Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Black Mailbox - Rachel, Nevada

The conspiracy theorists say if you want to see some future tech you can stand in the desert at night and the sky may reveal the future to you... if you're standing at the Black Mailbox that is, along SR375 near Rachel, Nevada. (Southeastern Nevada between Crystal Springs and Warm Springs, sanctioned by Nevada as the Extraterrestrial Highway.)

I knew nothing about this mailbox with a story until last month when I watched the 2011 comedy DVD Paul starring Simon Pegg (perhaps best known as Scotty on the newest Star Trek movie) and his screen partner Nick Frost, who is known to be quite funny.

 Why is the geography cool? Because it's so damn hot. I'll explain, no there is too much, I'll sum up. At 282ft below sea level, Death Valley, the lowest point in North America sits right under Nellis Air Force Base/SR 375 and the highest point in the 48 states is Mount Whitney just 86 miles away (14,505ft). What the hell? Add to that the statistics for each, including highest temp ever recorded in North America happens to be at Death Valley's Furnace Creek and you've got a reason that UFO's may visit that location. Maybe they like it hotter than we do? Or they like the sauna effect of flying from the hottest heat to the freezing peak of a mountain in the blink of an oversized eye? OOoooo frosty: The Frost Connection.

The technology described by Bob Lazar on a fascinating episode of Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell that I heard over ten years ago has lodged in my brain as the evidence that we have "miles to go before we sleep" (to quote Robert Frost [a Frost connection?]) The geographic location of the black mailbox is certainly fascinating, and I would love to hear from the postal champion who delivers the mail to the black mailbox, in the wilds of Nevada's 89001 zip. Beam me up a postcard?

Lazar described his work on other world craft, suggesting his work was performed at an oxymoronically secretive place in the desert of Nevada near the famous lone mailbox now known as "The Black Mailbox", even though it is white now. (see Ebony and Ivory)

We can't yet direct a beam of gravity to fall our way forward into the night sky in our Element 116 powered vehicle, we simply light a fire inside a box of metal and pour gas on that fire (internal combustion), and the pistons "catch" these explosions with other hardware to transmit that force to the wheels of our postal jeeps, etc. While admittedly falling our way down the road, it is not quite in a Directed Gravity fashion. Will the UFO people bring me a flying car?

When life today is compared to the technologies of the future, it is clear that we hammer out these internet posts and cell phone messages on mere toys and the real goods are yet to come. Here is a note on the Postal Service's most/least secretive new tech, from  
The Postal Service moves mail using planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, float planes, hovercrafts, T-3s, street cars, mules, bicycles and feet.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

 Just off Highway 84 twenty-some miles East of Portland, OR in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, you'll find Bridal Veil Post office. 97010 map
They hand cancel over 100,000 wedding invitations each year.
It's not much bigger than a mini-van. Free standing Post Offices don't get much smaller than this. But it is big on charm and long in the tooth. The post office has been here for 125 years and still going strong. The Bridal Veil Historical Preservation Society Anniversary Party is l0am to 3pm on July 7th, 2012 and that happens to be my wife and mine's wedding anniversary - how serendipitous bein's that Bridal Veil is world famous with brides. If you are a 7-7-07 like we are, come on out to Bridal Veil Post Office and celebrate your fifth and their 125th at this one-of-a-kind Post Box with a Story.

A look at their world famous drop slot. Not much to write home about on that, but, you could write home or at least send 'em a post card, so whadaya want, gold trim??

SPECIAL POST MARKED: Here's a look at the cancel stamps you can request, and who could fault a bride for wanting to spruce up her invites mailed right here?

Just past the post office is the Historic Route 30 which takes you to Bridal Veil Falls and all the other waterfalls along this "Gorge"geous, did we make that punny enough, waterfall drive. Hiking is available too, here's a look at the well groomed and very well marked hiking area for Angel's Rest Trail.
 The lord's pièce de résistance in this watershed has to be Multnomah Falls. It's the second highest waterfall in the continental US, and you don't want to miss the hotdog stand there either.
 Follow Highway 84 a small number of miles east and you'll encounter Bonneville Dam which has wonderful free tours, locks, fish ladders and is pumping out more electricity than California, Oregon or Washington can muster toward a  Brownout situation. Check out a 450 pound sturgeon... take the dam tour! if you want.

Just 8 miles past Bonneville you'll see exits for Cascade Locks where your car will cost you a $1 toll to cross the Bridge of the Gods. Directly on the Washington Shore you'll see this sign.
And this sign. The Pacific Crest Trail is a hiking trail that is open to anyone who wants to hike fourteen of the highest mountain passes in North America all on one trail from Canada to Mexico. This otherwise alpine trail crosses the Columbia River Gorge on the Bridge of the Gods, so if you have been over the Bridge of the Gods you have been on the Pacific Crest Trail... with your car. That's not typically allowed, although there are places the trail aligns with roads.

(special thanks to S. Brennan and D. Reid DeMeo for the geek factoids!)  The Postal Service has the world’s largest civilian fleet and the world’s largest alternative fuel–enabled fleet of vehicles.
(Maybe they should be inventing my flying car? Put at least one guy on it? Hmmm, a flying mail jeep, didn't DaVinci draw one of those?) :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Historic Washington Park mail drop. This little box is located in the Zoo Store at the OREGON ZOO. The Zoo is in Portland, Oregon and Washington Park is a lovely hillside sanctuary connected to Portland's Forest Park, the largest park within a city in the United States. Washington Park offers the Portland Rose Garden, Japanese Garden and the Hoyt Arboretum as well as the Zoo. This little post box will allow your letters to be SPECIAL POST MARKED with an Oregon Zoo stamp.

Three Cheers for the Zoo!!! Hippo Hippo Hooray!

They specialize in Elephas Maximus and celebrated the 50 year birthdate of Packy this past month. Take a look at their website  if you like.

(special thanks to S. Brennan and D. Reid DeMeo for the geek factoids!)

Innovative Technologies -- The Postal Service has the largest gantryrobotic fleet in the world using 174 systems to move 314,000 mail trays per day.

 (Isn't that an elephant sized workload?!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This little cabin was originally the Camp Roganunda mailbox that young campers would use to send their letters home to mom and pop while at camp fire USA outings near White Pass in Washington State. The camp closed in 2010 and my wife, who camped there a number of years as a youth put in a bid and won the mailbox. We use it today. The front porch roof opens up for mail slot deliveries and the top opens for easier access. It isn't the most weather proof but this little mailbox has all those great memories clamoring around in there.
The camp recently sold to a church and will continue to inspire youth. Three cheers! Chick-a-rocka chickaboom!
On a street in suburban america that just happens to have a landing strip behind the houses! All the homes along the air strip also have hangars for airplanes, besides the two or three car garage. Every once in a while you hear the drone of a Cessna making its way into the sky or putting its wheels on the grass. Gotta have some Wright Brother's chutspas to be able to afford this "postbox story". Kittyhawk, where's my flying car?