Posted by: cstrohmeyer | June 24, 2009

Lake Selmac, Oregon

Lake Selmac, June 2009Lake Selmac is a popular lake, recreation area and complex of campgrounds in Josephine County Oregon.
The Lake is the largest in the county and is easily accessible from Selma Oregon (home to American Idol contestant Kristy Lee Cook) approximately 3 miles east on Lakeshore drive from US highway 199.

Our family generally visits Lake Selmac with the Holy rovers RV club from Bethany Presbyterian every June (usually during the free fishing weekend too which I believe is the first Sat. & Sun of June, but I would check with Josephine County Parks for verification; (541) 474-5285)
We have a lot of fun with fishing for trout and simply visiting with friends as the pictures show.

I personally like the layout of the campground with the camp “loops” spread around the lake, unlike so many campgrounds that have all the loops in one specific area. This gives the Lake Selmac campgrounds a nice small campground feel which makes for a more pleasant camping experience in my opinion.

The campgrounds are well shaded with a beautiful mature forest surrounding the sites, so even on a full sun summer day the lighting< is subdued making for considerable shade and pleasant outdoor relaxing even on a warm day.

Please click on pictures to enlarge
Meadow near Mallard Loop, Lake Selmac, OregonFacilities
• Reservations recommended in the late spring through early fall; I recommend using Reserve America.
• Campsites; there are 81 sites for tents, trailers, or RVs up to 32 feet. Many are full hookup
• Drinking water, rest rooms with flush toilets and coin operated showers is also available. Picnic tables, garbage bins, fire rings are also provided.
• Lake Selmac also has boat ramps and a playground, as well as a recreation field, horseshoes, and Disc Golf. Boat Rentals are available at a nearby RV Park
• Leashed pets are permitted.
Playground Mallard Loop near Boat LaunchRoy and me taking a picture of each other

Our Winnebago Class Motorhome in Mallard LoopBirthday celebration for Bruce

Timothy coming back in boat from fishing, thanks Brian and DaroldTimothy & friend in boat ready for fishing, with Darold watching

 

ADDITONAL CAMPGROUND INFORMATION:
West end of the Lake
(Reeves Creek Rd. & South Shore Dr.)

Osprey Loop Campground:
• 14 – Tent Sites (Water Available)
• 3 – Partial Hook-Up Sites (Water & Electricity
• 18 – Full Hook-Up (50 Amp Service) (Electric- Water- Sewer)
• Campsite #30- Full Hook-Up ADA Site
• 1 – Yurt (Furnished, Electricity, Lighting, Heater)

Heron Loop Campground:
5 Tent Sites (Water Available) Vault Toilet- Lakeshore Campsites

Teal Loop Campground:
• 14 – Tent Sites (Water Available) – Lakeshore Campsites
• 2 – Vault Toilets

SOUTH END OF LAKE: (McMullen Creek Rd., Hickenbottom Road)

Eagle Loop Campground:
• 14 Tent Sites (Water Available) – Lakeshore Campsites
• 1 Vault Toilet

Mallard Loop Campground:
• 15 Full Hook-Up Campsites (50 Amp Service)
• Site #113 ADA
• 5 Tent Sites
• 1 Yurt (Furnished, Electricity- Lighting, Heater)

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Posted by: cstrohmeyer | November 17, 2008

Indian Mary Park

Indian Mary Park; Josephine County Parks Oregon
This Park is part of our Holy Rovers itinerary every September

All pictures can be clicked to enlarge
Indian Mary Campground, our Winnebago class C motorhome This “park” is often considered the “jewel” of the Josephine County Park System in Southern Oregon.
This is a beautiful park and campground set along the Rogue River just past the famous Hellgate Canyon and a short drive (about 10 miles) down Merlin/Galice road from Interstate 5
The park can also be reached by following G Street in Grants Pass, which changes into Upper River Road at the west City limits; then to Azalea Road and turn right; follow Azalea to Merlin-Galice Rd. and turn left.

Indian Mary Park, Rogue River This is nice park to simply relax, or to even have an event as there is a nice pavilion (which often hosts wedding, parties, etc. and can accommodate 150 persons).
Of coarse fishing is also popular here either from shore or by drift boats. Salmon and Steelhead are the two most sought after fish here (in season).

Rafting is the other very popular activity here and on nearby spots of the Rogue River with many class 1 & 2 rapids in the immediate area, as well as class 3-5 further downstream (which require a guide and permit).
Indian Mary Park also has a disc golf course as well.

Indian Mary Park, Rogue River, Jodie, Michelle
Facilities

• Reservations recommended in the late spring through early fall; I recommend using Reserve America.
• Campsites; there are 34 sites for tents and68 sites for trailers or RVs of up to 44 feet; 44 are full hookup and 14 are partial. There is also a group site of six sites together.
• Drinking water, rest rooms with flush toilets and coin operated showers is also available. Picnic tables, garbage bins, fire rings are also provided.
• Indian Mary also has a boat ramp and playground, as well as ice and firewood are available (for $). A store and café are seven miles away and laundry facilities are available in the town of Merlin (which is just off the 5 freeway).
• Leashed pets are permitted.

Posted by: cstrohmeyer | September 14, 2008

Camping Trip 2008, Yellowstone, Tahoe

Vacation 2008
We had our most recent trip to Yellowstone in August of 2008.Here is the basic itinerary of our trip:
Sugar Pine Point State Park

All pictures can be clicked to enlarge
Kids, Lake Tahoe, Sugar Pine PointWe started out on August 7 at about 4:30 am driving straight through to Lake Tahoe California, Sugar Pine Point State Park. We had reservations for her dating back to March of 2008 as this place literally sells out with in minutes of going on sell on the internet reservations site.
See: ReserveAmerica 1-800-444-7275.

This was a pretty camp site that was a short drive from a nice place to go swimming with some historical mansions to also tour. You can also walk to the lake form the campsite, but my girls found it to be a 45 minute walk.
We also met with Jodie’s sister Diane and Judy on Friday where we had a picnic by the Lake and took a tour of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion.

More Sugar pine Point State Park Campground Information

• Sites; 175 sites for tents or Motor homes up to 30 feet
• Piper water, flush toilets, coin operated showers (one location), dump station
• Fire grills, tables, and bear lock boxes provided at each site
• I HIGHLY recommend reservations for the summer season
• Open year-round, except no showers in the winter

Park City RV Resort

Park City Resort, aerial viewOn Saturday morning (again around 4:30 am) we hit the road for a long drive across Interstate 80 to Park City Utah (Jodie’s vacation time was cut short, so we had to compress).
This took us 11 plus hours in our Motorhome at about 65 mph; although our gas mileage was good due to a product I have been using for my business truck in trips to LA, it is by Lucas Oil and is called “Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant/Injector Cleaner”, this has helped my truck and now my Motorhome get 5% better mileage, which is worth the cost.
Resource link:
Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant/Injector Cleaner

Anyway, back to the trip. Park City RV Resort at the was renovated since our last visit back in the 1990s. They now have Pool/Jacuzzi and much nicer pads up top, although the lower sections are still in bad need of improvement and the access road to these is not safe for travel trailers or fifth wheel trailers.

There are still sites next to the river which are quiet and away from much of the noise from I-80 (which it is right off from at the turn off from Park City, except you bear North instead of South off the freeway exit at the Kimball Junction).
The River next to the campground offers fishing for trout as well. My only complaint is the lack of shade trees, so be prepared to use lots of sunscreen if you are outdoors much to block the sun’s light.

With time spent working on our now already breaking down Motorhome (transmission/overheating), we spent Sunday in Park City and road the coaster down the slope at Park City Ski Resort. Although expensive, it was worth the cost (at least this time).
We were also greeted with a wild thunderstorm on Sunday evening including very large hail and even a few funnel clouds that never made much below the cloud base.

Park City RV Resort

Grand Teton Park RV Resort

Family, Grand TetonsOn Monday morning (around 4:00 am) we left for Grand Teton RV Resort (stopping along the way to view the Tetons).
We were very disappointed with this place, although we had been here before. The pool was dirty, the Jacuzzi was not filled, the barb-q was not running, and management was simply rude. To top this off the price for one night was double what Park City RV was which was vastly better!!
Next time we will camp inside Grand Teton Nation Park and save our money!

Yellowstone National Park; Canyon Campground

Tuesday:

We left Grand Tetons around 5:00 as we wanted to stop along the way into Yellowstone so as to be more efficient with out time and fuel.
We toured the West Thumb Geyser Basin around 7:00 am and there was frost everywhere even though it was August!
Later we stopped at the Fishing Bridge Museum and then the Mud Volcano Area which was a favorite of the kids!
We arrived at the campground around 10:00 am and checked in. We were please to see a brand new Dump Station as well.

Family, Grand Canyon of the YellowstoneLater after lunch we visited the brand new Visitor center in Canyon Village; it is two floors and is simply awesome with many new exhibits that including display on volcanic eruptions over the history of time.

After this we toured the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area, although the road North side was closed, making everything extremely congested. We also had to make a longer hike to get to the brink of the lower falls as the trailhead was closed from the North Road (we hiked from the South Road)

Wednesday:

Geyser, Fountain Paint PotsOn Wed. we started out around 7:30 and visited the Fountain Paint Pots area, then the vast Upper Geyser Basin which includes Old Faithfull.
We started back visiting the Black Sand, Biscuit, and Midway Geyser Basins (me and Jodie really like the Midway Basin). The weather this day went from warm (about 70 F plus) around 12 noon to cool (upper 40s to low 50s), cloudy with some rain by 3 pm which is typical Yellowstone weather in august from past experience

Thursday

Black Bear in YellowstoneOn Thurs we visited the Lamar Valley hoping to spot some wolves, but missed seeing some by just a half an hour. It was still beautiful!
We looped around the north side and visited the museum at Mammoth Hot Springs which has a lot of history, art, and old photographs. We then visited the Hot Springs themselves.
We turned south and later saw a Black Bear on the road between Mammoth Ht Springs and Norris Geyser Basin.
Finally as the day got late, we visited the Norris Geyser Basin which is the hottest in the park, however things were rather dormant this time around with Echinus Geyser being inactive.

Friday

Bison, Yellowstone Hayden ValleyFriday was spent shopping, seeing things we missed at the new Canyon Visitor Center, seeing many more Bison on the road (often causing massive traffic jams as it was mating season and the male Bison were moving for no one!), and visiting sites around Yellowstone Lake.
Friday was also a nicely cool day only reaching into the high 50s.

More Canyon Campground Information

• Sites; 280 sites
• Flush toilets, water
• Fire rings, tables, bear boxes (at tent sites)
• Laundry, Showers (for a fee), and dump station at the check in area
• Reservations (recommended, although there is a waiting list for cancellations)
Reservations through Xanterra Parks 866-439-7375 or 307-344-7311

Bear World/ Village of the Trees RV Resort

On Saturday we left Yellowstone early (around 5:30) and visited Yellowstone Bear World in Idaho. The kids enjoyed this stop, although me a Jodie found it rather pricy for seeing a few bears and just a couple of Wolves, however as I noted the kids enjoyed it (including the well run petting zoo which included a Bull Moose that had been raised from a calf) so I guess that is all that counts!

Later we stopped for the night at Village of the Trees RV Resort (800-7779121) just off Interstate 84 (not too for west of the split from I-86).
This was a good price, for the amenities (if I recall about $30 per night with 6 persons)
This place had nice shade trees, cable TV, a VERY small pool, Jacuzzi, and nice store that actually brought food (including excellent pizza) to your rig.
The campground is also right off the Snake River which affords more recreation as well.

Idlewild Campground, Oregon

Idlewild Campground, OregonWe left Village of the trees around 7:30 am for our last stop in Central Oregon ( a long haul of about 9 hours if I recall correctly.
This campground is about 15 miles north of Burns Oregon (via west bound US 20 to north bound US 395).

This was a VERY quiet and pretty campground set among Ponderosa and/or Jeffery pines. This was also the least occupied campground of the trip with only about 15% fill as compared to most others that were full or nearly full. A nice treat was instead of Yellow jackets, flies, etc., this campground was filled with butterflies, which was really pretty. Also the price was right at $10 (albeit dry camping with vault toilets, but I really do not care as long as they are reasonably clean which they were). The water also appeared to come from a very deep well and was very cool and refreshing!

More Idlewild Campground Information

• Sites: 26
• Max RV length: 30 feet
• Amenities include water, vault toilets, fire rings, tables, most sites are reasonably level with about half good for an average RV
• No Reservations

Here is our video of our 2008 Yellowstone trip
(the kids filmed most of this, which is why the camera moves so much):

For more pictures of our trip, please visit this site:
Our Vacation pictures, 2008, Yellowstone, etc

Posted by: cstrohmeyer | July 31, 2008

Great Basin National Park

GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK; Lehman Caves (Nevada)

Great Basin National Park is a more remote spot that I first discovered while camping in 1984 before it became a National Park in 1986. Previously the campgrounds were part of the National Forest system while only Lehman Caves (est. 1922) was operated by the National Park system as a National Monument.

My first trip I visited the area while traveling south on US Highway 93 with a jog to the east on US 50. In subsequent trips I generally have visited the park while traveling from Utah on US 50 towards Reno and California.
I often have reached Great Basin while leaving Bryce Canyon for points west (often returning home to Grants Pass Oregon) by picking up Utah Highway 21 until it intersects US 50.
For more about Grants Pass:
Grants Pass Information

This park is one of the more interesting I have visited since it sits like an oasis in the middle of an arid “nowhere”. Baker Nevada is the closest town just a few miles to the east, while Las Vegas is a considerable distance at 290 miles, Reno is 400 miles, and Salt Lake City is 245 miles is from Great Basin National Park.

Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park I really enjoy Great Basin National Park for its surprising beauty and even for its remoteness, although the remoteness has been somewhat of a drawback of late due to our very unreliable RV that breaks down every single vacation.
Lehman Caves are easily visited from the Visitor Center (which has a small gift shop and Café) and these caves are famous for its rare shield formations. Over 300 shields are known in Lehman Caves (more than any other cave).

Click here for another picture of the cave showing the shields (the picture is somewhat dark):
“Lehman Caves; Shields”

Stella Lake, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, Wheeler Peak Wheeler Peak is one of the highest points in Nevada at 13,063 ft. and the highest point in the Snake Range of Eastern Nevada (second highest in Nevada). I believe that the only active Glacier in the Great Basin is found on Wheeler Peak and as well several Glacial Lakes such as Stella Lake can be found here as well. Wheeler Peak is also known for its groves of ancient bristlecone pines, the oldest known non-clonal organisms. Spruce and limber pines can also be found on Wheeler Peak.

 

Lehman Creek, Great Basin National Park, Eastern Nevada Two beautiful Creeks; Lehman and Baker Creek drain the park and both have beautiful vegetation around them including my favorite tree the Aspen. Lehman Creek runs right through Upper and Lower Lehman Campgrounds (often splitting into more than one branch with small river islands).

The elevation near the Visitor Center and two Lehman Creek Campgrounds is just under 8000 feet, which makes for a cool climate even in the warmest summer months with cool nights often dipping into the 40s in the middle of summer and highs generally in the low 80s (or less) for day time highs.
Temperatures are cooler yet in the Wheeler peak area with snow up there never out of the question even in July/August and Thunderstorms also a possibility as well at any elevation in the park.

Another aspect of this park (and surrounding area) are the beautiful and crystal clear nights where you can see more stars than imaginable due to the low humidity, high elevation and pollution free air (including light pollution). I have read that daytime visibility here is among the best in the USA as often 200 mile distances can be seen.

 

CAMPING

Lower Lehman Campground, Great Basin National Park There are four developed campgrounds in the park; Lower Lehman Creek, Upper Lehman, Baker Creek and Wheeler Peak.

The two Lehman Creek campgrounds are the most centrally located and accessible, and of these two the Lower Lehman is the easiest for most RVs while the Upper Lehman is a bit more scenic.

Wheeler Peak is probably the most scenic, however the road up to this campground at 10,000 feet is very steep and not advisable for vehicles over 24 feet in total length.
Baker Creek campground is also accessible for many RVs, however it is more distant from most attraction and on a gravel road. All campgrounds are first come, first served with no reservations.
A dump station is available near the Visitor Center (only a couple miles from Lower Lehman Campground).

More Campground Information

*Lower Lehman:
• 11 campsites for RVs up to 40 feet with pull throughs
• Vault toilets
• Piped Water
• Paved Road
• Picnic tables and fire grills

*Upper Lehman:
• 24 campsites for RVs up to 24 feet
• Vault toilets
• Piped Water
• Paved Road
• Picnic tables and fire grills

*Baker Creek:
• 34 campsites for RVs up to 40 feet with pull throughs
• Vault toilets
• Piped Water
• Paved Road
• Picnic tables and fire grills
• 3 miles from Visitor Center

*Wheeler Peak:
• 37 campsites for RVs up to 24 feet with pull throughs
• Vault toilets
• Piped Water
• Paved Road
• Picnic tables and fire grills
• 6 miles from Visitor Center

Map of Great Basin National Park, please click to enlarge:
Map of Great Basin National Park
“Map of Great Basin National Park”

Posted by: cstrohmeyer | May 25, 2008

Fish Lake Utah

FISHLAKE UTAH
I am going back to camping/traveling for this post, which is what most of my posts will likely involve.

Road next to Fish Lake Utah, first week of October 2002

In this post I am looking at one of my favorite spots anywhere that I have visited over my 49 years of life.
I love the more isolated environment, the surrounding countryside, the cool climate even on an otherwise hot July/August day elsewhere. I am not always good as to expressing with words things I see and love (including persons), so I really cannot convey the utter beauty I see at Fish Lake Utah, but what I can say is that I find Fish Lake as well as much of the Colorado Plateau region of Utah a place where I find more inner peace than almost anywhere else.

Bryce Canyon National Park, nearby about 100 miles south
Part of it is the shimmering Aspens which are one of my favorite trees, another aspect is just the drive to this area as some of the most beautiful countryside in the west surrounds this place including Bryce Canyon National Park (which we often visited on our way here when we lived in LA). I also love the crisp alpine air and the simple “peace” of this area. (Click the picture to the left to enlarge)

I will also note that another attraction for me is that I have been to this area during some of the lowest times emotionally in my life and it has lifted my spirit. In fact I find much of Utah inspiring for me and it was my Grandfather who really got me to love it here when he brought me to Panguitch Lake for a week long fishing trip during a time in my life that I was mercilessly ridiculed in school. My father took me to Utah later as well for family trips (but the more intimate fishing trip with my Grandfather really inspired me)

Some Facts about Fish Lake Utah:

Tent camping on the edge of Doctor Creek camp ground, Fishlake Utah

Elevation: 8,848 ft or 2,697 m

Geography: located in the Fishlake/ Southern Wasatch Plateau region of south-central Utah. The lake is five miles long by one and a half miles wide at its widest point (8 by 2.5 km), lies in a valley that is a depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults (a type of “Rift Valley”. Fish Lake is bordered by the Mytoge Mountains on the south-east shore which rise sharply to over 1,000 feet (300 m) above the lake level. Along the north-west shore the lake is bounded by Fish Lake Hightop Plateau which rises to an elevation of 11,600 ft (3,500 m). Fish Lake has an average depth in summer of about 100 ft (30 m) and has been found to be 127 feet (39 m) deep in its deepest known location.

Fish Lake Utah, aerial view Fish Lake is a beautiful turquoise blue, more so than most lakes of it’s depth as normally water owes its intrinsic blueness to selective absorption in the red part of its visible spectrum via water depth thus only allowing the blue light down to the UV light band to be visible.
In the case of Fish Lake (& Bear Lake Utah as well), it is limestone present in the water which helps absorb the red part of the visible spectrum making the turquoise blue color.
My Aquarium/Pond Care article about the use of UV light for sterilization, disease prevention & Redox Balance:
http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumUVSterilization.html

Fishing: Fish Lake is known for it’s large lake trout (also known as Mackinaw Trout). Fish are caught every summer upwards of 25 lb.

Camping: Obviously my main reason for this post. There are several camp grounds on or very close to the lake, both private and operated by the US Forest Service.
My favorite is Doctor Creek (29 sites) even though it is not directly on the lake, I just find this campground more peaceful and less “busy”. This campground is also where the “dump station” is located for the area.
Other National Forest campgrounds include Mackinaw (53 sites) and Bowery (31 sites), both of which are further down the road and more accessible to Fish Lake.

The RV Parks include Bowery Haven (69 full hook up sites) and is lake accessible with boat facilities as well. Fish Lake lodge also has 25 full hook up sites and a marina as well.
Doctor Creek Campground, Fish Lake Utah, first week of October 2002

Posted by: cstrohmeyer | April 10, 2008

My Aquarium Endeavors

My Aquarium/Pond Endeavors

As per the URL of this blog, one of my hobbies that grew into an occupation is aquarium keeping. Although I plan to write more in the future in this blog about my endeavors that are pure hobbies (such as camping, flying, etc.) I thought I would touch on this a little.

Coaster Company Aquarium I set up in 1990Background

For more pictures, please see this site: “Carl Strohmeyer; Aquarium Pictures”

I started in the hobby in 1968 while I lived in Hacienda Heights with a 5 gallon Metaframe aquarium with a bubble corner filter. By 1977 I had my first saltwater aquarium, a 40 gallon with undergravel filter and Eheim Filter. Also in 1977 I started work at Archie’s House of Pets in La Puente California and later the same store in West Covina. During my time here I became the fish department manager for all 3 stores and also started an aquarium maintenance company on the side.
References:
*Hacienda Heights California, Information, Geography, more
*Researched Marine Aquarium Information

Learning
I loved learning form the trade shows, others in the hobby/industry as well as my clients. I know that may seem strange to learn from the person that is paying you to take care of their aquarium, however I have always felt that I could never know all there is to know about a subject (I still am trying to learn more as to aquatics via research, forums, clients, etc.). One way clients taught me is the many Medical offices I set up and maintained aquariums over the years. I often became friends with the Doctors who would not only share their own aquarium keeping experience but their medical experience as to where human medications and fish treatments had similarities.
Other ways I learned from Clients included when they simply challenged me as to why and I was forced to answer them via research, simple experimentation, or other methods.
A list of some of my researched articles:
Researched Aquatic Information Articles

As I learned and grew in the hobby and profession I also challenged myself to do a better job of extending my clients fish lives by means of improving diet, water quality, even unique aspects such as Redox Potential and general overall care. This led me to experiment and read more into many aspects of aquarium keeping.
References:
*Fish Nutrition
*Aquarium Redox Potential, Reduction, Oxidation

I have also spent much time (especially of late) in research into what truly makes a good aquarium light, especially for freshwater plants and reefs. I have gone outside the aquarium industry for much of this research since this tends to be an area where anecdotal information really gets passed around (such the highly inaccurate “watts per gallon” so-called rule). I have got good information from the Greenhouse and general lighting industry, and I am currently working with a developer for cutting edge LED lights.
Here is my regularly updated aquarium lighting article:
*“Aquarium Lighting”.
My LED Lighting web page:
Latest technology LED aquarium light fixtures

Inventions
Custom UV SterilizerMy research and experimentation led me to develop my own Custom UV Sterilizer which I designed for easy maintenance and more important; effectiveness. As usual I did not rely solely on my own knowledge/experience but I utilized a friend and employee for input as to electrical and other design ideas. This is not to say my UV is the only good one available as there are other UV Sterilizers/clarifiers that work (although many are very gimmicky such as the wipers that come with some over priced units), the Terminator UV is another excellent UV Sterilizer that works and is not over priced with gimmicks that make little difference in effectiveness. I will brag to say I have spent 100s of hours in UV sterilization research as well as even more time with hands on experience with many different UV Sterilizers for both ponds and aquariums which has also led me to sell many different UV replacement bulbs as well.
My UV Sterilizers, Bulbs, etc. web page link:
Aquarium UV Sterilizers, Bulbs, Parts, more

I also invented a pump that turned on during power failures of which I also received more help input for this as well.

My Articles and current Aquatic Endeavors
I have since sold my aquarium maintenance business due to family and personal issues and now run an online aquarium supplies business where I use a lot of what I have learned and used in my maintenance and aquarium/pond design business to decide what and what not to sell.
More importantly (at least IMO) I have written and continue to write several articles that I update regularly due to my still constant research and feedback I get with colleagues as well as friends in forums, etc.
I still employ my same methods of research and not just relying on my experience, but on input and even challenges from others. I will also add that much of the research I perform is outside the aquarium/pond keeping and products industry as there is an over abundance of anecdotal aquatic information that just keeps getting passed around without real research or tests to back it up.

For more of my Aquatics Biography, Please see this site:
Carl Strohmeyer; My Aquarium Experience/Bio

A couple of my article sites include:

Aquarium (& Pond) Answers
Fish as Pets; Aquarium/Pond Keeping News

As well I have some links to others excellent article, blogs, directories, forums, etc. here:
Aquarium Information Directory

Within these sites you can find MANY articles with unique information that is based regular research as well as practical experience in my aquarium maintenance business.
Examples include my very current Aquarium Ich article:
*Aquarium Ich; Treatment, Methods,
*The Aquarium and Pond Nitrogen Cycle

This article deals with the MANY aspects of aquatic disease prevention, as well as how to prepare a fish “bath”, dip or quarantine:
*Aquarium Disease Prevention, Water Quality

This article has a few sub pages and is a very excellent and thorough guide to pond care, set up, and much more:
*Complete Pond Care Information
And MANY more!

The Aquarium Answers Web site has many blog style articles that are frequently updated, (which is VERY rare for web sites of this format). There are MANY articles of interest here such as this one that is updated regularly with facts and theories about aquatic HITH:
HITH; Hole in the Head Disease in Fish

For readers looking for personal help in a friendly forum format, please visit:
“Everything Aquatic; Aquarium Forum”– staffed by friendly, helpful, knowledgeable persons in a family atmosphere

I also recommend a friends website:
Aquarium Supplies Resources;
With articles such as:
*UV Bulbs; Problems of Quality?
*Eheim 2080 and Fluval FX5 Review

Posted by: cstrohmeyer | February 27, 2008

Camping

Camping;
Including RV dry camping suggestions and recommended items to bring on a camping trip (especially with a young family).

Bryce Canyon National ParkThis is probably a subject I will cover more than any other over time in “My Endeavors” blog since this is not only one of my favorite things to do in life, it is also one of the few I can still afford to participate in especially with my family, even with the high cost of fuel this is still a relatively “cheap” vacation for me and my family (which includes my wife Jodie, and children; Michelle, Danielle, & Timothy).
The kids get very excited about our trips which are another reason I enjoy these trips just to watch their enjoyment of seeing many different places by vehicle (1991 Motorhome).

Admittedly what I find nicest about a campground as an adult (and even as a child) is different from what they enjoy. The kids like RV parks and/or places with a lot to do, while I prefer to “dry camp” in more remote places where the main activity is to sit back and enjoy nature, the quiet or take a hike. The inverter and other electronics hook ups allow for the peace I desire by giving the kids something more to do while I relax and enjoy the quiet scenery.

Sawtooth 2005The motorhome we own is 1991 Ford with a Class C Winnebago on top of the chassis. I am the original owner of this (bought during vastly economic times for me). I have added an extra coach battery, several built in “D” cell battery lights, a mounted flat screen TV/DVD, and inverter (this inverter has really paid for itself) and much more to allow for more pleasant travel for the kids (the inverter was handy when my son was a toddler and required to be on a monitor and stomach pump 24/7, he later was diagnosed with autism).

I also added another coach battery (in parallel) to increase electrical reserve, as well I installed an additional 30 amp charger in the basement to bring the batteries “back up” quickly during the limited generator on time (I try and restrict use out of courtesy to our neighbors). I also use a Coleman stove top drip coffee maker and portable catalytic heaters; so with all the additions and alternative lighting, we generally have plenty of available power for the kids to use the TV, play station, DVD while dry camping.

We have replaced or I have repaired several parts of the coach, however we have generally gotten our moneys worth from the coach.
Unfortunately the chassis has been a different story with problems starting while under warranty that were never properly addressed by Ford and multiple replacements of exhaust systems, the main processors and MUCH more. Unfortunately Ford has never even attempted to at least sell us a better replacement part and breakdowns on our trips are an unfortunately common occurrence any more (5 major breakdowns on a trip to Yellowstone 3 years ago), anyway, enough complaining!

I will go much more into depth about my favorite places to camp/visit in future posts, so I will only briefly mention some of my favorite and maybe a little about why I like them here:

*Yellowstone; definitely my favorite spot of anywhere I have personally been and not just for the Park but for the surrounding areas and the drive there (especially areas such as the Logan Pass and the Salt River Pass from which I have many great memories from trip originating in LA where I used to live). Another aspect of Yellowstone is that the kids love all the wildlife here as well as the geothermal features, making this a nice family place for everyone.

Yellowstone Falls

*Almost all of Utah, especially Bryce Canyon, Fish Lake, Zion and the before mentioned Logan Canyon (pictured below)

Logan Canyon

*SW Colorado (Red Mountain Pass, Lizard Head Pass)

*Yosemite; although this place is now virtually impossible to get camping reservation for especially since the hypocritical environmentalists took over and closed several campgrounds all the while leaving open the upscale elitist hotels. I generally only camp in the high country of Tuolumne Meadows of Yosemite (which is beautiful, cool and relatively quiet)

*I also enjoy several spots in the Eastern Sierra of California such as Trumble Lake/Virginia Lakes, Hope Valley, Mammoth Lakes and similar.

*Crater Lake, although not a lot to do, it is still very beautiful and has a great summertime climate.

*Several lesser known spots such as Lassen National Park and Great Basin National Park (NV) also make my list. Wallowa State Park in NE Oregon is also a beautiful spot.

There are may more camping areas I like to visit, but I will mention them in future posts.

*I have many more pictures at this site, especially of Yellowstone from 2008:
“My Pictures; Yellowstone and more”

Here are a some items I take/recommend camping:

  • Extra AA, C, D Batteries for various devices
    *Extra flashlights, including a rechargeable LED and ‘C” powered lanterns
    BTW, in mt aquarium business, I have really found the LED Lights to be the next generation of aquarium lighting.
    See my web page link:
    http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/LEDLights.html
  • A compact propane B-B-Q (many Forest Service campgrounds in the Western USA no longer allow Charcoal Grills).
  • Propane dual Stove so as to cook outdoors on nice days, as well to lessen the crowded RV cooking area and not add heat to the interior on hot days.
  • Extra Propane.
  • Extra Toilet paper, dish soap, etc.
  • Sponge, rags, paper towels for cleaning
  • Extra water pump (easy repair, yet hard to find item)
  • Electric Heaters for adding “load” to the generator during cool mornings, etc. which is important for long term Generator “health”
  • This is far from a complete list, but hopefully this gives readers some ideas.
Posted by: cstrohmeyer | February 9, 2008

Flying

My Experiences Flying

One of my passions is flying which likely will never be again (due to family needs, finances), however I am learning to accept this (but I still miss it).

I started in Piper Tomahawk, and then moved to a Piper Warrior before finishing primary training. After receiving my license I got checked off in an Archer which was an easy mice flying airplane (I also probably have more hours in this airplane than any other).

I skipped high performance training and went right into ME with the Seneca (with some Piper Lance training thrown in). After my ME license, I also got checked out in a Cessna 182 (which was also a great plane) and a 210.

The 182 was also a plane that I enjoyed to fly, it was a nice blend of utility, performance, reliability, and ease of flying. My only negatives were I did not like the “push button” throttle, mixture and prop controls not did I like the “look” if a high wing as much (although this is admittedly a silly reason to give a negative mark for). I did like the electric flaps over the Piper aircraft I flew. Over all if I ever can fly again and could own a plane this would be one I would really look for (even with the minor negatives I stated).

The Seneca probably was still my favorite. I still remember my first flight (which came after a couple hundred hours in Archers and Warriors); it was just skinny me and my also small ME instructor and when I pulled back on the yoke at just above Vr, the plane immediately pegged 2000 + on the VSI and that really was cool. This was also an easy to handle plane (albeit rather slow considering fuel consumption), VMC demonstration was easy in this plane.

Here are a couple videos, the first is of a 747 landing in Hong Kong during a storm set to music.

The second is a really cool video of an Air Force flight (I believe a C17) through a severe thunderstorm with lots of lighting, turbulence and St. Elmo’s fire:

 

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