We started with ten jeeps and gathered at the fire station around 9:00 Thursday morning.
Once everyone showed up, we headed north on 95 heading toward Parker.
Gene’s Jeep Breaks.
About 3 miles south of Parker, Gene had to pull off the road because of what we call a death wobble.
He said that he hit something on the road and the front wheels started to wobble badly.
We were at the rear of the pack so we pulled off behind him.
We were checking out the tires and noticed that the front Track Bar had broken.
That is a thick piece of steel and it is amazing that it broke. You can see a dark area on the brake which means that it had been cracked for a long time. Even so it is still amazing that it broke.
While we were there, Carl (Gene’s son) came back to see what happened. He told us that he would stay with his dad and we could go on.
As it turned out they got the jeep towed into Parker and found someone to fix it and were back on the road after only an hour or so. Boy were they lucky.
Continuing the Ride.
We drove through Parker and caught up with the rest of the group at a gas station about 10 miles east of Parker. After a short comfort break we were back on the road.
A little ways after crossing the Bill Williams River…
we pulled off the road at a large area where a lot of people dry camp and is a staging area for ATV’s.
A Bad Tire.
Here we aired down the tires.
While we were airing down, Robert noticed a large bulge on one of the tires on his jeep.
Time to put on the spare.
Robert replaced the bad tire with the spare and we were on our way again.
At the north end of this flat area there is a trail that drops into a wash.
As we drove in the wash Patti noticed these Pin Cushion Cactus growing in the rocks.
After a short distance we came to the reason we go this way.
It is a section of steps...
and some boulders to negotiate.
It isn’t real difficult but requires some careful tire placement.
Once through the boulders we continued along the wash and eventually climbed the narrow trail toward the The Needle.
Eventually arriving at the needle.
It was a little tight but we managed to get all the jeeps parked at the base of the needle.
When we arrived there was an ATV there. A woman in the ATV had fallen coming down the steep climb from the eye and had broken her wrist.
Eve Is a nurse so she went to see if she could help. The lady was fortunate in that one of the women in their party was also a nurse. So between the two nurses they had her stabilized and the ATV left with her.
I have been here several times and have always climbed up to the the base of the needle and taken several pictures. Here is one from last season, of people crawling through the Eye.
This time I walked around to the back side of the needle and took a couple of pictures from there.
You can see Becky in the middle of the picture after she crawled through the eye.
Lunch Near the Dam.
Once we were all back at the jeeps we headed down the steep hill…
We took a different trail back to the highway and got some good views. Here you can see Parker Dam in the distance.
We got back on the highway and headed for Parker Dam.
Just before you get to the dam there is a road going to the right. This road goes by a fishing access area. You can see the white jeep at the head of the column tuning right in this picture.
A short distance down this road we made a left and drove down the hill to a parking spot.
Once we were parked we walked to the fishing access area and had our lunch.
The Dam is only a short distance from where we had lunch.
Across the Dam.
After lunch we crossed the dam.
Across the dam we came to Highway 62. Here we turned north.
When we came to this intersection we turned onto a dirt road going up hill to the left.
A short ways up the trail…
we saw a couple of burro’s browsing just off the road.
Water in The Wash.
The trail drops into a large wash. We have traveled in this wash before but there has never been any water in it. This time there is a lot of water (relatively speaking).
We even saw a mini waterfall.
The Big Cave.
Eventually we arrived at the Big Cave.
Eve had expressed a desire to drive their jeep into the cave but once she saw it up close she changed her mind. (a good choice)
We hung out around here for a while, taking some group pictures.
Here are the women in front of the cave.
Here are the guys.
On the Way to Supper.
After the pictures were taken we headed down the wash.
There is still a lot of water in the wash and it goes through some beautiful canyons.
As we drove along Patti got a good picture of Buzzard Rock.
A mile or so down the wash is a turnoff that goes to an overlook. Most of us have been to the overlook and it is a really narrow trail with not much room to turn around so most of us waited at the turnoff.
Dennis M took a lady named Jean up the trail to see the overlook followed by Tom and Lillie.
Here they are coming back.
Once they were back we headed out.
An Arch and Burro’s Again.
We passed a nice arch along the way.
We saw a couple of Burro’s along side the trail. They turned out to be the same ones we saw earlier.
Back Across the Dam.
We crossed the dam again and headed
after crossing the dam we went to Schooners…
for the Thursday special; all you can eat spaghetti.
Gene, Freda and their family joined us at the restaurant. There were twenty-five of us and we kind of overwhelmed the pretty waitress. She was good though and got a good tip.
Okay that was our trip. It was interesting and we all had a good time and a good Spaghetti dinner.