Wednesday, July 15, 2015

sixth goat, time to re-watch, from pad to basket,
back in the woods, orienteering, something it is not,
what are the chances, big ball, and lost to posterity



My Heifer International tally is now six goats, two flocks of chicks, one flock of geese, and one flock of ducks. My next donation will be on the fall equinox. But I might expand out from providing animals. Heifer International offers other programs that one can donate to: women enterprise, farming, water, and others. Will have to look into it before the equinox.


I came across a sentence in a magazine. And this is in no way a cut to the article’s writer; she was merely relating trends stated by a person in the RV industry. “(RV) Consumers also want more features on the outside of the unit, such as outdoor kitchens and TVs to maximize the outdoor living experience.” Okay, I can sort of see an outdoor galley but why choose to cook outside and have your back to the Outdoors? But an outdoor TV “to maximize the outdoor living experience?” Hard-wall campers and RVers, most assuredly, differ in their mindset towards the ‘outdoor living experience.’

Back on the January 2013 page, I mentioned the short film, A Story for Tomorrow. If you are new to these pages and have not seen it, watch it. If you watched it back in ’13, it’s time to watch it again.

While out walking one morning from Lisa & Glen’s, I noticed a disc golf basket in Old City Park. I had not known there was a disc golf course set up in the greenbelt east of the park. It was early and no players were on the course, so I walked it. I later learned that this particular course is considered a tough one to play (but a good one to walk, if early).


You probably remember Frisbee golf. Disc golf is different, more advanced. First off, if you are looking at a Frisbee and a golf disc, you are not going to mistake one for the other. Frisbee golf had a pole hole. Disc golf has a basket hole.
Players carry a bag of discs, often ten to twenty. There are drivers, mid-range, and putter discs. Each category has discs differing in speed, glide, turn, and fade. I had no idea.


For many of the holes on the Moab course, you cannot see the basket from the tee pad. Unreal. Each hole has a map so you can see where to throw one of your driver. Most of the 18 holes are between 300’ and 400’; all are par 3.


This is the 13th hole. The basket is left of the trees that go down the center and past the darker green trees at the top of the photo. And yes, this is called a fairway. Unreal. This is one of those holes where, if you are lucky or pretty good, you will have a straight shot at the basket after your second throw. Or you could have a tree or 6’ bush in front of you. If you overshoot the basket, your disc could fly over a rock outcropping and down a short, steep hill. The whole course just blew me away with how difficult it is.

I walked over again on a Saturday morning to talk with some players. I tagged along with a friendly and helpful couple of grad students down from SLC who were camping in the area. I asked SO many questions. On one hole, the basket was out-of-sight to the left so they each pulled out a driver that tended to curve to the left at the end of its flight. Then there are different throws: backhand, forehand, rollers, and tomahawk. Anyway, I found it quite interesting. I know, not exactly something a typical visitor to Moab would be interested in, but for one who’s not…. It was all pretty cool.


The day after a hard-wall camper sets up in a new area, she/he tends to put on a daypack and head out to see what’s around—their concept of travel. You’ll be miles in off the asphalt, down one or two spur roads, no one around, and usually, no established trails. One thing that’s pretty important before heading out is to mark your camping spot as a POI on your GPS. Then you’re good to go. With this done, if you get turned around or want a straight line back to camp after a few hours of cross-country hiking, you can turn on the GPS and use the GOTO feature.

Chances are you’ll never have to use GOTO, or your PLB, but it’s good to have backup when no one is around.

What one can then do, as an alternative (or to save battery life), is practice a basic orienteering skill. Make note of the bearing back to camp, turn off the GPS, put it away, take out your compass, orient it, and set the base plate for your ‘direction of travel.’ Look off in that direction, pick a tree, hill, rock formation, whatever and start hiking toward it. As you go along, keep picking points farther out along your direction-of-travel. From time to time look down at your compass to confirm you are still on the right heading.

If your grandkids enjoy the outdoors and depending on their age, you might give them a lesson on the compass: its history, how it works, setting the base plate, whatever. Then give them a practical application. You need to be in the woods for this; a wide, open space will not work. Have them orient the compass, set a direction-of-travel, and both of you go off along it for half an hour. Explain the importance of choosing a landmark far ahead and others behind but inline with it. You will be zigging and zagging around obstacles but at each landmark, you’ll be back inline. After half an hour, help them figure out a bearing 180 degrees from the first one, or just have them lay a straightedge across the compass to see what the new bearing will be. Have her set the base plate for the new direction-of-travel and start hiking back to camp. Again, depending on the age of your grandchild, she might get a real kick and sense of accomplishment as your campsite comes back into view after an hour of hiking. Anyway, it’s something to try if you are looking for something to do.

If they are interested in learning more, and you have a map, teach them how to orient the map to north/south. Then have them figure out the bearing to something a mile or so from camp. Set the compass base for direction-of-travel and off you go.

From time to time, it can be good to go back to the old ways, even something as simple as this.


This spot is somewhat of a treat; there’s a trail only a few hundred yards away from where I’m presently set up, the Arizona Trail. I don’t think I’ve disperse camped near a trail since the summer in the White Mountains of Arizona. And I did not know that trail was there until I was in the process of setting up camp. Anyway, this less popular section of the plateau also has quite a network of forest roads and numerous spurs. I’ve been racking up the miles on my 29er.

One morning I was out mtn. biking along a spur closed to motorized vehicles. Up ahead, two pups loped across the road. They were so cute; they were about the length of Meadow but so plump, they probably weighed twice as much. They were young enough to still have that fluffy, fur-ball look. But already they had built up some stamina. They loped all the way up a decent size hill and over the top, never stopping to catch their breath or to look back. I love these little unexpected treasures that Nature offers up.


This is one of those shots taken from a perspective that presents a situation, as something it is not. What I don’t understand however, is how the person who took this photo was able to hold the camera steady.


I’m one of those who turn off propane at the tank on moving days (I even turn it off on town-run days, when the Nash is just left sitting out in the woods). A lot of RVers do not do this. If there is a mishap out on the road and a hose, connection, or pipe develops a leak and there’s a spark, that’s all she wrote; seems kinda dumb. And it’s not just about oneself, but any others who might be nearby. Many also don’t turn off their water heater, refrigerator, and possibly furnace during the drive. When stopping for gas, there is a chance that fumes could be a problem either from a spill, leak, or just because there are gasoline vapors during refueling. I wonder what would happen if an appliance went into its spark-ignition cycle to light up a burner. Granted, probably nothing, but, possibly something.


While out on a run one morning, along the Arizona Trail, I came across a trailer set up by itself out in the woods. I called out good morning as I ran by. The person later waved me down, as I was heading back towards camp. So I met Jan and helped her push a slide-out that did not want to slide in. She asked about my shirt (I wear a “Transplant Survivor” shirt when I’m out doing something athletic) and I found out Jan was also a bone marrow transplant survivor. Unreal, what are the chances? I asked her about her procedure since a nurse had told me it’s now quite different from when I had mine (covered on my July 2011 page). And it is. I would have liked to talk with her longer but, as you can see, she was gathering stuff to pack into lockers and breaking camp. Also, it had started to rain and I still had a ways to run. Jan recently started full-timing and plans to do mostly disperse camping rather than hit the campgrounds. She travels with a pet, always a healthy choice, but her pooch was hiding out inside from the thunder. Hope to cross paths with her again at some point.

Again, thinking of the chance of this occurring. I talked with three BMT survivors before I went in for my transplant, trying to get an idea of what I was getting into. The doctors and nurses had told me some things and I had done quite a bit of research on the web but I wanted a recipient’s perspective. It was good to talk with them. The two who required a donor, like me, unfortunately died within a year (and they were both quite a bit younger than me). The third person, who had a different kind of cancer, had her own cells drawn, worked on, and put back (if I’m remembering right). She is still alive. Since having mine, I’ve only come across one other BMT survivor, prior to meeting Jan. The survival rate is just not as high as with some other transplants, but it’s supposed to be improving.
Surviving the experience made it easy for me to decide on a lifestyle like this. The norm no longer cut it for me.


I purchased a big ball. Lisa had a balance ball and I tried a couple of exercises that I had seen in magazines. I then went online to learn more exercises. I guess I had thought Swiss balls were pretty much geared just for women. Wrong once again. The exercises are harder than I thought they would be and one can feel the stabilizing muscles during the movements. Doing a basic exercise on a balance ball brings more muscles into play. So, I purchased one. What a fabulous piece of equipment. I can’t do all the exercises yet and some I had to start off by doing the easier version. But I’m seeing progress—and for a senior, that’s always a good thing.

I came across a sentence that sure brought back memories, and got me thinking. “One hard thing to explain to teens is how legitimately exciting it used to be when someone would wheel in an overhead projector.” And remember filmstrips, in those little canisters? And who did not, when given a test page run off on a ditto machine, first smell the paper? I wonder what kinds of little things like these, have been lost from various cultures over the centuries? It’s not as if they would have been written down for posterity.

Well, there you have it, another page of mishmash. I do try to be entertaining, and I like to be somewhat informative, in a random way. Some months I do a decent job, others, not so much, but I write primarily, for enjoyment.

June sixty minutes sixty years—2050 minutes
June Triple 18—pecs/delts:3355; core: 2145; legs: 2940

Take the risk of enjoying what you’ve got
and be brave enough to change what doesn’t work.
from ‘Orbit’ by John J Nance


RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

RVwest article ‘The Spaces Between the Places’

FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006