Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Scanner Radio" App

The Scanner Radio App allows you to listen to live audio from over 3,600 police and fire scanners, weather radios, and amateur radio repeaters from around the world on your phone. If you do not have a smartphone, you can use broadcastify.com.

I started with the local Pinal County Sheriff's Office but there was not much communication so I switched to the Chicago Police and Fire feed where it was non-stop traffic (glad I do not live in Chicago). All in all an interesting and fun app.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cottonwood To Box Canyon

Group ride from the Cottonwood trailhead to Box Canyon. I rode "shotgun" with Dave H in his Can-Am cadillac and acted as his videographer. Highlights of the day were avoiding artillery shells...


Watching professional engineers at work...


And riding through Box Canyon...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Big Horn Sheep

Terry, Gail, and I took a leisurely ride to the gypsum mine where Terry spotted a group of big horn sheep. It consisted of a huge male, three females, and possibly a kid. Here are the cropped images of what we saw (I would have liked to have had a more powerful telephoto lens)...

Click on photos to enlarge



Friday, December 14, 2012

Organ Stop Pizza

A group of us from the park had dinner at the Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa. What makes this such an unique experience is the live music featuring the world's largest Wurlitzer organ (nearly 6,000 pipes)... the pizza and chocolate fudge sundae were not bad either.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saguaro Creek / Sugarloaf Mountain

Another great day riding off-road in the desert. Keith, Jane, and I trailered our machines up Highway 87 to a trailhead about 30 miles northeast of Phoenix where we unloaded for the purpose of exploring some new trails. The first section was mainly flat, sandy washes with spur trails that led to some interesting hill climbs. If you want to see what your ORV can climb, this would be a good place to try it out.

Then we followed a narrow, winding trail up a mountain and turned east towards Highway 87.  Although the views got better, the further we went, the rougher it got. Finally, we came to a section where we decided it would not be wise to proceed without a couple more bodies and possibly a wench. A track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Keith & Jane and their new quad

Four Peaks in the distance to the left and Weaver's Needle to the right

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Fun Ride To Martinez Canyon Road

Six of us left the Arizonian RV Park and rode to Martinez Canyon via some interesting trails. A group of jeep drivers told us that the gate is now up to the entrance to the Martinez Mine and the only way to get back there is to hike.




A track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Looking For Gold In All The Wrong Places

Jim P and I went prospecting for gold today. And although it was a great day to be outdoors, it is with regret that I must report that the Lost Dutchman's Mine is still lost.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"2359" Ride

Group ride to the mountains east of Gold Camp. A track of the ride including speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

RC Jet Engine Model Airplanes

Dave, Bob and I attended a remote control, jet engine model aircraft show. These $5,000+ model airplanes were extremely realistic including the sound of the engines (at times, I felt like I was at LAX). And in the hands of experienced pilots, the aerial acrobatics were fascinating to watch.


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Battle Axe To Coke Ovens

We trailered the ORVs to Battle Axe road south of Superior and then followed a track Don had downloaded to my GPS to the Coke Ovens where we crossed the Gila River and then looped back to our entry route. I believe we all have a better understanding of what Don means when he says "we had to blaze a trail part of the way". It appeared no one had been on the section along the railroad tracks since he was there two years ago (a machete would have been a nice accessory).

All in all it was a great ride with lots of variety and beautiful scenery which everyone seemed to enjoy. A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Manly Men

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

One of my favorite places to visit in Tucson is the Desert Museum, particularly, when they are having the raptor free flight demonstrations. This time I had the good fortunate to have Carolyn, a Tucson native who I met in Kalispell, Montana this summer, join me (it's always nice to have someone to share the experience with).

"Photo of the Day"

Saturday, November 03, 2012

"Ride Now" Demo Event

Dave B, Dave H, and I took in the Ride Now dealership demo event where they test drove the new Can-Am Maverick. The general consensus was it was too loud and not right for the kind of riding we do in the desert. There was also a boat drag race next door but we decided not to attend as it looked a little boring after the first few minutes.

When D&D told me they were there to look at the new models, I thought they meant machines

Then, they kept asking this young lady to lean over and help them with the forms

And finally, they got around to looking at the new machines

The engine is almost as big as the boat

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Desert Rattlesnake

You never know what you are going to find in the desert...

Click on photo to enlarge

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dave & Jim's Excellent Adventure

Dave "No Fear" Haugen and I took the machines south of Highway 60 to explore some new trails. I say "No Fear" Haugen because as we are coming down a series of rock ledges that would make most riders poop in their pants, I look back and there is Dave with one hand on the steering wheel, the other on his new camcorder, and a big grin on his face.

Later, Dave did try to get me to poop in my pants by taking his Can-Am up the most difficult route at the "Waterfalls" where he just powered his way right through it. It's always a pleasure watching a professional at work. All in all a great day of riding.

Here's a cute critter that met us at the back gate...


It was a perfect weather day with nary a cloud in the sky...


At one point we came across a group of huge mines...


Here's a video of me going up a series of rock ledges...


A video of me going up the infamous "Waterfalls"...


And a video of Dave going up the "Waterfalls" the hard way...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Martinez Canyon Closed

Everywhere I rode this summer in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah, I kept hearing the locals say "the government is closing our trails". Now I can add Arizona to that list.

At the entrance to Martinez Canyon is a sign indicating that it is now closed to all motorized traffic. The only legal way to access this beautiful canyon is to hike there which most senior citizens cannot do.


We did ride through Box Canyon and it is still open (for now). A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Healthcare Law

My apologies for being too political in my blog but the more I read, the scarier it gets... maybe, I should quit reading. Here are excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article:

"Millions of American workers could discover that they no longer have employer-provided health insurance as ObamaCare is phased in. That's because employers are quickly discovering that it may be cheaper to pay fines to the government than to insure workers.

AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere and Verizon have all made internal calculations, according the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to determine how much could be saved by a) dropping their employer-provided insurance, b) paying a fine of $2,000 per employee, and c) leaving their employees with the option of buying highly-subsidized insurance in the newly created health-insurance exchange.

AT&T, for example, paid $2.4 billion last year to cover medical costs for its 283,000 active employees. If the company dropped its health plan and paid an annual penalty for each uninsured worker, the fines would total almost $600 million. But that would leave AT&T with a tidy profit of $1.8 billion."

If you were an employer and you had the choice between paying $15,000 per employee and trying to comply with 15,000 pages of law and regulations or paying a $2,000 per employee penalty which would you choose?

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the health law will cost $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. But given the CBO's history of underestimating costs and the likelihood that the number of people requiring subsidized insurance will be much larger than predicted, I suspect the true cost to the American taxpayer will be significantly higher.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why is there so much government waste?

I just read an interesting article on "Why is there so much government waste?". Here are a couple of excerpts that caught my attention:

"In Congress’s case, we have 535 people with trillions of other people’s dollars to spend. That they’re content to fritter billions away on toys for special interests shouldn’t be shocking.

First, so long as the federal government can spend money on anything it wants, politicians are going to spend money on anything they want. Second, contrary to what we’re taught in school, policymakers generally allocate money on the basis of political and parochial concerns — not on the basis of sound economics or even the so-called “public interest.”

That means that so long as the government can fund transportation, there is going to be waste. So long as the federal government can give handouts to state and local politicians to spend on economic development, there is going to be waste. And as we have documented at Cato’s website, www.DownsizingGovernment.org, even when there isn’t de facto waste, federal programs are fraught with countless other shortcomings."


I recognize that some government is necessary for any society to exist but without the "profit incentive" that we have in private enterprise, government continues to grow like a cancer and along with it the potential for abuse. If you ever needed a reason to vote for limited government, just read some of the 250 posts at wastefulgov.blogspot.com.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Desert Scorpion

Here's what greeted us before our morning ride...

There is not much in the desert that does not bite, sting, or prick you

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Afternoon Ride

Dave, Jimmy, Ellen, and I went for a short ride out back of the RV park...

Wide open spaces

A rose between two thorns

Fortunately, this blog has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Back At The Arizonian

It has been a great summer. I got to see some new places, met some interesting people, and rode some of the best ORV trails in the country. It was just what I had hoped to do when I set out last Spring.

I have returned to the Arizonian RV Park in Gold Canyon, Arizona where I will spend the winter. Am looking forwarding to seeing friends from last year and riding in the desert again. I am sure we will find some new areas to explore.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Lake Powell

Lake Powell has to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. That dark blue water surrounded by those incredible, multi-colored rock cliffs makes it a delight to the eyes. If I ever come back to this area, it would probably be to rent a houseboat and explore the lake.

Glen Canyon Dam


"Houseboat Heaven"

If you choose to camp here, I would recommend the Wahweap RV Park. It's a little more expensive but in my opinion, the view makes it worth the price.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Page, AZ

My first day in Page, Arizona has not gone well. This is a very beautiful recreational area and as such is heavily commercialized which has led to problems I have not had to put up with in a while.

I started out by trying to make phone reservations to tour Antelope Canyon which is known for its photogenic slot canyon (access to the canyon is restricted by the Navajo Tribe and requires a guide). My first two calls to the agency I was put on hold and then disconnected both times. On the third try I got to speak with a representative. When I asked "which day of the week would be the least crowded", she responded "they are always crowded" and then put me on hold again. I gave up trying to make reservations.

Next I drove down to the Wahweap Marina to book a boat tour of the lake. When I pulled up to the park gate, I found four huge tour buses in front of me. I figure this is not good and decide to see what I can find via the Internet. I locate an online tour company but they require a minimum 48 hours advanced, non-refundable booking, a $5.95 processing fee, plus an entrance fee to the park. Once again, I gave up.

Now I am going to take a nap and then reconsider my options later. I guess I have gotten way too use to wide open spaces and friendly people and as a result find the above more frustrating than I used to.

PS - discovered their sales tax is 10.725%! Had I not paid the park for a week (non-refundable, of course), I would probably be moving on down the road. The feeling I am getting here is "we want your money, we just don't want you".

Monday, October 01, 2012

"Chicken Corners" Ride

The first leg of the ride takes you through an impressive red rock canyon with near vertical formations...



Then you follow the Colorado River to Chicken Corners...

Click on photos to enlarge

Why do they call it Chicken Corners? You have to walk around a corner on narrow ledge with a rather imposing drop to the bottom of the canyon...

"Death Defying Feat"

I was standing at the far corner of this photo

It was not as bad as I had feared and you are rewarded with a spectacular view. However, it is not for the faint-of-heart.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Steel Bender" Ride

The last two days have been like a seminar in extreme UTVing. And I have enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately, the photos and videos do not do the experience justice – you had to be there to appreciate it. If you would like an adventure that will raise your ATV/UTV experience to a new level, sign up for next year’s Red Rockin’ Rendezvous.

Lastly, the people I rode with were just wonderful – full of life with a great sense of humor. When we got back to the arena, they had indoor ATV/UTV races (barrel, carpet, etc.) that had me laughing out loud. The grandparents, the parents, and the kids all participated so it was one big family event. All in all a great way to spend the day.

Click on photos to enlarge


"Girls just want to have fun"

Here is a video of yours truly climbing the first obstacle at "The Waterfalls". As you can see, the guides go out of their way to make sure your ride is as safe as possible. The cheering at the end is an added bonus.


A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail. If you have never ridden Steel Bender, I would highly recommend that you go with an experienced group, preferably, one that has been there before.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hells Revenge - Fins & Things Ride

Today was the most difficult and challenging ride I have experienced to date. And it was a blast! I have been wanting to ride Hells Revenge and Fins & Things since arriving in Moab but could not find anyone in the park who would join me. Fortunately, I came across the Red Rockin’ Rendezvous ATV & UTV Event and signed up for a guided tour. I could not have asked for a better introduction to a couple of Moab's most notorious trails. Plus, I got to watch some of the best UTV riders I have ever seen. They made it look easy.

Click on photos to enlarge



 The event did not have BLM permits to ride Hells Gate, The Escalator, or the Hot Tubs... which after seeing them was just fine with me.

The Escalator

Hot Tub

Here's a video that gives you some idea of what it is like to ride a rock ridge on Hells Revenge. It's a straight drop of several hundred feet on either side of the trail...


A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thompson & Sego Canyons Ride

Today's ride was mainly about seeing some early pioneer dwellings.

The latest in fashionable foul weather gear

One bedroom, no bath

Stone oven

Having too much fun