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Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Woods Walker] #148971 09/11/20 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Woods Walker
.....We went to Metro PCS before they merged with T-Mobile and never looked back. I've had a decent signal when others right next to me with AT&T and Verizon couldn't get enough signal for a call. Maybe it's the areas that the different Cell companies are stronger in ??...

In Arizona and elsewhere in the southwest, Verizon has the best area wide cell coverage in my estimation, after years of roaming far and wide across this state and throughout the southwest.

In the White Mountains, high on the Mogollon Rim where we're now located, there's simply no substitute for Verizon if you need reliable area wide coverage extending deep into and across our wildland areas.

When I moved here from the Valley years ago I had T-Mobile cell service. Didn't take long to realize that what worked well in densely populated areas didn't really cut it here in the outback. So T-Mobile was retired and Verizon took its place - and I've found no reason whatsoever to look back.

As you said, it's the areas you operate in and the relative level of service you receive from various cell companies that makes the difference..


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Woods Walker] #148972 09/11/20 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Woods Walker
Great picture Scott ! A satellite phone is the ticket alright. I looked into it years ago but the service was prohibitively expensive.


It is expensive. But I consider it "life" insurance.

I grew up in Pennsylvania where there is a town every few miles - and people everywhere in between the towns. Now I live out in the middle of Nevada. If I leave home and drive south it is 102.5 miles till I reach the first pavement. In that distance there is NOTHING but two ranches way off from the main dirt road, and one geothermal power plant. And of course, no cell phone signal. Were I to break down somewhere in that section it might be many days before the next vehicle comes along. Walking to find help - and carrying enough water at the same time - is not a good option. So yes, my sat phone is life insurance. If all you want is rescue if you are in dire straits you can buy a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), much cheaper than a sat phone but also much more limited. If you activate the PLB the Mission Control Center (in Maryland, I think) will send rescue crews your way but there is no two-way communication possible. With a sat phone, if all I need is someone to come get me or bring me repair parts, I can communicate that with whomever I choose to call.

Garmin just introduced a new Montana, the 750i model, that has the InReach satellite circuitry built in, so another method of communicating when out of cell phone range. Might be my next purchase come Black Friday!


Worshipper of sun and wild country.
Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Muniac] #148974 09/11/20 09:09 PM
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Many people don't realize the distances of desolate country out west. And the dangers that presents if you get stranded and/or injured. The last time we did the back road to Crown King, AZ (late Spring) it was about 120F in the desert portion of that ride. 58 miles round trip from Pleasant Lake staging area. So you're 15 miles in dealing with that heat. Party of three that day so we could tow a dead bike out. Or double up if someone got injured. No way you'll get out on foot alive. Suddenly you realize the bike is your lifeline, meaning breakdowns, accidents and injuries take on new levels of severity. A fun ride can turn into a disaster in seconds. You learn to ride carefully and manage risks intelligently. Practicing all ride in and all ride out.

In Park City, Utah we saw -24F on selected days. We'd always bring our ski suits with us just in case we shut down and needed to stay warm. This was traveling in the van. Bikes were put in storage for the winter. Some of the worst winter driving I did was up and over Parleys Summit on I80. Traveling to/from the SLC Valley.

We purchased an Apache case from Harbor Freight (good value BTW) and made a travel kit. Has the satellite phone, charger, emergency numbers, headlamps and extra batteries. This case comes with us every place we travel. Good peace of mind and life insurance. Having these communications might also save someone else's life. Sadly we see a lot of stupid people doing stupid stuff in the mountains. Fingers crossed we never need to clean up a mess. Be safe out there.


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Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Muniac] #148975 09/11/20 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Muniac
.....We purchased an Apache case from Harbor Freight (good value BTW) and made a travel kit. Has the satellite phone, charger, emergency numbers, headlamps and extra batteries. This case comes with us every place we travel. Good peace of mind and life insurance. Having these communications might also save someone else's life. Sadly we see a lot of stupid people doing stupid stuff in the mountains. Fingers crossed we never need to clean up a mess. Be safe out there...

Those living cloistered lives in heavily populated urban areas seldom think of what it takes to ensure their safety while in the immense empty spaces we enjoy out here in the west.

Every year in the deserts down south, once away from the large metro areas, people wander off the beaten path thinking they'd like to 'see' what's on the other side of that desert ridge in the distance. Much too often they end up stuck in a sandy wash somewhere in 120 degree heat with nothing to sustain them and no cell service available - and within walking distance of where they got stuck they collapse and die.

Likewise we have far too many illegal immigrants who cross the border with only a few bottles of water and no idea of the ordeal that lies ahead of them - and far too many of these unfortunates collapse and die just days into their trek across some of the most inhospitable deserts on earth.

In Arizona's high country it's not heat that'll do you in, it's stupidity - mostly on the part of visiting flatlanders who think this mountainous area is their playground and 'anything goes' as far as they're concerned.

Every year people driving and riding on ATVs, UTVs, quads and high-dollar Chinese built off road toys are hospitalized and killed while roaring around the back country hell bent for leather as if they were somehow invincible. Apparently they see themselves as somehow able to defy the laws of physics in their multi-thousand dollar toy machines. After all they went into serious hock to finance these toys, so no sense having them unless you run them right up to the ragged edge of sanity to impress those you've brought along to experience how brave and 'cool' you and your machine are.

However once you take a rugged curve on the rough forest road 300 way too fast and roar off the edge 250 feet straight down into an rock strewn canyon on the edge of the Rim with your 3 'friends' screaming in your ear for the last time ever - you realize for a terrible moment that you're not superman, and neither your high dollar machine or the canyon you're plunging into gives a rats ass for who or what you think you are.

In reality you're nothing other than another idiot who thought he could fight the laws of physics and come away a winner, and you never even considered what that might mean for all those involved until it was too late to do anything about it.

I've seen so much of this sort of thoughtless crap over the years, from my youth on remote farms and ranches my dad operated, through the years I spent as a Tempe Police Officer cleaning up after dead and dying idiots on wheeled vehicles of all kinds together with their victims, to the present day here on the Rim where so-called 'accidents' maim, kill and destroy young and old lives alike.

So I commend you for 'being prepared' and for the care you take to ensure your safety when you're out and about, Scott. Jeannie is as fortunate to have you as you are to have her as you life's companion.

Hope you never have to pick up after idiots like these. But if you do you'll be prepared, and that's what counts.


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Deserteagle56] #148977 09/12/20 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Deserteagle56
Originally Posted by Woods Walker
Great picture Scott ! A satellite phone is the ticket alright. I looked into it years ago but the service was prohibitively expensive.


It is expensive. But I consider it "life" insurance.

I grew up in Pennsylvania where there is a town every few miles - and people everywhere in between the towns. Now I live out in the middle of Nevada. If I leave home and drive south it is 102.5 miles till I reach the first pavement. In that distance there is NOTHING but two ranches way off from the main dirt road, and one geothermal power plant. And of course, no cell phone signal. Were I to break down somewhere in that section it might be many days before the next vehicle comes along. Walking to find help - and carrying enough water at the same time - is not a good option. So yes, my sat phone is life insurance. If all you want is rescue if you are in dire straits you can buy a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), much cheaper than a sat phone but also much more limited. If you activate the PLB the Mission Control Center (in Maryland, I think) will send rescue crews your way but there is no two-way communication possible. With a sat phone, if all I need is someone to come get me or bring me repair parts, I can communicate that with whomever I choose to call.

Garmin just introduced a new Montana, the 750i model, that has the InReach satellite circuitry built in, so another method of communicating when out of cell phone range. Might be my next purchase come Black Friday!


Wow....that's crazy desolate ! Without a satellite phone you might as well be on the moon. It's hard for me to imagine that kind of sheer nothingness. So expensive doesn't matter when it could be your life on the line. It seems to me you have to keep your vehicles in tip top condition too. That said.....it's good to know the XT has a reputation of reliability. When someone like Muniac, with all his adventures, says his and his wife's bikes never let them down getting them in and out of remote areas......that's impressive. Makes me feel good I now have a bike that I can rely on (with good maintenance) more than my own skills LOL.

Last edited by Woods Walker; 09/12/20 02:04 PM.
Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Muniac] #148986 09/12/20 09:13 PM
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George - Thanks for the kind words. We're dealing with all you described above. Really bad this season given a blast of tourism escaping Covid-19. Looking forward to a calmer Fall season but I may be disappointed. Some photos below of what we take with us in the car:

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Apache case from Harbor Freight about 1/3 the cost of its Pelican version. Pretty good value.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
A peek inside. Foam blocks can be removed to create custom sized cavities.

The kit includes satellite phone, charger, remote antenna, reference pages and headlamps. Also AA, AAA and lithium-ion batteries. The headlamps are great! We use them for night hikes as the days shorten. They are also great for changing a tire. These are so bright they inflict pain in the eyes if you look into them. As such they would be of tactical advantage with blinding animals like bears and mountain lions. BTW I saw a mountain lion last night briefly, running up a driveway. It was about the size of a small German Shepard. This is only the second sighting of one in my lifetime.

As for reliability, less is more. The XT225 is an old school 4 stroke and extremely reliable. Such was our experience(s) with the 2003 models we purchased new in June of that year. As I've mentioned, the kick stand safety switch can be a problem. It can kill the ignition leaving you with a dead bike. I think this switch is actually more dangerous than safe.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Tail rack with tank bag. Holds tools, tow strap and spare parts. Backpack for food, water, radios and jackets.

The photo above shows our dress for most of the years we rode. This could (and should) be a lot better. A broken or badly sprained wrist would be a really bad injury because you can't ride. People talk about riding skills being important. And they are. Equally important is your bailout skills. Knowing you're going to go down and being agile enough to land/fall so as to avoid a serious injury. The faster you ride the more difficult safely bailing out becomes. So know when to go fast and when to crawl and/or paddle. Always keeping risks in your favor. The trail will eventually win over time so work with it not against it.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Not a time to go fast. Stanley, ID - July 2009

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Think you can speed here? Think again. Depressions, drainage, mud, sink holes and groundhog burrows can put you over the bars. Stanley, ID - July 2009

Judgement is your most important safety gear. As avoiding a crash/accident is the best option. Knowing when to turn around is a good judgement call which sounds easy enough. You'd be surprised when you have so much invested in a ride how difficult this can be.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
End of this ride. Governor Basin Road in Ouray, CO - June 2011

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
You can open the throttle here. Just watch for deer, elk, moose and bear. We'd do 30 MPH here without concerns. CR7 Ouray County, CO

Years of mountain biking really helped us transition to dirt riding. The transition from a 24 Lb frame to 270 Lbs takes some getting used to, however. But in many ways an XT225 is a big heavy mountain bike with an engine. Any practice is always helpful and it's a good idea to spend time doing it.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Gunnison Gorge Practice area. Working getting up and over logs, rocks and steps. Without hitting the bash plate.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Your riding partner needs those same skills. Note better safety gear on forearms and elbows.

All of us here ride for enjoyment and getting busted up isn't fun. Gaining proficiency with basic trail riding skills improves enjoyment and safety. Always a good value with time invested. There's also a point in life that saying goodbye to certain types of riding or riding all together is the right call. Power sports are dangerous and one can only do so much to avoid an accident. You just want to ride to keep the odds in your favor of avoiding a serious accident. To much fear of crashing can itself increase the risk of a crash. A little fear (for respect) is always good. Blinding fear clouds judgement. Fear was invented for a reason and if you're that afraid of something think hard about the reason(s) and if you should even be in that situation.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Probably one of the more severe crashes I've had. Doesn't look that bad either.

Hands down mountain biking and trials caused the worst of my crashes. The one above happened in a mountain bike park in Utah outside of Park City. I was riding a ramp about 30" off the ground. When a sudden gust of wind knocked me off balance. I wasn't quick enough to wheelie drop off the edge. So I went front tire down and landed on my head. Fractured a couple of bones in my neck, same for several ribs and my index finger. The shoulder hit second and that was just really sore for a long time. All of this happened in about 5 seconds and then I was laying on the ground hurt. This could have been much worse but I was just lucky. And I had been riding ramps for years too. Didn't figure on a wind gust, however.

Just be safe out there.


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Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video
Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Az4x4] #148987 09/12/20 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Az4x4

Originally Posted by Muniac
.....We purchased an Apache case from Harbor Freight (good value BTW) and made a travel kit. Has the satellite phone, charger, emergency numbers, headlamps and extra batteries. This case comes with us every place we travel. Good peace of mind and life insurance. Having these communications might also save someone else's life. Sadly we see a lot of stupid people doing stupid stuff in the mountains. Fingers crossed we never need to clean up a mess. Be safe out there...

Those living cloistered lives in heavily populated urban areas seldom think of what it takes to ensure their safety while in the immense empty spaces we enjoy out here in the west.

Every year in the deserts down south, once away from the large metro areas, people wander off the beaten path thinking they'd like to 'see' what's on the other side of that desert ridge in the distance. Much too often they end up stuck in a sandy wash somewhere in 120 degree heat with nothing to sustain them and no cell service available - and within walking distance of where they got stuck they collapse and die.

Likewise we have far too many illegal immigrants who cross the border with only a few bottles of water and no idea of the ordeal that lies ahead of them - and far too many of these unfortunates collapse and die just days into their trek across some of the most inhospitable deserts on earth.

In Arizona's high country it's not heat that'll do you in, it's stupidity - mostly on the part of visiting flatlanders who think this mountainous area is their playground and 'anything goes' as far as they're concerned.

Every year people driving and riding on ATVs, UTVs, quads and high-dollar Chinese built off road toys are hospitalized and killed while roaring around the back country hell bent for leather as if they were somehow invincible. Apparently they see themselves as somehow able to defy the laws of physics in their multi-thousand dollar toy machines. After all they went into serious hock to finance these toys, so no sense having them unless you run them right up to the ragged edge of sanity to impress those you've brought along to experience how brave and 'cool' you and your machine are.

However once you take a rugged curve on the rough forest road 300 way too fast and roar off the edge 250 feet straight down into an rock strewn canyon on the edge of the Rim with your 3 'friends' screaming in your ear for the last time ever - you realize for a terrible moment that you're not superman, and neither your high dollar machine or the canyon you're plunging into gives a rats ass for who or what you think you are.

In reality you're nothing other than another idiot who thought he could fight the laws of physics and come away a winner, and you never even considered what that might mean for all those involved until it was too late to do anything about it.

I've seen so much of this sort of thoughtless crap over the years, from my youth on remote farms and ranches my dad operated, through the years I spent as a Tempe Police Officer cleaning up after dead and dying idiots on wheeled vehicles of all kinds together with their victims, to the present day here on the Rim where so-called 'accidents' maim, kill and destroy young and old lives alike.

So I commend you for 'being prepared' and for the care you take to ensure your safety when you're out and about, Scott. Jeannie is as fortunate to have you as you are to have her as you life's companion.

Hope you never have to pick up after idiots like these. But if you do you'll be prepared, and that's what counts.


Wow.....you have a great writing style! Straight to the point telling it like it is about these pumped up and ill prepared idiots that don't have a clue about what they are getting into. They've seen too many Hollywood movies where the good guy goes off a cliff in his car, crashes,gets bit by a rattlesnake, but manages to hike 50 miles out of the desert sucking the water out of cactus plants. Like you say....reality doesn't kick in until it's too late. You should write a book about what you've seen so MAYBE the kid whose rich daddy bought him a $15000 quad, will stop and think for a minute before he does something really stupid. Still wouldn't help those these days that have grown up being taught by their parents that they are invincible and the center of the universe though.

You might want to consider writing a book about what you have seen and what few city and "flatland" people have the faintest clue about. It's a topic not often discussed because of the morbid nature and think it could make you some money while helping save anyone with more that a few brain cells from making some of those fatal mistakes. I think you have the writing skill to get the unfathomable truth across to those willing to listen. Wouldn't hurt to talk to a publisher about the topic. I think they would be interested. There are places on the net for online publishing too.

Scott has already given me good pointers about the XT225 and trail riding that I wouldn't have thought of simply because of my naivety. You could do the same regarding the dangers of riding a bike OR ATV in areas people have no place being without experience. I don't think I'm stupid but have done stupid things because of my arrogant ignorance.

Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Muniac] #148988 09/12/20 10:25 PM
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Again....thanks for the nice pictures Scott ! The more I read about your adventures and safety warnings the more ingrained it will become. A head full of safety precautions and a misplaced sense of confidence don't mix. Hopefully the former will prevail. I agree too much fear of being hurt can be detrimental to your riding as well. Reminds me of old song lyrics....."hold on loosely but don't let it go. If you cling too tightly your gonna loose control". The song is about something else but the words can be applied to riding. I hope I never lose my healthy fear of what can happen when I ride on the street BUT if it becomes too intense it can definitely affect your ability to handle the bike. I have first hand knowledge of this. Sometimes you have to concentrate on what is suddenly at hand and push the fear aside to get the best outcome. That in itself will inspire confidence in ones own abilities like when I thought "Dang....I just got out of that one. Didn't know I could do that". Such as riding in and out of a corn field unscathed because I going too fast at night in farmland and didn't see the hairpin turn that suddenly presented itself. There was a drop off going in too. If fear took over I might have tried to make the turn instead. That wouldn't have been good.

Last edited by Woods Walker; 09/12/20 11:03 PM.
Re: Verizon Flip Phones [Re: Muniac] #148994 09/13/20 05:44 PM
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Milt - U R welcome. If I can save someone hassles, a crash and injuries those efforts are well worth the post. It's been said confidence is fear prolonged for another minute. There's an obvious downside to this as it can cross into Tom foolery very easily. Actually confidence is training, practice, calibration, good judgement, proper ride prep and earning your right to be there.

The worst incident (and the most stupid) I've had riding was coming down from Four Peaks in AZ. An easy road filled with scree and sharp turns. Which I knew from riding up it. Was on my way down and came into a hairpin just a little to fast. Slid off the road and went over the cliff. Through some miracle I landed in shrubbery rubber side down just sitting there. Couldn't get the bike back up on the road either. Lucky again when some other biker just happened to be coming down and stopped to help. Took three of us to get the bike loose and back up on the road. No injuries. Had I missed that shrubbery, I wouldn't be typing this now. REALLY STUPID on my part. The take away is this can happen to anyone. Lesson learned and I was much more careful after that.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Bayhorse in Stanley, ID - July 2009. Another marginally stupid creek crossing.

As for the above, look closely at the ripples in the water as it moves over the river rock. This should be a warning as to how fast the water is moving. And maybe not such a good idea to attempt a crossing. You'll see me turning to correct balance as I almost went down. If you get trapped under the bike, you can drown. I made this crossing which meant I had to cross back. If you find yourself in this situation, enter up stream and ride diagonally downstream to lesson the water's force against the bike. Here it was a river rock bottom with plenty of room. And clear water so you could see the submerged riding surface.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
N. Jersey dealing with murky water and submerged rocks. Poke and hope is the best you can do.

Enjoy the rides and be safe out there.


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Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video
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