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David A. Wright

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David A. Wright last won the day on February 15

David A. Wright had the most liked content!


About David A. Wright

  • Rank
    David A. Wright

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    North-Central Nevada
  • Interests
    Ghost towns; photography; historic, abandoned and modern railroads; exploring the Great Basin; Nevada and Eastern California history; 4WD.
  • First Name
    Daffy Duck
  • Camera
    An old Kodak digital and cell phone camera
  • Explore Vehicle
    2002 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4

Recent Profile Visitors

8,689 profile views
  1. When I was running BFG All Terrains, I generally dropped from 35psi street to 18-20psi in front, 16psi rear. Give or take. I never was patient enough to get it perfect every time as long as it was +/- 2psi of target.
  2. Bob, if you plan to buy new, especially the 4Runner, I would suggest waiting until the 2020 models hit the showroom. Or check around on any leftover stock of 2018 now. There hasn’t been any major updates to the 4Runner in a decade now; there will be some revisions to it in 2020, but most are evelutionary, not major. Dealerships are anxious to get rid of leftover inventory and are more willing to deal. Sometimes they are willing to add some stuff to sweeten the pot, like steps or a towing package. Get a good feel for a reasonable asking offer below sticker. I think there is a website called True Car that will help you in that regard. I generally went $3,000-$5,000 under sticker and got it. But don’t go too low, or the dealer will simply reduce their offer on your trade in, or take those add on goodies off the table. I have mixed feelings about extended warranties. I’ve added them to all but one new vehicle I’ve purchased. The vehicles I added extended warranties to never needed repairs. The one I didn’t buy the extended warranty for was the biggest lemmon I ever owned (stuff started breaking within 3,000 miles and never quit; I spent over $11,000 in repairs the last months I owned it). Mostly they were more for peace of mind more than anything. But they are a money maker for the dealers. Back in the years when both my wife and I brought in high incomes, I bought luxury cars and 4x4 trucks, generally alternating years. I generally drove them five years or 150,000 miles, whichever came first. That worked well for us. Now we don’t make that kind of income, so I have a 17 year old Tacoma and I plan on taking care of my seven year old Outback, which now has 111,000 miles on it.
  3. For Bob, regarding the Ford Raptor. About a year ago one of the car magazines did a test with the Raptor, the Power Wagon and one other truck (Chevy/GMC?). The test was of several thousand miles up into eastern Canada to the Hudson Bay in winter. The Raptor came in last, the Power Wagon won. The Raptor lost because it is built to go fast through the desert, but the equipment that enables that hobbles the truck in any other type of situation. The Power Wagon and GM truck were traditional 4x4 trucks, the front diff lock and disconnecting sway bar not withstanding.
  4. I couldn’t care less about gee wiz features on my vehicles. Yeah, I like navigation and directions. And I like the Bluetooth in my 2012 Outback for making/receiving calls and playing MP3 music I have on my phone (I have a Sirius receiver in the house and a dock in the car to take on trips, but for daily driving I use my phone). And my Garmin navigator fits well in the open cubby at the base of the console and still gets a good signal for trips to unfamiliar locations. My point with car testers is that they tend to be a whiney bunch of spoiled youth, who would think your 1980s Toyotas would be considered inhumane. Tests of today’s 4x4s tend to be run on smooth dirt roads. Take a look through car magazines from the 1950s and 1960s and you will see standard sedans tested on dirt roads, including some sandy hillclimbs you don’t see any Jeeps tested on today. I think one of my favorite trucks from my past was a 1972 Ford Courier I drove at work. It was fun to drive. The 3.4 V6 in my Tacoma is torquey enough. I shift far below redline because revving above about 4,000 RPM results in more racket than acceleration. There’s been a few times when I’ve had to pull away with a lot of weight in my trailer or resistance, putting the truck in 4-low helps to keep from clutch abuse.
  5. The Power Wagon is impressive. But it is a Chrysler product, which often means substandard build quality. Example: a current factory recall because brake pedal assemblies are dropping to the floor in 2019 Ram 1500s. When I prepped new and used vehicles at the local Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep dealership, a three year old Ford F150 with 80,000 miles felt tighter, more solid and quieter than a brand new Ram. Magazine tests pan and declare as junk the 4Runner because it doesn’t have standard Apple Car Play and Android Auto. And the info tainment screen is “only” five inches (negatives based on a comparison test I read about a year ago). Then again, car testers expect all trucks, Jeeps and SUVs to go 0-60 in negative numbers, handle like an Indy car at 250mph, ride like a limo, serve them iced brandy and not spill it as they run the Rubicon and be able to watch You Tube videos on the windshield with the heads up feature. If it self destructs tomorrow, they don’t care because they’ll shit all over themselves when they test the latest Ferrari tomorrow. That said, the Toyota is an old design. But I couldn’t care less. And, so it seems, so do many others, because there are a lot of them out here. Toyotas have a reputation for reliability, but, alas, I hear that is eroding since after about 2005. My Tacoma is nearing 17 years old and is as reliable as the sunrise and sunset. It still is running its factory headlamp bulbs (only a license plate lamp and taillight/brake lamp have burned out). It has only been in the shop for the timing belt/water pump change out, and is close to that milemark again. It still runs the factory clutch. It has never been waxed and still shines brightly when washed. The interior is intact and in good shape. It hasn’t been pampered - it has been underwater and the cabin full of water above the seat cushions with no after effects, it’s been on its side, the Pennzoil shop complains each oil/filter change because the three interlocking skid plates are pretty banged up and difficult to reinstall. I have no plans to pay nearly double for a new Tacoma (based on the build your own feature on Toyota’s website). If I were to replace it, I’m leaning toward a 4Runner TRD Off Road. A 4Runner should be able to tow a UTV. I tow a ton of heating pellets with my Tacoma and 1950s U-Haul open box trailer. I don’t go far (5 miles), but the truck and trailer takes it well, though you can feel it back there. Locking front diffs are nice, but all those I know who have them seldom use them. My experience and theirs show a rear locker makes a world of difference. And if the trail is so bad as to require it, well, I’ll just park and walk on ahead because I’m getting old enough to know arthritic white knuckles are just no fun anymore; getting the crap knocked out of me traversing long stretches of severe bedrock at crawling speeds make for a sore and stiff get up the next morning and not as fun as a good hangover.
  6. I thought when you dial 411 you can get the phone number for the nearest Pizza Hut ... 😜
  7. Looking closer at the aerial view, I found another spur that accessed the top of the mill ruins adjacent to the structure shown in your image atop the foundations. That spur branched off at the southern end of the townsite, but immediately dissappears in a wash until nearing the mill ruin.
  8. Looking at Google Maps in satellite view, the townsite’s street grid is still visible, there appear to be numerous remains of walls and cellars. The Silver Peak railroad grade ended at the mill ruins you pictured a little further east from your vantage of the descending foundations and at what appear to be a large foundation holding circular tanks. I’ve been to Silver Peak, but came in and exited from/to the south, as at the time Imwas still living in nearby Big Pine, California.
  9. My friend’s train is considerably larger. Similar to a mine railroad, rather industrial looking. Open locomotive, you sit in it, compared to on it. His rolling stock consists of a couple flat cars with benches.
  10. A friend of mine in Bishop, California, has a rideable railroad running around his property. Complete with armstrong turntable, engine house, trestles over the canal (fed by Bishop Creek) and automatic gate with lights on his driveway crossing. I don’t recall all the particulars, but estimate it is a baby gauge and is powered by battery.
  11. I’ve passed that theater many times through the decades. Brings back memories, sad to watch it slowly disolve.
  12. Space aliens are considered essential workers ... 👽
  13. I recall Reno news announcing the day previous to the outbreak of the Camp Fire that PG&E planned to shut off power to that region included in the high wind warning. Reason given was so that PG&E wouldn’t be blamed for any fire like they were for earlier fires. Early that morning before fire news came out the Reno news was still making the announcement that PG&E was still planning to shut off power around 8AM or when wind speeds exceeded a set speed. Since then I heard nothing about PG&E until the news started reporting downed and arcing lines and/or some kind of test sparking the Camp Fire. I found that rather odd.
  14. I was looking at Schamberger's book last night. He has one image, of a small headstone. The verbiage alludes there is little left. That was in the late 60s to 1971, when the book was published. So it may be very difficult to find anything.
  • Our picks

    • This is the location of the famous Mojave Phone Booth. Unfortunately not much is left today, but it's still a cool location to visit with an interesting history. 
      • 1 reply
    • South Pass City WY
      South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming.  It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.

      South Pass City Historic Site
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    • Surprise Canyon, California
      Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs.  These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009.  I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.

      The back story for this particular video is as follows.  On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California.  This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park.  This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland.  For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps.  The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City.  The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.

      • 24 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips - March 31-April 2, 2000 - Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb
      My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb.  Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm

      In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps.  Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.

      Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck.  The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.

      Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:

      1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
      2. Gold Bar
      3. Phinney Mine
      4. Strozzi Ranch
      5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
      6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
      7. Happy Hooligan Mine

      This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long.  Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv

      So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video.  It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.


      • 9 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips: May 1-3, 2000 - Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
      Exploration Field Trips:
      May 1-3, 2000
      Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley

      What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.

      Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books.  Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.

      Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley.  Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley.  Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.


      • 4 replies
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