Escondeasy's AZ Border tour

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by EsconDeasy, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. EsconDeasy

    EsconDeasy Ectomorph

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,503
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I got together with three of the Arizona Trailriders finest for three days of proofing and exploring on my proposed South state dual sport ride.

    The plan: To launch from Florence and ride to Tombstone, overnight there, ride to Patagonia along the border, overnight, then return to Florence.

    The players:

    Ryan D



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    Jerry K

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    and Eric B

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    The first section, 57 miles, was through open and little traveled desert from the Florence - Kelvin hwy to Oracle

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    Roads through here are super smooth and would allow for high speeds if not for the open grazing (much more of which we would see as the ride progressed.

    Next up, we left Oracle through the back way on a power line route that ADVrider "PHXMAN" and I stumbled on during a previous scout.

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    Like much of the roads we would be traveling, this one was ripple free and damp :clap

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    Even some snow was to be seen just South of Oracle

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    This little short cut that bypassed San Manuel shaved about 10 miles of pavement off of this ride. I found another detour down a wash and under the road, that cut 1/2 mile more off!

    I took this shot to illustrate the last asphalt we would be seeing for 50 miles

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    #1
  2. EsconDeasy

    EsconDeasy Ectomorph

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Next up: Dirt all the way to Benson.....except that we would be leaving River AKA Reddington, AKA San pedro river, AKA Cascabel road as soon as the pavement returned.

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    This giant bridge was installed, presumably because the State got tired of the San Pedro blowing out the road

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    We got off at three links road and connected with this sand wash that would eventually bring us to I10.

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    The heavy bikes were no fun in this ten miles of sugar sand.

    The first of our land use problems occurred when we found out you cannot ride the dirt roads West of the Dragoons due to private ranch land. No problem; lets hit hwy191 East of the Dragoons and take Middlemarch road over the saddle............er, problem. I don't have GPS maps that go over there............

    Finally approached a border patrol agent who gave me directions......Score.
    Just as we got done fueling, I noticed Eric's GPS...........Dude! You had Streetmap on that thing all this time?!?!

    Verified the directions to cross back over the dragoons and off we went.

    On the way, you pass the ghost town of Pearce:

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    After crossing the pass, the West side of the Dragoons come into spectacular view

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    ......then we begin to see Tombstone as we approach the end of the road

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    The Trailriders inn was our accommodation for a second time.

    These two chopper riders were in from Mass and rented these machines in Phoenix

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    Tombstone at breakfast was deserted

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    We took off South on our run to the border at the break of nine. While trying to get around some ranch land, we wound up on a long abandoned railway bed

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    It looked like prime javelina habitat

    Ugh.......land use issue #4: Border patrol now doesn't want even the gringos approaching the border fence. We had to stop here and get this distant view

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    Next up; the Coronado nat'l forest. We would be skipping the Lake, Sonoita, and Nogales and heading to Lochiel on the very edge of Mexico, then beating it up to Patagonia

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    Smuggling and illegal migration are rampant down here. On my last scout, I came across some suspicious characters who got their truck stuck, and upon seeing me, decided it was best to abandon it and leave. Only one of our group was packing a weapon this trip. I had considered carrying, but didn't do it.

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    Looking out over Mexico from Montezuma pass

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    On this side, you can clearly see the border fence stretching across the horizon

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    I really love Lochiel. It's the land that time forgot. Not a soul stirs, although this used to be a part time border crossing.

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    #2
  3. EsconDeasy

    EsconDeasy Ectomorph

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Land use issue #5: Arriving in Lochiel, a sign reads Private Property..................the whole town!!!?? This group of tourists in a small van informed me that one family owns most of the surviving buildings. It's likely that the signs are posted to keep people from vandalizing the homes.

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    It seems to me a smart illegal would cross here, since the fence is much older and lower than in other places.

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    The local dog is already making daily passes through a ditch under this fence. Mexican rats taste better?

    Lookee here. Deniza monument. Apparently the first European to enter north America came through here

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    I had wanted to take a look at the ghost town of Duquesne just South of Patagonia

    Some ruins remain but unlike other ghost towns, the owners are alive and well and would love to sell you their wrecks

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    Patagonia is pretty close to the border so we were relieved when the Stage Stop Hotel allowed us to park the bikes room side in the interior courtyard.

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    I highly recommend the Stage Stop. Also, it's the only hotel in Patagonia.

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    Here, the guys are waiting for the Back Stop restaurant to open. It was 5 before seven and the place was dark.

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    I wanted to go to Gathering Grounds anyway so it didn't take much convincing for me to move on.

    Yummy! Green Machine vegan burrito with home made salsa

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    And we're off! (this shadow will be the only photo of your guide: a good photographer would have remembered to take a picture of himself)

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    Ruins of the old Alto post office.

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    Amazing that the rains don't wipe the whole thing out in a year it seems so brittle

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    This open mine has a spring that flows year round. I had known the cows stick their heads in there to drink. The cool water must taste great. Jerry poked his head in to get a closer look and drew back fast. We found out the scary way that cows actually go INSIDE the mine! It doesn't look big enough to take a dog in there.

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    FR143 leaves Patagonia and goes all the way to Amado on HWY 19.

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    The old Longhorn grill is for sale. Somebody buy it before they tear down this iconic landmark! (actually, since the front facade is a boulder the size of a double-wide, that might be difficult)

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    Finally, our journey North began. Lots more awesome two track like this was encountered. We were able to stay on dirt from Aravaca road all the way to Ajo Hwy

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    Getting close to home. We passed the Silverbell mine passing around the West side of Tucson

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    More ruins. Mapsource has a dot and the word "Sasco" at the spot where we found this building
    Notice Picacho peak in the distance behind Jerry

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    The only water crossing of the trip. Although your leader was able to remain dust free, he was also the guinea pig for any and all water crossings

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    Dude, ya better move

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    DUDE!

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    DUDE!

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    #3
  4. Nightstalker

    Nightstalker YO BUDDYPAL!

    Joined:
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    Sunny Phoenix, AZ
    AWESOME!! :clap
    #4
  5. cyberdos

    cyberdos Easy Bonus Loop

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
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    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    this looks like a hell of a lot of fun. I need to do a multi day trip with you guys sometime.
    #5
  6. Slowred

    Slowred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
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    Location:
    Arizona
    Outstanding RR! Thanks for taking us along.:clap
    #6
  7. RZRob

    RZRob Long timer

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    Location:
    Anaheim Hills, CA
    Great report. Thanks for sharing. Curious on basic map overview. I've got an XR650L too

    RZ Rob
    #7
  8. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    538
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Well done!
    Been wanting to check out Patagonia more closely. One of these days...
    #8
  9. EsconDeasy

    EsconDeasy Ectomorph

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    I've been trying to figure out how to do that on mapsource. If i do, I'll post it
    #9
  10. Psychoboy

    Psychoboy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Gilbert, Arizona
    Yeah I was wondering the same thing. Like maybe an overlay generated at http://dualsportmaps.com/ or something. I live in gilbert so it wouldn't be that much further for me.
    #10
  11. phxman

    phxman "Rocks are my Friends"

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cave Creek Arizona
    Dang I wanted to go on this ride. Excellent report Dan, looks like you guys had a great time.
    #11
  12. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    889
    Location:
    Wickenburg AZ
    Great report... thanks for taking us along. Looks like a nice area to ride :clap
    #12
  13. EsconDeasy

    EsconDeasy Ectomorph

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Working on it. I love that site and look forward to contributing
    #13
  14. Yardstick

    Yardstick Hydrophobic

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
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    Location:
    Chandler, Arizona
    Nice ride! You found some interesting stuff. I didn't know there was a wash that would take you from 3-Links to I-10. I have also missed a lot of those old structures down there. FR143 is neat. I ended up doing that one 2-up with luggage on a 950 going from Amado to Patagonia when the Overland Expo was down there a couple years ago. It got a little exciting at times. :lol3
    #14