I spent Monday through Wednesday on a trip to Big Bear with friends. We stayed in a camp ground on the edge of the lake. On Tuesday we went around the section of 38 that was closed from 10:00 to 16:00 on dirt track back roads around to Green Valley Lake and then back to 38 where it was closed and waited a while until it opened at 16:00. It was just about 40 miles of dirt roads in 1st and 2nd gear with the 5-speed stick shift in my Silverado. Very nice scenic trip. The dogs were with me the whole week end. The menu went like this: breakfast burritos to start the day and bacon wrapped shrimp and poppers in the evening along with N.Y. Steak, flat bread and Dutch oven sweet potatoes. The next day the evening meal included steak wrapped around a dill pickle, the appetizers and squash soup with flat bread. Good eating. The total mileage was 271 miles. The temperature ranged from just above freezing at night to a high of 90 when I pulled in back home. Here are some pictures in more-or-less chronological order:


At 05:30 my poodles woke me. They can tell time perfectly and it was time to get me up. I fired up the computer and opened Chrome where I was greeted by items on Google News perfectly suited to my interests and preferences. Items with no scientific basis that were highly prejudicial, unverified, illiterate and divisive. There were items on “silicon valley” having absolutely nothing to do with the culture of the silicon technology. There were “technology” items having nothing at all to do with technology but everything to do with gaming tripe and “mobile computing”. The Google algorithms were having a field day cornering the least competent news items possible. Although in the defense of Google there is probably not much competent reporting to pick from since journalism went extinct along with Edward R. Murrow and his like.

However, there was one article having to do with the benefits of potassium gained from eating avocado and spinach and its positive effects on arterial clog that caught my attention. It, as usual, was based on a single experience with limited statistics and was extrapolated (but less than a light-year) from data taken from a population of mice and vaguely linked to benefits in people by the “journalist”. AHA. Since I was hungry from my early morning sleep interruption I thought immediately about the California Bacon Eggs Benedict at the “Black Bear Diner” which features tomatoes in addition to avocado and spinach. I got out my text books on calculus, differential equations, orthogonal functions and quantum mechanics and with a liberal application of the principles of Kentucky Windage ascertained that the Black Bear Benedict would have a somewhat positive effect after the avocado and spinach outweighed the Hollandaise Sauce, Eggs, Bacon, Hash Browned Potatoes and English Muffin. The fruit cup which is part of the deal couldn’t be all bad either.

I ran right down and consumed one of these things. I left the bear tracks on the plate. I also had three cups of coffee which has an effect on me somewhat more profound than drinking the gallon of driveway cleaner that happens the night before a colonoscopy. I ran right back home to get on the computer to relate my morning observations (and to visit the porcelain). I hope you benefit from them and enjoy them. Butch


Here is one of a his and hers pair of Biggs’ Canyon jasper pendants. Also known as “picture rock”. Last night I attached magnetic clasps on the braided leather necklace with Two-Ton epoxy. Pretty stuff. Just right for Western wear.



The following pictures were taken at the Idyllwild car show Sept. 29, 2017 and during the drive down to my friend Walt’s place where we loaded my ’51 XK-120 on a trailer to take it the rest of the way down the mountain and home. It is not that I didn’t want to drive the car but it was the practical way that I could get the car to the show as well as my two big 65 pound standard poodles. I was driving alone and toting a full-frame Nikon camera with a 24-70mm lens. It made for a 5# handful of camera to contend with as well as shifting gears and keeping the car on the road while trying to keep up with my friend driving a Dodge truck like it was a Lotus. I just shot away while pretending to be Sterling Moss in the Italian Alps. Nothing has been edited so shots come close together on the road at times. But here is the photographic memory of that exhilarating drive listening to the beautiful sound of the XK-120 exhaust echoing off the mountains while manipulating the TREMEC 5-speed (mostly in 3rd and 4th) as best I could under the circumstances. It was a stretch of about 20 miles of mountain road. The color balance for the sky is very poor in some of the shots. That is because as (bad) luck would have it, the camera had been left set for three shot HDR exposure brackets so only every 3rd exposure was correct and the rest are up and down by an f-stop. Some of the exposures were rough-corrected but some of them had no saturation adjustment. I will do better next time.


This week end has been a big adventure. My long-suffering friend Walt drove down from Idyllwild early Friday morning leaving at 05:00 to get here before 08:00 through the traffic after picking up his 16 foot tandem axle trailer in Yorba Linda. The trip is about 82 miles. I was ready when he arrived and we loaded the XK-120 Jaguar on the trailer and set off for his place about 27 miles below Idyllwild at the 4,500 foot level. Idyllwild is at about 6,000 feet. I loaded up the two poodles in my truck and followed. The trip was uneventful although I suffered from “white knuckles” watching the trailer hurtle around mountain road corners at speeds that I was hard pressed to match with my truck even though it was unencumbered by a trailer. The dogs played “Ben Hur” leaning into the turns. We unloaded the trailer and sat on his delightful patio and chatted. I was extended the use of his travel trailer for the week end. Later we drove his truck up to Idyllwild for an 18:00 “cocktail hour” hosted by the Inland Empire Jaguar Owner’s Club. The dogs were the hit of the show and we had a continual stream of people coming to talk with us and pet the dogs. We made the trip back down to Walt’s place over the twisting mountain roads and were asleep by 21:00.

The next morning (Saturday) we were up at 06:00, had coffee and then Walt drove his truck and I followed in the XK-120 up the twisting roads to Idyllwild and we arrived at about 08:30 to place the car among others sprinkled around the cabins associated with the Idyllwild Inn. It is a lovely setting. We set up chairs near the car and again a steady stream of people came to pet and talk with the dogs. Some people were even interested in the XK-120. (Humor.) Judging was over by early afternoon and we met Walt’s lovely wife and friends and had some lunch. Walt again led the way with his big Dodge truck and I followed in the XK-120 down the twisty roads to his place. The Jaguar made the marvelous exhaust noises that the early cars are known for that echoes through the canyons. It is a very delightful drive and I got 54 miles of the twisty roads at the wheel of the XK-120.

That evening we made the trip back up the hill to Idyllwild for the “awards” banquet at an upscale Italian restaurant. In spite of registering the car for “display only” to avoid awards and judging they had a “best Display Only vehicle” award and the car won it. I don’t know how you can avoid this nonsense other than just not joining a club. The trip down the hill after dinner was also uneventful and the dogs and I slept like logs.

Sunday morning we were again up at 06:00 and took the Jaguar back down the hill to my home arriving about 09:30. I took quite a few pictures but thinned them out CONSIDERABLY to post. They are in chronological order. Pictures taken from the Jaguar are either on the trip up to Idyllwild or back down following Walt.