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Border To Border Update - Sunday

Border to Border Update - follow Chris and Del on their journey finding the dirt roads from Mexico to Canada

Life on this border to border trip is simple – drive, camp, eat, have a cold one, sleep, drive some more.  We do 12 hour driving days, switching off on the wheel as we need to.  Radar the Wonder Dog helps keep things lively as he gets excited every time we turn a new corner or see something new.  Energy drinks don’t hurt, either.

So far, we’re 6 days and over 600 miles of dirt into this trek from Mexico to Canada, with a long ways to go, but a totally amazing assortment of adventures under our belt.  We started in the Algodones sand dunes, and are now in Bishop, CA, having traveled through parts of the Mojave, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley and yesterday, Saline Valley.

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Border to Border Thanks and Notes

Friday, June 19, 2009 Border to Border Thanks and Notes

While I have a good internet connection, during this awesome Reno Rocks event, I wanted to take a minute to thank a few folks who are helping make the border to border trip possible. That is where I was before I hit Reno for this event.



Of course, Jeep and Mopar are on top of the list as Chris borrowed the Jeep Overland right from the Mopar boys. ARB, Viking Off road, WARN, BFGoodrich Tires, American Expedition Vehicles, JeepCamping.com, AdventureTrak (SPOT), 4x4Wire.com (John Stewart), EQUIPT Expedition Outfitters, and Expedition One chimed in to make this trip a real adventure.

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Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument

The Parashant trip was, by all accounts, spectacular.  The trip was organized well in advance and we were able to see and do everything that we had planned. The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument covers a vast area by itself but it is seamlessly connected to both the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Grand Canyon National Park. Combined, there are thousands of miles of off pavement roads to explore.

Our travels allowed us to visit, Gold Butte, the Tassi Ranch, the Grand Wash Cliffs, the Pakoon Basin, Hidden Canyon, , the Townsite of Trumbull, Twin Point, Kelly Point, Mt Logan, Mt Logan Wilderness, the Colorado River, Nampaweep Rock Art Site, the Witches Water Pocket and Toroweep. We exited through Colorado City and stopped at the "Merry Wives Cafe" for some snacks and drinks.

Elevations ranged from 1500 feet to over 7500 feet. Temperatures ranged from over 100 degrees in some areas to as low as the teens (19 degrees at 6:30AM) in other areas. Patches of snow still covered some areas in the higher elevations and it seemed like the middle of summer in the lower elevations.

One of the greatest thrills was being able to find a road that went to within one tenth of a mile of the Colorado River. Reaching the water did require a bit of a hike, dropping over 800 feet to the bottom of the Canyon. Three of us made it to the bottom and were rewarded with the cold refreshing water of the Colorado.

Click here to read more about the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument April 2009 from Outdoor Adventure USA

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Get Ready for the Perseids!

August is the month to view the night-time skies and the annual meteor shower.  The below may appeal to the techincal side; but anyone can (and everyone should) spend a little time watching this amazing sight.

On the night of August 11 and well into the next day, Earth will make its annual passage through the bulk of the debris shed by a comet known as Swift-Tuttle <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/109P/Swift-Tuttle>. Much of the debris is composed of dust-sized grains, but when these fragments come plunging into our atmosphere they can create a dazzling meteor display. Not only are the meteors fascinating to watch, they also leave short-lived streams of ionized gas in their wake. As hams have known for years, these meteor trails are excellent reflectors of radio waves.

The Swift-Tuttle meteor showers are known as the Perseids <http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/31jul_perseids2009.htm> because they appear to come from a point in the sky that lies within the constellation Perseus. This year's shower is forecast to be especially active because we're about to pass through a somewhat thicker filament of dust that boiled off Swift-Tuttle in 1862. If you own a 6 or 2 meter SSB/CW transceiver, you can get in on the action, bouncing your signals off Perseid meteor trails and making quick meteor scatter contacts over hundreds of miles, and possibly even as much as 1200 miles <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteor_scatter>.

Meteor scatter operation is particularly easy on 6 meters where 100 W and an omnidirectional antenna will do the job. On 2 meters a directional antenna (such as a multielement Yagi) usually yields better results.  Some meteor scatter operators prefer to use SSB, making rapid exchanges of signal reports and grid squares. In recent years digital meteor scatter has been increasing in popularity. With the free sound-card-based WSJT software suite by Joe Taylor, K1JT, it is possible to make digital meteor scatter contacts almost any time of the day or night, not just during annual showers <http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/>. Most WSJT scatter operators use a mode known as FSK441 and center their activities on calling frequencies at 50.260 and 144.140 MHz. They also announce their availability by using Web sites just as N0UK's Ping Jockey Central <http://www.pingjockey.net/cgi-bin/pingtalk>.

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Antique and Classic Boat Show

Antique and Classic Boat Show

The few drops of rain were not enough to wash off the dust but they did not hide the banner strung across the entrance to the town of McCall.  An Antique and Classic Boat Show was set to open for public viewing for the weekend.  Hopefully the rain was temporary and would not linger.

McCall, Idaho sits on the shores of Payette Lakes and is home to year around recreation opportunities.  In the winter, skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing are popular.  In the summer, skiing (water), wheeling, and fishing are popular.  This August weekend featured an Antique and Classic Boat Show hosted by the local chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (www.acbs.org).

The name Chris-Craft dominated the makers of boats on display.  All were meticulously restored to their former glory years when moved from factory to show room to the water.  From the 28 foot speed boat powered by twin Mercury Marine V-8 engines to the sleek 14 canoe powered by sail, the boats were high polished wood.

It is evident the owners loved and cherished their classic boats and seek to protect the heritage of boating by promoting the preservation and restoration of historic antique and classic boats.

See more pictures of Antique and Classic Boats in the 4x4Wire Galleries.

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