Monday, March 31, 2014

Foretravel Tail Light Upgrade, Part ll

One of the possible problems that 'could' effect the new tail lights, is that the electronics in the back of the new lights might be damaged by water.  On the vehicles they were designed for, like the Ford Excursion, the tail light fits into a sealed/water tight compartment.  On the Foretravel, the area the lights fit into, are open to moisture.

So, I added a 'breathable splash shield'.

 I built a shield over transistors, to protect new LED lights from water damage.. Plastic atop then, Scotch Bright pads/silicone.
It allows 'breathing' and heat dissipation and also allows gravity to take molecules then hitting the surface of the Scotch brights, 'down' and away from resistor circuits via gravity.

 Ten minutes per light, and the job was done/protecting the resistors.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, New Mexico. Also; Paloma, Mexico

Driving west from El Paso, Texas, along a long dusty road just  a stones throw from the Mexican border, there was little to see but miles and miles of plains, but Pete loved the trip.

The destination was Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus Texas.  The park was named for Pancho Villa the Mexican general who pulled off an attack against the small town in 1915, killing mostly civilians and torching a few buildings.

This however, ended up with General "Black Jack" Pershing amassing 10,000 US troops and taking them into Mexico for retribution.

Interesting note on aviation!

There are remnants of the troop build up here in Columbus and a decent number of the original buildings, but not much money has been spent on preservation.
 This vehicle was not used here but several of these were stationed along the border, one in El Paso.

A view from the front opening port looking at the drivers seat and then to the rear.. Comfy huh?

The Park does have a quality little museum though and the town has set up the old train depot into a nice museum of rail road and local artifacts.  I really did enjoy visiting both.

In the park museum, a cloth bi-plane hung from the ceiling.

General Pershings personal Dodge Touring Car (Yes, he traveled along with his troops, but in the back seat of this car.  By the way, he found chasing Mexican soldiers was more effective using these cars rather than on horseback, so he ordered 250 more cars!

This FWD  (Four Wheel Drive) heavy vehicle was made in Chicago and used in the expedition.
 Note the hand controlled spark advance and throttle under the steering wheel.  This was common on vehicles prior to 1920.  My father had a boat with a Model B Ford engine in it and I remember as a kid being allowed to drive it on fishing trips.. Cool stuff, history.
This American La France fire engine also used the same kind of controls

 and all instrumentation was mechanical.. No electrical stuff back then.

 Water Pressure gauge
 Flex cable speedometer common until the 1990's in most vehicles.. now all is electronic digital instrumentation.
 Valve adjustment for water pressure, had a mechanical readout for adjustments.  Of course all of this was high quality 100 years ago...........and also Made In America.

 Even the drive train was simple chain drive...  It was the years before the differential gear system was worked out for mass production in vehicles.

A French early model machine gun with a flat magazine was often used by our troops in daytime skirmishes but the soldiers often installed the magazine upside down at night causing failure, so this gun saw little use.

This area was used as a trade route to California, so wagons were common. This one was still in very good condition.  Dry climate does help preserve.

In town, there is little to see except the evidence of time and poverty.

However I ate lunch at a la Casita restaurant... a throw back to the 50's with Mexican flair of color.

the food was good but twice the volume and price I would normally wish for lunch but I chose "the Special".  Left overs were at hand.
I crossed the border on foot entering Palomas, Mexico.

I ate a late lunch at good restaurant in Mexico, just a block away from the dividing Border Patrol station.  Outside was a wonderful and very large statue of Pershing on the left and Pancho Villa on right.  They actually did meet years later and did shake hands.

A couple of young Indian girls work the street with their mother and grandmother but I chuckled how they played together in the courtyard, when they were given some time off. See video..

Once open, enlarge it by clicking on box in lower right corner of video. Hit escape key to return.

Outside the Pink Store was a large metal sculpture of a street musician.
 Except for this Pink Store and courtyard, I saw little evidence of aesthetics in this town, I'm sure is due to it's poverty.
 Behind some stores on a side street, I came across this old Dodge
 and a field filled with old VW bugs.  Found out later they were owned by the owner of the Pink Store, who also has a side business of restoring and reselling these bugs.
 The towns museum was the cleaned up but not rebuilt or restored...train depot.

 Displays were well organized.
Many Indian artifacts were on display.  Grave robbing used to be a perfectly acceptable hobby.
Note the large turquoise hand grip on the horn of this saddle!

 Close to my parking spot in this park campground, was a male horned owl.  His mate was in another tree guarding a 3 week old.  (another camper gave me the scoop here)
the female above.

By the way, I forgot to mention how windy it is down here almost all the time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hueco Tanks, Texas

Out in the desert of western Texas, N.E. of El Paso, are remnants of volcanic activity.  Rocks warn by age but standing tall in contrast to the flat desert floor, were known by Native Americans for thousands of years, to hold water.  Rain had hard pockets that created pools of water for plants and animals so these little oasis's attracted early humans.

Hueco tanks, is only one, but the best known cluster of these rock formations.
*** Pictograph showing battle between 20 Indians and 800 Mexican forces--- only 1 Indian lost.***
This drawn display was taken from drawings done around 1939, by a team of artists.

***As you can see, the pictograph was seriously lightened or lost by the cleaning process.***

There is evidence that early hunters even trapped Mammoth and Mastodons here.  Pictographs (pictures) painted on many surfaces, show them telling the stories even though we cannot fully understand what they are, some have been deciphered.

The campground was small and closed off from the general public by a locked gate.  Park personnel travel around in pick ups checking on the safety of rock climbers and hikers as well as verifying that no one is damaging the historical nature of the park.  Sadly, this is required.  In 1992, the park was close to clean up damage from vandals, specifically graffiti.

The cleaning process usually damaged the original art or at least lightened it but at least if was now presentable to the general public.

 Descendants of these Indians still live locally and come here to visit their heritage.  At this particular painting, they were taking family photos, representing the  "stairs to the underworld."

2/3rd's of the Park are off limits, unless seen with a Park Guide.  This is done to protect what is left.

 Remnants of a corral for horses of the early mail delivery company, from St. Louis to San Francisco.
Rabbits were everywhere, but driving in, I was lucky to catch 2 deer feeding alongside the road.  I slowed to a stop, then tooted my horn to get them over the fence to safe territory.

A very relaxing place and I enjoyed hiking the area and one of the Guided trips.