Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

The Nature of God – Part 11

[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the various parts in this series from the beginning, I strongly urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]

I was earlier describing my difficulties with Christian Spirit-led living. Does so-called Spirit-led living exist at all? Yes, I believe so. Besides, it’s in print. It’s just not defined in a formulaic way, which is a good thing. Besides, if it took several whacks of a 2×4 to the head to bring me to Christ, it makes sense that I’m not likely to be real sensitive to the quiet promptings of His Spirit. It involves disengaging from preoccupations and being open to God’s Spirit, which is my own personal challenge. I do doubt that it’s meant to garner attention, peer respect and acclaim. I suspect that the cultural influences in this country (and our basic natures) tend to screw it up. It’s meant to achieve His quiet purposes, period. It ain’t for show. It’s for reflecting His nature, here and now – not the nature we take from ourselves and ascribe to Him.

I’ve since had sporadic promptings every great now and then. I’ve found that I can veto my way out of Read more…

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Trail 376A to Buena Vista, Colorado

Chrysler Prowler

What does a Chrysler Prowler have to do with a trail, you wonder? Nothing. I simply came across it at a gas station when I completed my trek to Buena Vista for errands. Prior to Chrysler’s bankruptcy and purchase by Fiat, they blew considerable funds on a few flagship image vehicles, the Prowler being the most notable of them. All short-run products, they probably caused more confusion in the marketplace than anything else and were seldom recognized by media critics as the styling achievements that they are, but they still bolstered Chrysler’s image of its willingness and ability to think well outside the box.

I knew I was going to be moving out of the Buena Vista area as a cold front moved in. At 8,000’ altitude, such an elevation is do-able, but needlessly cool. So my plan in taking this trail was to get to town and accomplish some time-absorbing tasks in order to get them out of the way for what would otherwise be an overly-full moving day. Trying to pack in a shower, laundry, propane refill, water refill, grocery resupply, fuel stop, and Rx stop plus a 3-4 hour drive southward is a long day, especially when finding a fixed campsite at the end of it is up for grabs. So, I figured that it would be worth it to hit Read more…

A Vital Reminder

How about a little inspiration? How about a lot? What is your dream for this time of your life? How determined are you to realize it?

The video below says it’s about piloting the fastest manned fixed-wing aircraft ever built, but that’s just the dressing, complete with some of the most impressive in-flight photographs I’ve ever seen. The majority of it is a message about life and living, for every person that Brian Shul can reach. With humility and uncanny humor, he delivers an account that I believe you will get much out of. I sure have. Runtime: 1:11.

Problems vs. Opportunities

I received the missive below  from a good friend of mine, who happens to instruct art classes at a local college. As an admirable artist, teacher and person, now and then he gets an inspiration to get creative with problems. In this case, fashionable school policy prohibits the possession of a recyclable water bottle on school property, so reusable water bottles abound and are frequently mislaid. Thing is, not one person in this class has ever reclaimed theirs. That’s odd, because commercial water bottles can get pretty pricey if you don’t want your water to leak and taste like plastic, so my friend has not yet found an alternative to adding them to the waste stream – other than relabeling his little lost & found display collection as…

“Dear friend,

“In the future, examples of lost, misplaced and recovered water bottles
will be used to determine dynasties and earth ages of forgotten
civilizations and generations.

“Unearthed pottery shards and extinguished campfires are uninteresting and
commonplace.

“Oakton Community College is proud to announce the first museum-level
collection and overview of this kind.

“Subscribe now and receive minute-by-minute updates as to how this dynamic
new field of anthropology develops!”

Out for a Walk

A good part of the slope down here where I’m standing is solid rock.

The glorified name for this post is a photo essay, but really, it’s just a bunch of snaps I took as I walked a half mile further down, and returned to camp. The walk at the trailhead is fine, but passing vehicles made me wonder what was down there. My camp is at a spot that’s difficult enough and sloped enough to slow down even ATVers out for the weekend. After a day or two here, I noticed that I was seeing some vehicles going one way or the other and not returning, indicating that my trail connected to something meaningful at both ends, and so was not a dead end spur. A look at an MVUM showed that it does indeed connect and, if passable by my rig, would be a shorter overall route to resupply at Buena Vista.

The small amount of passing traffic is not the nuisance it usually is elsewhere. If I were to perch out by the road clear of the bushes, there would be entertainment value in Read more…

My Favorite Advertisements?

Hey kids, do you wonder why Grandpa or Grandma is so screwed up? It’s because of ads like this from the Soda Pop Board of America. Read that copy!! Not surprisingly, that’s a reversed image of a Coca-Cola bottle.

[Caution: this is one of those posts that started small and, well, just got out of hand as I began mulling over things. Enjoy. Or not.]

This is a peculiar post, because I am weary of ads. Ads are all you now see on TV, online, by the road, and in printed material. We’re inundated by the stuff, so now ad men are advertising in a “viral” way so that it appears to not be what it is. So, it takes some effort for me to think back and ask myself, “What ads have I actually enjoyed?” There aren’t many.

The first is a whole series put out by the Doyle Dane Bernbach firm for Volkswagen in the 1960s, when the task was to market a car designed in the 1930s, a “people’s car” to highlight progress from the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party in the Fatherland. It was an antediluvian copy of an existing Tatra model, but it was still well thought out for what it was in that era, and it was inordinately tough. The Beetle was small and homely, and once it was timidly pushed into the market in an era when “longer, lower, wider” prestige were what sold, it was bought only by a few minimalist nonconformists seeking relief from the fins, chrome, and tonnage. What did the mainstream market look like? Like this:

The new 1960 Pontiac!

Or this: Read more…

Lenhardy Cutoff

The view from my first camping spot. Not too shabby!

When I decided to vacate the premises along Peru Creek Road near Dillon, Colorado, I had it in mind to head south and drop elevation, if possible. That was for both temperature and health effects reasons. I have plenty of 10,000-foot campsite on my Travel Itinerary, but elevation is not one of those things that are noted on some “find a campsite” websites. To get lower meant that I’d have to forego Leadville, which is a primo town with a few camping possibilities, but at the same elevation.  All along the trip down I was impressed by the number of side roads marked as reaching one mountain peak or another, all of them exceeding 14,000 feet. My earlier errands in Frisco had taken way too long, owing to destination location errors in both my GPS and iPhone nav system, and the absolutely congested “five pounds in a three-pound bag” nature of touristy and uber-stylish Frisco itself. No worries though – the Hollywood carrier and Evelo e-bike up front tend to act as a cow-catcher for pedestrians.

I settled on a mystery stop further south called Arkansas River, just north of Buena Vista. Buena Vista itself is at 7,943′ elevation, and this BLM campsite is just a very few miles away. How bad could it be? I’d followed the Arkansas River beside the highway for much of the trip down, and there are many vantage points for Read more…

Peru Creek Climb

Out for a foot-drag at 10,000 feet elevation, this is the view!

This post is a follow-up to the initial one on the Peru Creek camping area near Dillon, Colorado. Because of a problematic cellular signal, the only way to do that was to leave there. Not a unique situation in Colorado. But ahhh, the scenery as you drive along!

This very rough trailhead is officially adaptable for vehicles as well as people and mountain bikes. As I walked past, this Toyota SUV that had money poured into it gave it a go. It returned maybe a half-hour later, while a stock Jeep that preceded it stayed in for quite a while. I could not handle the climb rate on foot, so I could not gauge the degree of mechanical challenge. Some big rocks at center maybe a hundred feet in promised some adventure, however.

A low temperature front about to move in just as supplies were starting to run low made it a Read more…

Heading for Peru Creek

The current view out my “kitchen” window as I prepped my morning coffee. Not difficult to adapt to, in my opinion!

When leaving Wheatland, Wyoming for Dillon, Colorado, the fastest and shortest route was to take the Interstate to and through Denver. Considering that I poke along at a mere 65 MPH instead of the 70-80 MPH limit, that limits the theoretical time advantage of such a route. Having in the past swung into battle in Denver with the Defiant travel trailer, I decided that the more pleasant option was to instead add just a few miles and take a two-lane to Laramie, Wyoming in order to better take in the sights onroute. From there, more two-lane would take me to Dillon, Colorado. That worked out wonderfully.

Southern Wyoming is a treat. On long, lonely stretches that connect ranch entrances to the nearest distant town, I passed two pickups by the side of the road and two ranchers dressed in Western gear standing at the bed of one truck. By his arm gestures, one seemed to be describing something to the other as they conversed. Time to catch up on stories. A large wildlife area came up as I went on, and with it low mountains that the road twisted to stay between. These mountains were rugged and had an odd sandpaper surface, along with a deep tan color that through my amber sunglasses looked chocolate brown. I should have Read more…

The Nature of God – Part 10

[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the various parts in this series from the beginning, I strongly urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]

The next long segment of my life was a couple of decades of turmoil, most of which was simply the playing out of my having made some very poor decisions early on, truth to tell. Well intentioned, but poor. Some mistakes create instant results that are quickly over and done with, while some slowly well and continue their payback for life.

My relationship with God was a weird mix of intimacy and distance. I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of receiving the kind of daily inward guidance that the Bible seems to suggest, at least not as I pictured it. But as I read, some content would always stand out as if it were written especially for me, or I would begin to understand the hands-on applicable meaning of things which had been irrelevant stumpers before. Sure, sometimes I’d read and wonder, “Why is this in here?” Yet, the culture and attitudes of the people in those early times and places stood out as so different that I would then begin to wonder, “Why would they feel the need to do that?” They were a pretty rough crowd, always complaining and always angling for the take in some form or other. I couldn’t help but look down on them at times, since they seemed locked in never-ending cycles of futile New Year’s resolutions and grudging promises to abide by an agreement, leading to reneging on them and trying hard not to get caught while doing so. Lip service. Where was the sense of personal integrity here? It was much more like the fleshing out of “what’s in it for me?”

I got pretty snooty about it, over time. I felt that I may have my faults, but at least I wasn’t as bad as them. How they chose to live their lives had no relevance to me. Trouble was, I kept Read more…

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