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Old 09-17-2010, 09:50 PM   #1
dave6253 OP
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All This, and I Never Left Arizona




Found a way to rid myself


Clean of the pain


and the fever that's been haunting me


has gone away


Looking through my window


I seem to recognize all the people passing by


But I'm alone and far from home


Nobody knows me


Never heard me say, "Goodbye"


Never shall I speak to anyone again


All days are in darkness and I'm biding my time


Once I am sure of my task I will rise again



Hours of Wealth lyrics by Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth





Hi! My name is Dave, and I'm an addict.


My vices are motorcycles and Adventure Rider Ride Reports! It's time to feed the addiction again.



Day 1, Thursday September 9th, 2010

I get on the road at about 4:30 PM. Yeah, It's a late start for a trip, but getting enough time away for a decent trip is difficult when you are married with children. I probably won't get very far today, but It's time to get away.

Of course escaping the Phoenix Metro at rush hour can be time-consuming. Thank ADOT for the HOV lane.


It's not long before the source of the traffic slow down becomes evident. It seems some driver had a sudden urge to go off-roading along the freeway. The cops and tow trucks were already there.


It's so nice to sit at a red light and enjoy the freeway art. I wonder how much that costs me?


I head out of the "Valley of the Sun" on the Beeline Highway, US 87. My destination for the evening comes into view.


I jump off the highway and head east on Four Peaks Road, aka Clines Cabin Road. Now this is more like it.


I've never ridden this road before.


That will be a theme for this ride as I seek lonely backcountry dirt roads that I've never ridden before. Since this is my first ever dirt bike, finding such routes is an easy task.


The scenery is stunning and the road is fun. The surface of this road is crushed granite and sand over hard-pack. Very slippery. Also there are plenty of erosion damage ruts and trenches that are often not visible until you are on top of them.








To Be Continued...
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:41 PM   #3
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Off to a roaring start, Dave!!!



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Old 09-18-2010, 03:33 AM   #4
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Always enjoy your RRs, this one is off to a good start!
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:58 AM   #5
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Can't wait for more!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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History of Addiction

I grew up with strict and over-protective parents. They would have never let me own a motorcycle. I wasn't even allowed to ride my friends dirt bikes. I rode my cousins minibike only a handful of times without their knowledge. I knew from that point I wanted a motorbike. I spent alot of time on my bicycle daydreaming about it. Being deprived of something you want only makes you want it more, right?


In 1997 I sold off my pickup in order to justify my first motorcycle purchase. I began commuting to work by motorcycle and we've been a one-car family ever since. Even with the addition of two kids.


I owned a couple different cruisers before purchasing my dream bike, the Aprilia Futura, in 2002. My street riding skills had improved to the point where I needed a better performing bike, or I was gonna kill myself trying to push my big heavy cruiser too fast in the twisties. With a sporty, but comfortable long distance sport-tourer I began wearing out the asphalt around Arizona. I quickly became bored with the same roads. I started thinking the best thing about living in Arizona was we were so close to California and Utah. I was slowly coming to the realization that what I was really wanting was the sense of adventure of a new road.


About one and a half years ago I bought my second dream bike and my very first "dirt bike", the KTM 990 Adventure. The first trips I did with it was back to Utah. Lately though, I've tried to resist to urge to head out of state. There's alot of Arizona I need to see first.


And here, just outside of town is an awesome dirt road I've never ridden. Up, up, we go.


The penalty for sliding off this road is high.


Don't tip over here.


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Old 09-18-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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A few years ago I slowed my motorcycle down to roll through a tiny Utah town on a Sunday morning. Except for the church parking lot, the town appeared empty. A young boy pedaled his bicycle across the road and down the sidewalk. He was wearing a white shirt and tie. He must've skipped out of church to get in some riding time. He spotted me and his face lit up with a huge smile. He began waving, so I gave a cool return wave and thundered out of town. That little boy reminded me of myself.



Around sunset I found a neat spot to camp along the road with a great view of Four Peaks. I'm only 50 miles from home, but I'm all alone. One small SUV passes then I don't see another person on this road.


I was disappointed with the super clear skies as I was looking forward to a typically spectacular Arizona sunset.


I ate my dinner and waited for the stars to come out.






At 4200 feet it will be a mild night. I set up the tent to keep this guy and his friends out.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253
I grew up with strict and over-protective parents. They would have never let me own a motorcycle. I wasn't even allowed to ride my friends dirt bikes. I rode my cousins minibike only a handful of times without their knowledge. I knew from that point I wanted a motorbike. I spent alot of time on my bicycle daydreaming about it. Being deprived of something you want only makes you want it more, right?
You sound a lot like me: Deprived of motorcycles as a kid, got my first bike at 22 and I've been overcompensating ever since, first on the street, then on the dirt. I think that some day scientists will discover a gene that makes some of us motorcycle addicts.
You've got some great scenery and riding out there. Arizona is on my long (way to long) list of places I need to ride. All my previous rides in Arizona where strictly pavement.

Love your pics Great ride report Looking forward to more.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:35 PM   #9
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Day 2 Still







36 miles to US 60 and Show Low, AZ


The Rim Road was fun with constantly changing road surfaces.




There were long rutted sections like this. I was glad there was no chance of rain today.


The road to Deer Springs Lookout was closed. I was disappointed there were no good views off the rim from the road.


The last 8 miles or so were interesting with these Lava Marbles.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #10
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Nice photos! Many have very rich color.

Very scenic area to ride in. Thanks for showing us more about it.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:55 PM   #11
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Forests to Grasslands

I finish up the rim road and head into Show Low.


I wasn't planning to stop for food, but I did a quick u-turn when I spotted a Subway Sandwich Stop. I'm tired, hot, hungry, and a little beat up from the long day. I park in front of the Subway and was taking my time getting ready to go inside. Suddenly I notice a school bus out in the parking lot and twenty or so high school girls wearing soccer uniforms sprinting towards the door of the restaurant. I tried not to make it too obvious as I made sure to beat them to the front of the line. Whew! That was close.

After lunch I ponder my next move. There is plenty of daylight left. I decide to visit a nearby National Park that I've never been to before.



Heading north from the rim the trees quickly disappear.




Boredom on a long highway always leads to experimentation.


Out here in the grasslands of Northern Arizona are some GIANT TREES!


Petrified Trees
WTF?! They close the National Park before sunset? The toll collector advised me you don't have to be out of the park at 6, but must be on the bike heading for an exit. Tyranny!




I stop at a visitor center to take a short walk.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:09 PM   #12
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Laugh Hard Wood

The museum at the visitor center had a few dinosaur fossils on display. I made sure to get some pics for my kids.






This petrified tree looks to be mainly comprised of KTM Koolaid.










Back on the bike I head north through the park to check out the Painted Desert.




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Old 09-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #13
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Yeah! Another Dave6253 ride report!
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:39 PM   #14
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The End of Day 2

I wasn't all that impressed with the Painted Desert. Maybe it would be nicer with a great sunset?




As the shadows lengthen...


I jump on the I-40 to make it over to Holbrook.


Into the Blinding Sun


Then head down the 377 towards Heber. I need to find a place to set up camp.




I'm still running hard at sunset.


I spot a wind farm to the left.


The color in the sky was created by the smoke from a nearby controlled forest fire.


I pulled off the highway to look for a place to camp as soon as I entered the National Forest. A short distance down the dead-end road were some private "ranches" with mobile homes. A big dog chased me out of there. Oh well. Let's just head into town to fill up with water and fuel. I can find primative camping near the rim, right?

I get off the US 260 at FS300, the Rim Road, near Woods Canyon Lake. After a short ride down the gravel I found a campground I had stayed at before. I decided to roll through to check things out. It's crowded, but there were a couple spots left and more cars arriving. It's friday night. This area is popular because of the nearby fishing lakes. I didn't want to pay $14 for a campground so I left. I can find a place further down the road, right?

It was dark and the dusty road was very busy. With no breeze the dust hung in the air and visiblity was extremely poor. I kept hitting deep piles of gravel and getting squirrelly. The area was posted with camping restricted to the campgrounds. I wasn't sure how far I would have to travel in these dangerous conditions before finding a free spot. After a mile of this shit I tucked my tail between my legs and returned to snag the last $14 spot.

It's gonna be chilly tonight at that altitude.


Day 2 Map
I'll point out here that I've ridden 427 miles so far just to camp 2 hours from home.
What kind of idiot routes a trip like this? It's not an out and back. It's not a loop. I'll just call it a lasso.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:36 PM   #15
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Jerome - Mingus Mountain - Prescott

Perkinsville Road was a blast running up the hill to Jerome.








It's a narrow shelf road much of the way, but very easy.



I got behind an ATV that wouldn't pull over. She was running about 20 mph. I finally squeezed past on a narrow section with very little room to spare. I stopped later to speak to a KLX rider who was waiting for her. He said they had ridden to Williams where they spent the night.



There is quite a bit of smoke in the Verde Valley.



Approaching Jerome











Jerome, AZ was an old mining town hanging onto the steep side of Mingus Mountain. It is now a tourist and biker destination. It was Sunday, so the streets were busy and motorcycles were lined up in front of the saloons.



I don't stop in town. I head uphill.



It's warming up so I stop to remove liners and grab a few pics. Poser!



A Nice Stretch of Asphalt



The view looking down into the Verde Valley towards Clarkdale, Cottonwood, and Sedona. It's too smoky today to see the red rocks on the other side.











Over Mingus Mountain












Into Prescott Valley



Through the Granite Dells



and Into Downtown Prescott. The town square was very crowded. There were long lines of people waiting to see something?

I stopped for fuel and a burger and planned my next move.


I must return home today. It's sure to be hot today in the desert. I could just take highway 69 over to Interstate 17, but that really sucks. On Sunday afternoon it's not even guaranteed to be the quickest. The second option would be to take the Senator's Highway into Crown King. I just did that route two weeks ago two-up with the wife. It would be rough, slow, dusty, and hot. I would also still need to ride a healthy dose of I-17 to get home. Also that trail would likely be choked with Jeeps and ATVs.

I opted instead for two sections of the best asphalt twisties in Arizona...
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