Devil's highway

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

  1. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    I just realized I left out a whole section of pics. I'll try to get them up tomorrow.
    #41
  2. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken Been here awhile

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    Looks like fun. Thanks for the pics
    #42
  3. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    Nice report, thanks for sharing.
    #43
  4. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    Here are some pics from Tule Well. (pronounced toolee)
    It's almost to the western edge of the refuge.. It was here we had to decide if we press to get off the refuge in order to have a camp fire or make camp now because it was getting dark fast. It was a no brainer for me. I'd gladly ride a while in the dark for a camp fire.

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    This guy must have been petty important to the Boy Scouts. There were troop markers from far and wide included in the monument.

    Anyway... That's the group of pictures I forgot. It was after the mud hole and before the scarecrow.

    More to follow....
    #44
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Thanks for this xskydiver. The tanks and Tule Well look really cool.

    How many miles of this route would you say was in deep sand?
    #45
  6. zdiver1

    zdiver1 Been here awhile

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    http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/cabeza/docs/FWS.PressRelease.OHVuseCPNWR.5.18.11.pdf
    #46
  7. Nightstalker

    Nightstalker YO BUDDYPAL!

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    Thanks for the report. Got a ride planned for next month with EsconDeasy.
    #47
  8. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    That's a tough question. When you're in it and struggling it seems to go on forever. The sand on the refuge has a lot of twists and turns so it makes it hard to keep enough speed. The refuge is a lot harder than the Goldwater Range. The Goldwater seems straighter so you can fly across the sand. The whole ride is 125 miles more or less so I'd guess the tough sand is maybe ten miles if you add it all up. Sorry to be vague.
    #48
  9. BigBeemerBob

    BigBeemerBob Just call me "Beemer Bob"

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    Great report and great pictures.

    I'm planning to do this next month (mid Feb '12). I will need to slowly re-read this report several times. Can you sugest any other reading material?

    Are there any detail maps available?

    Do you have GPS tracks you would be willing to share?
    #49
  10. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    I would suggest googling it. That's what I did. The Jeep guys have been doing this for years and there are some pretty good reports out there. I found mile marker and GPS list for points of interest as well as some good historical stories. One of the best maps is free from the Goldwater Range. On that side there are 4x4 posts about eight feet tall with red tops marking intersections. They are all numbered but mean nothing without the Goldwater map.
    #50
  11. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    Ok, Hopefully I can get this finished up.

    After the High Tanks, it was already mid morning. We decided to beeline it to town (Foothills). On the way there I got some more lessons in sand riding. There were more straight sections so I could keep enough speed to keep the front on top of the sand. I also decided to lower the tire pressure (now there's an idea!!) It took about a minute and a half to see the enormous benefit of the lower pressure. The front no longer tried to dig into the side of every rut. If I kept it at about 45mph or so, I hardly noticed the sand. The down side is that you have to turn sometime. Anyway...we made it to town without incident. We didn't take any pictures on the way to town but we crossed paths with several groups out enjoying the area. Alan even found a ratchet strap on the trail that someone lost (it would prove useful later).

    We found a little mom and pop fish and chips place on the main drag. Either it was REALLY good or I was REALLY hungry. I can still remember the first sip of Dr. Pepper after having only water for two days.

    After lunch and a quick stop for refueling and restocking we headed back out for the return trip. Our "plan" such as it was, was to cut a general Northeast track across the range and see what there was to see.

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    Our first stop was the La Fortuna Mine. It has a pretty interesting history. There are a few crumbling structures left there.

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    Among the best was this water reservoir. Here it is from below.

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    Here it is from above.

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    Here's a closeup.
    #51
  12. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    We were looking for Cipriano Pass and I turned down what I thought was it...

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    It wasn't...

    The picture was somewhat posed in that Alan was disappoint I had gotten up before he could get a pic so I was glad to lay back down while he took one. I could have laid there for quite a while. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of this sand thing.

    At this point Alan mentioned a technique of keeping on the throttle through the corners and just tapping the rear brake to turn. WTF Alan! Now you tell me! This would not be my only fall today.
    #52
  13. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Enjoying more of your RR -- thanks, Xskydiver! :thumb :lurk
    #53
  14. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    We doubled back and found the actual pass one turn farther East than I thought. We were planning to camp somewhere in the middle of the pass but we didn't like the potential spots. About halfway through the pass we ran into another agent pulling a drag. I was glad to see him because it meant the road would be sweet everywhere he dragged. He wanted to stop and chat so we did. When he started asking us about permits and stuff we excused ourselves and rode on. We spent longer than expected looking for a campsite, riding in and out of a few different turnoffs until we found a pretty nice spot on the back side of Raven Butte.

    Here's where the day got interesting...

    As we pulled into the campsite and started unloading the bikes I noticed Alan had taken one of his side cases off. I thought back to a short conversation we had earlier about the pros and cons of hard bags vs soft luggage. I have never had hard bags and mentioned to Alan that I had read they could catch the back of your leg while dipping a foot and possibly cause injury. He said he'd never had that happen and thought the bags were high enough for it not to be an issue. I mentioned one of the pros being you could take the bags off while camping and use them as a chair or table. I figured he had taken the bag off for that. I said something like "I guess you decided to take the bags off tonight?" He looked a little confused..."What?". I then realized what had happened. "you're missing a bag". Now, before I could even say "what do you want to do?", Alan had already dropped his stuff jumped back on the bike and sped off to go find it.

    So...there I was...sun setting quickly...in the middle of nowhere...alone. Given the proximity to the border and remoteness, not exactly a comfortable place. What to do...What to do...We didn't have a plan for this. I figured he'd be right back. The case must have fallen off down one of the turnoffs we'd explored looking for a campsite. I just sat down and waited...and waited...and waited...an hour went by...then another...where was he? Was he lost? Did he crash? Should I go look for him? What to do...what to do...

    I finally decided to stay put. If I left and we missed each other then we'd really be screwed. I figured he was a big boy and a better rider than me so I'd just stay put and if for some reason he wasn't back by morning I'd go look for him then. It was a couple of hours past sunset when I finally heard the familiar sound of Alan's KTM. I was surprised when he had both cases on. I don't know how he found it in the dark. Remember that ratchet strap he found earlier?

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    Here it is...Fate..? Maybe just good luck.

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    Here's where we camped the second night.

    That's about it. We kept angling Northeast until we hit pavement, gassed up, aired up, had a good lunch at another small steakhouse, and headed back to Ajo on the pavement. I was gone from my house almost exactly 60 hours and put about 730 miles on. It was a pretty great run.

    Until next time...
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    #54
  15. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    Cool report. Looks like a good place to explore!
    #55
  16. WRC51

    WRC51 Been here awhile

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    You werent kidding that sand is deep. Great report.
    #56
  17. FirstMan

    FirstMan Adventurer

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    Good report. Will you ever do it again?
    #57
  18. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Funny stuff xskydiver. Great report. Thanks for sharing. :thumb
    #58
  19. Xskydiver

    Xskydiver Been here awhile

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    It might become an annual event.
    #59
  20. azwheelin

    azwheelin Adventurer

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    Thanks for the report. Looked like alot of fun.
    #60