Airing down shortly after leaving graded road I aired down, I said I aired down the because the ride is so much smooooother. Two of the three members of the group aired down to 16 P.S.I, 19 P.S.I respectivly and one gentleman didn't air down at all, "I aired down once and it made no difference, besides I don't have an air compressor to air back up ". "I have on board air you are welcome to" I said, I asked him how far down he had aired down to? He said "I aired all the way down to 17 P.S.I". I said you're right at 17 P.S.I. you won't notice any difference, with those tires you'll need to go down to about 13 P.S.I before airing down will become effective. "Well I'm not going that low". I did get Rosie and Paul to air down to 15. So off we went. Once you leave the graded road the trail gets pretty rough, not rough as in rock crawling but rough as in lots of plum sized rocks. With properly aired down tires even with this kind of surface you get a smooooooooth ride.
This is a desert! Whenever you think of the classic desert you think of miles and miles of sand with no vegetation. There is grass here but it's very brown and dry and very sparse. It reminds me of a man's head with very very thin hair. There are some cacti probably the least amount of cacti yet. This area has hard packed (not sand its even finer than sand) powder, with lots of rocks mixed in. Round smooth rocks sharp jagged fractured rocks. Rocks of all kinds and sizes, from a small car down to talcum powder. When the powder gets wet and then is baked by the sun the whole conglomeration gets almost as hard as concrete. Digging by hand is quite difficult.
As we go along the trail the hills get a little higher, the washes get a little wider and a little deeper and a little rougher. Off to the right in a wash bottom you can see the remains of a corral and a wind driven water pump. We did not go down and check it out, but from here it certainly looked abandoned and in disrepair.
A mile or so farther down the trail we come across some cows!! What are they doing it out here! I can't imagine how a cow could survive out here let alone grow. This area is prime cattle grazing land. Do you remember five or six years ago the media having a field day because the BLM was "practically giving the land away" when they leased it to ranchers. Well this is the land.
The trail finally headed up the side of one of the small hills. Rosie got on the CB and suggested that if we didn't have lockers a little speed was necessary as the trail was very loose. With my 11 P.S.I I just walked right uphill without using my lockers after we all got to the top (which took a while and as the gentleman that didn't air down at all, had to make three attempts to get uphill. I again offered to air him up at the end of the trail if he wanted to air down. He declined again. However Paul took me up on the offer, I got Paul down to 12 P.S.I.
We were no longer in the flats, our up hills are longer and our down hills were shorter. And just about lunchtime we crested a very large domed hill, Rosie announced lunchtime! While we ate lunch and enjoyed the views we chatted about where were from and trails we have done. Rosie came over and said "taking out those 3 P.S.I made a big difference". I agree, you won't notice much difference from airing down until you can see a good bulge develop in the side of the tire. 15 to 12 P.S.I is not much but it's the important 3 P.S.I much more important than from 32 to 17 P.S.I.
The views from up here (6,102 Ft) were pretty good the wind had been blowing (as usual) so the air was full of dust and hazy. All around us you can see smaller foothills surrounded by flat valleys no matter which direction you look in, on the other side of the valley off in the distance BOING!! a mountain!
After lunch we mounted up and started the trip home. When we got back to the graded road I aired the three of us back up (remember one gentleman wouldn't air down). We were back on pavement at 2:30 so we headed back to the hotel. Then a quick shower and we head up to the arena for Saturday night's festivities, dinner and a raffle!