Saturday, June 9, 2012

The trailer Gods are testing us!

June 8th 2012 Start in Flagstaff, AZ end in Kernville, CA in Sequoia National Forest.

E.O. Wilson said " There is no greater high than discovery." I am pretty sure he was talking about nature, but this sure applies to discovering your travel trailer as well. I can honestly say that we have had some pretty major adrenalin rushes the past few days.

Day three of our bug adventure, all we want to do is get somewhere where we can stop driving this trailer and just collect bugs! This trailer hauling business is not for sissy's. Since Arizona does not have day light savings time, and it was light out at 4AM (preparing us for the 24 or so hours of light in Alaska), we decided to leave early so we can get to Sequoia National Forest at a decent time and get organized, relax a bit and black light for insects. We get up early to start putting the trailer together and find that one of our tires resembles a mountain range; there were rather large peaks and valleys in it! NOT GOOD! At this point the trailer Gods are testing us! The up side is we got to change a flat in the comfort of our one day rental dirt pad home. Luckily it was 5 AM and not many people were up. We got our massive red bumper jack off the side of our truck (yes, we do use this, it does not just look cool!) and found it very easy to change the tire. We were happy to do this at a RV park and not on the side of an interstate with semi's flying by taking our lives into their hands with every gust of wind.

The mechanic in Flagstaff said that our tire was separating on the inside which would cause it to sway, he also noticed our tires were from 2005. Despite the fact that the other three tires still looked good, since most of its life the trailer sits in a lot with Texas heat beating on it allowing dry rot and other devastating things to take their toll, we decided we deserved new tires. We got 5 new tires and 2 new rims. Yes 2 rims, one was bent (a result of the tire separation) and we wanted two full spares in case something happens on the Alaskan highway! We now have 4 of the best trailer tires you can buy and 2 full spares. With our luck so far, I am sure something will necessitate their usage.

Ok, not leaving by 7 AM we left at 10AM. We took the opportunity to hit the grocery store across the street and fill up on drinks and misc. supplies. We got on the road only to discover that we were driving in some major wind. Let's just say the hitchhikers we saw were having a difficult time staying upright. We think the trailer control has greatly improved, but hard to tell since we are basically driving a huge flat kite through the Sierra Nevada's today. We again, will not arrive at our camp site until late, but at least we can start playing in nature again and just relax a bit. We still plan on black lighting at night and I am sure we will have some really cool bug pictures to post!

We are staying near Lake Isabella on the southern most part of Sequoia National Forest just north of Kernville! So far it is beautiful! We can not wait to explore. There is also a Kernville brewery that I know we will visit although we could use something a little harder than beer at this point in the trip!
California and the Mojave Desert are beautiful! We saw some Joshua Trees but did not get pics of them! Hopefully we see them tomorrow and can get some pics they are a mazing!

Kendra and John
- posted from ipad during the international bug expedition 2012


  1. Trailer Gods--Yikes!
    Hope all that gets straightened out!
    Keep us posted regularly.
    Its great to hear how you are doing.

    Good luck on the adventure!

  2. Good luck in discovering new creature species.


About Me

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John is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin. Kendra is a Professor at St. Edwards University in Austin. John has focused on dragonflies and damselflies in his career. He has two books Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-central United States and The Damselflies of Texas. He is currently working on the Dragonflies of Texas. John and Kendra are also currently both working on revising the Peterson Field Guide to Insects of North America. We have had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Latin America, Africa and other parts of the world where we enjoy taking photos of pretty much anything that will allow us to capture its image. We are lucky enough to be able to teach students about the amazing biodiversity we see and to travel and photograph together.