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Old 03-11-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
dave6253 OP
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Southern Arizona Border Roads

New Edition! More Photos! More Tall Tales! Read all about it beginning on PAGE 7 POST 95!
With a Special Guest Appearance!

Southern Arizona is one part of my home state I have not spent much time exploring. During the heat of the summer months I have always looked forward to escaping the heat by heading north. With the cooler temperatures and a new to me 990 Adventure, I'm itching to get off the beaten path to see what Southern Arizona has to offer.

Here's a few teaser shots to get started;


From the Arizona Department of Tourism...


...There's nothing to see here...


...No History...


...It's always dry...


...dusty...


...HOT...


...Just Rocks...


...and Cacti...


Stay Away!
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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Beautiful ride! Thanks for the sunny pics
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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Headin' South

After nearly an hour of riding I'm finally out of the Phoenix Metro and into the desert.





Gonzalez Pass, US 60


I then ride south on the SR 177 from Superior towards Kearny




For some reason I haven't ridden this road in about 9 years. I forgot all about the wonderful ribbon of asphalt.


I pass the ASARCO Ray Mine. The roadway curves right along the edge. I should have stopped at the overlook, but am worried about making good time. I'm not sure how rough the roads will become on the route I have planned...


I do stop to get a couple shots of the BIG DUMPTRUCKS!


This brought back memories of days playing in the dirt with my Big Yellow TONKA truck as a kid.


I get caught up in a group of Sunday riders.


I make it past San Manuel where the asphalt ends on Redington Road.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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Redington Road is a fairly easy ride with about 50 miles of gravel.


It's a little rough and loose at times.




Redington Road follows the San Pedro River to Redington then heads southwest towards Tucson. I continued southeast on Cascabel Road also along the same river. It is mostly desert, but also passed alot of ranches and private homes. I saw several groups of DS bikes racing the opposite direction on Redington Road.






About 10 miles before reaching I-10 the asphalt returned.


I grabbed a late lunch in Benson then continued south on SR 90.


At a gas station in Sierra Vista I took note of some advancements in transportation technology...
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thanks, I haven't done Reddington Road, and I've wondered about it.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the photos. Nice area that I really need to revisit!
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:26 PM   #7
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Unless Heavily Armed

I make it to "The Mexican Border Road" and head west into the Coronado National Monument.


60 miles to go. The skies look a little ominous and I've already had a little light rain.




The last line of this sign should read, "unless heavily armed". (At least that's what I said to make myself feel a little better.)


There is a very twisty and rough road to the top of Montezuma Pass.



There were several tourists making the drive to the top of the pass, but no one heading west down the other side.


The road is a little easier heading west. Mexico can be seen to the left.






Lochiel Road was a wonderful gravel road in a rough remote area. I saw maybe 4-3 other vehicles between Montezuma Pass and Nogales.




The first European Explorer to enter Arizona apparently passed through here.




Fray Marcos de Niza was born in Nice (de Niza = of Nice) in 1495. He came to America in 1531 and served in Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. He was chosen to explore the area north of Sonora. He left Culiacan in March 1539 and returned in September. He was 44 years old. Fray Marcos de Niza crossed Southeastern Arizona to northern New Mexico. He returned and reported he had discovered the Seven Cities of Cibola. He claimed they had seen a city far away where the people used dishes of gold and silver, decorated their homes with turquoise, and had gigantic gems. His report led Franciisco Vazquez de Coronado to make his famous expedition to the Zuni Pueblo the following year. Fray Marcos de Niza was the guide for Coronado's Expedition. The expedition proved to be a great disappointment and he returned to Mexico in shame. Fray Marcos de Niza died in 1558.

Many historians now believe the mica-infected walls of the adobe pueblos when viewed from a distance may have created an optical illusion when inflamed by the setting sun fueling the tale of the Seven Cities of Cibola y Quivara.

This monument can be found just west of Lochiel, which is a ghost town on the border with only a few residents remaining.

I was saddened to see the monument not being maintained. After I left I wished I had taken a few minutes to pull weeds and clean the area up a little. Perhaps the advrider community can adopt this monument of a fellow adventurer/explorer. I know I will do more the next time I pass through.



The big KTM loved this road.




Nogales is in the valley ahead.


I was happy to make it to the highway north of Nogales before nightfall. I prefer to camp in the rough, but didn't think doing so alone this close to the border was a good idea.

The rain held off, for now...

I ran about 19 miles north to Patagonia Lake State Park. I was prepared to pay for camping, but found this sign...


Does this make it free if you're not here at 9?


I was surpised to find free showers with hot water! This is not common at Arizona campgrounds. I wasn't prepared, but it is amazing how dry you can get with 1 small shop towel...

I cooked dinner and climbed into bed.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Thanks

I'll be needing this bit of info soon.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:15 PM   #10
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Cry Kris Eggle

Ajo Mountain Drive


















I fly the KTM overhead to get this view...




I head out on the remaining 6 miles of Puerto Blanco Road not yet closed. This used to be a 37 mile one-way loop, but because of the proximity to the border on the southern section it has been mostly closed...


This road is wider and the wash crossings are paved. It is fun, but not as scenic as Ajo Mountain Drive.




Dammit! This is all of the dirt roads left open here.




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Old 03-13-2009, 09:41 PM   #11
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End of the World...

I would love for this ride to continue. The Camino del Diablo looks adventurous, but apparently they won't issue permits for bikes to cross this very remote road. One lucky rider somehow got a permit and posted a few pics here; http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=Camino+Diablo I doubt I would be up to 127 miles of deep sand and bull dust though. Oh... and I have to be at work tomorrow.

I must make tracks back to Phoenix.


I had never been through Ajo before. I found a quaint town square and some nice old churches.








The shadows lengthen...


This shot was taken at about 80 mph.


Day 2 Stats


Made it! What an awesome two days. Until next time.


In case you wanted to see some of the same places.

Day 1


The Entire Loop


Redington and Cascabel Roads


Montezuma Pass


Lochiel & Duquesne Roads aka The Mexican Border Road


My Favorite! Ruby Road


Kitt Peak


The Only Open Roads in Organ Pipe National Monument


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Old 03-14-2009, 05:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253
.


I had never been through Ajo before. I found a quaint town square and some nice old churches.




hey the pine tree is gone.......
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:28 PM   #13
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Great photo!
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durangoman
hey the pine tree is gone.......
Been gone for 5-6 years now I think. The plaza owners cut it down.

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Old 03-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #15
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Hey, Thanks for the great RR. The photos are really good and the maps are a nice addition for someone to use on a future trip.
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