On the 18th October I figured to make my third 'stab' at riding to Young.
First try was back in 2007 on my KLR650. I rode via Payson and Hwy 260, then tried to come in from the north near Kohl's Ranch. Wasn't to be - there was around one and a half feet of snow there, and I was neither brave enough, nor stupid enough to continue on my own.
So, last year I tried again, in November, from the Roosevelt Lake / Hwy 288 side. That wasn't to be either. You turn east onto 288 from 188 which goes from Globe, past Roosevelt Dam and Lake, then joins the 'Beeline Hwy', 87, south of Rye and Payson. I was on my "V" on regular street tires, and once you ride about 26 miles in, you're at 6500'ASL and the end of the pavement, with many miles of dirt before you. About 10 miles in on the dirt it began raining so I 'did a 180' and got the hell-out-of-there, not wanting to end up on my side, probably injured, in mud.
The 'bug' was still there, so when I returned to AZ this season I planned to give it another try.
The 18th October looked pretty good, so off I went. Hwy 79 from Florence to Florence Junction, then east on Hwy 60 to Globe via Miami and Superior, then a left onto 188 till the sign for 288 indicated a right turn, and up I climbed back to 6500 and the start of the dirt. This day was clear and mud was NOT in the offing, so away I went. Shortly after the start of dirt there's evidence of a recent forest fire, and I continued on the winding road till I saw the sign for McFadden Peak, site of a fire look out at 7135'ASL.
After viewing the look-out, and another 16 miles, the dirt became asphalt, and the YOUNG sign beckoned. It's in quite an attractive valley, a very big change from the road leading to it. I photographed a few signs indicating that at least SOME Young residents don't like strangers. One sign indicated that the road off to the right was "Poverty Gulch". At the end of town a sign showed two roads out, and I took the left fork, 20 miles till 260 and on to Payson.
That 20 miles was probably the toughest 20 mile dirt road I've ridden: narrow (at best one and a half lanes) and extremely twisty, VERY rocky.
Normally I LOOK for twisties, but these were not fun twisties....
I've since exchanged the stock shock for one from a Yamaha R1, and sure would have appreciated it on this ride!
About two hours later, after 260 to Payson, 87 to the Bush Hwy and on to the Hunt Hwy I pulled into my driveway, and a VERY welcome chilled beer.