Do I even NEED to say anything??
(Thank you to Very Demotivational — a fabulous website!)
OK, so it’s taken a while for me to get this post up. Yes, I’ve been a bit of a slacker, but that’s not the only reason. The rest of the story is that there are just so many pictures. We left Price, UT at about 0900 on Thursday and got back at 0100 on Friday. No joke! To see a map of our crazy day’s driving, click here and you can marvel at the audacity boldness lunacy of our road trip Yes, we should have turned right onto I-70 on our way back and gone through Green River, but we (OK, it was mostly my fault) made a wrong turn and added an hour of driving.
Come along on a photo recollection of our day out driving through most of southern Utah !
As I’ve said in earlier posts, oil, natural gas, and coal are a BIG part of life in Utah. You can see quite a few of these pumps (Cindy said this one was pumping natural gas) from the road, but there’s lots more you can’t see easily.
I’m going to put the rest of the pictures below the fold because there are something like 90 of ‘em Make sure you click on the pics to see ‘em full size – the panoramas are HUGE as usual and I tried to make sure the text in the informational placards was legible as well
Today at Falcon.
Just after I got to the parking lot.
Got him strapped in and the ladder off.
Hot back there. The engine is started by a small turbine that can put out a lot of heat in it’s own right!
Ryan up there working hard and the Tech Rep, John having a laugh.
Not so portable air and electrical power unit. They tip the scales about 3,000 pounds!
Just for Buck. This baby has a full fuel load.
We were pulling one back from the fuel barn to our line. No laughing at the haircut.
After start checks. Part of the launch procedures.
Disconnected. Closing up the comm panel.
Gonna roll out of the chocks.
It is a Praying Mantis!
Over the San Gabriel Mountains to the South.
Did I mention…………..that………………..it was HOT!
Just a few for all to enjoy.
Folks, I ain’t gonna lie to y’all. This week at work’s been a bit rougher than usual and I’ve just been flat-out tired. There’s still a few more posts to come with lots of pics from the Utah Vacation Saga. I doubt another one will appear tonight what with the root canal I’m fixin’ to go do tonight, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
That said, you’ve gotta enjoy the little things and memories in life when you can I may or may not post the story about why I was on my own YouTube page (other than to upload a video), but while I was there, I came across a couple of videos from a very much cooler time and figured I should take the couple of moments it would require to post them here for y’all to drool over
The first video is from March and the first time I drove up on Mt. Charleston to go play in the snow. I’d lost my voice and couldn’t work, so I decided to go for a drive after visiting the doctor and the pharmacy. I loved it!
The second one here is from 23 May of this year. I’d just gotten through putting in eight hours of overtime. Again, it was snowing and I’d no better place to be, so off I went to go see what was around up on the mountain.
I didn’t dress up for this trip – just normal pants, shoes, and T-shirt. The temp up there was about 26° and I did get a bit chilled. People said I was nuts (that happens a lot for some reason ), but I told ‘em that I don’t mind freezing my butt off every now and again in winter and soaking up the searing heat from time to time in the winter. I store those memories and think about how nice it was to be that cold when it’s hot and vice versa. Oddly, that brought a few more strange looks and eye rolls…
So here’s what you do – Turn the air conditioning down way low, kick back, and watch these videos while you take a break from the summer heat Have fun and I’ll either catch y’all tonight or tomorrow
OK – One more post today
After we enjoyed the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, we headed on over to the Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper, UT just a few miles north of Price, UT. Lots of good stuff there If you like these pics, go check out the museum’s website – click here
Everywhere you go in Carbon County it seems like you’ll find a memorial to the miners who died putting food on the table.
I told Cindy I wanted to take this cannon home with me, but she said no – go figure I think it’s pretty cool the way this one was made
Down in the basement of the museum you’ll find a replica of a coal mine with a lot of the equipment you’d find down in the mine.
As I’ve noted in past posts from this trip, Utah was one of the areas known for outlaws and lawmen in the Old West. Take a look around, though, and you’ll find that while it’s not necessarily the Old West – we have cars, diesel trains, and cellphones – the Wild West hasn’t really gone away. I don’t carry a loaded gun most places with me because I like the extra weight
Go into your kitchen and hug your appliances Aren’t you glad you don’t have a coal/wood fired stove?
Click on the pics and take a good look at the documents here. Now, I’m glad I have better pay and benefits at my job, but there is a downside – my employer won’t sell me explosives. Go figure… In all seriousness, I’m glad the miners have it so much better today. They’re brave for willingly doing the job they do to keep the lights on in our homes and food on their families’ tables.
Helper, UT is kinda scenic dontcha think ? I figured y’all would like to see the scenery and Glenn would like the trains
Kath, Snigs, and KC are probably glad they don’t have to use something like this anymore
For some reason I thought of Glenn when I saw this picture. That must’ve been quite a sight!
I thought this was an interesting slice of life from the early part of last century.
My desks were different, but Mom & Dad have told me they remember using this kind.
If you want your own copy of this diagram, just call the museum – they take credit cards over the phone
My, how times have changed! My headset is wireless and probably weighs a lot less
Sorry I didn’t get a bigger picture of the desk, but I thought the info and the safe were cool
OK, remember the kitchen? Now go to your laundry room or the laundromat you use down the street and hug your washing machine Yeah, I’m sure glad I don’t have to use one of these. I must admit that as long as the weather’s as dry as it usually is here a clothes line ain’t all that bad
I thought the story of the traveling roundhouse and the nearly century old caboose were pretty cool
I got this pic as I left the museum. I’m really starting to like small towns, even if they do roll up the sidewalks at 2000 hours and everything seems to be closed on Sundays Just check out the old buildings, the mountains, and the white picket fence
That’s it for this post. Hope y’all liked this slice of life from Carbon County Also, do go check out their website if you have a few minutes – click here
If you ever want me out of your hair for a few hours, all you have to do is stuff me into a good museum with a camera The College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum has great stickers with “Death Elevated” on them and it’s one of the best museums I’ve been to in a long time. Not all of the dinosaur fossils on display are replicas – there are many genuine ones. Most of the museums I’ve been to like this one have replicas on display so the real bones can be kept safely in archives. Come along for a photo tour
This is a sculpture of Al the allosaurus out in front of the CEU Prehistoric Museum. Al was the first skeleton put together by the College of Eastern Utah and more than 90 nearly complete fossilized skeletons have been found out at the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry a short distance from Price, UT.
I’m going to go light on the commentary for this post as it would just take too long to go through every single picture and I did my best to get legible photos of the information placards. I figure the museum did a pretty good job putting those together
The one that started it all – Al the allosaurus
One of the most exciting creatures for me in the CEU Prehistoric Museum is Utahraptor. As you can read in further pictures, Stephen Spielberg doubled the size of the Velociraptors when he made Jurassic Park to make them more intimidating. About that time, scientists found Utahraptor which was 2.5 times the size of Velociraptor – even bigger than Spielberg’s over-sized dinosaurs! If there was a way to bring these predators back, I’d use ‘em for guard animals around sensitive installations – Dobermans would have nothing on a pack of Utahraptors
About half of the museum is dinosaurs with the other half being dedicated to Native Americans.
I might have to try making a rabbit skin robe like these one day
Any negative comments about this tepee from the PETA types will either be mocked or deleted I just thought it was great to see it!
One of the really cool things in this museum is this skeleton. We stopped by the area where it was found on a trip to the mountains for a picnic (sorry, no pics of the site, but there will be pics of the area). The placard at the site said it had been buried in nearly frozen mud for about 10,000 years which acted like a refrigerator and that the people who found it could still smell rotting meat I just think it’s awesome to see something like this. It’s bigger than any elephant I can remember seeing at the San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park and just look at those tusks!!!
If these animals were still around, I’d want to see ‘em in a zoo. Not in the wild! Sorry, but a bison with an 80″ horn span sounds like a steamroller and the Dire Wolf and Sabretooth Cat sound like meat shredders. I do wish we had a way of seeing them alive.
That’s about it for this post and possibly for the day. Putting these photo posts together takes quite a bit of time as you’ve got to build the post even after you wait for the images to upload to the server. I’m gonna go kick back for a while, but I hope you enjoyed the CEU Prehistoric Museum almost as much as I did. Make sure to visit if you can
Yes, there’s a real city owned swimming pool in Price, UT. But many of the kids in town would rather swim in a place like this It’s an irrigation canal and it’s normally a bit deeper than it was the day I took this picture. We only had water up to our waist and the current wasn’t too strong, but it was still nice to feel the mud between my toes You can’t see it in this picture because of the way the panorama software stitched the pictures together, but there’s a rope swing hanging from the big tree on the right. It reminded me of the Kenny Chesney song “Summertime” because it was around 93° and the water down at the swimmin’ hole was nice and cold I had a great time
Sorry for the delay, but I’ve been trying to get all the pics uploaded to save time on the back side for each of the posts to come in the future. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the rest of the posts up in the next couple of days I’ve also managed to get the pics uploaded to the gallery where I’m still working on getting them all added to the public files – click here for that area
As you’ve seen from the title, these pics come from my trip north from Price, UT up to Salt Lake City Please make sure to click on the pictures – especially the panoramas – to see the pictures full size. I put up the full size pics because they’re the best I can offer even if they do take forever and a day to upload On with the pics
This entire area is known as “Castle Country” and got that name from this place. Before the road was cut through, it used to look rather like a castle gate
Shortly after going north through the Castle Gate, we found this turnout area and I had Cindy pull over so I could get pictures.
Two things you’ll find in abundance in Carbon County, UT are coal and railroads. This is a processing facility for a nearby coal mine.
Mining is a vital but extremely dangerous job. The people in this area of the country are proud of their hard working miners and you’ll find many memorials to those who’ve lost their lives in the coal mines.
There seem to be as many informational signs and plaques about mining and railroads as there are memorials to miners around Carbon County, UT.
Remember how I said there’s lots of coal mines? Here’s an example of just how much coal there is in the hills. All those black lines are coal layers in the rock. This coal is too low of a grade to mine – there’s too much stuff in it that’s not combustible.
It’s not just mining and railroads in the history of Carbon County – there’s also tales of outlaws and lawmen. Cindy’s grandpa told stories of Butch Cassidy stopping by the family farm to trade for supplies and horses when he was young.
The trip from Price, UT to Salt Lake City, UT takes you through a high mountain canyon which is usually windy. These windmills make sense here.
We got to the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB about 45 minutes before it closed, but I still got plenty of pictures
Talk about a HUGE cargo plane !!! This C-124 is the same type of plane that brought the first U-2 Dragon Lady from Palmdale, CA to Area 51 where it was tested. The U-2 was the first airplane to be tested at Area 51 and was the initial reason for the base at Groom Lake.
One of the earlier jets in the USAF arsenal was the F-89 Scorpion. I recognized it and immediately thought of The Battle of Palmdale.
Scholars of the Korean War will know exactly what MiG Alley was. For the rest of my readers, I’ll just tell you that it was a stretch of North Korea near MiG bases in China where aerial combat between F-86 Sabre Jets and MiG-15s was frequent.
The F-102 Delta Dagger was an Air Force interceptor during the Cold War with the mission of downing Soviet bombers over the U.S.
Another interceptor from the Cold War was the F-101 Voodoo. I’ve met quite a few men who flew these jets and they all speak well of it. Speed and a high rate of climb were a couple of its strengths.
Used by countries around the world, the MiG-17 Fresco was similar to the MiG-15, but was equipped with an afterburner. Bill Reesman is a Vietnam Veteran who once trained to fight against MiGs but now flies a MiG-17 painted in the colors of Red Bull.
Still serving as a front line fighter in some countries’ air forces, the MiG-21 was the most advanced fighter in the North Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War. A worthy adversary for the U.S. fighters of that era, the MiG-21 also saw action against Israeli forces during the Six Day War. Shortly after the Six Day War, an Iraqi pilot defected to Israel with his MiG-21 which was made available to the U.S. for testing and evaluation later on. You can read about the U.S. Air Force’s exploitation of that foreign technology asset over at TD Barnes’ Area 51 Special Projects website There are now several MiG-21s in private hands here in the U.S. where they’re flown as private aircraft.
You don’t often find a part of a Peacekeeper ICBM’s guidance system on display at most aviation museums.
Any Blackbird is a rare bird, but this one’s the rarest of them all and it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to make this trip. The only SR-71C was built from unlikely parts. The back half of the aircraft came from a YF-12A interceptor version of the Blackbird and the front end was originally an engineering mock-up. Can you spot the differences between this SR-71C and most of the SR-71 Blackbirds out there?
Still in service with the Royal Australian Air Force, the F-111 was made to go very fast at very low altitude to avoid detection by enemy air defenses so it could hit its targets and hit them hard. F-111s made history with a very long range raid flown from Great Britain where they bombed Libya in 1986’s Operation El Dorado Canyon.
One of the most famous Air Force and Navy fighters during the Vietnam War was the Phabulous F-4 Phantom. This one’s painted in the Southeast Asia camouflage paint scheme normally used during that era.
Another star of the Vietnam War was the F-105 Thunderchief. Also known as the Thud, the F-105 was supposed to carry a nuclear bomb, but also made a great conventional bomber. Thuds did get some air to air kills over Vietnam and some were made with its 20mm cannon
The F-106 Delta Dart was another delta wing interceptor from the Cold War. The plan was to get close enough to a Soviet bomber formation to launch its air to air rockets with their nuclear warheads before turning tail and running away from the blast.
Cindy seemed to like this one for some reason The Firebee is a drone which was designed to give fighters a good target to train against.
Another Vietnam veteran in the museum was this F-100 Super Sabre.
You don’t usually see this weapon outside of the aircraft that was designed around it, so enjoy it when you can The A-10 Thunderbolt II is also known as the Warthog, but it’s known for this gun. Firing several thousand armor piercing 30mm depleted uranium slugs every minute, this gun could stop the aircraft with its recoil if fired for too long and the rounds can penetrate the front armor of any tank.
The Hill Aerospace Museum does quite a bit of restoration work. This F-4 Phantom is getting some TLC for later display.
I can’t help but think of Alan Alda and the rest of the cast of MASH when I see this helicopter
A later version of the F-86 Sabre Jet was this F-86L Sabre Dog. It got the Dog name from the big black radome on its nose.
This P-38 Lightning was recovered from its Alaskan crash site and restored for display.
I’ve always loved the P-40 Warhawk and especially when it wears the shark’s mouth made famous by the Flying Tigers over China.
Developed from and very closely related to the Piper Cub, this L-4J Grasshopper was used for artillery spotting and actually served in Italy during WWII. It was later used by the Civil Air Patrol, but was retired after a flying accident.
Produced in larger numbers than any other heavy bomber in WWII, the B-24 Liberator was very fast due to its wing design. There are now only two B-24s flying in the world and very few in museums. Seeing this one was a real treat!
Often called the greatest fighter in WWII, the P-51 Mustang is one of the most numerous warbirds flown today. A flying P-51 can be purchased for about $1,000,000 but they’re not for the faint of heart – the torque from that Rolls Royce Merlin engine can make it a very tricky airplane to control during takeoff and landing.
The P-47 Thunderbolt excelled at ground attack during WWII in the European theater.
I hope everyone recognizes a B-17 when they see one. Daylight raids by B-17s like this one helped break Nazi Germany.
The Curtis Jenny was one of the most prolific trainers for the U.S. Army Air Force during WWI. Surplus Jennies were cheap after the war and helped spark the golden age of barnstorming.
An absolutely gorgeous jet and a true classic, the F-86 Sabre Jet carried six .50 caliber machine guns and had a radar to feed the range to its gun sight which made first round hits much more common. This jet had a greater than 10:1 kill ratio over the MiG-15 over Korea.
One of the USAF’s first operational fighter jets was the F-80 Shooting Star. These jets saw combat over Korea before the F-86 Sabre Jet arrived.
The Wright Flyer was the first airplane to demonstrate controlled, sustained, powered flight. This is a good replica and very true to my recollection of the original Wright Flyer which is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
This is a replica of a later Wright airplane.
This was a rather touching poem and statue near the museum.
S.L.U.F. stands for Short Little Ugly F**er and wasn’t always said with affection. Still, the A-7 was a good ground attack aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and a few foreign air forces as well.
Standing guard at the front gate is this beautiful F-4 Phantom. The high visibility white and orange paint scheme is often used on aircraft in training squadrons.
The C-130 Hercules is an outstanding cargo aircraft which can operate off concrete or unprepared surfaces, but I really wanted pics of the B-29. The Superfortress is the same type of plane that firebombed Japan and dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. B-29s are rather rare in museums, but even more rare flying. The Confederate Commemorative Air Force is the owner of the one and only B-29 still flying today.
I’d love to see a B-47 fly, but there are none that I know of in private hands. Movie buffs will recognize this type of aircraft from the movie Strategic Air Command with Jimmy Stewart.
Bomarc missiles guarded the United States and Canada against bomber attack from the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They were initially boosted by a rocket motor which accelerated the missile to a high enough speed for the Marquardt ramjets to function. These missiles had a slant range of several hundred miles at speeds of about Mach 2.5 which helped them to get close enough to a bomber formation for its nuclear warhead to take out many of the enemy planes.
I initially thought this was a mobile launcher, but it’s actually a vehicle that was made to transport Minuteman missiles to their silos before lowering them into the ground. Still, it’s pretty cool
These houses looked like they were in very good shape, but we were running out of daylight and wanted to get to the Temple so we declined to take the tour. Maybe next time
This memorial to the initial pioneer settlers in Salt Lake City was originally placed in 1897, but looks brand new.
The Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was built only with hand tools, oxen, and simple machines like ropes and pulleys as were all the furnishings inside. It took 40 years to complete and is a wonderfully beautiful structure. Only members of the Church of Latter Day Saints are allowed inside the Temple, but the rest of the grounds are open to the public. The visitors’ center has a large cut-away model of the Temple showing the details inside.
That’s it for tonight, but I’ll be back with more tomorrow I hope y’all enjoyed this part of my trip at least partly as much as I did
Have a great night
Day two of the trip didn’t start too early, but we still had quite a bit of adventure
Two things you’ll find in abundance in Carbon County, UT are coal mines and railroads. This was a very quick pic taken with my cellphone because I thought Glenn would like it
Cindy’s grandma may be 90 years old, but she has one heck of a garden! There’s squash, corn, cabbage, several types of fruit trees, a couple of different berry bushes, and lots more I can’t remember now. Some of it’s eaten fresh but most of it is put away in the basement in cans and jars.
I’m a real sucker for old places and places that just look old. I don’t know for sure which this is, but it’s still cool Somehow it brings to mind scenes of cattle and cowboys on the open range and outlaws like Butch Cassidy who used to hide out on the San Rafael Swell years ago.
Cindy told me she was going to show me purple dirt and she sure did! I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Cindy seemed to think the color comes from uranium in the soil. Utah was one of the hot spots back in the early days of nuclear power and weapons because of all the uranium that’s in them thar hills. Uranium camps were the reason that liquor by the drink was first legally sold in the state of Utah.
We only made it to the Wedge Overlook due to the weather (you’ll see more about the weather in a minute ) but I’ve got a few more places to check out on my next trip to central Utah
I keep saying it, but it’s true – Things haven’t really changed all that much out in the wild west. The ranchers might use pickups and quad runners instead of horses and wagons, but cattle are still raised on the same land.
We managed to reach the Wedge Overlook before the storm hit full force. It’s known as the Grand Canyon of the North for good reason. I wouldn’t mind getting down on the floor of the canyon sometime – that river looks nice
The storm was advancing on our location even while we were on the way in. It started to spit on us – just widely spaced drops – and the lightning and thunder got pretty darn close before we got back into the car. If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you probably know how much I like thunder and lightning. There’s something different about thunder in a place like the Wedge. The sound echoes off the land around you, but also bounces around the canyon for a bit before it reaches you. It gives a feeling of being even farther from civilization than you are – the place seems just a bit more wild and I really enjoy that when I can find it.
About that thunderstorm… It finally did reach us and it hit full force. The rain was heavy and hard enough to splash back up and fuzz out the road a bit. It made driving that much harder even with the wipers going as fast as they could. Winds were probably somewhere between 50 and 65 miles per hour. I love stuff like this but I wasn’t disappointed by the lack of damaging hail
We decided to try to get down to the Buckhorn Draw after the storm passed, but that didn’t quite go as we’d planned. A very nice carload of people flagged us down and told us that my HHR wouldn’t make it where we were planning on going. We’d actually already decided to turn around about the same time we saw this waterfall, but it was still nice of ‘em I wanted to get these pics, but I didn’t stay out of the car any longer than I needed to because there was still thunder coming from just about every direction.
As quickly as it had arrived, our storm was gone off to the north. You can see just how heavy the rain was if you look at how much it obscures the mountains in the distance.
When heavy rain comes to the desert, you can count on some flash flooding. We’d planned on taking a different route back to town, but thought better of it. You can never tell just how deep the water is in a place like this and you can easily wind up stuck or worse. The last thing I needed on my vacation was a car that was a total loss or winding up drowned in the desert.
These cows just didn’t seem to mind cars and didn’t want to move. They finally did, but making a bit more noise than a horn did cross my mind One of ‘em had a very interesting pattern of white on black on his hide that we thought would make an interesting couch…
The storm kept on truckin’ north and left quite a bit of humidity in its wake.
It really is pretty country in Carbon County! I could live with a house and some land up there. Cindy told me someone recently bought a three story house on a couple of acres for about $50,000. I’ve sold cars that cost significantly more than that and it sounds awfully inviting to this former resident of the land of insane real estate prices
Small town burger joints are pretty cool in my book. The prices are great and the food’s supposed to be awesome as well, but we couldn’t get dinner there. It seems they close a bit early on Sunday. Actually, the whole town rolls up the sidewalks at about 2000 hours every night.
By the end of the day you could certainly tell my car had been in the middle of a thunderstorm while driving on dirt roads. No, I still haven’t washed it yet – money’s gotten a bit tight with all the dental work in my future. I did manage to get the license plate and taillights cleaned off
We had a good time that day and it only got better as the week went on That’s it for this post, but there’ll be even more pics soon. Have fun everyone
As you’ve probably noticed, one of my teeth was killing me last night. It felt like it was going to explode. I’ve had similar things happen before, but this was quite a bit worse than I’ve dealt with in quite a while. I really didn’t think I’d be able to work today, so I called the on call supervisor last night and used almost the entire morning today searching for a dentist that didn’t suck.
It remains to be seen how the new dentist’s work measures up to my standards (which are high – my teeth have never been great) when it comes to common sense, logic, knowledge, demeanor, and cost. I finally found one, got the ball rolling with the insurance company, and got down there at about 1115 hours. After the paperwork was done, I didn’t have long to wait before being escorted to an exam room, had my teeth x-rayed, and shortly after that I was talking to the actual dentist.
The word is that one of my bicuspids is abscessed and therefore needs a root canal. The two teeth behind it need crowns. Oh, and one of the teeth on the bottom row needs a root canal as well. The doc didn’t know how it’s not causing me severe pain, but I’ll take what I can get.
My insurance is pretty good when it comes to stuff like this. The root canal(s) have a $0 copay and the crowns are only $250 which is much less expensive than I’m used to. I happened to come into $500 last week through work and while I had thought about using this money to fund something fun like a silencer for my .22 or an AR-15, other things have taken priority.
I picked up my prescription for penicillin (only a $10 copay!) and it looks like I’ll be dealing with a high speed pneumatic drill and other implements of torture next Wednesday.
That’s all there is to say about that for now. Wish me luck !!!
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