Friday, December 29, 2017

Arizona Pinstripes

This is a public service announcement to all Jeep owners. Before riding with Steve & Jayne (, people would look at my Jeep and say things like "that's a good looking vehicle". Now, a month after of following them to places a billy goat would not go, they say things like "would you mind getting that eyesore off the road, it's embarrassing"...

Looks like I will be buying buffing compound in bulk

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May Santa grant all your wishes (even if you were a little bit naughty). 2017 was a good year for me. I got to see some amazing places and met some wonderful people. I am looking forward to doing more of the same in 2018.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Swansea Ghost Town

Swansea is an old copper-mining community that existed in the early 1900s between Parker and Bouse, Arizona. It consists today of old buildings and concrete foundations. As you walk around the area, there are plaques telling you about the history of the mine/town and its various structures.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Desert Hill Climbing

If you look south from I-40 between the Lake Havasu exit and the California state line, you will see a series of hills with a trail that resembles a roller-coaster ride. Here are a series of clips from my dash cam (run at 2X speed) that hopefully, will give you an idea of the experience...

I recommend viewing at the highest resolution your bandwidth will allow

As usual, photos/videos never quite show how steep these hills are. You will note that at the top of some of the hills, all you can see is sky which is a little unnerving as you don't know if the trail makes a sharp turn on the downhill side or worse yet, whether there is any oncoming traffic. That said, they were a lot of fun to run.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Eagle Pass

The Eagle Pass trail is just across the border in California south of I-40 and the town of Needles (home of Snoopy's brother Spike). I cannot recommend this ride due to the seemingly endless washboard washes that beat up both you and your machine. Plus, there is not much in the way of scenery. This is the only photo that I thought was worth showing...

Monday, December 11, 2017

McGuffie Cabin

Steve and I departed the park at the crack of dawn (8:00 a.m.) heading to the McGuffie Cabin west of Alamo Lake. We forded raging rivers, climbed mighty mountains and I am pretty sure if you look up "middle of nowhere" in the dictionary, you would see a photo of our route. Not everyone who has undertaken this arduous journey has been successful...

Click on photos to enlarge

Steve converts his jeep into an amphibious vehicle

McGuffie Cabin

All the comforts of home

Who has a boat in the middle of the desert

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Warm Springs Trail

The Warm Springs trail makes a big loop north of I-40 from Franconia to Powell. Although it is not difficult, it is rocky and very rough. Make sure your vehicle's shocks and springs are in good condition as they are going to get a workout (not to mention wear and tear on your body).

The highlight of the trip was a spur road that took us to the top of a mountain where the Klaner and Doolin Pits are located. The views were outstanding...

On the way back, we came across a wild burro family...

Update (12/8/2017): Steve's photo of me doing a little "rock crawling"...

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Planet Mine/Ranch

Today, I had the pleasure of joining Steve, Jayne, Frank and Barb on a Jeep ride to the Planet MIne/Ranch area east of Parker, AZ. Steve is the author of, a highly informative site listing over 350 trails in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. You can even download GPX tracks of the trails to your smartphone, tablet or GPS so that you never get lost.

Jayne, Steve, Barb, Frank at the old ranch

The mining area itself is a series of ridges and washes that makes for a rugged beauty and at times, challenging riding...

Here's a compilation video of what I consider to be some of the highlights of the day...

Monday, December 04, 2017

Wheelingit Camping Map

One of my favorite RV blogs is Wheelingit, a well written and informative site. In looking at Nina's latest post, I noticed a camping map at the bottom of the page that has links to all of the places she has reviewed and which I thought might be of interest to other RVers. Click on the image below to bring up the map...

Friday, December 01, 2017


A recent episode of The Big Bang Theory had the guys going back in time to find some Bitcoins they had mined years ago that were now worth quite a bit of money. As fate would have it, back when one Bitcoin was worth ~$100, I bought a couple of inexpensive ASIC Bitcoin USB Miners and began mining. After a number of months, I generated 0.1 Bitcoin. As more and more really big miners entered the market, it became increasing difficult for me to compete so I parked my coin in a "wallet" at Coinbase and quit mining*.

Now that one Bitcoin is worth over $10,000, I sold half of my stash for ~$500 and had it deposited into my checking account. I figure if the price goes down substantially, I can always buy it back at a lower price. If the price goes up substantially, I can sell the remainder at a greater profit.

If you like to live life on the razor's edge or just have more money than a Michigan farmer, you may wish to play around in this market. Just remember it is highly volatile which makes it a risky investment. Here's a chart of Bitcoin's recent history...

*Mining today requires some relatively expensive equipment and a source of inexpensive electricity. Most mining is now done in China.