Toroweap is on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, but with more than 60 miles of dirt road to get there, it provides an uncrowded and remote experience, especially with 100º August daytime temperatures. The National Park Service describes the services available at Toroweap: “there is no water, gas, food, lodging, or phone service.” But the lack of crowds (there were none when we arrived) and the spectacular views of the Canyon made it well worth it.
The decision was made. Drive 1,000 miles south, to the tip of Baja to watch one of the longest solar eclipses ever: totality for six minutes, 53 seconds. The sun’s shadow traveled over Hawaii and then Baja California — most eclipse fans opted for traveling to Hawaii (which was overcast during the eclipse).
Eric and I camped near Punta Colorado on Baja’s East Cape to wait for the noon event. We’d done our homework on what to see, what to expect, but nothing prepared us for the sensations during the eclipse: much cooler, a noon-time sky with stars, and dusk 360º along the horizon. To say “surrealistic” would be an understatement.
Ahhhh … 1991 VHS quality!
Dad went up in a B-17 for the first time in 70 years and 29 days, on the Wings of Freedom Tour, out of Torrance Airport. The last time he was on a B-17, he was carried off the aircraft in England after a piece of shrapnel went through the airplane, his helmet, then his foot (his foot was resting on his helmet). Today’s flight turned out much better; the flight was magnificent, and without shrapnel.
Attach a GoPro to a weather balloon, then attach the weather balloon to a truck and go for a drive. What could possibly go wrong?
Take a look at the tethered weather balloon at dusk.
COPS Racing pits near RM234, next to our pals at Checkers. COPS experienced good fortune at the 250, and both the Trophy Truck and Class 10 were merely drive-bys at our location.
Jeffrey, Kyle, Matt and I spent a day at the Hungry Valley SVRA armed with a dirt bike and quad – what we’d call a Perfect Wednesday. Watch for the Jim-on-dirt-bike cameo.
The COPS Racing Trophy Truck receives fuel at the BFGoodrich pits near Race Mile 747 (La Purisima) in the 2012 Baja 1000. Fifty miles down course from this pit, #50 would lose two engine cylinders (listen to the engine sound at the pits). Driver: Dan Martin.
COPS Racing, Dan Martin, Driver, prerunning the 2012 Baja 1000 between San Ignacio and Loreto, BCS. Stewart occupied the right seat and handled the co-driving/GPS-tagging/gate-opening duties. I handled the back-seat-ballast duties.
Starting at the Eureka Dunes in Death Valley, we drove through Steel Pass and out of the park on Saline Valley Rd., stopping briefly to see naked people. Saline Valley Road had been recently trashed by heavy rains, transforming it from a smooth, graded dirt road, into a genuine 4×4 experience. A seriously fun weekend.
Debauchery in the high desert with a near-crash and a crash, Federal Penal Colony #52, a rattlesnake in our toy hauler, Cuddeback Dry Lake, the Husky Memorial and lunch in Randsburg (where Huell Howser dined). Four minutes of your life which you’ll never get back.