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Joshua Tree - Hiking Ryan Mountain

rick chapo

With the onset of winter, hikers in California turn to Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert. Hiking Ryan Mountain is good way to see an excellent summit view of the park.

Joshua Tree Ryan Mountain

If you re looking for the best view in Joshua Tree National Park, Ryan Mountain is the undisputed winner. Make it to the top and you ll find a 360 degree view of the park with mountains on one side and the sprawling desert on the other.

Ryan Mountain is reached

The winds on Ryan Mountain can get very serious. We are talking gale force winds. Even if the winds are roaring on the day you visit, go ahead and make the hike. It is relatively short and the views definitely make the effort worth it.

Once you reach the summit, you are going to be literally and symbolically blown away. It is a rare day the wind doesn t blow like all get out. Still, you ll hardly notice since the view is incredible. From the summit, you ll be able to see Queen Valley, Pinto Basin, Lost Horse Valley and even the snow covered peak of Mount San Jacinto in the distance.

To get to Ryan Mountain, take Park Boulevard out of Joshua Tree Town. After 16 miles or so, you ll see a sign for Keys View. Turn left and go a bit over two miles till you see a parking lot on the side of the road with a sign for the trail. Crowds are usually at a minimum.

While much of the country is in a deep freeze in the winter, Joshua Tree is at its best. Hiking the Ryan Mountain Trail is a good way to check it out.

Rick Chapo is with NomadJournals.com - makers of journals. Visit us to read much more about the great outdoors.

Pads, shoes, drums & rotors

Motor , Feb 1999

Some manufacturers call for brake inspections as often as every six months. The norm, however, seems to be 12- or 24-month intervals. If you can, begin the inspection with a short road test. As you apply the pedal, check for excessive travel and sponginess. Listen for noises-not just the obvious grinding of the pads or shoes, but also mechanical clanks, clunks and rattles. A pulsating pedal normally indicates that a rotor is warped or a drum is out-of-round.

Before you get the vehicle up on the rack and remove the wheels, check power booster operation by pressing the pedal several times with the engine off and then starting the engine with the brakes applied. When the engine is started with the pedal depressed, the pedal should drop slightly as vacuum hits the booster.

For a complete inspection, you`ll have to remove the wheels, to get a clear view of the brake pads and caliper mounting hardware. Some manufacturers, like Ford and Saab, say to lube the caliper slides. Now is the time to do it; and on any vehicle, it`s a good idea to verify smooth caliper operation and lube, if necessary.

Normally, you can check disc brake pad lining thickness through the openings in the calipers, but you`ll have to pull the drums to check the linings on drum brakes. For either disc pad linings or linings on shoes, most carmakers specify a minimum thickness of 1/32 inch. Ford, however, wants you to change disc pads when the lining is 1/8 inch thick or less. By any measure, 1/32 inch may be the minimum thickness to prevent rotor or drum scoring, but braking efficiency is dramatically reduced with worn linings because they`re unable to dissipate the heat. Moreover, the last 1/32 inch of lining will wear and peel off a lot faster than the first 1/32 inch of fresh lining. If your customer really needs that brake job, now is the time to sell it.

A careful visual inspection of rotors often reveals glazed or discolored patches on the face of the rotor, which usually indicates warpage. Of course, always measure suspect rotors to confirm your diagnosis. Use a micrometer to measure thickness at six or more points around the rotor, and check flatness across the face using a straightedge-replace or resurface if the rotor is outside acceptable OEM tolerances. Measure brake drums using a drum gauge, paying particular attention to the drum`s inside diameter.

In some cases, there may be enough material left on the worn drum or rotor to allow resurfacing. If the drum or rotor is too close to its minimum allowable thickness, replace it. Some automakers (such as GM), now recommend replacing warped rotors rather than resurfacing them.

As a final inspection point, check the tone rings, or trigger wheels, for the wheel speed sensors on ABS installations. Also, don`t overlook mud and debris stuck between the teeth. The high-mineral-content soil prevalent in some parts of the country, for example, can fool the magnetic pickup speed sensors and cause erratic signals and trouble codes.

Copyright Hearst Business Publishing Feb 1999

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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