Getting ready for van travel

We are heading for the central California coast then over to Arizona. two different climates, how to pack?

First off we need to do some cleaning. Been washing sheets. Washed floor, counters, refill toiletries, paper towels. Check waste tank fluids, run generator, a million things to do

During the Last trip our 3-bike rack was damaged when hitting a bump. Seems the far outside rack bent so i called Rocky Mounts who sent me a warranty replacement part which i will install then use straps to hold 3 outside bike to the inside bike seat stem. Should work.

Got the replacement mount installed. Seems solid. Put Locktite on the screws. The road bike is now on the outside and my trail bike on inside. Then strap goes from trail bike to road bike.

Strap from road bike to trail bike in back.
The 3 bike option sticks out and makes the total length like 30 feet.

So now we are packed with food on freezer, water tanks and bottles full, waste tanks empty clothes and all the “necessary” accessories are in HahA. Sure I forgetting something. We shall see.

And we’re OFF in the early morning sun

A friend sent me this poem this morning as we drove off.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.
Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you,
Keep smiling until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.

Welcome to 2022

We begin the third year of the pandemic where the virus seems to still be the boss. Still we are making adjustments to live as “normal” as possible. Instead of cloth or little surgical masks we are wearing the N95 or Kn95 masks. We have received our boosters and feel we can go out as long as we mask up.

We have a couple restaurants at which we can eat outside under propane heaters in the colder weather. Also a couple take out places but mostly we cool at home. Our community, Ananda Village, has a co-op market providing essentials and a few other fun items. We do shop in town which is 30-40 minute drive. In this pandemic we limit our public interactions but always welcome encounters with friends.

Snow Days outside

We had over 12-14 inches snow last week which is slowly melting. Woke up to 27 degrees this New Years morning and decided to ride. My friend and I usually ride on saturdays together so we loaded up the bikes and headed for lower levels.

The snow had melted a bit but i still needed to scrap if off the back deck in order to open the shed where the road bike is stored. The black object in the back there is my trail bike covered for protection.

I regularly ride my road bike in the area having switched to electric to help with the steep hills.

Loading the bike on back of Jeep in very crispy crunch 28 degree snow
Out on the road riding. It was cold in lower 40’s but fun ride at lower elevations

This quote from one of my teachers is something Itry to live by.

“Forget the past, The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”

Lord knows i have made many mistakes and have regrets. However, i try to remember this quote when my monkey mind starts thinking of these mistakes and regrets. It really does help. One thing for certain is we can stay in the past in our minds or move forward and be in the present.

Things I will be amazed by, proud hopeful or, grateful for in 2022

1. Amazed we can plan ahead for everything we are doing already

2. Hopeful we can do these things.

3. Concerned about what might happen with wildfires, pandemic, politics

4. We hope The pandemic will no longer the major issue although it will be with us for a long time in some form.

5. Always hopeful The Seahawks win the Super Bowl

6. Am expecting The Warriors win the NBA championship

7. Wouldn’t it be something if Tiger finishes top 5 in the Masters?

8. Hopeful that our village ponds are full in July

9. Looking forward to viewing the photos sent back from the James Webb Telescope.

10. Hopeful We can travel the west in late summer without wildfire smoke

11. Hopeful I’ve created more photo art.

12. Enjoying the new Lord of the Rings Prequel on Prime in the fall.

EnJOY your day. Be Happy!

Christmas 2021

What a year! We decided to go for it this year with our van. 8 trips with 108 nights out over 15,562 miles driven around the West!

We love stopping in the Mojave Desert at Amboy Crater
on I40 east of Barstow for a quiet winter night

Jan/Feb – Arizona – Our first trip in January found us heading for what we thought would be warmer climate down in Valley of the Sun. spent a few days cycling at White Tanks and Lost Dutchman parks then down to our usual haunts in Tucson where we stayed at Tucson Mountain park, and house sat for our friends in Oro Valley.

March – Death Valley- Since all national forest campgrounds within 300 miles of us are closed we elected to head to Death Valley. Caught a break in weather which allowed us to drive over Donner Pass and down US 395. Was snowy but roads were dry. We spent 4 days exploring the area with temps in 60’s, some rain storms in valley gave new experiences. And driving to the 5475 ft top of Dantes’ View in SE area gave us a wonderful perspective on the valley.

April – Had to get out somewhere so we headed back over to the eastern sierra for boon-docking in the Alabama Hills near Mt Whitney south of Bishop California. Biking the dusty trails and hiking for a few nights. This is where many old western movies were filmed back in 30’-50’s

May – One place Sraddha has always wanted to explore is the San Rafael Swell in central Utah. With features like the “Little Grand Canyon, Slot canyons and majestic geologic views. Most people head to the amazing national parks which we have done several times. This is less traveled and we had the place to ourselves much of the time. Trail cycling here was a lot of fun. We explored Goblin Valley, Temple Mountain, Swinging Bridge, Lake Powell, and Valley of the Gods.

Early June – finally the sierra opens up to camping so I went up to Lakes Basin for a few quiet days alone hiking and cycling. Explored some new trails and just hung out.

Late June/July – Colorado beckons. We had planned to meet Sraddhas family in Pagosa Springs for few days of fun. Our route took us across central utah and thru the Rockies to Lost Lake above Crested Butte, Colorado for a few days then winding down thru central Rockies to Pagosa Springs. Return trip thru Moab.

July/August – Wildfires and smoke caused cancellation of a couple trips into the sierra but finally the smoke cleared and we were able to get up to one of our favorite places near Tahoe and also went to Sea Ranch on California Coast for a few days of cycling and hiking.

August-September – Smoke again changed our plans. Originally scheduled to spend a week in Tetons then Idaho and on over to Puget Sound, we canceled the eastern part of trip and spontaneously headed up the Oregon and Washington coast for a real fun time. It is getting harder to find great places to camp on short notice but we lucked into some wonderful places along the coast including the Hoh River Rainforest campground. We stayed with friends over the weekend in Portland area and also visited the Ananda farm up on Camano Island (where we plan to return in the spring to help with planting a “cutting flower garden”. Camping on a city street in Edmonds at my cousin’s place is always fun. Great neighborhood there. We returned via Cape Disappointment SP at the mouth of Columbia river , Nehalem Bay, Umpqua Lighthouse and Bullards beach near Brandon.

October – Our last trip of the year was the most challenging. Our route took us down eastern sierra for a few days then on to Usery Park in Mesa, AZ where i would then fly to Atlanta for a few days of model railroading with some buddies whilst Sraddha explores museums in the Valley of Sun then on to Catalina State Park in Tucson before heading back home.

En route thru Nevada we stopped for propane. A couple days later, while camped at 9500 ft elevation, we started having issues with the propane system. We ended up cutting our eastern sierra travels short and headed to Las Vegas for repairs. The Van City service center took us in and diagnosed the problem to be bad propane. We ended up spending 3 day in Valley of Fire State Park to bleed out and empty the propane tank and 2 nights at a KOA near a casino in Vegas. A very different experience than was planned but much, but not all of the problem was solved. Still intermittent issues but we soldiered onto Mesa with our plans having set up a return visit to Van CIty for a couple other repairs we needed on Mightee Wonder Van.

This year has been a blessing. When we bought the van back in late 2019, we figure to continue travels as long as one of us has a valid drivers license. Didn’t anticipate the pandemic but we have found ways to safely travel and have fun.

I continue regularly with cycling, averaging about 60-70 miles per week mostly at elevation. We are blessed with good health, a safe community in which we live amongst good friends

World Market Day

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.

Be The Change Theme for Ananda Worldwide this year
Be The Change Theme for Ananda Worldwide this year

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Artists from many walks of life offered their work for sale

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.

 

Enjoy!

There’s Joy in the Heavens

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