Riding w/ my D2D '15 pal AGAIN... DAY 1 - Arizona dirt and rocks! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Riding w/ my D2D '15 pal AGAIN... DAY 1 - Arizona dirt and rocks!

Paul and I wanted to ride some 'dirt' up in his "neck-of-the-woods" before I head N to the GREAT WHITE NORTH, so Monday was 'it', and I was outta here at 0840, planning to meet up at Exit 248 on I-17, the start of the Crown King Rd.



Nuthin to say about 1.75 hours of "super-slab", except - GLAD when it was over...!

Pulled off I-17 and there was Paul, beside his Beemer.



Spent a couple of minutes chatting, then under I-17, onto dirt, and 25 miles to go to Crown King, the road pretty fair.





As you get closer to the hills, the rock starts projecting itself thru the dirt



and we soon passed the "town" of Cleator and its bar.



The road started to point up, LOTS of twists









with a 'plethora' of hairpins as we climbed.



Here's a look-back at the road we'd just ridden....



Now we were doing some fairly SERIOUS climbing



and that's the road AGAIN in the distance, WAY-Y-Y down there.








Ed
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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About then we stopped for a 'break' and a drink of water



then came to Crown King, the 'end' of 25 miles, SO FAR!







I guess it (or the mine) was called the "Crowned King" back then...



and here are some pics of the downtown of Crown King.







We walked back to the bikes, looked at our maps, then decided we would ride to Prescott via some dirt roads w/ names like "Senators Hwy", so, DESPITE the 38 miles of dirt-trails to Prescott, we figured on an "easy" ride ahead of us....



Pretty quickly the road headed UP.





We stopped for lunch by a sign that must have been behind a deer, thus counting for the bullet-holes where they had either missed, or shot THRU the deer....



More and MORE rock was showing thru the dirt on the 'road' as we continued, but still NOT what I call "gnarly"..., YET!



But it WAS dusty, tho'....





We stopped for a break while a pickup went past...



then 'mounted-up', again headed N.



Suddenly we entered wooded areas, the altitude working up towards (finally) OVER 8,000'ASL, snowdrifts and mud across the trail, ROCKY as hell, at least six water crossings, most we could 'skirt' but THREE about a foot or more deep where we had to go thru the middle, HOPING to stay "shiny-side-UP". As on other rides where I couldn't stop to take pics because I was fearful of being able to re-start, I got the NEXT one



and then didn't stop for another till we had passed pretty much ALL of it, very close to Prescott. The pickup that we had paused for earlier was stopped in the middle in that nasty bit, but we managed to get by, and never saw them (or ANY others...!) again.


The pic above was taken at 1423 hrs, the NEXT one below at 1615 - ALMOST two hours later, ALL that standing on the pegs, hoping NOT to crash, and in point-of-fact, I had SEVERAL very exciting moments.... Didn't go down, but DAMNED close!


Ed
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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From Prescott it was a pleasure to NOT stand on the pegs while we rode for 32 minutes on paved roads to Paul's house in Clarkdale, just below the mountain-town of Jerome. Here's what my GPS 'summed-up' the day's ride as (and remember that I did almost two full hours before, as well as the last half hour, at "super-slab" speeds, when you look at the 'average speed', contrasted w/ the 63 miles of dirt...!



I hope to start on "Day 2" and "Day 3" tomorrow, but they are NOT GNARLY, except for a few miles into the Stanton 'Ghost Town' on Day 3....


Ed
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a map of the dirt to Crown King, and then N to Prescott (in red), and the paved stuff to Paul's place, in green.




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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Day 2 - UNFORTUNATELY only 25 (or so) miles of dirt

Our plan for today was to ride the Mogollon Rim which has a road along it, quite a bit higher than the surroundings, so after breakfast we mounted-up, pointed ourselves E, joined AZ 260 thru Camp Verde then up the long hill to the top of the rim (around 6,000' ASL) where I took this pic....



IF we'd have been 'thinking', we could have avoided some "aimless" wandering that we did that day, looking for a way onto or across the high country.

We started our search where the small red-dot is just E of where 260 joins AZ 87, only to be 'greeted' by a chain across the trail-head, a sign marked CLOSED hanging from it.



We were planning to ride the "Fire Control Road" which is marked in red, just a bit SE of Pine, so we headed for that, and into it.



That's the Mogollon Rim visible in the distance, and we got around 25 miles of a NICE dirt road







before we arrived at its E end, then back onto 260 to see IF we could enter the Rim Rd from that end (check the two red 'dots' where we tried, UNSUCCESSFULLY, still not quite accepting that ALL the high country was closed, no doubt due the snow and accompanying mud)....

When we couldn't enter there we back-tracked W on 260 thru Strawberry and Pine, then headed NE on 87 till we intersected w/ the Mary Lake Road at Clints Well, then headed N, FINALLY stopping for lunch when EVERY side-road we tried was CLOSED.





As we rode around Morman Lake a nice view of the San Francisco Mountains came into view.



We pretty much had accepted that we were going to "slab" it home, so up to Flagstaff, then S onto AZ 89A, VERY twisty down towards Sedona, followed by bumper-to-bumper traffic till we were finally thru town...!









Approaching Sedona we followed a real idiot in a white Dodge, tail-gating w/in a car's-length (!!!), then passing on a double-solid-yellow into curves...! We stayed back in case he caused a heads-on collision, but, THANKFULLY he didn't.



The part of 89A S of Sedona IS great, and we had that 'high' to help us enjoy the final few miles to Paul's place, having put another 299 miles including the 25 miles of dirt we HAD found...!


Ed
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Day 3 - a "ghost-town", SOME dirt, then homeward bound!

I rise early, taking a walk to enjoy the solitude, taking several pics of Clarkdale w/ the town of Jerome on the side of the far hill in the distance.







Paul was up when I got back, and we headed down for breakfast at a favorite cafe of his. Got back, discussed our routing, then suited-up and headed out, our planned route up thru Jerome












Ed
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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AFTER Jerome...

Then we followed AZ 89 thru Prescott, turning NW at Kirkland Junction onto AZ 96 thru Yava then S via Hillside, onto 25 miles of dirt road and back to AZ 89 which we followed NE to Peeples Valley...













the road twisty and 'fast' even w/ the traffic...!







The road starts to flatten out approaching Prescott



but soon twists again once thru, onto the 'other' side of town.



The next few taken along 96, new road surfaces.








Ed
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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...some dirt....

BUT - the scenery WAS changing...



the road becoming dirt at the S end of Hillside for about 25 miles.









My plan was to turn N onto 89 to Yarnell to enjoy the twists climbing the hill, a GREAT view W over the valley



then follow the trail into the ghost town of Stanton, but I missed the turn-out, realizing THAT when we approached Peeples Valley, so I signaled a stop to re-check my maps.... YUP - the trail was behind us in Yarnell. We removed some gear as the heat was getting "up-there", had a snack, did a 180 and back into Yarnell, THIS time finding the trail, a rather Gnarly one, but only 4 or 5 miles long



and we entered Stanton, a ghost town where MANY RVers spend the winter, searching for gold.




Ed
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Stanton - gold and gunfight history...

As we parked the two ADV bikes a lady approached, offering to take our picture, so I handed my camera over.



The town is the site of some of the richest gold finds in AZ history, plus the criminals drawn there by the wealth....







We took our pics in front of the 'store'





enjoying the historic 'stuff' inside



before buying ice-cream bars, sitting on the porch near an "old-timer"....











Then back to our "trusty steeds", geared-up, Paul to intercept 89 again, riding N to his place while I would go S to MINE.


Ed
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Goin' home....

Several miles of dirt later we arrived at 89, said "Good-bye", then joined the highway, one N, one S.

MY way home was to be S to Wickenburg, then further S to Gila Bend before turning E to Florence, the roads pretty much clear of traffic, so I made "good time"....













Unlike the Crown King area - THIS part of AZ is pretty flat...




and you make good time, altho' there WAS one turn - into a bridge.



Soon Gila Bend disappeared in my rear-view-mirrors, I-8 beckoning me E.





and an hour and a half later I pulled into my garage, today having added another 316 miles, making the total trip 840 miles (on my GPS), of which about 125 or so were rather 'dusty'....


Ed
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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BTW - when I mentioned that a bunch of people spend winters in Stanton looking for gold, I forgot to mention that there's a pic in the store of a hand holding a gold nugget that's probably 4" across. I never thought to take a pic....


Ed
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 07:29 AM
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Eddie...great report and amazing pictures. What an incredible country

Thanks for posting

Tim


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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BTW - when I mentioned the GNARLY bit on Day 1, I forgot to also mention that we were riding muddy tire-ruts thru snowdrifts every now-and-then in there, probably in the 7 to 8,000' ASL range...!

Ed
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 05:08 PM
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Thanks for the AZ tour. I'm warmed up by it!

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 01:49 AM
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That's one hell of a thread. Looked like a nice trip! Thanks for sharing!


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Ride it like you stole it but also like you wanna be able to ride it to work the next day

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