Monday, June 27, 2011

Wrightwood Camping Trip 2011

From 2011-06-22_wrightwood

Julie and I took our annual camping trip to Table Mountain Campground near Wrightwood, California this past weekend. Normally this is a vintage trailer rally but the guy who normally organizes it had health issues so he didn't promote it. Not that many people showed up. I would have gone anyway since it's such a nice place to camp and get away from everything (well everything but noisy kids). The picture above is from Highway 38 where you turn off from the 15 freeway. The area is called Mormon Rocks for the sandstone formations that jut out of the ground in the area of the San Andreas Fault. Click on the link below the picture above for more pictures.

The first two nights we were in our reserved spot across the road from the spot I always want to get because of its spectacular view. Unfortunately that spot is not reservable and every time I've been there, someone has been in it when I got there. The past two years it has been a family with a lot of tents, stuff and kids. Kind of spoils the view but I was able to hike around them to see the view and the sunset over the horizon. They left Saturday morning so I quickly commandeered the site. In the picture below you can see my trailer in the good site and the site I had earlier in the left background.

As you can see there are lots of tall pine trees with lots of shade. The campground is all dry camping, no electric and no water at the sites but water is close enough and there are clean potties around the area. Heck, I can go three or four days without a shower as long as everyone else is in the same boat. Below is the view from the campsite. This view looks down to the west to Palmdale about 4000 feet below. The campsite is at about 7200 feet. The sun sets due west of the site.

On Saturday, Roly Nelson, his son Scotty, daughter Susie and her granddaughter Brianna arrived and were at the next site over. Roly is an incredible woodworker and has the neatest ideas for trailers. This super lightweight one he made actually stands up on end to store against the wall in his garage. The wings hold it up when stored. He's actually building an even smaller one that will be interesting to see.

They invited me to share dinner with them and I invited them to my spot for the evening. We got a campfire going and roasted corn and potatoes over the fire and Scotty made steaks on his grill. After dinner we enjoyed the sunset and then it was time for dessert which consisted of s'mores, BBQ bananas and gingerbread in orange cups. An awful lot of food. I ate way too much but was a lot of fun hanging out with them.

...of course Adam and Steve came along on the trip as they always do. Nothing like bringing a little tropical flair to a woodsy location.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spring Tractor Show

Today I went with my dad and a couple brothers to the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA for their Spring Tractor show. This is one of those things that I always think I'm going to go to but then I forget and miss it. This time I planned ahead to make sure it was on my calendar. The museum is in the northern part of San Diego County and the site is quite large. There are a lot of permanent installations and a lot going on. People had all kinds of engines on display, most running and some in various states of repair. A lot of interesting designs. There were lots of demonstrations and interesting tractors driving around. As soon as we got in the gate it was easy to tell that my dad was going to have a good time. Being an engineer and inventor, not to mention coming from a farming family, he really enjoys seeing how things work. It's amazing that people have the patience to restore some of these machines. Several displays had before pictures basically showing a rusty pile of parts. My favorite thing was probably the big steam powered tractors. They were basically like your own personal locomotive. We didn't get to see everything in this trip but it was well worth it. Click on the picture above for a video I put together.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wings over Gillespie 2011

Spent Sunday at the small air show in El Cajon, CA. Big draw was the small flying wing from the 1940s. It made a few passes late in the day and then left. I got to try out my new Nikon D5100 for both stills and video.

Click here to see more photos.

Click here for video from the event.