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Old 02-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Eh? AZ - Rug Road, A Three Hour Tour

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from Mammoth, AZ
Aboard three KTM's.

jrproper - KTM 530 EXC - White hand guarded, supertanker
vortexf650 - KTM 450 EXC - Blue hand guards
Yardstick - KTM 530 EXC - Orange hand guards

The blue track is the intended route. Red tracks are potential offshoots to check out.


Unfortunately, Google Earth doesn't tell you where there are locked gates that have scared women with shotguns behind them. What started out as an 80 mile loop through unknown terrain, turned into a 200 mile Adventure!
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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Some e-mail traffic from the planning stages of this little excursion:

jrproper: I'm thinking rtr about 8:30-9ish... should we do earlier??
Yardstick: Ride time sounds good. Maybe closer to 9. ;)
jrproper: [vortexf650] is going to come to my house, haven't told him a time yet.. 6:30?
...
jrproper: So I'd guess we would be by your house a little after 7 if that still works for ya!
Yardstick: That works. If it's just the three of us, I'm not that concerned with keeping to a schedule.
jrproper: Yep, just the three of us. Just as long as we're not riding in the dark.:)

Oh yeah... We were cursed from the start.


Heading southeast to Florence, we hit a traffic jam.



Certain weekends they run bicycle races out here.



After some slow-going, the lead riders turned off.



Followed by the peloton.



And we were on our way to the mountains in the distance.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Getting ready at about 9:30 there was some debate whether or not to wear or even bring a jacket. It was supposed to be warm and it didn't feel too bad sitting still. I am so glad I brought my jacket!



The road starts out easy enough. Jrproper at the turn to the Rug Road.



But we all want to check out Sibley Mansion first, so off we go!



This area has a lot of little roads shooting off in all directions from various mining activities.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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Which way do we go? With so many choices and nobody with a mounted GPS, we stopped quite a few times to get our bearings. Check out the mountain goat on the hill!



That is one fat mountain goat!



Ah, we're going entirely the wrong direction!



Back to the water crossing near the holding tanks.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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We followed Copper Creek and found remains of old mining equipment littering the hills.



Copper Creek definitely lives up to its name!



Copper Waterfall!



There were some concrete walls and other remains opposite this chute, but taking pictures into the sun doesn't work so well.



Copper Creek runs through the small ravine to the left. Soon we would be in the creek!



Scary bridge! Good thing we don't have to cross here.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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Getting to the mansion requires testing one's trials skills.



Lots of good obstacles to play on!



Line selection is key!



But apparently the mansion has owners that don't want visitors, so the road ends at a gate a half mile away from the place.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
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We thought we could hike up a hill and see it from above, but it is around the corner and hidden from view.



We did see another one of those portly mountain goats though.



Back down the hill to the bikes.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:54 AM   #9
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Interesting place for a staircase! We didn't explore this road though. We were on a mission to ride the Rug Road!



On the way in I saw a few things of interest that I wanted to get pics of on the way out. Lots of material removed from these hills.



Odd colored dirt in Copper Creek.



We think the tailings in the upper right were from "Reliable Mine". Apparently whatever the metal thing is, it wasn't so reliable.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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Finally, the beginning of The Rug Road! The road gets its name from the multi-colored patches of carpet that were used to get traction on this road.



Yep, it's so steep and so rocky that 4WD's needed extra traction! What did we get ourselves into?



And we're not even to the steep parts yet!
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:07 PM   #11
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Most of the carpet is long gone, but you still see bits of colored rags caught in the rocks as you descend.



We were dropping so much elevation that the obvious question had to be asked.



What happens if we hit a dead end and have to come back up?



It wouldn't be pretty, but, "technically it's doable".



If you didn't see the moon rising in that last shot, there it is!



More down!
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:10 PM   #12
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What goes down, must come up!



You can see all of what we just came down in the background.






Up some more!



Finally, at the top! But we are nowhere near done with the down/up/down/up routine.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:16 PM   #13
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From the top the trail drops into yet another valley.



Some of the hills weren't so bad.



Most were littered with baseball to bowling ball sized rocks!



Fortunately there were some short reprieves from the relentless rock! (This is looking back)



The other side of the sign.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:29 PM   #14
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If you can take your eyes off the trail for a second, there is some cool stuff to see!



We're at the bottom again. Time to start climbing!



The next climb was a set of rocky switchbacks where you had to dig deep to keep the momentum up. This is the reward!



And this is the punishment.



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Old 02-13-2011, 12:38 PM   #15
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Further down the trail we came across the remains of what looks like a general store.



They've been robbed!



Looking back through the doorway. Those aren't period-correct horses.



A short distance away is this old mining equipment.



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