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The Rooster

February 2017

THE ROOSTER A monthly update from the Inland Empire Offroad Association

What’s New We had a nice turnout for New Years, with over 40 people attending the New Year’s eve pot luck spaghetti dinner.

Upcoming Trips The MLK dune cleanup weekend is right around the corner, from January 13-16. After that we have a 10 day trip planned for Presidents week from February 10-20th.

Glamis, Christmas/New Years 2016/2017 By Jim Kastle I arrived at Wash 6 around 3:30 on Monday the 26th.  Don and Shirley, Jerry and Linda, Walt, and Jeff Oliver had arrived on the 22nd.  Bob Amador's trailers were already in camp, with Bob having left to go to work.  Mike Bacon had arrived about half an

New Toys Jeff Oliver brought out a new Can Am Maverick and Dave and Roni Trantham have a new RZR 1000 Turbo. The buggy continent has a new car as well, as Frank Wilson acquired a turbo Subaru Tech3 car.

hour before me. Don came over and invited me to join them on a trip to Texas Roadhouse in Yuma, in about 40 minutes.  Never wanting to miss a Texas Roadhouse trip, I quickly unhooked the fifth wheel, leveled it and put out the slide.  LuAnn and grandson Kaiden soon arrived and were also ready for Texas Roadhouse.  Doug and Kris arrived with two RZR's in the trailer, having bought

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February 2017 Jeff's 1000.  Everybody  but Mike, Kris, and Doug went to Yuma.  The freeway was stop and go, necessitating a call to Texas Roadhouse to extend our arrival by half an hour.  The restaurant was very crowded, and the service mediocre, but the food was great.  We did some shopping before returning to camp.  Back in camp I got the buggy trailer from storage, and finished setting up camp.

Upcoming Events • January 13-16, 2017: MLK Dune clean up weekend at Glamis, Wash 6. • February 10-20, 2017: Presidents week at Glamis, Wash 6.

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Tuesday morning I awoke and found Ray and Janice had arrived overnight.  Mike led a great RZR ride, taking Ray, Janice, Walt, Jerry, and me to the swing set and hills 3, 4, and 5. At the swing set a crew was apparently replacing the chains and seats,  as apparently someone stole the originals.  They brought out a generator and welder, welding the chains in place. It was quite an operation.  The sand was quite wet, but very smooth except for the tracks, but even they weren't bad.  We covered a lot of ground, and all of us enjoyed the long ride.  Back in camp Walt and I got the yellow trailer from storage, and Walt help me put up all three  masts.  Frank and Denise Wilson arrived, with Frank's new-to-him Tech 3 (like Steve Porter's) turbo Subaru, Mendeolatransed,  sand rail. Lavonne arrived, joining Jeff.  We joined Jerry and Linda at their burn barrel for the campfire. Wednesday morning Mike led 10 side by sides (can't call it them RZR's, as Jeff and Lavonne came in their new Can-Am "super side by side") on a long ride.  Other new  rides included Dave and Roni Trantham's new 4 seat turbo RZR, and Kris and Doug's (formerly Jeff's) 1000.  We covered a lot of ground including the swing set and Sweet Marie's for ice cream.  As we approached camp we realized all 11 SxS's completed the ride with no problems.  While we 2


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were on the SxS ride, Bob and Frank took  a buggy ride.  I don't have any details.  After lunch Mike led Kris and Doug, Dave and Roni, and me on a late afternoon cruise to the swing set.  Back in camp we again joined Jerry and Linda at their burn barrel for a campfire. We decided on a prompt 9:00 A.M. departure for Thursday's ride, as Don missed the last two day's rides, because we left late enough he would miss some valuable nap time. Thursday morning 11 side by sides left shortly after 9:00 AM.  Mike again led a pretty fast paced ride that stopped at the swing set.  At the break Janice had a slightly low tire, so Walt offered up his air compressor.  It didn't take long for it to fill the tire, but by the end of the break it had leaked down again, so they aired it up again.  On the way back Ray kept checking the tire, and it held up well until we were almost back to camp where we stopped and aired it back up.  We got it back to camp with no problems.  However, when we I stopped, the engine died as though I had forgotten to push in the clutch on a manual transmission end car, a sure sign of a failing primary clutch.  I removed the clutch, and Walt and I replaced the weights and rollers, which were one trip less than a year old.  I had a question, and called Ray, our resident RZR clutch expert, who was on a ride.  In typical Ray and Janice style, he offered to come back to camp to help.  I convinced him to finish the ride, but he convinced me to wait for him and replace two bushings, in addition to the rollers and weights. The Huggards; the Hagens, all four of them and Karissa's fiancé, Jason; and the Bakers arrived.  When Ray returned to camp he immediately brought over a bunch of clutch parts, and spent the next two hours replacing two bushings that we had not replaced before.  I would not have replaced them, because I figured the old ones were working, and if we messed up, we had no more bushings in camp.  But Ray was convinced that some of the problems we've had rebuilding clutches was due to us not replacing those bushings.  It was hard to get the old ones out, but we were able to do it.  We then pressed in the new bushings, and Ray worked until the clearance was up to his standard.  We finished the job and the clutch seems perfect.  To top things off, Janice offered me a chicken noodle soup dinner.  Having eaten Janice's cooking in the past I immediately accepted the offer.  True to form, it was delicious.  Ray and Janice combined to make my day.  Thank you so much!  Thinking of Janice's selflessness, earlier in the trip, she read on Facebook a total stranger had lost a wedding ring in wash 24.  So Ray and Janice delivered their metal detector to wash 24!  In a Karma-like way, Ray needed a tool to install a boot on a CV, and no one in camp had one, but Janice turned to the Internet and found a total stranger had one they could borrow.  In fact he told them he'd be on a ride, but he told them where he left it Frank has a nice new turbo Subaru car with a Mendeola for them.  What goes around comes around!  The day ended with a wellattended campfire. Friday morning I was able to take my first buggy ride of the trip.  Both P.J. and John had eagerly looked forward to this trip, one of the longest of the year for them both, second only to Coral Pink.  I look forward to 3


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every dune trip with them, and prefer to ride with several buggies.  However, a few days before Christmas, John's mom was hospitalized.  Sue is one of the most important people in John's, Melissa's, and P.J.'s lives.  She is also the key person at Executive Elevator.  There was no way any of them could leave with her in the hospital!  My missing a few buggy rides is nothing compared to Sue's health.  With the arrival of 3 buggies yesterday, it was time to drive the buggy.  Fully testing the RZR clutch had to wait!  Frank, Barry, Dave, Pete and I went for a nice, medium paced ride.  We met up with the SxS's at the flagpole and took a break.  The buggies then headed to the swing set, as Dave and the Hagens had not been there yet. We took a short break and proceeded into the dunes southwest of the swing set.  We were moving pretty well when Frank stopped.  His steering had become very stiff.  We looked into it and determined the new rack and pinion was galling. We lubed it the best we could and decided to take as straight a line as possible back to camp.  We headed in a nearly straight line to Roadrunner, then as straight as possible to Sweet Marie's, the wash road, and camp.  We made it with no additional problems except for it beginning to sprinkle.  Soon after arriving in camp it began to rain hard enough we covered or put the toys in their trailers.  Faced with the prospect of sitting alone in the trailer, I decided to go to Yuma for gas, propane, and (of course) Texas Roadhouse.  Interstate 8 is undergoing repairs between Sidewinder Road and Yuma.  Traffic came to a stop a mile before Sidewinder Road.  I HATE traffic, and especially shoulder runners who think they are more important than everyone else.  By the time I got to Sidewinder Road, I had had enough, and exited the freeway.  My GPS showed a frontage road a half mile north of the freeway.  I followed the GPS, and turned on an unpaved road.  All went well for about ten minutes when I saw Algodones Road just a couple of miles ahead.  Shortly before Algodones Road a VERY wide canal got in the way.  I drove along the canal road looking for a bridge.  I saw one after a mile or two, and followed the canal road to a dead end, just before the bridge, which apparently is a bridge for wash water to cross the canal, which is in no way suitable for a dually.  I made about a 9 point it turn in the sandy one lane road, and retraced my steps about half a mile to a fork in the road that led to a way across the wash the bridge provides water for.  I repeated this for at least three more "wash bridges."  Remember it was raining, fortunately not real hard, or the washes would have been impassable.  Still, in places it was muddy enough that all 6  wheels of the dually were spinning throwing a lot of mud all over my truck.  I began to think I might have to go all the way back to Sidewinder Road, but kept going, even though the sun was setting. I thought those senior citizens who drive off int the desert and get lost and stuck.  I was relieved when the road widened out.  Then I was frustrated when I saw a road sign that said "Picacho State Recreation area 15 miles" and nothing else.  I was on the proverbial road to nowhere!  I turned around and the GPS came to life and as it was still set to Yuma, told me to turn right in two miles.  That was about where the road had widened out.  It turns out I had missed a bridge across the canal that led to a paved road and eventually Yuma.  My shortcut had cost me at least an hour and a half, but at least I wasn't stuck in traffic! As I look back on my detour a day later, it wasn't very bright because of the wash crossings in rainy weather.  At least there was NO running water in the washes, but there could have been.  Dumb, very dumb.  I still hate traffic, and figure Yuma is off limits to me, at least during peak traffic times, until they finish the construction.  Maybe I can study a Google Maps view of the area.  In Yuma I bought cheap propane and gas, and had to pay $4.50 to wash the mud off my truck.  But when I tried to go to Texas Roadhouse there were NO empty spaces in the parking lot.  I can only imagine how crowded it was IN the restaurant.  I decided to return to camp for dinner as I had been gone much longer than expected.  I made it in time for the campfire. Saturday morning I received a 6:50 text from P.J. saying he and Allie would meet me at the store at 7:25.  Sue is doing much better, and is in a regular room, and all four of the family were able to visit her yesterday.  Allie wanted to have omelets with the club.  And having missed last New Year's Eve, P.J. really wanted to make it to Glamis.  We had a well-attended omelet boil with almost everyone in camp participating or at 4


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least joining us. P.J. took photos of Jeff's super SxS and Frank's new-to-him, best buy ever sand rail.  He then flew three different drones taking video of the activities.  Mike then led the SxS ride, and Bobby the Buggy ride.  I hear Bobby lead a fast ride that featured lots of turns, and Mike and a RZR from another group had a minor collision. Both rides returned in plenty of time for our annual spaghetti dinner. Allie's day was made when Bob's granddaughter Aryah, along with her mom, Lynette, made their first dune visit in what I believe is nearly two years. Doug emptied his trailer to provide a place to set out the food, and the IEOR chefs outdid themselves.  Over 40 people enjoyed a wide variety of Italian delights.  Special thanks to Doug and those who stepped in with little notice to cook additional pasta when it became evident we might run a little low on this critical ingredient.  I think it was one of our most successful New Year's Eve spaghetti dinners.  After dinner P.J. and Allie had to leave, and Allie is really looking forward to her next dune trip with Aryah.  The campfire was well attended and featured Ray and Janice's Apple cherry cobbler.  However, It broke up quickly at 8:00 when it began to rain.  As I write this, it's 10:15, and it appears no one in camp is going to make it to midnight.  The rain continued off and on all night. Sunday morning, New Years Day, I walked outside and was greeted by Bobby who remembered that earlier in the trip Mike had mentioned that we could take a ride to Duner's Diner.  Ray and Janice volunteered the use of their truck with its newly installed 50 gallon in bed fuel tank. Jerry volunteered to drive the truck to The Diner.  Bob visited every rig and convinced almost everyone in camp to go.  Don and Shirley and Frank and Denise stayed behind to keep an eye on things, and Terry, Linda Hagen, and Linda Trantham rode with Jerry.  Mike expertly led 6 RZR's and 5 buggies past Hill 3, the flagpole, the swing set, and to the sand highway between Roadrunner and Gordon's Well.  On the sand highway we ran about 50 miles per hour, and arrived at Duner's Diner in about an hour and 15 minutes. The fuel truck arrived and all of us had lunch together, thanks to Kris's foresight in grabbing a big table and a smaller one next to it.  The service was outstanding, and while we were waiting to order, Bob entertained everyone, including staff and other guests, while taking video of the

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entire process.  The food was outstanding by all accounts.  Although rather expensive, the fine quality and excellent service made it worthwhile.  This was a huge change from the last years of Lynn and Connie's ownership of the Diner, where you got food the way Lynn wanted to cook it, NOT the way you wanted it! We fueled up, and Debbie, whose back was bothering her, gave up the RZR, and opted for the comfort of the truck for the ride back to camp.  The off roaders crossed the freeway to Buttercup where Mike led a nice ride through the smooth dunes.  We then headed back up the sand highway then to Hill 3, where we took a break.  Doug pointed out that EVERYONE had a smile on their face.  It truly was an epic ride.  As we approached camp, Mike reported we rode 81 miles, the longest RZR ride he has ever been on.  The ride took about 6 hours including lunch.  I think all who participated will do it again.  We really appreciated Jerry driving the truck, and Ray and Janice providing it, as it made the trip "gas worry free."  In the future, the buggies could carry fuel for the SxS's eliminating the need to impose on a truck driver, but it sure was convenient to have the fuel truck.  We had another well-attended campfire at which the main topic of conversation was the epic ride, that was already documented on Facebook.  I called P.J. to tell him about the ride, and he told me he was already looking at photos of the ride.  This Facebook thing might just catch on! Monday morning Mike led another combined RZR and buggy ride.  We went to Hill 3, past the flagpole, and to a deserted swing set.  We couldn't resist taking advantage, and most of us took turns swinging and fully stress tested the structure.   They did a really good job.  We examined it and it appears the welding we observed earlier in the trip was not to replace the chains, but rather to reinforce the main I beam.  We took a nice ride through the very rutted dunes back to camp.  The recent rains combined with the holiday crowds, really tore up the dunes.  They were as rutted as most of us could ever remember, and listening to traffic on the radio, many others agreed. By late afternoon, most of IEOR had left.  The Fords, Ray

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and Janice, Mike and Debbie, the Schellingers, Walt, and I decided to finish the trip with a Brawley Pizza Hut dinner.  The food was good, and the restaurant was not terribly crowded, and the company was great.  We returned to camp and a nice campfire that Jerry and Linda started while they were watching camp for us.  Looking over at the three trailers, I figured I better start loading up or I'd not get out before dark tomorrow.  I got quite a bit done before turning in. Tuesday morning we all finished packing up and headed for home. We have all heard of how tightly packed things are in Ray and Janice's fifth wheel.  Evidence of this is that it took them as long to load their trailer as it did for me (with some help from Walt) to load three trailers, tow two of them to storage, and hook up the third.  Our timing was great, however, as we were able to leave together, insuring no one was left behind.  I'm looking forward to the clean up, President's day (week!), spring break, and hopefully some off time trips. A footnote:  Sue, John's mom, is doing well as I finish this report on Thursday, January 5th.  She is out of the hospital into a residential care facility, is happy, and working hard on physical therapy so she can go home and get back to work.

Epic New Years Ride By The Bakers We arrived out to wash 6 on Thursday early afternoon. I had a little work to do on the car and took my time setting up camp. It was nice to just relax and do what needed to be done for our 5 day stay. We had several good rides with no issues. There was a nice mixture of rain, cold weather, and slight breezes that added to the memorable trip. The freezer bag omlettes and spaghetti dinner sure added to the fun as well with PJ and Allie joining us on Saturday for the fun. He brought out his new drone and took some amazing pictures of the camp and our New Year’s potluck. My friends Greg and Trina came out for a couple of days to go for a ride in the buggy. I have known them since my high school days, so we had a lot of fun reliving the past, playing cards and making new memories. Among all of the great rides we have been on, the ride we took on Sunday will stand out as one of my top favorite rides. Sunday morning Jim and Bobby Amador came up to me and asked if I was up for a ride with EVERYONE, buggies and RZR’s to Duner’s Diner at Gordon’s Well. I said, “Absolutely”, knowing this was going to be a lot of fun. I spent the next ½ hour making sure all the nuts and bolts around the car where tight and all the fluids were topped off. Jerry Trantham offered to drive a truck down with fuel for everyone and even take some of the girls that do not typically ride. I secured a seat for my wife 7


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knowing how choppy the dunes are figuring this was a great way to get her down there with the group and not have to worry about her neck being hurt on such a long ride. Thank you Jerry for showing the girls such a great time. The time came and we loaded up the car with my friends Greg and Trina and off we went with Mike Bacon leading. I volunteered to bring up the back of the pack with Bobby right in front of me. Mike did a fantastic job leading the group through the dunes past the flag pole, next came the swing set, and then up on sand highway. Following Bobby is a quite entertaining and fun. The entire time he and I were playing around in the back of the pack. Once we hit sand highway, Pete pulled out to one of the other trails I’m sure to just to have clean air instead of following in the huge line of 11 vehicles. It wasn’t long before Bobby started doing some quick little speed runs, which I just had to join in on. Then it was on, Bobby and I put the hammer down and my GPS was up over 70 MPH before I knew it. We held the high speed up for quite a while before we slowed down as we couldn’t see anyone in our mirrors. It wasn’t long before Jim and Ray caught up to us and the others as well. We got back in line and rode on in for lunch. Bobby was the best salesman that the staff at Duner’s Diner has had in a long time. The tips when we ordered were just rolling in. Our group was so large we needed to have a super long table and one of the round tables to accommodate everyone. The food was fantastic, the company was fantastic and it just went by way too fast. We took many pictures around the restaurants Christmas decorations and headed out to fuel up all the vehicles. Mike and Jim heard rumors that the bridge to Buttercup was closed at Gordon’s Well. After a quick conversation about it we decided that we needed to bust that myth and bust it we did. Mike lead the group on some great dunes in Buttercup. We covered a lot of ground over there in a short period of time. Then it was time to head back. We crossed the bridge back over to Gordon’s Well and headed for camp. Again I was bringing up the rear. Bobby and I had a blast playing on the dunes that ran parallel to sand highway. We were moving at a pretty good clip with Bobby catch quite a bit of air several times. Once again Mike did a fantastic job taking down the highway then turning at the perfect spot and heading through the dunes back to camp. With 11 vehicles, 81 miles and a ride that was just about 5 hours long, not one car broke down or had any troubles, knock on wood. In all the years I have been duning with this group, this was the first time I have successfully made this trip. I truly hope this ride becomes a regular destination for the entire group. It was awesome to have everyone on the ride again. Til, next time…Barry 8


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Christmas / New Years Aerial Shots Even though I only made it out for the day on New Year’s Eve, since I got a new quadcopter for Christmas I had to try it out. Here are some of the still images I captured, and there are videos on the club website. I am looking forward to playing with it much more in the dunes. -P.J.

This month we’d like to thank Jim Kastle and Barry Baker for writing about the Christmas New Years trip. If you have more to share, or are planning a trip to the dunes which you’d like to invite the group to, please let the group know. There are many ways to contribute, from posting on the website to sending an e-mail or writing an article. We can’t wait to hear from you and to see everybody in the dunes. -Paul, Melissa, Allie, and Marshall.

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