Ingress in Anaheim


While I’ve been keeping busy with school work there’s still been time for my new hobby; Ingress. For those of you who haven’t run into Ingress its a game from Niantic, the makers of Pokemon go. It’s actually been around for several years and the location data is what they used to create the pokestops and gyms. I started playing last year and it was Christmas eve when several of us gathered together to create a massive Christmas star over the city of Bakersfield that I really got into the game. Something about being able to play as a team was very appealing. Since then I’ve been playing regularly and have even joined in some out of town trips to Anaheim (there’s a lot of portals there).

It’s a fun hobby and I look forward to playing for some time to come.

 

Return to Vegas or the T-rex ate my bike!


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It turned out the reason we didn’t have reservations in Henderson for the trip home from Ely was because I had booked a non-refundable night for the following weekend, So what the heck it’s only 700 miles or so round-trip so I loaded the bike and off I went.

My first obstacle was as I neared Baker a huge dust storm hit. These are pretty impressive in a car, on a bike not really something I’d recommend experiencing. The pictures don’t really do it justice since I hid my camera away to protect it during the worst of it.

I made it through though and stopped in Baker to wash off some of the dust and check out Alien jerky.

I also stopped by a large solar collector field that had an unearthly glow as the focused sun beams shone through the dust still in the air.

I arrived in Henderson Nevada to find Dinosaurs had taken over the town!

I made it safely to my hotel though (T-Rex didn’t get me) and checked in and went and got some dinner before heading out to see the Vegas strip. I decided to take a ride on the new “High Roller” Ferris wheel. you start out by stepping into one of these.

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Before long you are climbing into the sky, they have screens that remind you how high.

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and the view once you’re up there is wonderful…

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I walked along the strip a bit then cruised it a couple of times on the bike before the crowded traffic got to me and it was time to call it a night. So I headed back to the hotel in Henderson.

Traveling through Nevada



Traveling in Nevada

My apologies for the lack of posts as late. My excuse as before is I’ve been busy with coursework as I near the completion of my degree. Hopefully the hard parts are over and I’ll have a little more time to post before I begin job seeking in earnest. Meanwhile I’m completing some posts from last year. Leaving the NSS convention in ELY we planned on driving over to Henderson Nevada and seeing Hoover dam. I however messed up the hotel reservations so instead we headed South to Needles, California which gave us an opportunity to see southern Nevada.


Cactus

The landscape here was definitely more arid then the previous part of our journey and afforded some great cactus sighting as we traveled along.

 

We stopped at the Ludlow Cafe for lunch the next day.img_2065-x2

and I spotted a film crew hard at work on an indie film “Thrasher Road”

https://www.facebook.com/thrasherroad/

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Then it was back on the long road back to Bakersfield.

 

Ely and the 2016 NSS Convention


 

Heading out from Susanville we were taking Highway 50 Americas ‘loneliest road’ at least that’s what all the signs and tourist info said.Our next stop before getting to the convention in Ely was in Fallon where we spent the night across the street from the Douglas Mansion. Currently painted pink its listed as the only Victorian two story in Fallon in 1904.

We were following the path of the famous pony express and passed a few places listed as stops for the express as well as the famous Nevada shoe tree. Oh and when we stopped for cool drinks in Austin the saloon had a small collection of authentic western Jackal-opes.

Eventually we arrived in Ely and looks like we were in the right place!

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I was actually surprised i didn’t notice more signs on the way through town- turned out the were being blown over by windy conditions, it was really windy which was stirring up a lot of dust ugh. At least the sessions etc. were inside. We were warned in registration to put something heavy in the pouches provided for our Convention badges or they’d likely fly up in the breeze and try to strangle us.Since we’d arrived late we missed lunch so we headed into town for something to eat. The Silver State restaurant turned out to be across the street from our hotel and provided a great lunch.Then it was back to the school to admire the art, pictures and cave maps.

 

We spotted a sun spider in the hallways, said hi to Morley and Lorelle and watched kids and adults alike enjoying the cave sim. All too soon it was evening and time for the Howdy Party, this years theme was supposed to be Donner Party or some such but as at most Howdy parties  Most folks came as they were. Some did dress in old time western garb so the theme was present. Dinner was fine, though there was some grumbling at the late arrival of the beer truck Finally it was time for the main attraction. The performance by ‘The new Christy Minstrels‘ (an American large-ensemble folk music group founded by Randy Sparks in 1961). Needless to say it was a great show with many of the audience joining it with familiar songs and dancing.

The next day we spent enjoying the talks and sessions. Dad and I stopped in to watch Kip manage to beat the time for his age group in the 30 meter vertical, he managed to climb faster then the goal he’d set for himself so he was pretty happy.

The other vertical competitors all appeared to be enjoying themselves and there was plenty of people encouraging them so it was fun watching.

For that evenings entertainment I had signed us up for the ‘Rockin Rollin Railroad’ a geology field trip aboard the Northern Nevada Rail Roads authentic coal burning steam train.This featured presentations by local geologists covering railroad & mining history with a show and tell of ore samples from the Robinson Nevada Mining District. They did a great job telling us all about the geology of the area.They had some fascinating info about all the copper, gold, molybdenum and silver that had been mined in the area and descriptions of how we could see various layers from the Cretaceous where there was limestone as well as a host of other layers and minerals I must confess I missed as I was too busy geeking out on being on a steam locomotive. Running back and forth trying to find the best spot to get a picture while not getting covered in smoke and cinders proved challenging, but it was a lot of fun.

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I made it back to my seat in time for the description of the Ruth mine and to see the samples of garnets picked up at nearby Garnet hill.

A mine is a hole in the ground, owned by a liar.
-Mark Twain

Wednesday and Thursday we spent mostly attending sessions at the High school though we did spend some time in town admiring the new Lehman cave mural done as a commission in honor of the convention and browsing the great caving pictures at the art bank gallery. I even picked up a copy of a murder mystery book about a murder at an NSS convention in Ely Nevada! ( The book ‘An Unconventional Murder’ by Nevada caver Gretchen Baker was very entertaining)

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I left Mom and Dad at the motel to catch up on their rest while I headed down to the camp ground for the campground party which was great fun as usual. The canon firing was a nice touch. Though it had to end a little early because of noise complaints.

 

 

Friday morning we skipped the sessions and headed out to tour Lehman cave.

 

On the way back we spotted a couple elk standing by the roadside and we took a small detour to visit the charcoal kilns. We also stopped to see these guys by the roadside.

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We made it back in plenty of time to get ready for the banquet dinner and awards ceremony.

It was another wonderful convention and I look forward to attending many others!

Summer in Susanville


img_1100-x2 Since this years NSS convention was being held in Ely Nevada which is North East from Bakersfield and my parents had decided to go with me, we opted to take the long way around and head a little further North to see my brother and his family in Susanville first. It was a long drive but leaving the 100 F degree temps of the valley for the cooler mountain air made it an enjoyable trip.

We went out to dinner at ‘whitehouse‘ a local Thai restaurant, food was tasty though a little sweeter then I’m used to. Saturday, Emily suggested a trip to Subway cave up near Hat creek and I readily agreed.Unfortunately Michael wasn’t feeling well so he and his Grandma Meg stayed home. When we told Mathew we were going to see a cave he proclaimed “I must wear my batman shirt” and ran off to change. It had been a few years since I visited Subway (pretty sure it was during the Western Regional at Hat Creek in 1999) and I had forgotten the stairs going up and into the cave. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, Mathew ran all over but we could spot him easily enough as his shoes flashed in the dark. Alice seemed plenty happy and it was nice and cool in the cave compared to how warm it was outside.

We stopped on the way home to look at some wild flowers and spotted a young buck in the trees.

 

All too soon the weekend was over and it was time for us to head onward to convention but that’s another post.