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Old 02-13-2011, 01:48 PM   #16
Yardstick OP
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After some questioning of the GPS route vs. what is on the ground we found ourselves entering Parsons Grove.



And then the trail turned rocky again. This picture doesn't do this section of trail justice at all. The trail was relatively flat but covered with boulders!



When the boulders went away, we were riding on rock faces and ledges. I slowed down quite a bit in here to keep from pinch flatting.



The scenery looking east.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:55 PM   #17
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Eventually we got off the mountain and into Aravaipa Canyon!



This spot reminded me a lot of an area in Moab.



The road through the canyon follows Turkey Creek.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #18
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This is a big canyon!



It has seen some development in the past.



This house looks almost livable as-is!



Plenty of (cold!) water crossings, if you're into that sort of thing.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:24 PM   #19
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We got out of the canyon and onto the road to Klondyke thinking that if the road conditions held out we could make the other 50 miles of the original loop before dark.

At the turn North on Aravaipa Town Rd, we got a little local help. An employee of The Nature Conservancy told us there was a property owner who fenced off the road. It's a road that has been open for a hundred years or more, but the land owners have relatively recently fenced it off and taken it upon themselves to close the road. They're not even local owners.

jrproper: What kind of fence is it?
Nature Conservancy guy: The kind with a scared woman with a shotgun behind it!

The absentee owners have a caretaker that patrols the property. So that's not an option.

We asked the guy what our options were. There were three:

1: We could go back the way we came. It's only ~30 miles! It was 5:30 p.m. and we started at 9:30 a.m. We would be riding major parts of the steep, rocky Rug Road in the dark. Or camping.

2: Ride to Wilcox and then back through Tucson.

3: Ride toward Safford and make the loop toward Globe and down to Winkelman.

Technically there was also a fourth and fifth option. Fourth being, have my wife jump in the truck and meet us in Wilcox, Globe or some other place. Fifth would be a hotel in one of the population centers.

Option 3 sounded the least objectionable at about 3 hours and no screaming our thumpers' guts out on the freeway. And we were still enjoying ourselves!

Looking back into the town of Klondyke, Pop. 5!



Safford (actually, North of Safford) to the left, Wilcox to the right. Between the cold water crossings and the lack of heat from the big orange ball in the sky, we were already jacketed up.



Heading down the road, I thought these would be the last pictures I took for the day. Looking East!



Sun setting in the West!



Further down the road and the sun recedes further from the horizon.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:39 PM   #20
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The first gas station we came to only had 87 octane. Vortexf650 left significant tank contents on the trail and had already made the switch to reserve, so he filled up. My bike was still sipping fuel from the long straw so I risked it, hoping for better fuel selection up the road.



Success! The next station up the road not only had 91 octane, they had sweatshirts for $20! Vortexf650 is excited! This was also the first time on this bike with this tank that I switched to reserve.



By the time we hit the Apache Gold Casino gas station, I was freezing. The Fly jacket I was wearing does a pretty good job cutting the wind. The Shoei MX helmet and thin gloves do not! Sweatshirts here were $40! It's like they know! I skipped it. I've been colder. Hot coffee and a quick snack would have to be enough.



Another funny observation when traveling by motorcycle. 90% of people are going to ask you where you're headed. When you tell them, they will comment on the ambient temperature!
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:52 PM   #21
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On the way to Winkelman we went over a couple of passes. It would be neat to see this area in daylight. Or at least with a better headlight. Here's what KTM's sad little bulb shows.



Cresting one hill I thought my brain froze and I was hallucinating. This large, glowing orange area on a mountain side looked way too much like magma! Arizona was/is volcanically active and there are hot springs around! Am I seeing an eruption taking place??



Nope, just some kind of hot rock from a mining operation.



I've been meaning to try time lapse photography with my new P&S.



20-ish miles from Winkelman we were back in Mammoth looking for the truck that we left at the shooting range. I think we were all crossing our fingers that we wouldn't come back to shot-up remains of a Tundra!


A two hour ride home and some time to eat and shower meant I was about three hours away from a 24 hour day.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:57 PM   #22
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Superb! Thanks for the preview. I've got plans to make that a part (A big part I guess) for a long dual sport ride.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:00 PM   #23
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Looks like a fun ride. I like coming in off a ride just as it is getting dark not so much riding in the dark. You do what you have to to get back.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:21 PM   #24
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Great ride and photos
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:44 PM   #25
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well done
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:52 PM   #26
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Damn, great ride report and photos.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:44 PM   #27
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Nice RR. I love this area. Plenty of roads to explore all day (or night).

Kinda sucks they started locking that fence by the mansion a couple years ago. That's a nice rocky trail/water crossings leading up to it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #28
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Lots of good pics Yardstick.

I've been wanting to ride the 'Rug Rd' for a long time and wanted to do it as a loop and not an out and back. So after looking on a couple topo maps and Google Earth, I thought I had a pretty good 80ish mile loop that was doable... I was WRONG.

The dirt portion of the ride was awesome, especially riding through Aravaipa Canyon & Turkey Creek. The 100+ mile pavment portion...

On our return, GPS said 200 miles, 7 hrs riding, & 6 hrs stopped. Oh yeah, a top speed of 88 mph.





Yardstick forgot to mention we parked right next to a shooting range.




Yardstick




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Old 02-13-2011, 11:39 PM   #29
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Here's Vortex650 having 'traction' issues on one of the many super rocky hills.




Notice trail that we just came down



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Old 02-13-2011, 11:43 PM   #30
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