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.

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