Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monday Ride, Wednesday Ride and a Broken Jeep


My blog software is not talking to the blog host (Blogger) and we are limited as to how much data we have available. Using "Blogger" I have to work on line so I use a lot of data therefore this blog will be short.

Monday 1/22/18

We went for a ride with Sue and Denis to the zip line.

Sue and Denis hadn't been the (back way) to the zip line so that is what we did.
We drove north on 95 and turned east on Shea Road. We stopped to air down. After airing down we started driving east. We got about 50 yds when I ran over a big clevis pin and punched it into the tire.

We put the spare tire on and continued the ride.
Here is one of the views from the trail.

Lake Havasu.

We wandered along the bluffs enjoying the scenery.

Okay that takes care of that ride.

The Wednesday Ride 1/24/18 

On Wednesday we took a ride to what we call "The Finger". You can see the finger in this picture.

This is one of the rougher trails in the area.

Everyone else has lockers on the front and rear so they didn't have much trouble with this spot. I have tried to get up this waterfall three times in the past with two different jeep's, but without front lockers I have had to be towed every time. This time is no exception.

We continued along the trail.

We had just gone through a particularly rough patch and I heard something dragging under the jeep.
I stopped to check it out and found that it was the right front lower control arm mount had broken off the axel.
Here I am holding it up at the broken end.

We removed the control arm...

and used a chain to keep the axel from twisting.

We still had a few miles to travel to get back to the pavement. Now I couldn't even use 4wd.

Fortunately we had gone through the roughest parts of the trail.

Eventually we made it to the pavement. I found that I could drive about 30 mph. on the pavement but if I went faster the jeep would start a death wobble and I would have to step on the brakes to stop it.

Running Man and a Tow Truck.

We made it all the way to the south end of  Parker and stopped at the Running Man Gas Station which has a huge parking area. Here we called AAA and got a tow truck to take us home.


I worked on taking the jeeps front axel off.

I ordered a new mount Wednesday night and it arrived Monday. The part was for the left side and I needed the one for the right side.
I got on the phone and ordered the right one. It should be here today or tomorrow. I also ordered new bushings for all the lower control arms.
I still need to find someone to weld the mount onto the axel.

Okay that's it for now.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Wednesday Ride on Thursday.


Usually, the Wednesday jeep group goes out on rides on Wednesday and we play cards on Thursday.
Some of the folks were involved with helping some venders set up at the big rock and mineral show here this Wednesday.
As a result we played cards last night (Wednesday) and are going on a jeep ride today (Thursday).

Tom Wells Rd.

We gathered at the Carl’s Jr at the west end of town.
By 9:00 everyone was there. There were 6 jeeps on this ride.

We headed west on I-10.


Working  our way through a clot of trucks.


After about six miles we took the Tom Wells Rd. turnoff. We crossed over I-10 and headed south. Just after crossing I-10 the pavement ends. Here, we stopped to air down.


Tom Wells Rd, on the south side of the freeway is a wide, graded, very dusty road. There is very little breeze today so the dust doesn’t get blown away. It can get a bit thick with this many jeeps in a line.


The only thing to do is back off until you are out of the dust. Some times that can put you up to a quarter mile behind. 


Going up the Wash.

Eventually the road got smaller with more rock and gravel and a little less dust. We turned east into a wash heading toward the mountains.
Ah, yes, now this is more like it.


Here the trail climbs out of the wash for a ways.


We stop to take a picture of this old gnarly Ironwood corps.


We continue along the trail which has been pretty easy so far.

IMG_1304 This stretch is a little bumpy.


It went that way for a long ways; dropping into the wash…


crawling through the rock gardens for a while…


then climb out of the wash and go over some hills.



Climbing up this narrow rocky stretch of trail we came to some ATV’s coming down.


Fortunately where the ATV’s were, was wide enough that they could pull over.


This was about the most interesting spot on the trail; it was kind of bumpy and a little off camber.


The Power Line Road.

Eventually we got through the mountains and connected with the Power Line Road traveling east.


There are a lot more people on this side of the mountains. Of course, Quartzsite is at its fullest at this time of year so there are a lot of folks riding around all over the desert.


Heading North.

From the Power Line Road, we turned onto a trail going north.


The trail winds around through the mountains going in and out of gullies…


and deep canyons.



We took a side trail that turned out to be a col-d-sac so we stopped at the end and had lunch.


Deer Run Resort.

After lunch we continued our ride North’ish.
We crossed a wash and turned left. Just a short distance up the trail we came to this old powder magazine.


Now, I knew where we were. This trail is the back way to The Deer Run Resort. I have been over this trail from the other side but never from this side so its like finding a new trail.

We had to pull over for more traffic. There were six jeeps in that group.


The climb from the south side is steep and rocky in spots but it isn’t a problem if you go slow.


From the top of the pass you get a nice view of Dome Rock.


Here is another nice view to the east. The base of dome Rock is on the left.


We dropped down into a narrow canyon for a while. The trail widens out at the Deer Run Resort.


You find places like this through out the desert. Places that people decorate (or trash) depending on your outlook or how well it’s done.


This particular spot is pretty cool. It has been here for years and I suspect there have some really fun parties out here. It is a great spot for it.


Heading Home.

We hung around here for a little while and decided that since we were so close to Quartzsite we should head in and stop at Dairy Queen for ice cream before going home.
So off we went.


Broken Jeep.

When we got to the pavement Tom stopped to check something under his jeep. It turned out that the bolt on the passenger side lower control arm had come out and was missing.  Dennis found a bolt in his jeep that would work temporarily so Tom could get to town and most importantly get to Dairy Queen.

Tom’s Jeep.

So, we all made it home okay.
Tom drove his jeep to Dennis’s and checked it out more closely. The hole in the mount where the missing bolt lives is warn oblong and the bushing is also worn out on the control arm. Fortunately Dennis had a control arm so now Tom just needs the right bolt and nuts and the special washers and maybe a little welding and his jeep will be back on the road.

Back Update.

My back is doing better. I’m a little sore today after that ride but not as bad as I have been.

Okay that’s it for now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Back Update and a Jeep Ride.

OH, My Aching Back.

My Lower back is still hurting but it is getting better.
I have tried everything that everyone has been telling me to do; stretches, cold packs, hot packs, pain meds and just laying on my back. Everything works to some extent.
I wanted to get an MRI to see if I had broken anything back there but before I could get an MRI I had to get a doctor to order it. I made an appointment to see a Doctor and finally got an appointment for Tuesday (yesterday) with a Dr. Parker in Parker, AZ.
The pain has subsided some but I still wanted to make sure that there is nothing broken.
After an examination the Dr gave me two prescriptions; one is a muscel relaxer and one is for pain. I also got an order for the MRI.
We made an appointment for next Tuesday to get that done.

Since I am getting a little long in the tooth I figure that it is a good idea to have a doctor down here.

Okay, things are progressing on that front.

Monday Ride.

I was getting cabin fever so we made arrangements to meet Sue, Denis, Jo Ann and Dave at the fire station at 9:00 for a ride.


For a long time I have been looking at maps of this area and have been on almost every trail around. There is one trail that looks like a nice easy drive. It is called…


and runs east, west and crosses Butler Valley. A wide expanse of flat desert. The trail goes through a few hills on each end so we are hoping to find some smaller trails to explore in the hills.
Most of the trail is a wide graded road so I figured that it wouldn’t hurt my back to much.

To get to the start of the trail we drove north on 95 and took Plomosa Road heading N/E.  We crossed Hwy 72 at Bouse and followed Swansea Rd north.
Swansea Road is a wide graded dirt road. The surface is pretty smooth with only the occasional stretch of washboard so you can move right along.


Eventually we got to the place where Swansea Rd, Lincoln Ranch Road and Powerline Rd  intersect. We stopped here to air down the tires.


From here we head east into country we haven’t  explored before.

Powerline Rd.

We head east on Powerline Rd.


After a little ways we get into the first range of hills.

A Side Trail.

Patti had me stop so she could get a picture of this old Saguaro.


A few feet past the Saguaro, there was a small trail going north into the hills, so of course we followed it.


The trail started out pretty smooth but as it started climbing it became a bit more fun.


We went higher and higher.


We passed a small prospect tunnel but it only went a few feet into the mountain.


There were some nice samples of Crisocola lying around so we stopped to take a look.

Jo Ann took this one home.


We continued the climb and drove along the base of these black cliffs that we could see from the valley floor.


End of the Trail.

Eventually the trail just petered out in a area where some one had pushed a lot of dirt around surface mining I guess.


What Goes Up, etc.

Well as they say, “what goes up has to come down again” so we started back toward Butler Valley. You can see the trail below us.


There are a few nice switch backs. Here is looking back up one of them.


Eventually we got back to Powerline Rd and turned east.



The road can bee seen crossing the valley. At the foot of the hills the power lines cross the Highway to Alamo Lake.
We crossed the valley and we were almost at the highway by 12:00.

We pulled off at an open flat and stopped for lunch.


Cottonwood Pass Trail.

While we were having lunch we discussed what to do next as it was to early to head for home yet. After consulting the maps we decided to back track a little ways and take a trail that we passed that was heading south and see if we could get on Cottonwood Pass trail.


Patti took this picture of what looks like an old crested Saguaro but the crest isn’t very well developed.


We followed several trails and saw a lot of beautiful desert.


Eventually we got onto the trail that goes over Cottonwood Pass


We had been over Cottonwood Pass a few times but always from the other side so this was new.

Here is the view from the top of the pass looking southeast.


The trail is pretty narrow with lots of steep switchbacks but other than that it’s an easy drive.

Eventually we got down to the valley north of Salome. Once we were on the flats I got turned round and after taking several wrong turns decided to let Denis lead us back to the pavement. He did a good job.

It was a good day and a nice ride.