4th Of July Weekend Post (Picture Heavy)

So the weekend of July 4th, I got off work on Friday, came home, and found where Emily had torn a giant hole in the counch and pulled out all the stuffing. I was so pissed I forgot to take a picture of it before to show what it looked like, however I did take a picture of the repair.

It is a bit ghetto, but the couch coushin was flipped over with all the stuffing back in it, and it is as good as new. The couch was old anyway, and I can’t say I mind the prospects of a new couch sometime soon.

Once the couch was repaired Ashley and I headed out that evening. I stopped by the bank to deposit my first check from the new job. (Quite nice to have that raise too, let me tell you!) I stopped by the Fed-Ex Kinko’s to print out some forms so my mom can pick up my birth certificate for me when she is in Greenville later this month. Then we stopped by Goodwill where I spent too much money on books. (At least they are cheap books).

I did have a few problems with my computer that evening. There had been a power outage and it was giving me the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD © Microsoft) every time I turned the computer on. I thought Microsoft had done away with the BSOD, but I guess I was wrong. After messing with it for awhile I was able to get it to boot into safe mode. Once in safe mode I ran windows update to see if there might be something I could update that would fix it.

The only thing to update was Internet Explorer. Hrmm.. Strange. Updating to IE8 (or is it 9 now? I’m not even sure, I use Google Chrome) shouldn’t have an effect on the OS, but maybe it does. I updated it anyway, despite my thinking it wouldn’t fix anything. Oddly enough it installed, rebooted, and sure enough no more BSOD.

Sunday was church, I wasn’t teaching or anything like that this Sunday, so I enjoyed the leisurely pace of the day, waiting for when I would get out. Ashley and I were planning on having her mom drive us up to Donner Lake (stupid Californians naming places for cannibals) to see the fireworks. We would be meeting her dad and brother there also who were saving us a parking spot. The area got very crowded as the day went on.

We met her mom, loaded up her mom’s truck and got on the road. There were some good pictures taken on the way there, and you can see all the pictures taken on my flickr.

This is the bridge (Rainbow Bridge) that we drove over. The parking area is just on the other side of the bridge from this picture. You can see Donner Lake in the background.

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This was the first clear shot of the lake I got.

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After we got there we decided to go exploring in the area. Ashley’s dad knew the area very well, and took us by some places where there were Indian carvings in the rock.

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Next we went up to this old train tunnel, that the original transcontinental railroad came through. There are no more tracks up there anymore, but we did see a police car cruising through the tunnel while we were walking through it. The tunnel itself was huge!

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It had been carved out of solid rock originally. This is a picture of the ceiling.

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This picture is a little blurry, but it gives you an idea of what the tunnel looks like.

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There was a rather large pile of snow still in the tunnel.

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Another thing that I thought was really neat, was you could see the wagon trail that had been used for many years by pioneers headed west. This is the very same trail that the Donner party took when they got stuck and decided to eat each other. You can also see the modern road above it that follows pretty much the same trail as the wagon path.

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There were all kinds of little mountain streams running all over the place up there, and making some very green places that high up in the mountains.

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After we got done exploring, as the day light was winding down, we had a little bit to eat. Ashley’s dad had made tritips, and chili, so we broke into his truck and ate as much of it as we could.

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The area all around us got very filled up with people very quickly in the hour or so before sun set.

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I spent some time working with my camera to make the night shots look good. One thing I discovered early on, was that i need a tripod for night pictures.

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However I discovered that if I steady the camera on a nearby rock looking out over the water I could get some really good pictures.

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I managed to get a couple of good pictures of the fireworks before the battery on my camera ran out.

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Here are the 2 pictures that turned out the absolute best! The second of which is I think (with cropping) one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken.

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After the fireworks were over (and it was a great display) Ashley’s mom drove us back to Reno. I was exhausted by the time I reached home, and pretty much fell into bed.

The next day, July the 5th Ashley and I ran around town doing errands. I got the oil changed on my truck. Stopped at a few different thrift stores and once again bought way too many books. We also happened to run by Grass Roots books, and I was able to finish up my set of Harry Turtledove books. The series is called The Great War and it takes place in World War 1 era where the Confederate States Of America were able to beat the United States of America, and they are now 2 separate countries. In World War 1 you have the CSA fighting with the French and British, and the USA taking the side of Germany. Trench warfare in the heartland of America. Good times. 🙂

That pretty much covers the majority of interesting things that happened over the July 4th weekend. I took Tuesday off as well to have a long 4 day weekend, and started my new schedule at work Wednesday. Which means that this week we are in right now I had Friday off, and will have Sunday off. working Monday – Thursday, and then Saturday. I don’t mind it too much, but I can’t wait to get back on a schedule where I have 2 days in a row off.

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