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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Done and Done

My job for the forest service ended on Nov 11th as well as my job with SCC. one of my best friends Lydia Luse fly in from boston to drive with me. Lydia and i started our road trip in Albuqu. New Mexico, that same day we went up to Durango Colorado where i spent the summer and stayed with my good friend jared for two days. Then we headed off to Moab utah but took the million dollar highway and stopped in Ouray Colorado and took a dip in the hot springs. we got to Moab late that night and camped at a sight between the road and the colorado river. the moon was not out yet so we didn't have any idea of the surroundings. around midnight the moon came out waking both lydia and i from our slumber, in our midnight fog we both thought it was the sun rising because it was so bright. i then woke up at least 3 times after that wondering why the sun was taking so long to rise. Only when the sun really did rise did i realize that it was the moon. we woke up that morning to blue skys and realized how cool our camp spot was. our tent couldn't have been more that 10 ft from the river that was silently flowing through a huge canyon. the wall on the other side of the river must have been about 200 ft tall! (see photo) WEe spent the day exploring Arches National Park and attempting to take Jumping Photos (out of over 100 tries we have 1 or 2 good ones) it was perfect weather and hardly anyone was in the park this time of year. after the park we had planned to camp
another night but our VERY good friend Anne lives only a few hours away and the temptation to see her more could not be resistied. so we headed out of utah and finally started east. we arrived in Golden Colorado later that night and spent 3 days at annes with her and her new (3months!) husband Spencer. anne had to work a bit so while she was working we went to Fort Collins to see anot
her favorite person Maryjane. we got a tour of the New Belgium Brewery and headed back to golden. another night we went to see Lydia's childhood friend Kelsey and her band, Kendellwood. the next morning after breakfast with kelsey we headed out to conquer the vast expanse some call kansas. we did this all in one day but not with out the help of donald miller and his book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years. It was a very good book and we both got lost in it being brought to tears and Laughing out loud. we got to kansas that night and Annes dad happened to be there, he
was very very VERY kind and got us a hotel room, and took us out to breakfast the next day. (i have the most wonderful group of friends from Gordon with the most wonderful families) then we headed east to St. Louis. we stayed with Lydia's cousin in her dorm room that night and had a great time feeling mature and grown up having been out of college for over a year now and having just finished listening to a book that made us feel educated, wise and reflective. after dispensing our wisdom on Tory and her roommate, both only encouraging our false sense of wisdom by eagerly soaking up our words, we went to downtown St. Louis. We went to the City museum recommended to me by my friend Amy from camp. this as the coolest man made place i have ever been. i would try to describe it but it would only make this long p
ost much longer, so check it out yourself ( you need to go there! Early the next day we left for Atlanta Georgia, where my co worker and good friend form this year lives. We stayed with his friend rob that night and the next day brought him home to his parents house and freed up space in that car by leaving his belongings from the year. So, with a little more breathing room we headed to Charlotte North Carolina, to my cousin Garrett and his wife Meghans House. we had a great dinner and our best night of sleep yet. The next day headed north to Washington DC
where lydia grew up and Where our friend james now lives. we had dinner with him then headed j
ust out of town to stay with Lydia's parents for the night. Very early the next day i left to avoid thanksgiving traffic and said good bye to lydia and our adventure and races the 3 hours home. i was home by 7:30
and was greeted by my favorite dog in the world my very own Zac with all the appropriate winning and wiggling and doing figure 8s around my legs. I walked in to the house to the great surprise of my mother who was the only one awake. She wasn't expecting me until 11ish. and so i was home for the first time since january, and here i am for another 28 days.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Closing times…

Only about three weeks left in my time with SCC. this year has gone so fast and i have done so much. i am ready to go home, to sleep in a bed i can call my own and have 4 walls around me for more than just a visit. I love my job but its not easy to live in a tent and not have the comforts of every day life for so long. My internship with the forest service ends on the 11th. one of my best friends lydia fly in on the 12th and we start a road trip. our itinerary takes us on an adventure across the country. It will go like this: Albuqu, Durango, Moab, Golden, St. Louis, Atlanta, Charlotte, Wash. DC, WEST CHESTER! i can't wait!

My internship has been great! i get paid to go backpacking with one of my best friends. we are called wilderness stewards and are serving in wilderness areas. we finished the first 2 ( they thought we would only have time for one) and this week we start on the Sandias witch is right in town, a lot less remote. after that we have office work to do, not the best but we survive. our boss is great and so laid back. we get to work at about 9:30 and leave at about 2. cant really complain about that days work. we spend afternoons running, or at the library. I found two great games at thrift stores, battle ship and guess who. so JR and i have spent hours playing those, making our own variations and adding new twists to the games. we watch movies on my laptop that we get from the library and then fall asleep with our coyote neighbors howling. a few weeks ago i was able to make a camp connection. JR and i went to dinner at the Marburys a falling with 4 kids and a pastor Dad. we went to their church and had a great time hanging out. Its great to met other people and spend time with a family.

The most common question i get at this point is what are my plans, what comes next? for the holidays ill be at home. recuperating and haloing Santa/Mom with christmas shopping and organizing closest. i have applied and had an interview with a job in Australia and should hear back soon. i have a friend that works there so i have some confidence that i have the job, but trying not to get to excited until it is official. That job would start Jan 3, 2012 and would be for a year. i would work as a Outdoor education leader for students i the Outdoor Education Program. Lots of things to look forward to at this point but focusing on enjoying where i am right now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Apache Kid

Summer is over now and so like most my jobs its time to switch things up. So as the leaves have started to thing about changing i have moved once again. Albuquerque New Mexico is my new home until mid november. The makes six states that i have lived in in the past year and half. what am i doing in NM? well what a great question!
I have an internship through SCC but with the forest service. I am working with Cibola National Forest in one of there wilderness areas. In 2005 the government set up The 10-year Wilderness Challenge. All the wilderness areas in the country are being graded. Cibola currently has the lowest score. So i am hired to change that, and its not to bad. My job exactly is to go backpacking. My and my co worker, JR, who was on my crew since january, are working in the apache kid wilderness. We are going to hike all the trails in the wilderness and be on the look out for three things. People, invasive plants, and Campsites, when we find any of these things we fill out a little paper about it and take a picture and GPS point. Not a bad thing to get paid for.
I just got off nine days in the wilderness out first little hitch. with in 10 min of being in the boundaries we saw three little bears a mom and 2 small cubs. in the nine days we saw no people. none. at all. and no invasive plants, there it hardly any water all all so the plants are pretty tough. we did find 26 camp sites, some of witch looked like they had not been used since the apache kid him self had been there. also in nine days we hiked 75.5 miles! and this is not easy hiking. Its all up or down, tiny trails that are easy to lose due to burns and fallen trees. many times we hard to wander until by some miracle we found a tree blaze. we have come across a few old cabins that are really cool. we saw a cow that had either died or been killed but the only thing left were the bones licked clean and the skin a almost tempting leather still attached to the skull. we have hiked through amazing canyons and up miles of switchbacks. its been quite an adventure but i am having fun. JR is one of my best friends so we have fun and i get paid to do something i love. i think i am living the dream.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Weeks Flew By

Well we just finished the end of the second month this past weekend! you last heard about my Day crew. this past month i was on a camping crew leading 8 15-17 year old doing projects for a month! my crew was great. we had a rough start but by the end they had bonded and i loved them all. This job is probably the hardest i have had, and i cant deny that there are moments when i wonder what i am thinking, but those are followed by moments with the kids bonding or just seeing them grow or work or laugh together and as cheesy as that is, it make all the hard times worth it. i have found ways to relate to these kids that i never ever thought i would.
If you know me you probably know that i didn't do that great in high school and the only reason i tolerated school at all was for my friends, this trip i had a 15 year old kid who had been dealing weed and his parents signed him up for the program. one day while working with him he started talking about school and stuff. we had very similar stories when the work day ended he asked if we could talk about it more. i was able to encourage him and maybe boost him up a bit so he can realize that he has still time to work hard in school and it is ok not to be the student your teacher expect because people learn lots of different ways. after the trip i talked to his mom for a few min and she told me that he seemed like a different kid and that the trip was so good for him. this is what makes me love my job!
i originally was meant to go right back out on a camping crew on sunday but due to lack of work they had to cancel one crew, so for this week i get to go to the farm that SCC shares and help out harvesting a weeding there with one of my house mates. its amazing having some time away from kids and be able to just hang out with another girl. next week i will go help the one camping crew so they have a female leader, and the week after that i get time off to go to my dear friend Anne's wedding witch i have been counting down to for a while now!
after summer ends i get an internship so will be moving to either Albuquerque or to lakewood ( just outside denver) i will be either working with the BLM or forest service depending on what one i get. so another move and another town, saying good by to my crew who i have lived and worked with for the past 8 months! it will be a big change so i am enjoying being here now in this great town with great friends. i really do love my job!!!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

oops, i forgot to blog.

hi sorry everyone i have not blogged in so long! life has been crazy. i am now living in durango CO. actually the address from my other post is for the office and i now have an apartment, so if you want to send mail directly to me you can at:
apartment 1
2250 w. 3rd ave
Durango CO

I love getting mail and will write back!
so here is an update. since being here we have had a lot of training and working in the area getting use to the air (Durango is 6,500 ft above sea level) and lots of fun. this past week was the first week of leading crews. i am currently the leader of a community crew made up of 10 middle school students. we are building a garden and learning all about water conservation. the animas river runs right through town here so we get to do lots of hands on stuff. we also get to bike all over town as a little gang looking for plants and exploring the river. the next two days we are going up to Silverton CO to do a project up there. its been a lot of fun even though getting kids ages 10-14 to work is NOT easy! i love this town, its gt lots of outdoorsy people the mtns are so close and tons of outdoor activites to do. we can walk to town from our house or take the free trolly. i bike to work every day, and its nice to feel like a local in a toresty town. its small enough that i se people i know already. (in fact on of my participants is sitting to my left with her parents.) over all i am very happy and am excited to see where the summer will lead. ill try to update more! thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moving forward

>The picture is my crew on our last day of work. They finally let us cut our t-shirts so we got creative. From left to right: Meg, JR, Chase, me, Danielle, Jared
So last friday was our last day of work in Tucson, saturday i packed up and left the great state of AZ headed for denver, stopped for the night to camp outside of Albuquerque and finally arrived at the house of the wonderful Anne Elizabeth Taylor (soon to be Biddle) early sunday afternoon.
Leaving Tucson was sad but i was ready for vacation. i am going to miss the sunny sky every day and the the warm winter though at this point it was getting a bit warm. I am going to miss the Volkels and there wonderful home. i am going to miss silver shoes, the old man we saw at every good live show we went to who danced like a champ and wore shinny silver sneakers. I'll miss the thrift stores i spent to much time at and Kaylie who gave us free pizza at our favorite pub that we went to after work every thursday. Most of all i am going to miss our new friends Sam and Chris, our only real tucson friends, they are the best!
our last hitch was great we did a lot of old revegitation in the desert of old roads used by drug traffickers and immigrants. it was essentially a modern day underground railroad. as you can probably guess it brought up a lot of ethical questions. the last two days we picked up trash, the things we found were crazy. in two days we found over 250 empty backpacks all in one small area. the area was littered with the same items. cans of sardines the same black water jug for everyone back packs, the same spanish drink, mayo jars(this confused us) and all kinds of clothes. We found the bones of a cow and two skills of what i hope was a coyote and not a dog. The things we found that were upsetting was diapers and baby socks. someone told us that it use to be just the dad would come up for work and go home when the season was over but with more strict security its to hard now so entire families are making the trek through the desert. the stash where we found all these things was on the boarder of a reservation, with a horse trail along it. driving on the dirt roads out to the sights was quite the adventure, we would stop to pick up trash we saw along the road as well. At one point we stopped to pick up a bag, but this one was different. In this bag we found fresh limes, a new pair of shoes and cans of beans and corn still in the Walmart bag they were bought in. the person belonging to the bag had probably heard us coming and ran off to hid in the mtns. It made the whole situation a lot more human. there was a man out there who was depending on that food and water and we were told to take it. would this force him to go get more supplies, would he get caught, or worst of all would he make it out? It defiantly made the crew think hard about what we were doing. despite the intense nature of the hitch it was fun and eye opening.
So now we have a week to relax and have some time away. this is the longest we have gone without seeing each other since we meet in january. its nice to be away but odd as well, my crew has become like family. i feel like i finally know what its like to have brothers. ha ha. on sunday we all come together again in Durango at our new apartment, and monday its back to work. my schedule is different this summer, we have three weeks of different thing then the summer leading kids starts. ill be leading with one other core member a group of about 6 middle school or high school students doing work like i was doing before. i am excited and a bit nervous for this step up in responsibility. It is sad to be done with our time un tucson but i was ready for a change in pace and ready to experience Durango.
Back to vacation time. Ill try to do another update soon! I LOVE MY JOB!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here is my new address in CO:

Emily Bauder
Southwest conservation Corps
701 Camino del Rio Suite 101
Durango, CO 81301

updates to come :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Edward and I

No No no, i am not referring to the shinny vampire but the great author Edward Abby. I read his book Desert Solitaire, and i LOVED it. its a non fiction book about his time in the desert. The way that he describes things it like a song, his language is beautiful. and to be reading his book sitting in a desert wash or high up in a cotton wood tree bring the experience to the next level. To live the way he does and to be able to relate to him as he describes the beauty surrounding me was awesome. can you tell i liked the book? ha ha
So hitch 7 i believe just ended and we only have one and a half left. it has been crazy how time has flown by. I still love my crew and my job so that is good. i have not written as much as i wanted to do but i am writing now. i don't know that it is worth it to tell you all about my last hitches, there is A LOT that went on so ill give a very brief update and then tell a story.
We have been everywhere around SW AZ. and have done lots of hiking, trash pick up and trail maintenance. We removed over 70 carsonite trail signs and replaced them with steal ones. yeah thats right steal. its great it will last forever and looks nice but, each one weighed about 25 pounds. that is SO heavy to carry for miles on a trail and there is no good way to do it. they are about 7 feet long and have a pointy end, not fun. but we did it and now the San Pedro Riperian Area looks great with spiffy new signs. we have seen all kinds of wild life, like, mule dear that hope more like kangaroos, and tons and tons of birds, and rabbits, a few frogs in the river and fish, we have seen a few coyotes and heard a lot more. we also saw a few scorpions, one was a bright lime green and about 2 inches long! and we have seen snakes, rattlers and not. its been cool to be outside 99 percent of the time.
Last week one day we helped this guy named chris at one of the historical sights at San Pedro, we were moving lumber from a house from the 1880s on to a truck so he could go fix an old coral. the house is not open to the public cause its falling apart but it was really cool with old cracked walls and high ceilings, the floor boards were rotting so we had to watch our step, you don't want to twist an ankle in the creepy space between the ground and the boards, but twisted ankles were not the real concern.
after we finished moving the lumber we were enjoying the cool shade of the building and i was sitting on a stack of wood that we didn't need, i glanced down at a whole in the floor and noticed a scaly looking thing, my first reaction was "oh look a toy snake" that reaction didn't last long as i jumped up from my seat yelling "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh snaaaaaake!" my group gathered around as i rushed to the farthest corner of the room. it was a snake and a big one, a diamond back to be exact but it wasn't moving so naturally the guys grabbed the nearest stick and started poking it. we couldn't see the whole thing, so agains my please the guys lifted it out of the floor boards and we discovered it had no head! a worker before us or some animal must have gotten to it be fore us. it was really cool. i still stayed about 10 feet away while my group touched it and laugh as maggots oozed out of the skin, we cut of the rattle to keep and my crew leader wanted to take it to get the spine out to make a necklace, but when we bagged it and put it in the van it still smelled like rotting flesh so we tied it to the trailer hitch. So that is my snake story, not as exciting as it could have been but when it comes to snakes dead ones are exciting enough for me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Part two: Hitch three

This is me and Danielle with our pics taking a quick break to get a pic. Those are the classy helmets we have to wear and the gloves and pants all in the hot sun but you know safety is important.This is where we were working in Saguaro National Park finishing the final portion of the AZ trail ( goes from Mexico to Utah) we built rock walls and cleared trail moving tons and tons of prickly pear.
AMAZING sun sets every night!
This is the view from our camp sight. We stayed at the professional trail crews private camp sight is was NICE!
This is our kitchen tent complete with horse shoes right outside. we had a tournament on our rec day and me and JR won... not going lie i can throw a mean horse shoe... apparently.
So that was last hitch, it went great! so now headed in to the 5th i will try to get the 4th hitch update up tonight! thanks for reading/ looking!

The Forgotten Hitch

So last Hitch i didn't write anything so here is a quick update of what went down. The first few days of hitch we were in the black hills finishing up a section of the AZ trail (goes from mexico to Utah) that a crew before us had built. we camped right in a wash on the trail. Below is JR sitting by the fire. the picture to the right is a cairn (the rock thing, not sure how to spell) our helmet and a stump we cut with our crew name. i cant add all the pictures so another post will have to come soon for part two.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Exploring the Southwest

Two hitches down,and finally done with hobos. this hitch went by so fast! the first week we did the same thing as last time pulling poles with hobos on them, downloading relaunching and re installing them in the ground. it was mostly fun to trek through the woods following GPSs that we not always reliable, but we all got really good at reading the maps. i say mostly for one main reason. the desert, things in the desert want to hurt you and they do. now just the snakes and spiders and bugs ( i haven't seen any of those) but the plants. Evil little things, sometimes you can tell they are dangerous by the 3 inch long spikes but sometimes they look nice and soft, so you choose that spot you change or something and for the one second that you have your shoes o

ff you step on one of those soft leaves and think nothing of it… AND THEN… you move you foot and realize that there are a thousand little needle hairs stabbing he sole of your foot like those glass shreds in insulation. Despite the vengeance the desert seems to feel for me i LOVE it. the southwest is amazing. it is so different than anything i have camped in before, it has a stark beauty. Some days i feel like i am livi

ng in a western movie and feel like maybe i should get a gun.

so far our work has been front country camping so we have a big suburban we all drive in and a trailer for all our stuff. we started this hitch in blithe california camping at a camp ground right on the colorado river. we had a dust storm and all our things we covered in a thick layer of light sand, it was so windy i was worried that our tents would blow off in to the colorado and we would have to go fetch them in mexico. While we were there we did a lot of running. we would get back from work and before dinner go for a run, at this point the sun was setting by the time we had our running shoes on. we would urn along a road with the colorado flowing to the left and the colorful desert sun setting over the dark brown mountains to the right. at this time of night the temp is amazing, the heat of the day is gone with the sun and its still warm enough to run in shorts. by the time we would get back it is dark and cold so we change right in to fleece pants and hoodies and the people on dinner get that started while the rest of us poke around collecting fire wood (NOT an easy task in the desert) and having jam sessions. we have 1 guitar, one ukulele and many harmonica (one that is mine and yes i play it and i am getting better under the tutelage of JR - who happened to be serenading me as i write)

WE have a chore chart that changes everyday for hitch and there are 2 people on dinner overnight. we have not had one bad meal yet. so many amazing foods and new things to try. since coming to Arizona i have eaten more mexican food than i have in my entire life! also i don't like beans but have grow out of that and we have them almost every meal. i also have eaten more donuts in the past month than i have in like 10 years, its a great reward after a long day of work.

After we finished the hobos in blithe and move up to Needles CA and got all those we went on to Boulder City Nevada "the town the built the

hoover dam". our first day there we had a Rec day, GREATEST DAY EVER! we got up had pancakes and went on a hike down this amazing wash that was sos so pretty and near the bottom there were hot springs so we went swimming, then we hiked back and walked around the hoover dam and got to see that and the new bridge that was just built. it was a great day and so relaxing. but then we got back to work, we spent a day working in the office identifying plant specimens using a dichotomous key and mounting tons of plants on paper to add to burrow of reclamations herbarium. this day almost killed us. My crew is full of very active fun loving people and a day in the office with no windows almost did us in. we got by by playing mash and making cootie catchers and foam crowns, yes it was like we reverted back to 3rd grade. the next day we pulled weeds…. ALL DAY LONG! they were an invasive species all around mead lake ( the largest man made lake in the states formed by the hoover dam) and the next day we took it easy, we hikes from our camp to the hoover da

m (only about 2 miles) and got a

tour of the power plant. itwas really really cool and i kinda geeked out about it. Around noon that day we started our drive back to Tucson. we stopped for the night in Surprise AZ at my crew leaders parents house. we were all shocked apron arrival to find acute little town full of retired snowbirds wintering here. We got to shower and watch movies like life of brian, ferris blears day off and blazing saddles. all wonderful classics. and then thursday we got back here and deriged.

Now let me explain our tucson life. as you may or may not know SCC does not provide housing for us on our weekends off. My wonderful father was determined not to have me living out of my car so found a friend of a friend who was willing to put me up. this turned in to the most wonderful discovery. Christy and alan vokel put me and my dad up when we got here and were so so so welcoming. before my first hitch Christy said i could have other crew members stay here to if they needed our first weekend off Danielle stayed with me at the Vokels, the guys got a really cheep crappy hotel (there is a hotel in tucson called the no-tell motel enough said) and Meghan went to Bisbee (a town 45 min south) and stayed with her sisters. but sunday we were all hanging out and Christy said they guys could just stay here too! sooooooo that brings me to this weekend!all 6 of us have a place to stay here where we can shower, do laundry and hang out. the Vokels are truly amazing people and if you ever come to tucson you shoal look them up. this weekend we have hung out cooked them dinner and hung around the fire place in the back yard. right now i am sitting outside on a little patio with a sink and cubers with cousins facing outdoor fire place beautifully made by alan with a mirror and tile mosaic on it. the sun is shinning and its really warm and the patio is surrounded by lemon trees. Meghan is on the other side of them reading in the sun and JR is across from me jamming away on the guitar. Pretty much my life right now is better than i ever imagined it would be. its February i have a tan and wonderful new friends, i have adventures and work really hard. i have gone to a church the past 2 weeks that i love the pastor already. i have been so incredibly blessed these days! a few months ago i found out i couldn't take the job in Australia and was distraught and frustrated not know what was next for me. God knew exactly what he was doing and so here i am today happy, warm and employed.

i know this is a long one, so thanks for reading it , but i gota go we are having a picnic lunch at the park :)


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hitch one: part one

My Crew: Jake, Jared, JR, Kristen, Chase, Danielle, Maghan, Me
Crew Name: The Los Hobos

This is at the location of our first hitch (and second) we are doing work for the Buero of Reclamation, they kinda control the colorado river, they damn is save it fish it, ect. we are working on these things called HOBOs they measure the relative humidity, temperature and sunlight in their location. the BOR has planted native trees all along the Colorado to help bring back more natural wildlife, the HOBOS let them monitor that. I'll explain more of what this looks like when i get a bit more time later today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I got back from camp (NH) on monday and after looking at the weather my dad and I immediately decided that to avoid the snow and other bad weather we needed to leave the next day. So i drove 8 hours monday, stoping in boston to drop Carson and Chris off and went right home and immediately started packing like a mad woman. the wonderful Frang ( a friend from Gordon) came by to help and calm me down. it worked and i got a lot done. we left the next day at around 1 and headed south, hoping to avoid the snow but with no such luck. west virginia didn't feel the need to use ice but we did. My dad did all the driving in the snow and we got to harrison burg virginia at about 7:30, had a wonderful dinner at IHOP (witch still to this day reminds me on the movie i am sam) and went to the home of Kelly Elizabeth, my long lost neighbor and West Chester friend, and pretty much went right to bed.

January 12th, 6:30 am we depart and head to Nashville TN. only a few things to note of our long day in the car. I am learning/perfecting my manual driving skills so this adds a bit more excitement to the time while i am driving. i really do ok but getting started is occasionally a little rough. the check engine light is on and we are choosing to ignore it. this maybe the first time in his life my dad is doing this and i can tell its bugging him. another thing... the speakers don't work... thats right over 40 hours in a car with now speakers! we have a little one that attaches to an ipod and we are about halfway through the hobbit. not much else to report.

Everywhere we have driven so far is really beautiful an the snow has only added to that but i am ready for a change of scene and am looking forward to the midwest. tomorrow is another long day on the road but for tonight we are at the Grosses, my dad works with there dad and they have 4 kids ages 10-17 (thats a guess). My dad and paul have been talking macs and iphones and pads and apps for the past few hours, I'm ready for bed, but its only 9:45. (we also went through a time change today)

this is boring, sorry if you read it. i swear that things will get more exciting once i get to Tucson, only about 1600 miles to go. I am will get pictures on here some time too.