Saturday, February 11, 2012

HELPING A COUPLE DAMSELS IN DISTRESS

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DOING A LITTLE OFF ROADING TODAY

The gusting winds had me up at 3 a.m. so I knew I was in for a long day.  Borrego Springs is known for it’s winds.  Big, gusting, & rip your awning off kinds of winds!!   I think some of the worst winds we have encountered in our travels have been right here out on the Clark Dry Lake Bed near Borrego.  Two years ago we departed the area early because of the relentless winds.

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GRAY SAN YSIDRO MOUNTAINS BEHIND THE BROWN COYOTE HILLS WHERE WE WALK IN THE MORNING…STONE SNAKE IS IN THE AREA TOP RIGHT WHERE THE TWO HILLS FORM A DIP

We heard Friday there were wind warnings out & sure enough they started Friday night about 6:30 & howled on & off most of the night.  Flicked the TV on around 4 & was relieved to see we still had a signal.  That meant the satellite dish had not been slam dunked.  I have it tightly cinched to the ground using THE CLAW.  Luckily I set up the dish on the leeward side of the rig a few days ago as well.

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<<< WE PICKED A ROCKY TRAIL THIS MORNING

Pheebs & I headed up into the Coyote Hills again this morning but took a steeper rocks & boulder strewn route.  Path was hard to find through the rocks & I wandered off it at one point.  No problem because I could see it just above me & 4 or 5 big climbing strides would put me up onto it again.  My first step up put me flat on my face.  The rock I had stepped on was loose & shot out from under my foot.  I heard my Nikon D40 & 300mm lens hit the rocks under me & my D90, although still in my hand, dinged the rocks ahead of me.  Laid there for a few seconds & decided I was fine but oh dear, what about my cameras.  Without getting up I turned my D90 right side up & brought it closer to my face.  Looked OK.  I then slowly got up fearing the worst for my D40 & big lens lying on the rocks beneath me.  Lens hood & barrel were scuffed & dirty.  Took a photo with the D90 of the D40 & hat laying on the ground to see if the D90 was still working….it was.  I then carefully lifted the D40 up.  Everything appeared OK so took a photo of Pheebs & everything worked fine on that camera too.  

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PHEEBS, OUR LITTLE MOUNTAIN GOAT

This was the second close call for my 300mm lens.  This was the same lens I had on my Nikon D50 a year ago when camera & lens fell off a table onto a concrete floor.  Camera was toast but the big lens survived.  Considering the fact I carry my cameras with me practically every day I figure I’m pretty lucky in only having one camera smashed up in all these years.  And, I’m not one to pamper my equipment.

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EVEN KNOCKED MY DARN HAT OFF

Figured we would head off on a little Jeep tour this morning so headed east on S22.  We had heard of a place called the Pumpkin Patch & we also wanted to have a look at Truckhaven Rocks.  Somewhere around mile marker 35 we caught a glimpse of a vehicle about 500 feet off to the right that appeared to be stuck in a sandy wash.  Person standing beside it.  Took us another mile before we could get turned around & head back.  As we turned off the highway into the desert we could see the front end was down on the car & as we drew closer saw that it was 2 young girls totally stuck in the sand.

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We all tried digging sand away from behind the Honda Fit’s front tires & laying in a bed of rocks.  No go, front wheel just spun.   The girls had spun the front wheels in so far the frame was resting on the ground.  I was kicking myself for not having a good tow rope in the Jeep because we could have pulled that little Honda straight back & out of it’s dilemma.

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THE TOW ROPE GUY HOOKS ONTO HIS BUDDY’S JEEP

Kelly had walked back out to the road to flag down some help.  I had seen a group of campers not far away so jumped in the Jeep, picked Kelly up & we were on our way to get some additional help when we noticed two vehicles slowing down.  They had seen Kelly by the road & turned around.  We got them pulled over & explained the situation & it wasn’t long we all made our way back to the damsels in distress.  One fellow had a Jeep & the other fellow had a small pick up truck with a tow rope on board.  The Jeep guy positioned himself behind the Honda, the pick up truck guy brought over his tow rope, I hooked one end on to the Honda & they hooked the other end onto the Jeep.  In just a matter of seconds the Jeep guy easily pulled the little Honda right out with no problem.  Some cheers went up & the happy girls were once again on their way.  So nice when a group of strangers can come together & lend a helping hand.  It sure made my day seeing the big bright smiles on the young faces:))

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A CHEER GOES UP AS THE HONDA IS PULLED FROM THE SAND

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THE JEEP GUY GUIDES THE HONDA OWNER BACK A BIT

Not too much farther down the highway we saw Truckhaven road & decided to have ourselves a look.  It’s a 4 wheel drive Jeep road & starts off easy enough through the desert but before long it begins a steep rough descent down a narrow rock strewn & rutted trail to a wash below.  This was a slow first gear crawl downwards with a sheer drop off on Kelly’s side.  Not good.  It is always far more difficult for a passenger in these situations than it is for a driver.  We did finally make it down OK but it wasn’t long & we were into another rocky section climbing up the other side of the wash.  Once on top of the mesa we could see the road heading down another steep rock strewn road into the next wash.  Not knowing where this road eventually ended or led to we made the decision to turn around & make our way back to the highway.

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ROAD STARTED OFF EASY ENOUGH

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WE WERE SOON INTO SOME ROUGH & ROCKY TERRAIN

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WE HAD COME DOWN THIS NARROW ROAD SO KNEW WE HAD TO GO BACK UP IT

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NO FANCY GUARD RAILS IN THE DESERT

We must find ourselves a good map showing the topography of these roads if we are to venture out again.  One does not want to get lost in the many criss crossing canyons, washes, & endlessly wandering Jeep roads.  Afterall, these are the Borrego Badlands & not for the faint of heart

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BORREGO SPRINGS LIES JUST OVER THERE AT THE BASE OF THE SAN YSIDRO MOUNTAINS

Once back on the highway we did slip off onto another Jeep road again somewhere in the vicinity of the Calcite Mine but once again not knowing exactly where the mine was we had to eventually turn around & head back up onto the highway again.  We were back to the rig before noon.

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SOMEWHERE IN SOUTH PALM WASH

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YEP, I THINK THAT’S ABOUT THE END OF THE LINE FOR TODAY

Spent the rest of the afternoon gathering together info off the Internet on how to find some of the things we couldn’t find today.  Yes, we do have a Delorme PN-40 Earthmate GPS but we’ve never figured out to use it & have lost interest.  In fact we’re contemplating selling it.  Excellent condition & never really been used.  We understand iPads have a GPS program & we would sooner go that route.  If we sell the Delorme we’ll put that money towards an iPad.

DSC_0004-2OUR DELORME PN-40 EARTHMATE GPS…EXCELLENT CONDITION >>>

Well, I really got things messed up about that Skydiving event in yesterday’s blog. Kelly had first gone into the terminal & talked to the dispatcher guy about the jumpers. She then gave me her interpretation of what he said & I of course processed that in my mind with my own interpretations of what Kelly said & added a few of my own assumptions & of course got the whole story wrong. Friend & long time blog reader Pat over near Sierra Vista straightened me out this morning with the following comment. “The Skyvan won't be going to Canada with the jumpers, it's from the Perris Valley jump school (SkyDive Perris) just north of A-B near Riverside.”  Thanks Pat:))  Now, here’s where I really got it screwed up in the translations…… I said “A very friendly & helpful dispatcher guy told us a crack Canadian Skydiving team was here to train some American military personnel in the finer arts of leaping out of a perfectly good aircraft.”  Well, the only thing I got accurate about that was the bit about the friendly dispatcher guy being friendly.  No crack Canadian Skydiving team was here to train American military personnel.  It was Canadian military people here to attend & train at the Perris Valley jump school over near Riverside California somewhere…... Oh boy, hope I got it right this time!!   Getting facts screwed up so bad makes me think I should be writing for the National Enquirer……………..

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GROANER’S CORNER:((  There was this lady who was visiting a church one Sunday. The sermon seemed to go on forever, and many in the congregation fell asleep. After the service, to be social, she walked up to a very sleepy looking gentleman, extended her hand in greeting, and said, "Hello, I'm Gladys Dunn." And the gentleman replied, "You're not the only one ma'am, I'm glad it's done too!!"

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-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
BAYFIELD BUNCH PHOTO ALBUMS https://picasaweb.google.com/117858411710794543295
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.
stargeezerguy@gmail.com

13 comments:

Teri said...

Are there forest (desert) ranger service stations out there? They usually have back country maps.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Seems to me you all the important info ,just not in the right order, anyway it's still fun to watch that Skyvan lumber into the air no matter what it's cargo is. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so interesting and entertaining. I always have to see what Al and Kelly are up to today.
Love the photos and sure glad you didn't break your lens and cameras.I know you would immediately replace anyway so as not to miss a photo op. I was a holdout for an ipad and got one for christmas. Best gift ever. You are correct about the gps. Very good to have. I love the Night Sky App. Lots of fun.
Hope you enjoy your day and I look forward to seeing the photos in the morning.
Bev in NS Canada

Renee and Dave (from Datil) said...

Al -- Have you looked into getting an air pump so you can let air out of your tires when you're doing your desert-off-road thing? It makes a HUGE difference in ride comfort to take your tires down to 10-12 lbs pressure.

You have to air back up when you get back to pavement, but it only takes Dave about 10 minutes to re-inflate all 4 tires to the proper pressure.

Jeannie said...

You sure had my sympathy on the camera lens. I've taken to adding extra "security" straps on mine as I seem to drop them hard once in awhile.

You are interesting to read even if you don't have your facts straight! :-)

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Heh heh you need a big hunk of foam pipe insulation to wrap around your lenses... or hollow out one of those big "fun noodles" that kids use in a swimming pool. Then you could walk and have them ready to shoot out the end, but be protected at the same time>??? LOL

Jerry and Suzy said...

Yay for no camera damage! Replacement is expensive and time consuming, especially way out in the Borrego Badlands!

George and Suzie Yates said...

A rescue day for sure, rescued the cameras and lenses, rescued two damsels in distress and rescued yourselves from loosing yourselves in the beautiful desert.
Sounds like a fun productive day!

Dennis and Donna said...

Thatphoto of the South Palm Wash looked like a giant lion paw was resting there in the stone...As for the fall??the Heck with the camera..just glad you were OK..I'm still feeling the soreness of my tumble out the camper..Ya just can't take me anywhere...you either...:-))

Peter + Beatrix said...

Lucky damsels. Good to have help around in such situation. We have visited the Borego desert several times. I liked it best when the flowers were out. The only thing that keeps me from going there more often is the chance of earthquakes. The area is right on the fault.
Great pics. Bea

Sue and Doug said...

the damsels in distress were lucky that they had help!..good job on the rescue!

Donna K said...

Al have you ever heard of the cotton carrier? It is a vest like thing you wear and it has secure ways to carry your camera and still keep everything handy and ready for use. The tripod connection at the bottom of the camera fits into a slot on the vest, so it is easy to grab the camera for a quick shot. Plus your hands are free when you're walking. Just a thought. Here's a link if you're interested.
http://www.amazon.com/Cotton-Carrier-Camera-Holster-Cameras/dp/B006UHZ7OQ/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1329107304&sr=8-10
Or just do a search on Amazon. Glad nothing was damaged on your camera or on your person!!

We have a Honda Fit - great little toad but not a good off road car. Wish I had a jeep...

Deb said...

I've had great pleasure reading thru your blog, which I found it on Nina's (Wheelin It) site.

We too love to find the usual things, which mostly require a high clearance vehicle. I think we have that covered (Land Cruiser with 37" tires). If we were only closer to y'all (currently in Quartzsite), we could run them together. We do most of trail riding by ourselves, which is very risky, but hard to find others willing to get too far off the black top.

By the way, I'm glad you and your cameras are okay... those darn rocks!! LOL :)

Safe travels ~