Thursday, November 26, 2015

I give Thanks...

To my family who puts up with my strange and wandering ways.

I give thanks to Wild Places and chocolate turkeys.

I give thanks to you folks who look into my blog.

Happy Thanksgiving from Boulder, Colorado 

Enjoy these special moments,

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SAD! SCHMAD! I'm in Scottsdale for the...

Fabulous Shopping! 

So what if I mentioned SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) drove me south to the deserts of  Arizona.

So untrue. The real reason is the plethora of art galleries, luxury auto dealerships and boutiques which reside amongst the new money wealth of Scottsdale. It can't be old money since Arizona is barely over a century old. I fit right in. 

OK. So it's not the shopping. 

It's the water. Phoenix and its booming Metropolis would not exist without the huge supplement of liquid from the Colorado River. This massive engineering scheme is called the Central Arizona Project. The Bureau of Reclamation provided the dams, the pumping stations and the canals to make it happen. Look at these photos: its a virtual Venice in the desert. 

So what if Coloradans are forced to go on water restrictions in drought years? Daily showers and brushing ones teeth are so overrated. We'll take one for the team! 
Coloradans will do our part so Phoenix can keep their golf courses green, the cotton? plantations productive (5,300 gallons to produce the equivalent of one shirt and pair of jeans) and their cars spic and span clean. 

Anyone who has lived in the dry part of the west knows these two maxims are spot on.
"Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting"
"Water flows to money." 

The second maxim is the truer of the two.

OK. So it's not the water rights.

America's Pastime and the toasty temps will bring me back to Scottsdale. Play Fall Ball!

Next to Last photo: I purchased a pocket pooch to fit in better with the locals. Fifi over Fido. 

Final Photo: Score! 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In the Arizona Desert the folks...

here call it "Fall Ball" However when an El NiƱo inspired cold front blew in with droopy clouds and wind chill breezes; it felt like winter. Finding a seat was no problemo when the Scottsdale Scorpions took on the Surprise Saguaros. In fact only the brave and or stupid (I lean toward the stupid side over brave) were on hand to see the cold contest. 

The ball players had to attend. There were MLB scouts on hand. The scouts came equipped with speed guns and stop watches to check out the local talent. This is where the long road to the "Biggies" begins. 

Today the weather was more muy buen. I had a toasty frolic among the rock formations and the cacti. 

This sure beats real winter.

Stay warm,

Sunday, November 15, 2015

It's not the years but the...


I've got a lot of mileage on this minute body of mine.

Back in the day prior to my accidents, (, I reckon I rode a bicycle over a quarter of a million miles. I had a ten year stretch where I pedaled over 100,000 of those Old English measuring units. Now that my love of the two-wheeled vehicle has been beaten out of me; I hike and I do it a lot. As an astute old buddy of mine once said, "Jeff hikes like a monkey on crack." 

The scratches, gashes, soreness and sprains keep coming. But I have an Rx for all those maladies and complaints. I ignore them. This is how I fight the good fight against aging. I keep moving. I'm a believer of Newton's Laws of Motion. 

Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

I think that external force is A-G-E. 

Yep, I'm 61 today, and I'm afraid of slowing down. 

Cheers on the ides of November,
Jeff the Birthday Boy.

PS. The photo of the Milky Way was graciously provided by Amber Lyle. It gives me perspective that I'm not that old in the Big Picture. 

PPS. Fido didn't score any Alpo from my ad campaign. Poor porcelain Pug.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

On Friday the 13th..

I brought a rabbit's foot, a four leaf clover and a wish bone on yesterday's  ramble. After all I was going into the Superstition Mountains Wilderness. One can't be too careful in an area where gold mines go missing, let alone a little dude like me. 

The "Sups" are legendary for mother lodes that somehow become forgotten. Talk about senior moments! The Lost Dutchman Mine is the most famous tale of "Holy Crap! Where did I put that mine?" 

Down through the decades scores of adventurers have gone out in search of that hole of wealth. Many died in gold vain. (A little miner's humor there). One was found with two bullet holes in his bleached skull. That's a high price to pay for a potential piece of jewelry. 

With all of this in mind, I tossed in a flashlight, an extra layer of warm clothes, matches and the above mentioned good luck charms into my daypack. Of course, I forgot my maps! 

Somehow, I made it out fine and in one piece. I didn't rediscover any mine. I did find a lot of peace and solitude in those 12.5 miles of trekking. These days, that's a good thing.

In lieu of yesterday's atrocities in Paris, wilderness areas are looking better to me each day. 

Be safe out there,
The world is becoming scarier and I don't mean the wild places.
PS: last photo graphically shows why Arizona hiking would not be a good idea for someone who is a hemophiliac. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Poor Fido!

His owner (me) has to make a choice between feeding him or drinking IPAs and traveling.

Sorry Fido! You lose! That is UNLESS my blog fans and the Russian hackers buy my book! 

On the forth anniversary of "Destroying Demons on the Diagonal" being in print and Kindle editions, I'm a mere 99,623 or so sales from the New York Times Bestsellers list. I think I can! I think I can! 

Truth is, wandering is not easy on the credit/debit cards. It takes wads of greenbacks  to maintain this vagabond lifestyle. Sometimes I wonder where the $ will come from. That's why I'm a Wandering, Wondering Jew! 

See what the critics say about this soon to be adventure classic.

"Jeff is the Bard of bicycling" 

"Jeff takes you across the country, saddle sores and all." 

Here's my favorite from Robin, my bestest sister-in-law. "My brother-in-law writes better than he speaks."

"Destroying Demons on the Diagonal" won the prestigious Gold Medal IPPY Award in 2012. WOW! 

Seriously, it's a good read and for three bucks you can buy yourself or someone you know a Kindle Edition. Give or get the gift of travel. It's cheaper  than a Happy Hour beer and it'll last longer too. 

Here's the link:

Trust me, you might "like" it.

Jeff the wannabe Bill Bryson. 

PS: as you can see, I once used cute babies in my sales pitch. Why not a porcelain Pug now? 
PPS: Here's the valuable coupon.

One Valuable Coupon!
Upon the purchase of one copy of “Destroying Demons on the Diagonal” the bearer of this coupon is entitled to one free Happy Hour beverage.
Fine Print: This coupon is valid only if the author is present. No rebates, refunds or reconsiderations. This valuable coupon is not valid with any other offer.
But wait – there’s more!
Buy two copies of “Destroying Demons on the Diagonal” and get a set of Ginsu knives! (Only joking), but two Happy Hour beverages would not be out of the question.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My idea of...


On top of Mighty Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona  (,2704 feet of oxygen deprived granite)  there was a slight wind chill in the 75 degree sunshine. Somehow I survived and endured the harsh elements. After all, I didn't want to embarrass myself before those 100-plus bestest buddies who hiked with me to the summit. Ahhh wilderness! 

Speaking of atrophy: with T-Minus one week until I turn 61, I realized taking a three day break from physical mobility is not a good idea. The way I was breathing on that minuscule chunk of crumbly rock, one would think I was summiting Everest. 

Note to self: Always keep moving until Happy Hour. 

Cheers from 33.5 degrees North.
Enough to make a difference in being SAD.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

I'm playing dirty...

At Ojo Caliente, New Mexico. There's nothing like a mud bath to ease the 900 mile jaunt to warmer temperatures, longer days and shorter shadows. 

I'm en route to Scottsdale, Arizona which should relieve my onset of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It's real. I wish it wasn't so. I've been lethargic, lazy and the simple task of placing an IPA to my limps has become a chore. Add the double whammy of being a cold weenie (I've worn pants for three days in a row!) and it explains the primary reasons why Barley the Van and me are now on the run.  

In two days I descended south from 40.5 degrees North to 36.3 degrees North. A gain of over 15 more minutes of daylight. Score!

Here's my post from last year when I was way too far north for early November.

Be thankful you don't have this malady. You are saving heaps of money by not spending it on gasoline or airline tickets. 

Today I'll travel south of the frost zone.. It was 23 degrees in Ojo Caliente last night. Brrr. I'm glad Barley has plenty of blankets.

BTW: playing in the mud is fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

After Working too Many...

Halloweens, I can't say it's a number one Holiday on my personal hit parade. 
For emergency service employees, it was no party. 
We were usually up all night separating warring Witches and Warlocks, dealing with costumed drunks and seeing the results of mixing drinking with driving.

I might have scored a few hours of rest eventually, but woke feeling hungover even though an IPA never touched my lips. 

That all being said, the Sambur's know how to throw a fiesta. Here's some photos of the action.

The last photo is me in my "the guy who lives in a van down by the river" costume. The "Free Candy" sign is my nephews sick Sambur sense of humor at work. 

With the longer shadows and shorter days, Barley will soon be pointing south.