Thursday, December 29, 2011


On Tuesday we got a phone call from our friend Chuck. He and his wife Cindy were en route to Scottsdale so Cindy could have Laser surgery on her back. They called us from the Loves gas station in Quartzsite. I went over there and guided them to our place.


They could only spend about an hour with us but it was nice to see them. They may stop by again on their way home.

Junior had invited Dave and Jo Ann to go on the Wednesday jeep ride. Jo Ann didn’t want to go and Dave is having trouble with his hands. Around 8:15 there was a knock on my door. It was Dave. He asked if I wanted to go on the ride and drive his Jeep for him. Of course I said yes.

We left the park around 8:45 and drove to the house of the couple that were to lead the trip.


There were eight vehicles; seven Jeeps and one Tracker. We got underway a little after 9:00 and headed north on Highway 95 to Parker where we turned east on Shea Rd. We followed Shea Rd. to the trail to the Vampire mine.


We climbed the mountain on a very narrow trail.


New Jeeps are about seven to ten inches wider than my old YJ depending on the width of the tires. There were a few places where I was wondering if the new Jeeps might be too wide to get through but Dave’s jeep squeezed through without much problem.


We crossed a few deep washes with big rocks in the bottoms and some tight turns to negotiate. Dave’s Jeep did just fine. The view from the mine was very nice.


From the Vampire Mine we continued east on Shea Rd. and drove through Slot Canyon.


From there we drove toward the Swansea Mine passing an arch rock.


We had lunch at Swansea


and spent some time wandering around looking at the shafts and old buildings.


From Swansea we took a trail that follows an old railroad route


to the Lincoln Ranch road and followed it to Bouse and then home on Plomosa Road. Even though I had been to most of these places except for the Vampire it was a good ride.

I guess I should give you some of my impressions of Dave’s new 2011 jeep.

I found the ride very comfortable even in the rough stuff. The seats are comfortable and fit around your butt and back keeping you in place when going through whoop-ti-doos and over bumps. The engine, a V6 has plenty of power. The handling is very good. We had to go through some real tight twists and turns and it did fine although I was afraid that I might tear off parts on some of the big rocks in the narrow spots. The only things that I didn’t care for was the over all width and the hood is very wide and hard to see around when going over drops where you can’t see the road ahead. Although I prefer a manual transmission the automatic in Dave’s jeep has a hold back feature that works well. When going down real steep grades you can push a button on the dash and the transmission holds you back and keeps your speed down to about two miles per hour so you don’t have to use the brakes.

It was fun to drive a new jeep. Now if only the parts for Clifford would just come in so I can get it back on the road.

Monday, December 26, 2011


I wasn’t going to do a blog for today because there wasn’t much to say. We had a good Christmas dinner at the Blue Water Casino yesterday and had fun playing cards last night at Becky and Dennis’s place.

The real reason for this blog today is to show you a couple of pictures.

I was sitting in the back yard enjoying the waterfall sounds when a mountain quail flew over my head with a hawk in hot pursuit.

It was pretty exciting but of course it all happened to fast to get a picture of it.

After ten minutes or so the hawk came back and flew into one of the Palo Verde trees that bracket our patio.

This time he stuck around long enough for me to get these pictures.




Okay that’s it.

Oh! Still no Jeep parts.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Merry Christmas!

Clear and cold in Quartzsite this morning. At 7:55 it is 30 degrees. It should get up into the mid 60’s today.

The Jeep is still off line, no parts yet. I hope it will be fixed by the first of the year.

We are going to Parker to day with Becky, Dennis, Debby, Mike, Jo Ann and Dave for Christmas Dinner at the Blue Water Casino buffet. We went their for Thanksgiving and it was very good. We’ll se what happens today. The plan was for us to eat around 2:00 and then let the “girls” gamble for a couple hours while the “boys” went to the adjoining theater to watch a movie. As it turns out there are no movies playing today so I don’t know what us guys will do while the women are gambling. We will Probably just sit around and swap lies.

I still have one more chapter to write in the next installment of Jacks adventures. Then it will have to be edited. Maybe it will get published by the first of the year. I’ll let you know.

Ok well, I guess that’s about it for today.

Friday, December 23, 2011


The last couple of days it has been cold and windy.

The exhaust system on the jeep is falling apart so on Wednesday we went to Blythe, CA to do some shopping and check to see if there is a muffler shop there. The only place is the Goodyear auto repair center. I stopped to talk to them about getting it repaired. The guy there told me that I would have to make an appointment for the next day to get an estimate; then I would have to make another appointment to get the work done. Blythe is 20 miles from Quartzsite so that didn’t sound like a good plan. While we were in Blythe we did some shopping and bought some flowers to put around the pond.


Yesterday I took the jeep to Best Auto Repair in Quartzsite to see if they would fix the exhaust system. While we were checking it out with the motor running I  noticed that the fan was wobbling. It turned out that the water pump bearing is shot so that has to be changed as well. While they were preparing the estimate I found out that since the jeep is registered in California they had to order the parts from a dealer in CA. It is illegal to weld the muffler and catalytic converter together so it has to be purchased as a unit and only from the dealer. The end result is that it will cost me twice as much as it would if the jeep were registered in AZ. I just Love California and their stupid environ-mental laws. The parts are on order.

We won’t be going into the desert or any where else until the jeep is fixed. I don’t want the water pump to fail far from home especially in the middle of the desert.

It is still cold but so far the wind hasn’t come up. If it stays calm we may go shoot some clays this afternoon. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The first day of winter and at 8:45 am. under a clear blue sky, it is 39 degrees.

On Sunday we went to Yuma. I needed to get some stuff at Harbor Freight. From there we went to visit Patti’s sister Dianne and brother-in-law Wayne. They are doing better than we expected although Wayne is 77 and starting to have health issues. Dianne has lost some weight and is looking better that the last time we visited them.

Monday I unpacked the stuff that I bought and set up my new air compressor.

In the evening we played cards with Becky, Dennis, Shirley, Bill, and Jo Ann and Dave. We had a lot of laughs.

Yesterday we finally made the trip over Preachers Pass.


It is a fun trail with steep inclines


and rough boulder strewn washes.




Eventually we got to the wash where there is an abundance of desert rose, which is a type of quartz. We had lunch in there


and spent a couple hours walking along it picking up fragments of Desert rose.


From there we wandered around the desert looking for the trail back to where Dennis parked his truck.


After visiting several cul-de-sacs we finally made the loop and got back  to the truck around 4:00.

It was another good day in the desert.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Missy and Junior have bee going out every Wednesday with another group of jeepers. They have been finding new places to explore so yesterday they guided us on a ride.

In the group were; Missy, Junior, Jo Ann, Dave, Becky, Dennis, Patti and me.

We drove east on I-10, took the exit for Highway 60 and continued east to the town of Salome where we headed north into the desert. We followed a wide dirt road to a spot where Becky and Dennis could park their truck and off load their Rhino.

From there, we followed a narrow trail across the flats and into the mountains.



The first stop was a pretty cool mine.



Junior, Dennis, Dave and I


walked into the tunnel about 200 feet where we came to a bridge over a deep hole.


The tunnel continued for about another hundred feet


but we stopped at the bridge, it looked to shaky to cross safely.

On the way down the hill from that mine we discovered a second tunnel.


This one turned out to be interesting as it had the remnants of ore car tracks


and further back we found some stalactites



and drapery.


Which is a rare thing around here since there is so little water in the ground.

We left this mine


and took the trail over “Cottonwood Pass”. It’s a really cool road that was built up with stones stacked on the hillside.



I guess that is what you do when you don’t have a bulldozer.

We stopped at the top of the pass to look at the view.


Jo Ann found a small yucca that she had to have.


Unfortunately it had to be cut into three pieces to get into their jeep.


I’m not sure what she is going to do with it. 

We stopped for lunch out of the wind in a wash on the other side of the pass.


After lunch we drove a short distance to this dug out house in the side of a wash. Apparently the house was built in 1913.



Central heating?


The group posed for a picture


From here we drove around the desert looking for the trail over Tank Pass. Eventually we found the right road and drove over the pass.


One spot was a bit challenging but everyone made it with out any trouble.


On the east side of the pass we came to what they called the transfer station.  When Junior mentioned it I thought he was talking about a place where trash is transferred to trucks to take it to a land fill. As it turned out this was a place where back in the 1800’s they held  prisoners enroot to the federal prison at Yuma.


The front of this holding cell originally had iron bars and an iron door.


It was only a short ride from here to Dennis’s truck.

We were home by 4:30. It was a super ride. Thanks Junior!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Yesterday, we took a ride with Becky and Dennis. Everyone else was had other things to do.

We had planned to go over the south Plomosa Mountains on a narrow, steep trail that goes east over Preachers Pass. When we got to where the trail splits, the right trail going over the mountains to the east and the left trail going north on the west side of the mountains,


we noticed dark clouds hugging the peaks.



After some discussion we decided that since the Rhino is an open vehicle, if it did rain Becky and Dennis would get very wet. We elected to stay on the west side so if it rained they could make it home easier.

We took the left trail over Ibex Pass. Along the way we noticed that there were some new mining claim stakes on the Climax Mine.


While we were stopped to check the claims, the girls noticed a large bird sitting on a rock about two hundred yards off.


It looked so big that at first we thought it was an eagle. We watched it for a while and eventually it took flight and we realized that it was a large hawk.

We continued on our way over the pass enjoying the scenery.




We stopped in one of the washes on the north side for lunch.


After lunch we continued north and west stopping to visit some mines along the way.



We wandered around for a couple of hours riding the merry-go-round as I like to call it. You know, round and round and up and down. Through gullies over steep hills and along narrow washes.


It never did rain so B & D stayed dry all day. Around 3:00 we headed for home.

As always, we had a fun ride.