Thursday, November 29, 2018

Signing Papers and a ride on Black Cat Pass Road.


Signing Papers.

Tuesday around 12:00 we met with Dick at the title company in Parker. We signed the final papers and gave them a check for the Property. They have to wait 10 days to allow the check to clear. Therefore escrow will close on the 10th of December. We will start moving in after that.

After the title company, we went to the Motor Vehicle Department and registered the 5th wheel.

Now we just have to wait till December tenth.


Black Cat Pass.

We met the rest of the group at the Arco station on the east side of town by 9:00. There were 5 jeeps in the group.
Dennis M, Dennis K, Tom, Gene, and us.

Once we were gathered, we headed east on I-10.


At the Highway 60 exit we exited…

and continued east on 60.


There was a little slow down, as the ADOT was putting plastic shields over the reflective dots on the center line. It took me a while to figure out why they were doing that, then it occurred to me that maybe they were going to spray sealant on the highway and they didn’t want the reflective dots to be covered with road oil.
Or maybe they were going to paint the center line and were protecting the dots from the paint.


We continued down Highway 60 past the town of Hope, AZ…


and pulled off the highway at the Black Cat Pass Rd and stopped to air down the tires.


Once we were done we got on the trail.
The trail follows the railroad tracks for a while.


We came to a trail to the right so we turned onto it and went under the tracks.


This trail takes us through an old mining area.


We wandered around here for s few minutes and then looked for a trail that continued up the mountain. After a bit we found a rough trail going up the wash.
I went ahead to check it out and found that we could follow the trail up to the next mine. I called the others on the walkie-talkie and told them the trail is kind of rough but to come on up, so up they came.


There was a covered over shaft here …


Behind this shaft is a tunnel going into the mountain.


The tunnel is nice and big with at least two branches. The problem was that the tunnel smelled so strongly of Bat guano and urine that we didn’t go in. You could smell it from several feet away. Yuck!!

Black Cat Pass.

We left this mine and drove back the way we had come. We found another trail going into the mountains and followed it.


We came to a pass through the mountains and decided that this must be Black Cat Pass.


The trail went over the pass and into the Salome Valley. We didn’t want to go there so we turned around and headed back the way we came.


We went back under the tracks.


We came to the dusty main trail and followed it north.


Another Side Trail.

We found another trail going east so we turned onto it.

We crossed under the railroad again.


The trail went across some desert flats toward the mountains.


Eventually we started climbing the mountains.


We stopped for lunch at a small flat spot near the top of this rough climb.



After lunch we continued up the trail.

The Desert Queen Mine.

After several miles of rough trail…


we eventually made it to the Desert Queen Mine.
This used to be a large house but people have been scavenging building materials from it.


A little farther up the trail we came to the mine.

There are a couple of vertical shafts here that have been covered over with wood and a large tunnel.


Just to the right of the tunnel is this interesting Saguaro cactus.


There is also a loading shoot that is still standing.


After a while we left here and headed west.


We continued west until we came to The Vicksburg Pit Road where we turned south.
We drove past the gravel pit…


When we got to the pavement we aired up the tires and headed for Quartzsite.

It was a fun ride and it was nice to be playing in the desert again.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Last Couple of Days.


A Movie.

Around 11:30 Friday morning Patti and I headed for Lake Havasu City to go to the movies.
We saw “Fantastic Beast’s and the Crimes of Grindelwald.” It is the second of a five movie series by JK Rowling.

The movie was very entertaining and for a Harry Potter fan, it is a look into the history of the Wizarding World created by Rowling.
We will have to buy the DVD so we can watch the film a couple more times to figure out what we saw the first time.

It is about a 150 mile round trip from Quartzsite to Lake Havasu City and back. You have to really be board to go that far to see a movie. But that is what you do when you live in the desert. Nothing is close so you don’t think anything of going long distances to shop or go out to dinner or a movie.
People in the east and in cities have no concept of life in the rural west.


After the movie we drove back to Parker and stopped at the Cross Roads Café for dinner. I had fried chicken and Patti had Fish and Chips. Patti liked her fish but the breading on my chicken was thick and very crunchy (hard). I peeled most of it off and found that the chicken underneath was tender and juicy.

We got home around 6:30.
That was Friday.


Not much going on today.

Around 12:00 we walked over to Cheryl and Dennis’s to have some left over Cranberry Pie and Ice-cream. It was delicious.

Later in the day we took some left over Nopalitos to our friend Donna and visited with her for a while.

For dinner I had the rest of the Nopalitos and Patti had a pb&j sandwich.


We went to breakfast at “The Bad Boys” good breakfast, but plastic flatware and plates.

As usual today is laundry day so Patti is off doing laundry and I have been doing house work.
I am done with that now, so I figured I would catch up the blog.

We haven’t been very active but we are enjoying the nice warm weather.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving.

Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.

Cheryl asked if I would make some Nopalitos  (A pork stew with cactus) for Thanksgiving dinner. Never one to miss a chance to have Nopalitos, I said I would be happy to make them.

Here is everything cut up and the meat is cooking.


Here is the Napolitos cooked.


Thanksgiving Dinner.

Around 2:30 we walked over to Cheryl and Dennis’s with the Napolitos and our drinks.

Cheryl made a Chile Relleno Casserole, a salad and two deserts; a Cranberry Pie and Pumpkin Bars.
It was all great.

Here is the table set.


Our neighbor, Dick was also there. He is the guy we are buying the property from.

Here we are at dinner. Patti is missing as she is taking the picture.


We had a great Thanksgiving dinner and went home around 7:00, full and sleepy. I don’t think there is any Tryptophan in Napolitos, just cactus, meat, onions, tomatoes, garlic and olives. 

I gave up and went to bed around 9:15.

Okay, that was our Thanksgiving dinner. It was very good. I hope yours was too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Trip to the Title Company Parker.


We spent Saturday sort of resting up from our trip to Oro Valley.

We talked with Dick, our neighbor; he had all the paper work to get the sale of his property underway. He gave us the papers so we could take them to the title company.


In the morning we went next door to talk to Dick and make sure we had all the “T’s” crossed and “I’s” dotted on the paperwork. Everything looks good.

The rest of the day, Patti did laundry and I cleaned house.


Around 10:00 we left for Parker, AZ. to drop off the paperwork and do some shopping.

The Title Company.

First we went to the Title Company. The lady there went over the paperwork with us and everything was good. She told us that escrow would close on or about the 10th of December.


After that we went to Walmart to drop off a prescription and do some shopping. Of course we couldn’t find everything at Walmart so we went across the highway to the Safeway store to get the rest.

From Safeway we went to lunch at the local Chinese restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we stopped at Auto Zone so I could get a new Alternator for the jeep. The old one has been shaky for a long time.
Every once in a while I have to whack it with a hammer to get it working again. That is happening too often now so I decided to install a new one.

We got back home around 3:00 and spent the rest of the day puttering. Tomorrow I will install the alternator.

Okay, that’s it for now.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Wild Burro Canyon, The Ride Home and Big Changes.

Wild Burrow Canyon.

We left the hotel around 9:00 and drove north on 77. We tuned west on the Edwin Road. As soon as we left the highway we pulled over to air down.


The trail was very easy but dusty.


We drove about 6 miles east and stopped to check out this windmill and water tank.


This was at the end of this trail.

A Bunch of Bull.

There was a big bull bellowing at the fence.


He probably thought we were the farmer bring him some hay or grain. He sure was noisy.

The End of the Trail.

We back tracked a bit and found the trail going east again toward this big Marble Mine.


We followed that trail about a mile and came to a locked gate.
Apparently the place has changed hands and the new owners have closed the trail.

Interesting Plants.

We turned around and headed back toward the highway.


As we drove along Patti had me stop so she could get a picture of these interesting plants.


Here is the same type of plant before it bloom’s.


Back at the highway we aired up and headed down this road


to I-10 where we headed west.


We stopped at this station for a break and Patti got this dinosaur picture.


From here we headed for home and arrived in Quartzsite around 4:20.

It was a fun five days of jeeping and Dennis did a great job leading the group.

Big Changes.

When Patti and I left home in Santa Rosa we were discussing upgrading our RV as we wanted more room and our Flair is getting old. It will need a roof in a few years and other stuff is getting old as well.

By the time we got to Quartzsite we had decided that we would look around for a newer unit.

Our neighbor had his property, a 1/3 acre lot with a 30 ft. Fifth wheel trailer on it, up for sale.


We went over and checked it out. The fifth wheel is a little newer than our RV and has two slide-outs; one in the living area and one in the bedroom.
His asking price is lower than what it would cost us to get a newer motorhome.

After discussing it during the week we were in Oro Valley, we decided to buy the place.
Now we are going to be property owners in Quartzsite.
I figure that if we bought a motor home its value would depreciate rapidly and we would take a big loss when we are through with it. Hopefully the property value will appreciate over time.
Now we have to sell the motor home.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Rice Peak Loop and the The Back way to Mount Lemon .


The Rice Peak loop is a side trail on the way to The Back way to Mount Lemon.

Mount Lemon is a 8000+ foot mountain east of Tucson, AZ.
There is a paved highway that goes up the south side and a dirt road that goes up the north side. Patti and I hade driven up the paved (front) way several years ago.
Since then we have tried going up the north (back) way twice. Each time was in the Spring and we were stopped by snow.
This time we are attempting it in the fall. No snow yet.

Rice Peak Loop.

We left the Hotel around 8:45, stopped at the Valero station to pick up Tom and Lillie. From there, we drove northeast on Highway 77 to the town of Oracle. Here we headed south on Mount Lemon Rd.


The pavement ends at the Arizona Adventures Zipline.


We stopped here to air down.


When we got to the Peppersauce Campground we turned right on Rice Peak Trail.


We headed up the trail through some primitive camp areas.


The trail is a little rough, not bad but very dusty. There is one very tight switch back. There is sign there that recommends that vehicles back up to the corner then drive straight up the switch back.


We decided that we could just drive up to the turn and with a little back and fill we made the turn easily.


Here is Dennis M going up above us.


Looking down behind us.


We made it to the top of the loop and after a break headed down the other side.


Here we are going through the valley where the campground is.


The Back Way to Mount Lemon.

Once back down from Rice Peak, we headed out the nice graded road to Mount lemon. The road is real easy until the last 6 Miles.


We found a good wide spot to have lunch.


We passed the place where the road is closed in winter and the road becomes a bid rougher.


Motorcycle Rescue.

We were coming to a particularly rough spot and found this guy with his motorcycle on the ground. Apparently the guy, who’s name is Gordy, was trying to get to the top but he hit this rocky area wrong and got dumped. His motorcycle was a 600 lb. BMW Touring bike with street tires.


When we arrived he was sitting on the ground as he couldn’t lift the bike on this steep hill because it kept rolling toward the edge of the canyon.

It took all of us to get him righted and headed in the right direction


Once he got the bike started we moved to the side so he could go passed us.



Oh No, Not Again.

We let the biker get ahead of us a little and started up the hill.


After about 2 miles we came upon him in trouble again. This time his bike was trying to take him straight down the mountain side.


Fortunately a tree stopped his decent. This was a scary situation. Here is a 600 lb. motorcycle heading down the mountain side.

We connected a tow strap to the bars on the uphill side of the bike.


We connected the other end to Dennis M’s jeep to keep the bike from getting away. Once the slack was taken up we managed to pull the bike back up the hill.


Once the bike was back on the road we let Gordy go ahead of us again.


After a little bit we continued up the trail.


We never saw Gordy again. I hope he made it. We didn’t see him in any of the canyons so I guess he’s okay.

Eventually we made it to the top where we stopped to air up.



We saw a couple of hikers when we were on the Rice Peak trail. They were going up when we were going down the trail.

While we were airing up the tires the same hikers came out a trail to the north of us.


They covered the distance from Rice Peak to Mount Lemon as fast as we did it. That must be a pretty easy trail or these two folks have super powers.

Down the Front Side of Mount Lemon.

Once the tires were aired up we headed down the front side of Mount Lemon.

IMG_3911 Hoodoo's.

As you drive down the highway you go through an area of interesting hoodoo’s.



The Worst Part.

The worst part of the trip was about to begin.

What you see out there isn’t an ocean with white caps.


It is the urban sprawl of Tucson. Yuck.

Tom’s jeep breaks.

We stopped for a break at a Circle K and Tom said that he had a serious vibration. He and Dennis M checked it out and found that the rear universal joint on the rear drive shaft was real bad.
There was nothing we could do there so we continued the drive back to Oro Valley.


We stopped for supper at the China Phoenix restaurant and had an excellent Chinese meal.

After supper Tom stopped at an auto parts store and bought a new universal joint.

The next morning he and Dennis M had the U joint replaced by 9:00.

Okay that’s all for now. Tomorrow we start for home.