Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “Tourista!”

NF-493 – The Movie

Well, due to its length of 29 minutes, not too many folks are going to suffer through this thing because it’s not relevant to how they camp or would want to camp if they could. Then again, if you harbor the same “get out there” delusions I do and want to find out what you can unknowingly get yourself into, then this is for you. All the trail surface variety and wild 3 MPH action is here. plus there’s all that blue sky on one side and mountainside on the other. Looking at the footage, it’s obvious that I dropped a wheel solidly into that erosion hole at ledge’s edge, and yet I can’t explain why no tire tracks can be found in the dust around the bad part of it. I’ll have to leave that mystery as it is. Not being a Read more…

NF-593 – The Movie

My apologies: the route is NF-493. This error is in the video as well, so all subscribers have received another notification to a corrected post and video in addition to this now-bogus one. The corrected post is here.

 

On Tour: Woodchute to Jerome

 

A holiday snap taken by the Garmin VIRB Ultra, which inserted its own default data overlays of speed, elevation and location on a mapped track. And its own logo, of course. These are probably easy to get rid of, just as they are on video captures, but I haven’t explored that yet.

Once you get the video bug, it’s hard to stop seeing what can be done on a budget. The 16-minute video below takes the viewer from my campsite at Woodchute Trail through the eclectic town of Jerome, Arizona. If all you want is to see what driving through Jerome is like, just skip farther in. Should you be considering Woodchute as a potential camping spot, you’ll want to start at the beginning. Basically, anyone in any rig can make it up to the cattle gate, and there are plenty of pull-offs to choose from. Cell reception may be an issue there, however. In this video, you’ll eventually see some travel trailers large and small in this section.

Once past the gate however, your rig should be more compact and have good ground clearance, ’cause it can get pretty bumpy and rutted. 2WD is all that is needed in dry weather, however. The Mighty Furd’s new shocks certainly got a workout on a few parts of it, and you need to know how to pick your path to avoid dropping a wheel into something deep enough to ground out an axle. It’s not difficult at all, but it’s worth mentioning and something to avoid doing in the dark.

As for the mechanics of the video, it was all done with an action cam. Except for a view of the rear suspension taken by mounting the camera on the cargo box’s hitch stalk, all of the footage was taken Read more…

Overland Expo West Tickets

Roughing it has its appeal, but a hot shower has more.

Well, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that, as of yesterday, tickets are now on sale for this year’s Expo, if you’re planning on going. The bad news is cost. Apparently, the expenses incurred by moving this event to Fort Tuthill County Park near Flagstaff were higher than expected last year. That’s just a guess on my part. Whatever the reason, the result is that day passes are now $25 instead of $15, and 3-day weekend camping passes have jumped from $95 to $155 in one year. I do not know what the gate cost of day passes will be, but I do know there will be no such thing for the camping passes, since those will be sold out before long. I have mine now, but I can tell you that this will likely be my last Expo attend for awhile. I will make it a point to enjoy it!

Gratuitous Gunplay

A marauding pack of gun-totin’ crazies gathered in Yuma, Arizona over the weekend for a three-day competition. It was run by the Yuma Matchmasters, a local club which scores the time for each competitor in each category according to SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) rules. The main match consists of 12 stages, each of which varies slightly around the commonality of having to show proficiency with three very different kind of firearms, one right after the other: dual six-shot single-action revolvers, a carbine rifle, and a shotgun. The arms used can be new, but must conform to being replicas of early designs. This annual match is sold out, with a waiting list.

The garb? It’s required.

The serious competitive nature of firearm timed target or combat competitions pretty much evaporates here because of two requirements. The first is that Read more…

2017 in Review – Part 3

[Same old data warning. You know.]

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

White Rock, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Bar “S” RV Park, Grants New Mexico

Bar “S” RV Park, Grants New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

Bighorn Campground, Glenwood New Mexico

Southwest New Mexico

2017 In Review – Part 2

[Caution for those on data-restricted cellular accounts – BAIL OUT NOW. Don’t let this page continue to load, since it contains a hearty gob of photos.]

The return trip to Arizona begins with pulling a Captain “Wrong Way” Peachfuzz and heading northeast, then southeast.

Shelby, Michigan

Shelby, Michigan

Read more…

2017 in Review – Part 1

KOFA National Wildlife Refuge (Arizona)

[Caution for those on data-restricted cellular accounts – BAIL OUT NOW. Don’t let this page continue to load, since it contains a hearty gob of photos.]

I thought I would present here a kind of photo summary of many of the places I visited this year. Not all are represented, especially this section on the commute toward Illinois, when truck stops and rest stops were the norm in order to minimize travel time. This year’s trip eastward was unusual in that I first stalled for time waiting for the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff. Apart from locations, no explanations are provided in the photos – I don’t want to rehash what I’ve already written. You may be able to get an explanation by entering the location in this site’s search box at the upper right, but the purpose of this photo presentation is sometimes “pretty pictures”, sometimes a simple reveal of what campsites were like, and now and then, memorable moments.

Please note that you can click on any one of these photos to see its detail in a larger format.

The photos in this post are not new to this blog, but in a way, they are. First, I’ve always left my photos Read more…

Pima Air & Space Museum

How’s this for obscure? This Columbia XJL-1 amphibious plane was developed and built from a Grumman design in 1946, then accepted for testing by the Navy in 1947. The 3rd of 3 built, it suffered repeated structural failures in 1948, and was dropped from the program in 1949. Two surviving examples were sold to a Martin Aircraft engineer for $450, and he worked at restoring them until his death in 1955. In 1957, his widow sold this one to a Chicago resident on the condition that he make the plane fly at least once, which he did later that same year.

If you like a goodly percentage of aircraft that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else, the Pima Air & Space museum is for you. It’s a private, non-profit museum in Tucson, Arizona. With 150 aircraft indoors and another 150 on the grounds spread out over 80 acres, this is an aircraft extravaganza not to be missed. They claim that you can see everything in 3-4 hours, but this is an optimized estimate based on fast-marching and tram-riding like there is no tomorrow. I suspect this timing assumes that the visitor take a stout dose of amphetamines, wear roller skates, and have an aversion to reading informational placards. If you want to stop and gawk or want to get up close, the additional minutes quickly add to the hour count.

This 1970 Pereira Osprey II amphibian was tested for use as a civil police observation plane in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It successfully completed tests, but was dropped anyway. It became a home-built kit plane in 1975, with 200 sold. This one was wrecked in 1982 after an engine failure, then was rebuilt over the next 6 years. It can reach 130 MPH, which is not too shabby for an amphibious Short Takeoff and Landing craft (STOL).

There are 4 hangers, of which I toured one and listened to a volunteer docent do his thing on each craft. I got there about 9:15AM and gawked, then did the docent-guided tour at 10:30, which lasted until 11:20. That gave me just enough time to grab a reserved seat on the tram tour, which lasted almost an hour. By that time, I decided that Read more…

El Morro National Monument

But first – before leaving Milan, New Mexico, I took a few pleasant moments to Hoover up this seafood pasta salad at Wow Diner. They serve some eclectic dishes there, and a stop there is well worth the effort. Yum!

[This is a photo-heavy post, so if you’re scraping by on a tiny cellular account, you may want to abandon ship now, before too many of them have downloaded. They’re small files, but there are a lot of them.]

Yup, I’ve been well out of range of any cellular signals for the last week, blowing that time at a campground that can be found while heading for the Visitor’s Center at El Morro. It’s all paved roads and vault toilets here, so considering those and the provided trash bins, staying here is not exactly roughing it. The GPS coordinates for the camp are 35.036999, -108.335999. Elevation is 7,200’, providing daytime highs in the 60s in Late October. Maximum posted rig length is 27’, and this is a very pleasant camp that seems to be used mainly for overnights only.

Simply a view down the campground road.

Some of the campsites here are quite short in parking length, and some are able to take longer rigs. Most have some degree of slope to them. This campground is designed mainly for tenters, providing a level gravel square bordered by wood planks at each. There are tenters here, a few car campers, a small pickup with a shell over the bed, an occasional small truck camper, and a fair number of small van-based motorhomes – including a formidable one that seems to have made its way over from Germany. Picnic tables and grilles are provided, and surrounding trees provide Read more…

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