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Thread: J. Dillon, 11 years on a 27 footer, WOW!!!

  1. #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Dillon
    I was anxious to visit Shaula and see how the boat faired.

    Next

    Shaula's recovery
    Damn. I see you have perfected the literary art of suspense.

    Great story.
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

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    Quote Originally Posted by S/V Laura Ellen View Post
    Damn. I see you have perfected the literary art of suspense.

    Great story.
    I think he perfected art long before he knew how to write, too. That stuff is not taught, either. It makes the print come alive. Beautifull work and writing.
    Happy trails to you.

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    Shaula’s recovery

    I drove to Shaula with mixed emotion. It was a bit clumsy, my leg stiff from bandages still shielding the area where skin was lifted, now to reside on burnt hands and wrists.. I couldn’t see her at first, blocked by surrounding buildings. Walking to the docks she came into view, it was high water. She stood out in her bleakness, so in contrast to her surroundings of tidy sleeping boats awaiting spring still months away. The boat cover I so carefully put on a month ago, a tattered mess most of it burned away. A coating of snow couldn’t hide the scene of desolation. It didn’t give the effect of purification a fresh snow fall delivers, It reminded me of blood on snow, how it raises questions in one’s mind. A burnt main sheet stirred in a sudden wind gust I stood back for a moment looking Shaula over, then boarded. I could still smell the fire. Cold late December air failed to suppress the odor. Ashes, black, frozen in ice lay on deck. I opened the cockpit locker. All it’s contents burnt . My safety harness just a glob , It’s stainless steel snap hook still shining oblivious to the past conflagration.. Sliding the companionway back I went below. The past flashed in my mind, the haste to get out recalled, the bunt smell now confined intensified. .My clipper ship model all her carefully placed rigging... gone, her main mast charred, but her sails still billowing in an imagined wind unsupported by any rigging, . A miracle, she’ll survive this too I reflected. Initially it looked bad but on further inspection the fire men did more damage then the fire. They tore, hacked open the entire engine box destroying it completely. I never occurred to them to just lift off the engine compartment box. All of the interior was scorched, the paint gone, wood exposed. Moldy now frozen cereal still sat on the table. An upset juice glass rolled a little stirred by a wind gust striking Shaula. Charred papers were scattered about. My sleeping bag, cold, clammy. I climbed back outside to escape my burnt home to breathe the December air. After a moment I again lifted the stb. cockpit locker sifting through the burnt unrecognizable contents. It’s inside showed deep burns right to the woven rovings and glass lay up. Here seemed to be the most intense heat source, probably the origin of this near fatal accident., The most damage was from the waist up on Interior cabin surfaces, but the cockpit locker had the deepest burns, the gas pipe line ran on that side. Strange to try to reconstruct what happened, but it all started some where. I needed a fire marshal to figure this one out My initial purpose was to explore the cause of the explosion. then access the repairs needed. I carefully examined the copper tubing coming from the tank into the stove along the stb’ side. The line passed through a 3/4"bulkhead. that separated the cockpit /cabin. The copper showed the usual greenish patina time bestows, but one region had a shine to it at this transition point. It shouldn’t. I looked closer........It looked a little thing ........I got real close. Then spotted a tiny hole. Not certain, I rummaged through the gear aboard for my magnifying glass. Yes it was a small hole. Through the years the constant chafe of a boat and engine vibrating the copper ever so slightly rubbing, wearing against that plywood bulk head, breached the copper tubing walls caused the hole, permitting propane gas to escape. . It took years but there it was. Next time put plenty of chafing gear in any area the copper line even remotely could cause ware on the line.



    Hand therapy, Shaula repairs and plans

    My hand therapist made appointments for bi weekly visits to her torture chamber. The custom 250.00 buck pair of gloves arrived. It had holes in each finger about 1" from the tips. I would have to wear them 24 hr a day for as long as she say’s. I could take then off to shower and or clean my hands only. I asked if I could make repairs on my boat . She said it would be good to use my hands as much as possible. Now these gloves were another form of constant subtle torture. They were extremely tight . I could hardly put them on as both hands were needed. Once on there was constant throbbing pain. But you get used to it. I devised a contraption to facilitate getting the gloves on.. I purchased a pair of small vise grip plyers. They were screwed to a wooden frame, the plyers jaws opposing each other. The glove was clamped in each padded jaw held open when in place. The frame was held down by your feet standing on the edges while I inserted my hand into the glove held in an “tri”open position by a finger of the other hand. I would twist , push and wriggle to get my hand. in the glove, then un clamp the glove and do the same for the other hand. It was quite successful . When I showed it to the hospital staff and Sue , they took plenty of pictures and circulated them in a journal dealing with hand therapy. I told Sue of my plans and she approved stating I was progressing well . She outlined what I should do in the way of daily exercises. Like taking a piece of pipe about 16" long, tie a length of strong string on it, then wind up the string with a weight on the end of it say maybe 5 lbs. But she emphasized, the gloves stay on and to schedule an appointment when I get back

    The holidays came and went It was a joy to be a caring home with family again. I still was attending hand therapy at the hospital. They prescribed an added hand waxing to the treatment It consisted of dipping my hands into warm wax for while and letting it dry after immersion.

    The warmer winter days found me aboard clearing away burnt gear, salvaging some and throwing away stuff. Sanding and painting commenced and laying up new woven roving’s fiberglass cloth to the burnt out area. I also had to make a new engine box in my son’s workshop and that kept me busy. In off moments Bill and I made up our itinerary for our Alaska cruise and the ports we hoped to visit and the ones we had to stop at to pick up and discharge others. The time went by fast as soon all the repairs to Shaula were complete. She once again smelled sweet and looked ship shape again including the shiny new hook up for the propane gas supply. I had two heating contractors check out the hook up and had plenty of chafe gear all around any possible contact with any other objects.

    Before I left I did a couple of pen & ink sketches for Sue in appreciation and putting up with my whining and to prove the result of her therapy. Like this one of a Flying Cloud under shortened sail.


    Flying Cloud under shortened sail

    I didn’t move aboard but would on my return from Alaska. The Van would be my home for the next few months then the trawler Bill and I would charter. I purchased a small word processor to write in my journal to keep track on just where I went and did. It was April 30. I would leave CT the next day the start of my cross country voyage that would put me eventually aboard the good trawler “Tora Maru and bound up the inside passage to Juneau AK. and Glacier Bay National Park.



    Bill. Liz and JD aboard the Tora Maru ( notice my burn cloves )

    Next

    Journey to Juneau

    Glacier Bay National Park, AK via van and trawler

    JD
    Last edited by J. Dillon; 09-24-2007 at 06:35 PM. Reason: pix change
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  4. #354
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    Thanks Jack, distressing times eh.
    Thanks again, you've got a monster thread going eh.

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    Great read..thanks a lot for the story of a true gentleman and all that implies.
    Regards
    Robbie

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    A well-earned bump

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    Thanks Robbie 2 and Hollingsworth. Yea ,JB but Lefty's pub thread is the real monster.


    Anyone know how to get the red outlined portion of the last posted episode to Jamie ?

    I noticed in a recent thread he posted that he is having a Propane gas stove installed. I only have an out dated E mail address and it bounced back.

    JD
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  8. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Dillon View Post
    Thanks Robbie 2 and Hollingsworth. Yea ,JB but Lefty's pub thread is the real monster.


    Anyone know how to get the red outlined portion of the last posted episode to Jamie ?

    I noticed in a recent thread he posted that he is having a Propane gas stove installed. I only have an out dated E mail address and it bounced back.

    JD
    Cut it and paste it to this thread for starters.

    http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ad.php?t=66202
    Happy trails to you.

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    Good Idea Mike . I did it.

    JD
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  10. #360
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    Your tale of copper tubing chafe and the dire consequence that resulted is a help, inspiration to me and no doubt a salvation to someone.

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    George,

    I hope anyone considering a propane installation to read what happened to me and be more viligant than I was . The set up, no matter who does it needs to be constantly inspected and tested. I failed in that regard and paid the price. Notice I did continue with propane as a heating and cooking fuel but with much more attention to the system than I gave before.

    I hope this message gets across to others , thats why I hope Jamie is alerted in his propane hook up.

    Jeff, Thanks, I'm glad you mentioned about hay fever. It gives food for thought . I never considered that possibility. I do suffer from that malady especially in the fall but living on the water for those years I thought it didn't effect me . But it is something to consider. Maybe another hour of sleep might have done me in for sure.

    JD
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  12. #362
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    Oh Yes Jeff. Don't forget and pass on about small children in kitchens. Some get curious about the pot handle up above them on the stove. They'll always have something hot in em. Another thing to pass on to parents , guardians and others in contact with small always curious kids.
    JD
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    Great writing JD - fascinating story. I hadn't caught up with the fire chapter until today - but Bernadette and I were discussing just this subject on Grantala yesterday. I'll be doing the propane installation in a few month's time. Very carefully.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

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    For those interested in a good place to start for a proper installation of propane gas and other stuff aboard your boat is the American Boat & Yacht Council. Here's the site http://www.abycinc.org/

    JD
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    What a story! Its seems you've been blessed with an ability to take the good with the bad and do the best and remain in good spirits. That had to be one hell of a rough time of it. Thanks again for sharing this with us dreamers.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Gosh Paul, I'd thought I lost ya. Life has knocks. Every one here got them and carried on . So did I.

    JD
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    I hope to keep my readers during the cross country trip and will mostly feature the more interesting events on the way to La Conner Washington, the port of embarkation for the voyage up the Inside Passage to AK


    Water fall in Shenandoah NP



    A pair of curious fawns on the trail




    Tick tock tick tock. It seemed too slow but in the same mood as the stillness of the room. My couch /bed cozy but tight, its cushions felt hard. Consciousness came slowly. Sounds first. The grand father clock continued its slow measure of time.. It had been in the family since the Civil war. I was in Kent’s home, a stopover on the way west. I imagined the pendulum swinging back and forth. My eyes opened in the still dark room barely making out its furnishings. The faint smell of fresh cut flowers lingered. Something stirred. It was Kent . His day started. He moved quietly, like a Ninja, hardly making a sound. The refrigerator door opened, the light glowed on a face that had seen things. Now in the active USMC reserve, Kent still answered the bugles of war. I knew him from childhood, one of my son’s growing up friends . We hiked and scaled cliffs together, launched model rockets and attended Judo classes.. He sat at a table, opened a well leafed book . It was a bible. A page turned, then another. Two more pages and then carefully put down, quiet again , meditative. Kent had returned from the 1st gulf war a combat veteran and a career Marine officer, for now, unneeded. I still feigned sleep. Then I saw it, unmistakable, a gun. Kent checked it over, examining the clips, pushed one in the handle with a resounding click that overwhelmed the darkness and the ticking clock. The room began to lighten, dawn approached Kent placed the weapon near the bible, got up, put on a shoulder holster, a jacket and then slipped the Beretta in concealed. The day of a law officer started. It could be “just another day”, but death also lurked. Kent tracked down escaped criminals, bond jumpers, and parole violators in Nashville, Tenn. Kent was still a warrior.

    I got up and bade him a good day, a thank you and a hand shake. Later I had breakfast with his wife and kids growing up in this southern city.

    ( Authors note, Kent was activated after 911, did two tours in Iraq, retired a full Colonel and now teaches in Nashville,TN. )

    I had already done the Blue Ridge Pky in Virginia, visited one ole girl friend for the night in Salem VA., descended the Luray Caverns and read road signs that warned “Do not pick up hitch hikers . They may be escaped inmates”

    My blue van hummed along, The sun shone and the strains of a Tchaikovsky piano concerto drowned out road noise. The day before I visited Grand ole Opry and sailed on the “General Jackson”, a Mississippi paddle wheel steamer where “Shotgun Red" country band performed. My destination now was Navy Air Technical Training Center Memphis TN. I was stationed there in 1948 fresh from boot camp at Great Lakes Il.

    Driving along I recalled some of the memorable sights: cotton fields, mostly picked by late Sept. and signs in Memphis, reading “White only”, “Colored only” on just about anything public. Toilets sure required a lot of additional plumbing , rooms, doors and entrances. Back in ‘48 it was a strongly segregated South, and in a way comical. Imagine two drinking fountains next to each other one obviously worn and sometimes in dilapidated condition and the other more workable often cleaner looking. Guess which one was labeled “White only” ? Wrong! It was the dilapidated one labeled “ White Only” as it was more used, white people being the majority . There were separate entrances to movie house as well as seating. All buses had signs reading “Colored to the rear” A dual world intermingled, one for whites, the other for “colored”. They called it segregation.

    One day it was my first liberty into Memphis. The bus ride from the base to the city was almost an hour and mostly filled with sailors. A few locals got on and off including colored. The bus pulled into down town Memphis. Most sailors got off. A shot rang out, a scream. I and buddies rushed off the bus . On the corner about a block away a crowd gathered. People closing in including me. I peered between heads to see what happened. On the ground was a colored man in tattered looking overalls covered with blood, a bag with broken glass still in his hand. He was gasping for air. A police officer was near by, another on a radio in a patrol car . More police arrived, then an ambulance. I asked another onlooker “What happened?” “Oh some damn nigger was molesting a white woman” was a disgusted reply. Wow!! I thought, no signs of first aid or any attention to the bleeding man. I guess I’m a coward. I thought of going in and doing something, but like all others did nothing. The ambulance came and went. I never did find out just what happened. You’re in the south now I thought. The incident was on my mind all that day. Times sure have changed and for the better.

    Visiting the Naval air station was a disappointment I didn’t recognize a thing, but maybe the main road thru the base. I left in an hour on RT 40 and soon crossed the mighty Mississippi River and entered the state of Arkansas. Can’t say much for the portion of the state I saw. In my journal. I noted the many Armadillos that had been hit by passing vehicles . The rest stops warned of the possibility of tornadoes. Oklahoma the same. They seemed to boast of their Indian heritage. The rest stop tables there feature tepee type structures. I ducked into a state park for the night.



    My scheme now was to keep on RT 40 to Amarillo TX, then head south to Lubbock TX. Rt 87, then to 62 to wind up in Carlsbad, NM .
    I was driving along at 60 mph going west on RT 62 approaching Hobbs, NM, but still in Texas. The scenery was pretty dry looking and fences on both side of the highway. It didn’t stop tumble weed blowing across the road in places . There wasn’t a vehicle in sight, an oddity for one where crowded highways are the norm. So, I’m relaxed, no surrounding vehicle situation to be aware of. All of a sudden I hear a blast of a powerful air horn . I glance in the rear view mirror and a HOUSE is coming towards me and it appears to be closing fast. Eyes back on the road ahead then glanced back this time studying for more details. Then I see the house has a escort bearing a sign saying “OVERSIZE LOAD” Sheez , a house wants to pass me. I pull over partly on the shoulder and he whizzes by maybe doing 65 mph. I slowed down a bit to keep the passing brief as I could manage The draft rocked my van. I can see it’s a full size house not new but older and pretty big. I’d seen things like this before but usually just half a house. Then I remembered how Texas boasts how big things are in this state. I guess it applies to house moving too.

    JD

    Next

    The Carlsbad Caverns. Bats, Frontier soldiers and Sedona
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  18. #368
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    JD...I had a short chat with Jamie about propane....two boats belonging to friends were lost to propane......I tried to discourage him, dunno if it took.......and I hope ya stayed for a while in Alaska....I did for two years and it was great.....instead of a van I bought a 66 T-Bird and wore a set of tires off criss crossing the U.S. and from the sounds of your tale and where it's heading we visited the same places....keep it coming..
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  19. #369
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    Chuck , Propane like anything else has to handled with care. With frequent checkouts and tests and used with caution and common sense any user should be OK. I went back to using it.

    The most dangerous thing we can do is get in our automobiles and drive some where.

    BUT if one is the kind of a person that will sleep with one eye open , It isn't the fuel for you.

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  20. #370
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    Just got caught up after a hiatus (sp?) Good to be back. Hope we're not getting close to the end.

    Thanks again JD

    Andrew

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    JD,

    I too, am just getting back to your article. Was attending a graduation and hiking in CA & NM. Nice to get caught back up with you on your journeys.

    I'm still reading on page 5, savoring every word like the a fine wine, but wanted to jump ahead and let you know how much I'm enjoying your efforts.

    Can't wait for the ICW — reminds me of a cold Thanksgiving delivery — snow and fog near Wilmington — I made in 2000 for a helluva jerk. Your crew and captain sounds a lot better than mine!

    John
    "All you needed was a favorable wind for everything that dry land provided to become superflous, disposable. Voices, noise, people, smells, the tyranny of the clock had no meaning here." — Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The Nautical Chart

    http://www.riversailor.com

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    Thanks Andrew & River sailor

    Entering the Carlsbad caverns is an all down hill affair. It’s much deeper then the Luray caverns in Va and immensely bigger. To preserve the condition of the interior a sensor detects your movements turning on and off the lights as you proceed on your self guided tour. As one descends into the bowels of the earth 850' from the entrance and the light is much more subdued and eerie. The quiet pervades. You can be completely alone and all you hear is an occasionally drip off somewhere and your heart beating . The vistas are fabulous and one can let your imagination run wild interpreting anything the rocks and stalagmites suggest. The main room is T shaped and has a total acre of 14 foot ball fields. One winds down , down curving with 180o turns every 30 feet or so at about an angle of 20 degrees . It sure must have been exciting for the first explorers but today’s tourists have a better view as each view is highlighted by recessed lighting instead of kerosene lamps. Some areas are still unexplored and just recently a new great room was found by caver's squeezing through 11" opening in a ceiling. each turn in the cave evoked new wonderment as one moves through. At the bottom they have shops and a restaurant with an elevator that gets you back up in one minute. the rangers relate about the bats that come out at night , I’ll come back for that but for now on to Guadalupe National Park 35 miles away. Arriving here in the early afternoon. I took an interesting hike 6 miles into an up the mountain. Some of the trails were closed for maintenance. Up the trail the views getting better the higher you go .I took some shots from an off shoot off the trail through a natural arch while watching hawks circle below. High up it gets quiet but different, you can hear the wind in the brush and in your ears or in small gusts as it rustles leaves about you. Off far in the distance you can see hundreds of miles its so clear today. Back off the mountain I headed back the 35 miles to Carlsbad to see the bats at dusk. There is a small amphitheater circular in design and looking down into the mouth of the cavern.

    NPS photo

    A park ranger gives brief but informative talk about the bats before the bats exit. Since it is still spring and all the bats migrating back from Mexico have not arrived the ranger estimates only about 250,000 will be leaving the cavern this evening. They exit the cave in about 20 minutes. Wow!! what a job for the air traffic controllers I thought. But of course each has their own radar and collisions never occur. The ranger went on to relate just how they a arrive at that number. Bats are mammals They need to keep warm in the constant 56o F temperature of the caverns so they hang together right up tight about 100 bats to a sq ft. so park officials estimate how many sq. ft of hanging bats they see and do the math. In full summer the figure is close to 400,000 bats leaving the caverns to scour the countryside eating up insects. Little by little dusk stole in, the sun long since gone. First just a few then increasing to form a vortex swirling like a tornado or was it more like smoke rising from the mouth of the caverns up they went to go in all directions for a tasty insect meal. They all return before dawn diving into the entrance at speeds up to 40 mph.



    Signs are different then east like" High wind area for the next 15 miles" I was on the Rt 62 again headed for El Paso TX. You can see that the area was once a sea like the remains of a salt bed on to the south. Who would like to live here , that's the only explanation for the numerous abandoned homes some frame some adobe. Mixed in with the cattle I see grazing next to the fence are Prong Horned Antelope. One can see that they route the highway in the valley between the mountains on both sides .I can see lightening thrusting the ground from the clouds to the peaks in the mountains. Coming into El Paso you can see the distant air pollution hovering over the city . And after a while it also shows up in the rear view mirror , you're in it to. As you swing into west on RT 10 you go right by the Rio Grand river and you can gaze into Mexico, squalid poor a bunch of shacks along the river peering into the U.S. with its sleek highways and bridges, a marked contrast. Tuning in on the AM dial I could only find one English speaking station all were Spanish. I pulled off in the little town of “Anthony” to have a real breakfast and met an Old timer . He spoke of many things but emphasize taking the plane or helicopter ride in the Grand Canyon. Getting back on 10 was a problem ,The city fathers like you driving through the town hoping you stop to do more business I suppose. The sun is beating down but off the right and left lightening is still striking into the mountains. A strange sight to see was a chap pushing a wagon along side of rt 10 He has an umbrella attached and a cargo of rags aboard. I guess truck drivers could tell some stories about highway sights. Just passed the continental divide. On Mountain time now 95% of the weigh stations I've passed are closed As you enter Az you have to go into a inspection station where they merely give you an Arizona brochure. Now I decided I could make Tucson as it was a little over 100 miles and it’s only 15:00. I pulled into Voyager RV park to visit parents of my son in law. We decided to go to Mexico the following day at a place called Nogales a few miles south of here.



    Typical street scene in Nogales Mexico

    It was a good day for a drive into Mexico. Being in a different country is always interesting, do some shopping and becoming a tourist. The poverty of the people is always apparent and Indian women beg in the streets along with their children. Some are quite handsome with a beautiful color to their skins truly red in nature. Most offer a little in the way of exchange usually candy or gum. The merchants are always pushing something at cut rate prices and try to hustle you in to their store . Some of the women are quite attractive. I did buy a blanket for the van for $6.00 . It was a typical border town After driving back, we had a lunch at a little village called Tuba it was typical Mexican food even though we were in the U.S.

    Next Pix of FT Verde reenactors and Sedona AZ

    JD
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    Talking

    On the road again I stopped overnight in Tempe Az and visited with friends I rafted with on a trip down the Colorado from Moab UT to Lake Powell. AZ. It was a short visit as they were moving again. The next day north on Rt 10 & 17 to Sedona & soon the Grand Canyon

    Beautiful sunny day and underway at 08:00 Passed through Phoenix and on 17 north The country side is nice and now starting to get onto hills with signs reading " turn off air conditioning on this grade " This to help overheating going up this long steep grade. The scenery gets better and better. Pulled off at "Castle Montezuma ruins of an old cliff dwelling run by the park service



    Cliff dwellings

    It was nice spot with plenty of protection from any enemy. They had with land and a creek for nearby for agriculture. Just a few miles down the road was Fort Verde. Not much of it left except restoration of the quarters for the men and officers. By sheer luck I happened in on a reenactment The highlight of the stop was the authentic reproduction of the Calvary with men and horses conducting drills , maneuvers and mock fights.











    Even the women were dress of the period with tents set up for Farroe playing. In talking with the soldiers I learned that Calvary charges in Indian country didn't happen and swords had "knots " or lanyards allowing dropping of the weapon still attached to draw their side arms. All the gear the men had was authentic.





    If you look close you can see the saber

    For a city boy who hardly ever saw horses up close the reenactment was pretty neet. The calvarymen would charge down on balloon targets and shoot them with their revolvers. Also a charge using drawn sabers and picking off rings of about 3" dia off an arm extending from a pole.

    Leaving I drove the few miles to Sedona to look around. Very touristy but extremely beautiful. Out side of the town the scenery is the best so far with high towering red rocks sedimentary in structure with varying hues from creamy brown to rich rusty red . Sprinkled in amongst were trees and small shrubs. There were many pullovers on a winding road. Sedona itself were many tasteful expensive shops for the many tourists wondering through the town all creamy white skin and of different ages. After all it was Sat. I became aware that it might be a good idea to look for a camp ground to stay for the night. I was on route 89 and Oak creek area and a virtual paradise nestled in canyon gorges with running water. All were filled up and it looks like I might be staying in a pull over for the night. I found a spot well off the road on the end of a hairpin turn. I face oncoming traffic coming down a hill but it looks safe enough. I'm well shaded and it is getting cool at 18:00. I hope I will not be disturbed by any body police or others.

    Next Sedona, soon the Grand Canyon and Toole

    JD
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  24. #374
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    Thanks...as always a good read and nice to see some of the real US scenery from a non tourist point of view.
    Regards
    Robbie

  25. #375
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    Well last night was Ok no disturbances and slept fine. The day dawned sunny again. Drove into Sedona at about 08:30 to get the book I saw on the vortexes of the area. These are the energy centers some believe are prevalent in the earth throughout the world, Sedona one of the most powerful. I found a bookstore, got what I needed and started out with map, and directions in hand. I did see an organized vortex tour available for 50 bucks but it was over in three hours. The 4x4 ATV vehicle was all covered with dust, mud and gave the impression it could run down trees rather then deliver one to meditate on energy sources I don't think they could do good job in such a short time and seem to have the goal of doing at least two vortex tours a day, rather then a spiritual experience for it’s patrons.





    Bell rock Sedona AZ

    The first vortex was in Bell Rock a pull off in the area off RT 179. I passed it yesterday but on investigating one walks up to a view of distant Bell rock which has a resemblance to a bell . The views are incredible with awe inspiring sights in every direction. The booklet concerning the vortex didn’t get you in the mood to experience unseen forces, it’s dry print uninspiring Next came Chapel of the Holy Cross which is a Frank Lloyd Wright design of a chapel with a view of the Sphinx like rock and a three some of rocks that do look like the Madonna with child in arms and the apostle Peter and Paul I guess other faiths could impart a different spin. What would Muhammad or Buddha see in the rock formation or for that matter any child ? The chapel has a large cross integral with the architecture facing the western exposure . The blocks and mortar blends in with the landscape. From a distance it looks like it was carved out of the mountain. I gave thanks for a safe journey in the chapel.

    Next came Sunset Point where you climb up a hill near the local airport. At the top I scampered around on the rocks some large enough to create hidden pockets where one can be alone to receive the energy from within the earth. It was here I became inspired. A slight breeze stirred the dust around her. Her eyes were closed, she was oblivious to the heat of the mid day sun, A wide brimmed hat hid her attractive finely shaped face that saw little sun. She was in the lotus position with wrists resting on her knees, fingers upwards, pinching the invisible energy. I half expected to see blue bolts coming into her or at least an aura surrounding her. I dared not intrude on the spell and quietly withdrew . I remembered Janet my transition lady was deeply into meditation and often assumed the same position. This lady seemed finished. I approached her and started talking. Her name was Monica and was single about in the late 40's and doing the vortex tour also. She was in Phoenix for a conference on safety and drove up to be here. I guess she wanted to establish where she was and soon told me she had a boy friend back home. This was the second time in two days I was attracted to women I met . The lady yesterday done up like a frontier gal and working the Faeroe tent was fun to talk to and very attractive, but I guess she preferred calvarymen, not sailors away from their element.



    Cathedral rock Sedona AZ






    Coffee pot rock Sedona AZ

    Next came Coffee Pot rock which looked like just that, only with more spectacular views. Boynton Canyon was a disappointment . It involved a long walk following a washed out creek bed with twisted Juniper trees struggling to survive. It was a bit muddy in spots but it was easy to see it would become a raging giant when the rains come. Last for the day was Red Rock Crossing.



    Lawerence D. and family

    There I met Lawrence D. and his family of three boys ranging in age from 12 to 6 and his wife Lawrence is a full blooded Hopi and a Kachina doll carver. He tells me he is well known in the business and by the look of the work he does I can believe it. He was finishing off as warrior doll and it was of the most exquisite nature. Only a few ornaments remained to be applied. I asked to have explain the significance of the decoration and gear on the doll and he explained that he could not for fear that his sons would hear. One was to be initiated into the tribe as a man , a kind of confirmation or bar mitzvah. He was very friendly and told me that was the nature of the tribe. He permitted me to photograph him and his family with the doll in the fore ground.. I will send him a print when I get back. He gets over $ 700. for a doll like the one I saw. Can you imagine what it sells for in a local shop ?. The details like each finger and toenail were quite visible in about a 10 LOA doll . Of course all the decorations and ceremonial gear stood out. It was made of cottonwood and beautifully painted.

    By now I was pretty tired and hungry so I roamed around on the park which was situated by Oak creek where I will be camping further up stream for the night . The rocks were deceptively slippery when one wades barefooted in places I could feel some sand squishing between my toes and felt tempted to pan it for gold .

    My Oak Creek Canyon campsite

    I must comment on the day which was full of beauty in this incredible place one vista is better then the next and at the same time all equally magnificent. One does not know what to marvel at next. Right now its dusk and getting cooler and a bit overcast, with showers for tomorrow, It was Sunday evening most campers gone back to their real lives. I was alone again, things quieted down. This oak creek campsite so different then the harshness of red rock country where vortex emanate and arid dryness dominated the landscape. Here it was more peaceful, shade, trees shield one from a killing sun, cool rocks, creek water babbling, birds stirring and other noises of life. Without doubt this the most moving place on my journey so far. Words cannot evoke what one sees . It has to be experienced. I think that tonight I will be sleeping with the babble of Oak creek in the background.

    Next the Grand Canyon and Toole

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  26. #376
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    What a beautiful site to camp on...

    Continue please...

  27. #377
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    Eric C, and others

    This thread has me puzzled. It must have the largest ( for it's size) thread with the least amount of replies. ( a little over 2%) People "view" but do not reply. ( thanks responders) What conclusion do I draw ?

    Some here merely "fart" verbly and get a big response.

    I try to put a quality dialogue with photo's, art and the best I can in writing.

    I guess I should change my name.

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  28. #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Dillon View Post
    Eric C, and others

    This thread has me puzzled. It must have the largest ( for it's size) thread with the least amount of replies. ( a little over 2%) People "view" but do not reply. ( thanks responders) What conclusion do I draw ?

    Some here merely "fart" verbly and get a big response.

    I try to put a quality dialogue with photo's, art and the best I can in writing.

    I guess I should change my name.

    JD
    I think I may have stated it in the past that its hard for folks to speak about traveling the areas that you have traveled and swap thoughts about many of the items that you bring up without ever doing it. While this forum has a very large number of members, I still contend that most are armchair boaters rarely doing much more than a day trip on the water or at the most a week or two of extended cruising. I know of a couple of other sites that do long distance trips and also preparing for some extended cruising such as you have done. I just don't see the members here that are as traveled as you are, except for a handfull out of 15 thousand registered members. I can relate to some of your ventures, but it would surely distract from your continuing saga and ventures. Your art work makes it for me, helping to make the trip more realistic and real.
    Last edited by erster; 06-26-2007 at 08:52 PM.
    Happy trails to you.

  29. #379
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    People "view" but do not reply. ( thanks responders) What conclusion do I draw ?
    I can't speak for others, but I can speak for myself, and I can suggest some more general thoughts (which will either annoy you or not... )
    For myself - I read this carefully and gratefully. Upon occasion I have posted, either just to say thanks or because it has touched on some area where we may have some overlap. In almost every case, when I post, you note that in a posting of your own, which is very nice. But as much as I appreciate your notices of my postings, that's not why I post - I post because either I can add something or because I just have to say "thanks" at some point.
    I think that the count of 'views' should speak for itself - if everyone who 'viewed' posted a 'thanks', and if you felt obligated to mention their names in print here (to thank them for thanking you),then this thread would quickly get clogged with endless back-and-forth of "thank you" followed by "no! thank you" and you wouldn't get anything done here.
    My suggestion would be to take the 'views' count as a mark of interest and respect, and note that the difference between 'view' and 'count' as a mark of how much people do not want to burden you with their own needs for acknowledgment.

    (in my next life I'll explain this better.... ) - but please keep posting, don't assume that lack of audience interjection indicates lack of audience interest, when in fact it is probably exactly the opposite.

  30. #380
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    Cries of encouragement from the crowd only serve to disrupt the flow of the narrative.
    This is a presentation,not a dialogue.
    Keep it up.
    I'll go back to lurking.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  31. #381
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Wisconsin
    Posts
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    Default Your narrative...

    Mr Dillon -

    I just finished reading through your memories. I want to thank you for sharing part of your life with us.

    My wife has asked me to do the same thing as I am retiring the day after tomorrow. I guess I will be setting down some of my life for future generartions to perhaps look into.

    I guess she wants me to do this because, like a lot of vets, she has heard me tell my stories. Heck, she wants me to become a writer. Did you ever think when you were alone at sea that you would have over 11,000 views of your trips.

    Anyway, thanks again. I look forward to sharing your writings.

    John

  32. #382
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    Jun 2007
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    JD, I understand the feeling of writing 'in a void', not knowing what the vast majority of your readers think about what you have written. I have been writing a weblog to document the construction of a small sailing skiff, and have tracked over 1500 visits and 5000 page views since this Febuary. In all of this time, only three people left any comments at all.

    I started to get a little discouraged by this, until I reminded myself about what it was like when I used to write for regional and national magazines, and the only people I would get feedback from were my editors. With this in mind, I decided to take encouragement regarding my weblog from seeing that there is an audience out there. Considering how specialized the subject is, and how much competition all forms of media have for readers attention, having any audience, even a 'quiet' one, is a very good thing indeed. Please keep writing, and so will I. Thanks very much, Ron

  33. #383
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    Well I got some good comments and my conclusion is to keep saying to my self.

    Jack ! it's a story not a dialogue.
    say it again Jack
    Jack! it's a story not a dialogue.

    say it 10 times

    Oh yes it's starting to sink in

    John Hastie, Yes do it write for your great grand children .Their children might like to know about those times .

    JD

    OK Now on with the story

    Got up early at 06:30 to start out for the Grand Canyon. But first I explored the campsite and who else is here .I talked to a young camper all rigged like John Wayne. minus the revolver. He was traveling by himself but had a docile German Shepherd for company. He was taking the whole summer off to track down all the Ghost Towns he could. He related some were of quite of recent vintage. Towns sprung up around the Aero space industry only to fizzle out to bleakness with all the budget cuts. After breakfast headed up the road to a scenic overlook where Indians had set up shop to sell there art . I do think I got a bargain with two pair of Sterling. sliver feathered earrings with turquoise in the middle for $50.00 The view of Oak Creek Canyon from an elevation of over 7,000 ft. was great. I continued on into Flagstaff to gas up at $1.27 a gal.( That’s what I paid for a gallon back in 92) Got some money at a cash machine that greets you by name ( written) when you insert your card, ( a novelty I thought back then) some food for camping. and started out on route 89, a kind of a long side way into the Grand Canyon area. It was towards Cameron. I was told A lot of Indian Jewelry can be had straight from the Indians themselves . On the way I stopped at Sunset crater to see the lava from a long extinct volcano. It turned out to be another fascinating spot with lots of ash, tall lodge pole pines and fantastic views of snow capped San Francisco Mountains.



    The San Francisco mountains in the distance

    I did the loop trail and climbed Lennox crater which was only a half mile up but at a 35 to 45 deg. climb Also explored the lava tubes located there.. Back on Rt. 89 which was beautiful and gave way into rolling hills with bushes and a light grass growing even with a gopher standing and looking around. I continued to my course change point at Cameron to turn onto Rt 64.. On this road there were numerous stands one after another all competing with each other. I got my son a nickel belt buckle of an eagle at chief Yellow eagle stand. Good I thought for a pilot about to get his license. the Land turned barren and maybe that's why it was Indian territory. The government. wouldn't give good land away to Indians. At one stand I saw one Indian blow his cool and knocked down the make shift stand after arguing with an elder . After leaving I saw a sign stating" Nice Indians behind you."



    My land yacht van at Navajo stand of Chief Yellow horse

    There is even a sign telling to “Buckle up ,it's Navajo law.” Stopping at another stand with a view I saw a miniature Grand Canyon , It was the” little Colorado” It did have deep gorges over 500' down and a mile of so across. Back east it would be a sensation but here its nothing compared with the big one coming up . Its amazing but as soon as you are off Navajo land and enter the national forest the land turns rich , lush and heavily forested with high trees all soft wood deciduous. Before it was all barren and desert. I guess I stopped at too many of the stands as I was getting to the Grand Canyon late.



    My camp site at red X on the map

    I entered the visitors station not really expecting an assignment to a camping space .It was called “Desert view” and not the main entrance but more to the east. You can’t see the canyon from the parking area. as it drops below the eye line. There were a number of people milling around one ahead of me only to be turned away with a down cast expression on his face.. Up I stepped to the counter eyeing the ranger in his neat crisp uniform The creases on his shirt thrusting out at me seemed threatening like a marine drill instructor’s would. Under neath that squared hat a tanned smiling face shook my apprehension despite his jutting jaw. Then behind him I saw it. The crowd in the room obscured the view when entering the building, but now I saw it the Grand Canyon framed in the window . It was real but I could see it’s over powering grandeur through this narrow portal. My mind raced I must get back out side to see this marvel. The ranger’s composure had a puzzled look seeing my awe struck demeanor and sensed my wonder. His reassuring voice brought me back to the moment. It all happened in a nano second “.I haven’t any camp spots left “ He said “but I’ll tell you a place you can go” he added. I guess he pitied me and his “I’ll take of you” nature took over. He showed me the map. It was backwards for him. His finger with trim nails traced the road along the canyon. “ Go west, you’ll see a cut off road on your left. It’s marked “Arizona Rd”. take it for about a half a mile and you’ll see a sign Kaibab National Forest . Then they’ll be a small dirt road on your right take that, drive in and you got a spot with no facilities.”. Thanking him I left but not before taking another look at this 8th wonder of the world.




    It kind of slams you gently with it’s immense grandeur. Your peripheral vision takes it all in filling it right to the edge of vision. As you scan turning your head the immensity increases , shadows move as clouds float by, colors change before your eyes. A distant hawk circles up lifted by an unseen thermal. I heard nothing. The spectacle before me overcame all sounds of the real world, of others who sought shelter for the night. No pictures can do it justice with the possible exception of an I max theater. but being there and seeing it should be experienced by everyone. I turned away knowing I have several days here. On entering the Kaibab National Forest, the boundary is marked by a cattle guard an innovative device set in the road across it . It is made of metal about 5' wide and has a parallel bars in it set 4 inches or so apart. It seems cattle are afraid to cross it in fear of catching there hooves in it. ( I have since learned that even a painted on one works)

    My spot to camp turned out to be a blessing as I have a great location, the enchantment of the canyon near by , nobody around , plenty of shade trees but no facilities at all. I don't need them as I have water ( low but will fill up some where. Later I did go down to the main visitor center and the lodge to put myself on the waiting list for the mule ride down the canyon. I heard a lot about it but it is fully booked up months in advance but being alone has it’s advantages . There are “no shows” and drop outs all the time. I will have to get up at 05:30 to get there at 06:00 to see if there are any cancellations. I do feel optimistic and will see what happens. Right now I just finished supper ( stew) and it is getting quite cool , maybe its the elevation. The night was quiet .The milky way visible as stars twinkled away.

    Next Toole

    JD
    Last edited by J. Dillon; 06-27-2007 at 07:46 PM.
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  34. #384
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    As others have said their are lots of lurkers here, not all posting their thanks....But I have said thanks for this thread before and say so again...THANKS... this is the 1st thread I check whenever I log on.
    Keep them coming
    Regards
    Robbie

  35. #385
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    Yep - we all pop in for a catch up - sort of like looking over your shoulder as you continue your journey.

    Those cattle grids are common out here - normally made out of old railway track. Sure beats opening and closing a gate every time
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

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