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By: joealaska , 6:03 AM GMT on September 28, 2012


Just a number. Relevant at certain times. Not here, at least as I am concerned.

We are talking photos I have posted. I am at 5998 as I write, 6000 a short time after.

Several of my loyal followers have asked if I would have something special for number 6000. That would be cool, but no sirree bob. Just the same old crap.

Any regular readers know what I post... whatever is interesting. Quality or not. If I get an AC approval, fine. After 6000 posts, anyone can get lucky. I am proof of that. If I wanted to post award winning photos, I have failed. But I am happy with what I have posted. Life in Dutch. It is not always pretty.

Sometimes I get lucky, snapping with eyes closed. But that is not my goal, at least for now. There were a couple photo contests recently which I wanted enter, one involving the fishing industry. I only have a couple thousand photos I could have entered. But I ended up not entering even one. Mainly because I was too busy, but also because it is not a high priority, YET.

It has all been fun posting, and after 5998 pictures it is hard not to come up with something special. To me, 6000 is not special. Just like 5278. Or 3210. Remember those? Maybe #1000 was special, but even that one is forgotten to me. Lets say #10,000 will be special, and I will save a good one. But why save a nice photo then publish it at a certain moment? I may have a better one come through. Until I get paid to do this, it will happen as it happens. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

6000 is just a point in time.

Thanks to UK for the vacation adventures. Her latest adventure on that logging road was what I would have done if I were there. I hope we get some photos of that.

Talking vacations, here are my plans. Several of you have asked for the schedule via email, so here we go...

10-14 Depart Dutch 5 PM. Anchorage, Portland, LA, Albuquerque.
10-15 Arrive in Albuquerque at 6:30 PM
10-16 Golf with CASA
10-17 Golf with CASA
10-18 West on I-40 to Grants, south to PIE TOWN, eventually to RESERVE. The Gila Wilderness
and primitive roads. Finally to Safford AZ. Golf somewhere. Wilcox/Safford/ Vail?
10-19 South to I-40 to Tucson. Golf somewhere .
10-20 North to Payson via east of Phoenix. House hunting.
10-21 Payson house hunting.
10-22 To Las Vegas golfing somewhere Henderson, Nevada?
10-23 Golf Paiute North Las Vegas RT 95 Nevada 95 to west into Yosemite (never been there)
10-24 Livermore / San Francisco
10-25 Golf Lake Chabot (Oakland)
10-26 Golf SunolValley Fremont
10-27 Back to Nevada NW Gerlach STOLPA COUNTRY
19-28 Gerlach to Winnemucca DIRT ROAD
10-29 NEVADA Battle Mountain, Austin, Tonopah. Warm Springs to Vegas via Rachel and the Extraterrestrial HWY. Stay in Rachel? At the A-LIE-INN.
10-29/10-30 Jerome, AZ
10-31 Albuquerque


Gnu guy left today after being stuck a day here due to wind and rain delay. GNU-R arrived today.

Four vans arriving tomorrow. The boat is late again. Big day tomorrow, what else is new?

10,000 here I come.

10 PM, wind and rain. Time for a BBQ of a couple brats...

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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28. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:12 AM GMT on October 07, 2012
joealaska has created a new entry.
27. insideuk
3:17 PM GMT on October 06, 2012

OR LZ to some who prefer things upside down...

I’d like to know the name of the person in charge of the airport runway extension project so that I might send them my very rare, expensive and highly detailed map of Unalaska, which is – by virtue of his/ her work, becoming less accurate on a daily basis. They can then amend the topography with a fine nib as they go along.

I saw a photo of work in progress in the Dutch Harbor Telegraph. They are blowing bloody great chunks off the corner of Ballyhoo and ditching it into the bay. It’s more or less the reverse of how the Netherlands were created, since they sucked up and redistributed the ocean floor to create useable space. One Dutch sucks and the other one blows…

Just so long as neither sink.

Or become liquefied. I’d imagine that’s the last thing any pilot wants to see, runny runway.

They seem to be creating a new mountain road up that side of Ballyhoo. Most major building projects such as this are designed to leave a legacy for the community that at least seeks to mask the environmental damage inflicted. Sadly I think a championship golf course may be a no go in this case. Flying golf balls and jet engines don’t mix, not even as an entertaining method of picking winning lottery numbers. Though I’ll bet someone’s tried it…Joe?

But maybe they could leave a nice new grassy viewpoint halfway up the hillside, a family summer picnic and BBQ spot (assuming the local gun club relocate their shooting range slightly). Such a feature would also provide a point of safety during tsunami alerts for everyone at the low lying airport. Plus Joe would benefit from being able to get a breath of fresh air and some new photos whilst still keeping a beady eye on whatever freight is being/ not being offloaded, whilst grilling his dinner. All during a full scale tsunami alert…

In which case he might have to share the spoils of his dinner. I know he always has 6000 paper napkins about his person for just such an eventage. It is his constant level of preparedness for all eventualities that first attracted me to him. We are kindred spirits, of sorts, albeit the highly combustible sort. Which means we have to stay separated by several thousand miles for the safety of all around.

He uses those bloody napkins as a fire risk excuse more than anything, he hardly ever sells the things…

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26. dotmom
9:12 PM GMT on October 05, 2012

Next for JoeAlaska will be -- Alaska to Albuquerque to Arizona
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25. cybersuze
8:53 PM GMT on October 05, 2012
9 (an upside down 6)! oops
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24. dotmom
11:06 AM GMT on October 05, 2012
Well Ylee, these youngsters get way ahead of us old-timers - but here - I just don't know. Must be the math!
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23. Ylee
2:13 AM GMT on October 05, 2012
I figured you taught her better than that, Dotmom! Maybe it's some of that "new math"! :)
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22. dotmom
12:06 AM GMT on October 05, 2012
Cybersuze: You made note of "6" on the 4th. I think his schedule says he leaves the 14th. Over here in KY, we would say something like "10." Just sayin'.
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21. cybersuze
11:20 PM GMT on October 04, 2012
days until his vACation!
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20. dotmom
5:57 PM GMT on October 04, 2012
Cybersuze - is this a coded message?
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19. cybersuze
4:04 PM GMT on October 04, 2012
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18. hanfyh
6:34 AM GMT on October 02, 2012
The Ryder cup was good to watch.
I have also been a fan of Tigers for a long time. I dont care about what he does when he isnt on the course. I dont personally know him and I dont want to. The man has been a class above his opposition for most of his career. He will come back.
osdiannas comment about lipping out is something I know a little about. I have played a bit of golf. I used to play in a semi pro tournament near here on Thursdays when I could organise a day off. They double cut the greens and you play off the blue markers. The course is set up just like what the pros play on. Its a tough day. When the green keeper cuts the holes, if he takes the machine that cuts the holes and gives it a bit of a wiggle he can lift up the soil and grass around the edge of the hole. Its a mean trick to pull on us hackers but I know they sometimes do it as we see on TV when puts are lipping out a lot more than usual.
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17. osdianna
5:01 AM GMT on October 02, 2012
I felt a real need for some down time, so I chose to watch the Ryder Cup both Saturday and Sunday, and I have to say it was a nail-biter. I have been a fan of Tiger's since he hit the links as a pro, and I have never seen such a heart-breaker...nor have I ever seen so many lip-outs! I seriously think they are designing the cups to do that now; how is it possible for so many to circle the rim then kick out? It was a weird show...and the USA fans were really getting on my last nerve with their consummate rudeness...but then, I'm from the old school of politeness in sports, politeness in competition of nearly all sports...rugby doesn't lend itself to politeness.

I like to watch good golf...this was unfortunate golf for the American team, but some really amazing golf by Donald and Poulter. I know Seve is crowing!
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16. insideuk
9:38 AM GMT on October 01, 2012
Greetings on this fine and sunny VICTORY IN EUROPE day!

I won't rub it in.

I know it was all a close run and nerve shredding thing in those final hours. I slept peacefully right through all the drama, but caught some highlights this morning. The 'comeback of all comebacks,' so said the BBC golf correspondent, 'Somewhere Seve Ballesteros, the patron saint of lost causes, is smiling down...'

Next time Scotland are the hosts at Gleneagles, I drove by there on Saturday – it was blowing a hell of a chilly gale across that course. There may be slightly fewer bare chested fans on display next time, which might help Tigers game. Unless the swishing kilts put him off?

Having reviewed your itinerary for your upcoming vacation Joe can I just say that I think you may be trying to cram far too much into your 17 minutes? 10-14 to 10-31? Chill.

You forgot to book a flight home too. Understandable in the circumstances, maybe you could just roll in on the late boat on Friday tucked up with the PRODUCT. Have Gnu and the guys dig you out in time for deliveries on Saturday.

I was straight back into paperwork on Sunday, desperately trying to get back into the swing of it (I had completely forgotten 2 security passwords that I use daily at work, I had to look the bloody things up!). Betti is still awaiting a clean, she looks FILTHY, inside and out. She needs a major dose of TLC so that she can return to her usual showroom splendour – she looks like I've been living in her for a week. Which I have.

She is probably carrying about a half ton of sheep droppings under her chassis too – I'll give her THE WORKS later. She will look and feel like a brand new Yeti.

Don't worry, I have no plans to drive through rivers to achieve this.

It's nice to be home. I always miss my own bed and I was getting tired of fighting with a Scottish feather duvet that only ever had all of it's feathers on one side. Shake it and it flung everything to the other side in one great lumpen mass. Feathers and I just can't ever get along it would seem.

Incidentally, NUMBER 6000 turned out just beautiful.
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15. DHaupt
8:04 AM GMT on October 01, 2012
I graduated from New Mexico Tech nearly 50 years ago and have crawled all over that part of the world. It was more remote and primitive in those days than now. All that western New Mexico country from Silver City clear up to Gallup was our backyard and weekend escape. We used to high grade the Kelley Mine at Magdalena, the Mex-Tex down by Carrizozo, just north of the White Sands Missile Range.

I recall making an expedition along with fellow gelogy students to a selenite cave way north of Magdalena. When we got to the the cave, a friend of mine shot the biggest rattle snake any of us had ever heard tell of; it was coiled up on a ledge about ten feet below the cave entrance. Pat didn't see a rattle snake; he saw a belt, hat band and suspenders. Sadly, he shot it with a 303 Enfield at nearly point blank range and had to settle for a hat band and a lot of bracelets. We laid it out straight -- it was just shy of 7 feet and as big around as Pat's arm, and Pat was a husky fellow!

The mouth of the cave was a literal snake pit. we had to shoot our way across about 50 feet of flat roofed cave to get to the passages leading down to the selenite crystals. It was a belly crawl to get to them, perhaps another 200 feet, but no more snakes.

We thought we heard running water at times, but in our avarice to collect, we ignored it. When we crawled out on the surface of the Earth some hours later we discovered that there had been a raging summer storm during our crawl. We had driven perhaps 15 miles right up the Rio Puerco to get to the place and it was now a raging flood. We had to wait hours for the waters to recede before we could make any attempt to get back to civilization. We were all in jeeps and Dodge Power Wagons, but we spent hours with shovels and axes rebuilding the road home.

But, there were people living out in that vast wilderness. We could see kerosene lanterns in their windows; pelts were stretched on front porches and adobe walls; very surly dogs, dogs used to catching their dinners, occasionally chased after us.

We pulled into a very dark village of Magdalena but for the lights of a single bar. We got there just enough before closing time that we were all greatly refreshed by 2 a.m.

Now, here I dwell at one of the centers of the known Universe. It was all wonderful and a lifetime away.
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14. Ylee
2:44 AM GMT on October 01, 2012
Joe, this may be of interest, if you can spare the time! The Library of Congress has archived photographs of the 30s and 40s of that area, taken by Russell Lee. Pie Town, Quemado, and Mogollon are featured in this collection.

Catron County Photographs
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13. joealaska
5:53 PM GMT on September 30, 2012
Hey YLEE, thanks for the suggestion.

As I was already going through metropolitan ALMA, I would be crazy not to hang a left and check it out. Especially after I read up on the history of the town.
May even try to spend the night there if it works out.

Plus, I have already ordered MY NAME IS NOBODY from Netflix.
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12. Ylee
6:01 AM GMT on September 30, 2012
Joe, I see you are going to Catron Co., N.M., which is on my bucket list of places to go! Are you going to Mogollon? I think that'd be pretty cool!
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11. dotmom
7:35 PM GMT on September 29, 2012
Are you glad to be home? There's no place like home. What does "Betti" think? I bet she is glad to be back in her familiar digs. Don't ya' hate that unpacking and all the rest! I think we should have disposable clothes!
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10. insideuk
3:59 PM GMT on September 29, 2012
Just back Dotmom! Had a good drive back... Now for unpacking, laundry & a big pile of unopened mail!
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9. dotmom
1:25 PM GMT on September 29, 2012
Are UK and Betti back on terra firma as yet?
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8. osdianna
5:08 AM GMT on September 29, 2012
I knew a couple who lived near me in southern California...I worked with the wife. When she retired, they sold their house and moved to Payson...they love it there. I think their favorite thing is no graffitti! Their photos showed lots of pines, and snow in winter.

Another coincidence...my ex's first wife and her family are from Safford, and all now live in Tucson.

Me...I'll take wet and windy over hot and dry anytime, but then I don't golf. We have a course here in Ocean Shores...good for at least three months of the year. The ducks and geese appreciate it most of the winter (great ponds on the greens), and the shorebirds and falcons really enjoy it in the spring.

I can see why UK heads for Scotland for vacation...it looks wild and uncluttered with people and buildings, a great adventure. It makes me want to go visit, or even move into one of those abandoned stone houses...I know, I know...I am romanticizing this, and you are right. The reality is it's really cold and really windy, and it doesn't look as though there is any electricity to the house, so I would have to really work to get my Starbuck's coffee beans ground and coffee made first thing. HA!

But it would be nice to travel there myself.
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7. hanfyh
11:38 PM GMT on September 28, 2012
Hi all,
Thanks for the pics you post Jo. I have to say that for all the time that I was a lurker here I have really enjoyed the pics you post for us. Keep up the good work. Again thank you Joe.
The holiday makers are having a good time I see. We have a formula for when we go on holidays. We have one big day and then follow it with a quieter one and then another big one. Coming from Australia to the States and living out of a suitcase for 6 weeks or so is big. The last time we went to the States we had 13 aeroplane flights from Brisbane, Australia back to Brisbane. That in itself is big and thats not talking about the things that go wrong on the flights. From when we leave Brisbane until we get to Madison in Wisconsin about 40 hours later if one plane is late or anything your screwed. Getting re-ticketed is awful. One time we had an extra night in LA. Another we had an extra night in St Louis. We got to the airport in Vegas one time and there was something wrong with out tickets that we havd purchased in Australia months before and we had to get and pay for new tickets to LA. We had to get to LA quick so we could catch the plane to Auckland in New Zealand and then the next plane to Brisbane. Not the mention the panic one trip when we left the wife’s hand bag in the back of a taxi at LAX. No passports, no tickets, no boarding passes, not much money, no credit cards. Nothing. But it all worked out. Geeezzzzz.
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6. Arbie
4:42 PM GMT on September 28, 2012
Payson, AZ. I have never heard of it, but wiki says it is surrounded by forest, lots of natives around (a casino, gotta have a casino), lots of outdoors activities, a rodeo that never stops--what more can you ask? :) The view from Payson, AZ, courtesy of wiki.

I'm not sure what Joe is up to, but it looks wonderful.
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5. cybersuze
3:05 PM GMT on September 28, 2012
JA and InsideUK seem to share the same vacation pleasures! Both trips look like fun! Just back from a brief trip to the coast of Oregon -- beautiful place but did see the scars of logging and logging trucks -- oh, and those same cyclists so aptly described by InsideUK!

Happy vacations!
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4. bearpaints
12:15 PM GMT on September 28, 2012
Great number Joe, wow. I know I have enjoyed all the photos you have placed no matter where or how they were taken, but then again I'm easy to please. Enjoy looking at places I will probably never see.

Payson? Beautiful place even Stawberry or Pine is great. I love driving up there, only problem is during the summer months when everyone goes camping up there. Seems like old west out there. Have a good friend who lives up there and the elk come by every so often to sing to her.

I think your vacation is alittle over planned. Hope everything goes well so there are no surprises this time. What would you do without all the surprises in your life?
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3. Rotty3
9:58 AM GMT on September 28, 2012
congrats on the 6,000. And the many accolades.

Dotmom, I've probably been out of the loop for a longer time, but it's always great to come here (feels like "home" on the net lol).

Joe, I was going to ask about #10,000. Well, I will look forward to the flip of the thousand digit(s).

Hope everyone is having a wonderful time and happy travels Joe! Enjoy that much overdue and much deserved vacation.
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2. dotmom
9:49 AM GMT on September 28, 2012
Wow, I've been "out of pocket" for a few days and so much is happening. UK is setting records for adventure and I am happy to see JoeAlaska's itinerary for his trip. I thought vacations were to rest up. These two people haven't heard that and if they have - they are totally ignoring it. Oh to be young!
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1. insideuk
7:11 AM GMT on September 28, 2012
Internet is back....for now...

I filled up Betti's tank once more (Thursday) and headed for the remote stuff again. Travelling north along the A9 to the village of Helmsdale I swung a left and followed the single track A897 alongside the beautiful and fast flowing River Helmsdale all the way to the north coast.

This time I used bridges.

This route starts low in the valley and very gradually climbs up into moorland, past a handful of lochs with sheep for company virtually the whole way. I saw very few moving cars, but a dozen or so had been parked along the roadside in various locations and it became clear that the menfolk had decided today was an excellent fishing day. It's easy to spot the anglers since they have magnetic rod holder devices on their bonnets....of their cars, not their fancy lace and ribbons headgear. 'Hood' to you lot, though a hood IS headgear to me. Weird. Some use these little antenna type contraptions to rest the rod whilst they return to their vehicles for a lunch break, others actually drive around with their fishing rods on display. I presume the caught fish get to take pride of place on the passenger seat.

The hunting brigade are even easier to spot, despite all the camouflage gear they wear. For a start they travel in large groups, the only time you get a group of six or seven vehicles stacked up on any road in remote parts is when the shooting parties are moving to the killing grounds. Safety in numbers? They drive pimped up 4x4 vehicles, which remind me very much of when you see hardy hill walkers with every pot, pan and enamel cup dangling off their backs. These beefed up Land Rovers and Range Rovers have extra wide tyres, viewing platforms, floodlight rigs and cutlery racks.

Or maybe they are gun racks?

Again, the stag probably gets the front passenger seat ride back to the lodge.

The farmers have the most oddball selection of attachments to their vehicles that you could ever see. They favour hardy Toyota and Nissan trucks, but they add bits. You know that game where you fold a piece of paper over so that it has several concertinaed sections, then each person draws a different body part, one does the head, the next the shoulders and chest etc. Creating an odd looking creature? That's what they have done to the farmers rides. There is no rhyme or reason to their choices, each compartment sits at odds with the next. Maybe it is just an expression of individuality. Maybe they need to fit a giraffe on the rear seat on occasion. Who knows?

There are a few lone motorcyclists touring the back roads. Like me they stop frequently for photo ops, then move on to the next awe inspiring view 400 yards further down the road. Then there are the cyclists, usually in pairs, usually of early retirement age, probably married couples who are barely on speaking terms having shared one too many downpours. They have double panniers fitted to both front and back wheels, so wide they have to pull over to lets cars pass. Lord knows how many months they have been hauling themselves up and down the hills. They look to be, for the most part, in abject misery.

If they had a gun rack fitted to the handlebars they'd find use for it.

My route back over the B871 was amazing. I came to the junction with Joes suggestion of the B873 to Altnaharra, and had to make a decision whether to go his way or keep left and stay on the B871. Both routes would have left me repeating an afore travelled section of road. No matter, things look different when you point the opposite direction. But the B871 won easily, it was headed straight up out of a tree lined valley and onto the moors. Big vistas were to be had up there. There were signs telling me that this remote road, the quietest of all I had found, was logging territory. A big area of forest stood in the middle of the moors, and every pine tree close to the edge of the plantation had been toppled, its root ball pointing skywards.

This road would see some SIGNIFICANT weather eventages.

I didn't see a single logging truck, just the damage that those mega heavy loads were doing to the road surface. In places the road was caving in to the boggy land beneath, one side of the hard paved narrow lane was 2 feet lower than the other side. It meant driving at a 45 degree angle, whilst studiously avoiding the pot holes since my head was precariously close to bashing the side window as it was.

I loved it. The rain was very gently falling, the clouds high enough to not obscure the view, with black mountain shapes rising in the distance and numerous lochs – some with sandy beach areas, away in the middle of the lonely moorland scene. In the midst of all this is a small white building, The Garvault Hotel. It advises on its sign that it is the most remote hotel in the UK. Certainly looked it. I can't imagine that ownership is a path to riches, it would be a lifestyle choice. One that ends in divorce courts.

Cholla, the river crossing was on the eastern end of Loch Brora, coming in at it from the hamlet of DOLL. If you find that general area, just to the south of the town of Brora on the A9 east coast road, then head inland on the tiny lanes the crossing can be seen (on google street view) close to a loch called 'Na Dubh-Lochan'. None of my maps show it detailed as a ford river crossing. They should. It's kind of important to know...

Isn't it Joe?

The owner of the place I'm staying in had suggested a visit to Dunrobin Castle, especially on a good weather day, as he thought I'd enjoy the FALCONRY DISPLAY.

As a result of his recommendation I've given the place a fairly wide berth so far...

I have taken a couple of photos of birds on my bird feeder this week. Yellow tummy ones, with grey wings. Nothing with bigger than 2 inch wing span and with a fully closed section of safety glass between them and me. They may be small but they still flap about too much.

Only one full day left.

Must find one more remote road...
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