Monday, May 31, 2010

Gas, Groceries, Discounts, Scams and Super-Computers - Huh?

The other day I nearly ran out of gas on Bangerter, a major north-south highway east of us. The car started stumbling slightly when I pressed on the gas and I knew that sign of a nearly empty tank well.

Conveniently, I remembered that I still had a 20 cent per gallon discount coupon in my wallet that mom had given me after she had purchased over $100 worth of groceries at Harmon's grocery store, so I quickly pulled in. And there begins a tale.

I saw that the posted price was $2.99 per gallon, which was lower than the $3.02 that I had seen two days earlier in my travels. So I felt pretty darn

Saturday, May 29, 2010

USGS Map Waypoints: Utah, Nevada

Perhaps you know that it is the US Geological Survey (USGS) which is tasked with the responsibility of making/keeping/standardizing geographically related "stuff" in the United States.

Yes, they are the same fellows who put up those fancy brass survey markers all around the country that we see when we are offroading. They are particularly noticeable down in the Middle Gold Butte ATV, SUV riding area.  [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: USGS Utah Feature File]

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SUV ATV Trails Near Las Vegas

I've spent the past several weeks entering all the waypoints for trails in the book "Great Basin SUV Trails, Vol 1 Southern Nevada."

I purchased the book several years ago because, even though it was written for SUV riders, it looked like it had trails which could be ridden by ATVs as well. Additionally, it has incredible descriptions of the geology and history of the Great Basin area.  Probably the best on the market. [For a free Google Earth offroad trail map of this route see: SUV-ATV Trails Near Las Vegas]

One of the authors, Roger Mitchell, is obviously a geologist or some such "rock-person" by trade and he shares more information than most normally want to know about the area of each ride. He is currently in a project to publish rides all over the Great Basin and now has 3 volumes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gold Butte Closed Trails

This ATV trail map is still a work in progress. However, because it's taking a bit longer than I had anticipated and because people have asked many times for me to "clarify" (if that is possible) what the BLM has done to the Gold Butte trails this past year, I feel obliged to release the portion which is already complete.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Gold Butte Trail Closure Map]

The BLM did put out a map (of sorts) a couple of years ago, as part of the so-called "public comment" portion of their trail-plan update.  And it still is the only "official" (sort of) map available for the area, although not available anywhere except on an obscure web page. However, it was/is so UN-labeled and so high-altitude and so difficult to read that actual names of trails or positions of closures are to say the least confusing — which was possibly their real intent all along.

For example, the Kurt's Grotto closure absolutely caught…

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Really Offroad - Google Earth Alphabet

Just to prove that some people have way too much free time occurring when they are incapable of actually being there, I give as an example a photo montage I found while searching the web:

Google Earth Alphabet, Vladimir Zivkovic


It would have been nice if he had also listed the GPS coordinates with the photos so he could find them again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Utah Google Earth Mine Map

Not to be outdone — Utah now has it's own USGS mine map too (such as it is), just like Nevada  [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Utah Mine Map]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nevada Mine Map

While I was working on data entry for a new set of SUV and ATV trails in Southern Nevada, near Las Vegas to be precise, I needed to verify locations of several mines. And thinking of a conversation that I've had over and over with Gordon about "someone needs to do a map of all the Nevada Mines", when I ran across a USGS "Department of Names" I decided to see what they did.

What a suprise to find that there is a whole government department in charge of collecting and "officializing" the name and location of every lake, stream, mountain, gap, peak, city, town, airport, basin, bay, building, cliff, crossing, flat, local, populated place, post office, range, resevoir, ridge, school, spring, summit, tower, valley, well, woods… do you get the point yet? If not I could go on. AND… MINE!   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Nevada Mines]

So, five hours later…

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Windows 7 - Better Than A Kick In The Pants

Change is hardly ever easy for a snowbird — and I'm not just talking about all that white stuff falling on our heads.

For years I've used Window XP on the computer I built. Yes it had its issues initially; but, over the years I was able to find "fixes" on the internet and in magazines and, with some 'registry' tweaks, had it doing just about everything I wanted in the way that I needed.

I even held off upgrading my 'Internet Explorer 6' until a few months ago. You see, IE6 (or the 'Devil's browser – as some call it) had it's own method of calculating page layout so was a bit different than so-called 'standard.'

I could create Offroading Home maps and pages for 'Firefox' and other browsers; but, unless I had some computer running IE6 I couldn't see how to set up for that browser as well. [And, statistics showed that a huge portion of readers of the website still used IE6]. However, I didn't foresee a 'militant' effort against it…

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oquirr Mountains Snow

In case you were wondering about the new blog masthead — YES, they are the Oquirr Mountains… YES it is Kennecott Copper Mine… and, YES that IS snow!

In fact the photo was taken fairly close to the SUMMERtime snowbird headquarters… in the middle of a snow storm (that's not a dirty lens) when a miniscule hole in the clouds beamed light onto the mountain.