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dave6253 11-30-2008 06:57 PM

The Apache Trail, My Son's First Big Ride
My son Matt is 8 years old. I have taken him on several short rides around the neighborhood and one ride for about 50 miles. Unlike my daughter, he is constantly begging me for a ride. I figure if he is going to tour the World with me someday, we'd better start the training... :rayof

I decide to take him on an overnight motorcycle camping trip on The Apache Trail. I rarely ride this road because it requires nearly 60 miles of riding in the Phoenix Metro from my home. As you will see it is very scenic. President Theodore Roosevelt toured the road by car in 1911 while on the way to the dam and lake named in his honor. He called The Apache Trail "One of the most spectacular best-worth-seeing-sights of the World". We'll just make the trail part of our own family history.

The satellite image of our route below shows how far we must ride in urban sprawl.

Matt seems to have no idea of the white-knuckled ride ahead... :yikes (Just kidding mom.)

We stop down the street for gas. We get a Duraflame Log for tonight. I barely find room to squeeze it in a pannier.

This just looks like a boring freeway photo... It is, except for the Photo Radar Cameras lining the right side of the road. Hey, If you're gonna shoot at me I'll shoot back. :ksteve

Fun riding in Arizona is nearly over... Fixed and mobile photo speed enforcement is everywhere and they are furiously adding more... Thanks to our liberal governor. :(:

We get the highest bridge at the SR51/Loop 202 Stack.

We head east on the Red Mountain Freeway. (I wonder why they call it that?)

After 60 miles we turn left onto The Apache Trail. Soon we are finally out of town. :wings

The Superstition Mountains
This photo was taken at the entrance to the Lost Dutchman State Park. For the history of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine I found this neat link; http://www.superstitionmountainmuseu...manExhibit.htm :thumbup Maybe we'll find all the gold on this trip...

It Get's Better!

leeinmemphis 11-30-2008 07:01 PM

I have two 8 y/o kids and we're gonna start moto camping next spring. Man I can't wait. Looks like a good start so far. :evil

seabee1 11-30-2008 07:12 PM

man, dave, what a cool lookin' time for you and your son!

xdbx 11-30-2008 07:18 PM

Boom! there it is :clap

More rides with sons. More dualsports! More Phoenix!!!!!!! :deal

Cordless 11-30-2008 07:19 PM

Thanks, DAD
Cool ride, great kid, Coolest Dad ever.

Makes me wistful for when my sons were 8 yrs. old and I was a hero.

Looking forward to more of the tale.

BillsR100 11-30-2008 07:24 PM

Far out! Love it! :clap
P.S. When your son is on the back, dont make jokes about anything having to do with "white knuckles" or ANYTHING dangerous about motorcycles, your wife will not laugh, I speak form experience. Moms are kinda protective. :deal

flan8tive 11-30-2008 07:36 PM

That's an awesome thing to do with your kid. Thanks for the report. Buddy in Chandler keeps telling me I should come out, now I see why.

ChuckV 11-30-2008 07:36 PM


Thank your wife for allowing Matt to come along with you. You are a cool dad and I look forward to seeing more of your trip.

My son has 3.5 years before he can take the MSF Street course. He and I can't wait for the fun times ahead.:D

Thanks for including us on this ride!


dave6253 11-30-2008 07:53 PM

Saguaros, Ocotillos, Prickly Pears, Chollas, etc...

I check to see if Matt is still with me.

My biggest fear is he will fall asleep, but he seems alert.

He's still loving it!

The road here is very twisty and narrow with dangerous dropoffs and no shoulder or railings.

I noticed the white paint marks in the roadway here. They probably marked the points of rest for vehicles from a serious collision.

The power lines make it difficult to shoot the vistas.

dave6253 11-30-2008 08:12 PM

Canyon Lake and Tortilla Campground
The view from Canyon Lake Overlook. The series of man-made lakes along the Salt River here make life in Modern Phoenix possible.

We get stuck behind a VW Bus at a one lane bridge. We had to pass the slow moving bus a short time later. Matt later remarked, "Man you were going so fast when we passed!"

Just before the small town of Tortilla Flat we turn left into the Tortilla Campground.

Tortilla Flat began as a Stagecoach Stop in 1904. The entire town burnt down in 1987. It was rebuilt after the fire. The Apache Trail began as a route used by the Apache Indians as they moved through the Superstition Mountains. It became heavily used during the construction of the Roosevelt Dam in 1905. Much of it is still un-paved, as we will see.

We purchased our first GPS 2 days ago. We brought it along to see if it works. I hope mom doesn't see these numbers.

Look mom! We were traveling at a safe 45.9 mph. Don't look at those other numbers.

dave6253 11-30-2008 08:37 PM


We find a good spot and check out our surroundings. Check Out These Surroundings! :eek1

Matt uses the new gadget to navigate to the restroom. :rofl

I put him to work setting up camp.

Matt pointed out we were eating Tortilla Chips at Tortilla Campground! :D

We ate Noodles and Chicken from the bag...

...And stared at this for 3 hours...

...And then crawled into the tent to get warm. It will be a chilly night. The high temp today was a beautiful 71 degrees, but here in the desert the temperature usually drops about 30 degrees at night. (Not bad for the last weekend in November, Huh?)

It was a clear moonless night with billions of stars twinkling. The Milky Way was visible!

dave6253 11-30-2008 08:44 PM


Originally Posted by BillsR100
P.S. When your son is on the back, dont make jokes about anything having to do with "white knuckles" or ANYTHING dangerous about motorcycles, your wife will not laugh, I speak form experience. Moms are kinda protective. :deal

I'm a little afraid of that... She doesn't seem to mind if I crash and burn, :lol3 but I guess I'm lucky she lets me bring Matt along.

BTW, I grew up around OKC and still have family there. Never did any motorbiking around there though.

P.S. I hope she doesn't notice the max speed on the GPS for Day 2. :evil

dave6253 11-30-2008 08:46 PM


Originally Posted by xdbx
Boom! there it is :clap

More rides with sons. More dualsports! More Phoenix!!!!!!! :deal

xdbx, Thanks for checking in. There may be a little dualsportin' on day 2.:wink:

dave6253 11-30-2008 08:54 PM

leeinmemphis, seabee1, Cordless, flan8tive, and ChuckV,

Thanks for the nice comments. I hope you enjoy the ride.

As usual I shot way too many photos for such a short trip.

mouthfulloflake 11-30-2008 10:14 PM


my (almost) 12 year old son wants lights and blinkers on his xr80 to follow me around.

maybe mom will let him ride on the back instead.

Thank you for the inspiration!

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