Monday, February 06, 2023

Riding in the BANWR

 Sunday, February 5

The three of us went on a motorcycle ride to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR).  Lori was riding their TW200, Chris was on my TW200, Yagi and I rode Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol.

First we rode on highway 286 a few miles to the BANWR Visitor Center.  They've done a lot of improvements since the first time I was there.  Worth a stop if you're visiting the area.

We got photographed by the visitor center volunteer docent, apparently we'll be appearing on a visitors board within the center.

We rode over to Aguirre Lake, only to find it empty as usual.  One of these times, I'll be camping near the BANWR at the right times of the year when water is evident.  Along the way we stopped for a pic at the corral that represents what's left of the Buenos Aires Ranch founded by Mr. Aguirre.

Next, we took Trail #525 towards Arriva Road, and in spite of a couple of missed turns, made it to the junction of Trail 524 which eventually dumped us back on Highway 286.  From there it was less than a mile to Arrivaca road.

I showed Chris and Lori some of the designated campsites that I've stayed at before along with the other ones in the area.  We eventually found the road that took us back to Highway 286, near our entrance to the area where we're boondocking.

We saw, right at the entrance, a pickup truck with what looked like a flat tire.  We crossed the highway and stopped to offer assistance to Jose.  He was an older gentleman who seemed happy for the help.

Yep, that's toast...

Chris and Jose did most of the work, I did provide the use of the small bottle jack I carry in the trunk of the Ural.  It came in handy when the scissor jack Jose had with him got jammed up when we tried to use it.

The bottle jack was a tad short though when it came time to put the spare tire on the truck.  Luckily, Chris Z. had figured out what was jamming the scissor jack and all was well after that.

Job done, Jose thanked us with cold Coca-Colas from Mexico.  He went off to the north to get some more air put into his spare tire and we motored back to our campsite.

After a brief rest, I set about installing some insulation strips on the VRRV's door, in order to try and keep out the drafts/cold.  The installation went fine after Chris Z. corrected me about where I was putting the new stuff.

Lori Z. was "supervising" our efforts while Chris Z.
and I worked on our respective doors.

However, when I went to test the locking of the door, ran into trouble engaging the dead bolt!  Much adjustment later, some cutting with a drill bit, Chris suggested using a tool new to me:

I believe its called a Burr Grinder tool, and is employed like a big Dremel grinding bit.  I tried using my power screwdriver at first but ended up using Chris Z.'s Dewalt Cordless Drill to really grind away enough metal in the hole used by the deadbolt on the door latch!

Yep, I'll be ordering a set of these burr grinders soon.

The new insulation strip was causing the deadbolt to hit the outer edge of the latch's deadbolt hole you see.  The above tool allowed me to grind away enough to permit engagement by the deadbolt.  Now all is well, and hopefully the new insulation will help keep the cold out!

Dinner was in the VRRV and afterwards we chatted while we waited for the arrival of the Moonrise.  It was almost a full moon, at 99.6%, and we were looking to experience the "Moon Illusion".  This is where the brain thinks the moon looks larger when closer to the horizon.

Stewie, Lori and Chris Z.'s Overlander rig

The Z's see the Moon start to appear

Picture shot with telephoto lens and 
heavily post-processed.

A very good day overall!  Nice and warm, somewhat windy but not bad.  We had us a nice ride, Lori did great on the trails with the TW200 and I crossed one more item off the VRRV chore list.

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