Saturday, February 20, 2010

Even though we're "Trailer Trash", Pat and I decided to Go Green. So, we're doing our part to save energy!

This job would have been a lot easier in Coos Bay, where I have a large platform bike lift..But, I got it lowered. Changed the bolt in the bottom of the Monoshock up to an alternative hole, lowered it about an inch. Slid the front fork tubes up about the same. Changed the side stand to a shorter one. I can now "flat foot" while on the seat. Big improvement!

Posting these for my VROC friends. It's a 2004 VN2000, 15K miles, the owner is asking $6500 for it, negotiable, or would trade for a quad or sand rail.

That rear tire looks larger in real life than it does in this picture!

Lots of Chrome! and performance parts too.

A fine looking bike! Looks like almost as much in modifications as what he's asking for the bike.

2/21/10. A nice early Sunday morning for a dirt ride. 29 miles of dirt to Picacho State Recreational area, on the Colorado River, above Imperial Dam. Different kinds of terrain and different road surfaces between Yuma and the destination.

Lots of loose dirt, some sand, and mostly hard wash board surface with loose gravel on top.

A "box canyon" with a wash going through here. Area you wouldn't want to be in if a flash flood was immanent.

One of the nicer parts of the road. Nice for moderate power sliding around the curves.

But, it got into some loose stuff and couldn't recover. Tried more throttle, which helped, but got going too fast, then the front wheel went out. I hit this soft berm, and high sided. Didn't hurt me or the bike, but it sure was a job getting it back up.

No cars on this road, and over 20 miles from the nearest place with cell service, so I HAD to get it up by myself. At least it was pretty nice there, and didn't see any rattle snakes or scorpions~:-) Ended up digging with my hands some space under the tires, then had to put a big rock next to each to keep from sliding away, and was able to get it upright.

29.8 miles, then there is a fee to even drive in! Its ont he honor system, but if you get caught inside without paying, it's a big fine. I figured I'd seen enough for one day anyway, so turned around and headed home.

I had learned on the way in, to be careful of sand traps :-)

I liked going through this little canyon.

Some nice red rocks. Last picture of the morning, got home around noon. Washed, detailed, lubed the chain, and checked the bike all over. It's ready to go again!

We took a "Buffalo" tour bus to Castle Dome City. A Ghost Town 40 some miles North East of Yuma. 7 miles were very rough "wash board" dirt, sand and gravel road.

An Aerostat. This is very unusual to be able to see one of these this close, and teathered to the ground. Owned and operated by the Air Force, but used by the Border Patrol. There are 5 of these, and all the electronics report directly to Washington DC. They track aircraft from the time they take off in South America and other places that are suspected to be carrying drugs. This is a very top secret operation, what we learned today is about the limit that anyone really knows.

The bus driver/tour guide is a retired Border Patrolman. He said he's never seen an Aerostat this close. He stopped so we could take pictures.

I've seen this thing many times. It's height varied from 3000 to 10,000 feet, and always is this area. It's part of the US Army Proving Grounds.

Castle Dome City use to have a larger population than Yuma. There were 13 mines in a 7 mile stretch of land near the base of the mountains. The road of a stage road and later for cars. The city shut down in the 50's and was totally abandoned for several years.

Inside the Bank. There are only 7 of the totally original building here, but a total of 35 in town. The replicas look just like the real ones. All are very interesting.

The church with the Dome behind it. We have a painting at home that looks very much like this photo.

The desert is very green this year. All the Saguaros are nice and fat with a full load of water inside.

Inside the church.

The Stage Depoe was in the end of the Hotel.

The hotel was pretty nice. One of the last businesses to close.

There are 5 bars in town, as there were in "the day". They say the way they are set up is pretty realistic. The owners of the town have done a LOT of research, and have tried to keep everything as close to the way it really looked as possible.

Almost everything is open, where you can see and touch. There aren't a lot of tourists that come here, and we were the FIRST bus tour to ever make it out to the town. There are a lot of valuable things laying around on display, which is very nice, but if the business picks up, they will have to be put in cases.

There is a 720 foot deep well there in town, it has excellent sweet water. There is NO electricity. Pumps are run from batteries that are charged with solar energy. The owner has a couple golf carts for getting around. The entire top is a large solar panel, keeps the battery up fine.

Chollo cactus are plentyful. They are also called Teddy Bear, or Jumping Cactus. You don't want to touch one, or you'll know why. :-)

One of the mercantile stores in town.

Asseyers Office. It was a room in the back of another store.

This bar is a little primitive.

Guess the miners main entertainment was the bars.

One of the newest buildings. A early 50's gas station. Fully equipped as it was when in use.

Early "Sun" diagnostic machine.

The gas station carried a lot of car parts. Hoses, gaskets, clamps, etc.

Inside a 50's Cafe. These were in use right up to the time the town was abandoned.

One of the larger and nicer bars,

Church and dome again.

A two room building with white walls where Veterans are encouraged to write their names and dates of service. Not much space left, even the ceilings are covered. I added my name last year, took me awhile to find it :-)

Interesting store.

Outside of the "nice" bar.

17x zoom of the Dome. You can see this from the Mexican Border, and as far East as somewhere near Gila Bend. It's pretty high, but I don't know how high.

Ocotillo cactus don't normally have green leaves. When the desert gets a wet season, the leaves come out, and a little later there will be beautiful red flowers on the top of east strand. As soon as the summer heat comes, the leave fall off and the stocks turn brown and look dead. They aren't.

Threatening skis most of the morning. Afternoon was clear, and by the time we got back to Yuma it was HOT!

Palo Verde tree. Lots of them around here.

Desert scene.

No picture, was too busy helping, but th
e bus has a very difficult time getting in and out of the gates and turning so we could leave. This was a first time, so the tour people were learning. It all worked out fine.

On the way out, the Aerostat was going up. I'm not sure what the white things are maybe some kind of antenna, but I really don't know. It was an interesting and informative day. Pat and I will go back again now that we can get there on the dirt bike :-)