My life in Colombia

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Wheelin' in the Santa Catalina Mtns

May 20, 2007
4x4 offroading in Arizona.
Wheelin' in the Santa Catalina Mtns

This passed weekend I went off-roading with some of the Tucson Off-Road club members, and had a fantastic time! We drove up the backside of the Santa Catalina Mtns to Rice Peak, then we went up the back side to Mt Lemmon. The trail is rated as moderate, 3.0+. Word is it used to be rated at 4+ but since the fires a couple years ago the road is a little better. The road had to be cleared a bit for fire fighting. Oh well, so it goes. Below is the trip report I wrote for the club about the run. Here is a link to the photos of the trip.

Attendees: Kyle, Scott, Austin (with Jake), Chip, Brad, Jamie, Tiffany, and Christine.

Turned out to be a perfect day for wheeling up to Rice Peak and Mt Lemmon. We had 6 rigs - my Ranger, 4 Jeeps and a Quad. This was my first run with TOR and I really enjoyed the trip. The trail wasn't any harder than what I'd driven back in central WA state.

We all headed out from Peppersauce and proceeded without mishap or misdirection, which is always a good thing, until the quad decided to have a front spring/shock mount come apart. This happened just before the looonngg uphill climb where the trail is mostly level. Probably the best place on the entire route for this sort of thing to happen. After much work and the use of my rachet strap to compress the spring a bit, the quad was back on the trail. Of course there was some uncertainty about its completing the trip without further mishap, but surpisingly enough, it did!

We all got up the long steep climb and proceeded along just fine, until - we hit a dead-end. Yep. Turns out we missed a reverse fork in the trail and kept going straight. This fork is at the bottom of the final climb to the peak. The trail dead-ends, what was it, a mile or so? We had fun getting turned around in the tight spot. Made it back to the turn-off to the peak and stopped to consult and send the quad up topside to see how many rigs were up there already.

I thought it prudent to not drive my Ranger up that last stretch, the rear-end is only a 3.73 limited slip. (I'll have to try it again after I get the rebuild done.) So I rode up with Christine in here Rubicon. At the top there were two guys there already, plus our 4 jeeps, it was a crowd, my Ranger would've had a problem getting turned around anyway. The view from up there is incredible! If you haven't done this run you've gotta do it, well worth the time.

We had to give one of the other guys a jump start as his battery was dead, he'd been running his AC. Turned out he was grounding out where he had connected his amp to the hot side of the battery. Then after he left we noticed his rig was leaking something that we thought was brake fluid. Jamie rode down after him on the quad to tell him he was leaking something. A little while after that we headed back down.

The trip down was uneventful, everyone made it fine, we regrouped near the campground, and Austin and Brad(? the other new guy), left for home and work, the rest of us headed up the backside of Mt Lemmon. This was a nice run, quite a few other vehicles on that stretch of road. Again, no mishaps, thankyou very much.

At the top we went into Summerhaven for pizza and dessert. It was a very good day and very fun run. I'm looking forward to more wheeling with TOR.

Tejano Music Awards Fan Festival 2007

Mar 12, 2007
The band Latin Society playing at TMAA 2007 in Austin Texas.
Tejano Music Awards Fan Festival 2007

I play in the band Latin Society and this past weekend we made a trip to San Antonio, TX to play 3 gigs at the Tejano Music Awards Fan Festival. And what a trip it turned out to be!

I left on Thursday morning, 7am, driving thru to San Antonio the same day. I arrived at the hotel about 9:30pm. My pickup, and '88 Ranger, is most comfortable at no more than 65mph, it'll do 70 or so if I really push it, but the gas mileage really takes a dive. One good thing about driving the Ranger is it is not very comfortable, the seat is a bit worn out. That made it less likely that I would get too tired from the long drive.

We played our first gig on Friday night at 9pm and it was great! Probably one of our best shows ever, and the crowd absolutely loved us! When we finished our set, the MC told us to do one more song because of the crowd response (but meant cutting into the next bands time). After finishing that song, the crowd starting yelling Otra! Otra! Otra! (More! More! More!). Finally the next band said ok, and gave us the go-ahead to do another song. It was great! The crowd still wanted more, but we had to let the next band on the stage. We gave away all the CD's we brought with us, and all the pictures. So on Saturday we made more CD's and pictures.

The Saturday gig was at 6pm, again to a huge crowd. And again they wanted more when we were done. And again we gave away all the CD's and pictures.

Sunday we were scheduled to play at 9pm, but the weather didn't cooperate. We woke up to a rainy morning, then drizzle, then rain, etc, all day long. At the Market Place Square (where the festival was held), three of the stages had problems with the PA equipment getting wet, so those 3 stages were shut down. One of them was the stage we were to play on that evening. After some scrambling with the people in charge we were told to hang around in case a band didn't show up for their time slot, then we would fill in. As it turned out we were given 20 minutes, by shuffling the scheduled bands a bit. We were a big hit again! Once more, we gave away all the CD's we'd made that day, and all the pictures, and people wanted more.

So what came fo this weekend that cost all of us quite a bit to take part in the festival (the bands don't get paid)? We were given a guaranteed weeked gig in Colorado for Cinco de Mayo, for starters. AND, we have 3 offers for recording contracts with 3 different record companies. That's like a dream come true! Now the band is going to have meetings to discuss our options and decide what we want the future of the band to be.

I have pics in the photo album.

Me on the old Muelle (dock)

Chip Wiegand

Contact me: Chip Wiegand

I teach english as a foreign language in Colombia. I'm from Kennewick, Washington, USA. In my previous life, as I call it, I was an IT guy, systems administrator, computer tech, as well as a shipping/receiving guy and also worked as a merchandising guy for a year for a camping/RV accessories store.

Expat in Colombia - Where Expats Blog

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(Atlántico, Colombia)

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© Chip Wiegand -> I hope you enjoyed your visit!