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Old 12-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
ChadHahn OP
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Sonoita to Nogales

Today I decided to go for a ride. I got a late start, but it was probably a good thing, since almost all of the traffic was going the other way. I left Tucson and headed to Highway 83. This road through the Santa Rita mountains is a joy to drive on. It has lots of twists that are great to go fast through. When the road is straight there is lots of nice scenery to look at. In the valleys I'd get kind of cold and was wondering if I should have brought the liner for my jacket but once the ride got going, I wasn't cold.

When I got to Sonoita, I filled my tank and headed towards Parker Canyon Lake. While 83 going through the Santa Rita was lots of fun it becomes less fun after going though Sonoita. The curves aren't banked and if you aren't careful you run the risk of running off the road or into the other lane. Also the road becomes more and more narrow as the road progresses. This is when it wasn't so great to have the traffic all going the other way. A couple times a vehicle would come around a corner in my lane.

About a mile before the lake I turned onto Montezuma Canyon Road, also known as Forest Service Road 48 and before too long I was on above the lake.

Soon after I turned down FS 227 or Sunnyside Road and drove through some beautiful high plains. Acres upon acres of prairie grass with groves of Mesquite and Acacia trees. I've never been to Africa but when I drive through scenery like this I always think I should be seeing giraffes on the horizon and that lions are lying in wait in the tall grass by the road. Luckily I made it through without any lion attacks.

The road started descending and I turned off of Sunnyside onto Duquesne Road but it still was called FR 61 and arrived in the ghost town of Lochiel. There are still people living in the area and the area seems like a nice, if secluded place to live. I stopped to look at the old one room school house and wanted to drive to look at the old church but there were no trespassing signs posted so I had to turn back.

Shortly after the town I came across the historical marker for Fray Marcos de Niza, supposedly the first European to enter Arizona back in 1539. The memorial was built for the 400th anniversary by the National Youth Administration which was part of the WPA back in 1939. I don't know if the town was bigger then but it's a very nice memorial with bench seats to be stuck out where nobody is. I say where nobody is but I figured this would be a good place for a Geocache and looked around a little but didn't see one. I did see something broken on top of the marker but didn't investigate. When I got home I looked it up and read that the cache had been destroyed at least three times so I guess people get out there. They just aren't sitting and meditating about the life of the Franciscan friar I guess.

ChadHahn screwed with this post 12-09-2012 at 09:26 PM
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
ChadHahn OP
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Tucson, AZ
Oddometer: 265
I'm sorry. Some of the pictures are too large, even though I ran them all through Lightroom and they are all supposed to be the same size.

I don't know what to do about it.

Breaking up the post made the photos that were too large the right size, now photos that were the right size are now too large.


ChadHahn screwed with this post 12-09-2012 at 09:30 PM
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
ChadHahn OP
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Location: Tucson, AZ
Oddometer: 265
Leaving the valley floor it was back up into the mountains. As the road started to rise I saw this sign.

Always a sign of fun times. The road was everything they said and more. It had plenty of twists and great scenery. Right along the road was the remains of an old mine. I could see up the rock face the holes were the mine was. One day I'll have to head back and peek in.

Past the mine the road curved up and looking back I could see back where I had been so I stopped to take a picture. The road was soft silty dirt and I was afraid that the bike would sink and fall over so I pushed a rock over for the kick stand to rest on. It worked great although the road was sloping so the bike was leaning too far to the left. I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to push it vertical, but I was finally able to do it and on again I went.

I lied when I said the road sign was at the beginning of the mountain stretch. There was a road sign, it was a cool looking old sign but I drove right on by without stopping and then regretted it. I figured that they'd have a similar sign at the other end of the road and of course they did. It was a modern yellow sign and was in an area full of deep silt. I took the picture and while trying to turn the bike around it fell over. Trying to save it I turned the throttle and the bike buried itself deeper. After a few minutes of straining I was able to get it free and upright and be on my way one more.

For a few miles past this point the road was very sloppy. I'd be driving along and all of a sudden the rear end would start fishtailing and I'd think I was going to take a spill, at a higher speed this time, so I'd slow down. The road would get better so I'd start speeding up and then it would happen again so I'd slow down. This happened at least three times in the few miles it took for me finally leave the mountains.

Leave the mountains I finally did. I got to Nogales, AZ and since it was around 2:30 I decided to look for someplace to eat. I saw a Mexican restaurant with lots of cars outside so I stopped. The open sign was off and the door was locked so they must have just closed. I said screw it and hopped on I-19 and headed back to Tucson to eat.

This is a popular trip for people around here to take, but I had never done it before. I was glad that I took the time to do it.


ChadHahn screwed with this post 12-09-2012 at 09:52 PM
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:09 AM   #4
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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Some nice interesting photo's of your ride. Cool stuff out in them thar deserts and woods!
For the record, I hate snakes!

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