Todd (Twwhitey) aka Todd lite and I decided to ride the AZBDR with 3 buddies from the OC and high desert area who would meet us on day 2 because of work constraints. Catalina 38 and Big Todd were riding 990's and ConTeacher was on a 1200 GS. Todd an I met in Pine Valley @ 4 on Wed 4/21 and got to the to the very nice campgrounds near Gila Bend at the Petroglyph's which are pretty cool around 8:30. We had the place to ourselves and the firewood gods left us a nice present for our viewing pleasure. Hit the road early and ended up in Casa Grande for breakfast - if you are ever visiting the metropolis of Casa Grande make sure to eat at the "Big House Cafe" - it should be on Diners, Drive ins and Dives for sure. On the road to Tombstone to walk the very same streets as the likes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday! Here is a picture of one of the local town drunks or Todd - I'm not sure which it was. Main St Tombstone Here is the bar at the Crystal Palace the wooden bar is a replica made in England as was the original at a modern day cost of 150k. If ever in Tombstone make sure you stop by here for a shot of Old Overholt whiskey (Wyatt Earp's drink of choice) poured by the lovely bartender Celeste. Just make sure your wife is not with you and you keep your shades on - you could set a pie on top of.....well you get it. Tombstone was cool but the Old Bisbee Brewing Company in Bisbee of course was a short ride away and well worth it. Next time we would stay in Bisbee. Day 1 - 258 miles (180 dirt) rode 8-6PM The next day we hit the AZBDR - here is the start. The AZBDR is broken down into 6 sections but it's really easy to do it all in 4 days which we did. First day we left Tombstone @ 8 and hit the start @ 9 heading to Sonita. We took the "hard option" which was a bit of slow deep sand in a tight twisty trail which made it hard to get up on top with the loaded big bikes - it was hot and we did struggle a bit. Just when your a little worn down with the elevation of about 4500 the trail becomes very rocky for about five miles before we hopped on the freeway for the 11 miles to Benson for lunch around 1. After Benson a paved back road turns to high speed dirt/gravel all the way to Mammoth. We stopped for a cold beer and guacamole and chips before moving on to Winkelman where we had planned on camping and meeting the rest of the group. But it was too early and the camping options were pricey because of Memorial Day Weekend so we decided to head up to Pioneer Pass and camp in the pines at a cooler and higher elevation. Pioneer Pass was a bit rocky (as is the whole of AZ as it turns out) on the climb up with a couple steeper tricky sections on bigger loaded bikes but nothing to worry about. Pretty easy high speed stuff at first. Todd saw wild pigs on the side of the trail in this area. Quick side trip to this site were a Spanish dude passed through in 1539 - supposedly the first European west of the Rockies. Hows this for a title.... Local scenery - one thing about AZ is if you don't like the view just wait a minute cause it will change. Came around a corner to find this guy wrestling with a 950. We knew the sand was coming but it went from hard pack to deep soft sand in one blind corner - kinda catches you by surprise. Todd says he likes to fall in the sand....it's soft! Found this bitchin old mine- does anyone still use the phrase "bitchin"? Excellent meal here as you first enter Benson. Not sure if this is a ride report or a food report - try the French Dip. What would a ride report in AZ be without a photo of these guys? Fast graded roads on the way to Mammoth were FUN! Todd heading up Pioneer Pass on one of the smoother sections Camping that first night on the AZBDR at Pioneer Pass Day 2 145 miles mostly dirt- short day - rode 8-4PM. Rode down to Globe then up onto the Mogollon Rim The rest of the crew met up with us at camp the next morning and we stopped for gas in Globe before heading out to Young. Big Todd, John and Bill riding the token GS. Bill crossing the bridge near Roosevelt Lake. The guard rail on the left was busted off and it looks like someone went for a ride over the edge - quite a ways down. Yes there is water in AZ! Shade was at a premium Did I mention how beautiful AZ is? We decided to forego the 22 miles of "relentless rock" on the way to Young and took anther route given to me by a "DOD" an inmate here on Advrider and it was a great route with some slightly challenging rocky sections but overall a scenic ride. It's a little longer then the AZBDR route to Young but very enjoyable. Much thanks to DOD! Big Todd having a good time! Up top we are back in the trees Lunch in Young at Antlers - great food again! Light sprinkles as we ate inside but it stopped in time to ride. Then we climbed up onto the Mogollon Rim which is spectacular! Hows this for a fire road... Todd pondering the meaning of life on a Super Enduro Camped right on the rim Day 3 - 183 miles - again mostly dirt, rode 8-6PM. Entire day is up on the rim with varying terrain and landscape. A shot looking back at our campsite Lots of this Bridge was out so we took a little bypass through the woods - there is a posted bypass but it was no problem to get by. Bill's GS decided it didn't like it's centerstand anymore - broken bolt - turns out this was worth removing anyway as the rocks would get worse and ground clearance was at a premium. Gas station in Happy Jack - cool name for a town! This was our only breakdown of the trip and NO FLAT TIRES!!! Long Lake - which was appropriately named After Long Lake we hit miles (5+) of very rutted and sharp baby head sized rocks which really slowed things down. It started out just a little rutted.... Very deceiving - look closely Then on to the cinder cone area with it's black volcanic sand - only a couple deeper sections that were pretty short. The Mighty SE Todd's SE Big Todds new (to him) 990 John's 990 with BIG gas We were waiting for Bill to show up as he was last and when Todd went back he had crashed in the sand and was pinned under the bike but luckily just his ego was hurt! Cinder Cone Finally back across the highway and on to Antelope Valley where we primitive camped for the night. Saw Elk as we found a spot to camp - they almost took out John as they crossed the trail through the trees hauling butt. We called this camp Boneyard due to the pile of big bones nearby. Day 4 - 289 miles again mostly dirt 8-6:30 - Down off the rim down to Cameron and across Navajo reservation then across the Grand Canyon to North Rim to camp with our first showers!!!!! The ride down was again spectacular! Wide open spaces Open range horses Ran into two Navajo locals with a broken truck and Big Todd gave one of the guys a lift out of the middle of nowhere Navajo Reservation is HUGE! Had the BEST French Dip made with Navajo bread which tastes kinda like funnel cake - yum! Our own GC overlook on the res. Todd Lite has bigger ones then I do This is close enough for me! Bill let us have a big orange moment Off the res and on the Navajo bridge Bison on the way to North Rim Campground - and did I mention the showers?! The morning view a short walk from the campground Day 4 245 miles rode 8-6PM from North Rim to Fredonia for fuel and breakfast in Kanab then hit the dirt to Mt Turmbull area the hotel in Mesquite called the Virgin River Casino but did not see a river of virgins. Once again great eats Self explanatory picture Again I repeat myself Shade! Saw turkeys in the woods nearby. This last day of riding from Fredonia to Mesquite was a very pleasant surprise with great terrain and views. Schoolhouse These hoodlums were inside Nice shot Last day - Todd and I blasted home on the SE's while our wiser friends had a truck in Mesquite to ride home in the AC with some kind of noise blaring out of the speakers - I am sure of this. But the weather was quite comfortable on the ride home from 7-2:30 and the big V Twin's just rumbled on and on at a steady 70+ Two SE's at the In N Out in Barstow - trusty steeds resting in the shade! Great ride, great riding buddies - what more could you ask for!