Devil's highway

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Xskydiver, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,254
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Xskydiver,

    Great report. This road has also been on my bucket list for awhile, but the deep sand kind of scares me. I can't wait to see the rest. I've read those metal grates in the road were to support military tanks. Dunno...

    I had given up on getting a permit for the bike and was planning a trip with my friend's 4x4. A fellow inmate sent me the press release awhile back saying they would now allow street legal motorcycles. He suggested we attack it together, but I don't know. I'm skeered of the deep sand.:lol3

    Even though permits are now issued, the Cabreza Prieta NWR is closed for a large chunk of the year for some special sheep mating grounds.
    #21
  2. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    It's closed from March to July. You really need to go in the winter anyway. Summer temps get easily over 100 even into the 110s is not uncommon for the area. Where the landing mats are is still on the refuge not the bombing range. The roads there are too narrow for tanks anyway. I don't think they use tanks anywhere on the range. At least I didn't see any evidence of them.

    As far as the sand goes, there's definitely a learning curve. I'm pretty comfortable with sand on my 525 but this is a whole different animal. Next time I'm going to have my suspension set up better, have a stabilizer, and pack the weight much lower. That should help.
    #22
  3. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,456
    Location:
    India Wharf
    Great discovery for me. Thanks! I think I'll save the Devils Road to Yuma for another time as I will be solo, but I believe I can make a loop through Organ Pipe. I'd like to take Bates Well Rd into Organ Pipe Monument from Ajo. I think just short of the refuge there is a road that goes south through the park to the border then turns east to Hwy 85. Then I could turn north on 85 and maybe visit the park HQ.

    Should be a nice day trip from Cave Creek. Thanks for the and pics.
    #23
  4. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    [​IMG]
    Ok, this is what my leg looked like BEFORE the trip started. I had a minor disagreement with an ATV a few days earlier. I got my leg smashed and the ATV got launched end over end down a small mountain. Overall I'd say it was a draw.
    Now it seemed like everytime I departed the bike unexpectedly, I resmashed my leg against the crash bar. By the time day one was over it was swollen almost twice this size and was twice as dark. So, after setting up camp and some sweet camp chow, I treated myself to an Advil dessert and an Ace wrap.
    #24
  5. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    [​IMG]

    Here's what our camp looked like in the morning. Pretty good since we just kind of stumbled our way down the first wash we found. A couple of times during the night I got startled awake by the sound of a truck that sounded like It was about to drive right through my tent. (not an unreasonable fear given the amount of tire tracks found in nearly every wash out here) In the morning we could see the road was just above is. I'm guessing it was agents driving back and forth. Incidentally we had accidentally found the only soft ground for some distance in any direction.
    #25
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,479
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    :lurk
    #26
  7. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,082
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT
    Cool. Thank you! :thumb
    #27
  8. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,340
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    Cool report, that's beautiful country. I grew up in New Mexico and really miss the desert. Ain't no desert in Virginia or anywhere close :cry.

    Knowing the desert, I learned to stay out of "dry" washes if there was even a remote chance of precipitation. I saw some phenomenal flash floods come up in NM in a matter of minutes and under a blue sky. One day my brother rode his bike off a six foot drop-off into a wash that had been stone dry when we'd ridden there the day before and eroded out like hell the next day. Weren't you a little concerned about camping in the wash?

    Anyway, hope you were packing some heat given all the BP and illegals traffic in that area. I'm more skeert of crazed humans than I am of sand and mud :D. Hope your leg feels better!

    Doug
    #28
  9. azcycle

    azcycle Chihuahua Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    705
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    :lurk
    #29
  10. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,583
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA
    did that trip in the 80's with a bronco 4x4.there were two of us in case of trouble.with all the violence along the border i don't think i go now.press the button for help,i can hardly believe it.:huh
    #30
  11. ppfeifer

    ppfeifer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    37
    Xskydiver,

    What kind of distance was it between Organ Pipe and Yuma? Did you have any difficulties with the Border Patrol?

    ppfeifer
    #31
  12. Cavernous

    Cavernous Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    140
    I just finished Luis Alberto Urrea's book 'The Devil's Highway' so it's cool getting to see images from the area. Thanks for the share!
    #32
  13. seabee1

    seabee1 we build, we fight

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,478
    Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    You're a couple of bold guys. Not just camping in a wash, but sleeping in that area. I'm guessing you both slept at the same time, not posting a watch?
    #33
  14. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,193
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    I think the illegals got him------tied him to a tree---ate all his food---drank all his beer----stole his BMW and went back across the border.

    BigDog
    #34
  15. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    I'm not really sure. You pretty much get on Organ Pipe almost right away at Ajo. You'd never know it except for the little self service pay for a permit stand next to the road. I think it was $7 each. There's no sign telling you when you leave the monument either. The Diablo crosses the very northern edge of Organ Pipe. If I had to guess I'd say it would be about 80 miles.
    #35
  16. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    Sorry, I forgot about your second question. We didn't have any difficulties with the agents. We crossed paths with three that I remember. They all wanted us to stop and talk to them. I think they were looking for a break from the boredom. One of them tried to sound all official like, asking about our permits and such. These guys know the area very well. They're a good resource of information. They can give you good advice on where, or more specifically where not to camp.
    #36
  17. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    [​IMG]
    This is Tinajas Altas or high tanks as seen from where we parked. The tanks are natural water catch basins eroded out of the rock. There are a series of tanks, one above the next. They fill from the top down so the bottom tanks fill up last and empty first. There are stories of bodies being found here dead after having found the bottom tank empty and climbing up to higher tanks finding each one also empty. The irony is they were found within feet of an upper tank that had water.
    [​IMG]
    This grinding stone is near the bottom tank and is evidence of people using the area for hundreds of years.
    [​IMG]
    The water tasted...well...magical.

    Just kidding, there was no way I was drinking it. It was full of muck and creepy crawlies.
    #37
  18. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    [​IMG]
    Alan found this game camera looking right at the lower tank. He decided to have some fun with the owner and pose for some funny pictures. I hope the owner finds this and sends me the pics. It's ironic, I think to take a picture of something taking a picture of you.
    #38
  19. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    [​IMG]
    I think this was the second tank. The first one, you kind of just walk up to. After that each one gets exponentially more difficult.

    [​IMG]
    See what I mean? This is only the second tank!

    ok, ok, you caught me. It was more like this...
    [​IMG]
    You can still see the iron bar sticking out of the rock in the background. I thought it would make a funny picture. We pondered a little over what it might have been used for and neither of us came up with anything good.
    #39
  20. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Willcox, AZ
    [​IMG]
    This was the third tank. Kind of a two for one.
    It looked like we were pretty close to the top now. I wanted to keep going but Alan wussed out, whining something about rock climbing in motocross boots. I relented and headed down too. Secretly I was glad because my leg was still killing me.
    Before heading down, we took a picture of our bikes from "the top"
    [​IMG]
    No. seriously, they're down there.

    [​IMG]
    Alan spotted this dude coming back from getting a drink on the way down. We didn't see very much wildlife out here...go figure...


    Oh yeah.., by the way, when we got back to the bikes we looked back at the mountain we had just "conquered" only to see we had made out about a third of the way up...damn!
    #40