Monday, December 31, 2012


Yesterday we took a good ride.
We met at the fire station north of town and when everyone was there, we drove north toward Parker.
On the way north it started to rain, I turned on the windshield wipers and nothing happened. Now what? I tried the washer and still nothing. Fortunately the rain didn’t last long so I didn’t have to work on them until I got home. It turned out that it was just a plug that had come loose. I plugged it in and all is fine with that.
We turned east on Shea Road and followed it for about twenty miles to where the trail turns off to the Vampire mine.
We call this trail the back way to Vampire mine.

It is a steep rocky track


that is very narrow going around the top.


We stopped at the Vampire mine to take a look around. 


There are a couple of tunnels going into the mountain.



and some old broken mining stuff laying around.



The views from there are grand.


We continued on the trail down the east side of the mountain until we got back to Shea Road.


On Shea Road we headed east to Slot Canyon where we had lunch under a big rock overhang.


After lunch we continued through Slot Canyon.


On the east end of the canyon where it opens into a wash there is a rocky challenge that has an easy go around. Of course we all took the harder route.
I have been over these rocks several times in the past so didn’t anticipate any trouble. Silly me!
I watched Daniel struggle through the rocks and then followed.


I almost made it but was a little to far to the left and my right rear wheel slipped off the rock.


Down into the hole the back wheel dropped. I heard a loud metal to rock collision. Oops! 
It was good that I had the rear lockers on the jeep or I would have had to be towed out of the hole. That would have added insult to body damage. Fortunately the body damage was minimal.


After we all got through this spot we headed west on Shea Rd. to the turnoff to the Bill Williams River and the Planet Ranch. We passed the entrance to Slot Canyon and went about another mile to a trail that goes up the hill to the right. 


The trail ended at a mining area with good views of a large working mine across the valley.


There are a couple of shafts up here but they looked too scary even for me.


After looking around for a while we headed back toward Shea Rd.

About two miles down the road we turned into a wash to the right.
We had been in this wash a couple of years ago but we came down it. This time we were going up it. There are several challenges in this wash but each one has an easier challenge to get around it.


I went around this one.


I went around this one too.


The go around was also a small challenge.



The next challenge was not to bad.


We came to one spot in particular where Dennis (white jeep) had to try it. The rest of us just stood around and took pictures and marveled at where he was capable of taking his jeep.




After that we headed back to Shea Road, Hwy. 95 and home.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Today we went the back way to the Desert Bar.
If you want to know more about the Desert Bar click on the link below.

We all met at the Fire Station on Hwy. 95, North of Quartzsite at 9:00. The temperature was around 33 degrees. There were eight jeeps in the group. I am not going to put all the names here, there are just too many.
We drove North to Parker and followed 95 toward Lake Havasu City. About ten miles from Parker, we rendezvoused at The five Star Gas and Groceries on the right of the highway. The trail starts there. The first hundred yards of the trail are misleading because it is fairly flat and sandy as you drive up a wash.


At the end of the wash is a steep rocky climb.



A little further on you come to an other challenge.




This one is optional, as there is an easy way around it.
Most of us decided to accept the chall
enge. It took me a couple of tries but once I found the right route for 
Clifford we went right over the top.

From there we wandered through the desert enjoying the beautiful scenery 



and the rocky trail.


We stopped at a few mines along the way.


And had lunch near one of them.


After lunch we continued toward the Desert Bar. 
We took a side trip to a mine. There is a split in the trail; one trail goes up a steep rocky hill


to a view point.
From here you can see the Colorado river

and the main road into the D B.

We couldn’t believe how many cars were going back and forth.

The other trail goes up a rocky hill to a flat below a mine. To get to the diggings was a steep climb.


I had already seen this mine and had already done enough climbing today so I didn’t go up to take pictures.

From there we went to the Desert Bar so a few people who had never been there could check it out and get a T shirt.
I took a couple of pictures.



When everyone had done their thing we headed down the main road to Highway 95 and back to Parker where we stopped at Wal Mart to get a few things. From Wal Mart we met with eight other couples at a Mexican restaurant called ‘Maya’.

It was another great ride. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


Today was a catch up day.

I worked on yesterday’s blog. That took most of the morning.

I had to get my nine gallon propane tank filled, so around 10:00 I took it to the Mobil station. They have the best price for propane in town

I needed a wrench to remove the fill plug on the transfer case so we went to K & B tools to buy one. From there we went to the bank to get some cash then stopped by the produce store on the way home. 

Later I topped off the fluid in the transfer case. It wasn’t to low, fortunately. I also checked the other fluids, topped off the power steering and greased a few things on the jeep.

We had to move the RV back about two feet so I lowered it down and disconnected the sewer line. I moved it back, got the RV leveled again and reconnected the sewer line. Now we are set for a while so I put the awnings out.

Tomorrow we are going go the back way to the Desert Bar. I don’t really care for the Desert Bar but the trail is fun. We will have lunch there and then I think we are going to the Eye of the Needle and the cave. I guess I will have to try to get my jeep up into the cave. It is a kind of a jeeper challenge and will be a good test of the new lockers.



Don’t forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Yesterday we took a ride over Tank and Cottonwood pass’.
We were the same four jeeps as on Wednesday. We stopped at Salome to top off with fuel then headed northwest across the flats toward Tank Pass. At first we followed a sandy track toward the mountains.


After a few miles we started up the hill.

Normally when we go over these two passes we go up Cottonwood first and then over Tank Pass. This time we went in the opposite direction which meant that instead of going up the hard parts


we were going down.


Which made it a lot easier. After we got over the rough spot, Dennis (white Jeep) and Daniel driving his Denis’ jeep decided to try going up the roughest part of the pass.
Dennis made it up with very little trouble although he did hang up a little on one boulder.


Then it was Daniel’s turn. He went a little too far to the right and gave us some entertainment.


This is about the most air that I have seen on these trips.


After a few tense moments he made it through.


The rest of the trail, although it was very bumpy, was pretty easy.


We drove around for a while trying to find the correct trail to Cottonwood Pass. Along the way we we saw some of the local “semi wildlife.


One track took us to one of they many abandoned mines in the area.  The tunnel mouth was open but there were several cave-ins further back so we didn’t enter.


Here we stopped for lunch.


After lunch we found the correct route to Cottonwood Pass.

Along the way we took a side trail to see if it went any where.


It was kind of rough but turned out to be a dead end.

Back on the trail again we headed toward Cottonwood Pass.


Along the way we stopped to check out a dugout cabin in a wash alongside the trail.


And some modern petro glyphs.




We went over the pass and down the narrow switch back trail to the flats.


At the bottom of the pass we took another side trail to the Virginia Mine. Daniel, Andre and I went into the lower tunnel


where there are some stalactites.


I have been in a lot of mines around here but no others have stalactites. The state is starting to close a lot of the mines. Some entrances have been blasted shut but others have just been fenced off with danger signs posted.

After we were out of the stalactite tunnel we went up to the upper mine. Denis, Daniel, and Andre, went into that tunnel but no one got pictures.

From there we headed for the highway and home.

I would like to thank Andre for his pictures.