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Old 07-03-2012, 09:15 PM   #61
kobukan OP
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6/30/12

Through the Huachucaís to the Santa Ritaís, and back . . .

I had some tracks for the area west of Sonoita that looked interesting so I thought Iíd go see what they were really like. Iíve ridden in the area a little previously and it was a unique landscape of open fields with the beautiful Santa Rita Mountains in the background. This time I hoped the tracks would take me through the mountains to the other side.

But, first I had to get to Sonoita, which meant another trip through Montezuma Pass. Yes, Iím getting pretty familiar with Montezuma Pass and the area south of the Huachucaís, but itís always an enjoyable ride.

I left home a little after 6:00 am while the temps were still cool, hoping to return before the afternoon thunderstorms that seem to threaten every day here this time of year. About 20 minutes into the ride, just before the road turns to dirt heading into Montezuma Pass I had my first encounter with a Rattlesnake. It was sunning itself in the road to warm up from the cool evening temps. Iím told there are three types of rattlesnakes around here; Diamondback, Mojave and Black-tailed. This one was a Black-tailed Rattlesnake.


He didnít seem at all interested in me, but I didnít get too close or stick around too long.


After coming down off the pass I had another 35 miles of scenic ride to get to Sonoita.










Parker Canyon Lake . . . Itís not very big, but someday Iím going to take time to actually stop down at the lake to see what itís like.


The road turned to pavement eventually, but it was still pretty nice.


Stopped briefly in Sonoita to top off the tank and get a drink & a snack before heading into the Santa Rita Mountains. There was a big group of sport bikes fueling up here as well, but I didnít get a picture of them. One of the guys did come over and chat with me a little though Ė he was a 68-year old guy on a sport bike who said up until about ten years ago he rode with some outlaw biker gang. He was very pleasant and seemed like a nice guy, but Iím glad I didnít run into him ten years ago.


On the road again . . . things are starting to look pretty good.


A few Antelope playing . . .


Winding up into the mountains . . . the road started getting a little narrower, and a little rougher. In places it was pretty rough and there were some pretty steep grades. It was slow going. This area reminded me a little of the ride out to Jackson Cabin - similar terrain and spectacular views.






When I reached the top of the pass the view to the west was spectacular.






The descent began abruptly - steep and rocky.






And, it was a long descent, but I eventually made my way down into the valley.


The ride through there was one of the best Iíve had. Iíd definitely like to ride through there again sometime. I ended up in Green Valley and the plan from there was to jump on I-19 and head about ten miles south to Amado where Iíd pick up another track that would cross back through the mountains and come out just a couple miles south of Patagonia. This turned out to be a great track through the back country as well - not quite as rugged, but close.














It seems like when I reach the most remote part of my rides thereís always a cow waiting for me.


Nearing civilization again . . .




Water crossing. Not everything is dried up around here.


Just after this I reached Route 82 just a couple miles south of Patagonia. I didnít stop for any pictures in Patagonia, but itís a nice little town - a great place for lunch if you get the chance.

From there I headed for the MEX border. Passed the remnants of an old structure in Harshaw along the way.


Six miles to the border . . .


For a guy from Maine, riding along the Mexican border is always interesting.




The dayís ride went well and the tracks turned out to be even better than I expected. There are mountain ranges everywhere around here and although they all share some similarities, each is unique in some way. The Santa Ritaís are beautiful and easily recognizable. Riding through them was something Iíll remember, and I look forward to the next chance I get to explore that area a little more.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #62
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Squaw Gulch? Arizona must not be as politically correct as Maine. I like it!

Keep the pictures coming.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:34 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by wardensworry View Post
Squaw Gulch? Arizona must not be as politically correct as Maine. I like it!

Keep the pictures coming.
Welcome to the forum wardensworry. Looks like a late night back there in Maine. Look forward to riding with you again when I get back.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:49 AM   #64
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Great pic's and RR Kobukan

a dual sport ride through the south west will definitely be on my bucket list
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by kobukan View Post
I get a lot of questions about how hot it is here, but to be honest, it really hasnít been that bad.
Awesome. I've got to get out west again next winter. I'm hatching a plan for that. I like the idea of keeping a bike out there...
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:25 PM   #66
kobukan OP
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7/2/12

Exploring the back roads of the Huachuca Mountains

Iíve been wanting to spend some time exploring the back roads in the Huachucaís so today I headed out to see what I could find. I left home a little later today, around 8:00 am, and went up into Miller Canyon to see if there were any interesting side roads in there. I didnít find any side roads that went far, but there was a nice spot near a wash with some interesting old structures.








Next I rode into Stump Canyon to see what I could find. The road didnít go far at all, but I did find an old mine. I found out later it was Baumkirchner Mine. Itís always interesting to me to see open mines like this. I donít know how far in it went - I just stuck my head in far enough to get a picture.




There was plenty of evidence of recent fire here, including what appeared to be the remnants of a couple burned homes.




From here I headed south to the other side of the mountains, once again through Montezuma Pass, to Sunnyside Rd.


The ride got good pretty quick heading up Sunnyside Rd. I stayed to the right at the first split hoping to make a loop, and the road immediately got considerably rougher.


After a while the road dead ended at a rough, rocky wash.


I walked around a little scouting the area and noticed there was another road on the east side of another wash alongside the road I was on. There was no clear path to the other road, but I managed to make my way over and continued north.

A little further up the road I came to this - not sure, but possibly Sunnyside Townsite.






I passed a couple splits in the road, but tried to continue following what my GPS showed to be a road that would loop around. I had no tracks for this area, it was all just hopeful exploration.

It turned out to be a really nice area, and before long I was riding through the trees where there was a running river/stream and green grass. The elevation here was about 6,000 ft.




Iím pretty sure this sign used to say Scotia Canyon.


Beautiful area




A little further up I entered a Pine Forest. Large Pine trees and a very strong, distinct Pine scent.






After that I came to a split in the road. My map showed both ways joining up again shortly and I decided to stay to the right. I didnít get far before coming to a very steep, rocky climb. There was a line that could have been ridden, but there was no room for error and I was alone and too far from civilization to attempt it, although I did spend about 15 minutes scouting the hill before deciding it wouldnít be a good idea. If it had been the only way through, I might have tried it, but I figured the left at the split would get me through so I went back and sure enough I was able to continue on that way, but it was still pretty rough in places.


A little further and the road actually started to smooth out. I checked my GPS and this was about as far as I thought Iíd be able to go, but the road obviously continued on. I decided to turn around here for today Ė I didnít want to push my luck regarding time and the inevitable early afternoon thunderstorms that would likely be appearing. This would turn out to be a very good decision.

I found the loop that would get me back to where I started without backtracking and things were going along well, then I saw another side road that I couldnít resist and off I went. This turned out to be a great road, rocky and rough - the road less traveled, just what I was looking for. I could only hope that it would come out somewhere and not just dead end.


The road got pretty narrow in places and went on through some pretty rough spots. I was beginning to lose hope of this road coming out anywhere - I was really expecting it to dead end, then it opened up into pasture land, the road smoothed out and it started looking like the road was going to go through.




I crossed through a couple gates, then the road entered a wash and the next thing I knew I was right back out on the main road I started from. Awesome!




It seemed like I had time for a little more exploration so I headed off down what appeared to be a little used road across from Sunnyside Rd. I was hoping it would go all the way through to the border road.






It was a nice ride with great views, but it did not go through to the border road. It appeared to dead end about halfway, but then I noticed some tracks crossing a wash and running up another ridge. This eventually led to Lake Rd., which took me back to the intersection of Coronado Trail and Montezuma Canyon Rd. From there I headed east and then south onto Sunnyside Rd. and down to the border road. Along the way I noticed some dark clouds - a storm was building, and it came up fairly quickly. It looked like I might just miss it, but that didnít quite happen. I was skirting along the edge of it and there was clear sky ahead, but I got caught in some rain, heavy at times.


I made my way along the border through the rain and then made my way up onto Montezuma Pass where the sun was shining. This is what I saw when I looked back down into the valley I had just come across. Torrential downpour and big lightning bolts.


Nothing but clear sky on the other side.


It was a great day of riding and a very successful day of exploring. Found lots of good stuff, and more to explore. Canít wait to get back out there.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:07 PM   #67
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hey! great reading on your trips. thanks for taking the time.

good find on the black tail. they're not too common up here. mostly diamond backs.

where can i find a great bike like yours?! i'm jeleous.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #68
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Looking like you are having a hell of a good time..keep the pic's coming
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:41 AM   #69
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Gee, you are pretty good at finding paths. Are you making your own tracks from maps or are locals helping you?

Thanks for keeping us posted. Great part of the world.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #70
kobukan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabee1 View Post
. . . where can i find a great bike like yours?! i'm jeleous.
I found mine in Phoenix, probably not far from you.

Quote:
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Gee, you are pretty good at finding paths. Are you making your own tracks from maps or are locals helping you?
Lots of research, reading local threads to see where the locals go, a little help from the locals after arrival, gathering tracks from wherever I can find them, lots of time studying maps and creating more tracks, and a lot of exploring.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:04 AM   #71
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Loving this thread! Fantastic photos. Very inspiring. Thank you.

Curious, what, if any prep do you do to the bike when you park it for extended periods of time? Today's fuel just doesn't have the 'staying power' that gasoline used to have.

Thanks again for taking the time. Keep the report alive!
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #72
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Thanks EC . . . I don't have any prior experience storing bikes so I was a little concerned. I gave it a good bath, sprayed all the plastic and rubber stuff with Aerospace 303 ( I love that stuff), filled the gas tank, added Stabil, rode about five miles, ran the carb dry, parked it and hoped it would be OK. After four months of not being touched it started up and ran like I had just ridden the day before. I'm no expert on fuel, but I only run Shell, Chevron or something else from this list, unless I'm in the middle of nowhere - sometimes you have to make do with the gallon jug from the guy on the side of the road in Baja.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:47 AM   #73
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One more question: What are you carrying in your saddlebags? These are day trips, right? or are you prepared to overnight?

On your studying, I have a DeLorme and I have successfully made tracks from it north of Phoenix. I'll have to study your area now. Seems quite a bit different than where I've been exploring.

Thanks again
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #74
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Now this is what ADV Rider is all about. Great job. Riding your motorcycle & exploring the country side. Wow what a concept
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #75
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One more question: What are you carrying in your saddlebags? These are day trips, right? or are you prepared to overnight?
I don't usually have much in the saddlebags on day trips, but the top box is always full - tools, spare parts, maps, first-aid kit and a few other things I like to always have with me. I don't usually carry a tent or sleeping bag on day trips, but I will sometimes depending on the time of year and where I'm going. I travel with a SPOT device, and recently acquired a backup GPS to carry since I rely on it quite a bit.
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