Archive for August 2011
I recorded some video of my excursion, and found it entirely too shaky to use. I searched around a bit and found some magic which, after days of fuckery, I was able to use to clean up the vibration and shakes. The downside is it relies on a very unstable software stack and produces huge intermediary files (on the order of 350 gigs for 23 minutes of video); the upside is the video looks like it was shot on a dolly. If you want to see how much motion was taken out of the video, watch the position of the dot on the glass in front of the camera; you may also listen for the suspension articulation and general “shit bouncing around” sounds.
On my trip back Sunday afternoon/evening, I found my left arm hurt quite a bit; I thought perhaps I had hit something and forgotten, or it had bad sunburn. Once I got out of the shower at home, I realized I had a bruise going from my left collarbone down towards my heart about eight inches; this was a bruise from hitting the seat belt so hard, so many times. I had forgotten to snug up before departing; hopefully, it’s a lesson I’ve learned this time.
I threw all my knives in the garbage when I saw knives that inject CO2 into your target. $400, too; what a bargain!
Drove up to Elk Butte Sunday, took a couple pictures.
I passed about a half-dozen huckleberry pickers on ATVs, a gentleman with a chainsaw on an ATV, a pickup truck hauling an ATV trailer, and a couple Jeeps from Checkpoint Mike to Elk Butte. Use the following map to orient yourself:
Leaving Elk River, I drove Alpha-Echo-November-Mike. These roads are what I refer to as Idaho Interstate: graded two-lane gravel roads with no grass growing up through the gravel, no soft spots, etc. You would have no trouble driving even the lowest of low riders over this route; I kept my speed below 25 to avoid coating the campers all along this route with dust.
At Mike, I drove Oscar-Papa along the most direct route. Between Mike and Oscar, I had to pull over to let an ATV by; I talked with some berry pickers short of the inverted-Y south of Oscar. Once at Papa, you’re back on, honestly, the single-lane version of Idaho Interstate; however, between Mike and Papa is some hard-ass riding of the worst sort: the rocks that the trails are cut into crumble and form a very slippery layer of dust, narrow rutted trails with obstacles, long fall-offs on steep slopes, weak drainage causing lots of washouts and the like.
Most of the conversations with people revolved around concern that my GPS had misled me; I assured them that I had not been misled and carried on. After Summit, I did Papa-Quebec-Romeo-halfway to Foxtrot (downed timber), Romeo-1/3 way to Whisky (downed timber), Romeo-Quebec-Papa-Oscar. At Oscar, I ran into a Jeep loaded with pickers; the driver of such tried to warn me about the steep rock path from Oscar to Mike, but I said since I made it up that way, I figured I could make it down.
I will report that I feared for my life a couple times on this little jaunt. There was a section where the ass end of the van started going left when I very much needed it to stay steady; I gunned it and pulled around, stuffing the nose into a ditch for friction. What the hell, it worked. Once at the summit, I recorded my last will and testament, played some Word Feud, and headed down.
Joe, Barb and I once made this trip along a different, easier route: Alpha-Bravo-Foxtrot-toward Papa, stopping at the summit. That route is the middle route in terms of ease; the southern route (Bravo-Hotel-Golf-Romeo-Quebec-Papa-summit) is easy. The northern route is hard, as it isn’t much used for logging, and as such isn’t maintained. I was thinking, once I left Mike, that I should see what Joe and Barb were up to and see if they wanted to go up again; I figured that it would take about eight hours to round trip it, and decided I wasn’t up for a night in Moscow. Anyway, Barb, you should totally drive up there in your XJ; you might scratch the paint on your ZJ, so I wouldn’t take it.
Went to the credit union to get a check cut, printed and hand filled the entry form to go to GBR in four weeks. A quick visit to the post office and off it was mailed.
The whole thing was amazingly retro for a meeting of people that use technology.
I’ll probably be without arms, as I don’t think I own a single firearm that would be legal to transit the great state of California. I’m aware of FOPA ’86, but I have no desire to get my silencers and rifles tied up in some bullshit test case.
See you there!