About Me

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Peoria, Arizona, United States
I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona with brief visits to a few other places. I love to get out and experience nature in all its forms. I am an adrenaline junkie that refuses to grow up. I have been married to the girl of my dreams for 24 years, we have three great kids, and I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Said It Wouldn't Be Long..............

Just a "teaser pic" for you..........

I already have my new "Iron Horse". The stars aligned perfectly and I really scored!!! A father and son were travelling in a van from Ohio looking for work. The father decided to sell his Harley for much needed cash. It was awesome when they moved some things out of the way, and fired the bike up in the van. In the van!!! Well, it shouldn't be long now and I'll be on the road again. SWEET!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Have Done The UNTHINKABLE !!!!!

My baby is gone....................................... ;(

Yes, it is true. I sold my beautiful bike. Thankfully, it was like ripping off a scab. The guy came, drooled over it, and asked to see it run. He then asked to test ride it......uh....no. I rode it around a bit and then he bought it. Bing, bang, boom. Ten minutes tops. And now I can barely see to type these sad words out through the tears that are falling on my keyboard. I will not be bike-less for long. I guarantee that my motorcycle mama and I will be flying down the road in no time !!!
At the rate I am selling things off around here, there a couple of boys that need to be worried.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Next V.W. Project Has Officially Started

I do not know how long it will take, but we have started on the '66 bus. The first thing we had to do was clean out a decade worth of tossing parts into it. These old busses can haul more than their own weight in their cargo area----one of the first vehicles to do so. We put that attribute to the test!! It was loaded with tons of old V.W. parts---enough to hold our parts swap meet!! It took the boys and I half a day to finish cleaning it out. We built shelves the night before to put alot of it on.

Now that it is all ready to go, you can see it needs a bunch of work. We are excited to get it on the road. As I am up to my elbows in rust, oil, dirt, paint, and a little sweat for the next few months, I will just keep the vision of cruising down the road in my sweet old bus to stay motivated. We will keep you posted.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It is a Sad Sad Day.........&(

My beautiful car going away..............

I do not know if anybody cares, but today was a heart-wrenching day. I had to watch my 1966 V.W. bug being hauled away to its new owner's house. I have had it for over five years, and it has been sitting for 98% of that time. It was time to let it go. Morgan is upset also because she had this fantasy of being able to drive around town racing guys in their jap cars.
Well, I do have another project. So, who knows? Maybe I can get that one going. I just need the right motivation, I guess.........

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

YYYEEE--HHHAAAAWWW!!!!! We finally got out again!!

Denver, Dillon, and I on the trail. Can you believe how big they are getting?!
I am standing on a little rise, or else you would see that Denver is almost as tall as I am.

Simply beautiful. It gets harder to come home after every outing......

Isn't that a great fish!!? I could do this every day!!

I know it has been two months since my last posting, but I have been boycotting. That's right, I have been refusing to post until we went on another adventure. So here is my report.......

We went to Kinder's Crossing which is on East Clear Creek up on the Rim. At the end of October. Yes, it was cold when the sun went down. About 29 degrees. BBBBBRRRRRRRR!!!

Morgan had to cheer so she could not go this time, and that was a bummer. She adds spice to every trip. I made a video for her while we were there, showed it to her when we got home, and she laughed. You will have to ask her about it.

We caught some gigantic trout! It is amazing in how little of water they can hide! By the way, they tasted GOOD.

One of my favorite parts of getting away is the campfire. We sit around talking about whatever we want, laugh our brains out, cook yummy fixin's, and burn stuff. Awesome.

When the mountains call, I have to go. That is all there is to it. This was a new spot for us and it felt a little more untamed, I think. We will probably have to go to warmer places for the next little while-----except if it is just a guy trip.

This was also the first run with the Trooper's new clutch. It worked fantastically. I talked to Dennis about finally getting it done, and we had a good laugh. How long had it been going out? Over four years? Wow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boys will be boys...............

Well, as you can see, the Ring boys have a new toy. It is a snowboard fitted with solid rubber 4x4 tires. It is longer than five feet, so I am sure the whole family can fit on it and save on gas. It is all about being GREEN baby !!!! Yeah, whatever. I just hope the next group of photos are not from the emergency room that knows us by name...........

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Where is Monica, and who is her new friend ???

Monica and I went on a road trip and had a wonderful time. It was about 11 hours of driving, so we had plenty of time for talking, laughing, daydreaming, and just taking in the scenery. That is about all the details I can give you, because if I say anymore I may incriminate myself and get in trouble. You will have to ask her about the "mall" she was looking forward to experiencing and ended up being very disappointed. I felt pretty bad about that.
You may recall Deanna's blog about Marvin catching the house on fire. I came to his defense by saying that men seem to be always getting the bad rap. We are not remembered or praised enough for the myriad of things we do on a regular basis for those that we love. From the dazzling to the mundane, day in and day out, we do pretty darn good. Then one little "oops" and that is all anyone remembers. He was beautifying the home by getting rid of that pesky foliage on the front of the house. He was using his new weapon......"The Mighty Weed Burner". Things got a little crazy and after the smoke settled, people forgot about the loving gesture he started out with.
Our house has been besieged by pesky foliage as well, so Monica borrowed "The Mighty Weed Burner" for me to use to save our home. This shows great love and confidence on her part towards me, knowing how quickly things got out of hand at her parents' house. First of all, this contraption is connected to the propane tank of a BBQ!!! This is a serious weapon. Turn on the gas, light the end, and everything is calm, quiet, ready. When I pulled the trigger on this thing, it sounded like a jet taking off at Luke Air Force base. The happy and unsuspecting green foliage was turned into flattened, blackened, smoking piles of ash in the blink of an eye. Yes, I blinked. In fact, my eyes were squeezed shut in terror. The flame and heat shoot out so far, I can burn weeds from 8 feet away!! If I point the nozzle down and pull the trigger, my feet leave the ground and I hover to the next spot to do battle. My kids followed me around with the garden hose to keep the smoke down so none of the neighbors would call the fire department. Clearly, it was not Marvin's fault.
Hopefully, I have cleared Marvin's name. Loving husband and father. Man.

Friday, July 31, 2009


I. Am. Hot. Not Dennis' green chile hot. Not "brown chicken brown cow" hot. Just plain old fashion hot. My kids like to trace the white salt residue on my clothes when the sweat dries.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"CLEARLY" a good time.......

Tell me where this giant Hobo resides, and I will buy you lunch.

Here is the crew at camp. We were making fresh-picked mint tea here.

This is a great shot of Dillon cliff-jumping. You can barely see him right under the pine tree
trunk in mid-air. I am blowing this one up. Fantastic!!!!!

You know it was a great backpacking weekend when everyone is talking about the next trip while heading home. East Cleer Creek is so much fun. Trout fishing and cliff jumping.......who could ask for more?

We had a full team this time. Susie and Micah, Allen, Brian, Jonathon, and the Rings. (Oh, and Buddy, the dog) Can you imagine if we had some more people come? Wow.

Some might complain about the rain, but not me. Monsoon season up on the Rim is simply beautiful. A good tarp and a good book is all you need. (And Monica's "Goody Bags")

Susie and Micah lost parts off their car taking it down the high-clearance road that was filled with mud bogs and rock-crawling technical areas. It reminded me of Monica and I taking our Plymouth Sundance all over Arizona's backroads in our earlier years.

You may have noticed the picture of the Giant Hobo. I threw that in here as a sort of Arizona Travels Quiz. If you can tell me the exact location of the Hobo, I will buy you lunch. If you live far away and get it right, I will get your lunch to you. Can you ship Taco Bell via U.P.S. ??

Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is what it is all about...................

Lightning and thunder.........................time to go !!!!

I love catching fish, too bad i can't eat this one.

Even Grandma had to try it!

What a beautiful day !!!!! Our outing to Clear Creek was fantastic!! The weather was perfect, the creek was perfect, and the food was perfect. (Deanna spread the mayo on my sandwich with her finger----it was the best.) Micah, Denver, Dillon, and I went cliff-jumping and rope-swinging and it was really cool. Maybe a father should have other thoughts, but I do love watching my family fly through the air with arms and legs flailing, screaming like banshees, and then smacking their various body parts on the water. It is a bonding thing.
We did leave a little early due to the threat of rain, but the trip could not have been any better. Well, maybe an improvement would have been if everybody could have been there........Scott, Kim, Aimee, Dennis, Allen, Danelle, Vince, all the kids, and Marvin. I would love to see Marvin shooting down the water slide!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jurassic Park.......For REAL !!!!

From tiny to humongous, there were a bunch of different tracks!!!
I tried to get a photo to show how this was built up on the island shelf overlooking the desert

Pretty soon I will get my own professional bass show, specializing on catching bass that are only an inch or two bigger than the worm. For people watching their waistlines and such......

I had an interesting week. I went fishing with Brian Steffler below Bartlett Dam. We took two inflatable rafts out with the intention of sleeping in them while we pulled in giant Flathead catfish. Once out on the water, we realized my yacht had a leak. We spent the night together in one raft. Yes, cozy!! Not a single monster took our bait.

I am still working in Flagstaff and we got rained out one day, so we checked out some Indian ruins. It was amazing! You know how you see that landscape with the big flat rock outcrops and the desert is eroded down to expose those giant island shelves? That is where these Indians built this house. It covered the whole top, so it looked like a hovering castle in the middle of the desert. Fantastic!

I then got sent up to the Navajo National Monument to check on their gutter system. When we were working and travelling up there last year, we passed this sign that said "Dinosaur Tracks". We must have passed that sign more than twenty times, and the guys never wanted to stop!! This time I was by myself and I stopped. Now you never know what to expect. Is it going to be one or two cheesy indentions that could be tracks? No, it was awesome!! It looked like it was a watering hole that has since turned to rock. There were a hundred tracks of all different sizes. Some of them, you could see where their claws went into the mud at the end of their toes. Very cool. My brother, Cory, and I found a couple of tracks in the canyon behind our house in Snowflake. I don't think many people believed us. He would have enjoyed seeing all these tracks and how much they looked like the ones we found.
Oh, and I got some work done too...................

Friday, May 15, 2009

Working hard........Playing hard.........

One the coolest formations I have ever seen while spelunking----5 seconds before I pulled
an "Indiana Jones Ice Slide of Death"!!!
I hope any safety people do not see this photo....

I thought I would share a couple of things from my week. First, I am working up in Flagstaff. Missing out on the triple digits in Phoenix? Priceless. This is a remodel job for N.A.U., and it is not fun. The roof is a 45 degree angle, so we are on ropes all day. The school wants to spend as little money as possible, so instead of new panels, we wire brushed and painted over the rusted areas on the metal and re-installed it. (very nasty and very temporary) As you can see from the photo, we had to build a jig, fasten it to the basket, tie the panels to it, and take them up one at a time. The wind blows every afternoon which makes the whole process that much more adventurous!!

I strongly believe in the philosophy: "Work hard, Play hard", so one day after work, I took the guys to the Lava River Cave just outside of Flag. It is simply a tunnel that was created by flowing lava, but it is really cool. Literally. In the cooler months, the water that drips or seeps into the cave freezes. It is always different--you never know what it will look like. This time, a frozen waterfall was just inside the entrance as we made our way down into the cave. It was free-standing. We could put our arms completely around it!! About five seconds after I had my picture taken next to it, I started to move for the next person. I stepped on solid ice and disappeared. I slid down into the black abyss. No light. No idea how far I was going to go. No idea what was waiting at the bottom. Everybody was yelling and then shining their lights down on me. When they saw that I had escaped injury, they all were laughing. Oh well, I am used to that..........

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Better Part of Our Legacy...........

Dillon clearing the winning height-----man, he was flying!!
Gold medal grin?? What is it with kids and taking good pictures?

Our children are capable of a great many things. Hopefully, they tip the balance toward the favorable side. I love my kids and they constantly amaze me with the things they do. A couple of them, which I will not name, seem to be following after Darth Vader and the Dark Side of the Force. I try to be a loving and supportive father, but their actions sometimes take my patience to the limit.
Then they do something cool.
Does it wipe the slate clean? Not necessarily. I just wish they would do cool things more often. (My idea of cool. Not theirs)
Dillon won first place at his school's Track and Field Day in the high jump. He was then invited to the Regional Track and Field Event. We went today and he got the gold medal for fifth grade at four feet! Simply amazing.
I feel very proud of his abilities, and I like to think that I had something to do with it. But I know better. When our kids do something awesome, we might think we are leaving an incredible legacy. When they do something less than great, we have to brush the dust off and help them continue on.
But I will take gold medals any day............

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No, I just can't get enough............

Woods Canyon Lake at its finest. (Yes, that is snow.)
My beautiful catch. As you can see, our camp was on the very edge of the Rim.

Grandpa said "Bryan looked like the Beverly Hillbillies when he left." Then he busted up laughing. Well, it worked.

Yep, I did it again. I braved the Mogollon Rim Country in April. It was really cold, super windy, tons of snow, and several black bears. Well......no bears, but the gigantic ravens did get into Don's rubbermaid tote, despite the rocks he put on top of the lid. Uncle Bryan (Ring side) invited me to go on the annual Guys On The Rim Fishathon 2009. How could I say "no"?! It was a total blast! Everybody caught something and I am eating trout for dinner tonight. It does not get any better than that.

As you can see in the photos, Bryan and Grandpa Ring threw together a boat rack (made out of 2x4's) so Bryan could bring Grandpa's boat. The guys were falling over themselves laughing when Bryan came bouncing, creaking, and clunking down the dirt road to camp, but he caught trout. (None of them were laughing anymore when they got to ride in the boat!!)

These guys cooked some amazing grub. We had potatoes and sauteed onions,barbecued beef ribs, venison cutlets, ranch style beans, and ELK steaks. That was one dinner!! I was in heaven.

The snow along the banks of the lake was beautiful. There was a Bald Eagle circling over the lake, but I couldn't get good picture of it. It was too good to be true. This was the best time I have ever had at Woods Canyon Lake. I just can't get enough.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

And One Little Piggy Stayed Home........

Denver going after some trout

Monica being silly. (But she wanted trout too!!!)

Dillon would still be in this spot if we did not make him come home.

We went on another adventure, this time to "Fisherman's Point" on Haigler Creek. Again. This one of our new sweet spots. It is off the beaten path, but still easy to get to. It was a beautiful weekend.

Morgan sustained some injuries while sliding in to home, and scoring the only run for her team. She is playing softball for the Cortez Colts. We missed her so much on this trip. Especially her stories and humor around the campfire. We were also short one pack to distribute our supplies for the weekend, but that is not why we missed her. Really. We decided she is coming next time, even if we have to borrow an electric cart from the grocery store!!

We caught two trout and they were yyyyyyuuuuummmmmmmmyyyyyy!!!! Denver continued his tradition and ate their brains. One of the trout was really big and on the larger fish, the boys like to cut open their stomachs to see what they ate. When I was taking him off the hook, a crawdad came out of his mouth! He had three more crawdads in his stomach!! One very hungry trout for some hungry RINGS !!

We had a "father to sons" learning experience while we were there. The boys wanted to throw their hatchets and stick them in trees. I explained to them that they needed special throwing hatchets and lots of practice or it would not work. Dillon proved me wrong by standing about twelve feet away from a tree and perfectly throwing his hatchet into it. I did not authorize this event and they were doing it off in the distance where they thought we could not see, but I saw it and it was pretty cool. I am not exactly sure who learned what, but it did not go as I planned it. (Typical Ring style.)

As you can see from the pictures, this is one of those places that is just paradise. Perfect. We were very sad that one little piggy had to stay home................

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The End of an Era.......

The Winning Stable of 2009 Ring Derby Cars

Well it is bound to happen I guess. The world keeps turning, we get older, and we have to pass the torch to the next generation. Today was the last Pinewood Derby for the Ring family. We will miss the feel of pine, the smell of burning graphite, and ruining Mom's expensive craft paint brushes. We pulled out all the stops for our final run. The boys got some design ideas from a really cool book, we did some research online, and we locked ourselves in Grandpa Ring's workshop to work some magic.

As you can see in the photo, Dillon did awesome!! He named his the "Yellow Monster". All of the painted accessories are his weights. He got First Place in his age group and the Rings drive their derby cars off in the sunset as Champions!! In one of his races, his car came out of its lane, and slid sideways across the finish in first. It was pretty cool.
I threw in the pic of Morgan and Dillon not only because it is a great shot, but also because it is a one in a million view of a natural Dillon smile in a photo. Very rare---trust me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back in the saddle again.........

Denver and Dillon proving their manliness in Clear Creek

My last day at work on the Reservation

I have hiked through the Grand Canyon in the dead of summer, backpacked down cliffs and in the frigid waters of Willow Valley, wrestled Flatheads that weighed more than my inflatable raft, and the adventures continue on.

However, computers get the best of me. I have not been on here for months out of fear of trying to get past some technical glitches. It took the urgings of some visiting family and the patience and knowledge of my wife to get me back on here. Thank you Monica.

I worked most of the winter up on the Navajo Indian Reservation. (Very cold) So I am very eager for the 2009 Backpacking season. We kicked it off with a trek up West Clear Creek. It was a simple, but beautiful weekend. We even got Susie and Micah to join us. We are going to make Micah a mountain man yet!!!