Awhile back, Joey Rocket Films, suggested that we have a get-together of AZ riders on the 17th December. PHX_Joe also joined in, saying he was "up" for one. Then I spoke w/ my neighbor Skip who has a white '15 650LT, and he was OK w/ the idea too.
I suggested a meet-and-greet lunch at the River Bottom Inn in Florence as I could show them some dirt roads around here (and if nobody else came, I'd show Skip a bunch of good dirt around here), then continue onto pavement.
Problem was that it rained AGAIN the night before, so, added to the rain from the 15th - MAYBE too wet to ride dirt. (Here it is mostly clay so it becomes virtually impassable when wet or damp....) I spoke w/ Skip, suggesting we head to the River Bottom Inn early to check the condition of the dirt, but seeing water pooled along our route to the River Bottom Inn made up our minds, so we came up w/ a thought about a ride that would NOT involve dirt IF the two 'Joes' agreed.
Meet time was 1130 (we arrived 1115ish), and just seconds before 1130 two Gen 2 V 650s pulled up to our Gen 1 and Gen 3 Vs.
The four of us shook hands, then, sitting at an outside table went over the tentative plan we'd come up w/, all of us agreeing to it AS LONG AS WE WENT INSIDE for lunch to get out of the chill. "Joey Rocket Films" was not wearing long-johns - just jeans and a leather riding jacket, so already 'cooled'....
Inside we went, ordered lunch, ate it, then back out to head N along AZ 79 to Florence Junction, followed by E onto AZ 60 thru Superior and Miami, and just as we touched Globe turned N onto AZ 188 for 16 miles to the Young Hwy, AZ 288.
288 is paved for about 27 miles, climbing to 5,947' ASL where the dirt starts, a very nice twisty piece of asphalt, and there was no stopping for pics till we hit the end of the pavement, VERY muddy off to the sides.
We lined the four Vs up, I set the camera on my tripod w/ the timer, hit the button and raced back to get into line.
From the left: Skip's '15, me leaning on PHX_Joe's Gen 2, then Skip, Joe and Joey, my Gen 1 and Joey's Gen 2. Here's a close-up of Skip, Joe and Joey.
The consensus was to stop on the way back down for pics - my first W into the glare of the sun
the second using my mirror (unfortunately Joey was 'sneaking-up' w/ his video cam, so he's that LITTLE white dot on the left of my mirror...)
and here is what was ahead of us 100 yards.
Hard to make out the roadway, but it runs from the left foreground out to the far central part.
I showed the muddy road into where I like to stop for a lunch break
and here it is in BETTER times (the AZBDR w/ jdrocks back in '14).
That is the "Four Peaks" in the background.
We continued, 'strafing' 288 to 188, thru to Globe and W on 60, stopping to show them a stone fence made "however-many-years-ago"
This has Joey trying to warm his hands in the exhaust of his V,
and Skip and Joe.
Skip broke off for home while I led the two Joes thru Queen Valley, onto Camino Viejo (Old Road...?), then the three of us said our good-byes, them heading W on 60 while I used 79 S to home, arriving at 1700hrs, 190 miles of GOOD riding added to the odometer!
GREAT to meet the guys, GREAT ride! Expect we'll do it again.