Showing posts with label Yagi Rides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yagi Rides. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Overnight Stay at Springer Lake Wildlife Area, New Mexico

 Headed home, got about five hours of driving time closer.  Left the Monticello BLM area shortly after sunrise this morning.  Using I-25, I would arrive near the town of Springer, NM and the campground area set up within the Wildlife Area by 12:35 PM.

Had the place to myself!  :)

Got set up under sunny clear skies, warm temperatures in the low 70s.  It felt good even though it's forecasted to be around 18°F (-7.7°C) overnight!

There was ice buildup evident on the edges of the lake, not sure how thick but I don't imagine it was very thick given the temperatures of the last few days for this area.

Distant snow covered peaks suggested some long depth of field shots using the zoom lens and some distance from the URRV:



I dismounted and then rode Yagi over to the other side of the lake but not much there, no other campsites anyways.  

Returning back to the campsite, just took pictures of what wildlife I could see, all of it at the extreme range of the zoom on the camera.



A "meh" sunset for my last night of camping for this particular trip.  Over a month on the road, one burned up sidecar rig, iphone and camera....still, no injuries and some enjoyable days in the warm conditions of Arizona mostly.

Monday, December 07, 2020

T-Dub'ing around the BLM areas north of Truth or Consequences

 Properly layered this time, I set about exploring the BLM areas to the North and Northwest of my campsite, trying to find campsites for future trips in case the preferred sites are occupied.

Didn't have much luck finding anything but just one night spots that the URRV could access easily.  I returned to the campsite for lunch and then rode south to explore the BLM areas closer to the Elephant Butte State Park.

I'm thinking the rightmost formation is Elephant Butte
but not sure

Can you see the two pelicans on the left side of the lake?


The birds below were shot at maximum optical zoom with ClearImage digital zoom enabled bringing the total zoom to 1128mm!  Obviously, I had to use a tripod and a two second delay on the shutter (as mentioned by CCjon) in order for the camera to be steady enough to render the below pic after post-processing.


On the way back, a nice view of the hills and mountains within the Cibola National Forest to the NW presented itself:


I find find 3 spots that the URRV could handle easily this time, and marked them on Google Maps for possible future use.

Spent the rest of the afternoon resting, doing a police call for trash (not much at campsite); unfortunately found piles of it away from the campsite, too much for me to handle unfortunately.

Sunset was better than yesterday but not by much, it had looked quite promising earlier in the afternoon with lots of clouds in the sky but they'd gone by the time the sun set.  Oh well.

I shot this pic just to show the rather symmetrical lens bloom/flare
evidenced when trying for a sunburst today.





Sunday, December 06, 2020

Now in New Mexico, Boondocking north of Truth or Consequences

 I woke way before sunrise, ate breakfast and broke camp.  I hadn't loaded Yagi onto the URRV's front bike carrier last evening due to the leveler blocks causing too high an entry angle for the ramp.

"Unfortunately", this meant that the S.A.W.* that had parked real close to my campsite was in the light of the URRV's headlights when I turned them on to have working light.  It was still dark you see.  Shame really, the light probably woke them up too.

I got Yagi loaded up with no issue, then turned on the fog lights mounted on the bike carrier so I could see what I was doing as I got everything tied down and packed up.  Shame really, how those lights continued to light up the S.A.W.'s fifth wheel trailer just a few feet from my campsite.

As I was doing my final checks, I saw the S.A.W. exit the fifth wheel with his two mangy looking hounds and walk off quickly to have them spread their crap around the area.  I'm sure he's the type of dog owner who doesn't pick up after them you see.

As dawn was beginning to make the eastern horizon glow, I left the campsite and made my way back to the small town of Bowie where I took Business 10 Loop east and eventually got onto eastbound I-10 heading towards New Mexico.

I arrived to the BLM area serviced by Monticello Road, about ten miles or so north of the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  I had the whole area to myself at 11:00 AM and was able to grab my usual camping spot almost two miles away from the highway.



As you can see, clear skies and sunny.  Temperatures wouldn't get above the low 60s but it felt nice under the sun.  I did go on a few miles worth of riding with Yagi but failed to wear my windproof liner so I felt the strong wind chill factor, which limited the speeds I could go at.

Didn't find much except for one spot on the west side of the highway junction but it was too close to the highway in terms of noise....it would be OK for an overnight stay but not for a multi-day stay.

I'll range further tomorrow, this time more warmly geared up!  There's some promising BLM terrain to the NW near some hills visible to the rear of the URRV in the first picture above.

The clear skies rendered a "meh" sunset, I didn't even bother going outside, choosing to shot the distant mountain range's blues through the URRV's window.



* S.A.W. :  Soiled Ass Wipe

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Hanging out in the Indian Bread BLM Recreation Area

 Sunny but cool today, I don't think the temperature reached 60°F (15.5°C) which was the forecasted high.

The sunrise was meh but it was a good opportunity to test the new camera's capabilities in low light conditions.  Some post-processing was again involved.




I was using f8 to achieve the sunburst when the sun broke past the small hilltop to the east of my campsite.  Not bad.



I did get some Cactus Wrens wandering near the URRV and it was a good chance to use the zoom capabilities of the new camera:



More zoom testing, note the little red spot by the rocks....she's with the camper you can see on the right, they were parked at a nice distance from my campsite and had come in last night in the dark.  I bet they had such fun parking their rig.


Now how did I know it was a she in the red jacket?  Zoomed in to 728mm, the max optical zoom setting:


I'm really liking the zoom on this camera!

Didn't really do much, the cool winds dissuaded me from riding until nearly 3:30 PM and then it was just some short riding to explore other possible campsites. 

Upon my return, I found this shithead from TX setting up camp damn near my campsite, sigh.  What part of dispersed camping don't some Arschl√∂cher understand I continue to wonder.


This of course cemented the decision I'd been weighing whether to leave tomorrow morning!  I'll make sure to make lots of noise, bright and early tomorrow.




Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Birds, Bugs and Bushings

 A pretty quiet day here in the desert.  

Some Gambel's Quails came by to check out the URRV but did not tarry.  Sorry but the camera in my Pixel 4a, as with most camera phones, is lacking when it comes to zoom function.  The below pic is shot at 2X zoom, I think its optical, but not sure.

As to bugs, there have been very few flies this time around, probably the cool temperatures at night killing off any remaining flies from summer/fall.  There are however, enough black beetles crawling around, to get one's attention when walking or sitting outside the URRV:


These beetles, when they detect your approach, freeze and stick their butt up in the air.  Not sure why but I'm guessing they will spray something at you from that end if they sense an attack.  I basically left them alone unless they were headed towards the URRV, in which case I scooped them up with a shovel and carried them away from the site.

As to bushings, I finally remembered to send some pics to RichardM to help me identify the rubber bits in the picture below.  Turns out they're the Sway Bar Bushings and while not exactly falling apart, should probably be replaced with newer/stronger ones.


I occasionally hear a metallic "klunk" while the URRV is moving and am hoping it's these bushings which appear to be quite "squashed".  I plan to work on replacing them when next I am home with the URRV.

Speaking of home, the plan now is to start heading back to Colorado as soon as this Friday/Saturday to take advantage of a period of "warm", snow-free, weather forecasted for my route back there.  I'll be taking the I-10/I-25 route through Albuquerque, NM...probably overnighting in BLM land near the town of Truth or Consequences, NM.

Before that, I have to turn in Fiona's title to the insurance office in Phoenix tomorrow and hopefully also have time to remove the gearbox and final drive from poor Fiona.  I'm hoping these components are salvageable and got permission from the insurance rep to do so.  The insurance settlement has been finalized, they await only the receipt of the title.

The amount of the settlement was higher than expected so that's good.  I'd still rather have Fiona in one piece and working but it is what it is.

Update: DEC 3

The process involved with just gaining access to Fiona at the Insurance Auction Yard run by IAA which my insurance company uses proved to be quite the PITA!  All this to access components whose condition might not be worth the time/effort to get into sellable condition.  I realized, afterwards, that I was just being greedy.  So, the effort to recover the gearbox and final drive is at an end.

I did get the title to Fiona dropped off though, it was of course on the opposite end of the Phoenix Metro Area but traffic wasn't bad at all.

I'll resume my drive back to Colorado tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Cross-Country T-Dub'ing to a False Cave

 After breakfast this morning, I was walking around the outside of the URRV and happened to spot what looked like a railroad tunnel opening in the distance, high up on one of the nearby hills.

Using the binoculars, it seemed to be a railroad tunnel for sure....as it didn't match the existing railroad which traverses the Barry Goldwater AF Gunnery Range I'm presently boondocking in, it was an alluring mystery.

So, after gearing up, I rode Yagi the 2 miles or so across country as there was no road or trail.  The TW200 made light work of traversing the gullies and shallow washes that crisscross this area of Arizona.  There were times when the bank was too steep or high and forced a detour to find a shallower "fording" area but no big deal otherwise.

It was around 10:30 by the time I got as close as I was going to get and it still "kinda" looked like a railroad tunnel but the sun's light was casting the area in different shadows now.

I left Yagi and climbed for a bit to get a closer look.  It wasn't too bad a climb, a bit slippery with lots of loose rock but not too risky.

Finally, I was close enough to get a good look and damned if it was just a trick of the light/shadows that had drawn me to this location.



I'd failed to take a picture from the camp, where it really did appear as a railroad tunnel's opening.  I'll try and remember to take a picture tomorrow but then again, the camera in my new Android phone isn't great for long distance imagery.

Rest of the day was spent resting from all the climbing/hiking of the morning.  Did some more research on possible cameras to replace my burnt up Sony A5000.  CCjon came up with a good set of suggestions in the category of Big Zoom cameras so I wouldn't have to carry a separate telephoto lens.

Spent some time looking at some of those but the nagging doubt in the back of my mind was how little or how infrequently I did end up using the telephoto lens so not sure about this category of cameras.

I'm open to suggestions from you, dear readers.  I have become accustomed to the Sony interface in their cameras and like all the options in manual mode.  I had been cruising sites such as eBay and Craigslist seeking to just find exact replacements for the Sony A5000 and telephoto lens, now not so sure.

Oh, there were several A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft flying about the area, practicing their gunnery.  The phone's camera proved woefully inadequate for such long distance photography.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Boondocking again in Area B of the Barry Goldwater AF Gunnery Range

 Spent the last few days with my FIL in Phoenix, AZ....parking the URRV in his complex's parking lot.  There was another RV parked a few slots over after one day; and they even deployed their slideouts!

Thanksgiving was at a very small gathering in Fountain Hills, AZ.  Friends of the family comprised four of the six members of the gathering, yours truly and my FIL completing the sixpack.

Friday through Sunday of the week were spent hanging out at my FIL's place, me perusing online sources for possible replacements for the Sony A5000 camera and telephoto lens.  I did find a likely candidate on Ebay but I waited too long and it was snapped up by someone else.  Oh well.

Monday, I filled the fresh water tank, and after receiving Fiona's title from the mail carrier, headed out towards Gila Bend.  Martha had sent me the title once I had been told of the necessity by the insurance agent; I guess I should have asked for it earlier but there you go.

Fiona is due to be examined by someone working for the insurance company late this week, so we'll see how things go.

I got to the Gila Bend AF Auxiliary Field's RV Dump station and emptied the black/gray tanks before exiting the field and turning further south on US85.

About 16 miles later, I was turning onto the right gate into Area B which I've stayed in before and which is open to the public with the right permit from range control.

Looks like I have the immediate area, all the way to Trail 609, to myself.  


My usual spot was available and soon I was set up for boondocking.  The weather was a bit breezy but warm enough with temperatures in the low 70s.

Sunset was OK


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

T-Dubing about the Lake Pleasant Regional Park

 BLUF: The park is "meh" in terms of scenery, am sure it's much better when you're on a boat but that's the impression I got today.

First though,  pictures of the old iPhone 6 and Sony A5000 camera as they looked when I picked them out of the ashes the day after the fire.


Rode there a bit past mid-morning after a family zoom call to catch up on things back in Colorado.

Temperatures were in the low to mid 60s but felt colder due to the wind chill factor while riding to/from the park.

Several of the roads within the park were closed to traffic, reasons unstated but I did manage to ride most of the roads near the southern end of the lake.

I must remember next time, that this particular destination isn't worth the $7 daily use fee if just going there for pictures.


Of riding interest, there were several very rocky small peninsulas jutting out onto the lake.  Traction was iffy on some of them but some I managed to get Yagi out onto:


One of a pair of Burros I saw nibbling at grass near some RV parking spots.  I'm thinking this Burro was tired of the "damn tourists" stopping and taking his picture as he (after I'd taken several pics) turned to present his butt to me and proceeded to defecate.....effectively saying: "Enough Pictures!"  :)




It was almost 1PM at this point so I exited the park and retraced my route back to the New River State Trust area where I'm boondocking.

The area isn't bad, but there's enough other RVs to make it seem crowded to my anti-social sensibilities.  Luckily, the other campers know to keep a reasonable if not more distance from the other RVs!

Headed back to Sun City tomorrow, having Thanksgiving Dinner with my FIL and Martha's cousin Angela at the home of friends of the family in Fountain Hills, a suburb within the Phoenix Metro Area.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Boondocking near New River, AZ

 Spent three days at my FIL's place in Sun City, working on the paperwork related to Fiona's insurance claim, the camera insurance claim and just trying to get my mind straight on this event.

Spent some time as well trying to clean up the tools I managed to recover from among the ashes in Fiona's trunk where I carried the tool cases.  Most likely will end up buying new versions of most of them I think.

As if to memorialize Fiona, the sunsets for visible from Sun City were pretty good:

Saturday, November 21's sunset, while I was standing by my FIL's gate entrance with the TCL 540 burner phone:

It proved to be quite the hassle to get a replacement phone as my account with Verizon had 2FA or Two Factor Authentication turned on and of course the burned up phone was the primary destination for verification codes.  The secondary option to use email worked for a while but then quit.

Lots of time spent on the line with Verizon Tech Support using the burner phone.  What a PITA.  All this so I could put in an order online for a phone which I'd been told would save some money.

Finally, all the security problems defeated their Tier 2 tech support puke and he said I needed to go to a "Corporate" store to have them fix my access.  Not just any Verizon store, but a "corporate" store.  Luckily there was one a few miles away.

They looked at me like I was crazy when I described what their own Tech Support had told me.  Once I got in to see a sales rep, I was being handed a replacement phone within 15 minutes!  The cost vs doing the ordering online?  $20 more, big whoop.  I should have just gone to the store first thing and avoided all the stress of dealing with tech support calls.

Got a Pixel 4a, a mid-range phone using Android OS.  It's supposed to be pretty fast (so far it is), seems to have a great camera (second sunset pic below taken with it) and there is a bit of a learning curve to overcome learning the Android interface vs the iOS interface but it's going well.

By Sunday, I'd recovered or ported over manually most of my data from my old phone which I'd backed up to the cloud.  I've now gone whole hog into the world of Google in terms of contacts, calendar, notes, music (via YouTube Music owned by google).  All hail our benign overlords at Google!  ;)

Sunday's sunset was "mo better"

Monday, November 23

Spent the morning cleaning tools and throwing away spare parts, bits and bobs which I either couldn't trust after cleaning or just weren't worth the time.  Packed up the URRV and after an early lunch departed my FIL's place for a few day's of boondocking near Lake Pleasant on the north side of the Phoenix Metro area.

I picked a spot on Arizona State Trust land near New River, AZ.  Pretty flat ground with some vegetation but no big trees to speak off, located near some low-lying hills.


As I was working on pics for this post, which are taken with the Pixel 4a, I realized I lacked a cable to do bulk transfers of pictures from the phone to the laptop.  Sure, I could have emailed them to myself but wanted the capability to both do charging and storage via cable to my laptop.

The nearby town of Anthem had a big shopping complex which included a Walmart and there I found a USB to USB-C cable.  The Pixel 4a uses the USB-C, something new to me as my electronics either used the Apple Lightning connector or the burned up camera used a Mini-DIN connector.

Traffic problems on the highway resulted in me taking the long way back, so an almost 32 miles loop instead of a 16 mile loop on Yagi.  Oh well.

Sunset was "OK", I realized that using a camera phone exclusively will probably not work for me as it lacks the ability to change the F-Stop to create lighting effects such as star burst patterns and different filtering themes while shooting.



One of these nights, perhaps tonight, I'll try the night shot capability of the Pixel 4a's phone, something their marketing department touted quite strongly in their advertising.  Apparently, you can get a picture of the Milky Way if the skies are clear, no light pollution and of course the camera is held steady enough by a tripod.




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Light repairs, maintenance, Ospreys and fake missiles

 Still boondocking in the Block C section of the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range and having a pretty good time with the isolation and quiet solitude.  

Still lots of traffic by Border Patrol vehicles but they've become background noise to me by now.

Tuesday, November 17


Rode Yagi, my TW200, to the town of Roll, AZ....Just north of the nearest town to my campsite: Tacna.  I was picking up a replacement 35 white lamp for the sidecar light on Fiona which had taken a rock and then broken at the beginning of the trip.


Got the bulb just fine, and then I decided to ride west on Old US 80 to explore for possible campsites in the Block B section of the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range.

We used the 35 E. exit and ended up in the Camino Del Diablo (devils road ) which was very sandy but still doable by the URRV. I went south about 5 miles and found a spot by the roadside which would work but wasn’t as good as the one on the block C section of the Gunnery Range.

I wandered around for a bit but didn’t really like the area too much Boondocking. I then headed back north using a road created to put in a power line.   It was sandier than I liked and caused me to go really slow on Yagi.

Made it back to the town of Wellton, AZ just fine and used Old US 80 again to return to 40 E. Then went south back to the campsite after gassing up at the gas station next to I-80.

I had noticed some flat spots while accelerating on the highway on Yagi and decided to check the spark plug in the air filter. The spark plug was fine but the air filter was filthy!

I cleaned the air filter using some dishwashing detergent and put it back in l, once it was dry thinking that it would be OK to not oil it up since I did not have air filter oil with me. This would reveal itself to be a mistake during the test ride later on!

An observation vehicle I spotted set up on a nearby hill, I went
closer to it for pics

Those sure look like cameras to me, the rectangular object was 
slowly spinning around so I figured some type of radar.

Not sure who owned the above piece of surveillance equipment, the military or the border patrol but regardless, they soon left for somewhere else.

I spent part of the afternoon taking pictures of a couple of Osprey Tilt Rotor aircraft that were zooming about.  They're much faster than the Super Stallions I saw before when in airplane mode of course but can still carry troops and land like helicopters.....pretty cool aircraft.







I didn't see them do any landings or takeoffs though and rarely did they come close enough for my telephoto lens to capture them.

By the time I did the test ride, Yagi wasn't performing well, lots of hesitation on acceleration.

Turns out there was now too much air flowing through the clean air filter and causing the bike to run lean according to RichardM.  He’s always the first one I turn to when experiencing new mechanical symptoms.

It was night by this time and so it would wait till the morning when I would get some oil from the auto parts store in Wellton.

Wednesday, November 18

I rode Fiona after breakfast to the town of Wellton and got the K&N oil kit for air filters at the NAPA store.

Upon my return to the campsite I spent some time cleaning everything up really good and oiling up the air filter according to the directions.

Once finished I went for a test ride and all is well once again with Yagi’s performance. Later on I will go out on the highway to get her above 50 miles an hour and see how she does.

I also checked the air filter on Fiona; and while there was some light dust on top of the air filter which I was able to knock out it, it seemed OK otherwise.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out at the URRV, cleaning off the engine on Fiona and just reading my e-book in the shade during the hot part of the day.

As Sunset approached, I rode Yagi to the top of the telcom hilltop and spotted something I'd missed completely the last couple of days.  It was a fake missile complex, probably used in the past to train pilots in their engagement perhaps or just identification?  Not sure.


I then rode over to the missile site to get a closer view:



There were six fake missile emplacements similar to the one above, surrounding a set of six round barrel like structures in the middle, perhaps simulating missile silos?


Anyways, was a bit chagrined I'd not spotted this site before, it laying very close to the row of old armored vehicles.  I guess I focused on the armored vehicles and just rode past without spotting the missiles!

Sunrise of the distant mountains from atop the telcom hill:



Perhaps 40 minutes after the sun had set, I was sitting outside the URRV, enjoying the evening's cool breeze and relief from the hot temperatures of the day.

That's Jupiter slightly above and to the left of the moon above.