Dr. Greg & Milledue II go "HOME" to Hemet, California...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dr. Greg, May 6, 2013.

  1. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    ABQ, New Mexico
    Day 7: Wickenburg, Arizona to Show Low, Arizona

    Like I said, Scott had counseled me to take AZ 74 over to I-17, then down "around" the east side of Phoenix, then pick up US 60 thru Superior, Globe, the Salt River Canyon and eventually my State Park campground near Show Low, Arizona. Even though my outbound route thru Jerome and Prescott had been excellent, I had vague memories of the "Salt River Canyon" so I was looking forward to the day's ride.

    Stopped at a gas station in "east" Phoenix; for some reason I thought it was worthy of a pic. Shortly after this I started to leave the metroplex (or whatever they call it). Kinda glad that New Mexico doesn't have anything like "Phoenix..."

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    Eastward from Phoenix thru the Salt River Canyon---Mighty Tasty!

    US 60 is 4-lanes for a while leaving Phoenix; these are the mountains to the north:

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    US 60 headed ENE through Superior and Globe; stopped in Globe for lunch (I had not gotten the earliest start; Scott and I talked for a while over a cuppa at Starbucks).

    Somewhere along this stretch there was a TUNNEL...don't see these much, so here's the classic "LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL"...

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    Nearing the Salt River Canyon the road developed a curve now and then...

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    While dropping into---and climbing out of---the Salt River Canyon, I was fortunate to have mostly clear road, so Milledue and I had an exciting time (which means no pics while riding). Lotsa packs of Harleys on the road; I take a dim view of these "rolling roadblocks" and felt lucky to be riding alone on a functional bike (no offense intended). And a QUIET bike...

    Climbing out of the Salt River Canyon I snapped this pic...see the road I came down? Cool!

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    Just after I snapped that pic there was a "scenic view" pullout...I have no idea who the girl was...

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    Seemed like ol' Gustav Becker had a pretty full life---what more can one ask for?

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    BTW, I assume the "Golden Rule" cited on Gustav's plaque was "Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You," not "He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules." Sorry...saw the second version on a sign on the wall of one of my bosses' offices many years ago, and never got it out of my head.

    Another view of the Salt River Canyon,

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    And another feeble attempt at a self-portrait whilst at the Salt River Canyon...

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    Zoomed in for a closeup...yes, there IS water at the bottom!

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    Fool Hollow Lake State Recreation Area---I Know this Place!

    The ride on NE to the Show Low area was very pleasant; Sunday afternoon traffic was minimal and it was a beautiful day. Pulled up to the "guard shack" at the State Recreation Area and they remembered me from a week before...very nice! But they still charged me $17 for camping one night...seems kinda steep to me, but it IS a pretty nice campground. Even has showers (which I didn't know earlier), but since Mrs. Greg isn't with me...who cares?!

    I selected exactly the same campsite I had before, and rode out there. This time I had neighbors nearby...so I walked over to say "howdy!" I always do that. Turns out they were Jack and Susan from the Tucson area...very nice folks!

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    They invited me over for a beer after I got ensconced...see, there's a good reason to introduce oneself! BTW, you'll never guess Jack's occupation; he owns a bookstore!

    Here's a pic of my camp all set up; no rain fly, everything in its place (BTW, no apostrophe in "its" unless you mean "it is"). Grammar lesson for free.

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    No, I wasn't planning on a campfire, so I wasn't gonna burn down my tent. I almost never have a campfire. Lotta people love 'em. Different strokes...

    Tried one last time to get a "sunset" pic...in all fairness there were no clouds, which makes it more difficult to get a "dramatic" sunset...

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    Another beautiful night for stars---the dry air at 6,300 feet really makes 'em pop out. In the "old days" I used to camp w/o a tent; just sleep in the open (weather permitting). You do see more stars that way, but the next morning it felt a little chilly even in the tent. Rolled over and checked my thermometer: 36 deg F! A full TEN DEGREES colder than a week earlier. Brrr! Glad I was in a tent.

    So one more day to go. Thanks for reading.

    --Doc
    #21
  2. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,700
    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, CO.
    EXCELLENT , me thinks your RR are getting better!! Thanks for the ride and meeting all your ole friends.

    gale
    #22
  3. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    ABQ, New Mexico
    Day 8: Show Low, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico (HOME!)

    And on to the 8th day of this little trip: the day that pushed this mundane report into the "TRIP REPORTS" forum. I still feel it shoulda gone into "Day Trippin'" but---like I said---I'm just following the rules...

    Since it was a chilly 36 degrees, and I had all day to go 250 miles, I stayed in the sleeping bag until EVEN I had to get up. Took my time breaking camp; even longer than my normal two hours. Some guys can get on the road in a heartbeat...not me. Takes me two hours. At home, too.


    Oversize Load Ahead!

    About 20 miles east of Show Low on AZ 61, I saw a couple AZ State Police cars approaching, lights flashing like crazy. OK, I know the drill, pull to the right and stop. I had just about come to a stop when THIS BIG MOTHER came up...talk about a wide load:

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    As is usually the case, the photo doesn't do it justice. This was the WIDEST thing I have ever met on a 2-lane (or for that matter, any) road. Still don't know what the heck it was...probably our tax dollars at work.

    Between St. John's and the Zuni cutoff on AZ 191 these "humps" reminded me of similar formations I'd seen elsewhere in northern Arizona:

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    Ah, the wide-open American Southwest. This is looking out over the valley of Zuni Wash in eastern Arizona...

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    Back in New Mexico

    A few miles after turning off AZ 191 onto 61, this bullet-riddled sign announced that I was back in my (adopted) home state:

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    BTW, the "green & red" things on the sign are chiles (spelled with an "e" to distinguish them from the quite different "chili"...) Supposedly the New Mexico "state question" is "red or green?" As in which chile do you want with your (name your food). And the bullet holes, well, New Mexico is a pretty "good" state to live in if you're a gun enthusiast. As I am. In fact, if I'd a been packin' my ol' .357, I'd a stopped and blasted another hole in that sign. Ha ha, just kidding! Really.

    As we in New Mexico say: "thank Heaven for Mississippi"...saves us from being #1 (or #50) on a lotta lists. Now I personally have had a WONDERFUL time on every trip through Mississippi, but I'm just sayin'...

    Still, it's good to be back in New Mexico. In addition, I'm on tribal land:

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    Don't know much about the Zuni Indians, and---like someone in a hurry---I rode right past a "historical marker" talking about the Zuni tribe. Maybe I'll do some research of my own.

    Just look at those "mesas" in the last two pics...that just says "New Mexico" to me. Pretty country.

    Took a few more photos while riding thru west-central New Mexico...I'll just shut up and let you see the pics. Looks like a Western movie...

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    Remember "El Morro" National Monument? When I passed thru there on the way west, I declined taking any of the "scenic hikes," but I thought that today I might stop and do a little walking. Then I looked at the time on my GPS: Holy Cow I lost an hour! I had forgotten about the time change from Pacific to Mountain time at the AZ/NM border! I figured Mrs. Greg would be worrying about me if I stopped, so I contented myself with just another couple photos from the bike:

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    Not long after El Morro, one crosses the Continental Divide on NM 53. No, it's not as impressive as, say, Colorado, but it's still cool (I mean literally, at least this time of year)...

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    I had my heated jacket liner on "LO" and it felt about right...the rest of the run up to I-40, and 70 miles of slab, was uneventful (and that's good).


    Home Again...

    So it had been a good trip: no tickets & no crashes. I ended up getting home a little before 6:00 (hadn't changed clock on bike yet; it's a pain). I had ridden 206.0 miles on that tank, and had consumed 4.156 gallons of fuel.

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    Let's see, that works out to 49.5669 MPG...let's just call it 50 MPG. Not bad (of course I had a tailwind).

    The 1198 Testastretta 11-deg mill hadn't missed a beat. After 36,000 miles it still doesn't use any oil between changes (7,500 miles). Like a good watch, it just keep tickin'...

    I've dropped it on the left side a couple times; haven't busted the water pump yet! In fact, I haven't put any "guards" at all on the bike (except the Touratech handguards to replace the ridiculous stockers which I broke off immediately).

    If I ever sell this bike, somebody will be getting a WELL USED Ducati Multistrada 1200S. But, I mean, aren't we supposed to RIDE the darned things?!?

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    After getting home, I even cleaned the chain! Man, it hasn't been THAT clean in a long time.

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    Epilogue.

    So I visited my old stomping grounds in Hemet, California. Boy, it had changed, and mostly not for the better. But what had I expected?

    Y'know, what I had NOT expected was to enjoy seeing the PEOPLE quite so much. And even though I claim NOT to be much of a "people person" (typical engineer) I guess maybe that's not as true as I had believed. That itself was worth finding out. So the trip was a success.

    And I had kinda come back to liking the Multistrada 1200S again. Counting its predecessor (remember, no apostrophe), I've ridden close to 50,000 miles on the 2010 Multistrada 1200S. And in all that time I had NOT ONE major problem. Minor glitches, like rain affecting the starter switch, and the lack of a functioning rear brake (really not minor, but mine seems unfixable), but no showstoppers.

    Regardless, I had become a little less enthusiastic in my feeling for the big twin. I was more of a fan of my old '06 Uly, which had caused me much more trouble.

    But the MTS1200S's performance on this trip was just wonderful. It did everything a bike could do, and did it well. I'll admit to be a little interested in the new LC BMW GS, and I'll test-ride one sometime soon, but as things stand now I can't imagine parting with the Ducati. It is smooth (just enough vibration so you know it's an engine), and SO DARNED POWERFUL...and the Tuneboy electronic cruise control makes it SO COMFORTABLE on long rides...it would be hard to go to anything else. And I really like those Zega Pro cases; Touratech did a nice job making a "narrow" rack for the Multi (unlike the new GS).

    Mrs. Greg & I are leaving tomorrow for Pagosa Springs, Colorado for a week of R&R; I'll ride the Duc and she'll drive the VW Golf TDI up there. I'll do some riding in southern Colorado next week; undoubtedly including the north side of La Manga Pass, where Milledue #1 bit the dust. But there can't be hoarfrost on that road THIS time of year, can there?

    Famous last words. Thanks for reading, and let's all have a summer with no crashes. For me, eleven major fractures is enough...

    --Doc
    #23
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,133
    Enjoyed your ride, report and pics!! thanks for taking us along :thumb
    #24
  5. oldgoat57

    oldgoat57 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12
    Enjoyed your ride report. been through some of those towns when I thought me and the Misses would retire in Phoenix. Son lives in Tempe.

    Desert not for me though.
    #25
  6. ArmyMedic

    ArmyMedic Flyin' Elvis, UT Chapter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    494
    Location:
    Salt Lick Sity
    Always liked your trip reports Dr. Greg! Thanks for putting it together.
    #26
  7. spraypilot

    spraypilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    138
    Great RR! But why do you have your name on the panniers? Scared you are gonna loose 'em?:clap
    #27
  8. TwoBigCats

    TwoBigCats Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    319
    Location:
    silicon valley
    and not at all surprised you enjoyed visiting with childhood friends -- they're the best of all ... for so many reasons.
    #28
  9. Henry James

    Henry James Looking for Adventure

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    quonset hut North of Sacramento
    Always enjoy your ride reports. Thanks for taking the time to post.
    HJ
    #29
  10. charles353

    charles353 Pretentious Asshat

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    The Black Hills
    I grew up in Hemet and now live in Flagstaff, good to read a ride report that includes roads I've been on. Thanks for the report.
    #30
  11. Machog

    Machog Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    47
    Saw you in Jerome by the side of the road with your shiny new Ducati, far cry from those early KLR days!

    And again at the Mile High, was in the cage so decided not to say hi!

    Always enjoy your adventures-how's the new ride treating you, can you do much off road with it?

    Machog
    #31
  12. DustyS

    DustyS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    Wow -- first off it's great to see the return of another Dr Greg story!

    Hemet --- Sage -- double wow!

    My mother grew in in Sage proper, and as you may know Sage proper consisted of my Grandparents house, their store and the Fire Station.

    I live in Virginia now but my Mom still lives in Hemet, so occasionally get out there to visit.

    Great to have a kind of personal connection to one of your stories.

    Now for more than many may wish to know: Way back when Sage was a stop on the Butterfield stage route, not exactly sure when my Grandparents actually moved there. My Grandfather was injured in WW I and was the storekeeper/postmaster in Sage for decades.

    My Grandmother lived alone there for a long time after he passed away, including after she had one leg amputated! They built them tough back then. Plus, Sage was really an extended community, and everyone for miles around knew my Grandmother.

    Mom grew up in Sage, went off and graduated from UCLA after WW II -- at a time when that was a pretty impressive achievement for a young woman from the countryside.

    Even though the Sage property left our hands probably 25 years ago, it has served as something of the "family homestead" for us.

    After my Grandmother passed away my parents moved back to Sage, I spent the summer of 1973 there, then went off to UCLA in fall 1973.

    My Mom worked for years on as a volunteer on the rescue Squad, and I was a volunteer fireman that summer.

    I'll bet Dr Greg you will appreciate this -- sometimes folks would get turned around heading for Palm Springs or Idyllwild and wind up in Sage -- the fireman would solemnly point towards Hemet, and say go that way, turn right at the first light and you'll get there --- failing to point out that it was 13 miles to that light in Hemet and another far piece from there to Palm Springs!

    Thanks again for sharing your stories.
    #32