Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part Three (Post #571) 1/23/2017

Day Three

We woke in Picture Canyon. Erik and his team planned to return to Oklahoma City. We made a big breakfast cooking everything we hadn’t eaten so far on the trip. By the time we finished cooking eating and packing up Mr. Fisher and I had to change our plans too.

The trek up Black Mesa and back takes at least 5 hours. We had 7 hours of driving to get home. We had an hour and a half to get to the trail-head. The math put us in Norman around 11 PM or even later. That wasn’t really an option as I had to go back to work on Tuesday. So we skipped Black Mesa. I’ve been to the Black Mesa area three times and I haven’t made the hike yet. My next trip to the region Black Mesa will be my primary goal. I’m doing that first.

We headed to Campo, Colorado to get some fuel. We found a garage there with a mechanic, that’s something to put in the memory bank just in case. We fueled up and struck up a conversation with a local gentleman who heard we were overlanding and gave us a great suggestion for a route home. We headed south out of Campo looking for Road C. We headed east and soon found ourselves out on the wide open grassland.

Along the way we found a historical marker and stopped to check it out. Turned out it was a short cut for the Santa Fe Trail.

Santa Fe Trail Aubry Cutoff

You can find it by clicking this link.

GPS coordinates

“Santa Fe Trail Marker with Stone Posts”
37°01’05.7″N 102°27’42.3″W
37.018258, -102.461744

The markers were for the Aubry Cutoff. From the sign, it was a way from the Mountain Route to the Cimarron Route on the Santa Fe Trail.
The sign was well weathered and really hard to read so I translated it for you.

“Francois Xaver Aubry was born December 3, 1824 near Quebec. In 1843 at 18, he left his home and moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he began working as a clerk for a French Canadian merchant company.”
“In 1846 lured by the talk of trade making money and adventure on the Santa Fe Trail, he gave up his job as a clerk and became a full-time trader. By 1850, Aubry had traveled multiple routes with the goal of finding the shortest sand-free path that provided adequate water and wood. In 1851 he found it establishing what became known as the Aubry Cutoff.”
“From 1846 to 1854 Aubry was among the business most influential merchants on the Santa Fe Trail. His caravans were usually large and his speed and reliability in getting goods to the right market ahead of others was legendary. The average length of Aubry’s trips was 37 days while other merchants would take up to 90 days to deliver their goods to Santa Fe.”
“Along with this mercantile reputation he developed a talent for individual travel. Aubry’s 730 mile trip on horseback from Santa Fe to Independence Missouri in the **** days…”

The rest of the sign is indistinguishable.

The grassland was amazing. I’ve never been so far away from everything. It is a truly wide open place.

A panoramic view.
Such a great road.

There were other markers laying out the Santa Fe Trail.

We crossed in to Oklahoma.

Mr. Fisher stands in Colorado and Oklahoma at the same time.

We decided to head to the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. I’ve never been but have wanted to go several times. The shortcut through Texas was really terrible. We battled the 18-wheelers hauling pre-hamburgers and pre-steaks at mach 2 on the roads throughout the panhandle of Texas. I’m pretty sure most of them should be arrested and thrown into jail for the speed they were traveling and the absolute utter disregard for other drivers. Seriously we were nearly rammed by two 18-wheelers going well over 80 mph. There’s no way they could have stopped if something happened.

We stopped in one these cattle towns and made some sandwiches and ate lunch. Every town had a silo like this one.

Cow town with a silo.

The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site is a real nice museum and was free! We stopped and watched an informative video about the event. We looked at the artifacts and read some of the interesting perspectives of the times. There would be a recollection of a white person and a recollection of a native person showing the two sides of the same event. Very informative.

We then went down the road to the actual site. The river has moved since the original event but with a little imagination you can put yourself there that fateful winter day.
We took the two lane highways home. I can tell you as we came back into civilization I actually longed for the wide open spaces of the plains. The rest of the trip was uneventful and we managed to get home without dying.

Part One.
Part Two.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Gearing Up for SCARR, Part One (Post #459) 3/10/2014

I’ve been getting my kit together for S.C.A.R.R. the past few weeks. I am going to be putting up a few posts about new, new-old, and old kit for the trip.

Coleman Cooking Stove

colemanstoveI’ve been reading posts from Land Cruising Adventure. Karin-Marijke, Coen, and their Toyota Land Cruiser BJ45 have been overlanding since 2003. An amazing fete’ if you ask me. So amazing, Expedition Portal named them Overlander’s of the Year for 2013. I subscribe to Overland Journal and love to read and see the adventures. Their reviews of gear each issue and in their yearly Gear Issue are most of the reason I am a subscriber.

They have a great site and I highly encourage you to go over and visit. In a recent post they were featured in Overland Journal’s gear issue. Overland Journal asked Overlander’s what was their  “Most Valued” gear. Karin and Coen picked their Coleman Camp Stove.

After reading their post about their Coleman stove I had to go find the one my dad left to me. It had been in the attic of the Newcastle house since we moved back home from Guam in 1971. I think my dad used it once on a hunting trip with my Uncle Ben in the early 1970s, but I need to confirm that. I have my dad’s Coleman Lantern too. I know we used it a few times in the early 1970s when our power got knocked out from some blizzards and a thunderstorm or two. It’s safe to say it hasn’t been lit since 1975. Continue reading “Gearing Up for SCARR, Part One (Post #459) 3/10/2014”

Guthrie and Beyond October 2013 (Post #406) 10/30/2013

I loved the lines.
High on a hill east of Guthrie.

Mrs. Okierover and I love a good road trip. So when our oldest daughter (Fireball) told us our oldest grandchild (Pistol, aka Tater) was cheering in Guthrie, Oklahoma, we had to go. Guthrie holds a special place in our family’s history. Fireball was proposed to in this city by our now son-in-law J-man.

From our home in Norman, Guthrie is a solid one hour drive on the interstate. The first grade football game began at 0830. This meant both Fireball and her brood would need to roll out of their racks around 0630 in order to be more or less on time for the game. It’s no small task to haul a 6, 4, and 9 month old anywhere let alone at 0630. I’ve done it, alone, with only 6$(US) in my pocket, so I know. (A story for another time.)

I am not fond of “rolling out” at 0730 on my only “sleep in” day of the week. Add driving an hour on the interstate on a OU home football game weekend. Not fun. So I ponied up the money for us to stay in Guthrie over night. The grand kids had never stayed in a hotel so we knew they would have fun. Continue reading “Guthrie and Beyond October 2013 (Post #406) 10/30/2013”

LR-ADHD, Serious and Very Real (Post #323) 3/8/2013

We have all had moments when this scenario has happened to us.

You are working on a task on your Land Rover, let’s say an oil change, and you notice there is a badly corroded wire on the coil. Those wires are flimsy and prone to corroding. You stop to inspect it and notice the wire to the connector shows signs it will probably break off on the next armadillo you run over. So you get a wire cutter and nip it off and go to the shelf to get another connector end and some heat shrink to minimize the chances of this happening again.

When you get to the shelf you see the light bulbs you bought last week when your neighbor told you the left back-up lamp was out. So you go to the tool chest to get a Phillip’s screwdriver to put the bulb in, after all, it will only take a minute. Right?

When you get to the tail light you notice the rhino-lining on the rear lamp guards has faded to gray. You remember you have a can of flat black left over from the “pirate ship Halloween project” you made for your neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat. As you reach for it you see the pre-measured tubes of CV joint lubricant you bought two months ago after you heard what you thought was the tell tale metal knuckle sound coming from the front when you were leaving the camp ground. And just then you remember you need to put the away the camping gear that still litters the garage floor.

Do you even remember what it was you were working on? Throw in a refrigerator full of Boddington’s and you probably have forgotten why you were in the garage in the first place.

This is LR-ADHD, Land Rover – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Sadly, it is mostly incurable. You have so many “little” tasks to do on your Land Rover that you get overwhelmed. And like the proverbial dog being distracted by a squirrel, you will forever be side tracked by another task the minute you start a new one.

To aid me in battling this terrible disease, I am going to install a white board in the garage where I can write down the projects I need to do on the Range Rover. If I use a little bit of my project management skills I can probably maximize my time in the garage drinking Boddington’s and watching sports working on the things that will help Mrs. OkieRover and I to circumnavigate the great state of Oklahoma this summer or early fall.

I have also started a list of the items I should pull off any Classic Range Rovers I find in the breakers yards. It will also help me keep track of any items I decide to buy off eBay when I see the weekly email of the Land Rover stores I am following.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a hardware store and failed to buy something I need. Getting old is brutal. The first thing to go is the mind. I used to think it was from all the booze I drank as a young man. But that sadly doesn’t work as a theory because my friend who seldom drank to excess has memory problems as well.

So if you are like me and afflicted with LR-ADHD go down swinging and employ the memory aiding devices available to you.

Thanks for ummmm, what ever it was you were doing a minute ago and Happy Rovering.

Two Classics and Their Classic (Post #321) 2/25/2013

You can’t tell me cars aren’t important to people. Such a great video.

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Mrs. Okierover and I’s first cars were nothing to be excited about. I guess the 1992 Ford Escort was the first car we bought together. We quickly outgrew it with the addition of Diet Mt. Drew. Our second car was the 1993 Ford Ranger pickup truck. It served us very well. Our first Land Rover? Well, we still have it. 1993 Range Rover LWB.

On a side note, I had a great weekend. I’ll have some pictures and a story up later this week.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Imagine the fluid level sensor plug WTH? (Post #208) 10/11/2010

Google honored John Lennon’s 70th birthday on October 9th. My own birthday is on October 11th. In the real world my ideology doesn’t line up with John’s. I do like his music and not counting the thousand of so times we heard the songs when my oldest brother and sister played the songs in the early 1970s, I spent three summers in the late 1970s listening to the Beatles and John Lennon’s music. My brother was a huge fan and that’s all we played on the turntable.

So with that let me begin the post…
Imagine you are looking at your handy work from the previous day.
Imagine that you see that you forgot to connect a plug and you reach out and grab the plug.
Imagine that just as you turn the plug to reconnect it, one of the wires breaks.
Imagine that as you turn it back to you to see the end, another wire breaks.
Image how pissed you are at that point.

If one of the neighbor kids weren’t in the garage telling me about how his dad burped the BMW cooling system and cured his overheating I would have gone on a explicative laden tirade. That is not supposed to happen. Well it’s not supposed to happen, but it does on Land Rovers. Matter of fact I would be comfortable in saying anyone who has ever worked on their Land Rover has had this happen.

You could see the corrosion on the wires. It was so corroded that even a few millimeters down the wire it was still corroded.

To get this fixed I would have to take the wire connectors out of the plug housing. Normally these connectors are held in place by a tab on the plug which fits in a channel on the plug housing. Getting the tab recessed and the plug out is usually not too bad. I had to struggle with these a bit.

The plug housing had clip that had to be pried open.

I was hoping the connectors would just slide right out after I had the clip open. No such luck was to be had. I got out a small pair of very narrow needle nosed pliers. I had them inserted and with a little effort finally got the connectors out.

I now had to get the wires connected. I used a small screwdriver to get the wire end opened up to hold the wire once I got it cut and stripped. I decided to solder the connectors to get a better connection. That was good except the worst of the corroded wires would not hold solder. I tried to clean it with flux but that didn’t work. I finally decided to just crimp it in place. There was really no other choice.

I guess I could get new connectors but I’m not sure where I would find them. I know everything is available somewhere, but it’s the looking that makes it hard. Back in the day I would just drive down to Radio Shack and pick up a matching connector and crimp them in place. But I’m not as impressed with the available parts at my neighborhood Radio Shack.

So I just slipped some new heat shrink on the wires and did what I could with what I had. The good news is it is working, at least for now.

On a side note you can see my experiment of putting the O rings into brake fluid there on the fender. It turned that the O ring didn’t dissolve. And the growth after it was wet with brake fluid was acceptable. I would even say it expanded just enough to make a good seal. While digging for a wrench in my on-board tool kit I found my spare ABS pressure switch. I had forgotten I had it in the on-board tool kit. I will probably move it to the parts shelf. In any event there was a good O ring on the unit and now I know I have a spare.

Thanks for reading imagining and Happy Rovering.