Friday, February 27, 2015

H.R. 999 (The RIDE Act)

Message from Polaris...

Dear Off-Road Enthusiasts, 

You heard last fall that the Federal Government wants to design your next off-road side-by-side vehicle by mandating handling and performance capabilities and requiring excessive and potentially unsafe restraint systems. If not halted, the mandate will limit the off-road community's options. 

Good news! You were heard. After congress received more than 90,000 messages concerning the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) proposed mandates for off-road side-by-side vehicles (ROVs), U.S. Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) introduced The RIDE Act . The bill would postpone the ROV rulemaking until the CPSC's proposals are studied and evaluated by the National Academy of Sciences in consultation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD). This independent review will help ensure that ROV design standards are appropriate for off-road riding environments, will not unnecessarily compromise off-road performance and safety, and will not lead to unintended consequences. 

Your immediate action is needed now. By reaching out to your elected officials and urging them to co-sponsor this new legislation, together we can halt this regulation, but you must act now. 

As a unified off-road community, we can protect our right to ride for today and the future. 

Learn more about the CPSC mandate  

Contact your representatives today 

Friday, February 20, 2015

4 Peaks & Tonto Monument

Keith, Jayne and I drove the jeeps to the Tonto National Monument via Four Peaks to see the ancient Native American cliff dwellings. The road up the mountain from Highway 87 offers great vistas but is rough as a cob (think loose fillings). The road down the mountain to Highway 188 has been graded and is a much more pleasant ride...

That's the four peaks in the distance

At the monument you hike about a quarter mile up a relatively steep path to reach the cliff dwellings...

Location, location, location

You can walk into the dwellings

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cave Men/Women

After my Apache Tears Cave post, a group of park residents decided to ride their side-by-sides there to seek their fortune in rare gems and minerals. In as much as the weather forecast called for a high near 80 degrees today, I chose to drive over in my air conditioned jeep (this being a family oriented blog, I cannot repeat the language that was directed towards me as a result of that decision).

I stopped for breakfast in Queen Valley and discovered a group of classic car enthusiasts were there also...

Click on photos to enlarge

For you history buffs, the old Town of Pinal is located along the road to the cave. Click here for a short description of the town and the locations of the buildings and mill (only the foundations are left).

More photos...

The cave is huge

Incredible scenery everywhere you look

Queen Creek from the comfort of an air conditioned jeep

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Break-In Ride

A man may forget his wife's birthday or their anniversary but he always remembers the purchase of a new vehicle. Anxious to see Gary get his new RZR dirty and add some "Arizona pinstripes" to the exterior, an elite group of trouble makers joined him for the break-in ride.

Sunny skies, warm temperatures and magnificent vistas made for a perfect day in the desert...


Here's the brain-trust getting ready to hide Mary's geocache...


The surprise-of-the-day was an owl nesting in a large saguaro cactus...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Polaris Slingshot

Gary and I went to Iron City Polaris for some reason that I cannot recall but while there, I got to sit in the new Polaris Slingshot...



It's a unique vehicle with a lot of flash but unless my friends here in the park chip-in and buy me one for my birthday, I do not see it in my future.

Oh... I remember now, Gary was picking up his new RZR 900...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Apache Tears Cave

Ron stopped by the RV to tell me about a huge cave near Picketpost Mountain that is filled with Apache Tears. With no further encouragement needed, I jumped in my trusty jeep and headed for the hills.

Along the way to the cave, you come across a metal sign that directs you to an area where old wagon wheels have cut ruts into solid rock (some of which are close to a foot deep)...



After parking at the end road, you hike several hundred yards to the cave...


In the loose gravel you will find numerous small tears but it appears you have to chisel the larger ones out of the rock walls. I met a lady who had a tear the size of small egg. Here's what I picked up in just a few minutes...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another Great Desert Ride

If you have never ridden off-road in the Sonoran Desert, you probably cannot appreciate what a great experience it is, particularly, on a warm, sunny day without a cloud in a dark blue sky. This is my fourth winter here and I am still as fascinated as the first time.


Here's Dick making a descent down a rather steep incline look easy...


Lastly, if you have ever wondered how many guys it takes to change a drive belt on a UTV...

(hint: it looks a lot like a state road crew)

Friday, February 06, 2015

Playing Dirty

Keith and Jayne bought a new 2015 Jeep Unlimited that is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it was so clean it was making my Jeep look bad. So, in order to remedy the problem, I invited them to go for a ride in the desert with me and they foolishly accepted. Now my Jeep does not look so bad...


How does one get a Jeep muddy in the desert you ask. You put Jayne behind the wheel...

Remind me not to let her borrow my Jeep

I figured a good way for them to break-in a new vehicle would be the extreme Jeep trail called "Elvis"...


And as far as you know, we rode the entire trail including the most difficult sections...

Thursday, February 05, 2015

RZR 900 Warning

In the interest of full disclosure, there is one downside to getting a RZR 900 that you guys need to be aware of. You cannot keep women out of your new machine...




Hopefully, others will benefit from my experience.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

2359 & No Name

After surviving the monsoon season here in southern Arizona, I finally got to take the new RZR 900 XC for a long ride. I am happy to report it is superior to the old 800 in every way: power, handling, suspension, etc. It's simply a better machine.

We started out our ride by finding a couple of geocaches near the jail and cliff dwelling and then began our ascent of 2359 and descent of No Name. You would be hard put to ride more vertical feet in one day than those two trails.

One happy camper

Ancient cliff dwellers

Riding the ridge line

Update (2/5/15) - Yesterday's "daredevils" photo compliments of Bev...