The Apache Trail, My Son's First Big Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    My son Matt is 8 years old. I have taken him on several short rides around the neighborhood and one ride for about 50 miles. Unlike my daughter, he is constantly begging me for a ride. I figure if he is going to tour the World with me someday, we'd better start the training... :rayof

    I decide to take him on an overnight motorcycle camping trip on The Apache Trail. I rarely ride this road because it requires nearly 60 miles of riding in the Phoenix Metro from my home. As you will see it is very scenic. President Theodore Roosevelt toured the road by car in 1911 while on the way to the dam and lake named in his honor. He called The Apache Trail "One of the most spectacular best-worth-seeing-sights of the World". We'll just make the trail part of our own family history.

    The satellite image of our route below shows how far we must ride in urban sprawl.

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    Matt seems to have no idea of the white-knuckled ride ahead... :yikes (Just kidding mom.)

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    We stop down the street for gas. We get a Duraflame Log for tonight. I barely find room to squeeze it in a pannier.

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    This just looks like a boring freeway photo... It is, except for the Photo Radar Cameras lining the right side of the road. Hey, If you're gonna shoot at me I'll shoot back. :ksteve

    Fun riding in Arizona is nearly over... Fixed and mobile photo speed enforcement is everywhere and they are furiously adding more... Thanks to our liberal governor. :(:

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    We get the highest bridge at the SR51/Loop 202 Stack.

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    We head east on the Red Mountain Freeway. (I wonder why they call it that?)

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    After 60 miles we turn left onto The Apache Trail. Soon we are finally out of town. :wings

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    The Superstition Mountains
    This photo was taken at the entrance to the Lost Dutchman State Park. For the history of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine I found this neat link; http://www.superstitionmountainmuseum.org/LostDutchmanExhibit.htm :thumbup Maybe we'll find all the gold on this trip...

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    It Get's Better!
    #1
  2. leeinmemphis

    leeinmemphis Long timer

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    I have two 8 y/o kids and we're gonna start moto camping next spring. Man I can't wait. Looks like a good start so far. :evil
    #2
  3. seabee1

    seabee1 we build, we fight

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    man, dave, what a cool lookin' time for you and your son!
    #3
  4. xdbx

    xdbx Motorcycle Connoisseur

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    Boom! there it is :clap

    More rides with sons. More dualsports! More Phoenix!!!!!!! :deal
    #4
  5. Cordless

    Cordless Two Wheel Addict

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    Cool ride, great kid, Coolest Dad ever.

    Makes me wistful for when my sons were 8 yrs. old and I was a hero.

    Looking forward to more of the tale.
    #5
  6. BillsR100

    BillsR100 Happy Paleoflatus

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    Far out! Love it! :clap
    P.S. When your son is on the back, dont make jokes about anything having to do with "white knuckles" or ANYTHING dangerous about motorcycles, your wife will not laugh, I speak form experience. Moms are kinda protective. :deal
    #6
  7. flan8tive

    flan8tive Flea Tibet!

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    That's an awesome thing to do with your kid. Thanks for the report. Buddy in Chandler keeps telling me I should come out, now I see why.
    #7
  8. ChuckV

    ChuckV Itinerant Settler

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    Dave,

    Thank your wife for allowing Matt to come along with you. You are a cool dad and I look forward to seeing more of your trip.

    My son has 3.5 years before he can take the MSF Street course. He and I can't wait for the fun times ahead.:D

    Thanks for including us on this ride!

    Chuck
    #8
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I check to see if Matt is still with me.

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    My biggest fear is he will fall asleep, but he seems alert.

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    He's still loving it!

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    The road here is very twisty and narrow with dangerous dropoffs and no shoulder or railings.

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    I noticed the white paint marks in the roadway here. They probably marked the points of rest for vehicles from a serious collision.

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    The power lines make it difficult to shoot the vistas.

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    #9
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    The view from Canyon Lake Overlook. The series of man-made lakes along the Salt River here make life in Modern Phoenix possible.
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    We get stuck behind a VW Bus at a one lane bridge. We had to pass the slow moving bus a short time later. Matt later remarked, "Man you were going so fast when we passed!"

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    Just before the small town of Tortilla Flat we turn left into the Tortilla Campground.

    Tortilla Flat began as a Stagecoach Stop in 1904. The entire town burnt down in 1987. It was rebuilt after the fire. The Apache Trail began as a route used by the Apache Indians as they moved through the Superstition Mountains. It became heavily used during the construction of the Roosevelt Dam in 1905. Much of it is still un-paved, as we will see.

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    We purchased our first GPS 2 days ago. We brought it along to see if it works. I hope mom doesn't see these numbers.

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    Look mom! We were traveling at a safe 45.9 mph. Don't look at those other numbers.

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    #10
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    We find a good spot and check out our surroundings. Check Out These Surroundings! :eek1

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    Matt uses the new gadget to navigate to the restroom. :rofl

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    I put him to work setting up camp.

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    Matt pointed out we were eating Tortilla Chips at Tortilla Campground! :D

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    We ate Noodles and Chicken from the bag...

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    ...And stared at this for 3 hours...

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    ...And then crawled into the tent to get warm. It will be a chilly night. The high temp today was a beautiful 71 degrees, but here in the desert the temperature usually drops about 30 degrees at night. (Not bad for the last weekend in November, Huh?)

    It was a clear moonless night with billions of stars twinkling. The Milky Way was visible!

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    #11
  12. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I'm a little afraid of that... She doesn't seem to mind if I crash and burn, :lol3 but I guess I'm lucky she lets me bring Matt along.

    BTW, I grew up around OKC and still have family there. Never did any motorbiking around there though.

    P.S. I hope she doesn't notice the max speed on the GPS for Day 2. :evil
    #12
  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    xdbx, Thanks for checking in. There may be a little dualsportin' on day 2.:wink:
    #13
  14. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    leeinmemphis, seabee1, Cordless, flan8tive, and ChuckV,

    Thanks for the nice comments. I hope you enjoy the ride.

    As usual I shot way too many photos for such a short trip.
    #14
  15. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    great!

    my (almost) 12 year old son wants lights and blinkers on his xr80 to follow me around.

    maybe mom will let him ride on the back instead.

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    #15
  16. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    The sun rises, so we follow suit...
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    We walk around the campground to warm up...

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    Teddy Bear Cholla, a.k.a. Jumpin' Cactus
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    Another Type of Cholla
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    Heart Shaped Prickly Pear Cactus
    Isn't this a great metaphor for love... Green with envy and painful... :rofl
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    We spy these guys looking down at us.
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    Matt goes bouldering while I prepare breakfast.
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    Maybe we'll ride out to Fish Creek Hill Overlook after breakfast. It's only a couple miles of dirt.
    #16
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Matt would love his own dirt bike (As would I). I've been telling him he needs to ride his bicycle more first.
    #17
  18. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Sigh! I feel sick to my stomach seeing these photos...absolutely loved AZ and didn't realize how much till I moved to Oregon! Lived in Chandler for 9 years. Camped at the same place, drove Apache Trail many a time...my son and I hiked to the top of that butte when he was three. Superstition Mts...fabulous area.
    Happy for you, but I'm...
    :cry
    #18
  19. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Glad I could bring you home for a few minutes. Thanks!
    #19
  20. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Matt can't wait to get back on the bike. We'd better break camp.

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    We continue east from Tortilla Flat. There were a couple water hazards that keep the shiny bikes off this section.

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    Uh oh! Pavement Ends! What shall we do? It's only 22 miles of dirt to Lake Roosevelt...

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    #20