Thursday, April 13, 2006

At a crossroads...

Several of our readers have posted comments recently, and I feel the need to respond here in the main blog. That's because I'm never sure that people who comment on any given post will go back to the comments page for that post to see if we've answered (and, in fact, we have evidence that at least some folks do not), and I don't have a good way to map comment posters to email addresses to answer them directly.

[Humorous side-note: There are at least two Ron Walkers who read the blog. I did not realize this until I took a comment post from one of them, which came into my email box courtesy of blogspot's settings, and replied, cleverly, or so I thought, to the Ron Walker that I had in my address book. Oops -- different Ron Walker.]

So let me set the record straight on a number of items:
  1. If you posted a comment that needed a response, check back in the comments section where you posted your comment -- you may find we have posted our response there.
  2. If you want a direct response, via email, then either email us directly using the contact information on our home page, or update your Blogger profile to include a valid email address, and I will try to look you up that way.
  3. Louise and I both post to this blog regularly. I usually post text, and Louise usually posts photos and video (with text descriptions). You can tell who posted what by looking at the end of each post, where you will find a by-line such as "posted by Louise at 8:45 AM 1 comments"
  4. Louise is the one who has mastered the craft of posting both still photos and video to the blog, even though some of the kudos have been directed to me. She deserves all the credit for these great additions to our site.
As long as I have brought it up, the format of the by-line on each post includes a time stamp, and a number of comments. Both these items are hyperlinks. The time links to the direct URL for that post, along with all the comments already posted to it. So if you wanted to send the link to one of my rants, or one of Louise's photos, to a buddy in an email, you would use that link (right-click and select "copy link location" or however your browser does it, then paste into your message). That way, you'd be sending only the one post, and not the whole blog or a whole month of posts. The comments hyperlink takes you to a page where you can post a comment, after signing in to blogger (we require the sign-in simply because we were receiving automated spam).

And, to answer the last comments: Since Louise shoots the video, you will mostly hear her voice, although she does allow me to speak on occasion. The training to which we are en route will certify us as operators of the Red Cross Emergency Communication Response Vehicles (ECRV's), about which I have posted previously and will, no doubt, post again.

In other news, the FCC posted my amateur license on their web site, so I now have a call sign and am a legal operator. My call is KE7HJC, but don't expect to find me haunting the bands any time soon. I do have a dual-band handheld, though -- an Alinco DJ580 that I purchased many years ago for us on, ahem, a different band (the Alinco has jumpers for this purpose). It's been sitting in a drawer all this time, so I'll need to dust it off and reacquaint myself with it. More importantly, I will now be able to use the amateur gear in the ECRV next week during training.

Tonight we are in Laughlin, Nevada, in the parking lot of Harrah's Casino (map). Today's drive was mostly just a freeway blast across I-40, which we joined just west of Holbrook after a brief stint on US-180. (I neglected to mention in last night's post that the stop at the entrance to Petrified Forest was one of convenience -- the park itself was not on our itinerary, as we'd already done it some time ago.) We fueled up in Kingman, and headed here on US68. Harrah's has a nice steak house, and a large parking lot that is far enough from the center of the strip to be quiet. (Most casinos in town allow overnight RV parking, and there are hundreds of rigs scattered throughout town, thanks to this interim decision in the recent Clark County overnight parking flap.)

Our original route plan had us heading northwest out of Kingman on US-93, and over Hoover Dam into Las Vegas, where US-95 would carry us north to Fallon. The problem with this plan is that Donner Pass over the Sierra Nevada lies between Fallon and our final destination of Gridley, and the pass, at this writing, is under chain control. We would hit the pass sometime on Friday, when it may well be clear, but spending tonight near Lake Mead would further commit us to that route.

The logical alternative to the US93/US95/US50/I-80 route would have been to continue south and west from Kingman on I-40 to Barstow, where we would pick up CA58 over to the central valley and blast up I-5. On that route, we would have spent tonight halfway between Kingman and Lake Havasu. Frankly, though, after I-40 today we've had our fill of Interstate, and we really do not relish the idea of two more full days of it.

Kingman was too soon to stop on either route (and isn't really the most pleasant stop, either), so we decided to split the difference and continue due west to Laughlin. It will add a half hour to our total route either way, but it gives us another night to make the final decision. Tomorrow morning we will consult the weather charts and the CalTrans web site and try to determine if the pass will be unrestricted on Friday. Either way we will continue west from here on NV-163, it then being a matter of turning either north or south on US95.


  1. Hi Sean..I could be the Ron Walker in your address book, we had a few emails going between us about some batteries I aquired. GNB Absolyte 2V was about a year...I regularly post on MAK & BNO

  2. whatever you do, AVOID LA! it is horrible when driving a bigger vehicle. UNLESS you can cross through at 4am.

    can't wait to see ya'll

  3. Ooops. Sorry, Louise, I didn't realize you were the technical guru behind the videos. Kudos!


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