Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Veterans Day Weekend Activities

Jo and I made the most of the long weekend.

We had pistol day at the range.


Small pistol lineup

Then had a nice hot hike at Tecolote Canyon.


Tecolote Canyon trail map

Made the drive up to Raahauges for sporting clays.


Those clays are tricky!

I won a glider flight at last year's SDIC auction and we finally got that chance to go.  It was a warm day driving out to Skysailing at Warner Springs and we thought it would be too hot.  After we signed up and waited a bit for the pilot, Bill.  We both squeezed into the small rear seat, Bill sat in the front and they hooked up the tow.  We quickly left the ground as the tow plane dragged us higher.  After a few minutes, the rope broke.  But Bill was able to find a thermal at the base of the Palomars that lifted us another few thousand feet.  We then flew near Hot Springs Mt.  It was around this time that I got sick.  After a bit more flying, we headed quickly in for a landing.  It was great time and worth the airsickness.

Getting the glider ready

Tight fit in the back seat

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Atlanta Long Weekend

Our family finally got a chance to visit the in-laws in Atlanta!  Jyoti and Bengt went a week early and had a get together up in Greenville.  Jaya and I came later and missed the fun.

  • Visited our properties in Cedartown and Rockmart
  • Hiked at Sweetwater Creek State Park
  • Jaya learned some cookie with Aji
  • Sampled some of the local chicken (Bojangles, Zaxby's, Chick-Fil-A)
  • Van Gogh Immersion exhibit

Breakfast at SAN

Hanging at Van Gogh's pad

Sweetwater Creek with lots of water

Ruins of Manchester mill

Cooking lessons


Philmont 2021 802-7Q

Outbound trip

  • stopped at Holbrook, camped at a AirBnB backyard tent site next to a KOA
  • very little rain


Holbrook camping

Day 1

  • waiting for everyone to fly and drive in so we could begin training
  • met ranger Ben
  • no flags or mess hall; food was given out in crates to eat at camp, better than normal food but I miss the community of the hall

Day 2

  • changed early bus to late bus due to disorganization
  • almost immediately after leaving camp, it started raining hard, then lightning
  • did lightning position for over an hour
  • walked through Zastrow and then hit a overflowing Rayado; couldn't find the sketchy bridge at first
  • got to camp around 7
  • on and off light rain while at camp
  • did bear bag training
  • did food training at 9pm
  • rained a bit overnight

Loading the bus to Zastrow trailhead

Getting ready to hike

Hiking in the rain

 Day 3

  • wet but no rain in the morning
  • hiked to Abreu for the tour, cantina and animals; they had a young burro
  • hiked up hill to Carson Meadows; started raining hard half mile from camp
  • waited on porch until rain stopped
  • campsite was nice but bear bag area was completely flooded
  • tent was on slope so didn't sleep well

Abreu homestead

Baby burro

Babies sleep a lot even when chickens bother them

Flooded bear hang

Carson Meadows cabin


  • one scout decided he couldn't keep hiking; he was having a rough time and I agreed with his decision; however, we had to wait for the staff to get a ride for him back to base camp
  • hike to Fish Camp was longer and more up and down than I remembered
  • got to camp too late for fishing
  • had great weather

Rayado River canyon

Dining fly at Fish Camp

Fish Camp cabin

 Day 5

  • woke up to lots of dew that soaked our tents
  • took a tour of the lodge which was really cool
  • hiked up the river but some of the foot bridges were washed out due the recent rain; we had to cross at the roads
  • first stop was Philips Junction to get our load of food and chocolate milk
  • continued on to Beaubien and go there in time for conservation project
  • cons was clear brush and making burn piles; I pulled my hamstring dragging wood up and down the hills but it was fun anyway
  • Chuckwagon dinner and campfire were great

Crossing the creek

Beaubien cabin

Making burn piles


  • had nice sunny weather heading down the meadow
  • decided not to hit Trail Peak
  • went over Fowler Pass and down into Crater Lake
  • did spar pole climbing which was awesome; I was the only one not to make it to the top
  • last night on trail

Hiking down the meadow

Crater Lake cabin

Spar pole climbing

Day 7

  • cruised down the trail into Lovers Leap trailhead ahead of schedule
  • air was hazy due to smoke from western wildfires
  • decided to hike the extra 2 miles to basecamp rather than wait for the bus
  • fun campfire but it had terrible audio

On the trail

Flowers and Tooth of Time

 Day 8

  • long drive back home

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Weekend Activities

  • Awesome Combat Steel shoot at Rainbow Range
  • Picked up reload ammo at Beebe 
  • Nice dip at the beach
  • Some upper body workouts around a knee injury

Quick swim at Cardiff


Happy Birthday, Fiat Dollar

And not too many more...

Friday, July 30, 2021

Memories of Sophie

When Jaya started demanding a dog, Jyoti looked around at local shelters and online.  After some searching, we discovered Sophie on Craigslist.  Her family couldn't keep her at their apartment anymore.  Our family was very excited to get a dog.

2006 - on the way to a hike

However, soon after Jyoti discovered she was allergic and her prior family asked to take her back.  It was heartbreaking for Jaya.  But in another twist, Sophie missed us and her family returned here to us a few weeks later, this time for good!

2006 - upon Sophie's return

Sophie was full of energy and loved hikes.  Her favorites were Manchester Preserve (aka Pipe Hike), San Elijo Lagoon and Cardiff.  She had countless walks at those and other locations.  My favorite memories are of walking with her in nature.

2007 - hike at south side of lagoon

2007 - muddy paws

2008 - jogger hike

2008 - lagoon nature center

2008 - pipe hike


2009 - Lake Hodges bridge

2010 - lagoon nature center

2012 - makeshift leash

2013 - seeing her leash gets her excited for a walk

2014 - coming back from a hike

2015 - east of Lake Hodges

2016 - beach hike

2017 - Carmel Valley hike

2017 - lagoon nature center

2017 - she loved our old Passport/Rodeo

2018 - caught in the rain at Cardiff

2018 - very furry at the beach

2018 - Sophie selfie

2018 - Sophie's view of the ocean

2018 - pipe hike views

2018 - windy day at Cardiff

2018 - more beach hiking

2018 - ready to turn around

2019 - Anza-Borrego flowers

2019 - at Bengt's spot in Cardiff

2020 - one of her last car rides

2021 - last walk at the lagoon

She was the most cheerful dog. She always was excited to greet us when we got home.  And she loved hanging out on the couch with us chewing a bone.

2008 - at my parent's old house

2010 - chewing a bone on our old leather couch

2011 - a bone bigger than her

2018 - sitting on laundry

Sophie loved people food, especially meat of any kind.  She often would avoid her kibble in the hopes of getting a treat of chicken or steak. Up to the very end, she would get very excited when she smelled chicken in the house.

2017 - wagging her tail to get some chicken

Sophie was fine being a solo dog and avoided other dogs.  When we took her to dog parks, she usually just sat there and watched the other dogs.  She would even avoid drinking from community dog bowls; we would have to bring our own bowls or refresh the water.  We tried getting another dog but Sophie not having it and had a tantrum.

2007 - one of the few times she played with another dog

Like all dogs, she loved to sleep and she spent lots of time in sun spots on the couch or in her basket.


2020 - lots of sleep late in her life

2018 - fur ball

2017 - happy sunspot

2017 - cool concrete

2016 - her favorite outdoor chair

2014 - among the pillows



Sophie hated swimming, baths and anything having to do with water.  At my parents old house, we put her in the pool a few times so she could swim around and find the steps before drowning.

2016 - getting a bath


After a long active life, her health started to fail.  A few years ago her hearing went out.  Next she started to have problems jumping on the bed and going up the steps.  As her arthritis got worse, her eyesight started to fail.  We stopped taking her for walks.  Her dementia increased this year and she needed constant care.  Since she couldn't make it out of the doggie door, we often returned home and found accidents on the floor.  Good thing we had tile.  She wore diapers at night in our bed. In the last few weeks, she was having a hard time going to the bathroom and would yelp on occasion.  We knew it was time.  We drove up to visit Jaya one last time and went to the vet hospital where she worked.  It was quick and peaceful... and very sad. 


2021 - saying our final goodbyes

Here is just a small sampling of her adventures.