Friday, July 15, 2016

Going up to the big lake.

I'm going up to the big lake for lunch today.  There's a nice marina up there on one of the inlets, and they have a shaded, outdoor cafe.  The food isn't bad and I need a break. I don't think I've been off the mountain since last Monday. Time for a change of scenery.

After lunch, I'm going to the lake in the next county.  They have a "sunfish" class sailboat at the marina down there , and the price being asked for it is reasonable. I had a sunfish when I came here to the mountains, but I was working all the time and never used it. I gave it to my brother in law. But I think it would be fun to have one now.  It's just a little tiny boat and you can tow it on a trailer.

There are four large lakes within an hour of my house.  Our lake in this county is about a 25 minute drive up to the far end where the marina is. I should at least have a sailboat to spend some time in on nice days.

This is the wholesale price today for these rifles. When I was collecting full bore, you could buy the hex receiver guns, in unissued condition, with all the accouterments, for $60.00 .  Of course, you have to have a Federal Firearms License to buy wholesale. I have a Curio and Relics license, which qualifies me to purchase these older weapons. But I wouldn't pay today's prices. I have plenty of the different variants of the M1891. I even have one of the original rifles, not the 91/30 but an unaltered Model 1891, Boxer Rebellion era.

 I was looking through some old photos and found pictures from a trip I made to New Mexico with my son in 2004.

My middle brother set it up. One of the things he planned was a balloon trip over the mesa to the west of Albuquerque.

Having since seen all those videos of balloons bursting into flames and people plummeting down into the ground, I doubt I would have hazarded my son on the trip today.

But back then we gave it a go. It was my only flight in a lighter than air vehicle.

 If you look in the background of this photo, you will see big blocks of tract houses.

When I was in college at the University of New Mexico, that was where the airfield was located . Not the Albuquerque Air Port, but a little civil aviation field called 7 Bar.

I got my pilots license flying out of  there in 1973. Like so many other good things in my life, the Navy paid for all my lessons. They used to have a Flight Indoctrination Program for reservists who were slated for flight training.

The airfield is long gone now. But this is what it looked like when we used to fly out of there. That was 43 years ago.

This picture was taken about the same period, out at the arena there in Albuquerque, where we had our drill sessions.  Take a look at the rifles being issued at the time for drill.  Gun enthusiasts will appreciate them. We had more than 200 of these, in pristine condition, in our armory. 

Oh, well.  I need to get up from this computer and get about the business of the day. Put everything else on the back burner and just enjoy Friday, that's the plan.

Thought for the Day:

So we just have to deal with it.


  1. Hope you get a small sailboat. They are a blast. I like to hang out at cafes near boat ramps. Hours of entertainment as people try to launch and pick up boats. One marine manager told me he'd like to put a little shack next to the ramp with a divorce lawyer's office inside. It would make a killing.

    One of my few regrets is that I never had a chance to learn how to fly. Couple of guys at the fire station had small planes and they'd take me up. Squandered my money taking care of the kids instead. :)

    1. Flying is a lot of fun, but too expensive if you have to pay the bill yourself. When I stopped in the mid 1990's, the cost of a small rental aircraft per hour was around $100.00 including fuel. Most of my flying was done either with the military paying for it, or in military aircraft, or finally after I left the service, I used up my VA benefits flying. CAP picked up the bill after I settled here.

      Didn't buy the sunfish. I remembered them as being small, but not that small. The trailer wasn't functional and I didn't want to have to fix that, either.

      I think I will go to some of the other lakes, and stop by the marina offices, see if anyone has a 30 foot boat in good shape they might part with.

      I have to see what a slip would cost too. The marina I go to for lunch is way too expensive to put a boat there.

  2. I hope you get your boat, if we had a lake we'd get another boat too but ours is good for the shallow rivers here.

    1. Kathy, I didn't buy that one as it was smaller than I really wanted. I want something I can put some gear and the two dogs in. Somehow I forgot just how tiny a sunfish is. Also the trailer was not in very good shape.

      But I'm still looking. I think I will need a slip for the size boat I want, something in a "Lightning" or "Rebel" class, about 30 feet. But slips here are so expensive! That factors in.

      I think I need more outside activities. Staying home makes me more susceptible to dwelling on health issues. Like Claudius said on his death bed "I feel myself becoming a God" The old guy had a good sense of humor.

    2. Agreed, getting out and doing things keeps your focus elsewhere. My husband said he would like to get (because of me) a pontoon boat with a little cabin built in for sleeping so we could go somewhere and not have to get a hotel. Sort of like a camper/boat.

    3. That would be really nice. I haven't seen anything like that but it must exist. What I have seen is houseboats not much longer than a standard pontoon that will sleep six and have all the amenities. The time I went out for a week with my brothers, they were selling their older boats, in excellent shape, for only mid twenties which was a great bargain. Too bad Lake Shasta is so far away.

  3. Great throwback pictures! Ive never had a desire for ballooning and only a small desire to ever have a boat. All of the people I know with boats go to the same reservoir and congregate with their neighbors on the water. Not my kind of get-away but a lot of people like it. A canoe would be my speed, if Rock ever got used to one

    1. I never really wanted to go up in a balloon either. I am afraid of heights. Given that I was a pilot, and went through airborne school at Benning, that seems odd. But I never felt uneasy in an aircraft. I did the jumps at Benning because I didn't want to look like a coward in front of my cronies, although I was scared sh**less every time I went out the door. I have always figured it isn't being scared that makes a fellow a yellow belly, it's not doing what you have to do because you're scared.

      I just want a modest sailboat I can put the dogs and some camping gear in. On our lake, there are islands you can sail out to and spend the night. I wouldn't be inclined to congregate with anyone, as I don't really have "friends" here, just acquaintances. Yes, I've been here a long time, 30 years now, but I prefer the company of my animals and immediate family to people.

      You'd enjoy a canoe out there, that's mountain man country and they often traveled by canoe. Must be plenty of good places to get back up into the mountains away from "recreational boaters." You'd sure have to take Rock with you. First off, I wouldn't care to be in the woods at night without a good dog (or two). Second off, a man and a dog are the perfect team for exploring the wilderness. Ever read "Fire Hunter" when you were a kid?

    2. Harry, my dad was a pilot (flew F-84Gs) and hated heights too. (and got violently ill on roller coasters and... Merry-go-Rounds.) I am the same way.

      But fly in planes? YAY. Loops, swoops, twists and turns, all good.

      Weird, but it is what it is.

    3. I was once driving by the naval air center near Tonapa, Nevada and saw rows of F-84's lined up in the desert. That was in 1971. I expect they were expended as drones. Seems a shame.The Thunderjet was a classic.

    4. Yeah, very pretty plane, the P-47 of the jet age compared to the F-86 (the P-51 of the jet age.) It was the first single-seat plane to carry a nuclear weapon. Fly to target, pull up in vertical climb, release weapon, pull out into a power dive and get out of Dodge. Lofts the nuke up, up, and hopefully you are away before God's nightlight pops off.

      It was my dad's favorite maneuver in that plane. That and using actual war-shot for ammo rather than training rounds for target practice.

      By the way, my dad was known as the only pilot in his T-33 training squadron almost killed by a seagull, while parked. Seems that a couple days before he struck a bird with one of his wings, and bird entered small crack, pasting the inside of the wing with vaporized bird. Inside of wing is where the pilot's air system comes from.

      So, three days later, he hops up into the cockpit, straps in, puts face mask on to check oxygen/air, and gets a big heaping blast of rotten baked vaporized bird (Kirkland AFB). They had to disassemble the wing and steam clean it, and the cockpit, too.

      Anything like this ever happen to you? Messed up pilot stories are always funny/sick/sad to hear, aren't they?

    5. Nothing so dramatic. I lost a canopy off a T-34B over the pine forests of the Florida panhandle while practicing Immelmann Turns. You are supposed to pinpoint the location where any aircraft parts fall when something like that happens, but in those days the only way of doing so was off a tacan or VOR radial, and the T-34B had no such equipment. Wasn't a big deal. I mostly flew helicopters, and in those, you usually have an uneventful trip or you aren't around to tell the story.

  4. Harry,
    It's always nice to see pictures from years ago. Maybe one day soon you'll pickup one of those small boats to enjoy on the lake.

    1. Sandy, these days considering the future is so grim, I find myself looking back to the past much more often. Lots of memories.

      I would like to find something big enough to carry me, my dogs, and some gear. I will keep an eye on the local paper.

  5. My husband had a sunfish when he was a kid. He really loved it.
    We are having another huge storm pass through. Seems we get at least one a day this summer. At least I don't have to water the garden.

    1. Big thunderstorms here as well. Yet we're still in a drought condition. Some of these storms are all sound and fury, but little rain.

      I decided that I need a boat big enough for two dogs and some gear so I am still looking. I like the sunfish but it's too small.