Saturday, January 30, 2016

New PC Board, Shopping in Parker and a visit with Donna

New PC Board and Shopping in Parker.

Before we went to Parker we had to get fuel in the jeep so we went to Arco. On the way back we stopped at the post office to check the mail. The PC board that I ordered for the heater arrived.
From the post office we headed for Parker.
On the way to Parker we saw that there are two more hawks building nests on the power poles along the highway.
Patti counted eight hawks between Q and HWY 72.

We talked to Eve and Bill at Walmart.

From Walmart we went across the street to Safeway to get a couple things that Walmart didn't have.

After Safeway, we stopped at KFC for a light lunch. After lunch I dropped Patti off at Food City to see if they had a meat mallet then I went to Auto Zone so I could get a coolant temperature sensor for the jeep.
From Auto Zone I picked Patti up. She found a good meat mallet so we headed for home.

Installing the New Board.

After unloading the jeep I installed the new PC board but it didn't fix the heater. It is beginning to look like the Limit switch is faulty. Unfortunately the limit switch is in a place where I will probably have to remove the entire unit to get to it.
I will have to be very positive that the switch is the problem before I try removing the furnace.

A visit with Donna (the stone house).

The last time we visited Donna I said that I would inflate the tire on her wheelbarrow but we got to BS'ing and forgot about it.
Patti talked to Donna on the phone and we decided to stop by her place so I could pump up the tire and we could visit for a while.
That is what we did but unfortunately we didn't take a camera so we didn't get any pictures of the outside of the house. Maybe next time.
We had a good visit with Donna.

When we got home I used the new meat mallet to pound out a couple piece's of pork tenderloin to make pork tenderloin parmesan for dinner. Yum, yum.

Okay that was Friday.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Laundry, the Royal Arch, Mexico and Cards.


As ever, Tuesday is Laundry day.
Patti went to the laundromat and I cleaned house.
The rest of the day we goofed off.

Wednesday Ride to The Royal Arch.

We met at the Arco station for Wednesday's ride. There were 5 jeeps in all.
Gene was supposed to lead this time but he was not feeling well so didn't come. Tom knew where we were going so he was the leader. At 9:00 we headed north on I-10 and drove  26 mile to Vicksburg Road where we left the interstate and stopped at the Zip station to top off, air down and get sandwiches.
Once we were  done there we  headed south on Vicksburg Road.

The road was very dusty but there was a slight breeze that eventually cleared the dust, but you had to leave room between vehicles.

At the pipeline road we turned left and followed it for a couple of miles, then we turned south for about a mile where we connected with Hovadder Road. We continued south for about eight miles where we turned east on BLM trail 04.

Patti and I have been on this trail before where we camped with Becky, Dennis and Bob a few years ago.

We followed this trail for a while, went through a gate and about a mile further we turned south on a small trail.
Along this trail we saw a couple of small arches.

We traveled along enjoying the desert scenery.

We went around the hills in the above picture and there was The Royal Arch. This is one of the largest arches we have seen in this part of Arizona and is pretty spectacular.

Some of the group climbed  up the rocks to the arch.

Here is Carl on top of the arch and John underneath. That gives you some idea of how big the arch is.

I don't think I would get on top of the arch but those guys are quite a bit younger than  I.

After a while  we left the arch and continued along the trail.

We saw another, smaller arch along the way.

Eventually we came to a good spot for lunch.

After lunch we got back on Hovadder Road and headed north.

When we were almost at I-10 we took a small trail to the left.

This trail took us to a spot for the rock hounds to pick up more rocks.

On the way back to the main trail Dave brushed  against a Cholla cactus with his jeep. Unfortunately he had his window open and one of the Cholla balls got in and stuck to his side. Ouch!!

Here  you can see some of the balls attached around the window.

And stuck to the tire of his jeep.

Dealing with chollas is a lot like dealing with fly paper. Every time you get them unstuck from one thing they stick to something else. If you kick them off the tire they stick to your shoes, etc.

Eventually we got back to the main trail where we aired up the tires, got on I-10 and headed for home.
On the way home we saw this blimp going east.


Thursday morning we met Joanne and Dave at their place. we got in their truck and headed for Mexico.
We drove down 95 to Yuma where we stopped at the Palms Shopping Center so Patti could get her ring cleaned. From there we got on I-8 and drove to Algodones, Mexico.

Here is what you see when you cross the  border.

Patti wanted to buy a dress for Riley  our great, great niece.

 I wanted to get more Omeprazole. It is very cheep in Mexico.

After we did our shopping we sat at some tables watching all the gringo's, fending off street vendors and waiting for Jo Ann and Dave to get done with what they were doing.

When Jo Ann and Dave showed up we walked back across the border, got in their truck and headed for Yuma. We stopped at Panda Express for lunch. After lunch we drove back to Quartzsite.


Around 6:00 we went to Becky and  Dennis's to play cards.

Of course, we  had a good time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Vampire Mine, Slot canyon, Bill Williams River and Other Short Trails.

Vampire Mine.

We met at the fire station; there was Sue, Denis, Jo Ann, Dave, Lise, Frank, Patti and I.
Once we were all there we headed north toward Parker. At Shea Road we turned east and followed Shea Road for about 15 miles. 

We turned south on the trail that goes to Vampire Mine.

This is a fun trail that goes through a lot of deep gullies

and winds up the mountain side to the mine.

There are several tunnels in the area where the mine was. Most don't go very far into the mountain.

There is one series of tunnels that are fairly extensive. Some are very deep.

Picture by Sue.

After checking out the tunnels we continued on the very narrow trail around the mountain and down the western side.

This was a different experience for me as we normally come up this trail; either way it is still a fun ride.

Throughout the day this crop duster plane kept flying over us at a very low altitude. It was a long ways from any crops that I know of. Maybe the pilot was just practicing.

We continued down the mountain and just before we came back to Shea Road  we turned left into a wash. This wash is fun to drive through as it has some tight spots

and several minor challenges.

Slot Canyon.

The wash takes us back to Shea Road where we turned left and drove a couple of miles to another wash that ends at the Bill Williams River. The slot canyon intersects with this wash. We turned into the slot canyon.

After a short distance we turned right again on a spur where we stopped to have lunch.

Just past our lunch spot is a large grotto.

These washes change every year and this one looks like more rocks have fallen since the last time we were here.

After lunch we went back to the main slot and followed it.

Denis climbed to the top of the wall and took this picture of us in the canyon.

The Bill Williams River.

The canyon opens up after less than a mile. Here we turned around and  drove back to the main wash where we turned  north and drove toward the Bill Williams River.

There are very few places where the river is accessible. Like this one, you can't drive to it, you have to stop and walk. It isn't far. The river here isn't to impressive and looks more like a bayou.


A Couple of Side Trails.

We left the river and headed back down the wash. Denis took a trail on the left that went through another slot canyon.

Eventually the trail climbs a steep hill to an open area with a nice view.

We continued around a loop and back to the wash.

We continued south in the wash until we came to another trail going up hill to the left.

The trail ends at an interesting mine. There is a lot  of Crisocola (Copper ore) on the ground and  some extensive tunnels.
You can see the blue rock (Crisocola) on the right side of this tunnel

From here an interesting arch can be seen to the east.

From here we drove back to the wash and headed for Shea Road. Once on Shea Road we headed west to 95 where the rest of the group turned south toward Quartzsite. Patti and I turned north and went to Parker to mail some letters and do a little shopping. We stopped at The Crossroads Restaurant for an early super.

It was another fun ride.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quiet Weekend.


 The furnace in the RV has been acting strange lately. I have noticed that after it runs for a while the flame will go out. After a minute or so it fires back up and works for a little while longer, then cycles again.
 We didn't have anything planned for the weekend but when I got up on Saturday I found out that the furnace wasn't working at all. The fan would come on but it wouldn't fire.
I decided that the control board was not working so I pulled it out and ordered a new one. It will be here in a couple of days.
The rest of the day we just goofed off.


Sunday morning we got up early and went to The Times Three restaurant to have breakfast with Jo Ann, Dave, Doris and Jim. We got there early so we got a table for six and waited for the rest to arrive.

The restaurants in Quartzsite are really having a hard time keeping up with the huge influx of people.
It is really hard to find good help and most of the restaurants are under staffed. Times Three is no exception.
The waitress we had was new. I ordered ham and eggs and she didn't know what I meant by that. I finally had to show her on the menu where it said Ham Steak and Eggs. Patti ordered Bacon and eggs with only two strips of bacon instead of the four strips that normally comes with the eggs and was told that she had to take the four pieces of bacon because they couldn't do any substitutions.
The others  had similar problems.
Eventually we got our food and it was okay. The coffee was good.

I think we will wait for all the short time people to leave in a couple of weeks before we try eating out here again.

The rest of the day we just hung out. Patti watched the football playoffs and I read my kindle.

We are going for jeep a ride today.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Card and a Visit to an Old Friends House

Greasing the Jeep and Cards.

Thursday I greased the jeep. When I got to greasing the drive shafts I found  that the drive shafts looked new and they had the kind of universal joints that could not be greased. That saves a lot of work but I'm not sure if I like "U" joints that can't be greased. I think they may not last as long as the kind you can grease. I hope I'm wrong.

Around 6:00 we went to Dennis and Becky's to play cards. There were 14 people at the card game but Dennis and Becky had bought another big round table so there was plenty of room for everyone.

Of course, we had fun.

Visiting an Old Friend's House.

There is a house on main street that belongs to an old friend of Patti's from when she worked at HP.
Patti hasn't seen the lady in about 20 years but we knew that she had  the place here in Quartzsite.
We drove by it a couple days ago and saw a car in the yard. Patti decided to give Donna a call to see if she was here. It turned out to be her car and we were invited to come  by for a visit.

The house is kind of unique as it is all made of stone. Many of the people we know down here were interested in what the house looked like inside so Patti took her camera with us.

Around 11:00 we went to visit Donna and her interesting house.

The house is not large. It has a great room with a double fireplace in the middle. The stone throughout the house and especially on the fire place are more than just random rocks. They were selected for their uniqueness and beauty. In the photo below you can see at the top of the chimney a huge piece of quartz with several large crystals sticking out.

As you can see she doesn't make fires in the fireplace.

The kitchen is on one side of the fireplace.

The living room is on the other side of the fireplace with an alcove to one side.

There is one bedroom and one bathroom.

Patti didn't take a picture of the bathroom but it has a huge claw foot tub.

Grub's for Lunch.

We visited for a couple hours and then went to lunch at The GrubStake for fish and chips. This time of year the few restaurants in Quartzsite are over run with people here for the rock shows and the big RV show.
Grub's was no exception. They have abbreviated the menu to just three items. They were out of French fries and coke products and it took us almost an hour to get our food. I have to say that the fish was still good but it ain't fish and chips without the chips. I think we will wait until all the shows are over and the crowds leave before we try Grub's again. I hope they improve.

After lunch we said good by to Donna and went home. About ten minutes later we went to Cheryl and Dennis's for desert "Chery's Jubilee". Very good!! 

Okay, that's the last couple of days.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Eye of the Needle, The Cave, scenic overlook and a Burro.

Eye Of The Needle.

For this Wednesday's ride we met at the fire station at around 9:00.
Once everyone had gathered there we left, heading north on 95. There were six jeeps leaving the fire station together. Dick left early so they could stop at the bank in Parker.

We always see hawks on the power poles along 95 between Quartzsite and the intersection with Highway 72. We have seen as many as 18 hawks along this section of the highway. Patti has tried several times to get pictures of them but at 60+ mph. it usually doesn't work out . This morning how ever she did get one good picture of a hawk

and a slightly blurred picture of the first nest that we have seen along here.

We stopped at a gas station about 10 miles east of Parker so everyone could top off their fuel tanks. Here Dick and Louise joined us. After gassing up we continued on 95 toward Lake Havasu City enjoying the views along the way.

We crossed the Bill Williams River.

About 5 miles past the Bill Williams River we turned off at a large flat area where a lot of RV'ers dry camp. There are several trails into the back country that start here. We stopped to air down.

Then followed a small trail into a wash at the north end of the flat.

We like taking this trail because it gets pretty narrow with sheer cliffs on each side.

There are also a couple of fun rock challenges along the wash.

Proper tire placement is key to getting through these rocks.

After the rocks, we follow the sandy wash for a while and eventually we can see our destination; a rock formation called the needle.

We followed the winding trail along the steep ridge to the base of the needle.

From there it is necessary to climb the rocks to get to the eye.

This is one of the more interesting rock formations in the area.

Of course, if you make the climb to the top you have to climb through the eye.

In the  above picture you can see a "geo cash" in the bucket on the left.

Here is some of the group on the other side of the eye.

The rock is very interesting but I don't know how it was formed. It looks like some of the big boulders that I have seen along the pacific coast.

Eventually we left the needle and headed down into the wash again.

Lake Side Lunch.

Once we were back on the highway we headed south and stopped at a fishing area along side Lake Havasu just upstream from Parker Dam.

The table we are sitting at is actually a fish cleaning table. We didn't put our food on the table.

The Cave.

After lunch we crossed Parker Dam.

Once across the dam we made a right turn following a paved road north to this turn off onto a graded dirt road.

We followed the dirt road.

At a couple of places we could see Lake Havasu City to the north.

Eventually we took a right turn into a wash.

We followed this wash to 'The Cave'.

A lot of people try driving into this cave. Some make it and some don't. Bill decided that he wanted to give it a try.

With some expert guiding by Dennis M, Bill made it into the cave.

The trickiest part of this stunt is getting out of the cave safely. A mistake here could cause the jeep to flip over frontwards.

Bill did a great lob and made it down safely.

Scenic Overlook.

We left the cave and headed out another wash that goes through a  beautiful canyon with high rock walls.

After going through the canyon we turned left onto a very narrow rough trail that climbed the ridge.

At a very narrow spot one of the jeeps clipped a large boulder on the right side and spun it into the trail. Here Dick and Louise attempt to move the rock but as they creeped past it, their rear tire clipped it and it spun around. I couldn't get out of our jeep to help because it was a sheer drop on my side and we were only a few inches from the edge.

Next, Dennis K clipped it and almost sent the rear of his jeep off the side of the cliff. We got out and between Patti, Becky and I we rolled the boulder off the side of the mountain. Dennis couldn't help due to his recent back surgery.

We continued along the trail to the overlook.

The view is good but I am not sure it was worth the risk.

The Burro.

We all made it back down the trail with no problems and turned left in the wash.

As we  headed down the wash we spotted a wild burrow on the hillside.

Okay, that was the Wednesday ride for this week.  It was a fun ride as always.

We stopped at Mya's Mexican restaurant for an early dinner. After dinner Patti and I  went to Walmart and then went home.