S. AZ Adventure Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by azredline, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Thursday, Reidy008 (Drew) called me to see if I was riding over the weekend. I said I had no plans, but if he had an idea I'd be up for it. He did, and said an over-nighter was in order.

    The general plan was to work our way toward the south from the Phoenix area via as much dirt as we could manage. Drew had some GPS tracks from our buddy YBRacing (Thanks YB) so we decided to try to do that loop, which would be about 600 miles, with a very large chunk of that off pavement.

    We both had some work to do on saturday before we could leave, and Drew decided to get some new tires put on the Africa Twin before the trip. Dillon, over at Zen Moto had tires for his bike and was able to spoon them on while Drew went to work. (Thanks Dillon! Above and beyond the call!)

    Friday night I got my XR650L into dual sport mode by putting on my good (straight) wheels that have the DS tires on them and adding the little windshield that actually helps when at highways speeds.

    Then Saturday, when I filled my big tank and got home, I noticed gas smell and saw a puddle forming under the bike. Didn't take long to find the
    culprit, a crack in the plastic tank, somewhere up on the inside wall. Now I have a full (and leaky) 4.7gal tank, but only 2 (1) gallon cans that I can transfer gas into. I started draining the tank into one can, then rummaged through our recycle bin to find another gallon jug that I could use temporarily. Luckily, my street bike was sitting there about
    empty, so I could put a couple gallons in that bike to get the big plastic tank emptied.

    I removed the plastic tank to replace it with the shiney, new original equipment tank. (Only 2.5gal though!) Tank off.

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    I found one of the rubber bumpers that holds the front of the tank in place was missing. This probably damaged the plastic tank, but it was now noon, and we planned to leave my house around 2pm. I looked around the shop, then got the idea to use a hole saw and cut a wooden bumper to take up the space and hold the tank in place.

    Grabbed a chunk of wood and cut a spacer.
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    Worked perfect! Sometimes you just can't allow the gremlins to stop you!

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    Drew got to my house and after seeing my thimble sized gas tank that we take along a gallon of insurance. Good idea!

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    The chosen route called for going OVER Pioneer Pass up by Globe. We knew before we left that since it was currently rainy, and had been snowing all around us, this was unlikely to be successful. However, we had to try, didn't we? Yes.

    It rained on us most of the way to Globe, but undeterred, we started up the mountain.

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    The road was only really sloppy in a few spots, and we got through so we kept going. By now, it is probably already 3:30pm, and it is snowing. Hmmm. Keep going. Getting a bit sloppier.

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    We met a couple 4 wheel drives coming down, one of them told us we should turn around because we wouldn't make it much further, plus he thought there was no way down the other side. Ha! We'll keep going.

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    Wonder if there is tire chains in here. Nope.

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    The campground! Hmmm, still a little more to go up, and now it is getting tough to keep the bikes upright.

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    A little beyond the campground our traction gave out as there was a steeper grade and no prior vehicle tracks to stay in. I went up about a tenth mile from where this photo was taken, and after sliding into a ditch figured we were done. Here's where we turned around.

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    Heading back down the hill there were many little streams forming.

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    Time to put a front fender on that beast Reidy.

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    Had to slab it around the mountain to Winkleman then wash a layer of mud off the windscreen.

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    By now it was dark and getting colder. Not to mention we were a bit soaked. Decided to stay in the metropolis of Mammoth, AZ. Had a fair mexican dinner at the only joint in town that was open, then got a couple rooms at Foster's Lodge. Here's what it looks like in the am


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    No fighting for parking here

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    Leaving the motel about 8am, spotted a sign that the Lions Club was having a fund raiser breakfast. I don't think they raised much, but they were happy to see us.

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    Reidy orders up some bacon 'n eggs, hash browns and toast for $5. Can't beat that with a stick!

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    The chefs

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    The other guy there was Ralph, a member of the Lions Club in town. He was so happy that we came in that he had to give us a tour of the place. Took about 30 seconds, but was time well spent. Here's Reidy and Ralph in the bingo room.

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    On a serious note, Ralph is a good guy who is really trying to help his community. They are raising funds for improvements to their shooting range. If you get to pass through Mammoth in the AM this summer, esp on a sunday, stop by and see Ralph. Tell him the first two bike riders he hosted for breakfast sent you. He will be one happy guy!

    Back to the ride...

    In Mammoth, we grabbed a dirt road that hooked up to Reddington Road, which we took all the way down to Benson. From Benson, just a ways out of town to the west, Reidy hooked a hard left across the I10 median and grabbed another dirt road. This one headed generally SW all the way to Patagonia.

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    Back on the dirt!

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    Spring has not sprung down here yet as everything was still brown or grey.

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    The road was interesting and fun for about 30 miles

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    It was somewhere along this road that I heard over the intercom Reidy, who was leading, say "Uh Oh." I came around the corner and he had found a 30ft wide water crossing, but stopped just a little too late for the full evaluation. Hmmm. Ok.

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    We talked about pulling it out backwards, while it was only about a foot or so deep, but since that would have meant that I had to wade in to help, I encouraged him to go for it. (If I'm gonna get a little wet, might as well get really wet...right?) He went for it!

    I was just kidding man! (Notice front wheel is under water at this point, and it got a little deeper yet!)

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    Almost out, and a rock slowed him down, spun the rear tire and stalled. No more bubbles.

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    But wait, it started back up and he was able to get out without assistance. Whew!

    At the deepest, it was about taillight depth.

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    "I was going good then hit that damn rock!"

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    I knew I wouldn't get through that depth without sucking water, so I looked upstream a bit and found a little 8 ft wide crossing that was only a foot deep. Much better.

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    Back on open, dry land and on the move!

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    These cliffs were cool

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    Oooo, freshly graded!

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    Getting farther south, and close to Arizona wine country, we got to ride through some nice sweeping grasslands.

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    We headed south at Elgin and picked up another road that took us into the Canelo Hills area.

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    "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" (Yogi Berra).

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    We found our way to Mowery, which near as I could tell consisted of a ranch, then on toward the ghost town of Harshaw.

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    Not much left here but one ruin of a building, a sign and a cemetary. The cemetary itself is pretty cool, located on a hillside that is covered with marked graves as well as unmarked piles of rocks.

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    The building

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    Some cemetary pics. This is an obviously well kept cemetary with some recent additions as well as some from the 1800s. Notice the shovel is there ready for duty.

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    Not a bad place to spend eternity I recon.

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    From Harshaw, we backtracked a little to pick up FR812. This road is a beauty!

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    Lots of great scenery on this one

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    Finally made it to Patagonia about 3pm. Found the only gas station in town, but it was closed. By now I'm on fumes already, so we check the map and have a snack.

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    Our route calls for us to head south a little then west toward Amado on Salero Canyon Road (FR143). If my calculation are right (big if here), I should have about 25 miles left including reserve. We check the map and see that it should be about 30 miles cross country to Amado or Tubac. We are not sure about the station in Amado since the restaurant is closed and for sale, so we call Tubac and confirm they have fuel. Well, we do have the 1 gal can strapped to Drew's bike, that should get me there if I run out.

    The other option would be to go north from Patagonia to Sonoita, which is only a couple miles, but if that station is closed we'll lose those miles on my reserve. We agree that "A smart guy would go up to Sonoita", then we headed the other way. Let's go for it!

    We find our road that heads out into the Santa Rita Mountains without trouble and head west. I think this might be part of the ruins of Titus, another ghost town, but I'm not sure.

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    This trail was rough enough, and we were clipping along at a good pace causing one of Drew's side bags to come loose. We strap it back on.

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    Also by now, I've been on reserve for 17 miles. Might as well dump the insurance policy into my tank.

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    Riding this road was worth the time it took to get here. Spectacular views around every turn, and there were lots of those!

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    I especially liked this section

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    Near the end of the dirt, our strapping job gave way, so we had to reposition the side bag to the back and strap it on there. No further problems.

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    Not far from here, we hit I19 and rode up to Green Valley for fuel. We had several more dirt roads to ride north toward Phoenix, but time was getting short so we decided to slab it home. Didn't complete the entire loop as planned, but will have to go back to pick off the roads we missed on the way back.

    Thanks to Drew for navigating this ride, and YBRacing for plotting the course, it was fantastic!
    #1
  2. cyberdos

    cyberdos Easy Bonus Loop

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    31,924
    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    So when are you doing this again?! :clap

    That looks like a kickass ride.
    #2
  3. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,524
    Location:
    Solsberry, IN
    Excellent!
    #3
  4. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Wonderful idea and trip. Thanks for the ride.
    #4
  5. calan818

    calan818 The CarMexican

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,468
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada (6 months of snow)
    I love ADV. Here I sit at work with 3 feet of snow outside my office in Manitoba Canada, and I can escape through this report. Thanks for your excellent pictures and words to go along with it. Makes me think Arizona is maybe where I will have to spend my winters when I retire! :clap
    #5
  6. seabee1

    seabee1 we build, we fight

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,478
    Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    nice work, guys! i'm gonna have to get a larger dual sport :deal
    #6
  7. Cyclenaut

    Cyclenaut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Desert S.W.
    Cool route !
    #7
  8. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Yes, you and Cyberdos need to each get one. There are a zillion roads down that way begging to be explored. I think next winter we will have to focus our attention down that way.

    :freaky
    #8
  9. Slowred

    Slowred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    745
    Location:
    Arizona
    Excellent RR! Looks like a blast.

    Just wondering why you didn't take your new Adventure, Drew?
    #9
  10. Reidy008

    Reidy008 I,m in if we go fast

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,932
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Slow I blew the rear shock out on the new years day ride and have been to lazy to pull it off and get it serviced. Not sure I would have taken it anyway though as I sure enjoy riding that Africa Twin and I got to stretch it's legs every now and then.If you would get you a big bike you could come join us....
    #10
  11. mr.slowpokey

    mr.slowpokey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    Phoenix, Az.
    looks like a fun ride. Wouldn't mind exploring southern AZ. it's still cool enough out at night to camp.
    #11
  12. Kevinsterner

    Kevinsterner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    376
    Location:
    Cave Creek, AZ
    Great ride report. Looks like you had a blast
    #12
  13. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,887
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    These two riders Ladies & Gentlemen are ADV riders in the truest sense if the word:clap:clap
    #13
  14. 4play

    4play Next?

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,784
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    My big bike is supposed to arrive Saturday, looking forward to extended day trips once i get it sorted out.
    #14
  15. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,059
    Location:
    Wickenburg AZ
    Excellent report... :clap
    Thank you very much for taking us along with ya !
    #15
  16. kbblue

    kbblue mmmm... dirt...

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    364
    Location:
    Flagstaff
    Haven't done much riding down south other then going up the backside of Mt Lemmon, which was fun. Looks like there some good stuff down there.

    Was waiting for you to give up on tying on the luggage and just start dragging it behind. :lol3

    What kind of tires did Dillon fit you with Drew and what did you think of them? Can't tell what they are from the pictures but they seemed to do pretty well under water. I'm due for some new ones.

    kb
    #16
  17. Psycho18th

    Psycho18th Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    549
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Great write up. Thanks for sharing!
    Psycho
    #17
  18. ybracing

    ybracing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    686
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Great report Steve! :clap
    I had a blast when Drew and I rode it last year. One of these days that route will be completed. I think a full two days are in order.
    #18
  19. cyberdos

    cyberdos Easy Bonus Loop

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    31,924
    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    did you guys do that much pavement that this would be uncomfortable on the DRZ?
    #19
  20. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Yeah, we were talking about that and I think two full days it could be done pretty comfortably and still have time for looking at stuff. I was quite impressed that you guys finished off most of it in one day last year!

    Thanks again for the work you did on the route, looking forward to finishing off the last few roads and maybe adding in some others.

    We would prefer to keep it all on dirt, but there were some stretches we had to jump on pavement due to time (or snow). I think with some advance work we could avoid more pavement. One of the stretches was from the valley to Globe, couldn't really see a viable way to get to where we wanted to go off road. Thought about the Flo-Kel hwy, but decided that would take more time then we had with the late start on saturday.
    #20