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Diehard Laser Sailor Pulls Another Recon Of The Stronghold...

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Man, oh man, what a day... had a wild hair and pulled a spontaneous recon of the "inner sanctum" of the Stronghold (West Side), and I had a FRIGGIN' BLAST doing it, quite the outdoor adventure. A cross between "Might As Well Be Baja Offroad Action" and a sweet hike up into the bad@$$ canyon that leads to what I call the "inner sanctum" of the West Side. Dunno the name of that canyon, maybe I should consult my topo map... hmm, I see the canyon at the edge of the map, but no name on this topo. Anyway, the road in runs along a sweet riparian woodland at elevation, so there are all kinds of trees en route... water flows down the streambed during the monsoon and during spring snowmelt, but it was dry today, at least on the surface. You'll see shots of it in short order, it is a really cool area through which to hike, very clean fresh air and magnificent views in every direction. :cool:

The run in & out of the area was also bad@$$, with yours truly just A-FLYIN' down dirt roads at freeway speed, drifting hard round curves on the smoother turns... eventually & especially, the smooth graded dirt road leading out through the Dragoon Ranch development, I met someone who let me through that gate and saved me the hassle of driving all the way down toward Tombstone to get out to "civilization." Nobody around, high-dollar ranch homes tucked away to either side, many out of sight, with a 25 m.p.h. speed limit on the wide graded dirt road... I tried to keep it under 70, LOL. Dammit, Buoys & Gulls, I haven't felt that much freedom since the Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, BWAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm talkin' MONDO FREEDOM, lemme break it down for ya... ;)

IDIOTIC & USELESS MASKS??? NOPE...

PHONY PLANDEMIC FEAR-MONGERING??? NOPE...

BLATANT & RIDICULOUS ELECTORAL FRAUD??? NOPE...

SEAT BELT??? NOPE... WELL, UNLESS I WAS ON PAVEMENT OR DOING FREEWAY SPEED IN THE DIRT, LOL.

BADGES??? NOPE... "BADGES?!? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING BADGES!!!"

COLD BEER ON ICE??? CHECK!!!

PRIMO FRESH AIR & SUNSHINE??? CHECK!!!

STEREO CRANKED TO OZZY, METALLICA, FLOGGING MOLLY, REDNECK TUNES, ETC??? CHECK!!! ["I'm going off the rails on a crazy train"---while drifting in the dirt at freeway speed, LOL.]

COOL FOLKS MET DURING MY ADVENTURE??? CHECK!!!

FUNNY INCIDENT WITH TWO MEXICANS WORKING A JOHN DEERE TRACTOR??? CHECK!!!

Okay, I reckon y'all get the point... and even though it felt like I was gone for an entire day, I only spent five hours on this adventure, nonstop fun in the wilderness. The short cut which the two Mexicans ponied up turned out to be a time-saver, they were working for the USFS so they let me through a gate after I offered them ice-cold beer, LOL. That short cut on the way home probably saved me an hour, and the smooth graded dirt road was an absolute pleasure to bomb down at high speed... those rich folk in the Dragoon Ranch development all have keys or access codes to the gates, but my "hall pass" allowed me to shave time and indulge in some high-speed dirt drifting, LOL. Damn, that $h!t is FUN too, no serious wear & tear on my tires either... just gettin' sideways in the broad turns with the stereo CRANKED and the windows down, a trail of dust 1/2 to 1/3 of a mile long behind me. Good honest high desert dust, no worries, but 'The Mighty Camry' was streaking ahead of the dust cloud like a meteor, AYE??? :eek:

ALRIGHT, LET'S GET STARTED WITH SOME PICS, Y'ALL CAN FIGURE 'EM OUT, JUST KNOW THAT SOME OUTCROPS, DOMES, CRAGS & SPIRES TOWER HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF FEET ABOVE YOU AS YA HIKE OR DRIVE PAST, "10-4?" :rolleyes:

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Hmm, I'd better break these photos into two groups, just to make sure they go through okay... y'all like my John Deere farm tractor chalkbag? I'm the only "old school beach local/slash/high desert redneck" with a John Deere chalkbag, I GUARAN-F#%NG-TEE IT, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Funny how a big ol' John Deere tractor should figure prominently in my adventure not long after I took my recon hike... natural progression at its FINEST!!! More on that Deere in a moment, let me post up these pics and get on with my "bidness." :confused:

P.S. Note the redneck "cowboy gate" I had to pass through, unchaining the gate, driving through, then chaining it back up for security... this is CATTLE COUNTRY, BABY!!! :D
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Okay, here are the rest of the shots from today's excellent adventure, I'm gonna get out and do more of this in the future, I let all the bull$h!t get me down over the past few months, but now it's time to get back on track and get with the REAL program, LOL. ;)

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That tarantula which crossed my path was only a juvenile, maybe 3" to 3-1/2" long... good thing I noticed him before my big ol' hiking boots flattened him, LOL. Meh, I don't mind Brother Tarantula, he went his way and I went mine... AFTER I snapped a quick photo, aye? There's that gate again, and the John Deere tractor & trailer---rush hour traffic, don'tcha know??? I thought I had a better pic of that Deere, but maybe I dropped it because the Mexicans were in it, don't want those boys gettin' in any trouble for helping me out with that short cut, LOL. Last few pics show Tiger & Crackhead at breakfast this morning, I feed 'em on the kitchen counter because they can't wait for me to put the food down on the kitchen floor... that knucklehaid Tiger never finishes his own plate right away, he always cuts over and snakes Crackhead, robbing him of food. Then we have Crackhead sleeping in yesterday, had to take a shot of the fool... I'm pretty beat after my cool drive & hike today, so I'm gonna be lookin' like Crackhead here PRONTO, LOL. I already took a shower and ate some lasagna with a side salad, so I'm ready to call it a night. Y'ALL BE GOOD, AND TAKE MY ADVICE: TO HELL WITH POLITICS, JUST GET OUTDOORS!!! LOL... :rolleyes:

P.S. That field full of tractors on the way home had way more old school tractors & equipment in it, but I botched the resizing of the other pics... had MP2 shots or whatever, so I'll take more shots of that field later, there must be two dozen tractors in the field but ya can't see 'em in that one pic, 10-4? Meh, they're not going anywhere, and the display is pretty cool... total COUNTRY ACTION, LOL. :cool:

Edit: One last observation, these pics only cover one relatively small part of the entire Stronghold complex, the Stronghold literally covers square miles and there are even gnarlier crags, domes & spires in other areas. I don't care if you're the baddest ultra-marathoner & trail runner on the planet, it'd take you a month to cover all the major outcrops, crags, domes & spires of the Stronghold, THAT is how bad@$$ it is. You'd be doing some SE-WIOUS BUSHWHACKING too, this ain't no SIDEWALK SISSY VENUE, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Damn... long live the Stronghold!!! What a radical adult playground, just mind the critters: rattlers, scorpions, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, bears, etc. Heaps of deer & elk too, though they're wary of hunters so ya won't see 'em that often. Oh, yeah, there are huge raptors & buzzards circling above too, like an old Western, LOL... :eek:

AWESOME WILDERNESS VENUE, IF YA EVER GET THE CHANCE BE SURE TO VISIT COCHISE STRONGHOLD... :)
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Boy, I must have been tired last night, that dust trail should've read 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile long, LOL. Meh, I was tired, I only woke now at 0300 to have a midnight snack of hot cereal before I go back to bed. It's cold out there, I had to cut the heat on as well... I think I have a pinhole leak in some cheesy old polybutylene plumbing supply line, I'm gonna have to address that later today. I'm thinking maybe I should cut off the water, should've done it last night, as there's a wet patch of carpet in the closet nearest the leak. Might have to don the ol' headlamp and go see what's up, the leak is in the water heater compartment but it's on a supply line to the closest bathroom tub & shower. These damned old mobile homes were cheaply made in the '70s, I suppose I should be thankful that I haven't had more plumbing problems since I bought the place... knock on wood. :confused:

So I pulled a quick check of the water heater compartment (outside access), and the West African diversionary tactic I employed last night is working, the pinhole leak was taped up and some long pipe cleaners were used to divert the runoff (what little there was). So the plywood floor of the water heater compartment is now dry, the water leak being diverted via the pipe cleaners through a freshly-drilled hole in the floor... I guess that wet carpet in the nearest indoor closet is a residual thing which will eventually dry out, this being Arizona, but I'm gonna have to replace that supply line today... oh, boy, just what I wanted to do on Veterans Day. Meh, these things happen, and it's a good thing I caught the leak when I did, otherwise the damage would've slowly worsened as the floor of that guest bedroom got soaked. At least the wet carpet in the closet doesn't stink or anything, it's only a fresh water supply line, looks to be 3/8" polybutylene, a material which has been banned outright in many states due to the problems it causes... I learned this through a web search, LOL. Alright, I'm off to crash (again), just had to check that leak... nothing like checking plumbing via outdoor access at 0300 on a cold night, good thing my neighbors aren't that close or they'd think I was high on crack, LOL. ;)
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Today was another AWESOME day, even though I spent half my Veterans Day working on a plumbing problem at home... however, long story short, I averted a major plumbing problem and dealt with two pinhole leaks in a cr@ppy old polybutylene supply line, thereby saving the carpet in my guest bedroom from being RUINED, and it only cost me $23.39 USD, plus some elbow grease and a little fuel on a hardware store run, LOL. Not a bad end result, and I'm REALLY happy that this episode won't cost me a fortune, LOL... WTF, I served in the USA INF, and for that reason I even got a discount on my new supply lines at the local hardware store, WOOHOO!!! Hey, I'll take ANY discount that comes my way, because as y'all know, I'm a CHEAP B@STARD, LOL. I don't even wanna THINK about how much this job would've cost with a plumber... and by doing it myself, I can now set things up so that access is easier, AYE??? ;)

Now, this water heater compartment is ugly, so bear with me... I haven't really done anything to it (except for today), as I figured I would redo the whole compartment whenever the water heater cr@pped out, which is sure to eventually happen, just as night follows day, LOL. But these two pinhole leaks in the old supply line were so fine, you couldn't even SEE them... I only determined their locations by slowly waving my hand around in the compartment, like a Tai Chi exercise. And these leaks may have been going on for longer than I thought, as there is some mold on one interior bulkhead of the compartment (where the mist was landing), but that may also be old mold from a past leak, and I believe the leaks were aggravated or worsened by the recent cold snaps we've had. Meh, the important thing is that I caught the leaks before the carpet got ruined in my guest bedroom... it's drying out now and should be okay, so "BUENO!!!" :rolleyes:

Here's the cosmic part of the story: had I not suddenly decided to visit the Stronghold yesterday and go hiking, I NEVER would have walked into that room in my sock feet to grab my climbing pack and other gear. That was when I discovered the leak, you see, and it wasn't even visible yet in the carpet... but one sock was wet, so I asked myself, "WTF???" And I tracked down the leak... fast forward to today, when I cut through some drywall like a surgeon to expose the plumbing behind one set of bath taps, then remove the cr@ppy old supply lines so I could replace them. All of that got done as I rolled along through the job, and now I'm quite pleased to have handled the task... I feel like I'm KING in my CASTLE, don'tcha know? LOL. Tomorrow, I'll clean up what's left of the mess in the water heater compartment, fashion a new access panel for that plumbing behind the drywall, etc., but tonight I'm enjoying a well-deserved cold beer, LOL. :confused:

One last observation to make before I post the pics... and bear with me on the pics, I haven't completed my work yet and I STILL have to paint the exterior of my home, as well as the interior of the water heater compartment (once it thoroughly dries). But here's my observation: marine plumbing isn't that much different from plumbing on shore, the same principles exist, aye? But WHERE you buy your replacement parts can mean the difference between paying one price or paying three times as much, LOL. If you buy all your plumbing replacement parts at West Marine or some other boat shop, well, they're gonna scalp ya like a red Injun and leave your wallet broken, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! But if you buy your parts at the Depot or some hardware store, you'll undoubtedly pay less... and those parts will DO THE SAME JOB. Those who've done marine plumbing work know what I mean, there are some instances where ya have to pay the piper, but overall you can save some serious ducats by spending your money wisely... ;)

THUS ENDETH THE SERMON, HERE ARE THE PICS SO YOU CAN SEE HOW I SPENT A WONDERFUL AFTERNOON ON VETERANS DAY... ALMOST FELT LIKE I WAS BACK IN THE AAAAARRRRRGGHHMY, EXCEPT IT WAS EASIER & IT ONLY COST ME $23.39 USD, LOL. CHEERS!!! :cool:

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Let this unwelcome incident be a lesson to you youngsters out there in cyberspace... just when ya think the world has ended and there'll be hell to pay, well, step back, evaluate the situation like any true sailor would, and take the appropriate steps to solve the problem. When I first discovered the leak and knew that the carpet was getting soaked in the guest bedroom, I said to myself, "WTF??? WHAT ELSE CAN GO WRONG THIS YEAR?!?" But after I looked into the problem and figured out what was wrong, I manned up and took the necessary steps to get the repair job done. So don't be too disheartened when bad news strikes, Lord knows we've ALL had enough of it this year, just do your best and use the web to pull some research if necessary... that's how I found out that the cr@ppy old polybutylene supply lines had to go, LOL. And ALWAYS swap out supply lines in pairs, don't just do ONE line and think that the other will be okay, especially when both lines have been AGING like fine wine or cheddar cheese, LOL. :eek:

Somehow that reminds me of a web blurb I recently read: unless the wine you buy is made from organic grapes, chances are it has 5,000 times the amount of PESTICIDE allowed in municipal drinking water in many cities, counties & states. Ain't that GRAND??? I'm no WINO, and perhaps this is why, but DAMN, some of those WINOS are probably hauling around enough PESTICIDE in their innards to repel an alien bug invasion, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Cripes, they should probably be PLACARDED with CLASS 6 WARNINGS, LOL. Moi, I never was much into wine, except for the FORTIFIED KIND: Thunderbird, Night Train, that sort of HIGH-DOLLAR VINO, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Damn, that's just wrong... but I will drink wine if I'm on a hot date and that's what the gal wants to drink, I like Chardonnay on a picnic, and I can choke down other varieties if necessary, but I'm basically a beer man, and that's what I've always been. I can do shots of hard liquor with the best of hardcore alcoholics, but generally I stick with beer, it keeps me outta trouble (for the most part, LOL). :D

ALRIGHT, YOUSE NAUTICAL HEE-ROES, I'M OFF TO ENJOY MORE COLD BEER AS I WATCH A WELL-EARNED MOVIE, Y'ALL BE GOOD AND HANG LOOSE... DON'T LET MINOR PROBLEMS BRING YA DOWN, AYE??? CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:
 
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