Rainbow Farm Rides BDRs, AZ Peace Trails, Misc So Cal, and Baja

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PJ Bren, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    We headed up into Joshua tree the following day. Coming in from this direction was a much different experience from our past visits to the park and we really enjoyed it. The scenery is different and the riding in just engaging enough.
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    The weather in central Joshua Tree was substantially cooler and once we got to the pavement we slowly wound our way southwest until the spur for Dale Road and eventually Gold Crown Road. After getting past the washboards, the rocky climb through the mine roads were scenic and challenging. Out on the north side we got on the pavement and headed east to the Palen McCoy wilderness. This has a sandy/rocky cutoff that heads east through the wilderness and eventually brings you close to Blythe, where we camped for the night.
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    #21
  2. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

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    Stunning pictures! Looking forward to more.
    #22
  3. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    From Blythe we headed east to get on a few other section of the AZ peace trails back to Yuma. Instead of going through Quartzite we rode through the Dome Rock Mountains north of Ehrenberg and eventually ended up at a Peace Trail track marked S-19 E3 Spur. This track goes through the Plomosa Mountains through Preacher Pass and is standard 2 track that culminates in a set of very difficult hill climbs, especially when loaded for travel.
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    After some tears we were able to help each other up the hills that summit next to a Santa in a cactus, then continued riding east on a road parallel to I-10. Eventually the trail cuts south and we took a 2 track spur towards Royal Arch, which is where we setup camp for the night.
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    #23
  4. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    The next day was an easy ride south to Wellton, then back to Yuma for some R and R by the van after a week long ride about.
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    I'll work on the next section of the ride in a bit, but until then, enjoy!
    #24
  5. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    Nice write up and pics!! How many days on trail for first loop? Don't know if you already said, I missed it if you did!
    #25
  6. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Great trip..
    #26
  7. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    First loop was about 2 weeks.
    #27
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  8. RonSJC

    RonSJC Long timer Supporter

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    Impressive, quite the trip thus far! When did you do the CABDR?
    #28
  9. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    Started on January 7th, 2021.
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  10. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    Back at the van it was time to service the bikes and get them ready for the AZBDR and return route. We had some tires and filters ordered and sent to a local MC shop so we mounted those up, changed oil, and sewed patches on pants and panniers that were a little worse for the wear after 3000 miles of mostly aggressive riding. I can assure you it is not easy to sew a patch in Kevlar!

    The weather forecast was looking fantastic for the higher elevation portions of the AZBDR, so after a few days we were ready to give it a shot. The snow pack map showed an area around the Mogollon Rim that could be impassible, but we figured we'd make the adjustments on the fly to give us the best chance for success.

    On February 5th we set off from Yuma southeast to reach the southern part of the AZBDR. Using the map we had found a way that traverses the "camino del diablo" roughly paralleling the border until it cuts up to the town of Why. This route goes through both the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. There is quite a bit of 2 track sand but we only saw a couple razors and a bunch of border patrol trucks along the route but we thought the route was really nice. I wouldn't want to be caught out there in the summer, but it was a scenic way to get to the east.
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    Looking at the map in Why we realized that a substantial chunk of land to the east was reservation land. This made finding a piece a public land to camp on difficult, though we did finally find a secluded spot behind some baseball fields to sleep for the night.
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    #30
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  11. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    The next morning we hit the pavement to get to Robies Junction, where we filled up with fuel and water, then headed south on more pavement to get to Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge where we had mapped out a route that would pass east and eventually lead into the Coronado National forest. Really moderate and fun two track passed through the refuge and once we got into the Coronado the roads opened up a bit to larger and well maintained FS routes.
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    After a brief stop in Nogales for supplies we headed out again into the Coronado for a bit more riding before taking a spur NF road to find a campsite for the night.
    #31
  12. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Thoroughly enjoying your report @PJ Bren - great shot of that santa in the cactus and seriously great capture of the the bikes, long shadows, and the moon up over that rock formation.

    Wish I was in the desert riding!

    Look forward to more, the stuff you've already posted from the AZBDR is sweet.
    #32
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  13. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    We finally met up with the AZBDR the following morning around Sheep Ranch Canyon. We followed Section 1 through the Coronado on continually enjoyable wide roads until Sonoita. Section 2 that follows is a bit contrived, doing a loop through Las Cienegas National Conservation Area that was just about enjoyable enough to justify making the detour. Back on the pavement we headed north to Benson where we got supplies, then continued north on Section 3.
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    We don't have any photos of this section which leads me to believe that it wasn't incredibly scenic and quite a bit of pavement, though the final section that gets off the hard road and climbs towards Pioneer Pass was awesome. Just before the summit we took a spur road and found the perfect campsite with zero traffic for the evening. I have the GPS coordinates for it if anyone riding the AZBDR is interested - leave it better than you found it!
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    #33
  14. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    If you're seeing that Santa after approaching from the west you've earned the view; that is the summit of the challenging hill climb.
    #34
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  15. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    The descent from Pioneer Pass in the morning was through the snow, though just clear enough to make passing possible.
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    Once in Globe we grabbed more supplies and set out on Section 5, having apparently already covered Section 4 the previous day. We took the normal rather than easy route to Young, including the expert section that cuts directly west. The riding through the Tonto is most excellent and we really enjoyed the riding the whole day. The rocky hills were challenging but not so much as to distract from the most excellent scenery surrounding us.
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    After fuel in Young we got on Section 6 north and made it for the Mogollon Rim, where we discovered all the campgrounds and roads through this section of forest were closed for the winter. Bummer. With the light waning we drove towards Payson a bit until we found an extremely bombed out spur FS road that we rode up and setup camp. Other than the occasional elk it was a quite night.
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    #35
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  16. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    Our game plan to get around the closures was to head down to Payson, get supplies, then take the pavement north to meet up with the AZBDR Section 6 at the Mongollon Rim Ranger Station. Unfortunately the ranger station was closed, though a kind employee did come out and talk to us. She informed us that most of the roads in the forest were closed, but then alluded to an open road that might take us through and connect back with our intended route.

    She was right, there was an open road and it allowed us to T back into Section 6 a couple miles north of the ranger station. As we got on the BDR route we found that the snow was mostly melted, however the mud was the worst we've ever seen. This is no small thing being that we live in WV and know mud very well. Not only was it slick like standard mud, but it was extremely sticky and dried to concrete. We struggled through this entire section, more tears and much falling was had, and eventually we got off on the expert section which didn't feel expert at all. Along the way we saw some prong horn antelope and eventually we found a campsite a couple miles south of Winona.
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    Upon reflection, we were glad to have done this section, but both decided that we didn't need to do it in these conditions ever again!
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    #36
  17. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    Section 7 east of Flagstaff is a pleasant drive through some interesting terrain. Who knew there were volcanos in Arizona? We thought the drive through to forest and in the cinders with the blackish sand/soil was pretty unique.
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    At Strawberry crater we noticed a small leak coming from Paul's countershaft seal which we assumed was from all the mud packing in the countershaft case. We did our best to clean out both our countershaft cases, then continued on towards the Grand Canyon South Rim.
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    More mud ensued, though slightly less difficult than the previous day, and eventually we made it to Mule Shoe Bend were we found a campsite that gave us a moderate view of the canyon.
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    #37
  18. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    The information we had was that the Navajo Nation land that Section 8 goes through was closed to traffic and we wanted to respect their wishes. We were tasked with finding a route not only north, but also to circle around and start heading back to Yuma. In the morning we traversed east to the highway and Paul downloaded tracks for the Grand Canyon BDR in the hopes of getting some ideas of interesting routes traversing the canyon.
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    The route we found stayed on the highway to Marble Canyon, which is spectacular.
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    From there we went west towards Jacob Lake, and this is where we diverged from the final portion of the AZBDR. Rather than leave the pavement for the last of Section 9, we continued to Fredonia for gas, then got off the hard road and followed the GCBDR track towards SoB Point in search of an epic camp spot. After 40ish miles of wide open dirt roads we turned off for another 10 miles of more challenging 2 track to get to the point. The detour was worth it and we got a bit crazy with the photos. We've camped in 100's of spots over the years, and this site be the best we've ever had.
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    #38
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  19. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    The following day was extremely long and varied. First we backtracked through the 2 track, then continued west along the GCBDR through a bit of rain and snow until the Nampaweap rock art site.
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    After a quick walk through of the site, we were back on the bikes through the Mount Trumbull Wilderness area. The track led us through Hidden Canyon and eventually onto Nutter Twist Road, a fantastic and challenging desert road that that climbs and falls through multicolored desert terrain.
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    North a bit and then up and over Lime Kiln Pass, another awesome desert road, and down to Mesquite for gas, supplies, and more importantly a pressure washer to FINALLY clean out some of the packed mud that had accumulated from between the Mogollon and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We hit the pavement west to an area outside of the Valley of Fire and camped for the night next to a wildlife refuge. There is so much to this day that I didn't capture in photos that hopefully the Go Pro video do it more justice.
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    #39
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  20. PJ Bren

    PJ Bren Been here awhile

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    We continued south on pavement through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, then over the Hoover Dam and south on the Interstate for about 15 miles before turning off onto dirt headed east. As soon as we turned off the pavement we noticed a massive fork seal leak on Lauren's bike, so we sacrificed one of our water bottles to make a seal saver. After a half hour of cleaning we were able to stop the leak, button things back up, and continue on our way. All that mud from a week before was finally making its appearance.
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    This off road section is a track labeled as a connector between BDRs and traverses through some pretty country on the way south to Kingman. Nothing is too challenging but it is a welcome step off the the pavement. As we approached Kingman we noticed that one of Paul's panniers was hanging low; the pannier rack had broken at a weld. Bummer.
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    Some duck tape, zipties, and a strap held the rack up enough for us to limp into Kingman, where Lauren gathered supplies while Paul called every weld shop open on a Saturday evening (no luck). In a desperation effort we reached out to the sole entry on ADVrider tent space, and amazingly we were hooked up with a beautiful family who was able to fix the pannier racks (Lauren's had a crack as well) as well as put us up for the evening. Big thanks to the tent space forum and the Kingman family!
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    #40