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.