Loneliest Road

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It’s been called The Loneliest Road, which ironically gave it fame and tourism otherwise unsolicited or deserved.  Route 50 cuts across Nevada from East to West, with nary a stop along the way.  It’s sole purpose to get from one end to the other… CA being on the West end, Utah being on the East.

Our destination was to cut across Northern CA to Great Basin National Park, on the Eastern edge of Nevada.  This time of year we were the only ones at Great Basin National Park, as the Park itself and all the roads, overlooks, and scenic drives were closed (unlike what their own website indicated).  One year round campground was open, so at least we had that.

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With snow on the ground, the temperatures were quite nippy.  It did provide for our first glimpse of a white turkey, though… so that was pretty cool.

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Lehman Caves was open, and provided a wonderful excursion and scenic site.   You can check out my photos of the Caves here….Lehman Caves

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We will have to imagine the park and it’s views since it wasn’t open when we were there.  But I can tell you that the babbling brook and creek running as the snow melted was very calming and serene.  The views of the snow packed peaked above us, surrounded by aspen and birch were stunning to behold.

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I can’t say it’s worth the drive, having seen so little of it… but it was a nice place to rest our head for the night.

 

 

 

 

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Getty Museum

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I have definitely heard of the Getty Museum.  It has been open since 1997 in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.  To view the grounds alone is mind blowing, with it’s expansive well groomed campus, home to 5 modern marble block buildings housing extensive collections of fine art dating all periods of Greek and Italian masters.

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To see the extent of the collections, which rotate – so you never see all of it, is stunning.  Portraits (or busts) of both famous and simple persons of centuries before, bestowing their wealth and stature; paintings dating back to Before Christ (BC); figurines of great importance and talent; photographs; and wood carvings.

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In a world where there is so much vanity, and ‘cheap’ entertainment, it is a welcome retreat to see such ‘real’ art.  The museum is akin to any great museum you might find in Europe.  It is extremely diverse, wide and varied in it’s mediums and artists.  Where else can you see items of such historical significance?

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In so many ways, it doesn’t seem like such a place should exist.  The history portrayed here is of Europe (much of it Italy) artifacts, not US.   But then, US has very little of our own history… we are all after all, mostly descended from Europe.   J Paul Getty, with all his wealth, fell in love with the Italian villas, and fascinated with Pompeii and the vast mosaics, artifacts, and history.  So much in fact, that he wanted to share it with his fellow Americans… hence the Getty Museum.

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Much of it is very religious is tone.  But irregardless of your religious affiliations… it is definitely a sight to see.

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Deer Level

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They say that some of the best photos are taken from your subject’s perspective.  So if you are taking photos of a child or pets… to do it from their low vantage point.  It brings more story telling to the photograph, seeing the world from their eyes.

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One of my recent favorite subjects are these baby deer I keep seeing.  There must be 4 families, with one mom and one baby each.  Sometimes I see them all at once… sometimes only one at a time.

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However I see them, it’s always a treat, and something I never tire of.  The little fawns are each different.  Some more playful, some more timid… some more scrawny, some more filled out.

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Mom is ever watchful and protective of their new little ones, and quick to sense danger.  It has been fun to watch their behavior and individual traits.

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For more deer photos see my photo … here.

 

Fall Trees

People call us ‘crafty’.  I actually resent that term.  When you’re using jackhammers and shoveling rock, building pizza ovens and garages, ‘crafty’ is the last thing you feel you are.

But yesterday, I must even admit, I practiced ‘crafty’.

I saw this little project, I got a wild hair, and decided to make some myself.

It’s a little ‘crafty’ table ornament made with readily accessible resources – sticks, twigs, and branches.

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We started cutting branches into little rounds which I then brushed with Thompson water seal, and then drilled a hole in the center (but not all the way through).

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I cut little tree-like twigs and fired up the hot glue gun.  I think when the hot glue gun comes out, you are squarely in the craft zone.

And cut tons of little paper cut-outs of oak leaves with our handy leaf punch (doesn’t everyone have one of those laying around – available at Michael’s and JoAnn’s).

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With glue gun in hand, I glued the little twig trees into the branch bases… and the paper cut-out leaves onto the trees.

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And, wa-la.  Fall tree table ornaments.

Ok… maybe I am a little crafty.  But just today.

 

Spots

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We saw our first fawn, and I posted the photos here.

Since then we have had several sightings of different families.  It has been an enormous treat to see these precious baby deer.

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I can tell one family that comes by, as dad is still hanging out with them… usually waiting in the wings ever watchful.

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Red Tailed Hawk

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The other day we had a hawk surveying our property.  The blue jays and birds were none too happy about having this predator in their midst.  The blue jay dive bombed the hawk to let him know he was an unwelcome guest.

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The ground was still and quiet.  The squirrels and chipmunks generally frolicking about were hiding … shivering in their little makeshift homes maybe.  You could almost hear the ground settle with a sign of relief when he left.

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It reminded me of this stunning video from National Geographic.  Have you seen it?  How did they get this footage… amazing.   Check it out….      Epic Chase video

It’s A Small World

If you may have read my last post here , you saw that we had a traumatic event when we lost the truck & camper we had spent the last 18 months custom building.  That event was 5 weeks ago this week.  The pain and drama of it all has worn off, and we are moving on.

Today… a fellow fire fighter sent us photos that someone going the opposite direction on the double divided highway had taken of John fighting his own truck fire.  It’s not often you get to see yourself in action at a major event in your life.

All I have to say is… it’s a small world, that these photos found their way to us.  What are the odds.  It has brought it all back for us… though we are still in the middle of cleaning up the aftermath, but the emotions of the moment are brought back to the forefront.

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BTW… the guy with the fire extinguisher in his hand (on the left) trying to put out the flames before the fire department arrived is John (my husband… and hero).  The guy standing behind the truck is a guy who was on his way to fire school… where John was headed… who was kind enough to loan him his fire extinguisher.

There has been a myriad of details that have come to light just in the stories that John recalls from the frenzy of events of that day.  The one that sticks the most in my mind is the fact that he estimates he had 2 minutes to get out of the truck.  He had tried to get back into the truck after trying to put out the engine fire to claim other goods.  In the midst of the engine fire, the doors of the truck had automatically locked.  Had John been inside he wouldn’t have been able to get out.  As it was he escaped with nothing more than the clothes on his back.  The Blue Ridge Fire Department t-shirt he is wearing, is the only one he has left, as all the others he had were destroyed in the fire… along with everything else in our 20 year old truck, less than year old utility bed and camper top… all GONE and destroyed in the fire.

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Sooooo…. there is a moral to this story.

We have purchased rescue tools for all our friends.

John has one tie wrapped to the hold bar on my Jeep.   Everyone should have one.  It may save your life one day.  Get one today.  They are cheap.  It’s like a center punch… one little click and it shatters the window and allows one to get out.  Never know when you might need one.