Junction Cave closed

I was just getting ready to plan a little trip out to Junction Cave near Grants with me son when I found that they’ve closed it.  These are the lava tubes at El Malpais.  They were awesome!  You’d go about a quarter mile in, sometimes crawling, through lava rock caves.  They say they’ll eventually open it for recreational permits.  Sounds like something they wouldn’t be issuing to a 6-year-old kid.

Who needs that many types of bait?

We went to Sportsman’s Warehouse recently looking for a replacement slingshot band.  It’s kind of like the Fry’s of hunting, fishing, and outdoor supplies.  Their variety was mind boggling.  There was an entire aisle and more of fishing flies.  At the front of the store was a board with fishing reports around the state…including some ponds in Albuquerque.  The sad part…they had slingshots, but no replacement slingshot bands.  I’m reminded of this song:


Mountain biking and power grids

Went over to visit my sister’s family in the Manzano Mountain area yesterday.  Played Power Grid with my brother-in-law…not a bad board game, but kinda long at 2 hours +.  We went on a great mountain bike ride where I saw a couple of wild turkeys, a dear, and Kyle chased a squirrel along the path, which was pretty funny.  Those clip-in petals seem kinda dangerous so far.  Several times I found myself trying to scramble uphill over a steep rock or dirt and spinning out.  That’s normally when you’d slam your feet down on the ground to catch yourself.  Now imagine your ankle is cuffed to the pedal.  You’re going down, buddy!  We saw some of the largest yucca fruits I’ve ever seen.

Kyle touched one of them and it just fell off, so we had a taste.  It was like watermelon in taste and banana in texture.  Later, we played an Alhambra expansion with diamonds and gates…it wasn’t much different from regular Alhambra.

No swings for you!

A school in West Virginia is getting rid of swings because they’re too dangerous (lawsuit-wise).  I suppose playgrounds have gotten rid of seesaws and merry-go-rounds.  (I include links for kids who’ve probably never even seen these…they were awesome!)  I guess swings had to be next.  I predict that a playground in the year 2050 would consist of a series of 2-foot foam domes…each with liability cameras…and some parent will still sue for emotional damage.

trying the BF 1942 engineer gun

Vanessa and I went with our friend to the shooting range yesterday.  I’d never shot a gun before, aside from a BB gun.  I wouldn’t buy a gun, but it was fun to try them out.  We fired a .22 rifle, a WW II Mauser rifle, some kinda large .45 pistol, and a 30-06 rifle with scope.  The little .22 was like a BB gun.  The pistol seemed kinda shaky in the hands to me.  I prolly don’t have very steady hands.  The rifles had huge bang and kick…a surprise every time.  The best part I think was hitting a metal plate 200 yards away through a scope.  I was surprised that you can’t tell if you hit anything because of the kick of the gun.  Our friend said you don’t have to worry about the kick throwing you off because the bullet’s already left the gun at that point.  You usually have to have someone else tell you if you hit the target.


We took a walk in the desert to some volcanic rock hills near our house last night around dark.  I almost stepped on a small rattlesnake.  It slithered away and barely made much noise until it got under a rock and then started rattling.  It didn’t strike at me or anything.  Later on, another another one immediately started rattling and I walked out of the way pretty quickly.  I don’t remember ever seeing a rattler in the wild, but they seem to love warm rocks when the sun’s going down.  We also saw the international space station flying by…looked like a slow flying star or something.

Vanessa’s brother and family have been visiting and I’ve gotten in some time on LittleBigPlanet with the kids and Supreme Commander 2 with da bruvah-in-law.

unlocked phone, nylon-eating zipper

We figured out how Mia unlocks Vanessa’s cell phone.  She opens the slider keyboard and then closes it.  Brilliant!  I think I got her hooked on cellphones already by putting The Presets – My People on there.  She loves to hold the phone and dance to it.

We ended up camping at Red Canyon in the Manzano mountains last weekend, since Jemez was closed due to fires.  It was  a nice time.  Walmart tents are made mainly to catch the zipper.  I am now an expert at unsticking zippers.  Pull the stuck cloth from the zipper as you pull it back and forth.  It only took us about 2 hours to set up the tent.  Yeah, we’re not handy.  Lessons learned:  Get your tent on level ground, clear the ground of ALL sharp/pointy sticks, pillows are nice.

the wee hacker and campinators

Mia’s somehow figured out how to unlock Vanessa’s phone…which is quite a feat for a 1-year-old.  We’re not sure how she figured it out, but she’s called someone, tried to sign into AIM, and possibly other stuff.

Well, we’re off to the Jemez area for some camping this weekend.  We’ve actually convinced Vanessa to come along, which is apparently no small feat!

desert ride

I took a little bike ride in the nearby desert with Sean the other evening.  He learned that riding is sand is hard/impossible.  He fell of his bike and his hand landed on a purple flowery plant with white fuzz all over.  The white fuzz turned out to be extremely fine stickers.  What a mean plant!  Well, it’ll be pretty cool mountain biking out there, assuming we can find some non-sandy trails.