Birthday Weekend ride in Az

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by cb60130, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    With triple digit temps lingering deep in to September here in Phoenix, any excuse to head for the mountains and escape is welcome. 2 weeks ago I snuck out with my camper and got some fishing in with my son, last weekend we were in the mountains again for his Cub Scout fall campout. This was all good and well... but there was no motorcycle involved.

    Since momma had 2 consecutive weekends off from the boys I suggested that this might be a good weekend for me to go for a ride. She gave my kitchen pass an approval stamp and I planted the seed with a couple buddies. I had a loose plan to leave Friday and head up to the family cabin in Pinetop. Ride out of Pinetop Saturday. Then leave from the Cabin this morning and take the Rim Road all the way across to Young highway and South from there over 4 Peaks and home.

    By Friday morning, it would appear that I would be flying solo on the trip. No skin off my back... as much as I like riding with some buddies, I don't mind riding alone either. I like to think of it as a bit of spiritual cleansing.
    #1
  2. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I got my bike packed up Thursday night. Relatively light being that I didn't have to worry about camping gear, just some clothes and some tools.

    I hit the road about 9 Friday morning without much in the way of a plan. Just Pinetop by sundown...

    I decided I'd head up and over 4 peaks as I was headed North out of town KIMG1695.JPG
    even though I was planning on coming back this way Sunday it just looked too good to pass by... it's about 25 miles or so of dirt to go up and over... the peaks were flirting with some clouds up there, I just had to go...

    After you crest the top, you're treated to a pretty nice view over Roosevelt Lake
    KIMG1696.JPG
    when I got to the bottom, I decided I'd take a right and head toward Globe for some lunch. KIMG1698.JPG
    I stopped at the dam for a picture of the bridge
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  3. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I stopped for a splash of gas and a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger in Globe. Globe is an old mining town, seems like a shell of what it once was. Reminds me of Radiator Springs from the movie Cars. Just seems like you transcend 50 years of history as you ride through.

    I decided I'd head up US60 through the Salt River canyon. KIMG1700.JPG
    The river is a little muddy thanks to the deluge we got last week from the remains of Hurricane Rosa

    As you cross the river there's a couple old buildings I've always wanted to stop and look at KIMG1703.JPG
    this looks to be an old gas station
    KIMG1707.JPG
    next door, this little shack has all the makings of a jail?
    KIMG1708.JPG
    bars on the windows and a cell with a bed. This picture is from outside what used to be a wall... weird place for a jail.
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  4. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Climbing out of the river canyon... KIMG1709.JPG
    KIMG1711.JPG KIMG1712.JPG
    After that I decided I'd take a side trip through Fort Apache on my way in to Pinetop. Never been there, so, why not?
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  5. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I got in to Pinetop around 4:30 or so. Made myself busy getting the cabin out of Semi-hibernation. Got things settled, took a nice hot shower and ro
    de in to town for a quick bite and a few cold ones for the fridge. KIMG1714.JPG
    After a chilly ride back from dinner and the store I lit a fire and cracked an Oat Soda. I don't know what time I dozed off... but I woke up when the fire was out and my toes were cold.
    #5
  6. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Saturday morning I got out of bed and puttered around getting ready. The thermometer on the tree in front was a ways below the 40. I wasn't in a big hurry. I procrastinated a while but I decided I could get moving when it hit the mid 40's
    KIMG1715.JPG
    headed out East toward Alpine
    KIMG1716.JPG
    leaves are changing.

    took 180 East out of Alpine toward NM KIMG1717.JPG
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  7. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I took 180 South... KIMG1718.JPG KIMG1719.JPG
    Eventually you drop out of the mountains, I took a right on 78 headed back West toward Clifton and Morenci KIMG1724.JPG
    Between the NM mountains and the Az mountains... there's this... it's not as long as it looks
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  8. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Back in to Arizona
    KIMG1726.JPG
    the yellow sign on the left is indicative of the road ahead...

    headed in to Clifton... KIMG1720.JPG
    stopped for a splash of gas and lunch at the Miner's Diner in Morenci. Morenci is another Copper Mining town. It's a massive mine... until you see it you can't really understand... if you want to see more about it look up my thread from a trip through there in June 2017.

    After lunch I was headed up HWY191 when I was stopped to let some trucks by
    KIMG1727.JPG
    from there, HWY191 is 90 some miles of twisty bliss...
    KIMG1728.JPG
    The road starts in the desert and tops out over 9000'... it's a bucket list ride.
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  9. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    From Alpine I headed west toward Big Lake and Sunrise Ski resort. Then back to Pinetop by around 5:00. 342 miles of mountainous twistys on the day. A hot shower, some dinner and a fire in the wood burning stove had me asleep in the recliner again.
    #9
  10. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    my plan was to get up this morning and ride forest roads the bulk of the 180 miles home...

    Weather forecast called for possible rain today...

    Rolled out of bed and saw this on the back patio KIMG1731.JPG
    I thought, no way....

    figured I'd just wait until it warmed up and the rain would melt it off...
    just snowed more and started collecting on the roads KIMG1741.JPG
    decided I'd just have to hunker down and ride it out. Might have to miss work tomorrow... Darn!
    KIMG1749.JPG
    So I lit a fire, turned on a football game and resolved myself to put a ride report together...

    I guess things could be worse!!
    #10
  11. Moggs023

    Moggs023 Adventurer

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    Great pictures
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  12. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    My wife and I have been looking for some different places to go. Arizona is on the list. Thanks.
    #12
  13. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    let me know if you're planning a trip out this way. I can help you put a route or two together if you like...
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  14. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    About the time I finished that last post about the football game I started feeling a little guilty about missing work on Monday. Even though Monday was my birthday I kinda felt like I ought to give at least a Boy Scout effort to making it in. The snow had been done for a couple hours by that point and the sun had even made a half assed attempt to come out here and there. I looked out the front window and the slush was pretty well burned off the road by that point. I started doing some math in my head and figured I could get most of the way home before I ran out of daylight. I decided I better shit'n'git while the gittin's good! I loaded the bike and ran through the check list of what I needed to do to get the cabin back in to hibernation. From where I was I had 2 options on a route home. 1 was back down through the Salt River canyon I came up on Friday... about a half hour longer but I'd get out of the mountains quicker with less chance of snow and frozen roads. Option 2 was a little faster home but about 90 miles of mountains before I shed some elevation and get out of the snow/freeze level. My plan was option 1...
    #14
  15. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I let the wife know I was making a run for it and headed out. Damn near busted my ass trying to back my bike over the pile of snow that slid off the roof in front of the garage. KIMG1751.JPG
    it was about 43 degrees as I pulled out of the driveway so I was feeling pretty good about not having any ice to worry about. I figured if I can get this couple miles to the main highway, I should be smooth sailing from there. Somewhere between my optimism and my haste to get moving I neglected to check the weather forecast. When I got to the highway and turned West, the sky was looking pretty grey... you know... that winter, snowy kinda grey. But I was hoping to be losing some elevation in 30-40 miles so... I pressed on. About 15 minutes in I remember, I forgot to turn off the heater.... Son-of-a-bitch... back I go!!!
    #15
  16. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I figure I lost at least a half hour going back to turn off the heater in the cabin and then, of course, I had to stop for gas... daylight is burning and the sky is getting more and more ominous looking by the minute. The cabin is on the far East end of Pinetop, headed West its about 20 miles to get through Pinetop, Lakeside and Show Low before you break free and can make time... seems like it takes forever. All the while the sky is getting mean looking... somewhere between Lakeside and Show Low it starts to rain... HARD!! I ride through about 5 miles of hard rain before I get to the intersection of option 1 and option 2. Option 1 looks ugly... but I can see sunshine and clear skies directly to my west. Remember, option 2 was plan B. I opted for sunshine and plan B. Shortly after making the choice the rain stopped the sun popped out.... life was looking up.
    #16
  17. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    In the interest of gobbling up the miles I was hauling the mail, running 75'ish and with the evap cooling going on with my gear and temps hovering around 40, well, it was cold, and I had to pee now...I wasn't going to stop unless I had to so I just pressed on. I was making good time but unfortunately, there were clouds building ahead. About 30 miles later I'd hit the town of Heber. The sun had now fallen below the dark clouds ahead, it was getting a little dark to see with my sunglasses on and I was kinda starting to shiver. I pulled over in a church parking lot and switched out my sunglasses for my regular glasses. I added a layer on my chest and was feeling pretty spry as I got rolling again. On the way out of Heber, the temp dropped down below 40 but the layer I added was a welcome addition. Unfortunately the daylight was going away and I wasn't even half way home by now. I was starting to worry about deer and elk now, the sky ahead was BLACK dark... I was still about 30 miles from dropping out of the mountains. As the last of daylight faded I tucked in behind a car and figured I'd use them as a deer blocker. I followed him for about 10 miles before the rain started to fall. Now it's dark... temps are in the mid 30's and as the rain gets a little heavier, visibility is starting to be a real issue. Oncoming traffic pretty much blocks any sense of forward vision I have at this point... all I can do is follow the two red tail lights in front of me and pray. As I got close to Forest Lakes, which is just a slow down in the highway with a general store and bar'n'grill, the rain got heavy. I was blind and threw up the white flag and pulled over. As I sat on the side of the highway contemplating my shrinking options I lifted my face shield. In the distance I could see the lights of the store and bar. I waited until there were no headlights and limped my way along the edge of the road toward the lights.
    #17
  18. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    Much to my delight, the closest lights I had seen in the distance were from the Forest Lakes Lodge. I've driven past the place dozens of times and never really paid any attention that it was even there. The brightest part of the sign in front said "VACANCY". I'm not a religious guy, but this was divine intervention at work. I pulled under the awning in front of the office, there wasn't anybody inside and I was getting a little worried that I wouldn't be able to get a room. As I was getting off the bike, a guy popped out the door next to the office and asked if I'd like to get a room. I told him I was ready to throw in the towel, he smiled and said "come on in" as he opened the door to the office. He told me he'd knock $5 off the regular room rate for me on account of the foul weather... truthfully I'd have paid double the going rate, so that was a kind gesture. He checked me in to a first floor room and was also kind enough to check the overnight weather forecast for me while I was there. He also informed me that the Bar and grill had closed early for the season...bummer no dinner! Also told me that the store was closed... bummer... no chance to get a beer! I had a room with a bed and a heater. Only problem was.... I still wasn't out of the mountains and the forecast wasn't looking great.
    #18
  19. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I woke up about 7 am and peeked out the curtains, the sun was shining and there wasn't any snow on the ground, nor was there frost on the windshields in the front of my room. I was stoked, but I knew it was cold out there. I figured I'd watch the news for a bit and take a shower, burn a little time and wait for it to warm up and hit the road. A little after 8, I took a shower and put some clothes on. I puttered around a bit and looked out the curtains again.... now the sky was grey... WTF??? I opened the front door and stepped outside. I felt that cold bite, the cold bite you feel when there's a storm moving in. I was thinkin' SUM-BITCH... Mother Nature is angry with me for something... I grabbed my shit and loaded the bike in a hurry. I knew it hadn't froze overnight, but if it got nasty and started to snow, it would only get worse. I just needed to get another 20 miles or so to get down out of the danger zone so I had to a move on... I dropped off my key with the guy in the office and he offered me a cup of coffee and a danish. I politely declined and told him I needed to get moving. It was 37 degrees when I pulled out of the parking lot. KIMG1752.JPG
    #19
  20. cb60130

    cb60130 Been here awhile

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    I made tracks in to the biting cold... The road was dry so I wasn't worried about ice. I was feeling pretty good... about 10 miles later.... FOG... pea soup, thick ass fog. It was the thickest fog I've been in since I'd seen tooley fog in the central valley of California. Ass pucker factor of about 10.1 on a scale of 10. I could see about 100 yards max, I just held may line and hoped for the best... As I dropped off the rim and wound my way down in elevation the fog stayed thick until it broke in an instant.... thank you Mother nature...
    #20
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