Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Seasons Greetings!


I'd like to wish a Happy Holiday to all my friends. We are once again in Tahoe for the winter and waiting for more snow to fall and cover us all. Heavenly is open with limited terrain and I can hardly wait for Kirkwood and Sierra at Tahoe to open so we can get up there and start shooting photos, I love it up there. Hope we get up on the mountain before Xmas this year.

While (not so) patiently waiting for it to snow, my mind turns to Christmas, the holidays and gift giving. I've got a whole series of gift guides highlighting the best gifts of the year and I have been keeping very busy finding fresh new gift ideas and updating all the pages.

Have you seen this years top Christmas Gifts? WOW!!! Whether your shopping for a kid, an adult, a tween boy or girl this years top Christmas gift ideas include the coolest gifts ever, like the slickest gadgets, personalized gifts, video gamer gifts, toys, and gourmet gifts and more. Please, if your looking for inspiration stop by one of my popular gift guides for a quick look at the best Christmas gifts of the season.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Phish at Dicks Sporting Goods Park for Labor Day

We had gotten everything out of our friends houses and storage into our house and pretty much gotten everything out of our storage to move into the place when we realized that Phish in Denver was only a couple days away. So we spent all day getting the van ready with all of our vending supplies and cleaning out all the moving stuff. I grabbed all the nice crystal cases and our general store tubs and all the necklaces and bracelets and stacked them all in the back of the van.  All of our camping gear that we had left at my parents house was over at the post box so we went and picked all that up and took what was needed.

It was about 1100 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Denver with the GPS route we calculated. Flowski took an evening nap while I finished getting everything ready and figured out what we were missing. It took longer than I thought to gather up all the loose ends but Flowski got an extra long nap so it worked out that he was not tired at all for the trip. We didn't end up leaving until about 3 AM so it was not long on the drive before it started to get light.

Flowski drove non-stop all the way to Denver and we ended up making it the night before everything got going so we had time in the morning to shop and get over to the venue before it opened and they let everyone in. We picked up an awesome variety of sodas for $5 a case. It is tough to get that kind of a deal anymore. I have seen 12-packs for $6. We also grabbed a bunch of ice along with waters Gatorades and other beverages.

We came with no tickets so our first priority once we got to the venue was to find tickets. We got the biggest run-around ever on the camping passes. We pulled up to the gate to the camping area and we tried to get camping passes. They told us to go back over to the box office around the other side of the venue. We went over to the box office and after being told they were sold out they mentioned that there were some available at the camping headquarters and gave us directions on how to get back over to the same place we just came from. We went back over to the camping area and the supervisor of the staff was extremely rude.  We were told that we were not allowed to go the camping headquarters and that our only chance of getting a camping pass was back at the box office. We went back over to the box office and with no hesitation they told me to go back to the camping headquarters which is where the only remaining camping passes were. At this point in time I decided to try my luck just talking to people that were around the venue to see if there were any spares. The first person that I talked to actually had one and hooked it up for face value. There were not very many people around so after standing around for half an hour we went back over to the camping area figuring that people coming into camping may have extras. When we made it back over to the campground area, I was writing up a sign on a paper plate stating that I was looking for tickets and our good friends Jeff and Chantel pull up behind us. They had camping tickets they were not going to use and sold them to us.

When we pulled back up to the entrance to the camping and got our wristbands to go park, the police officer watching the area walked over to our vehicle and apologized for all the troubles this morning which definitely surprised me, I was not expecting that.  It was a park and walk your stuff in situation kinda like Moe. Down, but it was not quite as far. You did have to get searched every time into the venue. At the beginning of the weekend they were super harsh on the searches coming in. I have been to a lot of festivals and you usually don't get a hard pat-down just trying to get into the campground.

They were really weird about the camping spots because it was very vague on the website and the staff were told to fit 2.1 people into a spot because they were trying to conserve space, but there ended up being more than enough space for everybody to camp.  We came in an claimed a nice spot right on the fire-lane to vend. Thats when the staff came over and told us there would be no vending in the campground and the day lot was where shakedown should be. So we setup a quick campsite then made our way over to the day lot when it opened at 3 PM.

We got to the day parking shakedown lot at about 3:05 and it looked like we missed the good spots but when we got up close there were still plenty of space to squeeze into. We did much better here in Denver on crystals and gemstones. I think people appreciated the rocks a little more with the big gem show coming up in Denver.

Our friends Heather and Jake made it out to shakedown and hung out with us before the show and were cool enough to wait for us to pack up and we all went in together. It was really cool going in with the kids. We always end up meeting for a short time but never get to rage the show together.

The first night was epic! All the songs they played that first night started with the letter S. The show also started late because of lightning in the area so they played a nice long show.

The rest of the weekend was pretty awesome for the most part. We got in all 3 shows and partied on shakedown for the rest of the weekend. The campground turned out alright for late night beverage vending. There was a band in the campground all weekend so there were plenty of thirsty hippies wandering around to make it worth it to stay up and keep the cooler open.

We had a whole bunch of fun, made enough to get the $70 camping tickets for 3 people and $50 show tix for all 3 nights for Flowski, Dwight and I. Plus gas money to make it 1100 miles back to Tahoe. All in All I think it was a really good weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Phish at The Gorge, WA. August 5th and 6th 2011

It was quite an amazing time at the Gorge. Phish started their second leg of tour up in George, Washington at the Gorge. We stopped in Tahoe before making our way up so that we could unload all of the extra stuff that we would not need for the weekend to make room for stock.

We left 2 days before the Gorge shows to drive up from Tahoe. It was about an 850 mile journey to get up there. We carpooled up to the Gorge with our Tahoe friends. It was really fun riding with the kids instead of just driving on our own. We made it about 6 PM the day before Phish played and there were already at least 50 vendors with spots claimed on shakedown. We did some finagling and managed to squeeze into the main intersection area right behind Louie and his Jerry Rolls and Falafel.


We ended up having lots of space to spread out which was really awesome because we had a lot of stuff to sell. I brought my nice crystals and gemstones, we had our usual beverages, picked up some chips, and we also grabbed a bunch of general store type items. We had all the little trinkets and necessities that people would forget or use and need. Earplugs were a very popular item. so were little flashlights.



We came here for Phish and made it into the music both nights. It was a really epic weekend. Here are some shots



Thursday, August 04, 2011

Trip Log 11808 Oregon Travel Tips Traveling to the Gorge for Phish.

We rode with our friends out of Reno on a trip towards the Gorge WA. We tried to get out during the day but ended up eating together at about dinner time. We grabbed some In and Out before heading out on 395 N.

Oregon is a weird state. They have lots of strange laws that I really don't understand. Why is 55 mph the speed limit on the Highways when most other states are 60-75? Also you are not allowed to pump your own gasoline in Oregon. So if you are heading through Oregon at night, none of the stations are open and the pumps are locked. I guess they don't think people are smart enough to pump their own gas in Oregon in the middle of the night?  It was really frustrating because we were trying to carpool with our friends from Tahoe. They drive a sprinter which gets way better gas mileage than us and about the same size tank. So we got about halfway across the state and it was about 4 AM. We tried to stop at a couple pumps and we got it to take the card, we even found a nozzle that wasn't locked, it told us to start pumping, and didn't do anything. So instead of being able to stay with our friends, we had to stay in a little town in Oregon to wait until the gas station opened.

We all needed to get to the Gorge as soon as possible, so them staying would probably have meant that we would have ended up farther back on shakedown in not as good of a spot. As it turns out, they ended up catching a little sleep up the road from us. We slept until about 7 AM when Flowski woke up to see if there was anyone around to help us. There was nobody for half an hour, when a nice older couple pulls up to the pump. Brandon hopped out and went over to ask a couple questions. He asked what time the station opened and she replied about 8 AM. At this point we really just wanted to get back on the road and another half an hour was like torture. Flowski asked her if we could get some gas because she was pumping it herself. She said sure and helped us get back on the road.  I guess she had some kind of a commercial gas card that let her fill up whenever. I think that is pretty unfair to the rest of the people that can't get gas at night or whenever it is needed.

We found the kids down the road a ways taking a little nap and continued to travel together. We made it to Bend Oregon together where we needed to wrap up our shopping by finding some ice and a few other things we were missing, so we parted ways again and found the Costco.

Thank goodness for Costco, this one in Bend Oregon specifically. Many of the Costco's we have been to do not carry ice, but this one did. $2.25 for a 20 pound bag of ice is way better than Wal-Mart at $3.89 for the same weight. So we got 500 pounds to take with us and we found the Gatorades that we were missing. Glad we found that Costco, we needed it.

Now we are all set and ready to get to the venue. We are driving through Washington right now, about 40 miles away from the Gorge in George, WA. Flowski has been driving with the heat on because the motor has been running a little warm, so it's 87 degrees outside and it feels like 95 in the van even with the windows open. But it's the day before Phish plays two nights at the Gorge and they are letting us camp there tonight so it is reminiscent of a festival. I am excited this is gonna be another epic time at the Gorge.

Trip Log 11059 Miles Almost Home

We had a fun time at the Collegiate Peaks Music festival in Colorado with our friends from Alma. We partied hard to Kyle Hollingsworth from String Cheese Incident and Keller Williams.

After the shows, we parked over at a nearby rose quartz mine that we knew of to camp for the night. So when we woke up, it was crystal mining time. I have been to the rose quartz mine a few times so it was really easy to find some pink quartz. There was also some black tourmaline and dark smoky quartz around that we gathered up.

We drove straight from Denver to Reno with only a few hours of rest on the Wyoming Utah border at the Wal-Mart. Flowski likes the upper route with the least time in Utah and avoiding the loneliest highway so we drove up through Steamboat Springs and up into Wyoming then caught 80 across.

We almost made it to Tahoe. We ran out of cash and money on the debit card. We scraped and counted change to get us the last 100 miles and we ran out about 13 miles from Reno. If we had made it to Reno in time, we would have been able to trade in a couple silver rounds to make it home. But, because we ran out of gas and had to count out nickels to the gas station attendant the coin shop was closed by the time we made it into Reno on fumes. So we had to call Scotty to come save us.

Thank goodness for Scotty, he rode up on my XT250 motorcycle from Tahoe to bring us a little cash to make it home and save our kiesters.

Now we just need to re-organize everything tomorrow, shop and get up to the Gorge for 2 epic nights of Phish.

Trip Log 11228 On our way to the Gorge for Phish!

We are packed and organized and ready.  It took all day but we are more prepared coming into the Gorge than we usually are.  We unloaded a bunch of the large in-matrix heavy rocks for the weekend to make room for beverages and supplies to sell.

We had to cash some checks and get the mail when we got to town. It's really nice to have a home base that you can stop into and get stuff done. Everyone wanted to say hi and hang out but we just didn't have any time. We will be back after the Gorge before Phish plays in our home town of South Lake Tahoe on the 9th and 10th of August.

We met up with our awesome Tahoe friends and we are gonna caravan up to the Gorge with them. It is nice traveling with another vehicle. You know that friends are close by.