Arizona Adventures- A compilation of rides

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by cb60130, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    it was in the high 70's when we were setting up camp and mid 50's when we rolled out in the morning at 6:30
    #21
  2. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    All said and done...

    Day 1 was in the books and we were 360 miles or so in. Life is good!

    The plan for Day 2 was going to be a lot more dirt focused. When I initially hatched my plan to ride 191 I had anticipated 3 days for this route. Knowing that I had never put that kind of mileage down before I didn't really want to bite off more than I could chew. I also didn't know much about the dirt portion that I was planning to ride. I just discovered that FR 300 went that far East and I knew I had to check it out. Funny thing about some of the roads out in these parts. Some times you look at a forest service map, it shows a road and you think I should be able to scoot right across to here or there and it turns out to be a goat trail or a boulder strewn river bed. Then other times you think... man, there's a road there? and it turns out to be like a highway. Well... day 2 was about to unfold and it could go either way. I knew that the section of 300 I was planning to ride was pretty long but I also knew there was a lot of ways to duck out and get back to the highway if we were running short on time. My route South to Young was also unknown to me but I had a pretty good idea it was well traveled. I did have another leg across the North side of Roosevelt lake that was kind of a wild card 25 miles or so but there was a work around for that and then the last 30 miles of dirt I had never been across but is a well traveled route so I wasn't too concerned. I did know one thing for sure as the day wore on, we would be dropping in elevation. That meant we would be getting warm. When I say warm I actually mean HELL FIRE HOT!!!
    #22
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  3. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I'll see if I can't get day 2 finished up tonight after work...
    #23
  4. maritan

    maritan Adventurer

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    Looks like a fun trip. My two friends and I did the 191 over the Memorial Day weekend, but it was on street bikes. The most off-roading we did was riding the gravel access road to a gravel parking lot.

    Looks like you were having fun. Can't wait to go back on that road and do something similar to what you did - incorporate some off-roading in.
    #24
  5. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Wish I was still up there, endless forest roads to explore and anything that's paved just seems like it was made to ride a motorcycle on. That and it's 118 degrees outside right now.
    #25
  6. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    OK... Where were we???

    I got my backwards saddle bags sorted out and sort of packed up what I could so we could hit the road early. We had decided to head to Pinetop to grab breakfast in the morning since I knew a pretty good little diner there with some really good chicken fried steak and eggs. I hit the pillow and I was out. I woke to the sound of a hand full of Harleys rolling along the highway about 5:15. I have never really understood ... it's like the squid at the track with no packing in his silencer... I digress... I laid there for a few minutes and heard Austin unzip his tent, I decided it was as good a time as any to get out of my sleeping bag. We got packed up and hit the road right around 6:30. It was 55 degrees when I started my bike. Can't really ask for anything better than that. We had 2 miles to backtrack to where we'd peel off HWY 191 and head West toward Big Lake and on to Pinetop.
    Over the years of going to my In-laws cabin I had spent some time exploring the area. To the best of my recollection I thought we were going to hit some graded gravel on the way over to Big Lake. Less than a mile out of camp I rounded a bend in the road to an elk standing there looking at me. Was a good reminder to pay attention.

    We caught FR249 to Big Lake.
    KIMG0021.JPG
    The pavement never ended like I was expecting it to but it didn't matter to me. The road was just winding through the pine trees and meadows and at that time of the morning it was like a scene right out of Arizona Highways magazine or National Geographic. We stopped to snap a photo of this sign. Austin thought it was pretty cool...
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    We passed this little lake as the shadows were still pretty long...
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    You cant see them, but there were a handful of Pronghorn antelope off in the distance.
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    #26
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  7. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    We stopped at Big Lake to snap a couple pictures...
    KIMG0028.JPG

    And on through to Pinetop for some chow at The Barn. I have eaten breakfast here for the last 10 years or so with the kids when we're in town, although the owners and the name has changed, the food has always been good. I snapped this picture to rub it in to my daughters that I was having breakfast here without them.
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    Here's my ugly mug
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    After we smashed breakfast we hit the gas station and topped off and took a quick detour so Austin could see my folks cabin and then we were off in search of a new route. FR300 is a pretty well traveled road about 75 miles West of here and I had no idea it originated here. I was determined to check it out. We hit the beginning at the edge of town and it was paved for a couple miles and lined with cabins then the pavement ended and things were going well. Then it happened... The inevitable "Private Property" sign... WTF??? I was hopeful that this was just a small hiccup and I began to zoom in on the topo map on my cell phone. We back tracked a bit and looked for a work around. We wound up back on HWY260 and I swung in to the Forest Ranger Station to look at the big map board in their parking lot. The ranger station was closed so we studied the map for a minute or 2 and looked like we could hook back up a couple miles down the road. Then a Forest Service fire truck pulls in the lot and a guy jumps out and asks if we need help. We told him we were looking to catch 300 across to Young Highway and found it closed. He gave us the readers digest version of how the land was auctioned and the new owner closed that portion of the road. He gave us directions to where we could pick it up and then he confessed that he really just came to check out the bikes. He was an adventure bike guy too. We shot the breeze for a few minutes. He told us about a ride he did in Baja on a BMW1150 and a ride in New Mexico. Then he gave us a map and we were on our way. I find it kinda cool when you meet somebody in passing and with a common thread in life, just like the old timer with the Ural. We found our turn off the and hit dirt. We'd have quite a few miles under our tires before we saw pavement again. The first few miles was really rutted, like knee deep ruts with 3 tracks you could ride on. Left, middle, or right. But that soon gave way to a nice graded fire road with sections that were rutted again. Depending on where you were when the ruts started, you just stayed in that line because it would have been a lot of work to switch.
    KIMG0034.JPG
    We passed one UTV the first couple miles in and we wouldn't see another vehicle for probably 50-60 miles.
    #27
  8. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    We lolly gagged along through the pine trees and enjoyed the ride. Stopped here and there to snap a few pictures.
    KIMG0040.JPG KIMG0043.JPG KIMG0046.JPG KIMG0048.JPG
    #28
  9. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    As we got closer to where FR300 crosses HWY260 we started to see signs of people and campers again. We hit HWY260 and a few miles West to connect to FR512 which would take us South to the one gas pump town of Young about 30 miles away. Like most of the trip we were running an hour or so behind on pretty much every leg. Not a huge deal but there's only so much daylight to work with. We headed south to Young, the road kind of alternated from pavement to dirt and back. Just like most of the roads before, the paved parts were just mountain twisties and fun as hell to ride so I wasn't too bummed. We almost rode right past the one gas pump in Young without seeing it but I did miss the turn. I pulled over and told Austin that was the only gas station I knew of in Young. He said the last sign we passed said it was still 2 more miles to town so we pressed on thinking we'd find another gas station. You guessed it.... we turned around and went back. It was getting hot as we were dropping in elevation, it was now a little after 2:00 and the hottest part of the day. We got gas and water and started to figure mileage on the last leg of our trip. Maybe I hadn't payed attention or I just forgot, but we had a LOT more miles to cover than I was expecting and since everything was taking longer it was time for some strategy. We decided to drop the 25 mile "Wild Card" section from the route. Knowing how hot it was going to be down there if that was anything tougher than a well groomed it would likely hurt us. That left us going back across Apache Trail... HOT and kinda out of the way. Highway 87 from Roosevelt Lake... HOT and out of the way. Or up and over 4 Peaks... 30 miles of dirt but faster than both alternates. We decided to press on and think about it. We had about 60 miles to go before we had to make the choice. While we were strategizing in the 100+ degree heat of Young both my GPS and cell phone mounted on my bars got overheated and shut down. It was hot and only getting hotter.

    We rolled out of Young heading South and thankfully began to climb again, temps dropped back in to the 90's and the road alternated between dirt and slab, we passed a guy headed North on an Africa Twin. It was a nice ride... we didn't stop much as we were kinda pressing now in the interest of making it home before dark. But some times you just have to take a break or get a pic....
    KIMG0053.JPG KIMG0054.JPG This stop we would decide that we'd take option 3... over 4 peaks as it was the shortest route and the extra miles on HOT slab weren't sounding that exciting about now. I'm not sure what he was illustrating here, but whatever it was ... was a damn good story.
    KIMG0056.JPG We could see Roosevelt lake to our South and we were going to be dropping in...
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    When I started my bike here it said it was 97 degrees outside. Within about 15 minutes my thermometer was reading 113... That's just beyond my happy place. We had about 30-40 miles of blistering slab to cover before we would hit our turn off to head over 4 peaks. It was windy as hell down there too. At one point I was passing a guy pulling a 5th wheel and between the wind and his draft it bent the visor of my helmet down on one side of my helmet. NOT FUN! It felt like I had a blow dryer in my helmet, grip heaters and heated riding gear on.
    #29
  10. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    We hit our turn off the slab and found some shade under a Palo Verde tree. It was about 4:30 and 114 degrees. I filled my camelpack with the last of my water I had in my tail bag and grabbed a hand full of trail mix. We reassured ourselves that this was our best out at this point and figured we'd cover this 30 miles in an hour. After a few minutes we pressed on... The climb was steep, but the road wasn't real rough. It was concrete hard dirt covered with pea sized gravel so it was slicker than cat shit on linoleum and to make matters worse it was crowned in the middle so the corners weren't real confidence inspiring. The good news was, with the rapid gain in elevation and the wind... we were back in the 90 degree temps which I can live with. It only took 10 or 15 minutes to put some real elevation between us and the lake.
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    You can almost get a feel for that crown in the road from this picture. But like most it doesn't do justice.

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    There was some kind of radio equipment along the road.

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    And since Austin's phone died he took a rare picture of me on my bike with my phone.

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    19 miles of dirt left...
    #30
  11. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    The sun was dropping and we were heading West. That hour that we had estimated to get across was pretty much gone and we still had miles to cover. 4 Peaks were behind us now and we were on the way down to the Valley
    KIMG0070.JPG KIMG0077.JPG
    The shadows growing longer as the sun is dropping lower to the West

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    Off to the right of center you can see HWY87 coming down from the North... This marks the end of our ride together. After we ride a few miles South we would split off and head different directions to get home.

    We made it...
    KIMG0081.JPG
    #31
  12. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Over the 2 days, we had talked about a lot of different things. There were 3 things Austin said that stand out....

    1) "I have a feeling after tomorrow, this bike will have a special place in my heart. It's going to be hard to sell it some day"

    2) "The reflectors are supposed to point towards the back dummy"

    3) "Dude, I will never forget this weekend"

    He was right!

    37 1/2 hours, 642.6 miles.
    #32
  13. C5dad

    C5dad Man on the Run!

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    Nice ride - you did the same one I was planning for the 4th of July! Cheers!
    #33
  14. Kyron

    Kyron Oncler Inds

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    Awesome ride report !
    #34
  15. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys! I'm sitting here at work plotting my next trip... this work thing is really over rated sometimes
    #35
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  16. kojack06

    kojack06 Been here awhile

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    How true.....
    #36
  17. arizona rick

    arizona rick Chases squirrels

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    Gotta hand it to you. I haven't even been on my bike except for early or late errand runs the past week. I cant even breathe in this heat coming through my helmet and I normally ride year round regardless. This week is tough.

    I am in Surprise btw, don't get much off road riding as I'm down to a Goldwing in my garage but maybe we will cross paths sometime. I'm plotting my next run. Not sure where to yet I have a couple ideas in mind.
    #37
  18. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    Great report. Love your writing style and storytelling ability. Just like I was there with you guys. I have ridden the 666 from South to North and it is fun. Gotta do the other direction.
    #38
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  19. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    My buddy Mark missed out on the last ride since he was at the beach with his family so he was itchin' to get some seat time in. We talked earlier in the week and planned to try and sneak out for a day over the weekend. Austin is always a late entry in to the shenanigans due to his schedule for work not posting until Thursdays. We didn't get a whole lot of planning in since Mark was knee deep in catching up at work after vacation but we did decide on one thing. We needed to get to some elevation as the week was full of forecast highs in the neighborhood of 115. My little hamster wheel has been turning in my head since I got back from the previous weeks trip and I had already started to put a route together in my head that would pick up that little leg we dropped off the last trip and head up to the pine trees.
    #39
  20. rimrider

    rimrider Adventurer

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    enjoyed the pics/writeup...
    my home court!
    #40