Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Wednesday Ride 12/27/17.


This is the second post that I am publishing today since I will have to go somewhere like Mc Donald’s or the library to publish.
I went to the library and their WiFi was real slow and kept dropping out so I went to Karl’s Jr and their WiFi was so slow that the program kept dropping out. That was yesterday (Friday). Today (Saturday) I went back to the library and found that their WiFi was still very weak. I decided to try Mc Donald’s but when I got there it was so crowded that I could not find a seat. The next try was at Burger King. They have WiFi and it is also very slow but I am able to post from here anyway.

The Wednesday Ride.

We met at the Arco and left there around 9:00 heading east on I-10. We took the Highway 60 turnoff and drove 31 miles to Wenden where we turned north on the highway that goes to Alamo Lake.


While we followed the highway we noticed that they had a huge Alfalfa harvest. With bails stacked for miles.


After a couple of miles we took a left turn on Bonanza Rd.



The road we want is that squiggly line that goes up the side of the mountain in the distance.


We stopped to air down.


Climbing the Mountain.

Not far from where we aired down we started up the mountain.

The trail was a little rough in spots.


It is real steep…


with some switchbacks that you need to back and fill to get around.


Eventually we made it to the top.


This is looking down the mountain at our back trail.


Old Mine.

We followed another narrow trail along the ridge.


The trail eventually dropped into a narrow rocky canyon.


At the bottom of the canyon is an old mine.
You can see the loading shoot at the bottom.


Way up the hill is another tunnel where there is a set of tracks that go down the mountain to the loading shoot.


It was all pretty steep and rocky so I didn’t walk around much but some of the others did.


We left this mine and followed another trail around the mountain. The last time we were here there was a gate across this trail. Now the gate is open and is bent and broken.



We dropped into a wash and found a spot for lunch.

IMG_1016 IMG_1019

A working mine.

After lunch we continued along the trail and came to a mine that looks like it is being worked occasionally, as there is a lot of equipment around and it looks like it is still functional.


We walked around here for a while looking at all the neat stuff.


There was a pretty good cabin on the site.


Here is a look at the inside.


A Hidden Mine Tunnel.

There is a room at the side of the cabin with a screen door that goes into a mine tunnel.


I went into the tunnel a little ways but didn’t have a light so couldn’t go far.
I did get to this air shaft…


and looked around the corner but didn’t go any farther.



There was a lot of mining equipment around.
They had a couple of generators.


The one on the right looked like it had a 4 cylinder flat head jeep engine in it.

There was a John Deer 450 loader that looked like it would run.


and a big Ingersoll Rand Air Compressor.


There were conveyors and shakers and washers.


For a small outfit they had a lot of stuff. They must have found some good investors.

After a while we decided to leave here. The trail didn’t go through the mountains so we had to go back the way we came.

And back down the switchbacks.


Once we were back on the pavement we got back to Highway 60 and headed west. Just east of the town of Hope we took a turnoff to the right and dropped into a wash.


We followed this wash for a short distance but it just came back to the highway.
We left the wash and as we did, we noticed a sign on a trail to the right saying, Black Cat Pass. It was late so we decided to check that out some other time. We aired up the tires and headed for home.

Supper at Silly Al’s.

Around 5:00 we met Jo Ann and Dave at Silly Al’s Pizza for supper. It was super.

Christmas Week 2017

The Jeep is Fixed.

On Thursday morning around 8:30, I towed the jeep to Best Auto Repair to get the Harmonic Balancer replaced. It’s just down the street, less than a mile away.
By about 11:00 we got a call from them saying that the jeep was ready. That was a lot quicker than I expected.

Returning Dave’s Jeep.

Patti went with me in Dave’s jeep to pick up our jeep. Once we got our jeep, Patti, driving Dave’s jeep, followed me to J&D’s where we returned their jeep. We visited for a while and then headed for Blythe.

Blythe and Verizon.

We got a new allocation of data from Verizon but after 6 days we had used up all 10 gigs plus 1 gig over usage.
We were shocked since we had just gotten the ten gigs and were being very careful regulating our internet use.

We decided to go to Blythe and talk to the people at Verizon.

After leaving Jo Ann and Dave’s, we drove to Blythe and the Verizon store.
We asked the people there, what the problem could be and they asked us if we had done any updates lately. Of course we had both done updates.
“That’s probably it”, the lady said. “We see that all the time.
Don’t use the ‘hot spot’ to do updates as it will use up all your
data. “
I guess from now on, we will refuse updates until we can get to the library or some where that has Wi-Fi.

As it turns out I will not be posting every day or even every other day for a while so hang in there.

Breakfast at the Bad Boys and Leftover Nopalito’s.

On Friday morning most of the Wednesday jeep group met at the Bad Boys Café for breakfast. Nancy and Rick came all the way down from Lake Havasu City to join us. It was good to see them.

Friday evening, we went to Cheryl and Dennis’s to have the Nopalito’s that were left over from Thanksgiving. Cheryl also made a Chille Relleno casserole.
It was a very good dinner with good company.

Back to Blythe.

On Saturday morning we went to Blythe to get some stuff for Christmas Eve dinner.
We went to; Smart and final, Albertsons and Rite Aid. As an after thought we went to The A&R Bakery and Deli to see if we could get a loaf of their Spiced Cranberry Bread. Unfortunately they were all sold out and wouldn’t have any more for a couple of hours as the loaves were in the oven.
Oh well, I guess we will have to come back next week. Maybe we can have lunch then too.

Christmas Eve Dinner.

The plan was to go to Becky and Dennis’s for a Prime Rib dinner/potluck.
All the folks in the Wednesday jeep group (except the ones that went home for Christmas) were to be there around 2:00.
At around 1:30 we got a call from Becky saying that the meat was already cooked and that we should get there before it got too cold.
We had everything in the jeep so in a few minutes we were on our way.

Once we were all there, the ladies set out all the food on a table outside.


The meat looked good.


We hung around outside for a while talking and having drinks.


Inside the room the tables were set awaiting the meal.


Soon we all filled our plates and sat down for a congenial Christmas Eve Dinner.


After dinner and after some of the people had left, the remainder of us sat around and played cards until around 6:00.

Christmas Day.

Christmas morning we went to X3 for breakfast. After breakfast we stopped by Debbie & Mo’s to visit and give them their Christmas card. They were just leaving when we showed up so we didn’t stay long.

We just goofed off for the rest of the day. At around 2:15 we headed back to X3 to have Christmas dinner with Jo Ann, Dave, Doris and Jim.
The Christmas dinner special was very good and very filling. There was a choice of  a turkey dinner, a ham dinner or a combo of ham and turkey. Patti and I went with the combo. It included mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans with bacon, yams, cranberry sauce, salad and a piece of pumpkin pie.

Okay that brings us up to date.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Broken Jeep and Other Stuff

Broken Jeep.

On Monday when we went to Lake Havasu City to the movies  there was a new noise in the jeep.
Patti and I were sitting at a stop light with a lot of cars and noisy trucks.  We both noticed a sound like a Helicopter flying overhead. Patti looked out the window and sure enough there was a helicopter flying around. We thought no more of it until we pulled into the parking lot for the theater. We pulled into a spot and when we stopped we heard the helicopter sound again. When I turned off the engine the helicopter went away.


I started the engine again and the noise came back. I looked at the belt and listened to the noise but could not determine where it was coming from.
It looked like the Harmonic Balancer was wiggling a little but they often look like that.

Lets Go to the Movie.

We decided that we should go ahead and see the movie and worry about the jeep later.

We went to the movie and it was great as I said in the last post.

After the movie we went to supper and then headed for home.
The jeep ran great all the way home.

The Next Morning.

Tuesday morning I loaded up a bunch of garbage and drove to the dump.
When I got there there were already a bunch of people waiting to dump their garbage.
While I was waiting in line I let the jeep idle and could hear a clumpety-clumpety sound coming from the engine area.
I dumped the garbage and went home.

Back Home.

When I got home I drove the jeep up onto the concrete slab. I got a long screw driver to use as a stethoscope and with the engine running I listened to a lot of different possible areas where I thought the sound was coming from. After covering the possibilities on top of the engine, I crawled under the jeep and listened to the transmission but the sound wasn’t coming from there.
I put the point of the screw driver against the oil pan and the end of the handle against my ear and there was the sound. “clumpety-clumpety-clumpety”.

Oh damn! that’s not good. That sounds like I may need a new engine. I will have to get a second opinion.
I figured I would talk to Dennis M tomorrow and see what he thinks.

Patti Needs to do Laundry.

Patti needed to do some laundry so I told her that she could use the jeep to go to the Laundromat but I couldn’t guarantee the jeep would make it. The Laundromat is only 1/2 mile away.

She got out of the driveway and down the street when she lost the power steering and she said that is sounded like she was dragging a string of cans down the road. She managed to get back to our place and I heard her driving in. The jeep was clattering something fierce.

Checking it Out.

I went out and popped the hood on the jeep and looked in. The engine was running but the fan belt wasn’t moving.
I told Patti turn the engine off. I could see that the belt was off the pulleys and that the Harmonic Balancer outer ring had moved forward to where it was hitting the van.
I could not believe it, this is the second time I have had a Harmonic Balancer fail.
The first one ever was on my van.
Now, the jeep has one come apart.
Of course the jeep has over 200,000 miles on it. I have no Idea how many miles the balancer on the van had; at least 300,000 or more.

Okay, that is a lot better than a blown engine.
I’ll have to see if the guy at Best Auto can get it in soon.
This morning I went to Best Auto repair and made an appointment to bring the jeep in at 8:30 in the morning.
I’ll tow the jeep there with Dave’s jeep. Its only les than a mile away.

Broken Drawers

In the mean time on Saturday, I went to close a drawer below the pantry and the drawer runner fell off.

I didn’t have time to work on it then so I put it off until Tuesday.
Of course Tuesday was the day the jeep stopped working. I had the pantry torn apart and needed to go get parts.


Patti called Dave R and I asked him if I could use his jeep for a couple of days. He is so gracious that he said of course I could.

Therefore I was able to get parts and Patti was able to do laundry.
I got the drawers working and everything back in the pantry.


When Patti got home she helped me put the doors back on the pantry.

Okay, that’s all for today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Old Ford Trail Revisited and More


When we got home on Friday Dennis M. came by and asked if we wanted to go for a ride on Sunday. He, Bill and Dennis K. wanted to go and try the obstacles in that wash. We said we would be happy to go along.

Heading Out.


We met at the fire station at 9:00. Once everyone was present we headed for Parker and Shea Road. We turned east on Shea Road and stopped to air down.


After airing down we drove 15 miles to Mineral Wash. We stayed to the left and headed north until we came to the large turnout where the Old Ford Trail starts.


Mineral wash goes through some neat canyons.


Old Ford Trail.

We turned right where the Old Ford trail starts. The trail is interesting right from the start.


Once through the gap you get into some smaller rocks.


Soon we came to the obstacle that gave Dave trouble the last time we were here.


It doesn’t look to bad but it is way off camber and as you try climbing the rock it pushes you to the left side and against the big rock there.

Here I am trying it first since I am the leader today.


Once I was through I spotted for the rest of the group.


The rest of the trail is not as bad as that spot but there are a lot of rock in the trail.


Most of the time you don’t need a spotter.


Out of This Wash

We climbed out of the wash on a narrow trail.


The last time we were here we turned right at the first intersection and after a short ride we came to The Planet Ranch Rd.
This time I decided to turn left at that intersection and see where that takes us.

The trail took us past this mining area.


We walked around this place for a while but didn’t find where the mine tunnel was.

It was time to continue the ride so I had to get the group together as they were wandering around the area.


when we left this area we drove by this old truck.


Washes and Hills.

We drove up and down some more narrow washes…


over some hills…


And back into another wash.


We stopped at a wide spot in a wash to have lunch.


A Tight Spot.

After lunch we continued along this wash and came to this really tight spot.


Here the driver has to make some sharp turns going over these sharp rocks.


With a little guidance and taking it very slowly one can get through here.


On to the Next Challenge

Once we got through this spot we continued exploring.


Eventually we came to this very narrow spot between the cliffs.


We looked at it for a long time and eventually I decided that I could make it through the gap with Dennis M spotting for me.


The first problem I ran into was a large rock in the middle of the trail that caught the left rear shock mount.


We had to break out the high lift jack.


Once we jacked the rear of the jeep up and put some rocks under the rear tires, we had enough clearance to continue.


Now we had to get through the tight spot.

Here is a series of pictures that show the transition.


That isn’t oil on the ground under the jeep. Its Donkey poop.


At one point I had no more that a half inch clearance on each side.


I’m through the gap.


Just past the gap were some big rocks to negotiate.


Once we got through this the wash was pretty open from there.


While we were trying to get my jeep through this spot we decided that there was no way that the longer jeeps (Bill and Dennis K) would fit through the gap. So they turned around and took the bypass trail and met us at the other end of the wash where we drove out of the wash and onto Shea Road.

Vampire Mine Playground.

Once on Shea Road we headed west.
Dennis M wanted to play at a spot on where the Vampire Mine Trail starts. There are a couple of nice obstacles in this wash.

Here we are going over the first challenge.


Here is Dennis M getting some front tire air on this challenge.


We got past this spot and continued along the wash and over some more rocks.


And more rocks.


Eventually we got back on Shea Road and headed for home.


It was another fun day and a good ride.


We went to the movies in Lake Havasu City with Lillie and Tom to see The Last Jedi.

The movie was great!!

After the show we went to Chile's for an early supper. It was Okay.