Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

4Sep/180

Midnight Train to Big G

Driving back into Galena the night of my birthday, Hen was thrilled to keep the top down on the MZ—but that was nothing compared to his reaction when, from the highway, we heard the rumble of a distant freight train. I immediately turned off the road and made a beeline down the hill, whipping out my phone on the way. Check out our close encounter with the iron horse. 🚂☺️

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27Aug/180

Custom Cruisin’

With Mom-O off working hard in LA, the dudes & I decided to head up the road on Saturday to check out the Good Guys hot rod show. Hen was in heaven, and I’m surprised he didn’t have to ice his thumb after popping it up in front of so many cars. 🙂 Despite the heat & his lack of interest in the subject, Finn was a great sport—encouraged a bit by the strategic application of a root beer float. Following the show we pulled the Westy into the adjacent RV campground where a lot of the ‘rodders & their rides were spending the night.

Check out this gallery showing some of the amazing rides we got to see.

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22Aug/180

Picking a Winner

Antiques-loving Hen spent all summer vibrating with anticipation of visiting Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, Iowa, not too far from Galena. It’s run by Mike & Frank of American Pickers—his favorite show, and beforehand he read Kid Pickers—a birthday gift from Grandma Nack, written by Mike & Galenian Lily Sprengelmeyer.

When our trip finally arrived, we zoomed up from Springfield, then across the river to the shop. Hen was thrilled not only to find a great piece—the taillight (?) from a 1958 Buick, but to bargain with Mike’s childhood friend and shake on a great deal! Given that it was found in Illinois, we like to think that the Buick might’ve been sold by Great Grandpa Liggett, or possibly to Great Grandpa Nack. 🙂

Afterwards we stopped off for some German food while Hen picked some old railroad shrapnel near a thrillingly active train line. Check out the gallery here.

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19Aug/180

Visiting The Pond

Much as we’ve done in 2014 (gallery) and last year (gallery), on this trip to Big G we had a blast visiting our cousins Tom & Sarah Nack’s pond.

As we approached this year, I found myself eyeing my rearview mirror thinking, “Huh, I didn’t know that Galena Trolleys came out this far…” Well, they don’t except when Uncle Ted is behind the wheel! He was in the process of dropping off Ruby following Jenna’s birthday party, so our arrival was followed by a bus full of tired but happy 7-year-old girls. 🙂

Finn & Gus did some amazing synchronized jumping; Hen revolutionized his kayaking game; the dudes fed catfish bread with the occasional side of toe (!); and Hen & Ruby constructed some superb earthworks before getting wild with the hose. Check out the gallery plus a short video below:

And heres's a 360º panorama that you can click & drag to move around:

17Aug/180

First Day of School 2018

Look at these handsome gentlemen; just look at ‘em! 🙂

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Here they salute us with “The Gentleman’s Dab.”

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And finally they demonstrate some of “the freshest emotes of 2018.” (It’s a video game thing, Mom. :-p)

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14Aug/181

Mom & the Valkyries

Ah, nothing like a glorious Sunday morning in Big G. to accidentally terrorize my mom with my drone. 😬🚁😌 Here’s a quick shot (music courtesy of Wagner) of the device approaching the house (“It looks like a giant insect!” she said before shutting the door), plus a nice little overhead image. Stay tuned for more soon!

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26Jul/180

Railroad men, young & old

These days (evenings, specifically) G-Man is fond of asking that we grab our bikes, hit the streets, and head out for some quality trainspotting. His friend Damien, whose grandma's backyard abuts the tracks, has suggested that she build a rooftop deck just so that Hen can come over & watch the iron horses go by. 😌 Last night we took my drone with us & were rewarded with a great moment!

From a bit earlier, here's an unplanned abstract shot of Mini-Me & Me awaiting the train:

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And ultimately we were rewarded with a wave from the Caltrain engineer:

23Jul/180

Acquisitive Minds

Henry’s little sensors are running full blast these days to detect every bit of vintage ephemera, from bottle caps to old cars. Yesterday he took Finn & me on a bike journey to inspect a neighborhood find—a beautiful old 40’s Chevy. Now he’s all over me to buy it: “Dad, it’s only twenty grand!!” Heh—I can’t blame him for trying. For now the ride will live in his mind—and in this little gallery of pics

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17Jul/180

Twin Lakes, Twin Moons

For our last full day in Leadville, the fam headed over to nearby Twin Lakes (near Twin Peaks) to take a boat tour that let us explore the historic Interlaken Hotel and surrounding area.

The highlight of the trip by far occurred during our return trip to shore. As we passed through the narrow channel between the lakes, a pair of hiking ladies & their large dog hailed our boat, looking for a quick lift to the other side. Little did we know that a 60-something German "naturalist" had shed his clothes & was swimming over to them. We got more than an eyeful as he popped out of the water to give the ladies a hearty "Gutenmorgen!" Thankfully he eventually covered himself with a rock & opted to duck back below the surface instead of coming aboard the boat. Too bad we didn't ask him for a German word that means "The feeling of horrified delight that fills 9-to-13-year-old boys watching such a scene." 😝

Here's a little gallery (featuring only a half naked German) from the adventure.

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6Jul/180

Metal, Detected!

For many, many months, our budding junk (er, treasure) collector Henry has been obsessively watching YouTube channels that demonstrate the fine art of metal detecting. Accordingly, he’s been badgering us to buy him some crazy-expensive kit like the pros use. Happily we were able to talk him down to a much more reasonable little starter kit, and as we hoped he went SUPER BERSERK upon receiving it as an early birthday present. (Our G-Man is nothing if not reliably expressive. 😝) Here’s a little gallery showing the unveiling plus a first treasure-hunting mission with Finn & Charlie.

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5Jul/180

Happy Birthday, America!

Greetings from 10,000ft.! As we’ve gotten to do in many past years, we checked in on America’s highest Fourth of July parade—this year complete with vintage fire trucks, marching lions, hailstorms of thrown candy, and more. Afterwards Henry went BERSERK over his new metal detector (more on that later!) and the whole fam journeyed to a nearby campground to picnic. Here’s a little gallery & some quick video highlights:

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4Jul/180

Riding the Rockies!

We’ve taken the boys on the Leadville & Colorado Southern scenic railroad a number of times since they were teeny. This year’s ride was more special than the rest. Grandpa Liggett treated each guy to a trip that included riding in the caboose and in the engine! Needless to say, Henry was beside himself with excitement, and Finn was pretty jazzed, too. The engine pushes the train up the mountains from behind, so the caboose is in the lead on the way up. The boys loved sitting high in the cupola and enjoyed the 360-degree scenic view from the top. The brakeman, Jason, let us ride on the outer deck of the caboose and take in the scenery from there.

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When the train made a brief stop at the top, Henry hopped off solo (against the advice of the brakeman) in hopes of finding a stray railroad spike. Just as Henry found one and put his foot back on the step of the caboose, the horn blew and the train started rolling again! On the way back down to the depot all four of us sat in the huge diesel engine and chatted extensively with the railroad owner & engineer, Derek, who’s been manning the controls since he was a teenager (supervised by his own dad back in the day). All in all the day was a blast, and one we hope will provide some happy core memories for both guys.

Here’s a gallery from the adventure, and you can watch the highlights below:

Being a nostalgic guy, I can’t resist posting a vid of the first time the lads rode the train, all the way back in 2011:

That’s the day they got to explore a whole fleet of motorcars with Patrick & Charlie; see gallery & video here:

30Jun/180

Buffalo nickels, won’t you come out tonight…

We’ve always known that on some level, Henry’s always been something of a 65-year-old man 😌. Therefore it’s no surprise that he loved spending the afternoon in the company of such guys, nerding out about all things currency at the Modesto Coin Show. Sticking out so clearly from most of the attendees, Hen was kind of charming & fascinating to them, and folks treated him so kindly, offering all kinds of little goodies. Below you can see the short “haul vid” he recorded after we got home, as well as a handful a photos I snapped during the show.

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27Jun/180

Four-Wheeling Farmers

As they have during previous visits, on Saturday the boys got a huge kick out of visiting our friends Matthias & Samantha’s house & newly acquired farm. After witnessing the end of the Germany-Sweden World Cup match (and learning some, um, colorful German words shouted by Matthias & his dad :-p), they headed out for some four-wheeling and visiting the new herd. Henry immediately laid claim to some decrepit farm equipment in a corner of the pasture, and Bert the Buffalo enjoyed bonding with his fellow ruminants. Here’s a gallery from the day.

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11Jun/180

Las Madres 2018: Uvas Canyon

Well, another year of camping with our pals from Las Madres is officially in the books! Building on adventures from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 (what a time machine!), we headed down to Uvas Canyon (about 45 minutes south by car from San Jose) to enjoy some epic creek exploration, stick battling, talent showing (at which Finn served as MC), wild scootering, and of course s’more-roasting. When not marveling at the clouds of migrating butterflies, we happily showed off the Westy to our slightly jealous pals as they set up their tents, and Friday being Margot’s birthday, we dug into a gorgeous cake made by our pal & fellow madre Lorraine. Check out our gallery of the dudes & their pals in action.

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26May/180

Take Your Kids To Work Day 2018

From our first outing in 2015 through installments in 2016 and 2017, Google’s annual Take Your Kids To Work Day has provided unique adventures each time. This year both guys joined me and enjoyed a parrot show, performed some ostensibly scientific explorations with slime, tried their hand at drawing Google Doodles, grabbed stickers & Android figurines at the company store, and wrapped up with hot dogs at The Sports Page. Here’s a quick peek at our day:

22May/180

A Van Down By The River

Chris Farley was a prophet. 🚐💦😝 Check out a few sights captured around our campsite last weekend.

16May/180

Above Big Sur

During our recent getaway to Big Sur, the guys & I did a bit of droning over & through the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge. Check out the fruits of our labors—featuring brief cameos from me, Hen, & the Westy:

14May/180

Pulling In, Popping Up, and Cooling Out in the Delta

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This Saturday saw the Sqrlpod hit the road for Brannan Island, which is in the Delta area to the northeast of Oakland. We departed on Saturday around lunchtime and stopped for tacos in Oakland, where John received what had to be the world's largest burrito. That bad boy weighed (no joke) at least 5 lbs, and sustained John throughout the weekend - providing the equivalent of about 4-5 meals! The boys happily wolfed down their tacos, which they deemed Best Tacos Ever, then we continued our drive up to the island.

We camped at a little state recreation area, which was quite nice, with huge camp sites that were quite spread out along the grassy banks of the island. It can be incredibly windy there, and the currents are strong so swimming is not advisable unless you're wearing a life vest AND are an Olympic-grade swimmer. We enjoyed the quietude and the views, and Henry and John set out for the drawbridge for some droning and land-based photos. After nighttime s'mores over the campfire, some games, and lots of reading, we hit the sack, then pulled out late Sunday morning. Here's a little gallery from our adventure.

 

1May/180

Big Sur, Big Fun

“The greatest meeting of land and sea in the world”—so the Big Sur coastline has been called, and so it is. With Mom-O out of town for the weekend, the dudes & loaded up the Westy with plenty of delicious, unhealthy crap, then trundled down to Bixby Creek Bridge (under which we spent a glorious day back in 2014). We buzzed around with the drone, took some epic selfies, and then headed down to Ventana campground for the night. (No, Dad, we didn’t take any head trips with Timothy Leary at nearby Napenthe. 😜) Here’s a little gallery from our adventure.

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