Gets dusty some times when you are out on the trail
Down in canyons
Wide open spaces
Gets dusty some times when you are out on the trail
Down in canyons
Wide open spaces
We have been here so many times and keep returning.
This February has been a bit more chilly than previous years, however with Mighty Wonder Van, we have remained warm and cozy when needed.
In previous RV travels with our bigger Class A rig, we tended to live from the inside out.
Last year out teardrop trailer experience taught is the value of nimble living from the outside in.
Now, we have, what we consider the best of both worlds. We have nimble easy travel yet can tuck in when weather necessitates.
Early Feb saw me riddling icy roads to head over Donner pass to take a shorter route thru western Nevada to Sedona AZ for a model Railroad meetup with some buddies.
2019 rolled through like a freight train, didn’t it? Began with me getting all excited about buying a teardrop trailer, working all winter and spring on the photos and admin for our new Temple of Light in preparation for the largest event ever at Ananda Village in June. Then coordinating some amazing creatives for a week of photography and videography of an event with 1000 people
Late January I headed to Tucson to run model trains and see my long time buddies.Joined by Sraddha who was helping one of her best friends move up here to the village.Hiking into a deep canyon near where we live and getting drenched in springtime snow without a jacket.
Our annual hike thru the oak savannah to hidden falls then the annual 40 mile bike ride around Sutter Buttes in the valley before it gets to hot .
Drove up to Portland to take delivery of Ladybug, our new custom built teardrop trailer and driving it home then traveling up in the remote NE section of California to experience the forests and desert and quietude.
Spending several week long trips up in Tahoe/Truckee area hiking, cycling, trying out eBikes, sitting around campfires while the valley roasted in 100 degree temps.Hiking in High Sierra’s is an amazing experience.
Sure can see why indigenous people spent summers there. Fortunately we live at 2700 ft so are somewhat acclimated.nevertheless, hiking up a hillside at 8,000 ft takes your breath away even before you get to the view.Sraddha got an eBike in between everything. Takes the hills out of the ride
We discovered that it can get real cold up there in late September,like down below freezing! We also learned that we prefer a bit more warmth.Ya think? Yup, we love the teardrop camping experience in warmer weather, however….
We decided to see how well we could travel with the teardrop behind the subaru. (Hint, It travels well, but we don’t when weather turns cold). Nevertheless we headed to Utah for two weeks in early October.Saw a new niece, and some tall ones too. Had fun with some wonderful family.
We had scored a reservation down in Canyon lands National Park for 4 nights.First 3 nights we great then weather turned as forecasted to freezing temps and 30 mph winds.brr. We bolted out of there to Zion, spending a few nights in motel due to no campgrounds available. A good lesson which we learned that is was time to move up from small trailer to something that is warm inside. The question was bigger trailer or camper van.
Long story short, we found the van of her dreams in Atlanta of all places. Flew out the week before thanksgiving, bought it, and drove it 3000 miles back home. We had planned to drive over I-40 to Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving but the weather turned real freezing harsh so ended up traveling I-10 thru Tucson (in stealth mode) and LA then up I-5. Happy to tell you story in person.
Our new rig is called Wonder by Leisure Travel Vans. Only 24 ft on a Ford Transit chassis with diesel engine. We call her “MighTee Wonder” (MTW) and she drives like a dream. Already planning our 2020 trips.
We wish you all a very happy holidays and look forward to seeing ALL of you in 2020.
Some photos below of new rig. PS She loves driving it!!!
Last night I scooted over to the Temple of Light at Ananda Village near my home to see if I could capture the colors of sunset with the Mavic Drone. Bear in mind the sensor is really small. I flew up and scouted a few possibilities. The other challenge is location of trees to the east of the temple discourages a roaming drone so I carefully maneuvered Hawkeye (name of my Mavic Pro I) to see what I could get. Took a few shots in Raw (DNG) and also some B roll video for future.
Sunsets are tricky timing especially when you are flying a drone with finite battery power. I edited it a bit in Lightroom and photoshop including straightening the trees (Free Transform) because the wide angle lens distorts the edges. adjusted the clarity, and levels. The noise in silhouettes and shadows was due to high ISO needed. I reduced a little in LR.
Here is finished shot.
2018 was _________ (fill in the blank).
Learning experience, Whirlwind, Unexpected, Delightful, Challenging, Full filling, Gone. You fill in the blanks. Certainly not boring.
Living a very active, yet reflective, life filled with new projects is challenging. Being “retired” hopefully allows one to have a little more say over not only what you are involved in but when.
For me, it is more a when since another aspect is living as service filled life. Sometimes the service is requested. Sometimes it is just a feeling that this is what is to be done. Sometimes I even say yes. Other times… well, let’s just hope I reflect on all of it.
Can’t say any major accomplishments this year but some progress and satisfaction from living a directional life.
Many photos and videos. See my youtube channel and website. Photo exhibit at Expanding Light guest retreat. Many greeting cards sold in boutiques. Good health for both of us. Even lost some weight and improved fitness. The Ananda Library working well, The Ananda Bell phones and internet systems are running fine and improved. A bit of travel to see family Wonderful garden House still standing (we live in a major wildfire risk area).
Much gratitude for friends, God, Guru. It’s all about relationships. Within and without.
Other than helping to celebrate Ananda Village 50th anniversary with new temple I am gonna get my General Amateur radio license, a trailer and do some local and perhaps western US travel. Maybe even some more photo/video
The adventure continues…and could even be fun
Perhaps you haven’t noticed but it’s been a while since last post. no excuses although I can think of a whole bunch. Used to post regularly while we were traveling around full time in the RV but since we moved into house, it has been busy.
Oh, you say, “thought you were retired?” Riiiigggghhhhtttt. “Retirement” means you have, or least you think you have, a little more say about how you spend your time. Could be true unless people think that, since you are retired, you have lotsa time to spend on their projects….
So we took a little time away to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Time flies.We flew to Maui. So here we are in “paradise” which translates to wonderful temperatures, tee shirts, shorts, island time, no worries. Everyone has their picture of what it’s like. It is pretty neat in some ways.
We have enjoyed our hikes and visit to Haleakala National park, the walks and morning swims on the beach, the temperatures, and exploring. But we prefer a more secluded quiet areas less touristy. Guess that is what we have gotten used to over the years. It’s always fun to people watch and there are all forms. At least everyone we have seen/met are pretty relaxed here.
We are ready for the comforts of home tho.
Tulips, tulips, tulips! here is the video I made from aerial footage last spring.
Some long time Ananda folks organized and World Market Day here at Ananda Village during this summer’s Spiritual Renewal week…
Some long time Ananda folks organized and World Market Day here at Ananda Village during this summer’s Spiritual Renewal week.
The intention is to provide an opportunity for an interactive event for guests and gurubais to: Represent our various communities and tell folks about Ananda’s work and offerings in their area; Sell products, crafts, artistry and services; Build stronger communication and relationships among individuals in Ananda worldwide family
I went out with quadcopter to show a friend how it works and got some fun footage. We had to find a good spot to take off then flew around. Didn’t have much time to do justice to this delightful experience but did manage to capture some footage
2 minute aerial video below.
Last spring when we first landed here at Ananda Village I had thoughts to fly the Mavic quadcopter over our village. As it turned out the village manager asked me to shoot some footage which ended up in a presentation to the Nevada County planning commission and Board of Supervisors when we applied for the new village master plan permits. Needless to say it was well received.
We held off making this public but now I set it to Swami Kriyananda’s song called “Joy in the Heavens” which seems appropriate.
I have shot more and will be posting more soon. Here is the link to the 3 minute video
Make sure you watch the video at the end of the blog.
Late June I took a little drive up to Portland and Seattle with a stop over in my old home area of Walla Walla. Got a chance on the return trip to stop in Olympia to see my longtime model railroad buddy Jim. Instead of running model trains we decided to go out to Steilacoom on puget sound just south of Tacoma, Washington and watch trains. Maybe even get some aerial footage with my DJI Mavic quadcopter.
We parked near the Anderson Island ferry dock in Steilacoom and walked along the tracks to find a spot in the shade. It was warm outside.
We saw a northbound Amtrak and a coal drag. Listening to the scanner on the iphone we figured out which milepost detector was triggered when the train goes by and could mostly discern whether it was northbound or southbound. I flew around about half mile out in the sound and shot some footage of the ferry’s and the trains. Had to figure out which neutral density filter to use. Think it was ND8 most of the time which allowed me to shoot at 1/50 shutter speed.
Then we moved up to Titlow beach just south of Tacoma Narrows bridge. As we were driving along the sound I stuck my iPhone out the window to catch some video footage of a train going by. (Don’t tell my spouse I did this!)
At Titlow beach we did scout a potential takeoff point, however there was just too many people for my tastes. We did catch a train go by with my iphone All this is in the video below.
As the sun began to get lower in the sky we headed south to Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 US open golf tournament. Being a public links course we drove down to the driving range and decided we could launch from there.
We saw several trains and got one good long video as a northbound garbage train passed by just as i was running out of battery. Was way out over sound about 3/4 mile away when it passed and was down to less than 20% battery by end. Whew.
Below is a link to the 10 minute video I created from footage. Some of it was speeded up to get within the 10 minute limit I set but it was still a 1.5 GB size. wow.
Oh yes, I did also see the Southern Pacific tourist steam engine in Portland. That’s in the beginning of the video below. Hope you can enjoy.
Afterwards we retired to a local pub for a bit of nourishment.