Showing posts with label sunrise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunrise. Show all posts

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, 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.


Monday, November 16, 2020

T-Dub'ing to the Betty Lee Mine and Shooting Super Stallions

 I woke near Sunrise and caught the sun as it crested the horizon:

The plan today was to go nearer the Copper Mountains that are roughly 8 miles to the south and check out the Betty Lee Mine therein.

The mountains themselves were OK, not much in terms of majestic scenery or such, pretty much a larger/longer version of Baker Peaks next to the campsite:


From the signpost labeled F7, one takes one of the sub-trails towards the southwest and following the sign for the mine, arrives after roughly 2.5 to 3 miles.  The trail wasn't too bad, quite rocky in some spots but nothing Yagi couldn't handle in spite of her rider.

Soon enough we arrived at what I called the "parking lot".  There would be about .5 miles of hiking with an accompanying climb of about 5 floors according to the health app on my iPhone.


The direction you head into from the "parking lot"

The trail wasn't as well marked as I would like, in fact I lost it a few times and ended up going up and down boulders strewn about the dry creek that formed this gulch.  The .5 miles or so took me about 30 minutes each way in the mid-morning sun, a light sweat was developed by yours truly due to the warm weather.

Maybe halfway there, a view of the gulch/draw one needs to negotiate to get to the mine entrances:


A view back towards where I left Yagi....

As I neared the mine entrances, I could spot discarded/rusty metal objects and pipes that used to be part of the mine's infrastructure.


Finally, I got to the first mine entrance.  It was pretty easy to spot since it had remnants of a small railway which they must have used to cart the ore and dirt out of the mine:


Around the bend above, you come onto the entrance to the mine.  Surprisingly, it's not closed off to the public with bars or some similar obstacle.  

Old mines usually being death traps, I did not go in.

Across a very small ravine, there laid another mine entrance nearby:


I returned the way I hiked in, found the real trail on the way out, not much better but smaller boulders anyways to negotiate.

On the ride back to camp, I took the wrong road back and ended up correcting myself by going cross-country for a bit.  This led to the below discovery of old bombs which actually were located pretty close to where the old armored vehicles are!

Pretty sure, I hope, the Air Force rendered these inert

I got back around Noon and spent the next 3-4 hours resting in the URRV's shade and shooting pics of a couple of Marine Corps Super Stallion CH-53E (I think) Helicopters doing some training which centered mainly on landings and takeoffs under dusty/blind conditions.

My puny 200mm telephoto lens didn't get too many good shots but sometimes the choppers came close enough:








Around 4PM, the choppers had left so I got on Fiona and headed out to the border of Block C area for a picture of the border sign:


Then I headed back the 2 miles or so back to the campsite and headed up the hill where the telcom antennas are for pictures:


While I was up there, the choppers came back and I got some shots of them doing their sandy conditions landing training.  Must be quite "exciting" landing such a machine while not being able to see a damn thing due to the dust!



Another picture of Uma from the hill top

As sunset approached, I left the hilltop and rode the short distance to where I'd found a good spot with hills to pose Fiona: