Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Thanksgiving #39, or is it 40? Camping the Northern Swell

It seems I've made a mistake, Lynn says it's our 40th camping Thanksgiving, that we camped the Thanksgiving before we were married. I believe her since I've not been home for a Thanksgiving since I was 19, camping all those times on Turkey Day. In the old days I went to the desert to ride dirt bikes, usually to Anza Borrego before it was real popular and real crowded, that was 1973. 

Now 2018 and still at it, we have a new toy. We've only used the Razor once on the way home from Phoenix where we bought the 2008 Polaris 800 in the spring of 2018. I hear the new ones ride real nice but you pay a real price for that ride. I'll enjoy my stiffer yet cheaper ride for a while, I have a hard time thinking about twenty grand for a new Razor. Holy cheeses, I had a nice sand rail for $3500 in 1985, what the heck happened?

We spent the first night in a dirt parking lot in Price, Utah. Camping just outside the GMC dealer there, I had hit limp mode three times between Boise and Price on the uphill. Ok the truck hit limp mode, I just want to be clear. Having a Hypertech programmer since I bought the truck new in 2007 with nary a problem, at least I was able to clear the diagnostic codes and continue on at normal speed each time, having been slowed to a crawl at 2000 rpm on the uphill. Limp mode...I don't like it.

Since I cleared the codes there was no history in the computer so no issues were found by the mechanic. I just knew 
it. I guess you have to limp a hundred miles to a dealer to find exactly what the problem was even though I had the code written down. I have to ask, why have a diagnostic code to begin with? We ran the rest of the trip and to home without the programmer and had no problems, though I doubt that caused them, maybe just exacerbated.

Hitting the 30 plus miles of dirt road towing, I had the thought my new cover would keep the Razor clean, the Dust Gods laughed. Utah red dust would not be denied.
My new cover is no longer clean, and never will be again. Same with the Razor hah.

What follows are too many pictures of inanimate objects, but now the truck and camper no longer have to say cheese as often, the job being shared by a little red Razor. 

This be home for the a few days.
That's a big difference for us, we typically move every night with just the truck camper.

I had to give it a quick cleaning, I couldn't believe how much dust had gotten under the cover.
She's a 2008 with some baggage. I can tell it's been on it's side, both of them, in the past tsk tsk.
I added the fuel tanks and a few things. It holds 7.3 gallons of gas but with a ton of miles to cover every day I like to have extra. A guy never knows when he needs to start a signal fire a la the movie classic "On Any Sunday". You know, the guy has a flat tire in the middle of the desert during a desert dirt bike race, tips his bike to spill a little gas on the ground to start a signal fire. Of course, the flame follows the gas to it's source and voila, toasted dirt bike. So I'll have a gas container and won't burn up a Rzr, I'm thinking

I could relate to PeeWee Herman, well, coming out the camper door to see my shiny toy like he did his bike.

Your guide for this trip, you might want to buy insurance.

Our first ride was under clear afternoon skies. Both my gals were digging it.

Duke riding drag, not so much. We'll talk about dust later hah, but Duke was a dirty dog.

Dogs can be funny at times yes? A previous dog Little Ann used to beg for rides on the seat of a quad. Now when the Rzr door is open Bailey jumps in and says "Shotgun."

We stopped on a point, heading to the river.

Then we stopped on a second point, yes we did.

We were no longer a clean Rzr, or clean occupants. The dust these things throw up is incredible. Running with the windshield up pulled in buckets of dust on us in the cab while the windshield down kept you clean but froze your face off. Ol Duke had no choice with a rear windshield sucking the dust over him and I felt bad. I'll have to come up with some kind of solution for the dust, in the meantime water is the only solution to clean yourself up with.

Evening was great, no wind and not too cold for a fire in one of Earth's beautiful places.

The next morning the barometer had dropped, meaning Duke had to wear his new Christmas sweater for extra comfort. I could tell he was sheepish, wearing a wool sweater and all.
A huh a huh...you missed it right?

I thought I was pretty smart, putting u-bolts on the bottom of the tire carrier and wing nuts on the top for easy removal to let the tire swing down. That way the Duke has easy access to the south end of a north bound Razor. I also screwed down styrofoam with foil backing for insulation under his bed since he does sit right over that hot lil motor. It's now just a nice bit of warmth and in summer should still do well for him. 

It was really neat, storms coming and going all day gave us different looks of the Swell.

A big snow storm came through.

And then its was gone, funny how that worked out for us.

Twenty miles from camp...there is a Razor in the picture.

We were stymied. I think we could make it down, key word "think".  But we had to come back this way too after visiting a natural arch. There were metal scratches and paint on most of the rocks, I'll pass today, we're alone and twenty miles from camp.

I had added side mirrors and was glad I did, using reverse on the side of a mountain and all. I don't like reverse, it means going backwards.

We stopped at the top of a pass for lunch, and I waved to a passing photographer.

She waved back, in reverse.

Hmm, I miss a little heater. It was cold and driving was colder with wind chill.

Look, an arch in the making. Or will it be a cave, I'll come back in a few thousand years to see.

Somehow, I missed the road we needed and drove down a creek bed for quite a ways, throwing water  all the while.

With walls closing in we knew we were going the wrong way.

I was really feeling bad for Duke in the back. Wet dog on a wet bed, there should be better fenders for these things.

There's not much room in the cab, but Lynn is good at fitting it all in and Duke is great at making himself small. Hey it was cozy, well...

Some Bondo and a valve job she'll be good as new.

Bailey wasn't interested in a fire that night, she was dog tired and since she calls the shots we retired to the camper.

Morning was glorious, and that's not a word I throw around much. The rainbow faded into the cliff right there, it was amazing.

I know it looks funny with my trapper hat but I can tell you it's a matter of function vs form while keeping my head and ears warm when scooting about in freezing temps. And dry as it started to rain a bit.

It rained a little but we were going anyway, wouldn't you do the same?

We're always glad we did, we would have missed a day with the barometer bouncing like a yoyo and those are the best days. I was amazed at how fast the weather fronts came and went, giving beautiful skies a short time later.

Well, I did mention a lot of pictures of inanimate objects. I like to think the scenery is the real star
and anything else just accessories.

Back at camp for a great evening.

As the sun was setting I tried for a shot of the sun's corona. How'd I do? I got two coronas in one picture, one is extra.

The air force was looking for us, having heard we were flying around the desert in a little red go-mobile having fun.

That evening was a good one, no wind, decent temps and clear skies.

A ball in the mouth is worth more than one ten feet away.

That night was a full moon but so bloody cold I could only stand to take one quick not-so-great picture as it came up.

It was Thanksgiving, ok number 40.

I was extra excited.

The weather was like us, all over the place, morning fog.

It was another morning to die for...

so I had breakfast outside after offering a sacrifice to the gods.

Another day another ride, I was fighting with the selfie stick.

We drove by some rock climbers, they all waved.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Our last fire for the trip

The moon was still up the next morning, giving us clear skies and clear sailing home.

Duke says goodbye from the Rogers Family and thanks for reading...

While I have to race off on another trip.