"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Then and Now

Along Interstate 40 sits Twin Arrows Trading Post, or at least its ruins. Thanks to the Route 66 Postcards Facebook page, the top photo was posted. It looks like it was from the late 1950s or the early 1960s.

Two years ago, I took this photo (and the bottom photo) of the trading post's ruins:

According to Route 66 Postcards:

Here is an "early, then, & now" collage of postcards and a recent photo of the iconic Twin Arrows Trading Post between Winslow and Flagstaff, Arizona on Old Route 66.  It was originally built in the late 1940s as the Canyon Padre Trading Post and became the Twin Arrows Trading Post in 1960.  It was famous for two giant arrows made from utility poles out front. The complex includes a separate diner.  Jean and William Troxell operated it from 1955 until the 1980s.  It closed in the late 1990s.  The land is currently owned by the recently built Twin Arrows Casino which is north at the same exit at I-40 & U.S. 180.  Unfortunately, in recent years vandals have virtually destroyed the remnants.

Here are the twin arrows today:

Hopefully, the twin arrows can be moved to a safer site (perhaps the Twin Arrows Casino Hotel or its new travel center) and be restored and preserved.

The Rain Continues

Above, the GOCO Beast Barn today. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This has been a wet rainy week in New Mexico.

It is currently raining now and will continue through tonight and tomorrow.

Above, the apple tree in front of the garage is producing fruit. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

According to the National Weather Service:

 This Afternoon

Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 53. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming northeast. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then scattered showers. Low around 41. North wind around 5 mph becoming south after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 58. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Visit Albuquerque Releases New Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide


Visit Albuquerque has released a new edition of its Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide, just in time for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta(R). The full-color, 76-page guide is designed to inspire travelers to visit Albuquerque by providing ideas about where to eat, shop, spend the day, and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

“We are thrilled to release the new Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide, which is the go-to resource for those looking to visit Albuquerque and also for locals who call our beautiful city home,” said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “With this guide and other promotional efforts, we look forward to welcoming visitors to the city in the weeks and months to come.”

“The new guide is welcoming, engaging and informative, and highlights much of what makes the city a top destination for travelers,” said Ceela McElveny, Vice President of Visit Albuquerque. “Albuquerque’s authentic story unfolds within its pages, inviting visitors and residents of all ages and interests to explore the city and plan an unforgettable adventure.”

The publication is packed with one-of-a-kind experiences, events and photos of the Albuquerque area. It includes features on the city’s renowned culinary scene, plentiful outdoor opportunities, fun family activities, unique lodging options and authentic cultural experiences. The eye-catching cover shows Chantelle Wagner harvesting green chile at Big Jim Farms, her family’s farm in Albuquerque that has been growing heritage green chile in New Mexico for more than 100 years.

New this year is the ABQ Bucket List, a checklist for visitors who are looking for Albuquerque’s most quintessential experiences. Readers will also find pages dedicated to the city’s distinct neighborhoods and entertainment districts, as well as comprehensive business listings and city information.

More than 150,000 guides will be distributed via mail and through local businesses and lodging establishments, as well as from Visit Albuquerque’s Visitor Information Centers in Old Town and at the Albuquerque International Sunport. In addition, the guides are distributed at state-operated visitors centers throughout New Mexico.

The guide is provided to meeting, convention and event attendees as well as to visiting media, supplementing Visit Albuquerque’s extensive advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns. It also serves as a resource for the organization’s sales and marketing staff when attending trade shows or industry events across the country.

The Visitors Guide is instrumental in directing travel to Albuquerque. In a survey conducted by Destination Analysts, Inc., 89% of undecided travelers reported that the visitors guide helped them make the decision to travel to Albuquerque, and 68% said they visited Albuquerque after receiving the guide. Over the past two years, residents of Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and Houston made the greatest number of requests for the guide.

Plan your trip to Albuquerque by requesting a free Visitors Guide, or view the interactive version on VisitABQ.org. Locally, guides can be picked up at the Visitor Information Center in Old Town at 522 Romero Road or at the Sunport (near baggage claim), as well as at many Visit Albuquerque partner businesses throughout the city.

About Visit Albuquerque
Visit Albuquerque is an accredited destination marketing organization (DMO), and a private, not-for-profit organization [501(c)(6)]. The mission of Visit Albuquerque is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a convention, sports and visitor destination. For more information, go to http://www.VisitABQ.org.

"Cheyenne Autumn" Filming Locations

The last western directed by the legendary John Ford was Cheyenne Autumn in 1964.

The movie was partly filmed in one of Ford's favorite locations, Monument Valley. It starred James Stewart, Sal Mineo, Richard Widmark, Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Ricardo Montalban, Elizabeth Allen, Edward G. Robinson and Patrick Wayne.

OtakuKart has posted an article on locations in Monument Valley and other places used for Cheyenne Autumn.

They begin it with:

Fans of Cheyenne autumn, this article is for you! After watching the vivid art representation of this film, one must be thinking that where was Cheyenne autumn filmed? Well, not to worry because this article would help you to know everything related to Cheyenne autumn, including the location where it was filmed. So, Cheyenne Autumn is a 1964 American epic Western film. And to everyone’s interest, it is based on a true story narrated in a traditional Hollywood style.

This film was the last western directed by John Ford. He had proclaimed it an elegy for basically the Native Americans who had been abused by the U.S. government and also misrepresented by many of the director’s films. And surprisingly, it had a budget of more than $4 million. But unfortunately, neither their money nor work was able to return a profit at the box office. It was a sure tragedy! Moreover, it had failed to earn a profit for its distributor Warner Bros. John Ford was willing to make a movie about the Cheyenne exodus. And the result of that longing was this film- “Cheyenne autumn.”

Above, John Ford's director's chair on display at Monument Valley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read the full article, go here.

Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts

Above, a smoking Kilauea volcano crater during our approach by helicopter in 2016. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Thanks to Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, COVID-19 has been slightly bumped from the news coming out of Hawaii.

The volcano has decided to erupt again.

From ABC News:

HONOLULU -- One of the most active volcanos on Earth is erupting on Hawaii's Big Island.

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed Wednesday that an eruption has begun in Kilauea volcano's Halemaumau crater at the volcano's summit.

Webcam footage of the crater showed lava fountains covering the floor of the crater and billowing clouds of volcanic gas were rising into the air. The same area has been home to a large lava lake at various times throughout the volcano's eruptive past.

The eruption is not in an area with homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

To read more, go here

Wisconsin Sure Has a Lot of 124-Year-Old Registered Voters

It is amazing that despite evidence to the contrary, the media denies that voter fraud was rampant during the 2020 election. That's why I shall always refer to Joe Biden as His Fraudulency instead of president.

A friend sent a story on the state of Wisconsin. It seems that they have a sizable population of 124-year-olds (among other things).

From For The Right News:

According to the internet, Ms. Thelma Sutcliffe of Nebraska is the oldest living supercentenarian in the United States. She was born in 1906 and she’ll turn 115 on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Lord willing). Thelma is 318 days older than the second-oldest American, Ms. Maude Harris of Florida. Maude’s birthday isn’t until next August. But the stupid internet is always getting facts wrong, as we know. For example, the internet age checkers missed the 8,550 people in Wisconsin who are all over the astonishing age of 124. We know that those people are all still alive because they voted in the 2020 election!

A grassroots voter integrity group calling itself Wisconsin HOT (Honest Open & Transparent) has just submitted a demand for the entire Wisconsin Election Commission, the City Clerk of Racine, the Clerk of Rock County and the entire Wisconsin Board of Commissioners to resign immediately. The reason? The obvious, blatant fraud that took place in the 2020 election, which these officials have neglected to investigate.

The irregularities don't stop there. Here's a list of others:

  • 8,550 voters first registered to vote in Wisconsin in 1918.
  • 23,266 voters were all registered with the same Wisconsin phone number. 
  • In Rock County, 900 voters were registered at the same address.
  • 543,000 voters in Wisconsin have no officially recorded date of registration.

To read more, go here.

Japan Opens Up To Fully Vaccinated Travellers From October

Above, the National Diet Building in Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Some protocols for Japanese citizens to travel internationally are being revised. It will likely be in effect in October.

According to Travel Daily:

Japan is finalising plans to reduce the duration of quarantine for those completely immunised against COVID-19 from 14 to 10 days and allow them to immediately self-isolate at home, even if they return from higher-risk areas, according to the health ministry on Friday.

According to reports quoting government officials, the reform would most likely go into effect in October. 

Following the anticipated adjustment, persons who produce proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be permitted to observe the shortened quarantine time at home. Although Japan and other countries have begun issuing vaccine passports for international travel, it is unclear what will constitute acceptable evidence.

The relaxed requirements, however, will only apply to those who have received one of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Japanese government: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca.

 As for entering Japan:

Currently, all people entering Japan, whether or not they have had their COVID-19 vaccinations, are subject to the same quarantine regime, which includes pre-entry COVID-19 tests, further tests upon arrival, and the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

People arriving from more than 40 countries and territories labelled as high-risk due to the spread of the delta strain are forced to stay in government-approved facilities for the first three days. Those who test negative at the conclusion of the two-week quarantine period can return home or relocate to a facility of their choice for the duration of the two-week period.

Others arriving from areas not on the list can travel straight home or to a hotel of their choice.

This doesn't appear to apply to foreign tourists. You can bet that I'll keep watch for any news.

To read the full article, go here

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

United Airlines Set to Terminate 593 Workers For Vaccine Non-Compliance

Above, a United Airlines jet at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The "Friendly Skies" is not so friendly to the employees of United Airlines these days.

They are set to terminate 593 employees if they refuse the mandate to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

According to The Epoch Times:

United Airlines is set to terminate 593 of its employees who have chosen not to comply with the company’s vaccine mandate, the company confirmed to The Epoch Times early Wednesday.

The company was the first U.S. carrier to mandate vaccines for all domestic employees, having announced its mandate in August. Employees were required to be vaccinated by Sept. 27, otherwise they would be terminated by Oct. 2. Those who refused the vaccine would be terminated outright.

In a memo to employees on Tuesday, obtained by The Epoch Times, United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart said the company would start the process of firing the employees who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

To read more, go here.

How Biden's Administration Operates

In a nutshell, this is the code of how the administration of His Fraudulency Joe Biden runs the government:


And this is Bizarro No. 1:

Alejandro Mayorkas, The Idiot At DHS

Above, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The way His Fraudulency Joe Biden and his administration are running things, I have to wonder how on earth they managed to pass the congressional confirmation process.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the loon that now runs the Department of Homeland Security has got to be the biggest idiot ever to occupy that office.

From the Gateway Pundit:

A whistleblower came forward and alleged DHS Chief Alejandro Mayorkas is threatening to terminate border patrol agents who don’t get the Covid vaccine by November.

So border patrol agents must be vaccinated, but the illegal aliens flooding over the border are not subjected to any vaccine or testing mandates.

And, from Bloomberg:

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the Biden administration won’t build walls on the border despite a pickup in crossings.

“We have seen large numbers of individuals encountered at our border making a claim for asylum, for humanitarian relief,” Mayorkas said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” adding that it’s nothing new and spans several administrations. “It is the policy of this administration, we do not agree with a building of the wall.”

The 2024 election campaign cannot come soon enough!

New Mexico Civil Guard Suing and Being Sued

Above, New Mexico Civil Guard logo.

It has been a while since I last saw any news about the New Mexico Civil Guard militia group.

Well, it turns out that some members are suing the city of Albuquerque for being arrested and detained by the police at an Old Town protest even though they committed no crime.

And, the Bernalillo County District Attorney is suing the New Mexico Civil Guard.

KRQE reported:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A militia group that showed up to the Juan de Oñate protest in Albuquerque last year with guns in hand is suing the city. They claim they were targeted that night by law enforcement. The New Mexico Civil Guard claims that they didn’t do anything wrong that night and believes the city zeroed in on them anyway.

About eight members of the heavily armed militia, the New Mexico Civil Guard showed up to last summer’s protest of the Juan de Oñate statue near Old Town. Now, several of them are suing the city. According to a federal lawsuit, the guard says city officials targeted them for no reason. They allege that the city was aware the Civil Guard was going to be there that night and positioned officers near the protest waiting until a Civil Guard member “committed a crime and planned to then arrest them.” 

To read more, go here

On the District Attorney's lawsuit, KRQE reported:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The lawsuit is moving forward against a local militia group for its role in a violent protest last summer. The Bernalillo County district attorney brought the suit against the New Mexico Civil Guard. Its members showed up armed to a protest against the Juan de Onate statue in Old Town saying they were there to protect the statue from the crowd.

The district attorney’s office calls the Civil Guard a right-wing extremist group and accuses its members of acting as vigilantes. “It’s just not right for any group to think they have the power to take the role of the police, take the role of the militia, or go out and threaten other citizens,” said Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez.

To read more, go here

How Park Rangers Are Dealing With Overrun National Parks

Above, a park ranger is directing traffic away from a mother bear and cub at Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is very hard to enjoy a national park when thousands of people are "getting away from it all" at the same time and overrunning them. That's why I prefer visiting them during the off-season.

This overrunning of the national parks are causing problems and The Manual has an article on how park rangers are dealing with the hordes.

They begin the article with:

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the only and safest ways to be around other people and have something to do was to venture to the great outdoors. Families and friends packed up their bags and headed off for their dream national park trip all while staying safe from spreading the virus. However, it would appear that the crowds that didn’t set off last summer planned trips for the summer of 2021, which added up quickly. The U.S. national parks have become so crowded in fact that park rangers have had to take measures to ensure public safety while protecting the parks at the same time.

To read more, go here

Condé Nast Traveler: 17 "Best" National Parks

Above, the Phantom Ship in Crater Lake. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There are 63 national parks within the U.S. national park system. They all vary in attractions and features. 

If one is wondering which ones are the "best" ones, that all depends. One person may find particular parks the best, while another person may totally disagree and come up with a different list.

With that in mind, Condé Nast Traveler has come up with their list of 17 best national parks in the U.S.

They start it with:

The past year-and-a-half has heightened Americans' interest in spending time outdoors—and travelers continue to flock to national parks in record numbers. In fact, the National Park Service’s monthly visitation numbers in 2021 have already exceeded those of 2019 in a number of parks including Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Acadia. Some parks are even on track to have their highest visitation numbers yet.

But with 63 national parks nationwide, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the country's diverse landscapes. Below, we round up 17 of the very best national parks in the U.S.—from remote and seldom-visited sites, such as The Gates of the Arctic, to classics like Yellowstone that simply can’t be missed.

To see what the 17 are, go here

RV Industry Had A Record August

Above, RVs on display at the California RV Show. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The RV industry recorded the best August in shipment of new RVs.

Since the supply pipeline of parts for the manufacture of new RVs has been seeing shortages, the record would have been even more impressive had there not been any parts shortages.

According to the Goshen News:

RESTON, Va. — The RV industry had a record August, according to the RV Industry Association.

In a news release Tuesday, the RVIA, said a survey of manufacturers determined that total RV shipments ended the month with 52,819 units, an increase of 33.8% compared to the 39,489 units shipped during August 2020. The 52,819 shipments recorded last month set a new record for August and is the second most units to be shipped in any single month, behind only March 2021.

A new record was also set for Class B motorhomes (camper vans), which saw 1,442 units shipped in August, a 29% increase over the previous record, also set in March 2021. Class B motorhomes have been growing in popularity, posting significant monthly increases for 16 straight months, the association stated.

To read more, go here

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Plenty of Beer

This morning, I headed into Gallup to Albertson's market to pick up my special order of a case of Alien Amber Ale.

As I am shortly headed to Quartzsite, Arizona for a clamp-out and to Lake Havasu City, Arizona for Thanksgiving, I have enough of the beer for both (along with some in the refrigerator).

So, if anyone wonders what a case of Alien Amber Ale looks like, here it is:

Explore Navajo Nation Parks

Above, the Right Mitten and Merrick Butte in Monument Valley Tribal Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As the Navajo Nation has reopened its tribal parks (some coronavirus-related restrictions and rules apply to visitors), Cowboy Lifestyle Network has posted an article on different ones visitors can now enjoy.

The begin it with:

The Navajo Nation Reservation is an extraordinary place as it is over 25,000 miles and covers over four states: New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Come experience the breathtaking views of what the Navajo Nation Parks have to offer.

The Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation oversee all Navajo Tribal Parks in the Navajo Nation Reservation. Private lands make up the Navajo Nation which means all non-Navajo travelers and visitors must comply with and abide by the regulations, policies, and laws that are communicated by the Navajo Nation Government. Their intent is to continue the caretaking of Mother Earth, which Navajos respect at all times. For further information on rules and regulations please click here

To read more, go here

Navajo Nation President Talks of Current Status of COVID-19

Above, Monument Valley and other tribal parks have reopened. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Navajo Nation was hit hard by the pandemic. Although things have improved, there are still infections within the tribal lands. We lost our post office mistress due to COVID-19 last week. She was a resident of the Navajo Nation's Mariano Lake Chapter.

Jonathan Nez, President of the Navajo Nation, discussed the current state of COVID-19 with ABC 15 Arizona.

The article starts with:

It's been 18 months since COVID-19 first swept through the Navajo Nation and the rest of the country, there are signs of progress, but President Jonathan Nez tells ABC15 he hasn't forgotten those early days of the pandemic.

"We have over 1,400 of our Navajo citizens who have passed away and our thoughts and prayers go out to those families," says President Nez. "But right now we are seeing a decrease in cases."

ABC15 was there last year as the Navajo Nation was coming out of the coronavirus storm.

"Of course as a leader, a lot of things go through your mind and you also have to be hopeful that we can be able to overcome any challenges," says President Nez.

According to President Nez, between 70-75% of the Navajo's eligible population is vaccinated, which is higher than most other parts of Arizona.

Currently, there is no more curfew, destinations like Monument Valley have reopened, and schools are full once again, but other restrictions remain in place. President Nez acknowledges that the protocols are tough, but says they've helped keep more of his people alive.

To read more, go here

Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Excluded

Above, Asya and I having lunch in Santa Monica a week before my move to New Mexico.

Before the pandemic started, Asya and I were talking about a visit by her to New Mexico for a couple of weeks or so. She resides in St. Petersburg, Russia. The pandemic put a pause on that. She was stuck in Denmark for a few months when the pandemic hit and travel restrictions were enacted.

As everyone is aware, the pandemic has hit every country. 

Russia claims to have developed the first vaccine for COVID-19, called Sputnik V. 

According to the Moscow Times:

Russia has confirmed 7,464,708 cases of coronavirus and 205,531 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is around 596,000.

On the number of Russians vaccinated, ABC News reported:

Vaccination rates have remained low, too, with only 32% of the country’s 146 million population having received at least one shot of a vaccine and only 28% fully vaccinated.

Unfortunately, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration does not recognize Sputnik V vaccine, which will cause some problems when new rules are announced in November on foreign visitors to the U.S. In 2019, over 300,000 Russians visited the U.S.

Axios reported:

New rules allowing fully vaccinated international travelers to enter the U.S. beginning in November will exclude those vaccinated by Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Sputnik V's exclusion will mean millions of fully vaccinated individuals won't be eligible to travel to the U.S., per the Post.

  • It will also have a wider international impact, as Russia has plans to distribute its vaccine to around 70 countries.  

State of play: According to the new rules, non-citizens entering the country must be inoculated with vaccines approved for emergency use by either the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, per the Post.

  • These include the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines used widely in the U.S., as well as the AstraZeneca vaccine. It also includes the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines developed by China.

WHO has paused its review process of the Sputnik V vaccine over concerns about its manufacturing process, according to the Washington Post.

It will be interesting to see how things shake out once the new rules are announced.

Daniel Craig Appointed Honorary Royal Navy Commander

Above, actor Daniel Craig. Photo from 007.com email.

Actor Daniel Craig, who is vacating his role of James Bond following the completion (and soon to be released) of No Time To Die, has been appointed honorary Commander of the Royal Navy.

According to 007.com:

Daniel Craig has been made an honorary Commander in the Royal Navy. Commander Craig’s appointment as an honorary officer reflects his personal support for HM Armed Forces and links it with the legacy created through the guise of fictional British secret agent James Bond.

Honorary officers in the Royal Navy bring a breadth of experience and contribute in their own distinct way to strengthen the navy’s ties with the communities it serves. Commander Craig is keen to support personnel with the Royal Navy, with a particular interest in service families.

Commander Craig said: “I am truly privileged and honoured to be appointed the rank of Honorary Commander in the senior service.”

The rank matches that of James Bond in the films and the announcement comes ahead of the premiere of the newest Bond instalment No Time To Die. Filmmakers worked closely with the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence in the production of the latest film in the franchise.

To read more, go here

RV Inventory Pressure In Canada

Since air travel and ship cruises are not exactly being encouraged during the pandemic, it is no surprise that people are flocking to RV dealerships wanting to buy so they can "cure" their cabin fever and travel. This, along with a shortage of parts and supplies for manufacturers, is resulting in a shortage of new RVs on dealer lots. 

This is true in the U.S. and, it turns our, true to our next-door neighbor to the north, Canada.

The Victoria and Vancouver Island Times Colonist has posted an article on this problem.

They begin it with:

With a continuing ban on leisure travel to the U.S., COVID-testing hassles for those travelling by air and a build-up of cabin fever — not to mention the ability to work from pretty much anywhere — interest in recreational vehicles has hit an all-time high.

Dealers on the Island say there has been so much interest in RVs of all shapes and sizes over the last 18 months that it’s starting to become difficult to find inventory, parts and accessories.

Jason Gallaugher, marketing manager with Arbutus RV, said they’ve seen a surge in demand through the pandemic, including many newcomers and young families wanting to get into RVing.

“This was one of the few options they could actually do over the last year,” Gallaugher said. “There’s that added layer of safety in RVs that people can control all aspects of their travel.”

Sylvia Thistle-Miller of Triangle RV said the newcomers tend to want to live by their own rules and have been opting for smaller units they can take off the beaten track.

“I love to see that — I love to see people exploring Canada instead of running across the border,” she said. “I think it’s time Canadians saw Canada.”

But the surge in demand has put pressure on inventory.

All dealers have reported shortages, though both Thistle-Miller and Gallaugher note that if buyers are willing to be flexible, vehicles are available.

It’s more of a problem when people want a specific RV, or a used one, since owners haven’t been as eager to sell during the pandemic.

Thistle-Miller said manufacturers have struggled with getting parts and labour, and in some cases have been rationing vehicles — offering dealers just a trickle of inventory.

To read more, go here

Monday, September 27, 2021

Harvard Researcher: About Half of New Gun Owners are Women

Those of us who are gun owners and are active politically in preserving our Second Amendment rights, we are well familiar with the lies the advocates of gun control and confiscation constantly sling about.

Here's one stereotype of theirs that has just bit the dust.


In a blow to the tired stereotypes perpetuated by gun control supporters, a recent academic survey found broad diversity among recent first time gun buyers. The findings bolstered what many observers had anecdotally discovered, the last year-and-a-half’s pandemic and civil unrest-fueled record-breaking gun sales.

Provided with the preliminary survey results, the Wall Street Journal reported, 

the 2021 National Firearms Survey, designed by Deborah Azrael of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Matthew Miller of Northeastern University, show an estimated 3.5 million women became new gun owners from January 2019 through April of this year. About 4 million men became new gun owners over that period, they found.

Therefore, the study suggests that 46.6% of new gun owners since January 2019 were women.

To read more, go here.

Japan Plans To End State of Emergency September 30

Above, Tokyo's Kappabashi Kitchen Town. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Japan plans to end its state of emergency at the end of the month. Does this mean that foreign tourists will be allowed into the country soon?

Not necessarily. There has been no mention of allowing foreign tourists into Japan. But if coronavirus infections continue to drop, then a decision on permitting foreign tourists in will not be too far away.

On the state of emergency, the Asahi Shimbun reported:
The government plans to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency for all 19 prefectures that will end on Sept. 30 as scheduled, sources said.

It wants to avoid issuing pre-emergency measures for those prefectures once the emergency ends since the infection situation in Japan has been recently improving.

“I think that we can lift the state of emergency at the end of September if the current infection situation continues (to trend downward),” health minister Norihisa Tamura said during a Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) TV debate program on Sept. 26.

The government will effectively decide on its plan at a Sept. 27 meeting to be attended by ministers responsible for responding to the health crisis.

If the government’s expert panel on countermeasures against COVID-19 discusses and approves the plan on Sept. 28, the government will make its official decision at the task force meeting.

To read more, go here

Captain Kirk Set To Go Into Space, For Real

Above, William Shatner in Star Trek, the original series. Publicity photo.

Capt. James T. Kirk is set to go into space for real.

Actor William Shatner, age 90, who starred in the 1960s Star Trek television series and the first six related movies, will be blasting off aboard Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin spacecraft next month.

According to ABC7:

William Shatner, who boldly went where no one has gone before on "Star Trek," is going to make real space history as the oldest person ever to go into space.

The 90-year-old will take part in the next Blue Origin rocket launch from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Shatner, best known for playing Captain Kirk on "Star Trek," will take his real-life voyage in October.

He's set to break the record just recently set by pioneering aviator Wally Funk, who was 82 years old when she joined Bezos on the first Blue Origin launch - 60 years after being denied a chance to do so with NASA because she was a woman.

My only question is: Will there be a fight over the captain's chair in the Blue Origin spacecraft?

To read more, go here.

Gasoline: Meanwhile In Sausalito, California...

If you think gasoline prices are high in your area, think again!

This was shot in Sausalito, California:

How To Find RV Dump Sites

Above, emptying The Beast's holding tanks at Malibu Creek State Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Emptying holding tanks of an RV is a simple matter if one is camping at a campground or RV park with full hook-ups or a dump station.

But there are those who prefer to dry camp (or boondock) without any hook-ups or dump stations.

Do It Yourself RV has an article on how to find nearby dump sites.

They begin it with:

If you boondock often like I do, knowing where the nearest RV dump sites are located is of upmost importance. Not only for dumping the contents of the black and gray tanks, but they are often a source for potable water to refill the fresh water tank in preparation of the next boondocking campsite.

While those that camp in RV parks and campgrounds with RV dump sites can just use the on-site facilities, those of us that choose to dry camp in less conventional locations will need to hone our online skills to find them.

“Finding RV dump stations is easier now than it ever has been. You can imagine what it was like back before the age of the Internet! Today, we can find dump stations rather easily through various online sources” per Mike Wenland blogging at RVlifestyle 

To read more, go here

Sunday, September 26, 2021

RV Life's RV Driving Tips

Above, The Beast at Bravo Farms. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When I bought my 2015 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 22R six years ago, I was a little intimidated driving it due to its size and weight even though I had a Class C motorhome 30 years previously. That one was smaller, lighter and on a Toyota chassis.

But in a short while, I got used to it and is is just second nature to me.

This brings me to the subject of this blog post. It is on driving tips (8 of them) posted by RV Life that could save your life. The ones that apply to motorhome driving I already do, but it is always worth being reminded of them from time to time.

They begin with:

Driving or towing an RV is an exciting experience, but it’s a totally different ballpark compared to driving a car. You’re dealing with a lot more weight and bulk, which will give you less control and precision on the road. 

Many people have been driving RVs for years, so it’s almost like second nature to them. But we should never be too confident in ourselves, because accidents can happen to anyone. The RV driving tips below will help any driver stay safe, whether they’ve been driving for years or are just getting started with their first RV.

To see what they are, go here

Top 10 Places To Visit In The Florida Keys

Above, one of many cats who reside at the Hemingway Home in Key West. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Before the pandemic began, I was seriously planning a return trip to Key West, Florida. I had visited Key West the year prior during a cruise down to Havana, Cuba.

Those plans were scrapped, thanks to the pandemic, but there is a new article by Travel Off Path on the top 10 places to visit in the Florida Keys.

They begin it with:

The Florida Keys are a collection of islands just off the coast of Florida. The islands making up this group range from larger, inhabited ones, to hundreds of smaller, uninhabited lands. Here are the top 10 places to visit on these beautiful islands! 

To see what the top 10 places to visit are, go here


The Cuomo Saga Simplified


Daddy Mario must be spinning in his grave!

Oregon Adding 25% Surcharge For Out-of-State RVers

Above, The Beast at Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's nothing like rolling out the welcome mat for out-of-state RV travelers in the state of Oregon.

RV Travel reported that the Oregon state legislature has passed a bill tacking on a 25% surcharge on out-of-state RVers.

They wrote:

RVers traveling to Oregon had better bring along a little extra cash next year. The Oregon Legislature passed a bill during its last session (Senate Bill 794) that calls for a 25 percent surcharge for non-residents who camp on RV sites at 56 state-run campgrounds from the Oregon Coast to the Wallowa Mountains.

Even the small RVers can’t escape the new fee, which applies to everything from pop-ups to big 44-foot motorhomes. Only tent campers and those staying in yurts and cabins can avoid the surcharge.

About 60 percent of the campsites in Oregon State Park campgrounds are currently RV sites offering full hookups, or some combination of water, electric and sewer connections. Fees now range from $24 to $40 a night. Next year – thanks to the surcharge – the fees will be $30 to $50 for out-of-state RVers. The surcharge won’t be extended to U.S. Forest Service parks in Oregon.

I presume that this surcharge does not affect Crater Lake National Park and private RV parks either.

To read more, go here

Huge Numbers of Fall Campers Expected

Above, The Beast in Quartzsite, Arizona last March. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

RV Travel has posted an article that indicates that some RVers are canceling their planned fall camping trips due to coronavirus concerns while others plan to press on and hit the road.

As for myself, I have two planned RV trips coming up in the next couple of months. One of them is a return to Quartzsite, Arizona with the boys of E Clampus Vitus.

The article begins with:

There seems to be a lot of camper research going on of late. One of the veterans in the camping research department are the folks at Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA). Their most recent monthly research report for September shows that COVID-19 concerns are causing nearly 24 percent of all campers (not just those at KOA parks) to cancel their fall camping trips.

Before you rush to your computer to book what you think will be one of many now-open campsites, KOA is also reporting that 10.6 million camping households –  25 percent of the active camping households in the U.S. – say they still plan to camp in September.

To read more, go here

RV Parts Shortages, Cargo Ships Can't Unload

Above, don't blame Camping World and other RV parts stores for shortages. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday, I went to three places in Gallup to get a six-pack of Corona Extra beer for tonight's dinner at historian Martin Link's in Gallup. 

There was plenty of Corona Light, but not Corona Extra. Why was this? Well, it is the shortage of glass and bottles, I was told. I ended up getting some Blue Moon instead.

Shortages of different products is the result of a lack of materials and workers due to the pandemic. This also extends into the RV industry. Cargo ships are sitting anchored off Long Beach and San Pedro due to the lack of enough dock workers to unload them.

According to RV Travel:

We are now nearly 18 months since the unofficial start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it looks like we are still a very long way from reattaching all of the links in the long, broken supply chain.

Last week, the queue of container ships waiting to enter the harbors in Los Angeles and Long Beach hit an all-time high of 65 huge vessels. The real killer is that they will have to wait out there, within sight of shore, an average of nearly nine days before they are allowed to off-load their precious cargo.

That means you’ve still got a long wait in store for that missing RV toilet flush pedal, air conditioner fan, or whatever else you need to keep your rig rolling for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

To read more, go here.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Rain Has Arrived

Above, the deck a few minutes ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Well, just as the National Weather Service forecast, the rains have arrived.

I also hear the rumble of thunder. 

It is a good thing I went into Gallup this morning when I did. After unloading my groceries, I went down to the post office at the Flying J to pick up my mail and the rain was just beginning on my way back.

Right now, I am relaxing and listening to "Waylon Jennings: Greatest Hits" on LP. It was released in 1979 and that's probably when I bought, it either at Sam Goody or Licorice Pizza.

The forecast for today:

 This Afternoon

Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 75. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then isolated showers and thunderstorms after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

First You Lose Your Guns, Then Your Freedoms

If one is wondering why supporters of the Second Amendment fight tooth & nail against any restrictive gun control laws put forward by radical leftist Democrats, just take a good hard look at what's happening in Australia right now.

From the Western Standard:

Armed citizens are a deterrent to politicians and bureaucrats hankering to subdue and control the masses, stripping them of basic freedoms.

The day the Aussies gave up their guns triggered the beginning of the end of their liberty.

Now the land Down Under is a full-blown police state. Proud, strong, free, productive Australia is gone. 

This harsh, bitter transformation should be a warning to nations still clinging to the God, guns, and freedoms the hard-core left deeply despises.

Aussies protesting totalitarian COVID-19 restrictions, the harshest in the free world, are fighting a seemingly hopeless battle for basic rights and freedoms by pelting rocks, bottles, golf balls, and batteries against heavily armed riot police.

To read the full article, go here

Grand Teton Saw 4th Highest Visitor Numbers In August

Above, the Grand Tetons and Jackson Lake. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

August was a busy month for Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

It saw the fourth busiest month in recreation visits.

The Idaho State Journal reported:

Grand Teton National Park logged its fourth busiest August for recreation visits, the park reported Thursday.

The park hosted an estimated 696,564 visits in August, just under the 702,022 August visits in 2019 and nearly a 2% decrease from August of 2020 at 710,198 visits. The top numbers for August visitation were recorded in 2017 at 716,690, the year of the total solar eclipse.

To read more, go here

Rainy Week Coming

Above, outside last evening. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was a good thing I made use of my firepit outside last evening as the upcoming week looks to be a wet one. At least that's according to the National Weather Service.

Chances of precipitation ranges from 40 to 70% during the week. Well, we can use it. 

The week's forecast:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then isolated showers and thunderstorms after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Sunday Night
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light southeast in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Monday Night
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 68.
Tuesday Night
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 67.
Wednesday Night
A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44.
Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Thursday Night
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 64.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Photography: Yosemite Tried, True, And New

Above, a view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those of you who travel to national parks and are photography buffs, the following is something to keep in mind while visiting Yosemite National Park.

Although there are some vistas in the park that have been photographed millions of times, that should not dissuade others from doing so.

Rebecca Latson has an article in National Parks Traveler on just this topic.

She begins with:

Not too long ago, I read a portion of an interview with a young and upcoming adventure landscape photographer who dismissively remarked that all the iconic spots were over-photographed and over-published and not worth any further attention (I’m paraphrasing here). My response was to roll my eyes and mutter “Whatever.” You see, I truly believe that, no matter how oft-photographed an iconic vista may be, you should still get a photo of that spot, if you are there. Why? For one thing, because you are the one capturing that particular composition, and for another, what the heck is wrong with getting a photo of an awe-inspiring location, even if a gazillion others have photographed the same vista? To paraphrase another photographer with whom I heartily agree, a popular spot for photography is like a great restaurant. You go there because the food is great and you’re not going to skip out on it because many others have eaten there.

I wanted my first view of, and introduction to, Yosemite National Park to be Tunnel View. Talk about iconic! And I wanted it to be a sunrise view. If you’ve ever looked at other sunrise shots of this location, you’ll know that sunrise may not be that dramatic. Didn’t matter to me. That’s what I wanted. Now, I’ve written this before, and I’ll write it here again: even an iconic view can look different on a daily or even hourly basis, because of the time of year, weather, and quality of light. On the morning I visited, the haze from area wildfire smoke diffused the light, creating a soft, saturated deep pink glow over the valley while silhouetting the rock formations. It only lasted a few moments, but I happened to be there during those moments to capture a sweet version of an iconic vista.

To read more, go here

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