Tilting at Windmills Along the Apache Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Animal Instinct, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Yesterday I went on a spontaneous quest to ride the Apache Trail Scenic Byway, AZ 88.

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    I grabbed my camera and headed south on AZ 87, hands freezing in my thick gloves that prevented on-the-fly pictures until it warmed up a little. I got gas in Payson and changed gloves.

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    Being in no rush, I explored a little on the way south to Apache Junction.

    Tonto National Forest road 414 heads northwest out of Rye, AZ. I rode about 3 miles along it, then turned around.

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    I took this little spur to the west a little further down AZ 87 (The Beeline Highway). It just made a "T", but offered some nice views.

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    Further along AZ 87.

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    #1
  2. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    If you look close you'll notice that in this area the northbound lanes of AZ 87 are on the right and I'm on the left heading south. The first time I came down here I freaked out and wondered how I'd messed up and gotten on the wrong side of the road. :rofl

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    Here is something of interest off on the east side of 87.

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    Next it was east on Bush Hwy.

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    It appears there are some good riding opportunities on FR 1847, which is the westward continuation of Bush Hwy.

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    Bush Hwy.

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    I stopped for a quick snack. It was a great day to be outside. I wasn't enjoying it alone.

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    The NF map showed a FR cutting across to the Apache Trail but I never found it. I took Usery Pass Road instead, plan B.

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    Skirted the northeast corner of Phoenix on loop 202 and then headed east on US 60 where the Superstition Mountains come into view.

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    #2
  3. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    The only disappointment I can share is the highline wires.

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    What a great day.

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    #3
  4. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    ......until the battery on my new camera died. I just grabbed it this morning. This ride was unplanned, otherwise I would have charged it up last night.

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    Fortunately, I still had my trusty phone but that meant:

    Stop. Remove gloves. Unzip jacket. Unzip inner jacket pocket. Take pic. Zip inner jacket pocket. Zip jacket. Put gloves back on. Take off. Repeat.

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    I was getting the routine down but it was burnin' a lot of daylight.

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    Apache Lake stretches on for miles.

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    #4
  5. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    as the shadows continued to grow longer, knowing it would be real cold by the time we got back to Pine. On the other side of the dam is Theodore Roosevelt Lake and AZ 188 heading north, back towards Payson.

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    I stopped here, at the intersection of AZ 188 and AZ 87 to put my big gloves back on.

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    And headed home.

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    #5
  6. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Tried to slip another report past me, dija?:lol3 Looks like some rough country out there, but beautiful!
    #6
  7. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    :roflI'm a little sore today to be honest. I am amazed at how quickly ecosystems change here. It's crazy.
    #7
  8. LosAlrider

    LosAlrider Adventurer

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    In photo #13 the mountain in the background is Mt. Ord. If you have never ridden that road before, you should do so. It's only 12 miles round trip but you'll climb to 7200' msl and have some great views. It looks barren but actually it's heavily forested as you climb higher. It also has one of the highest mountain lion population densities in the state.
    #8
  9. SparkyL

    SparkyL Been here awhile

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    You also started a Day Trippin' thread from your new home base! I was hoping you might. It's beautiful country, please keep it coming. Thanks!
    #9
  10. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the heads-up, LosAlrider.

    I've seen the sign on AZ 87, "Mt Ord," and often wondered about riding the road out. It's a dream come true to be in such a beautiful, new place with a bike and a lot of spare time.

    It's on my checklist.

    Scott
    #10
  11. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the kind words, SparkyL.

    That's a great idea and I might take LosAlrider's suggestion and visit the mountain lions on Mt. Ord before long.
    #11
  12. Ack535

    Ack535 Been here awhile

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    I rode through that part of AZ back in 2009. Really enjoyed the trip! Thanks for sharing.

    BTW you guys in AZ have no idea how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful state!
    #12
  13. bbenn75820

    bbenn75820 Long timer

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    Very nice trip. Thank you. I am surprised the lakes appear pretty much full.
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  14. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Hey Ack535,

    I'm just realizing how lucky we are!

    We only moved here in September, long story if you're willing to browse the ongoing "Tilting at Windmills" saga.

    Thanks for looking in,

    Scott & Lois
    #14
  15. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Hi bbenn75820,

    I agree, those lakes look full in the pictures, but they are probably at 65%, maybe 70.

    By contrast, Mormon Lake on CR 3 between Pine and Flagstaff is completely empty and Lake Mary, just a little north of there is pretty low.

    Being new to the area, I don't know if this is normal for this time of year or not.

    Appreciate you taking time to Day Trip with me,

    Scott
    #15
  16. patmo

    patmo Long timer

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    Spent a few days out there 2 years ago and got some exploring in, via rental car. Drove out to R-Lake via 188amd thought about doing the Apache Trail back, but didn't think taking a rental Nissan Altima that far on a dirt road was a good idea, since I had no idea how rough it was. Very happy someone finally posted up some pictures showing its surface conditions...looks pretty smooth.
    I did stop close to where it comes out by the lake and explore a cliff dwellers settlement. It was a bit of a steep hike up to it, but worth the trek.

    My son is moving there next weekend (Air Force transfer) and I'm looking forward to visiting him and doing some more exploring. He's never been there, but I'm pretty sure he's going to love it. Beautiful area.

    Thanks for posting the report....great pics!
    #16
  17. Nightstalker

    Nightstalker YO BUDDYPAL!

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    That's a great loop!
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  18. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    You know, patmo,

    I've read in several RR's that any rental vehicle = OHV. :lol3

    You must be proud of your son. Please let him know that Scott & Lois say, "Thanks for serving our Country." :clap:clap

    You won't regret making time to visit him and do a little more exploring. Arizona is a beautiful state.....

    .....I'm falling more and more in Love each day
    #18
  19. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    I couldn't agree more, Nightstalker.

    I plan to do it again and then do it in the opposite direction.

    Thanks for looking in.

    Regards,

    Scott
    #19
  20. Hiatus

    Hiatus Adventurer

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    The Apache Trail is one of my favorite day trips when I get down to my parents. I have a date with her sometime in February when I escape the frozen tundra for a few days.
    #20