From Animas, we drove the van over to the Chiricahua Mountains. We had no idea really where we were going, so we were blown away by the scenery when we drove into Cave Creek Canyon. Wow! We decided we better make the most of our discovery and do some hiking the next day. We climbed up Silver Peak, which is a little over 3k feet of climbing. The view was well worth it, but it was damn chilly at the top. We ate a quick lunch and retreated to warmer elevations!
The route up:
View from the top:
We wanted to ride over to Chiricahua National Monument the next day, but we woke up to rain and a forecast for more on the way. We decided it would be wiser to beat a retreat to the city to get some errands done (ie spend money). We cruised to Tucson and visited various retailers to help make their holiday season more profitable. We also took Walmart up on their fine offer of hospitality as we have several times on this trip. After another rainy day the weather started to dry out and we looked for a place to ride. We decided since we were in Tucson and there's good riding near the city we might as well stick around for the holidays. We made our way out to Reddington Road where we found a spot in a parking lot that was convenient if not ideal. We decided the Chimney Rock area looked good for riding and headed up that way on the bikes.
Going up the pass:
Fresh snow on the mountains after the wet weather:
XRs having a chat while we ate lunch:
Andie digging the riding:
and making it up some difficult climbs:
Just after this climb there was a short descent with some loose rock and a bend halfway down. Andie must have grabbed a bit of front brake at the wrong moment because the front end washed out and she dropped the bike. No big deal, neither she or the bike was injured, but it shook her up a little bit. When we got to a longer, steeper, ledgier descent a little ways further, she decided that enough was enough. OK, no problem, that give me a chance to ride back up it
We made it back to "camp" in time to see a nice sunset over the city. Crappy cellphone pic:
The next day we decided a bit of exercise was in order and scrambled down to the Tanque Verde falls. Short hike, but steep and warm. Well worth it to enjoy the sunshine on a beautiful day:
Christmas Eve was another great sunny day and another chance to ride bikes. I had heard that the trail out to Chivo Falls was great, but it sounded like a bit more than Andie wanted to do. We made a plan for me to ride Chivo by myself in the morning and Andie would meet me at the trailhead for lunch and we'd do some easier riding in the afternoon. I waited for the temps to warm up a bit and then cruised up the the "Three Feathers" trailhead. It's a short but quite fun ride from there out to Chivo. In the 4x4 guidebook we have for AZ it says it should take a few hours, so I was suprised to be staring at the falls 20 minutes later! Ok, I guess motorcycles are a bit faster than Jeeps
Since I'd planned for a longer ride I hung out by the falls (which were actually flowing thanks to the recent snowfall higher up) and enjoyed the sun and the mango I was thoughtful enough to stuff in my pack at the last minute. Made it back to meet Andie at the trailhead right on time despite a couple of wrong turns. We headed out on some other trails in the area which were about the perfect level for Andie. The climbs got progressively harder, but none were too much and she finished the ride feeling quite happy that she made the whole thing
This climb was definitely steeper than it looks in this photo:
On Christmas we decided (along with half of Tucson it seems) that we should enjoy the sunshine by riding up Mt. Lemmon. We'd never been up there before and it really is a beautiful ride, even if it was crowded with vehicles of all sorts.
Snow for Christmas!:
Happy Holidays everyone!:
OK, as much as I love the XR, I was kind of wishing I had my R6 for this road...:
OK, that gets us up through Christmas. Will upload more photos and try to get caught up. We're still riding and still enjoying AZ, we've met one other ADVer so far, and we're looking forward to meeting others. See you out on the trails!