Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another nice ride and losing things

Since the weather was so nice we decided to take another scooter ride today. It has probably been 40 years since I was over the route between Globe and Superior via Hayden/Winkleman, so we did that today. We left Mesa and rode up US 60 through Superior and on to Globe where we had lunch at Taco Bell. As we were eating lunch Dianna realized that one of her emerald ear rings was gone. She immediately teared up as they mean a lot to her. As she went to the restroom before leaving, I walked out to the scooter and looked around. There on the right side footrest was the missing ear ring. When she came out I asked "How much do you love me?" before handing her the ear ring. I got a big kiss!

Then it was over the mountain and down along the Gila River to Winkleman. The scenery was great and the weather was perfect. The road was much better than I though it was going to be. We had no problems maintaining 50-55 all the way. We stopped at a BLM recreation area about 5 miles north of Winkleman and watched the kids riding their tubes down the river. We then saddled back up and rode through Winkleman, Hayden and Kearny on the way back toward Superior. A few miles past Kearny we came to the Ray open pit copper mine. We turned off the highway and rode out to the visitor viewing area.

Wow. What a hole in the ground! Surprisingly, they were working today, a Sunday before Memorial Day. We watched the huge trucks with their loads of ore creeping up the roads ringing the pit walls. It was interesting to watch. Then the fun began.

As we prepared to get our gear back on, Dianna noticed she did not have her cell phone, a Droid Bionic. We searched the area and it was not there. I tried calling it an no answer. We were pretty sure we had it when we were in Globe for lunch, but couldn't remember seeing it since then. Globe was at least 60 miles behind us.

About that time I remembered that I had installed Google Latitude on her phone. It is an app that sends its location to Google periodically . If the GPS is not on, it will update the location based on cell towers. That's not real accurate but it might give us an idea. I checked and it showed that her phone had checked in less than an hour ago at a cell tower in Winkleman. This meant that we almost certainly lost it when we stopped at the river.

We headed back, about 30 miles, and searched the recreation area high and low. We asked if anyone had seen it, but no one had. I then checked my phone again and discovered that we had no service in the river canyon. That means the phone could not have checked in from there. We headed back into Winkleman, driving slowly and searching the shoulder of the road, and did not get service until we were almost in town. That means we lost the phone along the highway someplace, an unlikely event, or someone who had been at the recreation area found it and took it with them into town. I suspect that is what happened.

I called a couple more times but there was no answer. The phone did not update its location again which indicates that either it was damaged as it fell, or whoever found it turned it off. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt, answering a Droid does take some training. You have to know to swipe your finger in the right place in the right direction. It's not like pressing a button on an old style phone.

We searched along the highway shoulder for a while as we headed back toward Superior, but finally gave up and came on home. Our 150 mile trip had turned into a 210 mile trip. When we got home I transferred her number to an old Samsung phone we keep for such emergencies. It's not a smart phone, but at least she will have phone service.

Of course, closing the barn door after the horse is out is our standard way of operating. This evening I reinstalled the "Where's My Droid" app on my phone. Unfortunately, I had never installed it on hers. If I had I could have located the phone to within about 10 feet, but without it I was just relying on Latitude to tell me where the phone had been.

I'm going to wait a couple days to see if anyone attempts to contact us. If they figure out how to get into the phone they should be able to find someone to call in the contact list, or perhaps, just perhaps, someone will turn it into the Winkleman police. I will call them on Tuesday to let them know.

So our report for the day is, nice ride, two things lost, one recovered.


  1. So glad you found her earring. That emotional loss would have lasted a lot longer than the lost phone inconvenience.
    With the number of smart phone, and specifically Droid, users around, I would think most anyone could figure out how to answer the phone if it rang many times over the course of a couple days. You might keep your eye on eBay, as people sell them left and right. Even if hers doesn't turn up there, you could probably pick up another for her.

  2. I have heard that phone companies (Verizon in this case) will not disable the phone serial number to prevent someone else from activating it. Seems like it would be a simple thing to do, and would discourage theft.

    Parts of Arizona aren't much different from 50 years ago when Dad used to take us exploring. I think you went through some of those parts on your tour.

  3. Sorry about the phone. That sucks but the earing recovery is good.

    I'm guessing you're pretty glad you aren't riding that 400 anymore. I ride it once in a while to keep it fresh.