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DOD 12-30-2012 10:51 AM

Almost to Mexico (A southern AZ ride)
Big-E, MonteK and I found ourselves in possesion of kitchen passes for the rest of the week after Christmas so we decided to head into what is affectionately known as Baja Arizona. It gets warmer as you go south....right?

The start of the trip was classic Three Stooges. Monte's battery died in my driveway.

Big-E connects one end of the jumper cables while Monte manages the other end.

The trusty Tiger starts right up. Right. Put the cables away, lock the truck and off we go except for when Monte kills it. So it's find the keys, hook up the cables, expose the Tiger battery, jump it then put everything away and we're ready to ride!

My SE is good and warm and I'm leading so it's off we go with great enthusiam.....on brand new tires so I promptly fling my bike down the street on its left side with me under it. Good gear means only my pride is damaged. Many thanks to the gents at Sidi for making sturdy boots.

Of course Monte turns his bike off to help me sort things out.

Like it says on the bottle, rinse and repeat.

Eventually we get some breakfast and a new battery.

While Monte installs his new juice box, he makes a new friend who spends about 10 minutes explaining how much Ducatis suck. We're on two KTMs and a Triumph so I'm not sure what set him off.

Finally we clear town and head southbound on Barkerville Road on a beautiful cold day. There is snow on the peaks from a recent storm.

We follow Barkerville south to the Willow Springs link then south to Oracle. The road is empty and travels through some beautiful desert. My pictures do not do it justice.

We end our day at the Triangle T ranch in Dragoon and set up camp. This place is a dude ranch with some RV sites and dry camping wherever you want on the property.

Round one of the Mongo verses His Tent deathmatch. Mongo lost round one but ended up winning the match.

eakins 12-30-2012 11:18 AM

why not head to baja and get the real deal?

DOD 12-30-2012 11:24 AM

Southbound (cont.)
It's colder than we expected and when we get up it's 29F. Freakin' cold for us desert rats. Everything has a heavy layer of frost.

The boys are ready to ride. Monte promises that it will get warmer was we get closer to the Mexican border. We will later learn that Monte is full of shit.

Today we start out more gracefully than yesterday.

We have a fantastic breakfast at this place. Then head south to Bisbee and it just keeps getting colder. I did not take any pictures between Benson and Bisbee.

Bisbee is about 20 miles from the Mexican border and once was a thriving mining town of about 20,000 people. Now it's more about tourism and art.

The open pit copper mine is huge.

Some of the best turquoise in the world came out of Bisbee. There is a patch of blue on the side of the pit. Turquoise or copper oxide? Don't know.

I don't think that I want to swim in the pool at the bottom.

There was a monument to Sgt. Benko at the overlook. A local who was good with a pair of 50's. R.I.P. Sergeant. Thank you for your service.

Bisbee is a fun town to wander around.

Bisbee is built into the hillside so there are a lot of staircases. This one was homebuilt by someone other than a mason. We decided we did not want to be there when the retaining wall let go. I hope the building has a strong roof.

Bisbee has rednecks.

This place was very disappointing. No women, only bikes. The name, however, got us to go in.

I mentioned the active art community, right?

It's cold and getting colder so scrap the camping idea and settle in the Copper Queen Hotel. A classic joint with a great bar. Or at least a great barmaid. Lets just say that when the plane has a water landing she won't need to reach for a flotation device and that she is not shy.

Nothing like big duallies to class up a place.

Big-E and Monte are dressed for dinner.

We have some decent steaks and call it a night. Hot showers and heated rooms feel pretty good. Extra good since it is snowing outside.

seabee1 12-30-2012 11:51 AM


excellent adventure writing!

DOD 12-30-2012 12:12 PM

Turning west (cont.)
In the morning everything is covered in a light layer of snow.

We decide to have breakfast and let the sun do its magic.

The sun comes up and things warm enough that we are not worried about ice on the roads so we head for Sierra Vista so Big-E can hit Wallyworld and add some gear to keep him warm.

From Sierra Vista we head for the Coronado Forest and Montezuma pass. This dirt road runs along the border from Siera Vista to Nogales through some of the most beautiful ground in Arizona. Monte says that this was all once grassland like the midwest but cattle brought up from Mexico pooped mesquite seeds. Monte has credibility issues so you might do a little research if this is important to you.

The approach from Sierra Vista.

Looking roughly west. Someplace in this photo is the border.

Monte and his Tiger.

It's a big dirt road through the grassland. Easy going with great views.

At one point, the road is within a few hundred yards of the border. There is another road that runs right along the fence. Maybe next time.

A old border marker.

Looking into Mexico.

Looking into Arizona.

Modern horses.

Monte and Big-E keep a sharp lookout for invaders.

We continue west to Lochiel which appears to be a little ghost town right on the border. There is a little school here and a new sign to describe it.

There is also a rather large monument to Fray Marcos De Niza, Vice-Commissary of the Franciscan Order and Delegate of the Viceroy in Mexico. Also the first European west of the Rockies, April 12, 1539. At least that is what the plaque says.

Here Monte is explaining to Big-E that the Franciscan Monks are from France and the old Fray was on a mission to find a better more robust Pinot grape. Did I mention that Monte has credibility issues?

From here our trip along the border turns north. The next stop would be Nogales which we prefer to avoid. It's also time to feed Eric so it's off to Pategonia and the Velvet Elvis Pizza Parlour.

Pizza makes Mongo happy. Monte is trying to figure out how to get another piece without losing a finger. The pizza is really good.

DOD 12-30-2012 12:43 PM

Last installment
The temperatures were a little warmer so we opted to spend the night at the campground at Pategonia lake. This might be the cleanest campground that I have ever visited.

A pedestrian bridge over a section of the lake.

Pategonia Lake

We scrounge a little wood and start a fire to stay warm.

We tell a few lies, smoke a couple of cigars and another great day of motorcycling comes to an end.

In the morning it's time to return home. The Tiger leads the way.

On the way back to Pategonia I come across this little shrine built into the hillside. Somebody is caring for it and the candles are burning.

Eric leaves his grip heaters on and we end the trip the way we started it, by jump starting a bike. Thankfully we skip the crash part.

We return to Phoenix by doubling back up the San Pedro river. This allows us to get in some dirt and avoid the superslab.

Thanks to Monte and Eric for taking me along.

It was a fun trip. Good friends, good riding.



Hodgo 12-30-2012 01:33 PM

Nice Report guys, Will be down that way March April for a look see.

PS the big fella looks like old mate from "Bear Swamp Recovery" TV show we see over here in oz.

Montek 12-30-2012 01:35 PM

da best
This was the best impromptu trip EVER!!!! Credibility issues -------- naw, I said warmer closer to the border, I just didn't specify WHICH border:rofl.:rofl:rofl

noshoes 12-30-2012 01:35 PM

Great report. Thanks.
Charlie, Guzzi shirt?

Montek 12-30-2012 01:55 PM

a couple facts
here are a couple facts for those unsuspecting travelers

southeastern arizona has some significant elevation and isn't the warmest area, in fact, it can be dang dog cold, as in three dog nite cold(explaination charlie - please

the barmaid at the Copper Queen would be a great passenger in a serious game of bumper cars

quality camping gear is priceless

good riding/camping friends are worth more than quality camping gear(that sounded gay)

the riding in southern az is pa pa pa PRIMO!!!!!!!!

Oh yah, heated grips and hippo hands are the shit

4play 12-30-2012 02:33 PM


BIG-E 12-30-2012 03:32 PM


Originally Posted by Hodgo (Post 20358745)
Nice Report guys, Will be down that way March April for a look see.

PS the big fella looks like old mate from "Bear Swamp Recovery" TV show we see over here in oz.

Well, I am kind of a ledgend in these parts!:rofl Is he as handsome as me??:lol3

Thanks Guy's for the little ride-about! it was spectacular!

Thanks for the jump DOD.

Who's in for the CO next week??

Slowred 12-30-2012 04:30 PM

Awesome RR DOD!

booger1 12-30-2012 04:44 PM


Reidy008 12-30-2012 10:00 PM

Looks like a great trip. Jealous you guys got to go and I didn't. Work is really cutting into my riding time. Got to love the short notice rides.... always the best times.:clap

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