|4x4 Trip||22.00 Miles|| 4 Hrs 19 Mns || ||9.36 mph|
|1,984 ft AEG|| 1 Hour 58 Mns Break|| || |
After making a few changes to My Sammy to better handle temps of 115+ I decided to take it out for a real trial by fire on a hot day. My plan was to start in Superior and drive southwest on Telegraph Canyon Road to where the Arizona Trail crosses the road, then hike from there out past Talley Tank to Seep Spring and back, drive on to the Ajax Mine, spend time wandering around there for a while, take the loop road and a short hike to Orphan Boy Mine, continue on around back toward Ajax Mine, take the relatively treacherous side trip up to Woodpecker Mine, spend time there, head back down and west through Cottonwood Canyon then out to AZ 79 just south of Florence Junction. The route would take me around the backside of Picketpost Mountain and up some pretty rough steep climbs.
Although I took over a hundred photos on my abbreviated trip (as you'll see below) if I took a few hundred more I still couldn't hope to capture all the great scenes. I'm sure I'll make a return trip to catch what I missed.
Ok, so much for plans... My Sammy was doing great with no trouble at all making the steep climbs, even with numerous spots allowing only 3 wheels on the ground at a time. It was handling the heat very well, witnessed by temperatures I experienced in the cab. The highest temp I experienced for the day was 127 degrees! Just when I thought all was going well I stopped to take a few photos of an awesome view of Picketpost and when I started up again there was a loud squealing from under the hood. The noise came from the alternator belt, which was squealing because the bolt holding the adjustment bracket to the engine had broken and the alternator was just bouncing back and forth.
It turns out that whoever had replaced the water pump had used too short a bolt when they reinstalled the bracket (it bolts to an ear on the water pump) and it broke, chewing up the threads before what was left came out. I have an auxiliary battery so I could make it home without the alternator charging, but on this hot a day the problem was the need for a fan so I had to make some kind of temporary fix. I had basic tools along without having a new bolt and some way to drill and tap out the hole there wasn't much I could do. So I looked around until I found a rock about the right size and jammed it between the alternator and the engine block until it held the belt just barely tight enough to turn the alternator and fan.
It worked, but just barely so I turned off anything electrical that I could get by without, including the vent fan, which probably had a lot to do with hitting 127 degrees. But I had plenty of fluids along so it wasn't that big a deal for me. By spending so much time outside in the hot weather it doesn't bother me. Besides, I get the road/trail all to myself.
I posted a 30-photo set here and will post the full set on my web site along with YouTube videos of the road in the next day or so. I'll add the links here when completed.