Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Click on any picture for a larger version.  The saga continues.  Such an innocent beginning this morning, with a beautiful sunrise and bright blue sky. All the A’s tweaked up and running, away we went, first stop was Salt Creek, home of the Death Valley pupfish.   And we found them alive and well by the thousands.

Then we headed up to the Keene Wonder Mine,  which has now joined the ranks of the Lost Dutchman mine and others of the same category.   We could not find the turnoff for it,  turns out the road has been closed because the mine area has been declared unsafe.  We found that out when we arrived at Hellsgate.   And I might mention that it is a good hard climb up to Hellsgate where we found that we have two more blown head gaskets.  John Polland’s car was blown between 1 and 2, and Rodger Griffins car was pushing the water out the overflow because the gasket was leaking into the cooling system.  Beaman’s fuel filter was leaking, probably from too much washboard, and Chuck Elderton’s radiator had sprung a little leak. John managed to drive back to Stovepipe Wells, Rodger soldiered on to Beatty but eventually went back to Stovepipe on a flatbed because he was getting about 1 mile to the gallon of water. Stopleak and wrenching fixed everything else.  Oh, yeah, Wildman didn’t get up to Hellsgate. He turned back to Stove Pipe Wells because he wasn’t climbing very well.

The surviving Model A’s  pressed on to Beatty, NV where we had lunch at KC’s Cafe.  This hungry mob trooped in and we asked if she (KC, I think) could handle a crowd this big.  The reply was “sure, I am really fast.”   And she was, sandwiches on homemade rolls started flying out of that kitchen, we were all served in no time at all.  And dessert in the form of a piece of delicious red velvet cake came with each sandwich.  We knew we were in the right place when the locals started lining up for lunch and filled it to capacity. Of course it could have been all those Model A’s parked outside because everyone knows that Model A’s only go to great places to eat.

We then waddled out and went down to the Beatty Museum, where we admired all the artifacts and old photos.  Next stop was Rhyolite, a ghost town which was a major Nevada city until the gold boom went bust in about 1908. We looked at the ruins and listened to a spiel on the bottle house and then moved on.  We saw 8 burros in a group and 2 more up the mountain, neat.

When we stopped at Hellsgate on the way back, fate struck again. We found that we had lost Beamans back there somewhere.  For some reason, the cell phone worked (the only redeeming feature of Hellsgate).  We got a call and their water pump shaft had broken off at the threaded end and the fan wiped out the radiator.   They were now stranded with the cell phone going dead, and we are all on the other side of the mountain.  Ted Kafer volunteered to zip back in his rented modern and deliver them a cell phone with a charger. Thank you Ted!!!!  So tonight, Beamans are in Pahrump, NV which was the nearest radiator shop.  They found a repair guy who will have them a repaired radiator by 9 tomorrow morning, how about that?  They hope to be back to Stovepipe by noon.   

And more good news, Rodger has replaced his head gasket and is ready to go again.  But temper that with some not so good news, the repair crew is unable to get John Polland’s head off, Model A engine head that is.   All the nuts have been removed and the engine started in an effort to pop it loose and it runs without popping the head. Can you believe it?  More good news, Wildman discovered that his brakes were just hot and dragging.  He loosened them and lo and behold his car seems to be OK. Thank heavens. What will tomorrow hold?

Patti says that the ladies of these broken down cars deserve a medal because they have been so patient with the stressed out guys and limping cars. A reward would be a special shopping excursion.  Bob says that the guys deserve a special reward for getting them all back up and running every morning.








The excellent road into Salt Creek                 Hiking the boardwalks at Salt Creek

Notice the cars on both sides of the

road trying to find a smooth spot.








A school of pupfish learning their ABC’s      The parking lot at Salt Creek.


After the climb to Hellsgate, everybody had their hood open.  I think they called it Hellsgate for a reason.












Welcome to Nevada!                                          The ladies all became high kickers in NV.








Only 30000 bottles of beer and you too          Wooo-oooo

could have a bottle house.








Desert tree huggers have to be very careful.   Local residents looking at the

                                                                                                          funny cars.


Anonymous said...

Oh my.....what a day for car trouble. Here's hoping the worst is over. I don't know who to feel more sorry for: the poor Model A's or the drivers & passangers.

L & AG

Catherine said...

Beautiful pics!

Wow! Not that's a lot of car troubles all in one day!! My vote is with Pat - shopping day all round! :o)

Camicia's said...

If you are going to go shopping may I suggest you buy more head gaskets and a radiator or two...geesh, what a bunch of problems!


Anonymous said...

Hey Guys-
Man you are definitely having some adventures and adversity. Love the photos I talked to the Beamans yesterday in Pahrump, ha ha.

Love the photos and the updates. Could you bring a Burro home please.