Jumped on "BIG RED" yesterday and went for a desert ride. From Florence I rode south to join the Florence/Kelvin Hwy east, the first 11 miles of which are paved, then turns to dirt till Kelvin. About five miles of dirt, then the Barkerville Road turns south off it, and even though it was windy and cold (saw ice on several puddles along the road) lots of the various cactus were flowering. I stopped for pictures of the V with some colorful ones, then Barkerville Road ends at a "T" with Freeman Road, and I turned back to the east on it. The dirt continues to a place called Dudleyville, where there's a stream crossing a mile or so from pavement. I'd ridden thru this a few times before, but as the roads had been muddy (we had several inches of rain over the last week) here-and-there, I was prepared to turn back IF it was running deep.
Got there to see lots of churned-up mud on BOTH sides of the creek from pick-ups, but the crossing didn't look TOO bad, so rather than walking it, I got up on my 'pegs and rode thru where it was shallow with a gravel-bar, then a grassy area to its left side. Some large branches forced me towards the muddy part, but thankfully my Tourance tires were up to the task, and despite some mud clinging to me and BIG RED, I was thru it in no time.
After that it was following pavement on AZ 177 and 77 north till I got to Kelvin, then back onto the Florence/Kelvin Hwy for MORE dirt! Again I was seeing flowering barrel cactus, so I rode into the desert to get photos of my Versys beside a few.
Along the way I saw a (rare) 'crested' Saguaro, and stopped for a picture of it. Usually they "crest" but don't turn into arms, but this one had. Check my pics.
By the time I got home I'd done 126 miles, of which I estimate that AT LEAST 60 were dirt,
and ONLY my MX boots were muddy on me...!
GREAT ride! (Thanks in no small part to a heated jacket liner, and Tourance rubber!)