Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Up date on My son and our Disneyland outting

A couple of weeks ago My son had an accident. He jumped off a roof and landed wrong, sprained, both his ankles and almost broke both heals, plus cracking his growth plates in both ankles.
Well last weekend (11th and 12th)was my time to visit. I went down and picked him up.
He now has two temporary casts on and is in a wheelchair.
He was pretty good at the transfer from the chair to the car and back to the chair.
We went over Highway 2 again and he enjoyed it more this time.
The fun part came when we got back to the cabin. Our Cabin is on a hill, and has a long stairway to get to the front door. Easy enough, piggy back rides up. This worked well. My excellent neighbor Jane, who is a chiropractor, saw this and was asking how my back was holding up. Alex is still light thank goodness so I was not in need of her services...grin
Saturday we spent the day at home, but Sunday he wanted to go to Disneyland.
I suspect he wanted to go because if you are in a wheelchair you get to kind of cut to the front of the line.
Sunday was a busy day actually. Cute fiancee was leaving for almost a week to go greet into this world her new and 11th grandchild. We had to have her at the Airport by 4am so we were up very early.
My son and I tried to kill time but still we were the first ones in line at the Disneyland parking structure. We went and got his ticket then waited in line. I got this picture of him near the entrance to Disneyland and California Adventure.

We finally got into the park and went to the rides. First was Space Mountain. He was able to get in and out of the coaster cars easily. We made it over to the Haunted house. This was the coolest part. Just in case there is a few that have never been to the Disneyland Haunted House it is part walking tour and part tram car (doombuggies). The entrance starts you off in this big room that is really an elevator that gives you the illusion that the room is stretching this sets you up for a hallway with scary stuff in it that leads to this tram that carries you through the Haunted house.
If you are in a wheelchair they slow the tram down some and get you on then speed it back up.
So we load Alex on the tram and go through the ride. Instead of getting off at the normal point they let you stay on and the ride, and it passes through a room you never see. It is just the Maintenance area for the ride but it is cool because it is kind of lit and you can see how the buggies ride on a track and move around. The ride attendants bring back the wheelchair and we unload without the tram stopping. (side note if you are on the ride sometimes the buggies stop and a voice comes on all spooky like, and says "spankish spirits have interrupted your journey please stay seated in your doombuggie.. I forget the rest....lol)
After you are off the ride they send you back through the system to the room/elevator. It is so weird to be in the room as it is going up. The illusions are revealed as the painting that stretch go slack and roll back up. It was rather cool to see that side of Disneyland. Funny thing in the room/elevator, the first time we went a girl was operating the controls and she said that she knew the room went down but she still could believe it the way it looks at it all retracts into place. The girl and her garb, all attendents at the haunted house are dressed in green, black, and white Mortician outfits, and having Alex with me reminded me of something that happened when he turned 5. His mother and I decided to celebrate his birthday at Disney World and we had a condo deal set up for a week there in Orlando Florida. On the day we were celebrating Al's birthday we were standing in the line for the Disney World version of the "Haunted Mansion".
We are standing by the horse drawn hearse, and there is two Attendents talking and guiding the people into the attraction. One is a young girl and the other a young man. Alex is just 5 that day and he starts talking to this young lady and going on about how it is his birthday and we are going back to our condo and going to have cake and ice cream with candles and all the hoop la.
With out breaking stride my son asks this young lady if she would like to come to his party. We all cracked up. The girl without batting an eye say sure sweetheart I would love to join you at your party. I remind you she is in this Morticians outfit. The young man leans down and asks Alex what his secret is.....lol He had been asking her to go on a date for months and had never gotten a YES. It was such a funny event. I just had to share that memory.

All in all I don't think you get any better deal if you are in a chair or not. Back tracking through the exits is a pain, dodging people and other wheelchairs. On some rides there is even wheelchair lines.
The Indiana Jones ride is kind of a pain, for unloading the handicapped. They don't back load it or use a special car. They move you thru an elevator system and load you with the rest of the riders. You go through the ride and then you have to hold all the people back and move traffic backwards so you can get back to the chair and then push it up to the ride to get your handicapped charge then they can load the ride. We rode it twice and both times it was a snafu.
It was still fun and the ride attendents were helpful, but it seemed kind of backwards.
On the way out I stopped by the Town Hall so I could suggest they need to work on that ride for the Handicapped. I was nice about it, I hate being bitchy at the Happiest Place On Earth...grin
We even got Alex on a few rides he had never been on. Like the Submarine ride. At one time it was the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" ride, But they have updated it so it can be the "Finding Nemo" ride. Alex was teenage aloof about that ride. We also went on the Peter Pan ride because he said he had never been on it. Aloof again on that ride. At his age it is more about the roller coaster.
We had a fun day, and adventure to remember.
PS Cute fiancee's new Granddaughter was born 7/13/2009 her name is Kiale Anne.
If the powers that be permit I may post pictures.

Monday, July 13, 2009

4th of July trip

The weekend of the 4th was great. We had been invited to a party by a few friends from High School. Some of them we hadn't seen in 20 years most since we graduated. It is funny how you can go to something like this and walk up to people and they smile, you look at each other, there is something there but you are just not connecting. Finally you ask there name, they say it, BOOM it all comes rushing back. You recognize them instantly after that. Cute fiancee had to work Saturday so we got to the party late. It was a blast to see all these people after all these years. An old friend Scott Madden has a new movie out that all Vampire fans should look up. Movie: The Kiss. It is an Independent film but all that have watched have loved it. Cute fiancee and I will see it soon. Scott said we needed to have a reunion of sorts for something we did in High School.
Way back in 1979 a few guys got together to set a world record in playing basket ball. The object was to play basket ball continuously for 100 hours to beat the record at the time . This group didn't make it. I'm not sure who took up the task for a second try, but I remember one day as I walked the halls to my next class, way back then, hearing someone say "hey Kris is a jock" or something close to that....lol Back in High School I was involved in swimming, I also ran track the last year of school, but I went around school bragging that I was the Rim High School swim team back then. Actually Rim High, even to this day doesn't have a swim team, but my dad talked the school into getting the info so I could go to a CIF (California Interscholastic Federation for those out of state) Swim meet and reprisent Rim as a swimmer.
I'll digress here and say that the meet I went to was funny in a way. I swam 3 events at this pool out in the desert somewhere. The meet had all the events in a format that put the fastest timed people in the middle lanes and the slow ones at the edges of the pool. I was what I would call a reasonable swimmer, in the small YMCA leagues I swam in I was usually the fastest in the pool. Like all things, you might be the big fish in some pond or lake, but when you move up to a bigger body of water things maybe a little different. So because of the seating of these event I was put in the outer lanes with the slow people. I swam these races and came in 3rd in all, if I remember correctly. There was some big fish in the pool and I was not next to them so I couldn't even race them. Did well for Rim but not to CIF finals, not even my best times...ah the memories.
Back to the Basket ball bit, I was recruted in the hall ways of school and on a holiday weekend a bunch of guys and myself set off to beat the world record for playing basketball. It was for 100 hours, it even stretched over into a school day. for the last hour and a half of our 100 hours we had a good part of the school student body cheering us on. We were all delerious as hell after 4 days and 4 hours straight of being awake. I hear we played a great game of basketball during the last hour.
Now to tie it all together. I'm such a rambler...lol Scott wants to have a reunion of that group. I hope he doesn't want to try for another 100 hours, I can't stay up late any more...ah getting older can be fun....naps are good...grin

The party started to wind down some and cute fiancee and I had a plan of heading to our current favorite ghost town, Bodie, for the rest of the weekend. We were going to go up on Sunday morning but Cute fiancee talked me into driving to Bishop on Saturday night instead so we could get to Bodie early.
We ran home and packed real fast and hit the road. Bodie <(link to State Park site)is a ghost town in the Sierra Nevada's above Mono Lake in California. Map
It is well worth the drive to get there. We had heard it was on the list of closures if the stupid state doesn't get it's fiscal house in order.....grrrr don't get me started on stupid politicians...
We had been to Bodie about a year ago and we wanted to see it again.
So we hit the Highway at about 6pm and start heading north. It was the Holiday so the roads were almost clear. For those of you not familiar with California, there is a highway that runs up the eastern side of the Sierras that goes all the way to Canada. It passes by some popular towns like Mammoth, Carson City, Reno Nv, and Bishop Ca. It is the 395.
The old towns and geological sites are worth the drive alone. We had the long summer sunset and evening twilight most of the way north as we drove. Beautiful sunset. As it started to get dark the fireworks started to show up. Part of the 395 runs through the Mojave Desert and a lot of people like to camp and ride bikes and 4 wheelers out there. Between these campers and the small town firework shows we had a great show as we drove along. Here is a really cool part...grin
There is a little town along the 395 called Independence Ca., I have always wondered what they do on the 4th of July. I guess they have some really cool, small town fun. It was after 10pm as we started into the Independence area, and off towards the town as we approched there was a fireworks show going on. As we entered Independence the fireworks show came to a crescendo,
(had to look up how to spell that 64K word...sheesh) all these diffent colored explosions. It was kind of cool we got to see the end of the 4th of July fireworks show in Independence Ca...lol
By the time we got to the town airfield of course the California Highway Patrol had stopped traffic to empty out the fireworks spectators and we were stuck there for a while.
After that we followed this red Chevy PU truck all the way to Bishop. Knucklehead. He would drive fast and weave eratically, then drive slow and do a more gental back and forth motion. Well yes he was drunk and I didn't want be behind him but every time I passed him, he would just poor himself by us again. Idiot.
We made it to Bishop at about 11:30.
Bishop Ca. is one of the most beautiful town's in California. It is a town that is both rural and turist location. It is close to Mammoth Ski Resorts, The High Sierra's, including Mt Whitney, for fishing and hiking, and a place to stop with lots of hotels along the 395.
Most of the Hotels charge 80 to 100 bucks to stay this time of year, but I found this hole in the wall right off the Main drag. It is only 50 to 65 bucks to stay here and the rooms are clean and well kept. Best of all it had a tub. If we go on a trip and don't find a tub in the hotel my fiancee might do a Texas divorce on me. She is a tub girl and our poor cabin is rather tub challanged.
This place is pretty quaint. It must have been built in the 40's by the style of the place, but has held up well over the years. They have a website. Cute fiancee went and had a quick dip in their pool and we went to bed.
We got up early, had breakfast at a local eatery, and started north. It is fun to find hole in the wall place that only the locals go to. Less assembly line looking food like you get at Denny's or IHOP. Here are some pictures of the Sierra's as you climb the hill from Bishop (3500' approx)
to the summit near Tom's Place (7000').

In the last picture, to the right of the mountain is a ridge line, that is actually the rim of an ancient volcano. Highway 395 runs right through part of this huge caldera of this volcano.
When we have earthquakes down here at home I go to a website to see how strong they are and where it was located. I went to one of the links on that site that said big quakes and it had listed the name of this town called Tom's Place.

At times it looks like this small town is always shaking.
most are unfeelable (is that a word?) quakes. So I took some pictures to show how big the caldera is in this area.

There has been a lot of volcanic activity in this are over the Millennia. If you know what you are looking at it is amazing to think what it was like when all this was very active. If not then it is just plain beautiful country.
Cute fiancee thinks I'm nuts stopping all the time for pictures of this and that. The little mind reader knows I'm concocting a set up for the blog...lol
We headed for Bodie passing through the Mono Lake area and a town called Lee Vining, this place is the eastern gateway to Yosemite, a trip we must take someday.
You have to keep an eye out for the turn off for Bodie. It is just a slot canyon with a road in it, at the bottom of a hill. It has signs but you can miss it if you're not watching. You go up this canyon
following a creek. There was a guy tending a flock of sheep, as we went up, both of us thought one of the sheep got loose until we discovered it was one of the sheep dogs...lol
Finally you get to the end of the road. From hear on it is dirt. Not bad as dirt roads go. We even passed a Mercedes as we went up.

Bodie is a town kind of frozen in time. Or as the site liturature says "a town in a state of arrested decay" as you look inside the buildings and houses it looks like people just upped and left leaving things right where they were using them.
Cute fiancee found this tin pile as we walked in.

The Last people making Bodie there home left in the 1940's, so old cars litter the place.

It was kind of funny, the people up at the house in the last picture, were talking about how they wanted a picture taken in front of there new home. The place has tons of old stuff to look at.
If you are a nostalgia junkie you should go to Bodie.
I kept looking in the old buildings and seeing the old flooring and wall paper. Wall paper was really for keeping the cold winds out, and since this place is at over 8000' boy did they need it in the winter.

Other things would catch our eyes as we looked through the old poured class windows.
This light cover almost looked out of place but that was a style back in the twenties. Peaking in the window is all you can do here, but the stuff you see is interesting. Cans, Bottle cases, ice skates and such.

Cute fiancee caught this pattern on the glass at the church in town.

Here are some of the homes and buildings in Bodie.

The town's school is fascinating to peak into. This is the one place where it looks like people up and left with the books left open.

I'm glad Cute fiancee took the pictures of the school last time because I forgot to this time.

This town was kind of a head in the technology of the time. At the turn of the last century (1900) Bodie was running its mills and heating it's homes on fire wood, as in train loads of wood.
Some one saw some potential in a new fangled thing called A/C current, electricity. The Mine and Mill Stamping plant had a Hydroelectric plant put in back near the Sierra's and ran wires on poles to the town. One funny story I read was that they ran the wires strait as an arrow from the hydroelectric plant to the mill because they were afraid if they made any sharp bends the electricity would jump off the wires...lol They caused themselves a lot of labor going the direct way. On the back side of one of the hotels is this block and stone building with wires going into it.

And inside is these huge transformers. This was pretty cutting edge stuff when they put this in.
Of course the first winter the snow cut down the lines and they had to power the mill with the steam power again, and then the boiler blew up because they hadn't checked it in months because of the electricity was on. This is the problem with being early innovators. Thank goodness when our black berry goes on the fritz and we have to go back to our old cell phones it doesn't blow out the pocket that it is in.

The General Store and motor coach depot was interesting.

This old Dodge truck sitting at the old gas pumps still runs. The Mines and Stamping mill are on the hill behind the truck. Bodie was a gold town and very rough and tumble during it's time. If you go take the tour.
Another cool thing is that the summer rangers get to stay in some of the old houses in town.
Cute fiancee thought it would be cool to retire and come here and do a couple of summers just to stay in the town. This posting has taken almost three days to do....lol We had gotten to Bodie just after they opened and I had two other things on my mind that were in the area, but I will get back to those a little later.
It was a beautiful day on the 5th. It was actually an anniversary of sorts. Last year at that time I had proposed to The then Cute Girlfriend while at our favorite spot at Disneyland. This trip was a blast and Cute fiancee loved it.
More to follow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Last weekends Adventure.

I better post this or it will never get done. It's not like we go out and do adventures every weekend. It's not like I'm trying to avoid doing stuff around the house like clean out the back room, and under the house, and put up the siding, or save my life and put in a tub for the cute fiancee. It just turns out that way, honest.
We had my son last weekend, side note yesterday my son was trying to climb off the roof at his mom's house and it looks like he jumped off the rickety ladder that was too high up and landed wrong and now has two banged up ankles, I will keep all posted on this as he is waiting on Xray's to tell how bad it is....sigh Where was I, oh yes we had my son last weekend. The cute fiancee wanted to go out to Barstow to the Harvey House. It was at the old train station at Barstow and there is a Route 66 Museum there also. Luck for use we like getting early starts because it was hot out in the desert. Unfortunenatly there was no tour for the Harvey House but there was a Rail Road Museum there so we looked around there and took pics at the train station.
The Rout 66 Museum.

Inside is some cool stuff for all us nostalgia junkies, even cute fiancee's favorite year Mustang.
'64 and 1/2.

There was even a display for the Harvey House, showing the uniform's that the Harvey Girls had to wear.

There was a lot of fun displays and articles on the walls and racks. I got a kick out of this old switchboard, thought my mom would like this picture she told me she ran one at one point.

Ruth Buzzy now comes to mind......"May I connect your call...snort"

We walked around the Old Barstow Station, which still has the Harvey House name on it.

we looked over some of the train displays.

It didn't take long to go through these two museums and the grounds of the Old Barstow Train Station but I had a back up adventure planed. Not far from Barstow is a place called Rainbow Basin.

If you like Geology, and desert color this is a nice stop. It has camping nearby. I would recommend in the cooler months. It was almost 100 the day we were out here.
The place is full of colored and layered rock formations.

The picture there shows a bunch of Joshua Trees in a sandy area on top of this green butte, and this lone layered lump of rock in the middle of this canyon.
Some of the formations are clay like sedimentary that were laid down eons ago and time and water have been shaping them.

The last picture looked like snow on the hills. While driving up this narrow wash Cute fiancee saw something that looked like obsidian up on the canyon side, so we stopped. find.

My son climbed up to look at it.

Turns out it was just some dark material that had flowed down into the cracks at some time in the ancient past and as the canyon face falls off it shows what looks like a rock or in cute fiancee's case some obsidian. She wants be to find some so we can make a rock fireplace with lots of obsidian in it...grin Alas it was just a paper thin formation on the face of the canyon. We found a piece below the formation that explained what it was.

The Rainbow Basin is a big loop and drops you off back onto a desert road that you can turn left on and go out the way you came or right and head off into the land of old Silver mines, dry lake beds and more desert. We went right. We ended up near an area that at one point people were prospecting and digging test holes looking for silver. Every time we go to a place like this we become rock hounds. We came back with some cool specimens.

We finally came out of the desert out near Hwy 58. It had been fun but it had been hot and we were not ready for 100 deg. Nice clear day with thunderheads trying to form on the horizon.

We had come out old Route 66 from Victorville to Barstow. It is fun to see what was but sad to see what had become of the past. All the run down old road side buildings and stores. On the way back home, up Rt. 66 again I had to stop and get a picture of the logos painted on the Highway pavement.

One of these days I would like to drive the whole Route 66, see the Mother Road. If I do I will post it here.