Thursday, January 31, 2013


Okay, I am a couple of days late writing this blog.

Tuesday was a day for ordering parts for the jeep.
I ordered a new front drive shaft because the yoke on the old one is warn out and the shaft wobbles. I ordered a new valve cover and gasket as the old one has cracks at the mounting bolts and a new exhaust manifold because the old one is cracked. All these parts should come in next week.
Patti and Becky went to the rec hall to play bingo Tuesday night.

We went on the Wednesday ride with 8 other jeeps.
This time we met at the fire station and headed for Parker.


We stopped in Parker to top off the fuel tanks.


Then we crossed the Colorado river and drove along the North side of the river


where we stopped at an ATV park.


We were to meet Tom’s brother-in-law “Babe” at the ATV park for a ride to see a year round creek and waterfall. Now a year round creek in this part of the desert is a rare sight and very precious.

About forty-three years ago I was wandering around this area in my VW bus and came across this creek. I have looked for it several times since but could never find it so I was excited to see the creek again.

From the ATV parking lot we headed over the hills on a trail that I don’t think I could go over in the VW.

Eventually we turned up a trail


that crossed the creek several times.


After going up a long hill we came to the waterfall we were looking for.



Nothing looked like I remember it but after 43 years I’m not to surprised.

The view up the canyon was enticing but the trail was blocked so we couldn’t go any further

After spending some time enjoying the view and taking pictures we headed back down the trail to a spot near the highway where the creek disappears into the sand.
We stopped for lunch there.


When we were about to leave, a cop pulled up on the highway and told us via his PA that we had to leave because we were trespassing on water department property. It would have been nice if they had put some signs on the trail to let people know it was a restricted area.

On the way out Dennis (white jeep) decided that he wanted to try climbing a pile of boulders. IMGP2270

It took a few attempts,

he finally made it.
After watching his struggles no one else wanted to attempt the climb.
We continued back along the trail and stopped to play on some sandy hills.

While we were playing we saw some wild burros.


From the sand hills we drove back to the highway and headed for home.
It was a pretty good day for wild life, as well as the burros,  we counted 27 hawks on the power lines between Quartzsite and Parker.

It was another good ride.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We took a jeep ride out to the North end of the Plomosa mountains yesterday. There was no destination in mind, we just wandered around in the hills.
There were four jeeps in the group.
Dave was alone because Jo Ann is still under the weather. Becky and Dennis were there, as well as Sue and Denis.
We left the park around 10:00 and headed North on 95 to Plomosa Road where we drove Northeast toward Bouse. Near mile post 12 we turned West and after airing down we headed into the red rock hills.


We drove over the hills,


across gullies 


and up and down washes.

After negotiating a small obstacle in one wash


we stopped for lunch.


From there we continued down the wash until we came to a trail crossing it.

We turned onto the trail heading West and meandered making large circles and figure eights.


until we passed around the West side of the Four Peaks.


North of the peaks we came to a small dam. We have been here several times before but it has always been dry. Thanks to the recent rains there was water in it this time.


After leaving the dam we turned up a narrow wash


and drove for about a mile until the wash became totally impassible.

We turned around and headed back to the “main” trail. We headed back toward Plomosa Road taking a few side trips along the way.
Patti tried taking this picture through the back window of the jeep.

It is a little fuzzy but it show’s this gap in the rocks that we drove through.

Eventually we made it back to the highway and headed for home.
Becky, Dennis, Patti and I stopped for a fish dinner at the Grubstake. It was good, as always.

It was great to get out after several days hanging out in the RV’s

Patti took this picture of a new detail that Dennis, an ex Rhino owner, had painted on his jeep.


Cute, eh!


Sunday, January 27, 2013


We have been shut-ins for the last couple of days. It has been raining and several of our friends have had the crud.

Friday I called Tom Woods custom drivelines to order a new front drive shaft and was told that I had to measure the driveline with the springs at full extension and at rest. The guy also said if I could to measure the driveline with the springs compressed that would be good too. I don’t know how to do that so they will have to work with the measurements I’ve got. It was raining Friday and continued all day Saturday.

Today the rain stopped so I jacked up the front end and measured the drive shaft 41-1/2 inches extended. Then I let the jeep back down and took another measurement 40 inches. Now that I have the measurements I can order the new front driveline.

Every one is developing a serious case of cabin fever or RV fever. The weather is getting better so tomorrow we are going for a jeep ride.

I guess I’ll order the drive shaft on Tuesday. 
Also, I will have to order a new valve cover. I have been trying to find a metal one on the internet (steel or aluminum) but all I can come up with is plastic. I’m going to call Quadratec and see what they can come up with.


Friday, January 25, 2013


Today was literally “the shits”.
Patti and I slept in this morning and decided to go out for breakfast. We went to the Mountain Quail and had a standard breakfast. While we were there we decided that instead of going back to the RV we would go directly to Blythe to take care of shopping, etc.

On the way, the I-10 freeway was choked off due to a border patrol check point complete with drug sniffing dogs.
They were only about a mile east of the California fruit quarantine station. It didn’t take very long to get through the stop. We continued on to the third Blythe exit. By this time my bowls were in turmoil, lots of gas and gurgling. I told Patti that I needed to find a toilette very soon. As soon as we got off the freeway we turned into the Carl’s Junior parking lot and I went in to use the bathroom. When I got in there both stalls were in use so I went back to the jeep and we headed for Albertsons because I knew where that toilette was and thought I could make it.
Of course the traffic was exceptionally slow with a bunch of old farts that didn’t know where they were going, clogging the street up.
Eventually we got to the parking lot and I rushed into the store almost at a run heading for the bathroom. I made it into the stall but couldn’t get my pants down in time and made a big mess.
It was horrible!!
I got cleaned up enough to pull up my pants and walk some what normally out of the store.
While I was in the toilette, Patti did some grocery shopping and was at the jeep when I got there. 
We got in the jeep and headed for home.
Needless to say we didn’t do any other shopping.

It was a really bad experience.
From now on when I go out for breakfast, I will go directly home and wait at least 20 minutes for my guts to work before going any where else. There must be something in the grease or something that they wash the potatoes in or maybe it is the coffee because this happens to me every now and then; but normally I go right home and make it to the toilette in time.

When we got home and after I got cleaned up I went out to see if there was any oil spots on the back of the jeep.
Sure enough there were spots on the spare tire and back bumper. I crawled under the jeep to take a look and found that the transfer case output shaft seal was leaking slightly. The differential pinion seal was not leaking. 
I noticed some oil on the front of the engine pan. It didn’t look like it was coming from the front seal so I lifted the hood (or bonnet if you are British) and noticed some oil spots on the fan shroud. After investigating a bit I found that the power steering pump was leaking a little. After looking around more I noticed that the valve cover was cracked at every fastener on the drivers side and there was oil along that side of the engine. The leaks aren’t bad so I will keep an eye on them and if they get any worse I will have to order a new valve cover.

At this writing it is raining and is supposed to continue for a couple of days.
We probably wont be going anywhere and I won’t be working on the jeep until the rain stops.  


Yesterday was cool and cloudy all day.
I sprayed some of that “Awesome” degreaser on the under side of the jeep paying special attention to the rear differential and transfer case. After I had it pretty well covered i took the jeep to the wash stand in our park and hosed it off with the high pressure sprayer. While I was there I went ahead and washed the outside of the jeep using the same product. It worked pretty well.

This morning we are going out for breakfast.
Later we will drive to Blythe to see if the leaks are fixed. While we are there we will go to the Dollar Store and buy some more “Awesome” and do some other shopping.
I am thinking of going to the car wash and cleaning off the engine. They have hot water at the car wash so I think it will remove the oil and dirt more efficiently. I will also try some of the awesome on the engine. The stuff seems to work very well and it’s only a dollar a bottle.

It is supposed to start raining this afternoon and continue off and on for a couple of days. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It was a warm day yesterday even though it was a little cloudy.
The temperature in Phoenix was around 81 degrees.

Yesterday we drove to Phoenix to get the seals replaced on the transfer case and rear differential. The trip was long and uneventful. The Garmin got us to the 4Wheel Parts store with no problem. It took them about three hours to change the seals. After we left there we stopped at Costco to drop off my new glasses to get the badly scratched lens replaced. We will have to go back there in a couple of weeks to pick up the glasses. 
We got home around 4:30.
There was so much oil on the back and under the jeep that I wont be able to tell if the new seals fixed the leaks until I get the oil cleaned off.
Dennis gave me a bottle of a cleaner called “Awesome” that they bought at the Dollar Store in Blythe. He said that it would clean anything.

I tried it on the back of the jeep and spare tire and was surprised at how well it worked.
When we got up this morning it was cloudy and threatening rain. The forecast is for showers the next five days.
I will try the cleaner on the under side of the jeep to try and get rid of all the oil that has been spread around under there if the weather gets a little warmer. 
Once I get things cleaned I will be able to tell if the seals are working.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Things have been kind of slow around here lately.
Yesterday Patti did laundry, I did some housework and filled up the differential in the jeep.
I called the 4wheel parts store in Phoenix and got an appointment to take the jeep in on Wednesday. They are going to replace the rear output shaft seal and the rear differential pinion shaft seal for free. It is over a hundred miles from Q to Phoenix so it will probably cost me around a hundred dollars in gas and lunch etc.
Last evening we played cards with Becky, Dennis, Shirley and Bill. Of course we had a lot of laughs.

Today we are going to Parker to pick up our meds and do some shopping at WalMart. We will have lunch at the Crossroads Cafe.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


We drove to Yuma today to attend the memorial for Patti’s sister,  Dianne.
It was well attended but tearful.
It was good to see the number of people that were there. She had a lot of friends. It was also good to see the niece and nephews; it had a long time.

We got back to Quartzsite around 4:30.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Today’s ride took us back to the Ramsey Mine Road.

We met at the Arco station on the East end of Quartzsite.


There were nine jeeps in the group this time. That is the largest group that I have led to date.
We left the Arco station at 9:00 and headed East on I-10 to 
SR-60 where we exited and continued East on 60 to Ramsey Mine Road where we turned South. As soon as we were on Ramsey Mine Road we stopped so that those who wanted to air down could do so.


We continued down Ramsey Mine Road, over the freeway and then we turned South at the kiosk. We followed this road about a mile and turned South going through a quarry and found the trail that goes around the East side of the Twin Peaks.

We continued on this trail until we came to the wash that goes to the trail where Dave had his flat tire.


The idea was to stop there for a while so that those who wished could scour the surrounding area for Desert Rose.

There was plenty of desert rose to go around. Everyone who wanted to, found several specimens.

After a while we continued on our trek. We drove over the hill


and back to the main trail.


We traveled along the trail enjoying the scenery.


Eventually we came to the wash that goes to the mine area where the wall of Crisocola is.

A short way up the wash we stopped to let the folks investigate a narrow side canyon.

We walked up the canyon to where it ended in a steep waterfall.


When everyone was out of the canyon we continued along the wash to the trail that goes up to the blue wall. This trail goes up in two levels. The first level is a high valley

where we stopped for lunch.


After lunch we drove up to the next level where everyone rummaged around looking at rocks and then we took some group photos.

From there we drove back down the mountain


to the wash and headed for home. 
Becky, Dennis, Jo Ann, Dave, Patti and I went to the Mountain Quail Cafe for the Saturday Prime Rib special. The rib was good but a much thinner cut than usual. I think that they are trying to stretch out their supply while the town is full of tourists. We will see what happens after the tourists leave in a couple of weeks.

It was a great day and everyone enjoyed the ride.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Today we took a short ride out to the mountains on the North side of I-10 at Gold Nugget Road, about six miles East of town. The reason for the trip was to let Becky and Jo Ann look for Desert Rose. We followed a couple of rocky trails into the hills.


We stopped at one spot where we saw this Saguaro with an arrow through it.


This is the second time we we have seen a saguaro with an arrow stuck through it. The other one was in the desert North of the town of Brenda

Eventually we came to the area where they wanted to rock pick. We pulled off on a flat where we set up our chairs


and let the ladies rummage around in the desert looking for the rocks.


Eventually they wandered off into the bush and Dennis decided to track them down. After he got off the phone.

The rest of us just hung out enjoying the warm sunshine.

He eventually found Becky and Jo Ann rummaging around in the bushes with their buckets.

After a while Patti, Dave and I decided to find them and headed down the trail. We had to do some cross country driving through washes and bouncing over rocks until we caught up with them. We sat around for a little bit having a snack before we decided to head for home.

Becky and Jo Ann ended up with a half bucket of stones each.


We headed back to town around 3:30

Patti, Debbie and I went to La Casa del Rancho for dinner.