The Journey is the Objective

August 19, 2017

With the camper top installed and paid for, it was time to get to Wyoming for the solar eclipse on Monday.  It was noon when left Ursa Minor. 

The gear, cabinets and motorcycle were sitting in a storage unit while the camper was being installed.  It was 2:30 p.m. by the time I had the Element packed and the storage unit key returned to the office. 

Chula Vista, CA to Jackson, WY is one thousand miles.  I estimated 18 hours to make the drive.  I was in a hurry to get up there but I had a detour to make first. 

I rarely visit southern California, so I wanted to...

August 18, 2017

I flew home for the week while Ursa Minor completed the camper conversion on my Ellie.  They called me Thursday afternoon to let me know she was ready.  Unfortunately I couldn't take advantage of the extra day.  I was back in Dallas, getting ready for my flight back to California.

I flew out Friday morning and got to Chula Vista around 11 a.m.  I had taken the trolly from downtown San Diego so I had a short walk from the Trolly station to their shop.  As I walked around the corner into their complex, I immediately saw the yellow top poking out above all the other cars.  

All concerns about my color cho...

August 14, 2017

After months of preparation and hours of planning I departed Dallas, destined for California.  I pulled out of the garage of my downtown loft at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, and it took about three blocks to get lost in my own damn neighborhood.

It was late, so I decided to go the short way through an area that's seen major road and highway construction for several years.  Normally it's a no-go zone due to horrible traffic, but at 1 a.m., I was ready to risk it.

On this night. all the construction was gone. The barricades removed, the exits open and the lanes running at full capacity...

August 13, 2017

After a year of waiting, the time has come to have Ursa Minor Vehicles install an Ecamper on Ellie, my 2005 Rallyee Red AWD Honda Element.   I scheduled the installation back in May for the week of August 7th.  I picked that week because the U.S. mainland gets a total solar eclipse the following Monday, and I'm headed to Wyoming to see it.

I'm looking forward to an 18-day road trip with the camper..  I'll cross a lot of state lines and see a few National Parks, but starting with a total eclipse at Grand Teton is borderline ridiculous.

The first ste...

August 10, 2017

One of the most iconic features of the Westfalia camper is the distinctive cabinet system used for organizing supplies and equipment whilst traveling.  With its built-in look and the radius-cut design used for the cabinet doors and drawers, it's the perfect blend of style and practicality.  I assume they'd agree, as they went so far as to badge their cabinets with the iconic Westfalia logo.

So I decided to use that style as inspiration when designing a set of cabinets for my Element.  My cabinets, however, would have very different space constraints and requirements in anticipation of the Ecamper conversion sch...

August 8, 2017

I've had this idea about making a hitch-mounted carrier for my Honda MiniTrail CT-70 minibike for more than a decade.  

I've owned a Honda CT-70 for as long as I can remember  I had one to scoot around Boulder, Colorado when I lived there back in the 90s. I currently keep one at my loft in downtown Dallas for short runs around Deep Ellum.  

Branded in the U.S. as the "Mini-Trail," the CT-70 was manufactured by Honda and imported to the United States from 1969-1982 and again from 1991-1994.  With fat little tires, low gear ratios and a short wheel base, the CT-70 was designed for off-road use, but...

May 21, 2017

The game warden was driving past me on a small dirt road, so I waved him down to verify some information I received from a fly shop in Salida, Colorado.

When he rolled his window down, I asked if this is the way to the SWA (State Wildlife Area) parking lot that sits adjacent to an easement granted by a local farmer.  The easement permits fly fishers to access one bank of the stream that meanders through the broad valley that feeds the reservoir just north of Westcliffe.  

He seemed surprised by my question but immediately said yes, then stopped.  "Do you have your fishing license?"

"Absolutely" I said, handing him my guide lanyard with l...

May 20, 2017

I was driving down Foos Creek Canyon today when I pulled over in a parking area near the exit to Foos Pond.  I don't remember why I'd pulled over but, for some reason, I had gotten out of my car.  As I looked up the mountain side into the trees, I saw a strange series of pilings going on for as far as I could see.  

It was the combination of size and scale that made this sight so compelling.  I ventured up the hill and into the trees to get a better look.  As usual, I also wanted to get a few good images.  Each piling was constructed from dozens of tree trunks arranged into densely packed teepee formations.  They looked eeril...

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