Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Palo Verde Loop / Dezert Dog
Decided I was overdue for a solo ride so loaded up the OldWing this AM and headed out for a spin. Crossed over the AZ. Border, and the Colorado River into California, then on to Ogalby Road / CA. S-34. This road borders the Algodones Dunes as I headed north towards Ca. 78 North.
Gold Rock Ca. is a local attraction.(?) I've passed the place dozens of times but never have driven the few miles over to check it out....oh well, not too many towns list the times when their "open".
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Some recent mining has gone on over to the east.
The day was warm and beautiful. The mountain views changed with each turn. I love the desert in the Winter.
Saw this old ruin off the road a ways so ran the OldWing in the rocks for a little ways. Not sure what this was going to be but someone never got very far with their project.
Picacho Peak in the distance
Hitting the end of S-34 I turned North on CA. 78 North. This road follows the Palo Verde Mountains. Lots of light curves and lots of deep dips. Also a Border Patrol Check Point on this route. The Border Agents looked pretty bored and just waved me through.
This monument is just North of the check point.
Approaching Palo Verde the Colorado River is within view of the road in a few spots. Lots of agriculture in this valley. Sheep, Cotton, Alfalfa and numerous crops grown here. The town of Palo Verde had a little activity.
Stopped there for a couple minutes to stretch my legs.
The town sported my type of campground!
I rode to Blyth Ca. then over the Colorado to Ehrenburg AZ....Quartzsite when only 20 miles so headed there for fuel. Once in Q'site and headed North to one of the long term camping areas in search of a buddy. I had e-mailed him late last night but never got his reply, had to go searching for him. By chance I chose the right place and rode right to his camp.
The infamous "Dezert Dog".
He has a great little campsite and camper. The Q'site population is growing for the Winter so he'll likely be looking for less populated diggings soon. We sat down and talked for a couple hours. He has traveled many corners of the world and has a lot of great tales to tell. He also sent my wife a beautiful set of his hand made pure silver ear rings....and he didn't even know that her Birthday was yesterday.
It was nice to sit down and visit with another Montana Native. His Family has been in MT. about as long as mine.
The GS is ready for the desert.
The day was running short so I made a b-line for Yuma, which was only 80 miles down the road. Timed the ride perfectly as the sun was about gone when I pulled into my driveway.
All in all a great day for a ride. The temperatures were in the low 70's in the afternoon. The Oldwing ran flawlessly and acheived almost 40 mpg.
Typically ran 65 - 75 mph all day. The bike is effortless to ride and handles great in the corners. My only complaint is the "Progressive" rear suspension which is quite harsh on the rough CA. roads. But "harshness" is a better trait than "mushiness" when cornering. I used to have a GL650 Silverwing which handled very poorly in comparison to the OldWing.
My ancient old leather riding coat finally blew the zipper out today. Time to retire it maybe.....or find someone to replace the zipper. It is like an old friend so repair might be the way to go.(?)
I made an attempt to humor my left arm and rested it on the tank bag from time to time while riding down the road. My last long OldWing ride (550 miles) resulted in three days of shoulder issues. Today, everything felt fine, but I only ran about 220 miles.. Maybe the vile arthritis drugs they have me on are working.
I picked up a "Breil" oil cooler for the BMW sidecar rig...plus my oil sender is leaking. Hope to have all my parts together tomorrow so I can get the cooler installed and one of the oil leaks staunched. More on the "Breil" cooler later.