to build the head frame were at one time bolted to the floor. The ore was brought out of the mine on an inclined track and dumped behind the building. It would be nice to be able to see one of these systems in their glory actually working. It pulled up the cars on about a 75° angle. This little area has shafts all over and needs to be explored further.
 Above you can see Fred. He was kind enough to pose for a foto. This mine is so off the grid due to no real way to get there unless you hike, or own a Jeep, that this guy has probably never seen a human. The only hint I will give you is look east going up Finders Road or you will not see it at all. 
 Further up the road is another huge ass mine area. There are two huge tailings piles about 1/2 mile apart both accessible buy vehicle. Both mines have been blown shut so all you can see is the out buildings and homes that were left. The road does a loop at the end so by staying on it you will see both mines and all the houses. From evidence we found, the place either had generators or actual electricity. I found the cooling unit out of an ancient fridge and wanted to bring it home but it was a wee bit heavy and large. Maybe next time. Finders Road is fairly decent and unless it is wet most vehicles could go up there. There is a cabin someone owns in the canyon so I advise you to stay out of their property. 
 We finished that area and headed back to Death Canyon to visit the places we couldn't get to last trip. We did take 2 roads I had not taken previously. We were rewarded with some cool things. One was this stone house. Who ever built it had some smarts. Not only did he hand build it but he chose a spot with one hell of a view. You can see for miles from this house and I actually had cell service out of Delta. This house seems to be a popular place judging on the garbage people have left and the amount of empty casings, mostly .223. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle for this trail and stay off it if it is wet.  
To end this blog, I am going to add this marker. You can click on the foto to read it. I liked it due to the guys first name. I have heard of some weird names but Philander? 
phi·lan·der
/fəˈlandər/
verb
  1. (of a man) readily or frequently enter into casual sexual relationships with women.
  2. He was a soldier from New York I am thinking after doing some research on his name. So if it was him, he was soon headed back east to fight in the Civil War. I bet he caught a lot of shit for his name, or, maybe he lived up to it! If you want to see all the fotos from my trips, go to http://www.mtnmad.com/ Jeep on my friends!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Death Comes Early, But That's OK

 Well, it's already March and this is my first entry for the year. We actually got some good snow this year so any forays into the mountains wont be till much later. As for today's title, our trip for the day was back out to Death Canyon. Now I know part of the range is in Tooele County and maybe Juab County. I can't find any definite map that says one way or the other. So, I guess we will go with Whatever. Works for me. So, I have preached this before and I will continue tonight. THINGS OF THE PAST ARE DISAPPEARING! Look at the foto above and the one below.  
 Mother Nature is a cruel bitch and tries so hard to reclaim her virgin presence. For the most part, man, usually wins. But on things of the past, out in the open for at least 100 years and ignored for 90 of them, she will win. Towns like Bodie California are kept alive by us modern day people who love to see the past. But, the ore chute above is out in BFE nowhere and has to go the battle alone. This one finally lost. I saw online that part of the structure of the Jackson Mine in Nevada has now collapsed. It's a testament to the craftsmanship of men to see them last so long, but it really kinda sucks to see them go. If you go out on the Central Pacific rail bed you will find quite a few bridges still up. How do I know they are original? You should see the size of the timber used. You can't find trees of that size to cut up anywhere legally anymore. All I am is saying I guess is that our history is slowly returning to nature. Some of you may think woo hoo! I don't. I find it amazing to see what was done 150 years ago. I look and wonder how it was done. Seriously, the Union Pacific could lay track on that old rail bed and not have an issue. Amazing to me!! 
 OK I am done. Above is one mine we couldn't get to. I guess we could have had it been life or death but since it wasn't, we didn't. We hiked around the area and from my last blog found out that the materials outside this mine were not for the mine. They built a new fence from the cliff above the mine and it goes west up and over the the opposite side. I would not be a good fence installer. Just looking at it made me wonder how the hell did they do it. 
 Another first was we were the first one up the canyon this high. I will admit that these new tires didn't miss a beat. I did the majority of the trip in two wheel drive. I did my usual tree hitting and didn't suffer any damage. Seriously, you try doing a 180 on an ATV trail. Trees be damned! 
 The lower canyon mine was open so we went in for a quick visit. Its amazing to see the tracks for the ore carts still there. I just wish I could find an ore cart. Honestly, I think an ore cart, on tracks in the front yard full of bright flowers, is freakin' awesome! Someday maybe.
 I will tell you that all my back problems sure showed up today. Hiking even a few hundred feet killed me. And hunched over in the mine wasn't a good feeling either. We went in a few hundred feet and walked around. You had to be short to work good part of this mine. There were only a few places you could stand upright. I am not sure how old this mine is but even though the roof was actively leaking, I could find no evidence of stalactites forming. We ate lunch there then headed down the canyon. While sitting there, we found a whole new group of mines on the opposite side of the canyon. Being time limited, we didn't go looking for a way to them. We even spotted a bunch more at the mouth of the canyon. Guess that means a return trip when all the snow has melted.   
We made it back to Stockton and I showed my friend a house I once wanted to buy. That led to other things and next thing I know I was on the mountain above the town just enjoying the view. It was incredible. To those who read this, I would recommend a 4x4 and start following roads. You never know what you may find or see. Jeep on my friends!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Do It Now, Before its TOO Late!

 Welcome to another entry in my not famous writings. Today's fotos have nothing to do with my agenda today, but I needed something to look at so these are my best friends.  So, lets begin. I received a phone call Friday morning from a friend who needed to get to Boise ASAP. Um ok, why? My uncle has stage 4 cancer and isn't going to last much longer. I need to talk to him. Debate in head.... Boise, hmmmmmm...... Intervention from above, DO it. Sure I'll be there in an hour. I tossed the bare minimum in my bag and headed north for a 330 mile drive. I have driven this once before on a trip to Seattle way back in 1989 but I really don't remember a whole lot about the journey. So, it's basically something new. We headed up I-84 at about 1pm and the adventure began. Curious as to why this journey was so important got me to asking questions. Why are we doing this? The answer was quite interesting so here we go. 
 Years ago, this person had been sent to live with this uncle and his family. Life at his home was not worth a shit and had left our friend with thoughts of suicide. Upon arriving at the new home, a new life was started and changes occurred. The thoughts of death and depression were slowly replaced with thoughts of a new self worth. No longer criticized and put down, positive reassurances helped transform my friend into a person who began to believe in his self. The time spent with this uncle preformed a miracle and my friend left as a self confident man. Not perfect, but aware of who he was and what he wanted. Years go by and some untrue and hateful rumors by my friends family caused a rift between the uncle and him. The years pass by and the fateful call of stage 4 cancer and death made the friend want to try and mend the rift and then thank the uncle and his family for saving his life. The trip up was filled with apprehension. How would this reunion go and wold it end happily ever after. With Google's help, we arrived in a tiny little farming community near Boise. The door was opened and soon we were seated in the family room. Not one to beat around the bush, the friend opened up and explained his life and what had happened. He spoke of the rumors and how it had affected his family as well as the uncles. He told them how they had saved his life and how he needed to say this before it was too late. Long story short, everything went well. Any bad feelings of the past were gone and stories began being told about the families pioneer heritage past. 
Privacy allows me to tell no more. I was witness to a great event and even a part of it in a way. So, here is where I make my plea. Life is short. Events of the past can leave us with scars and outright hatred of family or friends. We need to look beyond our petty hurts and resolve issues before its to damn late. Sometimes it will turn out good, other times it might not. We shouldn't live with any regrets. In my life, I had a aunt and uncle, for lack of a better phrase. They didn't save my life but they kept it from getting too out of control. They always listened and added advice and I went from there. We are no longer friends sadly. Events of the past led them to persecute my family for standing up for what was right. It hurts to see someone you looked up to fall so hard but choices were made and we all have to live with them. So, get off your asses and go do what you need to do. Will it turn out good? You never know, but at least you tried. Thats whats important. Jeep on my friends.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Story I didn't Finish.........

 So, I was just looking back on some past entries and realized that I never finished the Medtronic story. It sure isn't a good ending but it is an ending. So, my appointment with the final surgeon to put the shocker in my back was coming up. I was excited because I knew that pain-free time was headed my way. Enter my usual luck. Apparently, the gentleman who was paying for my health insurance stopped paying in August without telling or informing me. I had no clue because prescriptions were still being paid for. October 1st rolls around and no more nothing. The Medtronic dream crashed and burned and life suddenly looked painful. The foto above is me as a teen doing what I loved to do. From age 13-18 most of my spare time was spent on the hardwood dreaming of glory. The good old days!
 So, with the dream shattered, the rest of reality caved in like an out of control avalanche. During this 2 month period, the lovely insurance company had  approved the test trial, an MRI on my head and a few other things: with no intention of ever paying them. Suddenly, I was $26k in debt. So lets recap, I take probably $600 a month in prescriptions, along with Dr visits to make adjustments. Gone. Luckily for me, a lot of the drugs had 90 day supplies so all was not lost. Pain meds, no longer available. Dr wont see me cuz I suddenly owe him a ton of money. Wow. Life suddenly looked nasty. I don't even remember how long I have been on the pain meds. It seems forever. Now, they are all gone. I will admit that I have been blessed so far in this disaster. I have not had but 2 or 3 bad nights. For this I am truly thankful. Over the counter stuff does absolutely nothing for me so I really feel good about how my pain has ebbed for whatever reason. Above is one of the sources of my pain. Years ago, I was riding at the dunes in St Anthony and took a wee bit of a flight over the handlebars. Busted my damn tail bone and it still hurts to sit to this day. But I would do it again.
So what comes next, I have no idea. The medical bills keep coming in and all I can do is nothing. Had I made it through the final implant of the device I might have been able to go back to work and enjoy life. For now, I just live day to day hoping that the pain will stay where it has been and allow me to function somewhat. It sure isn't fun. I miss being out in the middle of nowhere exploring what once was. The last foto is one that should cause concern to most people. The red areas represent federally owned land in each state. Nevada and Utah are in the top 3 of land the state or its people do not own. Just a thought to my readers.  Jeep on my friends! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What Does it Take to Have Famous Blog?

 Interesting title, huh? So, what does it take to have a world famous blog? I sure wish I knew. Seriously, you see these people on TV all the time. They write maybe 2 or 3 blogs a week and everyone and their dog has to read them. Sponsors begin to pay them money just for the privilege of putting an ad on their blog site. How would that be? Honestly I would love to find out. I am sure I could spew forth words of total wisdom to the masses??? OK, probably not. I am not qualified in postpartum depression or anything like it. I live with the depression caused by my body deciding its no longer playing and going home. I deal with it in my own way and I am sure no one really cares how I do it. So, what would I have to write about to make me famous? I wish I knew. I would have no problem writing a few hundred words 2 or 3 times a week. It would be easy. Would it be interesting? Highly doubtful. Well, I could drink myself into a heavy drunkenness and write. At one time years ago I was rather funny as a drunk. I just don't think the body would be happy with that. It would probably want to go home even sooner. OK, foto one above. Due to the lack of funding.... instead of a nice new top, I got to go with the half cab look. I like the look but it sure isn't the most comfy way to go. The seats can only go back so far and that's the end. We will decide come spring how well it did keeping the snow and rain out of the back. 
 Another irritating occurrence are the people who get to Jeep 24/7 365 on other peoples dime. I follow 3 of them on YouTube and it drives me nuts. Big name companies give them parts to "test" and comment about on their videos. Other normal people like you and I join in and contribute X amount of $$ a month to keep them on the road. One dude has been all over the west and even up into Canada and Alaska. Hell's bells, I have a hard enough time coming up with $50 to make a day run out into the west desert to find a new mine or ghost town. This guy Jeeps Saturday to Thursday and finds a town with wifi to do a weekly video on Friday. Now doing videos is a pain in the ass for the most part. My problem is that this laptop is so damn old it creeps along and takes about an hour to do 5 minutes of video. If anyone reading this would like to help this situation out, feel free to email me and I'll show you which new computer I want. Granted it would be awesome to live that lifestyle, I'd be in Death Valley for December and probably Mexico for January and February, but then I would miss out on my latest job. I now get to watch the grandson on a regular basis. It has been quite enjoyable relearning things I have not done in over 20 years. But hey, I am remembering the lessons and we get along just great. 
I know, here's an idea. What if all 9 of you chipped in to keep me on the road from say April to October?? I could live with that. I would pick a state a month and do as much exploring as was possible and make videos and update my website and...........  Such a sweet dream. Now, I would probably have to get a Wrangler Unlimited for the space. So we would have to figure that into your donations. A 2 door and 2 dogs wouldn't be very comfy. Who knows, I might even be able to finagle some sponsorship's from some companies. I know that the one guy pretty much gets all sorts of shit free and just uses it. So, lets work on the donations first and then we'll visit a few local companies to see what they would be willing to donate. Sounds like a plan to me. The last foto is of the granddaughter Taleigha. It was her 7th birthday a couple of days ago and we had a fun party to celebrate it. Such a cute young lady. She'll be driving the boys crazy in a few years! I have re-read this and there is nothing profound in it to make me famous. Damnit. Jeep on my friends! 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?

 Good evening and welcome to one of my rare political posts. Years ago, I happened to catch a video on Amazon called Atlas Shrugged. Interesting title so I had to watch it. The story was set in a non specific time of the future in an America that had fallen on hard times. The book was written in 1957 and it took them till 2011 to actually make the film so its understandable that there isn't a specific date of the film. Anyway, in this future, the country has begun to turn to a socialistic form of government. The government had begun to seize control of all aspects of society. It is best explained by "you work harder to support your neighbor who doesn't work" type of situation. The story centers on Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. Due to government actions, the railroad was the only feasible method of transportation. Gas was $40.00 a gallon and life was really beginning to suck. Two other businesses were also brought into the story: a steel mill who had invented a new alloy of steel and a oil company. All 3 were basically in bed with each other.  
 As the story progresses, government interference brings down all 3 using socialistic methods of rule making. I am really condensing this but bare with me. The leaders of said industries began to disappear and left notes which didn't make a lot of sense to others. The common line of each note was "who is John Galt?" Besides the leaders of industry, all of the countries smartest people, such as Drs, teachers and inventors were among the disappearing people. No one had a clue to where they had gone. One of the last smart people left got lucky and was able to follow one of the disappeared while they were disappearing. She finds out where they go and has 30 days to decide if she wants to stay or go back. And I am done explaining the movie. The book is 1200 pages so thats next on my reading list. Now lets get to the point of why I am writing about this. 
Considering this was wrote in 1957, you would think that is was written today. Watching the news and seeing how the Democrats want to put everything under government control in a socialistic society, these movies fit in perfect for today. In the book, capitalism is viewed as evil. Men or women using their skills and talents to make themselves money was viewed as evil, like today. In part 2 I believe, the main male character is on trial for violating a trade law. They criticize him for his lust of money. They ask how his love of money helps out society. He replies that there are x number of employees working for him that receive paychecks. The court kinda shot themselves in the foot. Anyway, I recommend that if you're into politics today you watch all 3 movies. Be forewarned, the lead female is played by a different woman in each film. Actually, I really don't think anyone played in more than one film. Plus they add stupid romance scenes in that don't make a lot of sense. But, as to the effectiveness of showing how socialism doesn't work, the films are dead on!  Watch them and tell me what you think. Jeep on my friends!