Saturday, January 06, 2018

MIKE, EMMI, AND I HEAD UP INTO THE DRAGOON MOUNTAINS WHILE THE LADIES GO SHOPPING IN WILCOX

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We were in the early stages of beginning to pack up the rig for departure when Janna and Mike came up with a better plan.  Janna had to slip on over to Wilcox to look at some furniture and suggested Kelly go along.  Mike suggested him and I along with Emmi saddle up their side by side Can-Am UTV and head out for a ride.  So that’s what we all did.
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BEFORE HEADING OUT I SAW THIS ON THE SPEEDOMETER AND THOUGHT MIKE HAD PROGRAMED THE MACHINE FOR MAXIMUM OOMPH
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EMMI’S ALL GEARED UP AND READY TO RUMBLE
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YOU CAN ALREADY SEE MY COAT COLLAR BLOWING IN MY FACE PLUS MY JACKE’S ALL ZIPPED UP
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WE STARTED OUT ON A NICE FLAT DIRT ROAD BUT THAT WAS SOON TO CHANGE
It was about 10 o’clock when Mike fired up the machine and I climbed aboard.  It was my first time ever riding in a UTV.  Sky was slightly overcast and at 10 in the morning it’s not the warmest out here in the desert.  Safely in my seat and looking forward the first thing I noticed was that we didn’t have a windshield so I quickly zipped my lined nylon jacket right up to my neck and with that we were off.  Didn’t know where we were going but we were definitely going somewhere.
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ONE OF EMMI’S TWO FAVORITE SPOTS IN THE UTV
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THE OTHER FAVORITE SPOT IS ON HER DAD’S LAP
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I TRIED DOING A SELFIE WITH MY TONGUE STUCK OUT AT THE CAMERA BUT WE HIT A BUMPY SPOT AND I ALMOST BIT MY FACE OFF
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WE’RE PICKING UP SPEED BECAUSE EMMI'S EARS ARE BLOWING BACKWARDS
On a flat and reasonably smooth stretch of dirt road Mike opened er up a bit and my hat blew off.  Luckily it caught on the crossbar and i quickly grabbed it.  Mike’s hat never blows off no matter what and I suspect he welds it on every morning.   I asked him how fast the Can Am would go and he said 210 mph.  I scoffed at that and he opened er up real good.  Think it was around the 135 mph mark that my dentures went down my throat, my ears flattened against the side of my head, my nostrils flared right up over my forehead and I lost my eyeballs,   My hair was straight back and my beard flew off.  My big 22 ten ton Cowby hat I assume was airborne somewhere over New Mexico.  Had I dared open my mouth I would have instantly been filled up with injected air so fast I no doubt would have exploded.  Luckily we reached the rolling foot hills of the mountains and Mike had to slow down.  I had quite a time putting myself back together again.  Especially peeling my nostrils off my forehead.
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I THINK THIS IS WHEN MIKE KICKED IN THE AFTERBURNERS AND ROCKETED US UP TO SPEED
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I AM SECONDS AWAY FROM LOSING MY BEARD
What an absolutely majestic country this is and especially if one takes the time to see and get up close to it.  As I’ve mentioned before in my blog mountains are not those bleak barren gray featureless shapes you see  on the horizon from the Interstates.  To know what a mountain is out here in the Southwest you have to walk up to it and touch it.  You have to see it’s forests, lakes, and streams.  You have to feel it’s air and experience it’s silence.  You have to be overwhelmed by it’s abundance of wildlife and you have to smell the hillsides of colorful flowers.  If you really want to know what a mountain is you have to go there for yourself, see the truth, then go tell others what you saw and how you felt about what you saw.
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EVEN FOUND US AN OLD WINDMILL
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I DIDN’T GET ANY PICTURES OF THE ROCKY BUMPITY SPOTS BECAUSE I COULND’T KEEP MY CAMERA STEADY ENOUGH
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THIS WAS THE ONLY VEHICLE WE MET COMING THE OTHER WAY AND MIKE HAD TO BACK UP AND WIGGLE OFF TO THE SIDE SO IT COULD GET THROUGH
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THE DROP-OFFS COME PRETTY CLOSE SOMETIMES
The more altitude we gained climbing the East side of the Dragoon Mountains this morning the rougher the terrain ahead became and it wasn’t long before the smoother dirt roads were long gone and we were being bumped and jostled along on Jeep  type roads.  But soon the Jeep roads were gone too as we climbed even higher.  We were definitely ascending up a mountain all right and we were just south of the Cochise Stronghold.  My ears popped.  Surely I thought if we go any higher we are going to see Cochise himself.  Soon even  the Jeep roads were behind us and we were on what could best be called rocky mountain trails.  Handling the Can-Am like a true pro Mike deftly circumnavigated the worst sections and confidently bounced over the more worser sections.  Little Emmi took it all in stride but she too was an old pro having been out on many rough and tumble rides with Janna and Mike and  their ATV friends.
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ALTHOUGH MOUNTAINS MAY APPEAR GRAY FROM A DISTANCE THEY ARE GENERALLY AS GREEN AS GREEN CAN BE
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I think it was about 6 miles somewhere this side of heaven we finally crested a ridge and there splayed out before  us was the San Pedro Valley on the West side of the Dragoon Mountains.  We had made it to the top and Mike shut down the machine We were immediately enveloped by a silence but then again anytime one shuts off a UTV there is going to be a welcome silence for sure.  No, the kind of silence I’m talking about can only be found in places like where we stood there atop the Dragoon Mountains this morning.  It’s a deafening silence, a ringing silence, a comforting silence, a spiritual silence. 
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SOON AS WE TOPPED THIS RIDGE WE HAD A SPECTACUAR VIEW OF THE SAN PEDRO VALLEY
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WE COULD SEE BENSON ARIZONA OUT THERE TO THE RIGHT OF CENTER….WHETSTONE MOUNTAINS ON THE HORIZON
From our vantage point and with mountain ranges on three sides of us visible 50 miles away we were not long in figuring out which mountain ranges were which mountain ranges.   To the East were the Chiricahua and Swiss Helm mountains.  Too the South we could see the Mule Mountains and identified Naco Peak on the Mexico side of the border.  Traveling our eyes Southwest we spotted the tall Huachuca Mountains and the Tombstone Hills.  Further west the Mustang Mountains and north of them the Whetstones.  And we could see a very hazy Benson Arizona and a wide valley beyond leading to Tucson.  Northwest of Benson lay the Rincon Mountain Range.  Thought for two old fellers figuring that all out we did pretty good.  And we didn’t even need one of them there fancy darned GPS thingys either.  So there!!
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WE DETERMINED THAT ROCKY OUTCROP IS WHERE THE APACHE INDIANS ‘COUNCIL  ROCKS’ IS LOCATED….HERE’S MY LINK FOR THE DAY KELLY AND I LOCATED THE APACHES COUNCIL ROCKS 
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MIKE LOADS UP EMMI AND HAS A LAST LOOK OVER THE SAN PEDRO VALLEY BEFORE WE START DOWN THE MOUNTAIN
The ride down the mountain of course seemed easier than the ride up the mountain and even hiking, walking, or Jeeping I’ve always noticed that is the way it always seems to be.  Skies had cleared nicely and as we lost altitude we could feel warmer air.  We were back about two and a half hours after we had left. 
DSC_0219SAW THIS PISTOL PACKIN DUDE IN SUN SITES FRIDAY
So Okay here’s a few thoughts on my first ever Can-Am UTV ride.  First, I was impressed with the comfort and versatility of the ride and how the machine (and driver) handled the sharp rocky terrain.  Those tires on those machines are amazing.  Thought to myself if I had a choice between a Can-Am and a Motorcycle I would now at this stage of life prefer the Can-Am.  I could see myself finding enjoyment in driving one of those and even Pheebs could come along and I’m sure she would enjoy it too.  But knowing Kelly as well as I do I know it’s not something she would enjoy.   For me though this will be a very much most enjoyable and special morning  memory to remember.  Thanks Mike for making that happen:))
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MIKE LOOKS FOR A PAIR OF BINOCULARS BUT NONE WERE FOUND
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FROM FAR OFF ONE NEVER SEES THE TRUE GREEN FORESTED BEAUTY OF THE MOUNTAINS
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FROM THIS POINT WE COULD SEE COCHISE COUNTIES POWER PLANT OUT ON THE SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY FLOOR
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GUESS WE GOTTA GO OVER THE SAME BUMPITY SPOTS GOING DOWN AS WE DID COMING UP
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STOPPED TO CHECK OUT AN OLD ROUND CEMENT WATER TANK
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JUST ABOUT BACK DOWN ON THE VALLEY FLOOR
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ARE WE HOME YET >>>
As much as it boggles my mind how many RV’ers can plan their trips weeks and months and sometimes a year in advance I’m sure it boggles those very same people’s minds how some folks like Kelly and I can wake up in the morning and not have a clue where we will be by end of the day.  Boggles my mind sometimes too but it just seems to be the way we travel I guess.  Foot loose and fancy free is sometimes Okay and sometimes not so Okay.  Case in point was this morning,  We knew we were probably going someplace today but couldn’t make up our minds where that someplace would be.  As it turns out we didn’t go anywhere we thought we’d go and ended up simply saying right where we was.
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EARLIER THIS MORNING I SPOTTED TO UFO’S OVER THE DRAGOON MOUNTAINS…….OKAY-OKAY SO THEY WERE JUST REFLECTIONS OF OUR OVER THE SINK KITCHEN LIGHTS
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AND AS PER REQUEST HERE IS MY NEW WALMART SOFT WARM BLANKET  WE FOUND ON SALE FOR $13.49
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GROANER’S CORNER:((  The two partners in a law firm were having lunch when suddenly one of them jumped up and said, "I have to go back to the office - I forgot to lock the safe!" The other partner replied, "What are you worried about? We're both here."
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A Few Points To Ponder::
Eighty percent of all people consider themselves to be above average.
Error is often more earnest than truth.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Even if the grass is greener on the other side: they, like you, still have to cut it.
Even paranoids have enemies.
Every silver lining has a cloud around it.
Every solution breeds new problems.
Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.
Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
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19 comments:

  1. Very nice photo tour of your ride on the CanAm. I am a jeep guy going all the way back to my first ride, but I do enjoy getting out in a UTV. One difference I had to endure was wearing a helmet. The UTV'ing I have done was riding shot gun with USFS rangers when I was on photo assignments. We were out surveying and documenting road and trail damage. The helmet is a gov safety requirement, and the net net of wearing one is a stiff neck the next day. Otherwise, UTVing is a fine way to get around. Like Kelly, my dear wife wants nothing to do with UTVing, but she enjoys a ride in Ruby.

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  2. Great post - loved your description of the ride with Mike and Emmi. LOL!

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  3. Fantastic pictures and story telling!

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  4. Great pics of you two desperados !

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  5. What a fun Day with Mike and exploring on the Can Am. We don't plan too much either, that is the beauty of boon docking, go when you want and arrive wherever you feel like. We were going to leave here saturday and go someplace, but are leaving Sunday and heading to a different place.
    Love your Blanket very similar to mine on my recliner. comfy yes !

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  6. The first picture is perhaps the best I've ever seen. Two grizzled cowboys heading grimly out for their date with Destiny.

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  7. What a great adventure, and what story-telling! A neat vehicle, and spectacular views at the top. I see why you love the southwest!

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  8. Looks like you guys wandered up the same trails Blue II and were up late last year. Pretty country and a good place to let your imagination run wild.

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  9. What a fantastic day you had Al. That view was amazing.

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  10. What a day you. Never been in a UTV but that was an amazing ride. You say you're forgetful but you don't forget your mountains. Just beautiful at the top. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and that blanket looks comfy.

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  11. What an amazing time you fella's had. Loved the images you described of the mountains as well as yourself before being put back together. Truly the story teller in you comes out at times.

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  12. Great pics of a fun day in the hills. We have followed several UTVs in the Jeep and so far we're happy just using it to get in the back country. But they sure do look like a lot of fun!! Because we stay in parks with FHUs I tend to get reservations everywhere we go. Although right now we have none until the end of the month and none in most of March. Living on the edge we are!!

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  13. Excellent photo's and a superlative blog post.
    I like your Walmart Blanket!
    Today's says it all!

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  14. Seems you two had yourselves a bit of fun today.
    Enjoyed reading every word of it and the great pictures!
    As a gal, I'm wondering what trouble those ladies got into?

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  15. Wow. What a ride! I also linked over to the Council Bluffs trip, so the ride seemed double. Like I was there, except without dirt in my teeth... Thanks.

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  16. Glad to see you are enjoying your time with Michael and Janna!

    I want to thank you for the great directions to the Stone Eagle in Warner Springs. We went to check it out today with our friends. I guess I needed to pay better attention to the part about it being chilly!! I remembered that part of your post as we got out of the car there!! Luckily, it was just a little chilly since we had shorts on and no jackets. You'll have to watch for an upcoming blog post for our adventure:) I have been saving your post for our return to Borrego Springs.

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  17. Or that sign could say, "Pay double for the first drink and get the second drink free".

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