Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Woodchute Trailhead for Camping

I took my iPhone with me on my walk yesterday, both to track my walking distance and to take some video footage about what the trail and the campsites along it are like. Overall, this is not the place for big, fixed solar arrays, but movable ground panels will ensure the best performance in the greatest number of campsites. It’s the trees.

Again, this is a 2WD trail when dry, but high clearance is definitely needed. Approaching the one-week mark, the only campers I’ve come across are car campers/tenters. No motorhomes of any type, no other truck campers, no generic passenger cars, and no trailers of any type or size. So far. Aside from one 4WD van, all vehicles have been pickup trucks with and without bed shells, and Jeeps. That’s it. And everybody, regardless of vehicle type, goes slowly past. Apparently, no one wants to go into launch mode (including ATVs and dirtbikes), and this trail can do it.

Once again, this clip is mainly an exploration, this time to find out Read more…

Why I Don’t Overland

Photo from Landtrek.net.

What I have recently begun, this year’s tour of the western part of the U.S., is basically a drawn-out and circuitous commute from Arizona to Illinois and back. Along the way, I hope to find some very nice camps as well as boondocking spots which may be difficult to access with more formidable RVs.

Although I’m headed for the Overland Expo West on this leg, I do not “Overland”. See, overlanding at its essence involves: Vehicle-supported, self-reliant adventure travel, typically exploring remote locations and interacting with other cultures.” It’s a broadening experience centering on the journey itself, neither a race to get somewhere nor sticking around each campsite for weeks. Because of potential resupply issues over long distances across remote areas, it requires careful pre-planning and preparation. Even calling what I do “adventure travel” would be quite a stretch. Right now, I’m Adventure Loitering. I admit that I do incorporate certain elements needed for Read more…

Update to The Nature of God Series

Just a quick note – the book I recommended in my final installment, Light Through the Darkness: A Vindication of God, now has links to both the author’s website and to an online source offering a free PDF of it. Mention of the earlier work from which this one is derived has been removed.

Further, I have converted The Nature of God into a single PDF document, which can be downloaded and read in its entirety. It can be accessed simply by selecting the like-named page, just as you would any other, from the tabs at the top of your screen.

Woodchute Trail 106D

Your choice: you can either drop into the trough to the left, or stay high and enjoy the mega-washboard on the high side.

First, the bad news, which is bad only from my perspective. Wickenburg Tire has gone out of business. That’s where I got my Coopers after surveying the local landscape a few years ago. Such it seems to go with all automotive places that combine low prices and good customer service. You never really know what the story is. Maybe it’s because they didn’t squirt oil on your shocks to convince you that they need replacing, or because they failed to sell you new brakes that you didn’t actually need. They seemed more interested in selling you what you came in for instead of upselling. Maybe that’s it. The first year I went there, they were bustling with a full staff. The next visit, they were operating with a skeleton crew, and the manager was badly overloaded but still functional. Now they’re gone. Wickenburg Tire, I remember ye.

Seeking relief from the comparative heat wave of Wickenburg, I decided to go for broke after carousing and filling my belly at Zipp’s Sports Grille alongside Primo Accomplice, Matt. Good food and good company make for a memorable time, and I say that only because I know he reads this blog. 🙂

Going for broke means choosing a higher elevation than the needed 5,000′. Woodchute Trail/Trailhead is located between Prescott Valley and Jerome, AZ. Campsites begin promptly after passing the trailhead and the blocked entrance to the Potato Patch Campground which opens next month, and the choice is to prioritize Read more…

Wickenburg Trail

This tire highlights the value of having true all-terrain tires. The trip started with clean tires which quickly got an even coat of dust. Then rocks on the trail removed some of it.

Well, I left Wickenburg to stage in Congress for a quick trip to Scottsdale to see a good friend of mine.  The best part is that I suckered him into paying for lunch. The second-best part is that I managed to capture some usable video on the way out of camp. I lost nearly all of the audio however, due to my not realizing that two devices were both inadvertently set to use the same bluetooth microphone. As far as they are concerned, this is not a cooperative venture. So you’re spared both my droning, monotone commentary and the pocketa-pock of the idling Mighty Furd for 10 minutes. That’s probably good, too. My loss is your gain.

You’ll notice a lot of turning from side to side in the footage (sorry, I’m too old-school to use the term “clip”), since much time was spent dodging either bushes or rocks. This trail is really a bit narrow for a full-size vehicle, and much of the original soundtrack consisted of wiry bushes screeching their way down the truck’s length, like nails on a chalkboard. Made me wince each time I played it back. I aired down the tires for this trail so that the ride Read more…

Wickenburg Ho!

The moon over Wickenburg.

The start of the tour this year is off to a bit of a rocky start, due to a heat wave. I overnighted at the Bouse RV Park, which was an oversight on my part. I had the impression that they had a section for dry camping for $8, but that was apparently one of the many other parks in town. I took advantage of their shower, which was at the far end of camp and nearly 1/4-mile away. The advertised WiFi could be logged onto, but was comatose for function, and overnighting made taking advantage of water and electrical hookups more work than it was worth. I’d have been better off backtracking to one of the many free boondocking spots along Plimosa Road. Live, and learn.

Wickenburg is about an hour away, and I was determined to horse the Mighty Furd over a somewhat challenging trail on State Trust land. This popular dry camping area is about 4 miles south of town off Vulture Mine Road at GPS: 33.912405, -112.810666. This time, I wanted to end up at Read more…

The Adventure Begins

The camping area of Adair Park.

Finally! I buttoned up the Defiant at the RV park in Wellton yesterday and took off for the grocery store in the Yuma Foothills, then headed for a trial overnight at Adair Park, a few miles north of Yuma. Trial? Yep. I’m not above knowing that I might forget to pack a thing or three, so a quick overnight at a place within striking distance of Wellton struck me as a good idea. Adair Park has half a dozen firing ranges, so I can’t recommend it as a quiet getaway, but it did the job. By morning, I had a list of 3 things that I’d missed packing. Important? Yup. Can opener, kitchen/utility shears, and Amoxicillin, something I must take just before I visit my dentist. I’d also neglected to wear a decent belt, as I had temporarily swapped in a worn, undersized one that eventually stains whatever it’s wrapped around. My only regret of that return trip was that I didn’t think to toss that bad belt in the dumpster on the way out. Why do I even have it? “Packratism” never dies, I guess. It just lies dormant, waiting.

So back to Wellton I went for these things in the morning, and then looped through Yuma Foothills to drop off a bit of waste engine oil I’d gathered in order to make room for an additive. I’d forgotten to drop off that, too. Then up to Palm Canyon in KOFA I went, where I’m now camped for a couple of days of sunshine in the low 70’s. KOFA is a wildlife preserve a few miles south of Quartzsite. After that, it gets beastly hot, and it’s time to head for the higher elevations of Wickenburg by way of Bouse.

I had intended to try my luck along King Kofa Road, further south, but the GPS coordinates Read more…

The Skipping Record

In between bouts of working on the camper, I was breezing through some YouTube event coverage, and one video of an interview with a demonstrator immediately brought to mind a scene from a Monte Python movie. The first 6 minutes of the 9-minute clip below are of Vladimir Jaffe, a former citizen of the former USSR, speaking with a young idealist about how Socialism is supposed to work. I had to relentlessly pare it down just to get it to its current length, and it’s almost tolerable. Almost, but not quite.

Personally, I can’t think of any socialist country since 1900 where a dictator has not quickly emerged to take and hold power by coercion and/or force, demonstrating that there’s a big difference between idealist theory and human reality, but that’s just me. I also note that the Soviet constitution was supposedly modeled after our own, but they just ignore it in practice. Anyway, the last 3 minutes is the movie scene that the interview brought to mind. You decide – shall we have a “king anointed by a watery tart”, or a workers paradise? Or perhaps something in between?

More New Friends, More Opportunities!

Scum of the Earth Dept:

Now that I’m in the final throes of prepping for departure, there’s no end to the offers of help for anyone on the Internet! The trend seems to try to legitimize the larceny by including links to actual events or legitimate websites. Here are the two latest:

“dawn.tladi@mopipi.ub.bw
Nominated
To: Undisclosed recipients:;

“Dear friend,
This is a personal email directed to you. I am Patricia Busking, my fiancée and I won a Jackpot Lottery of $393Million US Dollars in Aug. 25, 2017, and have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $1,480,000.00 USD to you as part of our own charity project to improve the lot of 5 unknown lucky individuals all over the world plus 15 close friends and family. If you have received this email then you are one of the lucky recipients and Please contact my legal adviser Barr. Dominic based in United Kingdom with the email below.
[messageme05@ewaenmail.com]
Endeavor to provide him your donation cod (Code: BVTUTU883) and your details as requested bellow: Read more…

An Amusing Ad

One of the things that keeps me away from broadcast TV here is all of the ads, all of them awful. Then when they repeat every ten minutes, it becomes an endurance contest. At least the online places that push ads often let you skip them. Well, while researching F-250 front wheel hub servicing, I stumbled upon one that I consider worth not skipping. Now and then, one of these ad firms earn their money. See what you think.

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