A Journey to Salvation Mountain – Desert Views Road Trip Part 2

Neek sez:

Leonard Knight must have been very impressed when he saw a hot air balloon fly near his home in Vermont in 1971.  When he later moved to Nebraska, he built his own balloon with the words, “God is Love” but never got it to fly.  Finally in 1984, Leonard moved to a remote desert town in California called Niland and decided this would be the place to build his testimonial to God.

Four years into building his mountain, Leonard Knight’s hard work crumbled into a heap of sand and rubble.  Although Leonard originally wanted to make his structure from concrete, the material was very expensive and he began mixing sand into it to stretch it out.  The sand caused the instability.  Continue reading

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The Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Visitor’s Center – Desert Road Trip Part 1

It seems like we just can’t stay away from the road!  Neek, Sar and I once again piled into the car and took off.  Once again, one of my sisters (the youngest) was getting married and we were invited.  But it wasn’t in Oregon; this was a destination wedding in Palm Springs, California.  We decided to make the most of this occasion and planned a desert road trip!

The first place we wanted to visit, even before checking into our hotel, was the Palm Springs Visitor Center.  It was originally an Enco service station called the Tramway Gas Station, named so because of its location at the foot of Tramway Road, which leads to the base of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.  Continue reading

Road Trip Wrap Up and What’s Next for Lex and Neek

Neek sez:

Our epic road trip ended with a surprise from TravelNevada.com!  We finally received our certificate and pins from completing Highway 50 – The Loneliest Road in America challenge.  It was a great wrap up to a long and glorious road trip.

We’re so grateful and happy that you were able to join us on this fun journey with some unexpected surprises like being caught in a freak snowstorm and getting locked up in jail and getting the tastiest grub in the West. Continue reading

Ghirardelli Chocolate Outlet and Ice Cream Store in Lathrop, California – Road Trip Day 12 Ep. 31

Neek sez:

It seemed fitting to finish up our road trip by visiting the Ghirardelli Chocolate Outlet store and having a decadent sundae.  They are the masters in making the most incredible ice cream delights.

After hearing about the gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, Domenico Ghirardelli sailed from South America where he had a confectionary store in Lima, Peru.  The news of the gold strike must have been enticing enough for Ghirardelli to open a tent store in Stockton, California in 1849 to sell his products to the miners. Continue reading

Sutter’s Fort – Refuge for the Donner Party and Victims of Misfortune – Road Trip Day 11 Ep.30

Lex sez:

Thinking back on my elementary school days, some of my favorite moments, outside of lunch and recess, were the times we went on field trips.  Sure, a lot of the joy I received at the time was escaping the tediousness of the classroom, but there was also the excitement of discovering new things and going fun places!  Of all my field trip memories, my favorite is the trip I took in 4th grade to Sacramento.  We got to see the capitol building, had what I considered a real treat at the time eating dinner at McDonalds and stayed overnight in a hotel!  But the highlight in my mind was visiting Sutter’s Fort.

It seemed extremely appropriate that when Neek, Sar and I arrived at Sutter’s Fort, there was a group of students, the same students we saw in Old Town Sacramento, arriving there for a field trip!  Continue reading

Historic Old Sacramento – Underground Tunnels and Old Buildings – Road Trip Day 11 Ep.29

Neek sez:

Old Sacramento is located within the Old Sacramento Historic District which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District.  The city of Sacramento was developed in the mid-nineteenth century as an extension of Sutter’s Fort as the Sacramento River was the main waterway to the west coast.  John Sutter was the owner of the fort and Sutter’s Mill where gold was found setting off the California Gold Rush.

The waterfront was subject to flooding on a regular basis before the levees were built.  This caused much damage to the buildings in the area and brought in disease such as cholera.   Continue reading

A True Friend Passes

Epitaph to a Dog by Lord Byron

When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one — and here he lies.

Our friend, Kuma the Dog, passed away in his sleep last night –  forever chasing rubber balls on a sunny day…

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RIP February 12, 2006 – March 21, 2018