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Old 03-16-2014, 10:38 AM   #1
ElleDubs OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: St George, Utah
Oddometer: 130
AZBDR solo on my XT225

Preamble:

I'm a big planner. I had spring break all planned out. Daily itinerary, GPX files for routes, shopping list for food. The plan was a week of camping and riding dirt bikes in Moab

Then DH (aka Spokenerd), my BF and best and only riding buddy for the Moab trip did this

DH

He decided to not burn any vacation time - might as-well work when ya can't ride right? That left me fishing around for how to fill MY week. I discovered the AZBDR which looked to me fairly well planned. Free GPX tracks! I know how much work those are to make!! I decided to bank on all their planning and just GO without really doing any planning of my own - wing it. That's not my style at all! I made a few half hearted efforts to invite other riders but with only a few days to departure time nobody was available. So it was solo!!

ElleDubs screwed with this post 03-16-2014 at 12:38 PM
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:51 AM   #2
ElleDubs OP
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Day 1:

It wasn't a solo trip on the way south. DH was kind enough to drive me and my bike from St George, UT to the start of the route at Coronado National Memorial.

http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/AZBDR

Section 1 AZBDR

Packed up and rolling out.

Starting Section 1 AZBDR

He followed me in the car the first few miles up to the top of Montezuma Pass. I was very nervous about riding this section of the AZBDR along the USA-MX border fence alone. The local signage didn't help.

IMG_7059

Last pic at Montezuma Pass. I'm feeling so nervous here I feel a little nauseous! This is where DH turns back and I continue on.

Montezuma Pass. Section 1 AZBDR.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:19 AM   #3
ElleDubs OP
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Day 1/section 1 CONT:

Wide open country and mellow roads were easy cruising. The grasslands were beautiful out there.

MX-USA border fence Section 1 AZBDR

I didn't see a single vehicle or person. It was eerily deserted.

MX-USA border fence. Section 1 AZBDR

I still didn't get off my bike or turn the engine off tho! What if it didn't start again

MX-USA border fence Section 1 AZBDR

After the section along the border the route headed north. It turned into pavement a lot sooner than I expected and I made it to Sonoita for an early lunch.

After Sonoita I took the "sandy" route through Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. It had rained the day before and been driven on so the sand was minimal.

037

The area through Hilton Ranch was confusing and I would never have navigated that maze of roads without a GPS track. That took the BDR crew some time to figure out I'm sure.

The descent down Red Cloud Mine road was the most difficult riding I encountered yet. Loose rocks and washed out road bed. This took me by surprise as it was not mentioned on the map as being a feature. I was so focused on the riding here and not dropping my bike I didn't stop to take any photos. I haven't mentioned that my bike is very, very difficult for me to pick up - a max effort. I'm not that strong.

The last part of section 1 I was dreading was I-10. I have successfully avoided ever riding on an Interstate on my XT225. I was kinda grumpy that a Backcountry Discovery Route was forcing me onto the Interstate. I sat and looked at it for at least 20 mins before I got up the courage to get on it.

I-10 Section 1 AZBDR

WFO on the XT is about 65 mph as I have it geared down for dirt riding. I-10 really was not that bad and I survived getting passed by a few semis.

Arrived safe at the Super 8 in Benson for a rendezvous with DH for the night

Arrived in Benson Section 1 AZBDR

114 miles for the day.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #4
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Your need for adventure knows no bounds! Wish I could have joined...broken hands are not that fun. Next time.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:56 AM   #5
ElleDubs OP
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AZBDR Section 2 Benson to Globe

After breakfast at Denny's DH headed back home to Utah and I trucked north on the route - now I am really solo!

The route was pavement for quite a while after Benson on a nice quiet road. This mail box is great! The pink flamingo really makes it pop!

AZBDR section 2 Benson-Globe

It was all fast flat cruising on super hwy dirt roads and some quiet paved roads to Mammoth. At Mammoth the route parallels hwy 77 on Camino Rio road which had some interesting sections, some trash dumped and areas where homeless people sleep. Parts of it felt a little sketchy. I gassed up and got lunch at Winkleman then hit some more WFO time on hwy 77.

Once the route left hwy 77 things got much more interesting and I started taking photos again.

Ocotillos in bloom.

AZBDR section 2 Benson-Globe

Climbing higher towards Pioneer Pass views grew.

AZBDR section 2 Benson-Globe

The road was good most of the way until the last mile or so it got quite rough with some ruts and washed out sections that made me pay attention. Near the top I saw a bobcat standing in the road! It darted off before I could reach my camera.

AZBDR section 2 Benson-Globe

I rode all the way up into Pine trees.

AZBDR section 2 Benson-Globe, Pioneer Pass

From Pioneer pass the road was fast, wide and graded then paved into Globe.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:16 PM   #6
DurtKlod
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Very cool!
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:34 PM   #7
ElleDubs OP
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AZBDR Section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

Globe was hot and busy. I gassed up, got water and food at Safeway and rolled out of town asap. The route was pavement until after the Salt River bridge on the north end of Roosevelt Lake.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

Shortly after the turn onto Cherry Creek Rd/FR203 I found a nice place to camp and called it a day.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

Miles tally is 274 so far.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

I got rolling early. Cherry Creek road started with some nice easy cruising and views of many saguaros. This one had some tasteful decorations.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

The route crossed Cherry Creek several times. Creek crossings are my nemesis - they make me nervous! this one was slippery.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

FR203 climbed and got more rustic and remote feeling after crossing Coon Creek.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

Views were amazing.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

About here my clutch stopped working - oh no panic moment! Turns out just the cable had loosened up at the lever. The lock ring must have been loose. I snugged it up and we were all happy again.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

At the top of FR 203 is a choice to take an easy option on 288 or a difficult option on 329. The map says "329 is the most difficult riding on the trip". I disagree!! I found Coconino Rim in section 5 to be more challenging and it didn't even get a mention on the map!!

I took 329. It was the most challenging in the first mile then the roads got increasingly better all the way to Young. Here is a pic of the section I though was the most difficult. This is looking uphill at the section I had just descended. It was steep - tough to get perspective from this photo.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

After that 329 was mostly double track through cow pastures.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

The Antlers restaurant in Young had been highly recommended. I was looking forward to lunch there as I had skipped breakfast. Important info: The Antlers restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday's Today was Tuesday - doh!

The general store in Young served up a nice chicken potpie lunch which I ate sitting in their parking lot. Feelin classy at this point...

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

From Young to Hwy 260 was fast super hwy dirt roads and pavement. It was getting late afternoon and I was a little cold when I reached Hwy 260. The route then heads west on hwy 260 for a few miles to start section 4 at the turn off to FR300.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
ElleDubs OP
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Location: St George, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokenerd View Post
Your need for adventure knows no bounds! Wish I could have joined...broken hands are not that fun. Next time.
Yes! We now have to ride UTBDR and COBDR
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
ElleDubs OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DurtKlod View Post
Very cool!
Thanks DirtKlod!
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:04 PM   #10
ElleDubs OP
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AZBDR Section 4 Hwy 260 - Winona

This is what I saw of FR300 the start of section 4. Closed! Seriously closed with metal gate and padlock.

AZBDR section 3 Globe to Hwy 260

I put on all of my warm clothes and WFO'd down hwy 260 into Payson. Cell service in Payson and lots of help from DH at home led to this site:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconi...telprdb5441646

All forest roads in Mogollon Rim District were closed. All FR's between hwy 260 and Winona were closed and scheduled to open around the first week in April. Uugh! I felt let down by AZBDR. Was not this pertinent into they should have put out? They don't have a go-around for this one. I was cold and grumpy and checked into the Payson Inn for a comfy bed and a hot shower.

389 miles tallied.

090

In the morning I slabbed it to Winona. I was freezing and had to get off my bike six times to run around and warm up on the way. I ended up on I-40 for some more quality interstate time. Section 4 was a bust!

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Old 03-16-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
ElleDubs OP
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Section 5 Winona to Cameron

I was relieved to get off the slab at Winona. The dirt changed to black lava rock at Winona which contrasted with the yellow dried out grass and reminded me of the area back at the USA-MX border.

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

It got blacker and more gravelly at Sunset Crater. I squirelled around a bit in it.

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

Sunset Crater.

Sunset Crater AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

For a while the route matched the Arizona Trail, another cross state trail made for non-motorized users.

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

Next up was wide fast roads over the Coconino Plateau. I stayed right at the first option to ride Coconino Rim trail 310 rather than hit the slab on Grand Canyon Rim. Coconino Rim trail was the biggest surprise of the trip. It was rocky with deep ruts and slow going. I averaged 10-15 mph on most of this section. This wasn't mentioned at all on the route description. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would and I was getting tired so no photos!

At the end of Coconino Rim I opted for the left turn down to hwy 64 slab and the Grand Canyon view as the sun was getting low and I thought it would be spectacular. It was.

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

WFO down Hwy 64 brought me to Cameron and a nice stop for the night at the Cameron Trading post.

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron

Tally is 619 miles making today a 230 mile day. I was tired.

AZBDR section 5 Winona to Cameron
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:49 PM   #12
BigDogAdventures
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Great ride Ella,

It took me 3 times to ride the Mogollan rim when it wasn't closed because of snow --------so don't feel bad.

Yes---the BDR guys should mention this---it's always closed in the winter---for many months.

Those 225's are great bikes !!!!

Keep it up !!!

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Old 03-16-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
ElleDubs OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: St George, Utah
Oddometer: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures View Post
Great ride Ella,

It took me 3 times to ride the Mogollan rim when it wasn't closed because of snow --------so don't feel bad.

Yes---the BDR guys should mention this---it's always closed in the winter---for many months.

Those 225's are great bikes !!!!

Keep it up !!!

BigDog
Three times! Is it worth taking another trip back there to ride that section when it is warmer?

My XT225 treats me well. I'm little so it feels like a big bike to me
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:06 PM   #14
Cannonshot
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Nice trip and photos. Looking forward to more!
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:38 PM   #15
Yooper_Bob
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Way too much snow and ice here in DA' frozen north to ride for at least another month.
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