All This, and I Never Left Arizona

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    3,539
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona



    Found a way to rid myself
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    Clean of the pain
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    and the fever that's been haunting me
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    has gone away
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    Looking through my window
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    I seem to recognize all the people passing by
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    But I'm alone and far from home
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    Nobody knows me
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    Never heard me say, "Goodbye"
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    Never shall I speak to anyone again
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    All days are in darkness and I'm biding my time
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    Once I am sure of my task I will rise again
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    Hours of Wealth lyrics by Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth





    Hi! My name is Dave, and I'm an addict.
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    My vices are motorcycles and Adventure Rider Ride Reports! It's time to feed the addiction again.



    Day 1, Thursday September 9th, 2010

    I get on the road at about 4:30 PM. Yeah, It's a late start for a trip, but getting enough time away for a decent trip is difficult when you are married with children. I probably won't get very far today, but It's time to get away.

    Of course escaping the Phoenix Metro at rush hour can be time-consuming. Thank ADOT for the HOV lane.
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    It's not long before the source of the traffic slow down becomes evident. It seems some driver had a sudden urge to go off-roading along the freeway. The cops and tow trucks were already there.
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    It's so nice to sit at a red light and enjoy the freeway art. I wonder how much that costs me?
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    I head out of the "Valley of the Sun" on the Beeline Highway, US 87. My destination for the evening comes into view.
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    I jump off the highway and head east on Four Peaks Road, aka Clines Cabin Road. Now this is more like it.:thumb
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    I've never ridden this road before.
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    That will be a theme for this ride as I seek lonely backcountry dirt roads that I've never ridden before. Since this is my first ever dirt bike, finding such routes is an easy task.
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    The scenery is stunning and the road is fun. The surface of this road is crushed granite and sand over hard-pack. Very slippery. Also there are plenty of erosion damage ruts and trenches that are often not visible until you are on top of them.
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    To Be Continued...
    #1
  2. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #2
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    16,469
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    Off to a roaring start, Dave!!!



    :lurk
    #3
  4. quackPOT

    quackPOT Grand Master Fu

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Valley of the Sun, AZ.
    Always enjoy your RRs, this one is off to a good start!
    #4
  5. AZ_ADV_RIDER

    AZ_ADV_RIDER Demons In My Helmet

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    Land of Sun, Sand and Thorns
    Can't wait for more! :lurk
    #5
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I grew up with strict and over-protective parents. They would have never let me own a motorcycle. I wasn't even allowed to ride my friends dirt bikes. I rode my cousins minibike only a handful of times without their knowledge. I knew from that point I wanted a motorbike. I spent alot of time on my bicycle daydreaming about it. Being deprived of something you want only makes you want it more, right?
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    In 1997 I sold off my pickup in order to justify my first motorcycle purchase. I began commuting to work by motorcycle and we've been a one-car family ever since. Even with the addition of two kids.
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    I owned a couple different cruisers before purchasing my dream bike, the Aprilia Futura, in 2002. My street riding skills had improved to the point where I needed a better performing bike, or I was gonna kill myself trying to push my big heavy cruiser too fast in the twisties. With a sporty, but comfortable long distance sport-tourer I began wearing out the asphalt around Arizona. I quickly became bored with the same roads. I started thinking the best thing about living in Arizona was we were so close to California and Utah. I was slowly coming to the realization that what I was really wanting was the sense of adventure of a new road.
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    About one and a half years ago I bought my second dream bike and my very first "dirt bike", the KTM 990 Adventure. The first trips I did with it was back to Utah. Lately though, I've tried to resist to urge to head out of state. There's alot of Arizona I need to see first.
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    And here, just outside of town is an awesome dirt road I've never ridden. Up, up, we go.
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    The penalty for sliding off this road is high.
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    Don't tip over here.
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    #6
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    A few years ago I slowed my motorcycle down to roll through a tiny Utah town on a Sunday morning. Except for the church parking lot, the town appeared empty. A young boy pedaled his bicycle across the road and down the sidewalk. He was wearing a white shirt and tie. He must've skipped out of church to get in some riding time. He spotted me and his face lit up with a huge smile. He began waving, so I gave a cool return wave and thundered out of town. That little boy reminded me of myself.

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    Around sunset I found a neat spot to camp along the road with a great view of Four Peaks. I'm only 50 miles from home, but I'm all alone. One small SUV passes then I don't see another person on this road.
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    I was disappointed with the super clear skies as I was looking forward to a typically spectacular Arizona sunset.
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    I ate my dinner and waited for the stars to come out.
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    At 4200 feet it will be a mild night. I set up the tent to keep this guy and his friends out.
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    #7
  8. DUC54

    DUC54 Giddy Up!!!

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Omak Washington
    Bravo!!!! The start of another great read!!!! Thanx Dave. :clap



    Giddy Up!!!
    #8
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Day 1 Map
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    Day 2 Friday, September 10, 2010

    I'm up at first light and nearly ready to roll at sunrise.
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    Breakfast is a protein meal replacement cereal bar.
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    Natures' Speed Reduction Device
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    The valley in the distance here is home to about 3 MILLION people. As their alarm clocks command they return to work, I'm alone on this road.
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    #9
  10. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Texas
    Subscribed again. Looking forward to more of your artistic photos of the west, Dave.
    #10
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The road tops out at a saddle around 5800'. There are even some pines up here.
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    The road chages names to El Oso Road down the east side.
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    The fun road follows the ridgeline and Lake Roosevelt reflects the blinding sun.
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    The road circles around the hilltop here.
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    Now that's unusual. I guess the circle is for larger vehicles so they don't have to make the tight u-turn. I took the circle just to see what was on the other side.
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    I cross the highway and take A Cross Road, which runs along the north side of the lake.
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    Four Peaks and Lake Roosevelt
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    On the far side of the valley you can see El Oso Road twisting down from the mountains.
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    #11
  12. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Thanks for joining in BusyWeb, Rob, quackPOT, Mark, Allen, and Kristi. I'm happy to hear from you.

    Rob, I loved your current report!:super

    Allen, I found a few new places to ride for the next time you're in town.
    #12
  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The views on A Cross Road...
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    are spectacular.
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    No water to cross today.
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    I found this wagon sitting alongside the road near a private ranch.
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    #13
  14. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I turn north onto the AZ 288.
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    The road is paved and I find it's time to test the coefficient of friction between the asphalt and TKC 80s.
    The vultures circle overhead in anticipation...
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    Up into the Sierra Anchas we go.
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    One Last View of Four Peaks
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    The road leads to cool pine forests.
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    For some reason the north side of the mountains is not paved.
    60 miles into this mornings ride I see the first humans walking near a campground.
    70 miles into the ride I pass the first vehicle.
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    #14
  15. PacificPT

    PacificPT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    987
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Beautiful scenery, captured very well. Thanks for taking us along on your ride.
    #15
  16. garrett the nerd

    garrett the nerd Sprocket Protector

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kalamazoo, Mi
    Awesome read!

    The intro gave me goosebumps....(huge Opeth fan right here!!!)
    #16
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The town of Young, "Pleasant Valley", and the Mogollon Rim come into view. I'll spend a little time in Rim Country over the next couple days.

    From Wikipedia

    The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature running across the State of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km) from northern Yavapai County eastward to near the border with New Mexico.[1]

    The Rim is an escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, and along its central and most spectacular portions is characterized by high limestone and sandstone cliffs, namely the Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone. It was formed by erosion and faulting, and dramatic canyons have been cut into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, the Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715.
    Much of the land south of the Mogollon Rim lies 4000 to 5000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 meters) above sea level, with the escarpment rising to about 7,000 ft (2,100 m). Extensive Ponderosa Pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the Arizona Plateau north of it. The Mogollon Rim is a major floristic and faunal boundary, with species characteristic of the Rocky Mountains living on the top of the plateau, and species native to the MexicanSierra Madre Occidental on the slopes below and in the Madrean sky islands (high, isolated mountain ranges) further south.
    The Mogollon Rim's limestones and sandstones were formed from sediments deposited in the Carboniferous and Permian Periods. Several of the Rim's rock formations are also seen on the walls of the Grand Canyon. In many places, the Rim is capped or even buried by the extensive basalticlava flows.
    The uppermost sandstone stratum of the Mogollon Rim, called the Coconino Sandstone, forms spectacular white cliffs, sometimes several hundred feet high. This formation of the Permian Period is of aeolian (windblown) origin, and is one of the thickest sand-dune-derived sandstones on earth.
    Cities and towns near the Mogollon Rim include Payson, Sedona, Show Low, and Alpine, Arizona. The Mogollon Rim is practically bisected by Interstate 17 which runs north-to-south between Flagstaff and Phoenix. The eastern portion of the Mogollon Rim was the site of Arizona's largest-known wildfire, during June 2002, the 470,000 acre (1,900 km²) Rodeo-Chediski fire. The Mogollon Rim was also the site of the "Dude Fire" that started on June 25, 1990. This fire grew to cover over 30,000 acres (120 km2), and it killed six wildland firemen. Other large fires have burned along the Mogollon Rim since 1990, and the area's ponderosa pine forests remain vulnerable because of past fire-suppression efforts and the buildup of available dry fuel.
    The western novel author, Zane Grey, lived just south of the Mogollon Rim, residing in a cabin just northeast of Payson, near the hamlet of "Christopher Creek". This cabin was restored by the Phoenix, Ariz., air-conditioning magnate William Goettl during the late 1960's, but it was destroyed by the Dude Fire in 1990.[2] Grey's book Riders of the Purple Sage and several other of his widely read novels, were either set in this general area of the Old West, or inspired by it. The novel-writer Louis L'Amour's novel The Sackett Brand was also set in the area of the Mogollon Rim, with the cliffs of the Rim being specifically described.
    If one stands at certain points on the Mogollon Rim (Milk Ranch Point near Strawberry, Arizona, is one example) at sunset, there is a grand view on clear days for about 50 miles (80 km) in three directions, south, west, and east. Some or all of the sweeping landscape may well appear to be a purple hue as the sunlight fades.


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    This sign made me interested to learn about the Pleasant Valley War. The Wikipedia article about the war is here. Wow! They literally fought to the last man. "Of all the feuds that have taken place throughout American history, the Pleasant Valley War was the most costly, resulting in an almost complete annihilation of the two families involved."

    If you like tales of murder trials, masked men murders, and hired assassins, you'll enjoy this bit of history. Pleasant Valley wasn't very pleasant for a long time.
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    #17
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    I roll through "town" keeping a wary eye out for masked murderers.
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    There is about 10 miles of paved highway running through and north of town. There are no paved roads leading to this modern paved super highway though.
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    I stop in the forest and have tuna and crackers for lunch.
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    By time I reach the US 260 I'm in bad need of fuel. I head into Heber to fill up.
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    I want to ride the eastern section of the Rim Road FS300 today. I head south in Phoenix Park Wash to reach it.
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    #18
  19. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Me too Garrett. Nice avatar. I guess you know Opeth's new concert DVD will be released in the US this Tuesday.:super


    Thanks for coming along PacificPT.
    #19
  20. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    36 miles to US 60 and Show Low, AZ
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    The Rim Road was fun with constantly changing road surfaces.
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    There were long rutted sections like this. I was glad there was no chance of rain today.
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    The road to Deer Springs Lookout was closed. I was disappointed there were no good views off the rim from the road.
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    The last 8 miles or so were interesting with these Lava Marbles.
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    #20