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Old 11-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
Vapor_Trails OP
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Rice on Turkey Day

This is my first ever RR so please accept my apologies if you find it to be sub par. I am not a creative person nor do I have any artistic talent whatsoever. Please bear with me. And I realized that I took way too few pictures. Lesson learned. So, here goes:

Every Thanksgiving our family goes camping for what we call our Turkey in The Desert trip. This year my wife, daughter and I went out on Tuesday while my brother & family and our folks came out on Wednesday. We camp near the aquaduct about 20 miles north of Desert Center on Rice Rd.

With the Husky loaded up and the travel trailer in tow we made the 120 mile trek from Yucaipa to our campsite. Although we got a late start and arrived after dark we were able to set up camp without incident.


The bike is off the truck and ready to go.



On Wednesday after unloading the bike, but before the rest of the family showed up, my 8 year old and I headed out for a quick tour of the area.


We headed north on Aquaduct Rd. until we came to Highway 62. We turned east on 62 and came to the end of the road.


Katie had fallen asleep while we were still in the dirt (how's that for smooth riding?) and was ready to get back to camp. We started at "A" and follwed the dirt road up to "B". The rest of the quick trip followed the highway (outlined).



As member in good standing of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus I would be remiss if I did not include a pic or two of the monument we erected at the entrance to Camp Coxcomb (where we're camping).






Between 1942 and 1944 in this part of the Sonoran Desert the U.S. Military trained over one million soldiers to fight in Africa, Europe and the Pacific. The monument above and the couple more that follow are just a few commemoratives of that feat.

Vapor_Trails screwed with this post 11-30-2011 at 09:54 PM Reason: Modify
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:50 PM   #2
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:23 AM   #3
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I haven't spared a thought for E Clampus Vitus in years. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:36 PM   #4
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(Pics fixed I think)

After dropping Katie off with her mom back at camp I grabbed my jacket, street helmet, and earbuds and off I went to find what was once Rice Air Base.

Across Highway 177/Rice Rd from the Coxcomb Monument is the entrance to Palen Pass. Back in the late 1800's Palen Pass was a stagecoach route to the Colorado River.


Here is the Visitor Information Stand for this portion of the desert. I took these shots and continued north on 177.


I've driven much of Palen Pass in my truck and there is no way I'd ride my bike on it. Real dirt bike guys would no doubt. But, not me. From the entrance all the way back to the mountains it's sand - sand - sand. I HATE sand! After that it's rutty and rocky for miles and miles. Way fun in a 4x4. Not so much on a bike. Though I've never been that far The Pass is still navagible all the way to the river I'm told.



Camera went back in my pocket and off I went.

The first thing of interest was the road to Iron Mountain and this odd sign.


I took this pic on my way back to camp


Another monument to the troops in WWII.


And another.


A few minutes later I was back at the intersection but from a different direction. On to Rice.

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
I haven't spared a thought for E Clampus Vitus in years. Thanks for the reminder.
Come back to the fold, Brother!
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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Folks must have a lot of time on their hands. There was a lot of this "artwork?" along the railway rise. I had to pull over and get a pic.


Had to get the obligatory pics of the bike, too.




Same shot but from the other side of the road.


Further east were these empty railcars sitting next to a very old water tower. Steam locomotives would stop there to refill their boilers. My wife's paternal grandfather worked the railroad most of his life. He told me that in his teens and early twenties, including his stint in Africa fighting nazis, he worked steam engines. How cool is that?

This is my favorite shot of the day.


Almost to the end.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:05 PM   #7
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Wecome Vapor Trails!

Way to post up. Nice job with the family, especially with your daughter on the reconnaissance ride.

Keep posting!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:27 PM   #8
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I second what RRR said.

Nice report for a fairly unreported area. I'm sure there are lots of folks like me that have been pulling boats/watercraft through that area on our way to the river, but never stopped except a pee stop at Vidal Junction.

I gotta get out the Benchmark mapbook and gives this a look.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:42 AM   #9
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Thanks for the RR. We rode across 62 coming home from Palm Springs a few months ago. That is a desolate area out there, the rock art on the rail bed goes on for miles.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:56 AM   #10
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Thanks for sharing!

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Old 12-11-2011, 07:15 AM   #11
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Nice trip brother
I think the journer more meningfull if you take your child abroad with you
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:42 PM   #12
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Thanks All! Sorry it's taken me so long to finish this up.

The next stop was here.



This appears to be a gas station. Imagine all the (now) classic and antique cars that would have come through here. Gas at 25 cents a gallon. A shiny Coke machine out front promising a cold, sugary treat for a nickel...


I'd really like to know more about this building.


Who were the Koops? What were they doing out here in 1794? How many times was the building restored/refurbished before it was razed?




A few yards east of the Koop House:


I can't think of any comments about this fence. It kind of speaks for itself.


It was about this time that I was feeling a bit parched. The kind of parched that only a Hangar 24 Orange Wheat (or six) would quench. It was time to turn around and head back to camp. I never actually made it to Rice Air Base. I kinda gave up looking for it. Though, it turns out I was only a couple miles away. Oh, well.

The last thing I stopped for was this memorial to a fellow named Villa. I gave him a respectful nod and went on my way.




After being gone for a total of about four hours I pulled back into camp where my daughter and my father-in-law expressed their joy at my return.
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