2016-fc-roundup Research Archives

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More from the 2016 FC Roundup

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features • TAGS: .

Scott Lehman and Tom Smith both posted photos from the FC Roundup. Scott’s are listed at http://fcroundup.blogspot.com and Tom has his at http://jeeptruckstories.blogspot.com/2016/03/2016-fc-round-up-phoenix-az.html

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Credit: Tom Smith

 
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March 24-25th: Homeward Bound

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

On Wednesday morning we left Cortez, Colorado, bound for Salt Lake City and dinner with my kids. There was no messing around on the way home. Based on the weather report, we had a slim window between Friday and Saturday to get through the Blues, so we didn’t want to linger anywhere.

We arrived in Salt Lake with time to spare. My kids left it up to me to decide on dinner, so I checked yelp and found Mi Lindo Nayarit, a Mexican seafood restaurant. The were fine with hit, so, long story short, it turned out to be an excellent choice. Ann and I ordered the Molcejete, a meaty delight of shrimp, beef, chicken, cheese, cactus, and more. It was awesome! In fact, everything we ordered was great. The yelpers were right, this is a hidden gem.

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The Molcejete, a two-person meal.

After dinner, we drove to Twin Falls for the night. On Friday we raced home, hoping to dodge the snow expected in the Blue Mountains. We did hit some snow, but it wasn’t sticking yet.

That ends another adventure, though the end came a few days earlier than we’d planned (bad blizzards, bad!). Thanks to everyone who helped make the trip another memorable one for us!!!!

The next trip will likely be a jaunt down to Salt Lake in early June to celebrate the high school graduation of my youngest son. That’s the last of my high schoolers. They grew up fast!

 
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More from the 2016 FC-Roundup

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: , .

Four handsome jeep guys. Left to Right, Craig Brockhaus (theFCConnection.com), Jesse Ybarra (A most excellent roundup host), Mark Smith (Jeeptruck.com/sellajeep.com/warjeeps.com), and me.

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Tom Smith of Jeeptruck.com put this video together: Tom Smith’s 65-Sec Tour Jeep Video:

 
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Tuesday March 22nd: Wind & Range

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Me, Benita, and Scott at the Range Cafe in Albuquerque. Benita has been test reading the book. She’s read about a 1/3 of it so far and is really enjoying it!

Today we drove from Tularosa to Albuquerque (See yesterday’s post here, or look below today’s post). Along the way we didn’t do much sight-seeing, but the winds had picked up … a LOT! I had Ann drive while I worked. Part of the time she was driving into the wind causing the jeep (and the laptop on my knees) to rock. However, she did well and we were soon at the University of New Mexico.

A month ago I discovered that only the U of NM and Yale University had a fourteen page report that I hadn’t known existed, an important one that will help shape the one of the final chapter in the book. The document was stored at the campus’ business library among the general books. If I had a little less character, I would have walked out with it, especially because I doubt no one else on the planet appreciates its significance. Damn you Conscience!! Alas, I settled for photos of it.

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Elihu Root was the Guggenheim’s legal counsel, while simultaneously pretending to be an independent arbiter of the fight between the Guggenheims and the Eilers. I knew he’d been quoted in the newspapers, but there was never any mention there of a physical report.

The stop was a quick one, which worked well for us, because our next appointment was jeep-related 🙂  A half hour later, we were in downtown Albuquerque meeting with Benita. She and her partner Scott own multiple FCs and are regulars at the FC Roundup. First she showed us their unique camper FC, one that was used for years at a mine. It’s got horns, a bell, and a hoist on the front. The back of the FC had camper shell made by an unknown builder, but it appears to be professionally made. A hole in the rear of the FC’s cab allowed access to the camper. They’ve pull off the camper shell and are restoring it.

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The next FC she showed us was a cow painted one. It was used as a search and rescue jeep. Unfortunately, the person who owned it had died, so no seems to know for sure why it was painted as a cow. Continue reading

 
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Monday March 21st: Food Testers

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Enjoying an evening fire under the New Mexico stars.

On Sunday night we landed at the home of Ann’s aunt Cindy and uncle Fred (See yesterday’s post here). It marked the end of our trip, meaning we’d be heading home the rest of the way.

I shall avoid boring you with the details of sleeping in and lounging around until noon. Yes, it was good to be off the road for the day. I even found the time to get out the guitar and play some music for my wife. Then, we took a quick trip into Tularosa to pick up a new planter, because one we had bought two years ago broke a month ago. Of course, we had to get two ….

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However, reality set in by mid-afternoon. I wanted to complete some eWillys, while Ann left with Fred and Cindy for a community service project (no, they weren’t in trouble for anything). They do a lot with the local community of Alamogordo. On this afternoon, they had volunteered to decorate a room at a senior center for a senior citizen prom. Accompanying the three of them were students from the local First Robotics team, which Fred and Cindy also mentor. Funded by a local bank, there was enough money to make the place look pretty nice.

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As soon as they were done at the senior center, they picked me up, and we all went to downtown Tularosa where a restaurant is set to open soon. Called Grill 49 the place is a French Grill/Brew pub. Powering the kitchen menu is the former chef from Casa De Suenos, the most popular Mexican restaurant in the area. Their pork chops, a brine marinated, spicy, juicy treat is a favorite among regulars. I tried it yesterday evening at Casa De Suenos and it was delicious! Continue reading

 
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Sunday March 20th: High Plains Drifters

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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You gotta have pie in Pietown, New Mexico!

Today we drove from Globe, Arizona, to Tularosa, w Mexico (see yesterday’s post here). We woke up early, aware we had a long drive ahead of us. We headed north out of Globe via Highway 60. We said goodbye to the Suhuaro and prickly pear cactus as we climbed rapidly into the mountains.

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Our trip today took us from Globe, Arizona, to Tularosa, New Mexico.

After an hour or so we dropped into the beautiful Salt River Canyon along some twisty and windy roads. We soon stopped for some photos.

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Ann at an overlook on the south side of the canyon.

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A better view of the Salt River canyon.

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Parked at an overlook on the north side of the canyon.

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The rock wall on the opposite side of the road was pretty, too.

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2016 FC Roundup Report

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

It’s late. Ann and I have to rise early for our drive to Tularosa, New Mexico tomorrow. So, my report will be short. Thanks to Jesse and Andrea for putting on another great event. Everyone I spoke with was enjoying themselves. It was good to see old friends and to meet others we’ve only known virtually! We look forward to next year.

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Friday March 18th: The Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Today we didn’t do a whole lot, which meant we got some rest. The one thing we did do, visit the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, turned into a great opportunity. The museum, located in Miami, Arizona, celebrates the minerals, mines, and culture of the area. It was much larger than I thought it would be with some good exhibits.

The most interesting part of the museum for us was that we met the curator, Thomas Foster, who was very excited to hear about SLAG. So, I let him browse through my copy. He was so excited about the concept and its references to Arizona history, that he wants me to “get the damn thing finished ” so he could read it. And, he wants us to return this fall to give a presentation (which could mean more book sales). So, our one stop today was a good one 🙂

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Photo borrowed from the museum’s website

 
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Thursday March 17th: Crowded Backroads & Exploding Beer Glasses

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Doesn’t everyone gather around their jeep after dinner and read a good book?? Thanks to Joe and Jan for taking us to dinner.

Today we drove from Globe to Mesa and back (See yesterday’s post here).

A few folks asked why we are staying in Globe through the weekend instead of Phoenix. The answer is that the Phoenix basin is plagued by astronomic hotel prices this week. One-star motels were priced at $150. Two star places were over $200. One four star was $1000 a night. The high prices might be the result of baseball’s spring training, crazy college spring breakers, or the planet Venus in retrograde. Whatever the cause, staying in Phoenix or the surrounding cities was far beyond our budget. To provide perspective, my goal on our trips is to secure two to three star hotels for under $60. Using Priceline, I often, but not always, achieve that goal. Since we couldn’t afford Phoenix, the three-star Apache Gold Casino was more than willing to take our money for only $58 a night for two days. The two-star Days Inn accepted $61 a night for Friday and Saturday nights (regularly almost $90). Since gas is cheap, this was the most viable solution for us.

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Wednesday’s trip from the casino, to Roosevelt, Goldfield, Mesa, and back to the casino.

Wednesday morning we left Globe and headed west on Highway 60 for Goldfield, Arizona, an olde time wild west town that now caters to tourists. We were maybe ten miles out of Globe when we discovered the highway was closed for construction and wouldn’t open for at least another hour. So, we turned around and took the backway, which also happens to be a scenic drive. We took this as a sign to enjoy said scenic drive, so off we went.

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We didn’t make it far on Highway 60 before we were forced to turn around.

The first half hour went by quickly, gaining elevation on Highway 188 until we reached the town of Roosevelt. There, we took a left, turning onto highway 80, better known as Apache Trail. The road was opened in the early 1900s to the support the building of a nearby damn, however the road’s steep inclines and descents has kept it from securing money for modernization. Thus, it’s a winding, half dirt, backroad drive that requires at least a couple hours. That sounded perfect for us. Little did we know others had the same idea ….

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Taking a photo of the longest 2-lane steel bridge span in the United States. That fact surprised us. This location is the eastern end of the Apache Trail.

Apache Trail quickly sheds its asphalt in favor of dirt. Any attempt to descrive the first few miles of the trail would be pure fiction, as the motorhome and the boat and trailer it towed left a trail of dust that made sightseeing a challenge. Eventually the motorhome took mercy on us and pulled over so we could pass. Chivalry appears alive and well in Arizona!

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The dust wasn’t too bad at this point.

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Tuesday March 15th: Rollin’ Like Bill Gates

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Sculpture in downtown Tucson

Today, we spent the day in the Tucson area (See yesterday’s post here).

A few weeks ago I wrote an email to the folks at ASARCO’s Mineral Discovery Center (AMDC) southwest of Tucson. I told them we were coming for a visit and wanted to join one of their mine tours. Their tour involves taking a bus through the working open-pit Mission Mine, then a visit to one of their mills. As most of you know, my upcoming book SLAG includes my great great grandfather’s role in co-founding the American Smelting & Refining Company in 1899, now known as ASARCO. I asked if anyone at the Discovery Center would be curious to meet with us and learn about the book I was writing that included the early history of ASARCO.

Vice President of Environmental Affairs Thomas Aldrich, a forty year veteran of ASARCO, wrote back explaining that, yes, they would enjoy meeting us. Moreover, after the exchange of a few emails, he offered to take us on a personal tour of the mine facility. I thought that pretty generous, so I snapped up the offer before he could change his mind.

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The AMDC is just off I-19, about twenty minutes south of Tucson.

On Tuesday morning we arrived at 9:00am for the 9:30am meeting (Sorry for rushing you out the door honey, but I got my times confused!). However, we put the early arrival to good use by watching the Discovery Center’s movie about ASARCO’s mining and smelting process. I found it particularly interesting, given my work on the book.

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Beautiful grounds outside the Discovery Center.

After the movie, Sandra Elizondo, director of the AMDC introduced us to Tom Aldrich and Tom Klempel, Mission Environmental Manager. Together, Tom and Tom were in charge of wrangling us (basically keeping us out of trouble I think — apparently our reputation proceeds us). The four of us hopped into Tom K.’s truck and he drove us to the Mission MIne’s overlook. It takes some time to reach the top of the mine, so we had plenty of time to chat about ASARCO, the book, and each other.

At the mine overlook, the Toms explained the details of open pit mining, from the removal of the overburden, to the removal and tracking of the valuable deposits, to its processing in the mills. The copper at the Mission Mine is so low grade that only about 1% of the ore mined is copper. Put another way, the mine processes about three hundred truck loads of ore per day (see truck below), which results in three truckloads of copper. But, that’s been the story of most mines. It’s a volume business requiring transportation, industry, and science to profitably produce predictable amounts of valuable minerals.

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Tuesday March 14th: Train to Yuma Prison

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

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(See yesterday’s post here) — Today we traveled from Yuma to Tucson, but not before I went to prison. It all started innocently enough. I went to take my shower in the morning. When I got out, I caught my wife surfing a jeep site other than eWillys!!! I thought about divorce, but it seemed like she’d get off easy. After extensive thought, I decided to tie her to some train tracks and let the train run over her. That’s reasonable, right?

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The problem was, the darn train came to a stop a few feet from her. Who’d have thought that would happen? Not wanting to get caught, I tried to untie her, but that’s when the police showed up. It turns out that justice is metered out quickly at Yuma. The next thing I knew, I was hauled off to jail. First they photographed me:

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Then, they dumped me in an old prison cell at the Yuma Territory Prison.

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What a day! After a minute in the jail cell, I concluded I wasn’t ready to serve my full sentence, so I sought a pardon from my wife. Thankfully, the time apart had softened her hard heart from the brutal, near-death experience at the wheels of the train. We forgave and forgot, then we toured the Yuma Territorial Prison Historic State Park. It was a pretty interesting place.

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Monday March 13th: Camels & Cones

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Our first time in Needles, California

Today we drove from Laughlin, Nevada, to Yuma, Arizona (view yesterday’s post here). We began the day brilliantly, with a trip for ‘breakfast’ to Laughlin’s In-N-Out Burger. Ann and her gluten/beef intolerance forced her to spurn a delicious cheeseburger, but she did partake of a few of my fries. I, on the other hand, was quite pleased by my breakfast.

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Map of our trip from Laughlin, Nevada, to Yuma, Arizona

We drove north out of Laughlin, crossed the Colorado River, and quickly reached Bullhead City, Arizona. One of our goals was to take a photo with the city’s large tortoise. Our mission was soon accomplished.

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Next, I wanted to take a few photos of the Colorado River and the casinos of Laughlin across the river. Somehow, my wife thought that meant stepping into the cold river.

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Laughlin’s Colorado Belle Resort & Casino

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Ann freezing her feet in the Colorado River

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Saturday March 12th: The Aliens Almost Got Her!

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Good thing I was there to keep her from getting beamed up! I’d miss my travel partner.

Today we drove from Ely to Laughlin (see Yesterday’s post). We hadn’t planned to go that far, but hotels/motels in Vegas on Saturday night were expensive, while Laughlin was dirt cheap. And, since we’d never been there, we decided this was the opportune time!

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We drove from Ely to Laughlin.

Our first objective of the day was a visit to the Ward Charcoal ovens. To reach them, we drove south on highway 50, a road that spans the width of Nevada and once called the loneliest road in America by Life Magazine. Just past Ely, we turned onto a dirt road and followed it for ten miles or so. As usual, when we arrived, we had the place to ourselves.

The ovens were constructed in the late 1800s to turn wood into charcoal for fuel in nearby smelters. When coke replaced charcoal, they were then used as, among other things, places to stay for sheep herders and cowboys. Finally, the area was turned into a state park. The ovens were much larger and in better shape than the one’s we’d seen yesterday in Utah.

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History of the ovens.

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How they make charcoal.

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The six ovens all lined up. The setting was georgeous.

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Friday March 11: Dining in an Ely Jail

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Ann doesn’t seem to mind being jailed. She’s enjoying her strawberry margarita.

Day three took us from Provo, Utah, to Ely, Nevada (See yesterday’s post here). We spent the night in Provo, because I got a deal on a hotel. The downside was that, in the morning, when I went down to the jeep I witnessed what appeared to be an odd transaction between two normal looking guys who could have been BYU students. Moments after I saw them exchange something in the middle of the parking lot, the police showed up. All this time I thought the best action was in Salt Lake City!!

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Ann was trying not to be obvious, hence the blurry photo.

 

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Day 3: Provo to Ely

From Provo, we drove south I-15, until we exited for Delta. For the next few hours we saw some sagebrush, some dirt, some mountains, and some snow. We even saw a couple flatties, too!! And, that’s about it. The Great Basin area is a desolate place and, if you like that kind of space, like my oldest son does, this is a bit of heaven. Here are some pics.

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This cement factory broke up the drive.

These two kilns are located along Highway 50.

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Thursday March 10: We Forgot to Pack Our Maps??

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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A self on the one-lane, crumbling, salmon dam located just west of Rogerson Service, Idaho.

We began the morning just north of Twin Falls (See day one of our trip here), We didn’t make if far before we realized that we, and by we I mean “I”, had forgotten to pack our Gazetteers (like this), those trusty, detailed maps, ones safely tucked away in my office. Sigh. But hey, who need maps when we have the internet … until that disappeared, too. Then we relied on hope!

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Day 2 took us from Twin Falls, Idaho, to Provo, Utah.

Our first destination on a cool Thursday morning was the county park near Buhl, Idaho, called Balanced Rock. We followed Highway 93 through Twin Falls, then veered south until reaching E 3700 N Road. We took a right and encountered the strangest center line. After much discussion, we concluded it was a disgruntled county employee who’d had enough of life: too many straight lines.

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Why the strange centerline? We’d soon find out.

Satisfied at with our arbitrary conclusion, we followed E3700N for what seemed like hours, but was more like twenty minutes. Suddenly, the flat lands gave way to a gulch. To negotiate the gulch, the road began to wind back and forth. Aha! That explained the wavy line at the beginning of the road: it marked the road that led to the park!

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The road into Balanced Rock Canyon Park.

At the bottom of the gulch, a small sign guided visitors to the park.

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Wednesday March 9: Oh, the Inhumanity!

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Zollie (a male) is a Shitzu Pomeranian. He’s more cat than dog, fearful of his own shadow. He’s most brave when camped under our bed. He tolerated the situation as best he could, even if his expression suggests he’s being tortured. Those are his Easter bunny ears.

Day 1 of our trip to the 2016 FC-Roundup started slowly (See our trip overview here). My wonderful, unpredictable wife decided that coloring Easter eggs and taking a photo of our dog Zollie was an important task to accomplish prior to our departure. While I was not amused, Zollie was even less enthused about the idea. I think his face said it all, “Oh, the inhumanity!” However, he’s a good sport and the photo session ended fairly quickly.

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Today’s trip was a quick drive to Twin Falls.

Once we made it out the door, we drove for five hours until we reached Boise. There, we stopped at the new Boise Co-op in Meridian, which is a definite step up from the downtown location. It’s also much more convenient for us, because it is a short hop off of Interstate-84. We will be back!

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Next we ate dinner at the Boise Fry Company. The burgers are good, but it is really the fries that bring you back. In the bowl is a large order of purple potato fries (they have 7 or 8 different kind of fries you can choose and something like 10 different dipping sauces as well). Next to the bowl of fries is a bowl of brussel sprouts that were very good. It was the first time we’d seen those on the menu and we’ll order those in the future as well. 2016-pasco-twinfalls-zollie

 

With full bellies, we waddled out the jeep and drove the rest of the way to Twin Falls.

Tomorrow, instead of taking I-84 (the fast route) to Salt Lake, we plan to drive south to Wells on 93, then cut east through Wendover, drive through the Salt flats, then on to Salt Lake City where we’ll dine with my two youngest kids. We’ll be spending the night in the Provo-Orem area. On Friday we’ll be heading back to Nevada and, after hitting the National Park & Ely (pronounced Eee Lee), will head south until we feel like stopping.

 
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2016 Trip to-and-from the FC Roundup

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who offered to read the book! I’ve selected a couple readers. I will do my utmost to get the book finished so everyone can get a copy.

On Wednesday afternoon we begin our drive to the FC Roundup. We’ll be on the road just under three weeks. We’ve got several tours, a giant fork, a wild west town, an art museum, a ride in a GPW, dinner on a plane, a photo op with a (mostly) naked book seller, lunch at 13,000 feet, and much more planned. Of course, we’ll also have a busy couple days of FC fun at Jesse’s.

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This is a rough map of our planned trip.

On another note, I’ve printed seven “proof” versions of my next book. I plan to do one more sweep through the book to refine it, build an index, and look for errors. The book is a non-fiction 450-page book that has nothing to do with jeeps. I’ve included the book’s author’s preface below:

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