Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

Today started off real good weather wise, but it did get down to 41 deg. F. last night… probably the coldest night we have endured here!  However, around 9:30 the winds came back and pretty much stayed around for the day.  I did get out flying the planes for an hour and a half this morning before the winds came up, and when I returned to the RV this is what I encountered inside…

Apparently the FAA had declared the inside of our RV as a “No Fly Zone” after my recent incident…


So this is also a leap year!  Imagine that!  Why do we have leap year?  ( Who leaps with a briefcase anyways…)

Leaping man

Well, the reason we have leap year of course, is due to the fact it takes 365 days, and 6 hours for the Earth to made one revolution around our Sun.  Hence, every four years, we add in an extra day on the calendar to make up this extra day. 


earth around sun

It can sure mess things up though, especially if your birthday is Feb. 29th!  Talk about a dogs life…  Also if you are like me and receive your Pension cheque on the 1st of the month, you end up having to wait a extra day to get paid!  Bummer. 

Oh well, four more years to the next leap!

Till tomorrow…

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The South Lykken Trail…

The wind was up today, after some actual rain fell last night, and there was quite a bit of fresh snow up in the Mountains…. however the winds still were up most of the day here, so here is what you do!  You go into Palm Springs, as it is hidden my San Jacinto, and there is barely any wind in there at all.  We decided to go out the Indian Canyon Road, and take the South Portion of the Lykken Trail.

Carl Lykken was a Palm Springs Pioneer, and the Town’s first Postmaster!  This trail was called the “Skyline Trail” however it was renamed.   It is a 4.5 mile hike one way out, and provides I think, the best Ariel views of Palm Springs that you can get!. 

If you follow this trail all the way to the end, you are at Tahquitz Canyon.  The best way to do this trail, is to have two cars with you, but we didn’t, so we went 2 1/2 miles out, and then turned around and made our way back to the Jeep.

Here we are at the trail head, heading west up into the Mountains…


Right away you start up the Mountain, and it is a climb of over 800 feet up!


Lots of great rock formations along this one, it was a beautiful day for hiking… needed my shorts though…



It almost looks like I took the pictures from a plane!  Great shot of Palm Springs…


We found lots of these Cactus plants along the way…


Like most Mountain Trails, a lot of work went into the building of this trail, and this one is very well used.


Be careful Judy, you are living on the edge below…


Everywhere you looked the views were great!


What a great hike!


We enjoyed!

Till tomorrow…

Monday, February 27, 2012

Here comes the weather!

The winds came back to haunt us last night, and blew pretty much right through the night…  This morning the temperatures were all cooled off, and it looks like it is snowing up in the mountains! 

Judy was off to the warm pools this morning, as I was left working on one of my planes that gravity had taught a lesson to!  I got it all finished up and was testing it out inside the RV… (mistake), and the engine had a little burp, and wound up and started to move the plane on me… with the prop hitting me in the chest.  Yup, it left a mark or two… they are very powerful, and lesson learned!

Other than a quick trip into DHS this afternoon to pick up some gauze pads, it was very un-eventful.

Yesterday, however we had a couple nice skype calls with our Granddaughters, so here is a bit of a fix for you all…

First we will head off to Ottawa, Ontario, and we find Paige all dressed up like a princess, and Emmie in the background ready to play soccer!

Video call snapshot 93

These two girls have a lot of energy as you can tell, and the skype calls are never dull!

Video call snapshot 95

Here we go, about 7 hour drive down the 401, and we are in Woodstock, Ontario.  This are a lot calmer here, as Gwenny is showing off her nice outfit for the day! (Maybe she is wondering what Mom’s laptop is doing inside her crib???

Video call snapshot 97

That was about it for today, maybe we will have better weather tomorrow.

Till tomorrow…

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Watch out for those Snakes!

Another great day in the desert today, great temps, lots of sun… broken record!   I got out to fly my planes for a bit this morning, but had some technical problems I won’t bore you with, lets just say that gravity won!

Not much else on the go today, other than taking life easy in a real nice Resort!  Into Palm Desert to collect some materials to fix my plane, but that was about it.

This afternoon, we were out looking at the snakes in the desert!

Our Neighbours, Greg and Cindy have two big dogs, and they paid a Company to come into the Resort this afternoon for Snake Aversion Training for one of the dogs.  This Company comes in and does one on one training for your dog!

I did not catch this Ladies name in the pic below, (AKA Snake Lady…)  but her and her Partner ran the course.  She is holding a Pacific Coast Rattle Snake, which is a venomous snake! 


Below is a picture of their dog, Angee, putting on the brakes when she comes across the snake on a make believe walk.  They use an ecollar, if the dog does not give the correct response to the snake, and they use different scenarios…


They also used a baby snake, so the dogs know how to react, and leave the area.  About 7 or 8 dogs took the training as we watch, and they all did very well!

This is a typical shot of the desert floor and you never know what is crawling around out there!


This is where they kept the snakes until they needed them…


You might have wondered how that Woman could handle the snakes without getting bit!  Good question.  Take a look at the pic below.  The snake is actually wearing a “muzzle”!  It can still breath, drink water, and wiggle his tongue out, but cannot open his mouth to bite!  The dogs are safe! 


You can get a better idea of the size of this Pacific Coast Rattler, but it is not full grown she was telling me… I don’t think I want to meet one in the desert!



And a big welcome to KCGAZ as our latest blog follower of RVlifeonwheels!  Welcome aboard, and watch out for snakes!

Till tomorrow…

Saturday, February 25, 2012

And what is your “Fear Factor???”

Wow… another terrific day here in DHS!  Temperatures just perfect, not sure what it got to but it felt around 75 to 80 deg. F.   Made it out to the flying field for a bit this morning, with Judy coming out to watch.  Perfect day for flying…AGAIN!

By 10:30 this morning, we had decided it was time to take a hike again!  Only with a twist.  Judy found this trail in our Palm Springs Hiking Book, however to reach the trail head, you needed a 4 Wheel Drive Vehicle!  We just happen to have one! 

This hike is called the “Mystery Cairns Hike”, and is 4 miles in length, and a 1,000 foot elevation gain…(can you spell “fear factor?”)

We headed out Hwy. 10 west of DHS, and turned onto the Box Canyon Road, and headed towards Mecca.  You hit a big sign along the way, and this marks where the 7 mile Jeep trail starts, to get out to the hiking trail head!

Here we are below just taking off on what is known as the “Meccacopia Trail”


This turned into a great Jeep trail that we really enjoyed.  It was quite challenging at times as we made our way out to the wilderness!



Lots of great views along the way, and lots of different rocks and minerals…


There were lots of side bar canyons and trails we could have followed, but you have to keep your eye on the ball!


We made it out to the trail head, and parked the Jeep, and soon figured out we were going mountain climbing!


In the pic below, we are climbing up this mountain… I stopped as I found this big quartz rock along the trail…


As we started to climb, we soon realised we were at the bad lands of Mecca, and yes, that is the Salton Sea in the background!


It was warm out, so you had to stop and drink water as you climb!  The views just got better and better!


We were following a mountain ridge, and the views around us were 360 degrees, and out of this world!


Ya, I had to get the binoculars going, you could see to Mexico!


You can see the trail we were following below, part of a ridge from one mountain to the next… not too many trees around to block the view!


Judy caught me below piling up some quartz rocks I found along the way… there were tons of them!


You got your cardio going, as you can see from the pic below… it was like “work”!


You can see all the mineral deposits in the mountains as you climb… hard to get a good picture of it!


OK, so below, I look totally in control of my life!  However, as I made the final climb up the mountain to my left, a part of the trail I refer to as “knob hill”, I made it to the top, and decided that… holy cow, it is a 500 foot drop all around me, and what am I doing standing on top of this stupid mountain!   (OK, maybe I used some different words at the time, can’t remember…)


I kind of had to hit the dirt, and Judy walked past me like it was a walk in the park… this is a total turn around for us, as she used to be scared of heights, but has overcome it!  I turned into a warm bowl of Jell-O and was looking for an anchor!  However, we did get to see the Mystery Cairns!  They are just piled rocks along the trail…


Here is the zoomed version of the pic above!


We felt like we were on the top of the world, and I was stuck on the seat of my pants!



The picture below does not reflect the terror going through my body!  I had hit my “Fear Factor”… I would not win the $10,000.00!  Why does the picture look so tame now????



The pic below kind of shows you the trail we came up!  we had climbed up over 1,000 feet!  I will not bore you with the other pictures Judy took of me… you all know what I look like anyways… This picture below I took of Judy, making her way off of Knob Hill…




So, here I am below after reaching my “Fear Factor”, and Judy took this picture with Knob Hill in the background as a souvenir for me! 


I think this pic below give you a good idea of how open it was on this trail… you felt exposed!  We knew we were high, when 3 American Jet Fighters SCREAMED up towards the Salton Sea, and we were looking DOWN on them as they passed!



It was a bit of a slow process on the way back to the Jeep, as we were on the down stroke!  Took this shot of Judy with the smart phone.


We could hear the ATV’s roaring around down in the bad lands below us…  we finally made it back down, about 3 miles of total hiking, and the seats of the Jeep felt pretty good!  Thankfully we brought lots of water, as you needed it today!


There were lots of desert flowers in bloom as we headed back out to the Box Canyon Road.


This little canyon below narrowed down to 1 foot on each side of the Jeep!


This is the 4 wheel drive part of the road, and low range needed to get out of this canyon… it was fun!


As you can tell below, Judy got out and walked a bit!


Phew, bet you are all tired now… all I know is that this hike and Jeep ride, was one of my highlights of the year! 

I also know that “I hit my FEAR FACTOR”!

Till tomorrow…