Love my old, old American trucks

Not sure how this happened but to be honest I have to admit, I do really, really love old, old, old American v8 1500 series trucks and vans. It is true they just don’t make them like they used too and I always have a ‘need’ for them. Total value of both a Yukon and RamVan together is only about $4,000. But the fun and utility they continue to provide is priceless.

It seems to me, that while most folks are still enamored with old Mustangs and Camero’s… I think the real ‘keepers’ of the 90’s are American trucks. My Yukon is a 97, and RamVan a 99… both with little over a 100,000 miles are still running strong and every day reliable vehicles.

I plan to keep them running for another 20 years, hopefully longer. Want to go on a road-trip?

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Love my old, old American trucks

Drone Down

Yesterday afternoon while I was recording an aerial video from my DJI Phantom drone. I accidentally flew it out of range and it never came back. Usually when a drone looses contact with a transmitter it stops adds some altitude for clearance then returns home to its takeoff spot. I liked this feature because I could fly the drone in one direction including straight up and when it lost contact it would return back to its launch pad. I think my error was that I flew the drone down a canyon about 700ft so when it lost contact with the receiver it just added about 100ft of altitude before returning home and as a result crashed into the tree tops below. It was a pretty sad sight to see it disappear – yelling UP!! UP!!! UP!!!… a moment of silence… ####!

Before writing off this expensive lesson I did try to locate the drone by hiking down the canyon. Once I got down there, I realized the chances of finding it were going to be slim. So now I need another drone to help find this drone. A drone search and rescue drone. Drone, I know you are out there, can you please find a way to text me your GPS coordinates so I can come rescue you.

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Drone Down

Afternoon Hike

Work, X2Engine has been stressing me out lately. It’s been a long year designing and coding and in a few weeks we will finally ship the GA release. Andrew came down for the day last week and decided we needed to take a hike in a nearby Redwood forest. This time of year I really wasn’t up for it considering all the poison oak and ticks but after some persistence I was persuaded to take a break and head outside. I feel so very lucky to live so close to these magnificent giants. They are incredibly calming to walk under to just relax and think – and enjoy time.

 

Afternoon Hike

Hidden road

Thanks to Tom Walsh’s unstoppable curiosity, this past Friday we learned of a new ‘hidden road.’ After a brief stop at the top of a climb and a chance meeting with a neighbor behind a fence. A five minute conversation revealed an overlooked, hidden oasis.

“Down the road 500 yards there is a dirt road on your right. – it takes you down into a deep gorge, down old forgotten logging roads.” Funny how if I just push myself to explore my suroundings in more detail, how many hidden treasures I pass by every day without ever noticing or thinking….”where does that dirt road lead?”

 

Hidden road

GranDad

Another rainy weekend, which is a good thing I guess as we can never have enough fresh water in Northern California. On Sunday we went for a hike in a nearby Redwood Forest. This tree, ‘the Daddy tree’ is special. It is one of the tallest in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is over 1000 years old. It is so big that loggers in the early 1900’s did not cut it down because it would take too long to cut into smaller pieces to ship up of San Francisco. As you can see Daddy is surrounded by 100 year old, much younger children. Daddy is a beautiful tree and I always feel great after spending a few moments in his presence.

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Nelson Road rock slide

It was a warm sunny afternoon after two weeks of drenching rain, mudslides and power outages. Fred stopped by and we headed out on the Rino ATV to survey the mother of all slides – Nelson Road. After about 30 minutes of dirt and paved roads we reached the slide. If the slide were not cool enough what we found directly at it’s epicenter was even more startling.

 

Alpacas. The rock slide, about 100 yards wide ran right up to the back fence of their farm yard. Fred learned the owners bought them as a business venture but had to sell them after the slide. The owners said the Alpacas were timidly by nature and liked to use their long yellow tongues to spit at each other.

Checking out the huge rock slide and the Alpaca encounter made for a pretty fun afternoon adventure.

 

Nelson Road rock slide

Winter road ride

Tom calls suggesting a ‘road’ ride? I thought Tom was all mountain bike lately. So, road being my favorite, I’m all go. The weather is a perfect winter warm, no rain, mud, cold…..Nice dry, grippy pavement, warm sun and breeze. And it could rain tomorrow, so we gotta go for it.

I haven’t ridden in two weeks and my road bike felt light and fast compared to my dual-suspection (tank) mountain bike. But I knew, it was an illusion and I was going to pay at some point for this fast, hilly and long winter ride.

The ride itself was uphill to Summit Road then left on Zayante Road down to Mt-Hermon. The downhill along Zayante is long, windy and fast. Most of it is under a Redowood forest. In all it was about a 25mile ride with a 2,897ft accent to the summit, max speed 31mph – I know, lame – the ride is full of blind turns that limit your speed so as not to get hit by an oncoming car or truck….

You know it’s been a good ride when all you can think about is a hot shower and something to eat. -john

Winter road ride