Saturday, March 5, 2011

Up, Up, in the air… (and down kind of hard…)

Today was simply a beautiful day down here in the Desert… Temperature was around 80 degrees F. (or 30 plus for you Celsius people).  

First thing this morning, I decided it was time for the second flight of the P-47, what a great day for it… no wind, nice an warm and sun a blazing…

So here is my finished plane back together, mind you it does have a few surgery scars that show, but that don’t matter, so do I…


I did a test of the “taxi ability” of my plane and had to made some corrections…


I had a bit of a minor mishap at first, no damage, just kind of flipped on the roof… the good news was Judy’s camera quit working at this point… just before the big one… again… I got the plane way up in the air, and was flying around, and then lost control again, and down she came… no pics to spare you all the grief… but not quite as bad as the first time…  seems my pilot ability is now at the level I thought it was… to ease my mind, I did fly my helicopter a few trips with great success so I felt better!  Back to the drawing board… it will fly again!


After flight school was over, we decided to go on a Jeep run and a hike!  It was too good a day not to!  We headed out to what is known as Blair Valley. 

Be very careful of what you see below, you don’t want to mess with one of these guys…



This trail was about 11 miles long, and rated easy… you needed a 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicle, however there were a few people that took cars out, and they would have been scraping…

That is our Magellan GPS you see mounted on the window… it keeps us in line!


It was an incredible ride through a cactus garden today, we really enjoyed the ride…


Lots of variety as we made our way along…


We had to drive by a dry lake bed with some campers on the edge so they wouldn’t get wet!


Check out this guy below, he was trying to listen to what we were saying about him!


Judy has a big smile as she enjoys the hike out to the pictographs… on the way we saw the following plants…yucca, mesquite, buckhorn cholla, desert mistletoe, ocotillo, catclaw, juniper, agave and cresote. 



These pictographs were made by the Kumeyaay Indians, many moons ago, and they do not really know what they mean. 


Judy checks them out… kind of cool!


It was 1 mile to the pictographs, and another half mile further, we found this neat little canyon pass…


We made it through the short pass, and look at what we found… an incredible view of the valley with surrounding mountains… this is where we ate lunch today!


As we enjoyed lunch, we enjoyed the view of Smugglers Canyon as this place is known.  The mountains you see are the Sawtooth Mountains, and the Laguna Mountains, and yes, that is snow on the tops of them… as we sat for lunch, we were at 3,200 feet of elevation and it was simply perfect weather!


This view is of the dry lake bed we passed on the way out… beautiful area…


Here was our laugh for the day, see I am not the only one that does strange things with a Jeep, although this is not a Jeep you see.  This guy was horsing around for his friends and got into a heap of trouble, and they were digging muck out from underneath by had… they had a long way to go when we passed by…


So that was the kind of day it was.  

We have changed our plans again, because we can… and will leave here on Monday morning, and hook up all our gear and vehicles, and head over to Mission Bay, San Diego.  We have decided to move over there and enjoy the Pacific Ocean for a couple days while we wait for our Jeep to be repaired at Jack Orr’s Auto Body.   We may end up staying to the end of the week and then will be off to Lake Havasu to meet up with David and Angela!  

As I blog tonight I am watching Toronto play Chicago and it is not pretty so far… in the second and we are down 3 – 0…   hmmmmmm…

Till tomorrow…


  1. Must be a design flaw in the P-47 as it surely can't be pilot error, can it?

    Thanks for the great desert tour in your Jeep and the hike in the canyon as well. You and Judy sure captured some great scenic pics.

    Glad to see you had a great day and I hope the P-47 is able to get back in the air soon and then down safely.

  2. Thank you or the desert tour. Have a safe drive to San Diego, and we hope all goes well there.

  3. Here's an idea for your next flight. Replace those wheels with pontoons & make your next flight out over the Pacific Ocean where the water might make for a softer landing:)) Gotta love that Blair Valley area for sure & it's one of the things that makes this whole area so great. Around every corner awaits a new adventure. Y'all come back now ya hear.

  4. Really enjoyed the photos today. That looks like a great drive and hike. Great photo of the jack rabbit. Thanks for sharing.