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1997 Travel Log #5 - Aug 11 to Sept 27

Monday August 11

Inbetween sessions of typing in Trip Log #4, I went house hunting. I checked out ads in the local paper and I stopped at Rent Masters. I liked one of the homes advertised in the newspaper best so I told the landlord I'd take it.

Tuesday August 12

Today at 10 AM I signed the rental agreement papers for the house at 1604 Cranmer Ave (after he checked out my references). I then went back to the Motel 6, packed up and checked out. I then unpacked all my stuff from the pickup and brougnt it into the house. The move in policy is quite nice. Since I moved in after the first, they only charged me for 1/2 of August. The security deposit is $200 and the cleaning fee $150. So I was only out of pocket $700. By comparison, my house in Ozona took $3100 to move in.

Tempe - Ryan Spencer Novis

Thursday August 14

067,637.9 miles on the S-10 [13,400 miles since I left Florida]. I decided to take two days to drive to Tempe (near Phoenix, AZ). In the afternoon, I headed down I-15. With Speed limits at 75 MPH, I made good time. I ate dinner at Mickey D's in Salt Lake City and kept going. I did have to stop once for gas because I didn't fill up before I left.

After 462.3 miles, I stopped at a motel in Panguitch, UT. At that point I had turned off of I-15 and was on US 89 which heads south to Flagstaff and I-17. I covered the distance in 7 hours and 10 minutes.

Friday August 15

I was up and on the road by 8:25 AM. I finally got to see Lake Powell in Glen Canyon. Magnificent. It's almost 200 miles long and winds through canyons and mountains. The nearest town is Page, AZ where I again ate at Mickey D's.

I followed US 89 instead of Alt US 89 around the Grand Canyon. I had traveled Alt US 89 before and I wanted to see some different territory. In Flagstaff, I picked up I-40 to I-17. I arrived at my son's place by 3:45 PM MDT (they are on MST) so it was 2:45 PM in the afternoon and nobody home. Now what should I do?

I called him at home and at work (he was on vacation due to the kid) but I tried there anyway. He was picking up his mother (my first wife) at the airport and was home shortly. Stacy, my daughter-in-law and new mom, was sleeping. I'm glad she didn't hear the door bell or I'd of felt guilty for waking her. Little baby Ryan was less than a week old at this point.

I made good time. I figured out the distance and time spent traveling. I had covered 898.5 miles in 14 hours and 33 minutes. That includes the time I spent talking to the police officer in Salt Lake City about speed limits in Florida (I still have Florida plates and driver's license). He was nice and I was only doing 85 in a 65 so he let me go (and I drove slower). That means Scott, Stacy, and little Ryan are only a mile and a half short of 900 miles away now that I live in the west. And I can drive 14 1/2 hours any day. From Florida, a much different story.

Saturday & Sunday August 16 & 17

Well, I hung around for the weekend taking pictures, buying baby gifts and visiting with relatives. On Sunday I cut my son's lawn. That's a switch. When he was a teenager, I couldn't get him to cut our grass at home. Now he's got me cutting his. But, as a new dad he had other priorities and I did so want to help out.

Ryan Spencer Novis.

And Family.

Monument Valley, Arizona and Utah

Monday August 18

I headed for home BUT... Since I hadn't traveled in a while (about a week and a half), I decided to do some sightseeing on my way back. What the heck, the boss won't mind. Hmmmm.

I've always wanted to find and see Monument Valley. Many movies and commercials are filmed there. So, I retraced my route north to where US 160 heads east from US 89 in the area of the Grand Canyon. I spent the night in Tuba City. Luckily, I brought my tent. Even if I was willing to pay $85 a night for a motel, it was full up and so was the tent area. I had to pay for an RV site complete with electric, water, and sewage (for my tent?). But, it worked out fine because I was flexible.

Tuesday August 19

From Tuba City, I took US 160 to US 163 right through Monument Valley. This is Navajo country. So the park is called " Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park". It's cheaper than our National Parks but my Golden Passport was not accepted. 2 and a half bucks - no problem. A deal and a half.

The scenery here is out of this world. Checkout my Monument Valley web page. I took many pictures only a few of which made it to the web page. That whole part of the country is one big scenic tour. As I proceeded north, I took even more pictures.

Arches National Park, Utah

Next stop - Arches National Park. More pictures but I decided not to take the time to see the whole park. After all, I live out west now and can easily come back. Checkout my Arches National Park web page.

I spent the night at a Motel 6 in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday August 20

I was up by 9:00 AM MDT and on the road again. I arrived home here in Idaho Falls by 1:45 in the afternoon. I checked the total mileage for my little jaunt to Tempe: 2000.2 miles. At this point I had covered 15,400 miles since I left Florida. Nice trip. I love to drive.

Gap from August 21 to September 3

I hung out at home.

Las Vegas

Thursday September 4

Back in June when I was booking my seminars on "Clearing Some Fears", I also paid to attend an Archangel Michael seminar in Las Vegas on Saturday, September 6. That's this weekend. So I needed to hit the road again. While I was in the area, I could work out details with my sister's good friend, Mary. She's handling my upcoming seminars there in October.

I wanted to make sure I would be on time Saturday so I left a day early. What the heck, the boss had been easy going so far. I was on the road by 7:23 AM MDT. By 5:36 PM I crossed the Las Vegas city limit. Piece of cake. I-15 connects Idaho Falls with Las Vegas. Mileage between the two is 630 miles. Speed limit 75 MPH the whole way (except through Salt Lake City - see Tempe trip, above). I filled up before I left so I only needed to stop once for gas on the way.

Once in Las Vegas, I drove around finding the places I needed to visit. Then I found a place to stay for the night. Las Vegas casino-hotels run specials Sunday night through Thursday night. The Motel 6 was $33/night and Maxim Casino Hotel was $29. Well, I couldn't pass that up, could I?

Friday September 5

My notes are a little foggy as to what I did today. I proof-read one of three flyers Mary is doing for me. She is the publisher of Serendipity, a semi-monthly publication that brings people together.

That night I had my first-ever physic reading. Interesting. I also changed hotels. I stayed at the Bourbon Street Hotel. Life is so rough. It's a block from the strip.

Saturday September 6

I arrived early at the St. Tropez All Suites Hotel where the Archangel Michael seminar/workshop was held and I got a good seat (in the back). The seminar lasted from 10 AM to 6 PM and was very intense, wonderful, and enlightening. Ronna Herman gave it. She's 69 and looks 40. She said when she was 40 she felt 70, now she feels 40. So much energy. [That seminar was 10 days ago and as I type this and I still can feel the energy.]

I decided to played it by ear as to when I would leave Las Vegas and head for home. That night I picked the Continental Casino Hotel to stay at. I was hotel hopping on purpose. My goal was to win enough money from the slot machines to make up the cost difference and stay at Bally's.

Sunday September 7

In the morning I went sightseeing to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. I had breakfast at the Lake Mead Marina and got a seat right by the water. I always like to eat by the water. In Florida, my sister and I would often pick a restaurant on Tampa Bay of the Gulf to eat. I continued around Lake Mead to Gold Strike. This is all in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. I parked and hiked a trail above Lake Mead.

The sun was hot and the trail long, sooooo, I stopped at the Gold Strike casino for a coke (1st one's free) and I needed to put some change into the change machines (sometimes called slot machines), hee hee hee.

I continued along US 93 south into Arizona. Hoover Dam is half in Nevada and half in Arizona. I took a few pictures, above, and headed back.

On the way back to Las Vegas I stopped by the Luxor Hotel. It's a glass replica of the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

Later in the day I did a "one-on-one" with Mary, my agent, on clearing personal fears. She helped explain what I do since I just do it without understanding the whole process. She said I had a balance between left-brain logic and right-brain intuition which I used to coach her to a root-cause fear that went back to her childhood. I was glad that she got to experience it because she's going to be promoting me and I wanted her to know who I was and what this "Clearing of Fears" is all about.

I stayed at Bally's that night. No, I didn't win enough to cover the difference but this was Sunday night and I got $40 off the regular room rate. (At Motel 6 - they'd have to pay me some money if I got $40 off the regular rate.)

From the window in my room on the 25th floor that night, I took a couple of pictures. Night shot 1 and Night shot 2. I didn't have the right film speed for night photography but my Nikon is quite a camera. With 100 ISA film, the exposure was 4 seconds, a long time to hold a camera steady without a tripod. I pressed it against the glass and held it as best as I could.

Monday September 8

Mary and I continued to make plans for my return in October. So far we had booked several "Intro Talks" where I introduce myself and my seminars at a free gathering for that purpose. Even though I haven't written a book (yet), the big book store, Border's, will list me in there October flyer for a intro-talk on October 8. Then the Water Emporium will include me on there flyer if I tie in my seminar to health. Of course. Fears are behind stress. Stress leads to disease - DIS-EASE. Clearing fears puts a person at ease.

Then we met with Patti and Simon who host Spiritual Endeavors. I will be having one seminar at the Water Emporium (after the free intro-talk) and 2 at Spiritual Endeavors. The last of the 3 seminars that I give will be on a new topic - Introduction to New Age Living. Plus Mary and I came up with 2 more topics for when I return in January: "Intuitive Living" and "The Spiritual Laws of Abundance".

I went back to Maxim's for the night. I put a few nickels and quarters in the slot's and went to bed!

Tuesday September 9

After checking out of the Maxim Hotel, I went to Bally's because they had dime-slot's. Two rolls of dimes later ($10) and I was on the road heading home. My total losses on the slots for the 6 days I was in 'Vegas was under $50 so I don't think I'm compulsive but when I go back next month, Hmmmm....

I was on the road by 11 AM but in no hurry to get back - easy boss, remember? New way back - roads less traveled - US 93 north out of town. US 93 runs along the eastern edge of Nevada. Very isolated and very scenic. When I was passing north of Ely, NV I found the Pony Express Sign and the Pony Express Exhibit so took some pictures. I drove on through the night and got lost (for the first time in 17,000 miles) in Idaho.

By 1:30 AM MDT I was home but too wired to sleep. At 2:30 AM I crawled into bed.

Wednesday September 10

On my way home last night, I crossed the 17,000 mile mark for this vacation. I have 71,277.1 miles on my truck and I've traveled 17,073 miles since I left Florida on June 6. I updated my travel log looseleaf with some observations that I made while Las Vegas and then I examined the reasons for choosing some of the destinations on this trip. Very enlightening. Even the destinations I might have chosen for the wrong reasons have yielded something beneficial.

Thursday September 11

Friday September 12

When I took the Las Vegas roll of film to Wal-Mart's 1-hour photo and looked at the pictures on my way out of the store, what a shock. Wedding pictures. After an extensive search of the envelopes still in their possession, they refunded my money and said I'd have to wait until someone brings my pictures back. No problem. I'm sure who ever got married didn't want my vacation pictures anymore than I wanted their wedding pictures.

Saturday September 13

Sunday September 14

Scanned in a new map with a black line marking my travels and black numbers identifying my destinations. I went to Wal-Mart and got my Las Vegas pictures.

Monday September 15

I updated all of the web pages so that they all refer to the one new map I did yesterday. I also added links on every destination page to cross-reference the 5 travel logs. Then I scanned in the latest pictures. Finally, I typed in travel Log #5 - this log.

Tuesday September 16

I uploaded the new map, new .HTM files, and new images. Then I composed a new mass E-mail, #7, and sent it.

Wednesday September 17

Today I started taking local pictures. The roll in the camera still had the last photographs of the Las Vegas on it - the Pony Express Exibit. I drove downtown where the Falls in Idaho Falls can be found and finished off the roll. At the falls downtown I took some good pictures. (visit Idaho web page, link below) One dam picture. I took a picture down the length of the falls. They're 1500 feet long so without an arial view, I could only capture most of them. Then I took several side shots, one with two birds standing in the water on the edge of the spill-way, and a shot at the north end of the Falls where the Mormon church is prominently seen.

Note: Visit my Idaho web page, link below, for more pictures of the falls in Idaho Falls, Taylor's Toll Bridge and more.

While I was taking pictures I met a guy from Boise. We had a long and interesting conversation. Among other things, he drives a new Olds Aurora, a new Suburban, and an old pickup truck and pays about 1K per year for insurance. I just got my insurance renewal bill: $522 for 6 months for one slightly older vehicle. So I'm paying more for one vehicle then he is for three. Hmmmm...

Thursday September 18

I took yesterday's roll of film to Wal-Mart's 1-hour photo.

Friday September 19

Saturday September 20

Today I decided to drive south on I-15 a short way to the Lava geological site located at the rest area south of Idaho Falls. Danelle Dasouqi, a former co-worker, had remembered seeing them on a ski vacation to Grand Targhee Resort. I brought my camers and lenses. There are two cement sidewalk trails - a short one and a real short one. I decided to relax, enjoy the sunshine and take my time taking pictures.

I like to get sign pictures. Depending on your monitor and browser, these come out clear or fuzzy and distorted but in the photograph, I can easily read the text including most fine print. I combined the best 4 shots of the Lava into one .JPG file. [then separated them in the spring of 2009]

Sunday September 21

Having enjoyed yesterday's ride to the Lava, today I decided to head north on Highway US 20 toward West Yellowstone, a town in Montana just west of the National Park. See the map of south-eastern Idaho where I marked today's destinations. I left later in the day, so reaching Yellowstone wasn't critical to my journey. Enroute I passed a sign leading to the "Scenic Sand Dunes". Wow, did I miss a turn and have a time lapse - the largest dunes in the country are about 250 miles west of here - the Bruneau Dunes. I decided to investigate.

These dunes are only 12 miles from the highway. I took pictures: One picture and another picture. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart's 1-hour machine as set to yield dark rich prints. They loose brightness when scanned and displayed in a browser. I will try Sam's Club the next time.

Checking my 1997 Official Highway Map of Idaho, I discovered a scenic road to the Mesa Falls. I decided to continue north on US 20 until? I would again be impromptu and let my intuition dictate when I get there. As the trip continued, Island Park became the upper terminus of my drive. It took a few side roads and ended up at Harriman's State Park. A huge piece of land was donated by Harriman and converted to a State Park. He placed restrictions of fishing: Only fly fishing and all fish must be returned to the wild.

I bought some munchies and headed south looking for the Mesa Falls Scenic Drive road signs. Because the Mesa Falls are in the Targhee National Forest, the roads are not maintained as well as the US highways are. It was a very scenic route (especially for a Floridain who is used to flat country. I found the Upper Mesa Falls and really enjoyed walking the well-maintained trails and taking pictures.

The Upper Mesa Falls drop over 100 feet and a considerable amount of water flows, even this late in the season. They are not Niagara Falls (#1) nor the Upper and Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (#2) so I rate them #3 in the US that I've seen. But, they are in my back yard less then 70 miles from home.

The Lower Mesa Falls are less spectacular but, as you can see from one of the photos, both are located in a gorgeous countryside.

Idaho web page

Monday September 22

I took the film to Wal-Mart's 1-hour photo. My punch-card was full so the processing was free.

Tuesday September 23

I scanned some pictures today but didn't convert the .BMP format to compressed .JPG nor did I re-size them.

Wednesday September 24

In the morning I went to the city hall to get an Idaho driver's license and truck title. The truck title was easy but I needed proof of residency for the operator's license so I had to drive all the way home and back again. Wow, I like smaller town's.

I had to take a written test and answer health and driving record questions. Then I had to do it again. Then they compare the first set of answers with the second set.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent reorganizing the files on AOL's servers for 4 of my 5 screen names. Uploading, deleting, changing the underlying links in the HTML text files. I have a mirror image of AOL's server on my G-drive. All links work both on the net and my PC so I can test them real fast. I have created some tools using DOS batch commands and Excel to compute disk space. AOL uses 2K blocks for files so the 2MB alloted per screen name has some wasted space.

My G-drive was specially formatted to have 2K clusters using FDISK (long ago). By careful use of partition size [trial and error, too], I was able to create drive letters with different cluster sizes. For example, my D-drive, ~1GB, has 32K clusters but I only put huge .WAV files on it. Because these files tend to be 10-65MB each, there is virtually no waste. This can be verified with a Norton utility called FS - File Size.

I run a DOS batch file which converts the DIR-command to alphabetically sorted text, I then manually edit the output to strip unwanted text, and import the data into a spreadsheet. This computes the actual block count and K-byte numbers for each file. Then at the bottom of each sheet, it computes the total space used in blocks and bytes. The block count tells me when a 2MB screen partition is full and the K-byte data is used so I can list the size of each picture following the link to the picture. I used to look them up manually using Explorer.

Thursday September 25

Now that I have an Idaho license, today I bought my Idaho truck insurance and renters insurance at the Alpine Agency. Boy what savings. For the truck I paid $242 and for the renteres Insurance I paid $139. Compare that with $522 and $650 (includes flood insurance for living on the water) respectively in Florida.

After working on uploading my latest web pictures in the morning, I grabbed the Lava Walk brochure and headed west on US 20 to the Lava Flow. This is a different location than the one I visited Saturday September 20 on I-15, above. I didn't bring any cameras. I just wanted to go for a ride and see the hiking trail. There were two trails: The blue-topped poles marked a short (about 1/2 hour) loop across the Lava; The red-topped poles lead to the source of the flow, about 4.5 miles one-way. Since it was later in the day, I did the loop trail.

I met a young couple who had been there the week before, did the shorter loop trail, and came back to hike to the source. I had the same thoughs by the time I left. I'd be back for more.

Friday September 26

I uploaded the last pictures and .HTM files and checked them out online. Then I started pulling together my travel statistics. I always wanted to do them but made it a lower priority. Having completed the stuff I deemed more important, today was the day I dug in and did it.

I started by entering my Chevy S-10 mileage data into Excel. I keep a little note book in the arm-rest of my truck and make entries every time I stop for gas, change the oil, any repairs, etc. So it was straight forward but a lot of typing. Next, I found the napkin with all of the states I visited in the order that I visited them. I have a small blue looseleaf that I keep my daily travel notes in. I used that to assign dates to each state or provincial line that I crossed into.

I merged some of the text output from the spread sheet with the TripStat.htm file and added details of the Canadian entry-exit locations at the bottom. One challenge is that HTML ignors tabs and extra spaces. That's why what you see near the bottom of the statistics link is careful column usage. The date was padded with zeros where necessary and the variable-length state and province names are on the right of each list item.

Doing the trip statistics brought back memories of the most enjoyable part of this vacation - the Driving! I love to drive and plan to do more as time goes on.

Then I composed the mass E-mail and sent it. Later in the day, I started correcting the links in these 5 trip log files. Only Trip Log #1 required no changes. I didn't finish log #5 last night because I also needed to updated it for the last 2 weeks activities.

Saturday September 27

I finished updating this log and added the new tide picture links to the Parrsboro, NS part of Trip Log #3.