Boy Scout Canoe Trip – 2019

My son’s Boy Scout troop makes an annual trip out to the Colorado River to work on their canoeing and kayaking merit badges.  This outing is a family camp style so parents and siblings are also welcome to join.  We tried a new place and time of year this time.  Traditionally they have been in September up near Needles, CA and this year we tried out Blythe in May.

We drove up to the new camp location on Friday night.  The gas tank was getting low so I passed our exit and drove the extra 2 1/2 miles over to the Arizona side and filled up my tank for about $1.50 a gallon less than the California side.

Once we got to the park, the scouts got together and setup their camp.  The majority of the boys slept in the open air under the stars.  One of the older patrols setup a lean-to shelter and I saw one tent setup.

The whole camp got up at 5:30 am to get prepared for the day.  We all put on our swim clothes, got our gear ready, and made sack lunches for the day on the river.  The boat rental company was there at 6:30 am sharp to ferry us to the drop off point.  We had 72 people and 37 water craft present for the 16 mile adventure and it took two trips to get us all there.

I’m guessing that we were on the water by about 8:00 am.  I left my phone back at camp in my car so all my times are approximate for the day.  We were split up into 5 groups of 7 or 8 watercraft.  I was in the first group code named “Naboo” which was followed by the group code named “Hoth”.  I don’t remember the other groups names but they were all Star Wars related.  All the different groups had new scouts/parents and many were new to canoes and rowing.  We got off to a slow start but most of them had it down pretty good by the 11 to 12 mile mark.  We had a strong current and not much wind or boat traffic so we made good time and got to camp by around 2:30 pm.  We unloaded all the people and then helped the boating company to load them all up.

Once we got back to the actual camp site everybody took a well deserved rest.  Once dinner time came around the Boy Scouts made their own dinners according to their meal plans and quartermasters.  The adult leaders made Blood Orange Chicken and we had a very good taco bar setup.  Everything always tastes better when you’re camping.  For desert, they made S’Mores cake in the Dutch ovens.  Pretty much everybody was passed out by the 10:00 o’clock lights out.

I woke up around 6:00 am to the sound of rain falling on my tent.  I got dressed and packed up my sleep bag, sleeping mat, and camp cot before venturing out.  Once I did, I discovered that it was barely drizzling.  The drops always sound later falling on the rain fly of the tent.  It’s a good thing too because most of the boys were sleeping outside with no cover.

We got most of the camp packed up and then the scouts and leaders went down to the lagoon and offloaded the single trailer full of kayaks and canoes that we had rented for the merit badge training.  It took a couple of hours but all of the new scouts finished their Canoe Merit badge activities.  They will now be able to use kayaks next year.  The boys that already have their Canoe Merit Badge worked on the Kayak Badge.

We left the camp around 11:30 am and stopped for lunch at In-N-Out Burger.  We also made a brief stop in Cabazon for our traditional Dinosaur selfie.  We had one other scout that rode up with us.  After dropping him off we were home by 4:00 pm.

Forbidden Fantasy Show 2019 or Bust!

I finally got the chance to attend the Forbidden Fantasy show since they moved their location to the AVI Resort & Casino in Laughlin, NV.  This was the 22nd annual show and I have attended every one until they moved it here two years ago.  I am most definitely happy that I was able to make it this year.

Full show coverage can be seen at www.truckrun.net

I left my house around noon on Friday, stopped in Barstow for lunch, made one quick pitstop on Interstate 40, and was in Laughlin by 5:00 pm.

Cars and trucks were already rolling into the two show areas by the time that I checked into my room.  They had vehicles in the grass behind the hotel as well as the side parking lot.

I met some friends for dinner at the hotel buffet and then headed back out to the grass area to take some night shots of the cars and trucks. (I have better shots on TRUCKRUN dot NET)

I woke up bright and early Saturday morning and set up the Giant Jenga game that I had made to donate to the raffle.  I set it up across from the Raffle Booth so that people could play with it before they tried to win it.  You can find more info on the build at www.funwithwoodworking.com

I then spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends and taking pictures of the car show.

There were about 30 member of my car club, Relaxed Atmosphere, there and we all met up for dinner in the steak house in the casino.  We took up 2 long tables and one of the servers just up and walked out during the course of the meal so all of our checks ended up being combined into one big one.

After dinner we hung outside near the cars, inside at one of the bars, and at various spots around the casino.  I didn’t make it back to my room until around 3:00 am.

The 11:00 am check out time came around way too soon.  I got checked out just in time and then went outside and got a few more shots of the vehicles on the lawn.  I also checked out my buddy Frank’s clothing booth and hung around for trophies.  The trophies were all handed out by 2:00 pm and then I got the hell out of Dodge.  It was an uneventful trip home and I was very happy to see my family and sleep in my own bed.  I can’t wait for next year!

Super Wolf Blood Moon 2019

We had a get together at a neighbor’s house for the 2nd NFL playoff game of the day and towards the end of it one of my friends went outside to look at the moon.  I had no idea of what was going on so with the Lunar eclipse so I ran home and grabbed my Nikon D5100 and my tripod.  I started a little later than I would have liked but I was able to snap quite a few pictures.  I had some trouble with the focus on my 200 mm lens so I used my 18-135 mm lens and the pictures turned out decent.  I wish that I could have made them a little crisper but overall I am happy with the results.

Big Bear Adventure – January 2019

We got invited by some family friends to join them for the weekend in Big Bear, CA.  It snowed the night before we drove up and everything was blanketed with a good layer of snow.  It made everything look very scenic.  We got to our hotel and relaxed for a bit and then my boys played in the snow outside for a little bit before we went to dinner.  A new restaurant had opened up across the street since the last time our friends stayed there so we all troooped over to try it out.  There was a little bit of an issue getting all 13 of us seated but once we did, it exceeded our expectations.  The food was very good and the views from the balcony were stunning.

The next day we hit up the Big Bear Snow Play park.  It was a little pricey at $35 each but we got to ride the inner tubes for about 4 hours.  Both my boys and I had a great time and so did the other families with us.  When the park closed we dropped off the ladies back at the hotel and headed to a local park to do some sledding.  I managed to run into a rock on my first sled run and banged up my left wrist a little.  We rode the sleds until the sun started to set.  Our friends went back to the hotel for their second  night and we headed home.

It was a really great weekend with friends and family and I hope to make it a new family tradition.

Christmas Lights 2018

Last night we made the 20 minute drive out to Chino with a group of neighbors to look at Christmas lights.  The neighborhood we went to had a decent amount but not nearly as many as we have seen in the past.  We had about 15 kids and 10 adults so it was a good time.  After that we drove another 10 minutes to a whole block that had lights that flashed and moved to music that we could tune in on our car radios.  That was the highlight of the evening.

We delivered popcorn to the troops!

My son is a member of Cub Scout Pack 2017 and every year we sell popcorn as our primary fundraiser for Pack events.  We sold a lot of popcorn this year.  Part of selling popcorn was collecting Military Donations.  We delivered those donations to March ARB on December 1st.  After the popcorn delivery was finished we got the chance to board one of their refueling aircraft and all the kids got to learn about how it refuels other planes while in the air.  It was a great experience for all involved.

Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 – Visit number 2

As I mentioned last week, my wife surprised me with a season pass for Knott’s Scary Farm so I went again this Thursday.  I had originally planned to go on Tuesday but it  turns out that they are only open Thursday through Sunday.

I was able to park in the rear parking lot for no charge with my annual parking pass and I was able to get in with my season pass.  My only cost for the night was $10 for dinner at a local rice bowl place.

I went right in at 7:30 pm and headed straight to the first of 2 mazes that I missed last week.  It was a 120 min wait so I bee-lined to the zombie killing maze and made it in after a 30 minute wait.  There were a group of ladies in front of me who have been coming here for years and especially liked killing zombies.  2 of them were twins who always come on their birthday.  I was able to join their group and we all had a good time shooting zombies.

I hit up a couple more mazes and then went back and checked on the first maze and the line was still too long.  By this point is was 10:00 pm so I decided to head home because I had to go to work in the morning.  I plan on returning next Thursday for a longer night as I have the next day off for a Boy Scout camping trip.

Weekend Update 9-4-18

It was another busy holiday weekend but I managed to get a couple of washer toss games finished to give as presents.

On Saturday we did another Popcorn selling shift in the morning and then did some shopping for a potluck dinner with some other Scout families.  I took the washer toss game and the kids had a good time playing it.  You can order popcorn here to help support my son on his scouting adventure.

 

We had 2 more popcorn shifts on Sunday but the older boy and I were able to work on a couple of washer toss games to give to my 2 brother in laws at a family get together on Monday.

Monday morning I got the washer toss games finished up and we drove out to Hemet for the day to hang out with family.

Boy Scout Family camp trip – 2018

We spent the weekend participating in a family camp, just north of Malibu, with my older son’s Boy Scout Troop.

We got there Friday night, dropped the older boy off with his patrol, and then setup camp for my family.

Saturday morning we had breakfast with the other families, the Boy Scouts plan and prepare their own meals.

After breakfast we had a short geocaching introduction and then went on a hike to find some geocaching locations.

Once the hike was done we had lunch and then made the 5 minute walk down to the beach.  The undertow was pretty strong so we kept the younger kids close to the shore and kept a close eye on the older boys.  (There is a whole procedure setup in the BSA guidelines for this kind of activity.)

On Sunday we took one last stroll on the beach and then drove the scenic route down PCH to the 10 freeway and home.

 

 

We went camping with my son’s Cub Scout pack

I spent Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning camping with my younger son’s Cub Scout Pack at Camp OSO in Southern California. 

The kids got to do archery, shoot BB guns, fish, and go out on rowboats.

On Saturday we had a breakfast bake in the morning, hot dogs for lunch, spaghetti for dinner, and I made triple chocolate cake in the dutch oven for dessert.

Saturday night I built up a campfire and we had the kids do their skits and then make S’mores.

We also got to see some cool spiders.

We went home Sunday morning, unpacked and cleaned up.  That afternoon around 3:00 pm one of the Boy Scouts from my older son’s troop came over and we cut some wood down on the table saw and miter saw for his Eagle Project.  He is restoring some benches for his church.  Unfortunately we were so busy that I forgot to take any pictures.