Wandering from my meandering (Latest: Cyprus)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScotsFire, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

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    Very. We enjoyed the town, tho’ it could use a little better might life.

    The Ridge was a quite pleasant surprise. I was mostly just trying to cut the corner and save a little time, but it was a great part of the ride.

    California as a whole has some simply spectacular riding. I will be going back through to pick up more miles there.

    I have quite a bit more to post, but need to sit myself somewhere with WiFi (read “not my cell”) to upload pics to Smugmug then here.
    #21
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  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

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    December 11, 2017
    Pine Flat Lake CA

    We stayed at the Army Corps of Engineer's campground on Pine Flat Lake for a week or so. The Island Park Campground is a pretty large CG with full hookups, mostly. The water spigots are shared between a handful of sites, so one cannot stay hooked up. The scenery was real nice, and it was quiet. Winter time it has a lot of empty sites.
    The lake itself is a reservoir for the Central Valley, mostly irrigation it appears. But it has some really nice roads along the lake, and then going into the nearby National Forests.

    My ride plan had been to go around the lake on the north, then take forest roads south and/or east to the main highway, CA 180, which goes up into Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The first part of my plan worked well, as the Trimmer Springs Road has lots of twisties right along the lake, mostly a hundred or couple feet above the waterline. But Forest Service Road 12501 (Sequoia National Forest), my first choice, ended up being closed do to hazards from fires. The E Trimmer Springs Road continues on the north side of Kings River (in the Sierra National Forest), but was closed at a gate, which required special use permits to continue. Both of these closures were not posted of course, requiring several miles of riding to reach the closure point. I adapted and went north along the North Fork Kings River to Bartch Camp, a water control/power generation site. From there I went up and over the hills on Sycamore Springs Road. While the roads so far had been either paved, or mostly decent forest roads, this was much less used, seemingly only by those using the area for range for their cattle. It was a rough road with some washouts and several steep spots, but loads of fun. Connected with Big Creek Road which was again pretty standard forest roads (and a handful of primitive campgrounds) then back to Trimmer Springs road along the lack and back. It was a surprisingly awesome ride with perfect weather.

    Early morning view of the sun rising over the hills across from our camp site at Island Park GC.
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    Sunsets are cool too.
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    Along the Trimmer Springs Road along the lake.
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    Along the Kings River.
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    The second closure. Looks like some neat riding thatta way.
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    North Fork and then Sycamore Springs
    They move a little water around here...
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    Lots of little oak groves up here.
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    The smoke from the wildfires farther to the south had a spectacular effect on the ridge tops.
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    Along Big Creek
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    And back to Pine Flat Lake
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    Overall, another great day of riding. The amount of great riding in California continues to surprise and amaze me.
    #22
  3. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

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    Just gotta add that while I didn't do any riding in Sequoia National Park, the park itself has been the most impactful NP we've visited, for both my GF and I, and there is some spectacular scenery mixed in with tons of great riding roads. For whatever reason, the Sequoia trees seem more grand than the Coastal Redwoods.
    I will go back there at some point on my scooter.
    #23
  4. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    That was a very scenic ride for sure.
    #24
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  5. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    Dec 22, 2017
    Death Valley NP

    Disclaimer: I just scratched the surface of the Death Valley area on this ride. BUT, it was a great teaser that will bring me back.

    We were staying in Tecopa at one of the RV parks. We didn't try the hot springs, but that seems to be the only draw to Tecopa. No services to speak of, and nothing is open until the weekends, which seems odd if this was their "high" season. It was surprising how many were staying at the park longer term. After the sandstorm the second day we were there, I was totally ready to get a day of riding in before we fled the town.

    I rode north from Tecopa Springs on the Furnace Creek Wash road. This seems like your typical BLM desert road for a lot of it, then turns paved where it ties in with the road to Dantes View. I went down to Furnace Creek Visitor Center (literally down from 5200 feet at Diablo View to -199 ft at the visitor center in around thirty miles riding), before turning back south through Death Valley proper and Badwater, to continue onto Jubilee Pass Rd to Shoshone then back to Tecopa.

    If nothing else, the sunsets and rises in Tecopa are very nice.
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    There are signs of past mining all around. This is right in Tecopa.
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    Furnace Creek Wash Road
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    Took some two track towards the west just to explore a little bit.
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    How long have these been here?
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    Back to the Wash Road
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    Dantes View
    The paved road up to the view is very twisty and a lot of fun. The view at the viewpoint is even better.
    5200 feet above sea level where I took the pic, down to 266 feet below sea level, then back up to over 11000 ft elevation on Telescope Peak across the valley.
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    Badwater, the lowest point of land in North America, was one of the biggest things I wanted to see.
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    more to follow...
    #25
  6. sirtwisty

    sirtwisty Adventurer

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    Hey ScotsFire
    Great ride report and fab pic's, keep em coming.
    On another subject, like the RV full timing you're doing, show us some pic's of your set up, what class of rig etc.......
    #26
  7. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    December 22
    Death Valley (Continued)

    The road down from Dantes View
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    20 Mule Team Road
    A road used by borax wagons turned into a short one way loop.With the tightness of some of the curves on this, I can imagine that a long team pulled wagon would be quite a challenge. The only challenge I had was a foreign tourist trying to go the wrong way.
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    Badwater
    My GPS at Badwater. Obviously reading a little low as the official elevation is a tad higher. Pleasant 60 degrees F there, where as it was 42 at Dantes View.
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    Golden Treasure
    The most technical part of the day was a rough two track up the draw towards the Golden Treasure Mine.
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    Back to Tecope from there was all asphalt, but an enjoyable ride in any case.
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    Leaving the park
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    The humor here is that Lake Tecopa has been dry for a handful of centuries.
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    #27
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  8. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    As far as the RV set up, we are in a 24’ Winebego Itasca Navion. The J model if you’re interested. We really like the footprint for getting around towns and cities, and for parking. We REALLY like the fuel economy of the 6 cylinder diesel. Usually a little more than 15 mpg even with the trailer. Neither of us want anything bigger, and if I weren’t around, she’d probably get something even smaller.

    We pull an 8X5 cargo trailer with my Moto, a couple of mountain bikes, and the GF’s fabric for sewing. It’s pretty cramped, but it all fits. If I had to do anything different, it would be get a little larger a trailer. Not because we really need more space, but this one is so small, it’s hard to see it behind the RV, which mostly affects backing.

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    The trailer is small enough that it can be squirreled away if necessary.
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    The trailer is a bit better packed than this early photo, but things are still fitted just so. We actually have a little more things in it now, like a folding table. I can have the bike out of the trailer in 5-10 minutes, and loaded back in 20 or so.
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    Traveling wise, we have both really enjoyed the travel, though we both also are enjoying taking a month or two “parked” in Why AZ. The rides posted here are a big part of my enjoyment, but the rest of it has been awesome too.
    #28
  9. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    VERY Early January, 2018

    Didn't ride it, but drove a fair bit of "Historic" Route 66 in Arizona. This would be a great cruise, not really even needing ADV bikes, though they wouldn't hurt given the state of some of the pavement. I didn't get to drive the Oatman Hwy to Seligman, but will definitely go back. I kept thinking to myself that it would be really cool to actually ride some of the original Rt 66 pavement from the 20's and 30's. It was visible along the highway and freeway, but always just very short, dead end segments.

    Once we got settled near Winslow, I did stumble onto a little bit of the original pavement (amazing what you can find when you take those little tunnels under the freeway). Only a couple of pictures, but rode a few miles out and back. Very cool!
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    The bridge was maybe twelve foot wide.
    #29
  10. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    January 5, 2018
    Mogollon Plateau, AZ

    We spent a little over a week at Homolovi State Park, near Winslow. I got a couple of great days riding when I was thrown out of the RV so my GF could sew without me in the way. Gee, twist my arm already.

    First day I set out south from Winslow to the Mogollon Plateau. I took AZ HW 99 south from Winslow. It seems that the only reason this is a state highway is because there's some sort of mine that way. The only traffic on the road were semi trucks with ore headed north, and it was maybe five of them in 40 miles. It turns into a gravel county road just past the turn off to the mine.
    Left the main road to get onto ranch roads to get onto the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The forest roads are much better maintained than the ranch ones (mostly). Stopped for lunch at the Chevelon Crossing Campground, a primitive CG that no one was at. The Chevelon Canyon was pretty neat, but it got a lot flatter and general after that for a while. It was interesting to see ponderosa pine forests very similar to what I'm used to in Eastern Washington and North Idaho spring up from the desert. Yay elevation gain.
    Came out onto AZ HW 260 for a few miles before going back onto forest roads. FS300, also called the Rim Road, follows the rim of the Mogollon Plateau towards the northwest. This was a pretty bland road with some rough spots (without increasing the fun factor), but it did end up being pretty twisty. But the views more than made up for the ride.
    Took the Rim Road all the way to AZ HW 87, which I rode back to Winslow. the first part of this is nice pavement and pretty nice turns and elevation changes. It's a colored road on the Butler map. Overall a decent ride, but not as satisfying as most of my others.

    I usually get a note from my sweetie when I head out. This one had more practical advice than normal.
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    Kind of an obligatory shot...
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    99 headed south. Some desert riding really isn't all that exciting, but the broad vistas are still neat to me.
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    The ranch roads were much more fun.
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    Dropping into Chevelon Canyon
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    Out to the rim
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    Back down to the desert. The trees gave way amazingly fast.
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    Riding away from the setting sun was novel. The sun seems to nearly always be in my eyes...
    #30
  11. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    As you've probably noticed, I found a little extra time and reliable wifi. Almost caught up...
    #31
  12. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    January 6, 2018
    Painted Desert AZ

    A day after a decent ride south from Winslow, I turned the other way, into the painted Desert. Most of the day, at least on the way north, was on the Hopi Reservation. I left Winslow on N Park Drive, hoping to get as close to the Little Colorado River as I could. I was able to find some two track that got me all the way to the river banks, but the deep sand drove me back out.
    Rode north to Leupp (Tribal Road 2 & 71 to AZ 99), then took the more remote Tribal Roads 6732 and 6730 all the way to Cameron on US 89. I did a quick run out and back on AZ 64 to take a looksee into the Grand Canyon, then slabbed it back south on 89, then Interstate 10 back to Winslow.
    The remote riding was on mostly gravel roads of varying quality. Was slogging through a few inches of sand for part of it. Mostly not too challenging technically, but again, the views were amazing. The following pictures really don't do this ride justice. It was an amazing ride, probably one of my favorites so far. The couple of hours on the slab back were worth putting up with in order to get to these places.

    North from Winslow
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    Towards the river
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    The Little Colorado River. Note how deep the erosion is.
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    It starts getting sandier and sandier.
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    But cooler and cooler too!
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    Ruh-roh.
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    The old bridge near Leupp
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    View from the new bridge across the Little Colorado. This amount of erosion was in around 30-40 miles.
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    I believe this is (was) a Kit Fox. Caution: Narrow Bridge.
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    Ponies?
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    Yup.
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    View from my lunch stop.
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    Hopi seem to take their basketball pretty seriously.
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    My point and shoot camera really doesn't do the painted mesas any justice at all. They were spectacular. I really needed a much better camera to capture them properly.
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    Neat weather too. No rain though.
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    I now know what it's like to ride through an abandoned uranium mine. These signs were on both sides of the road. I didn't stop for a break here.
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    This is the Little Colorado River another 70 miles north, at Cameron. It gets much deeper from here making the last push to join the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
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    Still the Little Colorado River
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    Then, the Grand Canyon
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    The rest of the ride was slab back to Winslow. Still scenic, but still slab.
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    #32
  13. Topcop45

    Topcop45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Central Valley, CA
    I was in northern AZ this summer and found it very interesting. I look forward to getting back there to explore some more. Great photos!
    #33
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  14. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    January 15, 2018
    Apache Trail, AZ

    The Apache Trail is a route northeast from Phoenix on AZ HW 88. Don't let the state highway designation keep you from taking this route. I is an awesome ride, with around half of it unpaved. Certainly not the most challenging or technical of routes, but a blast to ride just the same. The road is paved coming out of Apache Junction, but has a ton of twisties as you get into the hills. Once past Tortilla Flat, the road becomes unpaved and even more fun. The decent into Fish Creek is actually very Moab-esque. Great views and fun riding. My only complaint is that I did this on a Saturday and there was quite a bit of traffic. I've never seen so many frikken Priuses on a ride in the dirt.

    Superstition Mountains coming out of Apache Junction
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    This area was a lot more "lush" than some of my recent rides.
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    Traffic did keep some of the fun factor down, but most of the cages were pretty good about allowing passing, especially once on the dirt "highway".
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    Stopped for lunch fairly early into the ride, which tells you how I've adapted to the retired lifestyle. Pulled down a little two track and sat on top of some rocks to soak it in.
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    Sorry about the dust smudges. Didn't notice it during the ride.
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    The Salt River has been dammed to create a series of reservoirs. This is the imaginatively named Canyon Lake.
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    Tortilla Flat, a little tourist spot in the Rec Area. Lots of bikers stop here. It appears to be the turnaround point for most people.
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    There were some closed two tracks that looked really interesting.
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    Starting the drop into Fish Creek
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    Never been on a State Highway like this one...
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    Took a side road into Apache Lake.
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    The resort there has a lot of characters, but the staff was friendly, and I can recommend the Kilt Lifter Ale (Four Peaks, Tempe AZ).
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    Back next to the Salt River, coming up towards Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Lake.
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    After this, I took AZ 188 and 87 back to Phoenix (Queen Creek to be precise). These were mostly uninspiring lengths of slab, with the only redeeming factor being some unusual layouts of the split highway on 87 going through the hills (at one point, the north bound lanes went under and travelled a couple miles on the right side of the south bound lanes). In retrospect, I'd have enjoyed it more, and probably been a shorter ride back, if I'd just turned around and gone back the way I came.
    #34
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  15. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    This is awesome. I love finding this kind of stuff for some reason. I love it when other people do also...and share it like you have.

    Thanks
    #35
    ScotsFire likes this.
  16. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    It’s kinda silly how cool those road stretches are to me, but I love them.
    #36
  17. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a stranger rode into town...

    Joined:
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    All caught up. Must be time to go for a ride.
    #37
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  18. WRC51

    WRC51 Long timer

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    You are "living the dream". Thanks for taking the time to post your photos and story, the Painted Desert has become a bucket list item.
    #38
  19. thegraydog

    thegraydog 2 wheels X 6 ways

    Joined:
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    Scots, you are a foreign observer in the finest tradition. Your tour from Winslow to Cameron, near my home terrain, is as deep as you could get without massive preparation. The Rez is just as you saw it. To navigate any deeper is the work of decades, made somewhat more approachable with the great electronics we now have. Likewise your Apache Trail transit: I don't know it as well, but that's what I saw. And that's what I want to see again from the Lost Coast....
    She and I are about to sign up for a government paycheck and go have a look around; hopefully we will do as well as you.
    #39
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  20. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer

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    The Apache Trail, the Rim Road, the Grand Canyon, Homolovi SP......

    good gosh I wish I was back in AZ!

    Great job showcasing Death Valley as well. Never been there, but the view from your camera makes it a place I must visit.

    Really enjoying your RR. :clap
    #40