Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Cathedral Valley, Hidden Speldor airstrip (a bust), head home

Today has a couple turns I didn't anticipate. My plan was to visit the Hidden Splendor airstrip northwest of Hanksville. To me it's an odd location - why is it there?  There was (is) a mine (long unused?) in the valley south of the airstrip. A video or two show small airplanes flying dow the canyon to land at the airstrip. The quality of the dirt roads are a question. At the end of the asphalt and onto dirt I decied to air down the tires for a smoother ride. In the process I noticed the leaf spring bolt being loose. I went to tighten the nut but it would not fully tighten - the threads of the bolt were deformed. I don't wish to subject the bolt to 60+ miles of bumpy dirt so I'll air-up the tires and turn for home. Smooth aslphalt will be good for it.

On the way back, I came across three separate motorists on the side of the road. The first was within a mile or few of the car fire event from my last trip through the area. The locations were noted on the map so I wrote them up...

Assist 1 of 3
25 Minutes / a couple miles out of the way
Overheating Buick sedan. Texas plates with a hispanic kid that did not speak English. He used text message translate to communicate. Car stopped coming up a hill. It's running hot. Coolant recovery bottle was full to the top with excess coolant on the ground.

Engine oil was 2x as high as it should be. Both radiator hoses were spongy - there is pressure in the system and I'm not wanting to crack the radiator cap. He asked where the nearest gas station was (Thompsion Springs, 35 miles away). I gave the kid two gallons of water and told him to roll down the windows, turn the A/C off, and turn the heater on full hot - to pull more heat from the engine. The car started and he drove off. `hope it worked well for him.

Assist 2 of 3
70 Minutes / 26 miles out of the way - down to the next exit and back.
Change a tire. Entering the Beavertail Mountain Tunnel headed towards Debeque I noticed a farm truck on the westbound side with a lady changing the left front tire. I didn't see anyone else around. Drive 11 miles up to the DeBeque exit and back to the truck. A guy was with her but he was out of breath trying to bottle jack lift the truck. I pumped a few times and the tire was high enough for a spare to be installed. I removed the lug nuts & wheel. The lady was pulling the spare from the back of the truck - a task for her. The guy was laying on the ground under the truck with the jack. All a bit of a head scratcher. Spare mounted and lug nuts tight he lowered the truck. The spare had a bit of a bulge and I commented on airing it up. I didn't want to U-turn my jeep on the narrow shoulder and commented the tire would certainly make it down to the next exit, which also had a gas station, where I could air it up there. They agreed. I headed off to the gas station but they never arrived / passing it by. I wonder how far the low-air-spare will make it.

Assist 3 of 3
13 Minutes / 1 mile
A nice looking old car had the trunk and hood up. It was right at an exit. I'd like to at least look at the car. Pull up and the guy said it just died. He had tools, jumper wires, test light in use. He believed it to be the MSD coil and not fuel delivery. A higher performance motor in the car. It was very clean. He was coming from a local car show. He said he lived off-grid near DeBeque - he was one exit away / close to home. While I was there his friend arrived. I snapped a picture and said good-bye. 1964 Comet.


Turn on the internet to check the outside world.
Red inverter connected to the battery to supply power to the Starlink setup.

A couple powered paragliders were flying in the valley near camp. This one, blue-yellow wing, saw me waving and flew over to me.

They were out enjoying the nice valley and calm air.

I hadn't realized there were two of them until I saw the photos and different wing colors.

Notice the size of the rock in the next two photos.

Camp is packed and I'm heading south to the highway a few miles away. My destination is the Hidden Splendor airstrip with about 65 miles of dirt road. The airstrip is a ToDo list item simply as there are a few videos of it with folks flying into it. There's a canyon at the south end of the airstrip with some nice canyon flying. While I won't be flying, it's simply a curiosity to visit.

Back to asphalt, headed towards Hanksville.

Passing by Swing Arm City, an OHV area. A few folks out camping and playing today. Not often do I see people when I pass by.

Fueled up at Hanksville, we're heading north towards the Temple Mountain Road to head to the Hidden Splendor airstrip.

I stopped by the Hanksville airport to see if the powered paragliders were there (I'd give them a link to photos of them flying) - nope - but a worker said a gal packed up earlier and had left.

I think this is Temple Mounain.

I'm headed west, still on asphalt, but only for a couple miles. I had to back up to take a picture of this sign. Where I'm headed is many miles of DIRT ROAD - possibly 4x4 class dirt road. The top entry saying I-70 is only 29 miles ahead strikes me as quite odd. The easy route to I-70 would be to turn around, travel 26 miles  of easy asphalt to I-70.

The Temple Mountain Wash Pictograph Panel

The loose bolt - driver's side, front leaf spring. The 100+ miles of washboard for Hole In The Rock likely rattled it loose. It's good enough for smooth asphalt to home but I don't wish to give it an additional 60 miles of bumpy dirt road.

The nut has been tightened a turn - then it stops at the damaged bolt threads.

We're back on asphalt headed to home.

A rest stop east of Green River UT, looking westward.

The Moab superfund cleanup train at work. Early in the process, the train was hauling soil from the Moab site to the dump site just north of I-70. Now, it seems the train is hauling chemicals.

Rafters on the Colorado River, near west Grand Junction.

Grand Mesa

Mount Garfield???

The Highline Canal siphon

Asisst #3 - a nice 1964 Mercury Comet.  The gent is coming back from a car show and he said it abruptly stopped. I had asked - fuel or spark - and he said spark. He had tools out and he was of the thought it was the coil. He said a buddy was on the way with another coil. His guddy just arrived so I snapped a picture and left. Nice to see an older car on the road.

Glenwood Canyon again...

With the setting sun this red rock hillside stood out.

Storm clouds ahead.

The last of the setting sun reflecting on storm clouds east of Dillon Reservoir. I'll soon be in rain from "the tunnel" to north Denver metro. End of the trip photos.

BackNextUpJW Home Navigation