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Thursday, May 22, 2008


After the weekend in DC I flew to Vegas for a three day conference. I was staying at the Orleans which was nice enough but not on the strip. That was nice, because then the table minimums weren't as high.

Sunday night I got in with enough energy to crawl into bed and still felt the same way about Monday night, but did play craps, and came out ten bucks up. Not bad. The conference had it's ups and downs as they tend to do. Sometime Tuesday I realized I hadn't been outside since I had arrived on Sunday. These places are traps.

So Tuesday night I got out with Vince and we made the rounds. We took the shuttle to the strip and walked up one side and down another going into any casino we saw. I was glad I finally got to see the Chihully installation in the Bellagio. It was two windy for the fountain display that night.

Wednesday we drove up to Reno in a serious wind. The west is having one of those crazy spring events with tons of wind and dropping temperatures. Sunday was record highs, 100 in the Muc and 110 in Vegas. But when we were leaving the high was only 75.

I am staying at the pepermill and when I checked in they said all the rooms I'd requested were booked, so I'd be upgraded to a suite! Awesome. A weird fact of the trip, I'd been in 4 different hotels, and each the room was at the end of the hall, but this was different because it had windows on each side with a great view of the sunset and a jacuzzi. I didn't even try gambling, it was awesome.

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Now this weekend is the Black Rock Rendezvous and it should be a blast. It will still be cold and we're expecting lows in the 40's and maybe even snow. Crazy. I'm sure there will be pictures and updates when I get back.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Washington DC II

Last week, I was at a training in Washington DC. While I was there I had a lot of fun as well.

Tuesday night I met up with Suzy and her new husband Jake. We had a great dinner and fun meeting up, we couldn't remember how many years it had been since we saw each other. After they left, I went to a few bars, met some Australians and had a great time.

Wednesday I met up with my uncle Charles for dinner. Then Thursday I went back downtown and had an easy time meeting up with people. I managed to meet people who went to UT and knew people that went to Southwestern. Small World. Friday my class finished early, and my brother was coming to town. I went into the city a little early so I could walk around and see all of the monuments. It felt great to get out after being pinned up in class all week.

So when Blake got there, we went out and had a great time. There was a drunk train ride home with some girls from Texas. Then Saturday we moved over to our room in the Mayflower. It was sweet. Actually it was a suite. The location was perfect. In the afternoon our uncle came and picked us up and we went to Baltimore to see a map presentation at the art museum. It was a great show and I saw the original Mercator Map as well as Presidental and DaVinci maps. The map nerd in me was excited, but unfortunatly we couldn't take pictures.

Saturday night I went out to a delecious steak dinner with Blake. Then we went to an Irish bar. Jim came out with Claire to say hi and I was glad we got to see them while I was on the east coast. It was a great night. Sunday we met up with our Uncle and family for brunch and then to the Building Museum. Blake had to leave at 3 and we stopped by the art museum's sculpture garden before I was dropped off at the airport.

I was flying to Vegas for a conference, where I am now. I had a great time in DC and can't wait till I can visit again. Coming to Vegas was a bit of a change because it was cloudy and 75 in DC and almost 100 when I landed in Vegas.

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Next up is Reno for a couple days and then this weekend I'll be at the Black Rock Rendezvous. It will be great to be out in the middle of nowhere again!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Washington DC

I’m on my way to DC for another training course. This one is on how to analyze satellite imagery. Most things people are looking for are soil types, riparian impacts, or roads and other infrastructure. I hope I can get involved with some projects after taking this class.

On the way I had the window seat and took some pictures.

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The past week was a busy one with unpacking, cleaning and repacking. It was also the start of softball season. We opened with a forfeit and lost our second game. Softball is always a great time and the sign that summer is hear.

Friday Jessica and I left for Reno to go to the Reno River Festival and hang out in the city for a weekend. After DC I’m headed for Las Vegas for a three days for a conference there, then to Reno for another day conference. I figure I’m just going to stay in Reno again and head up to the Black Rock Rendezvous for Memorial Day weekend. A busy time of year for sure.

While in DC I’m hoping to meet up with friends and my brother is coming down for the weekend.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fort Collins

Last week I was in Fort Collins, Colorado for training. I was learning how to make maps for large wildfires in the hope that I can go out more this summer. Fort Collins, is supposed to be a cool town, but most of what I saw was the inside a conference room.

At the end of the week we were glad to be done and I went to the New Belgium brewery with a couple of the guys that were in the class with me. As far as breweries go, it was nothing new. At the end of the tour you can have a sampler of beer and I tried my first sour beer, which was unique.

The other guys I was with had to go catch flights, so I carried on to the Odell brewery and the Fort Collins brewery. Neither was as crowded or developed as New Belgium, but they had great beer and fun people. I had a fun time in the Fort Collins brewery because it was so relaxed and carefree. I highly recommend it.

That night I drove down to Boulder to spend the night. I went out on the town and had fun meeting random people. I was in Boulder, because the next day I wanted to go to the Celestial Seasonings factory. The crowd touring a tea factory is a little different then a brewery tour. It was neat and I’m sorry I don’t have more pictures, but they wouldn’t allow it in the factory. Let me say there was tons of herbs and tea. Most impressive was the “Peppermint room” where they kept their Peppermint and spearmint. It was so strong it was kept in it’s own room. They opened the door and it was a challenge to stay in their more then thirty seconds because it burnt everyone’s sinuses.

In the afternoon I drove down to Denver. I was hoping to see the Flying Dog Brewery, but found out they moved just a month ago. So I hung out in town and had an entertaining Saturday afternoon in a bar.

I was going to go skiing the next day, so I drove out to Silverthorne. That was a weird town. You pass run down mining towns, then there’s Silverthone with strip malls for J. Crew and others. I found a cheap room and stayed there and went skiing at Arapaho Basin the next day. Even though it was May, the snow was great. They had about 9 inches the two days before and the base is at 10,000 feet so it was still super nice.

It was a real community place. Everyone there was in costumes and the parking lot was right at the base and they had a place they called “The Beach” where people would set up chairs and bar-b-q’s drinking and watching people ski. I was surprised how crowded it was still in May.

After a full day of skiing I headed north past Steamboat and camped out on the Yampa river near Craig. And Monday it was a long drive back to Winnemucca. It was a great trip and a quick turn around to leave for Washington DC next week.

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