Friday, December 4, 2015

A Ride Around the Finger and Lockers for the New Jeep.


The Finger.

On Wednesday we took a ride to “The Finger”. The finger is a point of rock that sticks up on the skyline north of Parker on the California side of the Colorado River.


With a little imagination; the mountains look like the profile of a gorilla lying on his back.
You can see his head on the left and his big belly to the right and oh! I guess he must be dreaming of a lady gorilla. The spire sticking up is called the finger.
Of course our name for it is a bit more colorful.

We met at the fire station north of town.

At 9:00 we headed north on 95 toward Parker. When we got to Parker we all went into the Chevron station and met up with Rick and Nancy, a fun couple that we have done some  4-wheeling with in the past.

Ricks jeep is the Rubicon in the foreground of the below picture and he is the guy with the ponytail talking with me in front of our new jeep.


We left the station and headed north, crossing the river and turning east on the road that follows the north side of the Colorado.


A couple of miles up the road we turned into a wash on our left.


“EEEEORE” is black jeep Dennis’ son Brandon’s tricked out 4 door XJ. We followed him for most of the day and it gets around very well.

As we traveled along in the wash we saw our first wild burro’s of the day. We were to see a few more during the ride.


The wash took us through these interesting red rocks.


The trail became a little more challenging as we progressed.


At one step; Tom wasn’t paying attention and became the first stuck jeep of the day.


Once we got Tom moving again we headed to our next challenge.

This was a high step. It was optional but of course we all had to try it. The Jeeps with lockers had little trouble getting up it.

Without lockers I had to try about 3 times before I could get the jeep to climb up this step. Even then it was a struggle.


Eventually I made it.


Tom had had enough of getting towed so he took the bypass.


After spending some time here playing on the rocks we continued along the trail and enjoying the interesting rock formations.


The trail climbed a huge tailing pile.


We noticed this large hawk sitting on the edge watching us go by.


We passed this spire and at first thought it was “the Finger” but later we found that it wasn’t, but is was cool none the less.


We drove through another slot canyon and more interesting rocks.
The rock in the photo below is called horse head rock.


A little further up the canyon we stopped for lunch.


One pretty cool addition to EEEORE was this fold down table affixed to the tailgate.


After lunch we continued our ride passing another burro.


After a while we turned off onto a dead end trail where we had a view of this LA water supply reservoir. It was completely fenced off with no access.


We continued along the trail enjoying the views.


In one wash we passed this cactus that someone had dressed up with cap and goggles.


Eventually we got our first view of the real Finger.


We stopped at a mining area where there were some dilapidated buildings which had held bags of ore samples. The wind and weather has scattered most of the ore over the years.


We left this place and drove a little further.


We came to another similar bunch of structures. At one time these buildings held a lot of core samples but now there aren’t many whole ones left.

The sign on this building gives one pause. I’m sure this is very true later in the spring and summer. Right now most of the snakes are hiding from the cold but that isn’t always the case.


We left this place to the snakes and continued along the trail getting a close up view of the finger.


If you look back at the first spire that we saw the differences between the two are obvious.

The trail drops into another wash and things become more interesting.


Brandon was now behind us and it turned out to be fortunate as we got hung up on a big rock and had to be pulled back a bit to clear it. We were a little distracted so didn’t get any pictures of this one.

The trail became more interesting as we slowly made our way down the wash.


This obstacle is called the “Squeeze” and proved to be more than our new jeep was prepared for.


We got hung up on our rock sliders with a wheel on each end in the air.


With no lockers we were stuck and had to have some help getting through here.

Cheryl took this picture

2015 winter jeeping 025

Brandon came through next and it was fun to watch.


This is the hardest part of the trail. I had been through here a couple years ago with Clifford. We were going up the wash but Clifford had Lockers so it wasn’t to bad. Although on that trip I did inaugurate the rock guards and scrapped them along the rock on the left side. Of course that is what they are for.

Past the squeeze the trail remained a little challenging for a short distance but eventually the wash opens up and becomes sandy.


Eventually we got onto the trail going out of the wash and up the hill.


At the top of the ridge we stopped to pay our respect at this grave.


Starting down the other side we had a great view of the Colorado River and the area around Parker.


Here is one more burro picture.


On we went.


We got back to Parker round 5:00 and stopped at Maya's Mexican restaurant for dinner.


Gene’s birthday is in a couple of days so the waitress brought out a chocolate sundae with a candle in it for him. We all sung the birthday song. He snuffed the candle and dug into the sundae.


Okay, that was our trip around the finger. It was a fun ride.

Rear locker for the new jeep.

A couple of days ago I called a transmission repair place in Yuma to see if I they would install the Detroit locker that I had purchased. They said that they would and I didn’t even need an appointment.
We weren’t sure if the job would be done in one day or not so we took both Jeeps down there. We left “Q” around 7:00 am and got about 12 miles down 95 when I remembered that I had left the locker in the shed.
We turned around and went back to our place where I picked up the lockers and we got back on the road.
We got to the transmission place around 9:00 and the guy said I could pick it up the next day. I explained that we came down from Quartzsite and it would be great if we could get the jeep back by closing time.
He said that he could do that so we left the new jeep and took off in Clifford to do some shopping and try to kill some time.
We went to every Walmart and 99 Cent Only store in Yuma looking for Chocolate wine and Pie Hole Pecan Pie.
We struck out at the 99 Cent Only stores but were able to find some of each at Walmart. Of course we had to go to all three Walmarts to get what we wanted.

Around 11:30 Patti called her brother-in-law, Wayne, and invited him to have lunch with us at the Golden Corral Buffet. It isn’t my favorite place to eat but it was easy to find and convenient. Wayne met us at the Golden Corral and we had a long leisurely lunch.

After lunch we drove around Yuma for a while but around 2:45 we were tired of this and ended up back at the transmission place. We waited around there until he was finish with the installation around 4:00.
The final bill was $724.94. I was in shock but paid the bill.
Later I got to thinking that that was a lot of money to pay for just the locker instillation. I didn’t sleep much last night thinking that perhaps I had been cheated.

At 8:00 this morning I called the transmission place and questioned the price. The owner “Pablo” explained that the Labor was $450.00 and that he had installed a complete barring kit in the differential including the pinion barring’s and carrier barring’s and all seals. The kit was $250.00 + tax. Once I understood that all the barring’s in the differential were new I was mollified and felt much better about things.

Okay, that was the finger ride  and the new lockers.

We may take the jeep out on some hard trails tomorrow to see how well the lockers work.


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