Brandon and Gwen's Adventure

Brandon and Gwen's Adventure

Monday, October 15, 2012

Status Update, Huntsville, Alabama is Our Home

Huntsville, Alabama

Population: 170,000

    It's been some time since our last post. Things have been extremely busy around here. After completing our extended Utah trip we have been settling down in our new home in Huntsville, Alabama. It's nice here, the temperature has been consistently lower than that of Columbia, SC, our former home. The humidity is much lower as well. One thing I am looking forward to is the Fall. Beautiful leafy trees replace the ever present pine forest landscape that we are used to. Don't get me wrong, pines are beautiful, but they tend to snuff out all other foliage within reach of their acidic needles. I'm expecting there to be a lot of opportunities to photograph the impressive array of colors that this new backdrop will provide for us. The farms here are incredibly beautiful.

    I took this pic with my iPhone 3GS today on the way home. We are only 12 miles outside of the city and yet we are surrounded by beautiful cotton and corn fields. All of the corn has been cut down for the season, but the cotton is flourishing. This stuff make quite a mess of the local roads with loose cotton balls rolling any way the wind blows like tiny white tumbleweed. We also find ourselves surrounded by horses, cattle, and chickens as well! I love that we can live in "the country" without being too far from jobs or local culture.

    In the spirit of our new surroundings, we have taken up gardening. This year we successfully tended to three bountiful tomato plants, and a ridiculously productive green bean plant. We even managed to grow some cucumbers and basil! We also unsuccessfully planted pumpkins the plant grew large and strong and even flowered, but we planted too late in the season so no pumpkins. Unfortunately the local Lowe's didn't have a very large seed collection for us to choose from. Next year we will have to hunt down a local Mom and Pop store for some seeds and advice.

Here are some of our tomatoes just waiting to be plucked, sliced, and eaten. This is as fresh as it gets.


You don't have to travel far to see local wildlife. Nature can be viewed from our glassed in back porch.

Praying Mantis.

The skies here are absolutely stunning. Here are a couple pics taken from the backyard.

Ninja really likes Huntsville. We are renting a house that sits on one half of an acre. Needless to say, Ninja runs rampant across the backyard chasing everything from bunnies to skinks or even giant crows. What can I say, she's the definition of a small dog.

Ninja even made a new friend, say hi to Emma. She's a sweet dog, a big baby really. She stayed with us for a few days while her mom traveled. Her and Ninja get along great.


     Gwen has been working non stop since we got here. We have been fortunate enough to spend some real quality time together on several weekends, but they are spread out most of the time. She loves puzzles and has put a few together since beginning her hectic schedule. She also likes to paint, this painting was done on some old canvases we had lying around for some time.

    This was completed in an afternoon. I am admittedly biased, but I really think it turned out great! Gwen is the true talent around here. All things considered, Huntsville is a very nice city and is definitely different to other cities in Alabama. We are pleased to call this place home.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ten things I (Brandon) learned from our trip

1. You can bring too much stuff
2. Buy ice in blocks, not cubed
3. Gwen did not read the directions.
4. Buy a leatherman
5. It is possible to shower with one gallon of water.
6. Your jeep is more capable than you are.
7. There is nothing to winch to in Moab
8. Bring something soft to lay on because the ground is hard and you will be under the jeep.
9. Avoid the bumpy blue roads.
10. You can do Poison Spider on 31's

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Car Camping in Kansas

FYI Kansas has some killer storms. We chased this thing through Denver and tornado warnings and then wanted to get far enough from it to be safe camping. Well around 11pm (our time) we stopped in Colby, Kansas at a truck stop to sleep in the car. We opened up our table over the cooler and camping stuff and laid the foampad and sleeping bags on it. Brandon, being 6'2 slept in the middle with his toes on the dash and forehead on the back hatch window. I am sure the truck drivers were laughing as we crawled into the little space we had. I got clostraphobic so my head was just behind the drivers seat headrest next to an open window. Ninja looked frantic and pissed. She finally settled down in her carseat but may never forgive us. And now we are listening to Ace of Base "the sign" (you know the song) eating gas station donuts and coffee. Life is good ;) we both slept great!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vail, Colorado

I want you to picture this world class ski resort for a minute. Now place our loud rumbling, muffler-free, dirty red jeep driving through. Bwahahaha. Beautiful to finally see during the summer.


We couldn't stand the heat both day and night any longer, so we packed up and are headed to the Rockies.

Geyser pass

Nice and cool to escape the 90 degrees in Moab. Had a nice nap by the lake.

Monday, June 4, 2012

La Sal Pass

After a few too many hot days, we headed up into the snowy mountains again for some fresh, cool air.

The trees were truly magnificent! Unfortunately, some folks defaced many of them by carving their names onto them.

One of the many small water crossings we experienced on this trip.

Ten Pearls of wisdom I have learned

1. Learn to pee outside.
2. You are going to eat bugs. Get over it.
3. Your feet will always be a little dirty.
4. Utah only sells Mikes Hard Lemonade in liquor stores, so stop asking gas station cashiers for it.
5. Nobody cares that you are from the other side of the country, they only care about your cute dog.
6. Never use a "vault" or "pit" toilet" . Evil lives down there.
7. Bring Seinfeld series on DVD. You will run out of things to fight about.
8. Wave when you pass people on trails. You are a douche if you dont't.
9. Put your phone down, there's no reception here... Or here... Or over there.
10. Ice cold beer is heaven sent at the end of the day, so plan ahead.
- Gwen

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Playing Chicken!

Today we ventured out to Hurrah Pass and Chicken Corners. It was freakin' hot. We also lost out muffler and tailpipe which was going to hang proudly in our garage after being crumpled on steel bender. We are relaxing now and as you can see Brandon is double fisting ice cream bars! And Ninja has her head in the jerky bag. Some petroglyphs, cave homes, and scenery pics too! One more week and then we start our trek home!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Downtown Moab

Yesterday we walked around town and did some shopping. Moab really is a cute little town with Navajo and Western themed stores, hippie restaurants, microbreweries, and tons of tourist shops. Then we went to Arches National Park which was beautiful, but there were only five or so natural arches. Still very beautiful area out here. Pictures on my DSLR to come.
Today we are running some errands and will try to fix the bad sensor on the jeep. It is running really rich and hot, luckily I have a brilliant man with me
Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. -The Mechanic
The quote above just 'autotexted' in. And i can't remove it. So there is some wisdom for you.
It will probably rain today and you can really get in trouble with rain in the desert (ironic, right?) because the roads wash out and areas flood. We will stick close to camp.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Smashed thumb!

Brandon was being his typical bad ass self pounding out the muffler when suddenly his 3 lbs hammer lost its way and smashed his poor thumb. He said some choice words and turned ghost white. I tried to comfort him but he needed some alone time. I grabbed ice and 3 motrin and some water. My poor buddy. Today it is grotesque, we are gonna burn a hole in it in a bit. I may pass out. We took an R&R day today, but will adventure out again tomorrow. By the way, swimming in Colorado River is good in theory but very stinky! Ninja will need a bath tonight!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Muffler crumpled

Steel Bender has lived up to it's name. We are waiting to cool down and then Brandon will hook it all up so we don't loose any more parts. This place is no joke, we are still smiling though :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Poison Spider

We survived the dust storm on friday and saturday. It was bad with wind gusts up to 60 mph and the visibility was really low. The whole sky was brown. But yesterday was just beautiful, a perfect day for jeepin'. With our repaired jeep we were ready for a challenge, so we headed over to the Poison Spider. Some very nice people from Salt Lake City let us tag along so off we went! We were shocked at how capable the jeep was. It was a blast!!