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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    As I was planning the trip up HWY191 I was sensing my wife's anxiety about me setting off alone so I thought I would plug the new Garmin Inreach I had been eyeballing. I told her "It's the handheld GPS that does 2 way satellite communication and has the SOS feature so you can summon help anywhere in the world if you need it." I was really hoping she'd see the importance of such a piece of equipment and authorize my purchase from the general fund rather than my motorcycle play money fund. She was full buy in... unfortunately she wasn't willing to fund it. No matter, I wanted one and a couple days later I had one in my hand.

    There's a reason there are hundreds of threads in the GPS & Navigation part of the forum. The learning curve is pretty steep but I have managed to figure out a way to make a red line on the screen where I want to go and when all goes well and I'm moving the little arrow covers the red line with blue. So far so good but I've spent a fair bit of time yelling at the screen of my computer trying to figure it all out. The cool part about that particular Garmin is that I can invite people to follow along as I go. On the HWY191 trip I had my and Austin's wife, my parents and Mark all along for the ride. They could see our route and where we were located, they could click on the track points along the way to see lat/long, elevation, speed and heading. They can message anywhere with or without cell service and we can message back.

    Anyways... back to the trip...

    I was putting a route together in my head and it was glorious. Then I began to try and put it together in a format that my GPS would understand. I didn't remember my first one being as difficult to get together but I just kept screwing things up and it wasn't coming together the way I wanted it to. After hours of screwing around and starting over more than once I had a usable route put together. Then it hit me... There's no way in hell we're gonna get through that in one day. As I started trimming pieces of the route in my head... the only way to make it work in one day without being stupid hot all day was to wait until October. That route wasn't gonna do for this Saturday. It would make a great 2 day trip with some hot in the beginning and the end so it's going to have to wait until I have a 2 day window.
    #41
  2. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I put together another route that looked do-able on paper. Ran it by Mark and we were a go. 7am we'd meet up and head for the hills before it got stupid hot.

    We were planning on heading North out of Phoenix and up to Crown King, across Senator Highway to Prescott, slab it from there 17 miles to Chino Valley. From there we'd take Perkinsville Road in to the back of Jerome, head up to the top of Mingus Mtn on the twisties where we'd head across to Cherry. From there we'd go South to Mayer and from there down through Bumble Bee and come back out at Black Canyon City. Nothing real technical, just a lot of miles.

    I got to the gas station a few minutes before mark so I went inside to see if I could rustle up some breakfast. I had a banana and some orange juice and Mark got a splash of gas we hit the road about 7:15. If I remember right, my bike was reading the outside temp at 94 degrees when we rolled out of the gas station. We had a quick 12 miles of highway to Black Canyon City where we'd hit dirt and try to get some elevation. We still had a few miles to travel North before we'd turn west and start to climb.

    Shortly after we turned West we passed through Cleator and started the climb to Crown King.
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    I just dig the vast space we get to enjoy out here... just layer after layer of mountains out there to explore....
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    Mark and the Africa Twin
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    #42
  3. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    We made Crown King around 8:30. I remember it being just shy of 100 degrees at one point on the way up, but when we stopped in town it was 88 degrees. Probably the coolest we'd be all day. Crown King isn't much of a town really but it's a pretty popular destination.There's a store with a gas pump and a bar with a pretty awesome chili cheeseburger. We were a little early for lunch but we stopped for a few minutes so Mark could adjust his bar mount for his GPS.

    Here is the store with the gas pump.
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    and the bar... If you ever make it up this way, you would be a fool to pass on the chili cheeseburger
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    after the adjustment we beat feet out of town. Senator Highway up to Prescott
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    Just to be clear... Senator Highway is not a Highway... think Highway man, like stagecoach robbers. Prescott was the original capital city of Arizona and this road connected Crown King mine to Prescott.
    #43
  4. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    We managed to find water ... it was nice to get a little evaporative cooling, however short lived... P1010104.JPG

    It was a nice ride on the way up to Prescott... kinda alternates between pines and lower elevation trees...
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    back in to the pine trees as we got closer to Prescott.
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    #44
  5. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I always thought Palace Station was just a casino in Vegas... Now I know differently
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    We rolled in to Prescott and decided to keep truckin' up to Chino Valley and grab some lunch and a splash of gas. It got hot...like 105 kinda hot as soon as we headed North from town. I think we had 15 miles or so before we stopped for a sandwich at Subway. A foot long steak'n'cheese and some ice for the camel pack was welcome for sure. It was nice to sit in the air conditioning for a bit. We gassed up after lunch and headed out towards Perkinsville. The pavement ended and we were on a gravel road in open valley... first time I ever remember seeing an antelope crossing sign in my life.

    We were just truckin side by side down this flat smooth dirt road about 50mph. I grabbed my camera out of the tank bag and snapped this picture. Sorry my fat fingers got in the way...

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    #45
  6. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    The flat land started to give way to the hills and we started to gain a little elevation as we headed toward Jerome. Scrubby desert here kinda reminds me of a scene from an old western...
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    My fancy new GPS/off grid tell mama I'm ok unit has a pretty small screen so it's not real conducive to using it as your main navigation screen while bouncing down the dusty road at 50 mph. Not to worry, they have a cool app that you put on your dumb device and you can use the 5" screen via blue tooth. If you're so inclined you can attach your SOS device to your body and your nav screen to the bike in case of an untimely bike/body separation resulting in immobility you still have a lifeline to summon rescue. One small nuance to this plan is the dumb device is not real happy with full Arizona sun exposure in temps exceeding 100 degrees or so. I have found that if you're moving, the air flow will keep it cool enough to stay on but even at full bright setting, the screen will start turning blackish so it gets pretty tough to see. If it's plugged in and charging it will get too hot and shut down. It is what it is... no electronic devices are really designed to be used in that kind of environment.

    After I took the picture above I was putting my camera back and I decided I'd wipe the dust off the screen on my GPS since my phone was pretty unhappy about the abuse I was putting it through I figured I should at least see where we are...

    We missed a turn...

    We could double back or press on and catch another road that would take us back. All told we probably added 15 miles to our day but it wasn't a big deal as it was pretty easy ground to cover.

    Attached Files:

    #46
  7. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I'm no geologist but that layer of earth must have the same red ingredients as Sedona which is just a hop skip and a jump North from where I took this picture. The really cool part, and I mean that quite literally, is there's a few clouds starting to develop in the sky. Any relief from the relentless sun would be welcome from me and my phone at this point.
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    Closing in on Jerome.
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    You can see Clarkdale and Cottonwood in this picture.
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    Thumbs up from Mark.
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    #47
  8. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Jerome was a Copper boom town around turn of the century 1900s. In my youthful 20's I lived just down the hill in Cottonwood running an auto parts store for a couple years. Seems that I remember someone telling me the mine churned out a billion dollars in copper before it dried up. The town was a ghost town until the 60's until a bunch of hippies moved in. Pretty much been the same since, bunch of little art galleries and knick knack shops. It's a must see if you pass through.

    This is just before we dropped in to Jerome. It's a museum of old stuff...
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    From Jerome we headed up to the top of Mingus Mountain which I think tops out above 7700ft. The road up is in really nice shape and is a popular run with the 2 wheeled travelers. We had a pretty good go of our ascent. At one point Mark was following pretty close and I was giving it a pretty spirited effort in the twisties. Next thing I knew he was passing me and within a few corners I had lost sight of him. I gave it hell and had a blast the rest of the way to where we would turn off to catch our next dirt road. As we were giggling like schoolgirls about the fun we had in the twisties he asked what was leaking on my bike??? SHIT!!!!

    After a little inspection I find it originating from my tail bag. I had a plastic water bottle that had given up it's seal on the 100 or so miles of dirt roads we covered to get here. Unfortunately, so did the bag of Chex Mix I threw in there as well. After the pulverized Chex Mix got soaked with the water it turned in to a mush about the consistency of dog food. P1010125.JPG

    Thankfully, that was the biggest mishap of the day so I can handle that kind of adversity. I refilled my camel pack with the water that hadn't leaked out yet and scooped the Alpo out of my bag and we were on our way. We spent a bit of time in the pine trees and I think I actually felt 2 maybe even 3 rain drops hit me from one of the clouds passing over.

    The pine trees began to give way as we headed past Cherry toward HWY169.
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    And that gave way to this...
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    #48
  9. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    As we dropped elevation and headed south the heat was building. The nice part was we would pass through cloud cover and it was welcome relief. here's an example.
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    We hit a road that was closed to motor vehicle travel and had to add about another 15-20 miles for a work around, then we stopped in Mayer for a cold drink and a splash of gas. I was pretty hot by then and the clouds were gone but it was smooth sailing from there back to Black Canyon City.

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    I think that's Bumble Bee you can see in the bottom right of the picture there. I snapped a picture of my guages here just so you know I'm not exaggerating about the temps... yes... that says 109.4 degrees.

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    getting closer to Black Canyon City.
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    #49
  10. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    We finished off our dirt section in Black Canyon City. We stopped for a minute to talk before we jumped on I-17 south where Mark would peel off for home 12 miles South. I was looking at 115.8 on my gauges. When we got on the interstate it was windy and I was really feeling it. I tucked low to hide behind the little windscreen on my bike. I put my left hand on my knee because the wind was burning my leg. I gave Mark a thumbs up as he slowed down and pulled off at his exit. I still had another 30 minutes or so to go. I pulled off the freeway a couple miles down and took back roads home. The wind and heat was more than I cared for at the time. I probably looked like a goon but I stood up for most of the rest of the ride home as my ass was ready for a break. I pulled the bike in to my garage at 6:15.

    12 hours
    291 miles
    Better than any day at work!

    Yep... 113 degrees in my garage. P1010142.JPG
    #50
    AZ Mark and Marcus I. like this.
  11. Marcus I.

    Marcus I. The virtual world can't compete

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    After living in "the Valley" for 11 years your travels bring back fond memories. Please keep riding and reporting!
    :lurk
    #51
  12. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    With the prospect of a long weekend for the holiday in my future last week it was time to start cooking up another adventure. Mark and I had our sights set on getting to to Flagstaff to escape some heat. Austin was out, work was getting in the way. I had been cooking up a route in my head that would get us close and Mark was mapping out a different route. When we talked earlier in the week we deciced to work them out and then decide if and where we'd go. I had also heard from an old high school buddy that invited me to join him and some others camping up in that neck of the woods as well. I was trying to decide between the two options. My wife told me that she was thinking of going to visit her folks with my son over the weekend. My daughters are older and both have jobs so they weren't going camping with me for the weekend. With momma and the boy hanging out at grandmas for a couple days the choice was made. I'd ride and camp... that was easy! Mark and I chatted late in the week and compared routes. He had a route put together that looks awesome on paper, but it has the potential to be very big bike technical and he only could get away for one day. My route was longer but mostly easy miles to cover. We decided we'd go up my way, I'd crash my buddy's camp and Mark would slab it home. We decided we'd meet up at 7am Saturday and head out.
    #52
  13. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Friday night my girls were both working and my son wanted to have dinner at my mom's house since he hangs out with her days in the summer while my wife and I are working. We decided we'd sneak out for a rare little dinner date since we were heading separate ways for the weekend. I got a quick shower and was getting dressed to go to dinner when my phone rang. It was my older daughter in tears... first thought in my head was she had a car accident. Thankfully that wasn't the case. She was on her break at work and ran to grab something to eat and her car died in the left turn lane of a pretty busy intersection during rush hour... she didn't know what to do so she called dad. Thankfully she works about 3 blocks from home so I told her to take a deep breath, I'm on the way. My wife dropped me at the corner and I ran over there to check things out. Car was DEAD! Battery was so dead the emergency flashers were barely working. I told her to just walk back to work and I'd get the car out of there. Thankfully some dude offered to give me a jump and I got the car the 3 blocks to home within a few minutes. I put the battery charger on and we went to dinner. Got home from dinner and the car fired right up. I took it to the local auto parts store tested the battery and the alternator. Alternator was the culprit. Picked up a new one and drove it home. The car was hot and I had to pick my daughter up from work at 9:15. I decided I'd pack up my stuff and get my bike ready and let the car cool down before I got to bustin' knuckles.
    #53
  14. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I called Mark and told him there was an outside chance I wasn't going to be able to make my 7am appointment. He was cool saying it was going to be a LONG day with a good stretch of HOT slab to finish the day so if it didn't work out it wouldn't break his heart. I got packed and picked up my daughter. I took a look at the repair manual for her car and I was looking at the alternator removal procedure... believe it or not you have to remove the drive axle to access the alternator. Needless to say it wasn't a fun job compounded by the fact that I was working in the dark in my driveway. Shit just wasn't going my way, it was like the forces of nature had aligned against me. I worked until a little after midnight before I conceded and sent Mark the text message. I wasn't going to make it at 7. I decided to pack it and start fresh in the morning. I got up a little after 6 and went down to get started. It was no less frustrating of a job with daylight on my side. Every single step was met with adversity. I can honestly say that was hands down the most frustrating mechanical repair I have ever completed in my life. The engineers at Ford motor company can eat a big fat $#%&! I got finished about 10:30... all told around 6 hours of utter bullshit to replace an alternator. Never again. As I was cleaning up my tools and putting things away I was in a rather foul mood. There was my bike in the garage... all packed up. It dawned on me, I'm grumpy and motorcycles make me happy. I need to go ride my motorcycle. That will make me feel better.
    #54
  15. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I went upstairs and took a shower. I decided even though I was 4 hours late getting started I'd just go anyway. I called Mark and told him I was thinking of going anyway. He was already in to something else so he would pass on the late start. I got my affairs in order and hit the road a little before noon. I set out for Fountain Hills and would head up HWY87 and over 4 Peaks to Roosevelt Lake. Being a holiday weekend I was mindful of the extra traffic and entered the blind corners a little more cautious than I normally would. As hot as it's been you don't run in to a whole lot of traffic mid-day but mindful none the less.

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    I dig the way you can just look out to layer after layer of mountains out there... They need to be explored.
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    I felt like I needed to kinda keep moving and not dilly dally too much with the late start so I didn't stop for Kodak moments too often. I made Roosevelt lake and decided I'd pick off that 25 mile section we bypassed on our return trip a couple weeks earlier. I had never been across so I didn't really know what to expect but I went for it. Things were going well until I stopped for a second looked behind me and realized my tent wasn't there any more. SUM-BITCH! I felt like I had been making pretty good time up to this point. I decided I'd go back and see if I could find it. I gave myself a maximum of 10 miles and I'd give up so back I went. About 6 miles back I saw a side by side coming so I stopped and waved him down. He said "Hey, did you lose a bag? I got it here." SWEET!!! Tent re-attached 'through" the compression straps on the bag and I was back in business. Turns out we never should have bypassed that route since it was pretty easy going and we picked up 30 or so miles going around. Oh well... better safe than sorry.

    There was some pretty cool geology going on in places there...
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    Closing in on the Eastern end of Roosevelt...
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    #55
  16. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I finished that leg and headed North on Young Highway. We ran this the opposite direction last time but it alternates between paved and unpaved. I had a lot of fun heading North. The first several miles are really nice pavement and I was scrubbing the chicken strips pretty good.

    Just above my tail bag you can see the road winding its way up...
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    The moon was up... P1010159.JPG

    There's this cool old abandoned ranch house just before the one gas pump in Young.
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    From Young I had about 30 miles to hit HWY260. I filled up with gas and got some water to refill my Camelpack. As I was heading out of town I came up on another motorcycle and they were going pretty slow. The road is paved and twisty there. It looked like maybe it was a lady, long curly hair hanging out of the helmet, full plastic elbow and shoulder pads and they were going pretty slow. She (?) waved me by and I passed. She tucked in behind me and stayed there as I gave it a pretty spirited run up the twisties. When we got to the end of the pavement I figured she'd turn around and head back to town. She stayed right at the edge of my dust for the whole 20 something miles to the highway. I pulled over when I got to the highway to consult with my GPS and she gave a thumbs up then turned left, street tires and all! I was impressed.
    #56
  17. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    From here I would hit FR300 heading West to where it runs in to HWY87. The first few miles was very heavily congested with holiday weekend traffic. I would end up behind caravans of cars, trucks and toy haulers. The dust was brutal. More than a few times I could grab a handful and pick off 5-6 at a time. Thankfully it only took a few miles of that before things started to thin out. The Mogollon Rim is a pretty impressive geological feature here in Arizona and FR300 skirts the edge of it for a long long way. If you're ever out this way... I'd put it on the must do list. As the shadows were starting to get long now I was kinda needing to get to camp. The only problem with that was every half a mile or so the road would run right to the edge of the rim and you couldn't pass by without stopping for a minute or two to take in the view.
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    In this spot a fire had come up the rim
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    I just figured out my camera can do panoramic shots.... cool....
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    #57
  18. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    It must have been a recent fire as it still smelled kind of like a camp fire ... it is a little surreal too because its almost like moonscape in the fire zone.
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    getting out of the burn zone.
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    I wished I'd have been able to take more time on my way across but I needed to keep moving if I wanted to find my buddy's camp to crash. I hit HWY87 around 6:30 and headed North to where I had an idea where to look for him. He had left me a voice mail with directions so I hit the only gas station in the area and listened to it. I grabbed some beer, strapped it down and headed out. A couple miles to the turn and his instructions were "EXACTLY 2.7 miles from the Potato Lake turn off we're camped on the left side." I hit the Potato Lake turn and went exactly 2.7 miles, sure enough there was a big group camped so I pulled up to the edge of the camp. A bunch of people milling about camp looked at me like I was an alien. I didn't see my buddy and I was dressed like the red power ranger so I just turned around and kept looking. I went back and forth a couple times and no luck. I found a spot off the road a bit and decided I had better pitch a tent before dark. I was a little bummed not finding my friend but I had a great spot and I had beer, things could be worse. Got my tent up, changed clothes and the jet boil going. Then a side by side pulls off the road and lights blaring in my face I hear a guy call my name. My old buddy came-a-looking for me. Turns out they were in the first camp I stopped at but he was out playing in the side by side. He hadn't told anyone I was coming so they weren't expecting some guy dressed like a power ranger. It worked out ok. He brought his truck back and we threw my tent in the back with all my gear and I was over there in about 10 minutes. I had a great meal instead of astronaut food. We stayed up way too late and drank way too much beer.
    #58
  19. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I got up around 6:30 and my buddy was making coffee. I drank coffee, made some freeze dried breakfast and packed up camp. Spent way too much time shooting the breeze and catching up. My old friends were enamored by my gypsy lifestyle. They were out there roughing it in the mountains with 5th wheels and toy haulers that had hot water showers and microwave ovens while the kids were watching movies on tv. Everything I needed fit in 2 saddle bags and a tent strapped on my seat. They fretted all about making sure I had water and snacks for the trail. I hit the road about 9, later than I had hoped but it was nice catching up.

    I got a splash of gas and headed toward Mormon Lake. It was busy up there, looked like they were having a rodeo or something.
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    It's a big open meadow I imagine it gets pretty windy up there at times.
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    From here I'd head West toward I-17. The area near Mormon Lake was busy and the area was abuzz with caravans of side by sides. What is it about a vehicle that requires no real skill to pilot and it holds a cooler full of beer that makes people think they are invincible? It seems like every time you come accross the lead in the caravan it's in a blind corner and he's in a full 4 wheel drift on your side of the road. Maybe my general distaste for them comes from my memory of the time I got clipped by one on a trail on my KTM 530. I made it through to less populated trails unscathed so all is well. My plan was to drop in to Sedona via Schnebly Hill road .

    Unfortunately I ran in to this. KIMG0104.JPG

    I decided I'd take I-17 to HWY179 instead and hook back in to my planned route.
    I-17 was busy and windy. I decided to pull in to a rest stop and pull the visor off my helmet so it wouldn't keep trying to peel my helmet off at 75 mph.

    The rest stop had a nice view so I took another panorama shot.
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    A few miles of slab and I was heading up 179 in to Sedona. As you close in on Sedona you start to see the red rocks that bring bring in the tourists from around the world.
    #59
  20. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Sedona is just a big Kodak moment....
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    Some fella asked if I'd like for him to take my picture... I'm in full Brunswick bowling ball mode after the windy interstate P1010200.JPG
    #60