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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by tjt94, Dec 9, 2018.
Continuing across the Colorado River into Arizona, I entered onto the US Army Yuma Proving Ground.
The desert vistas of the area are incredible!
I turned north on US95 and then a couple miles up the road I turned left to head to Martinez Lake. This also is an inlet on the Colorado River.
Our current (totally unnecessary) government shutdown has the Visitor Center of the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge closed.
I took a little ride up the Red Cloud Mine Road. I might ride further one of these times but I seem to recall it get rugged further up and I ride alone without crash bars on my T120. Maybe on a better suited bike? In truth, I'd probably just get myself into a worse jam. Regardless, the T120 handles gravel roads quite well. It's just the sand washes that are frequent in this area that I am not wanting to deal with. They were terrible on a KLR I had (probably my riding technique) but there are other roads and adventures to be had on the bike I have now.
One of the overlooks. The Colorado River is nearly impossible to access from the shore along this stretch due to the marsh (the river is down past the reeds).
The vistas of the area continue to impress. This is the view to the east and features Castle Dome mountain.
Back to the agricultural fields and the final picture of the day. Dome Valley.
Beautiful weather here today and a ride was in order. I decided to ride to Picacho State Park. Per the website:
100 years ago Picacho was a gold mining town with 100 citizens. Today the site is a State Park, popular with boaters, hikers, anglers and campers. The park offers diverse scenery, including beavertail cactus, wild burros, bighorn sheep and thousands of migratory waterfowl. (The park is on one leg of the Pacific Flyway.) Eight miles of the lower Colorado River are the recreation area’s eastern border.
I have been out to Picacho about 15 years ago and know that the road is often washboarded and loose gravel. I prepared to maybe not complete the trip if it became more than I wanted to do on my T120. It is the opening leg of the southern section of the CABDR.
I road about 11 miles of the 18 before deciding to turn around. My bike really is not well suited for that kind of road. It is geared too high and without crash protection. I was also riding alone, a preference I seem to have, and a tip over is not something I need to deal with. While I suspect that the new Scrambler is better suited, but it is also several thousand dollars more. I will likely return to the end destination in my truck in the near future.
Regardless, nice ride albeit rough. There was opportunity for photos of the scenery though.
View to the north east riding in - desert and Colorado River in the distance.
Near the point of my turnaround. Picacho in view but still around 5 miles away and my time was more limited than a trip completion would really allow.
Palo verde con moto verde.
I took a short ride Saturday afternoon to a part of Imperial County California that I have not seen before. While I have been around the highly polluted Salton Sea and Salvation Mountain/The Slabs numerous times, I have not bothered to go out to the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
At 227 feet below sea level, the location is best visited before the heat sets in (soon) and the temps will be in the mid-110's and the smell of the sea foul. So with a day in the 80's I set out to this somewhat unremarkable location.
The observatory at the Bono Headquarters does not provide much of a view of the Salton Sea but those are probably best had from the east side highway and beaches. However the Rock Hill viewable from the Headquarters is scenic.
The Boiling Mud Pots are interesting but the area between them and the road has been closed with threats of fines for trespassing. The Pots bubble mud from the earth. The entire area of this part of California and Mexico has significant amounts of geothermal activity and power stations. This area is also one that has significant seismic activity and faults including the beginning of the San Andreas Fault.
Anyway, nice two hour on the T120 in great weather. While not a place I will likely revisit, I enjoyed the day.
I replaced a KLR with a new Triumph T100 AND an old XT225. I went through Picacho last month, too, but had the 225. Off pavement, I can take the XT225 places where I would have hesitated or turned around with the KLR. But I don't take the T100 off pavement, it wouldn't take dropping as well as the small bike! So my Triumph sees less of the world than yours.
I really don't ride that much gravel. It's going to be less going forward too. A left hand drop may very well do significant transmission damage and any drop will screw up other things I don't want screwed up. It's my only bike.
Another nice Saturday in March means another 200 mile half day trip. Since the desert is ina super bloom, I decided to stay down in the desert and make a trip out to Borrego Springs. I intended ona counter-clockwise loop but ended up being blocked by a closed road on a new route it was trying. So I did my normal northbound S-2 route. Glad I did as the southbound traffic was horrendously full of Jeep caravans and others out to see the super bloom. I had The northbound lane to myself!
Borrego was over full so I set a couple of tacos and headed home on the 78 and 86. Again, light traffic from that direction.
One thing I need to do for sure is to start using my good camera or get rid of my iPhone 6. The quality of the pictures does not do justice to what was there. Oh well.
As always, a super nice day on a bike that likes those kind of roads.
There were tens of thousands of these caterpillars throughout the desert. I was told they may become those huge gypsy moths that are hummingbird sized. Not sure.
An ocotillo outside Borrego that is a few days past it’s blooming best but nice nonetheless.
Looks like a great ride.
Another nice weekend and perfect for a short day trip. This time was to approximately follow the route to four of the stations of the Butterfield Stage Coach and Mail Route. The route was operational between 1858-1861 when the Civil War started and the route was shut down.
Passengers paid an equivalent of $5000 in today's money to ride from St Louis to San Francisco and were only allowed 15" of space and sat three to a seat. Two of the three seat on the coach faced each other and the passengers had to interlock their knees (talk about bad legroom on modern planes)! I found the location and other information on the route here: https://butterfieldoverlandstage.com/2012/03/28/california-stations/
First stop, Monument Station. It was located where modern day Calexico is and was about a block away from the US/Mexican Border at 107 E 2nd Street. The two stops before this one from the east were located in Mexico as the stage route could not go through the Imperial Dunes and had to go south.
Looking south from the station into Mexico.
In addition to being the location or where a Butterfield Stage station was located, this street is also one of the filming location of The Mayans (Sons of Anarchy spinoff).
The route heading west continues along the north side of the New River. This area now has hundreds of acres of solar panels, numerous geothermal electrical plants, and electrical generating windmills.
The next station heading west was the Indian Wells Station. In this photo, it would have been on this side of the river and probably to the middle left side of the photo.
Still westbound, the next stop was Sackett's Well Station. This site is not one that I want to ride my street oriented T120 to. I could probably make it, but it is not a smart move and there isn't anything remaining to see anyway.
Sackett's Well Station would have been somewhere up behind the mountains in this picture about in the middle.