Cold, snow...? WE got THAT here in AZ!!! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Cold, snow...? WE got THAT here in AZ!!!

A year or so ago, an inmate from FL (SteveJ) came out to W Canada and we rode together 'some' in BC. Well - he planned to drive W in the USA, and asked IF I would ride w/ him.... OF COURSE I said "Hell yes!" so when he came thru here about a month back, we 'missed' as: A. it was pretty cold; and B. I was already committed that day; so we planned for him when he was heading E.

Got the call a few days ago, and we made plans to ride the 25th and 26th. His camp was in Kearny just off AZ 177, so I suggested meeting at Superior at 1000 hrs the 25th, to ride NE to Globe, and...?

I left home at 0900, w/ the temps 'hovering' around 28F, so I had the heated grips at THREE plus TWO jackets under my Kilimanjaro (my heated jacket-liner was refusing to heat, so I wore IT plus another polar-fleece), heavy gloves, wool sox and my "waterproof" Cycle Gear boots (MORE on THAT later...!), hoping for the BEST, as the forecast said that our record snow-falls were over (as much as 52" in the high country!).

When we met, I pulled out maps and we decided to ride to what is known as the "Mini Grand Canyon", the Salt River Canyon (seriously TWISTY!), about 35 miles NNE of Globe, so off we went. As the road climbed, the snow I took pics of a few days earlier became CLOSER and closer, and MOST of the 35 miles was in snow-country, my GPS showing our highest altitude as just under 6,000' ASL!

I didn't stop for pics on the way UP, figuring to get them on the return, so our first was as we descended into the Canyon, down a bit from the TOP on the S side, camera pointed N.



Then it was time for a "pee-break" and these pics.









Here's what the GPS screen looked like.



The plan was to ride to the NE corner where there's a nice pull-out, eat lunch, take pics, then reverse course.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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If you look back at 'pic 4' (what the heck - HERE it is again!), just below the top right corner - you can see where there's a pull-out just in front of that 'light colored cliff face - that was our planned 'lunch-break'.



So that's where we stopped, had lunch and "shot-the-sh*t", before starting back DOWN, and onwards to Globe.





At the bottom of the hill there's a small bridge w/ a 180 degree turn, then back-and-forth UP the S side....





IF you 'squint' - you can see three of the 'switch-backs' across the valley - TOP one in the SNOWYpart....



...and here's the GPS view again.



Then two looking down to that bridge....





Soon we were back "on top", heading SSW, rather chilly looking in the "High Country".





Those two pics pretty much 'set-the-tone' for getting to Globe, and then we headed SW onto AZ 77 to Winkelman, then NW to Kearny (for Steve's campsite, AND a "Kiltlifter Beer"), then home via Superior AFTER making plans to ride the next day (when the forecast was for temps to ACTUALLY become 'seasonal' w/ a HI around 70F!), meeting on AZ 60 near Queen Valley turn off.

I arrived home after SIX hours, and 254 miles, HAPPY to be LOWER in elevation, HIGHER in temperature!



-
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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day TWO - the 26th February.

The forecast was for mid-70F temps, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the thermometer hovering around 50F when I went for my morning walk, so I got out some 'lighter' riding gear as well as one less jacket to wear under my riding gear, a lighter riding jacket TOO! Under way at 0900 again, this time w/ a stop at Safeway to get some more jalapeno bagels for lunch, happy for the warmth (LIGHTER gloves TOO!).

Soon I arrived at our meeting place a bit early, so went behind a tree to drain some of my morning coffees off, and heard a Versys pull in behind me...



...zipped-up, then out to greet Steve!



We looked at my maps, deciding to ride to Tortilla Flat, then the end-of-pavement about five miles further on, followed by the Bush Highway where Steve could take the 'Beeline' Hwy (AZ 87) NE, AZ 188 to Globe, AZ 77 to Winkelman, then AZ 177 to Kearny, while I would ride home from the Bush Highway. I made a point of briefing Steve that there are TWO places just past Tortilla Flat that might be an issue because of water flowing across the road, so to be wary.

My camera around my neck we headed off, soon on the Apache Trail, stopping at the Museum (which features a small chapel, featured in an Elvis movie).









We 'mounted-up', heading E along the Trail, and stopped to get a pic of the "Four Peaks Mountain" behind the closer desert rocks. (THIS will be my LAST pic from this ride, maybe the LAST w/ this camera)....



It's always been a 'chore' to drive the Apache Trail because of extremely slow drivers, many of whom will NOT use the pull-outs to let following traffic pass, so we were stymied by various vehicles, but I HOPED they would stay in Tortilla Flat so we could continue expeditiously....

The last mile into the Flat was quite warm so I opened my visor for cooling air, hoping the white car ahead would stay there - he made a sort-of "feint" to the right so I moved left, up on the 'pegs, then gassing it as he came back to the right lane JUST AS WE ENTERED THE WATER which was flowing right-to-left!

I threw up a 'bow-wave' like a destroyer, water going OVER my head as well as into my helmet thru my OPEN visor, probably OVER the top of his sedan - but I kept the throttle open till I was thru the flowing water. Several miles of great twisties later I led Steve off onto an area on our left for lunch, then sat on a rock to drain my right boot, SOMEHOW filled w/ water....

We had stopped about 100 yards from the start of the dirt, so I pulled out our lunch, then waved to a couple on a BMW GS1200 heading towards the dirt. A few minutes later they returned - visiting from Washington state - and we chatted. Lunch over, I saw that they made a nice tableau w/ the three bikes, a snow-covered peak in the background, so I mentioned I'd take their pic.

Pulled up my camera, pushed the button to turn it ON, then pushed it AGAIN - it hadn't started - then realized that it had been drenched in that water crossing (it's outside in the sun on my patio, HOPEFULLY DRYING OUT as I write this.

On the way back out, as I approached that water hazard I noticed many people w/ cameras (the other side of the water), focused in MY direction, so 'up-on-the-pegs' VISOR DOWN! I gassed-it thru the water again, another HUGE bow-wave, so I expect they got a few 'dramatic' pics...!

THIS time it was my LEFT boot (UPHILL side) that filled up!

In any event, Steve and I rode to Usery pass, then to Saguaro Lake via the Bush Hwy where we parted, he headed NE, me SW and to home.

This day added 153 miles, so our two-day ride was just about 400 miles of S AZ goodness!

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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 02-27-2019 at 02:59 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 05:42 PM
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Now you have done it again Eddie. You gave away our secret of the great ride known as The Mini Grand Canyon. It might be the best in the state, although The Devils Highway and the road up Mt. Lemmon might be in there also. Ooops, now I did it, and gave away 2 more of our other favorites.

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for sharing the ride.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
...(it's outside in the sun on my patio, HOPEFULLY DRYING OUT as I write this....
I ALSO put those 'waterproof' boots (probably NOT "proof" against water coming IN from above AND running down my legs) out on the patio, w/ the camera, where it was warm.

CROSSED my fingers then picked-up the camera about 1600 hrs, put the memory-card and battery back IN, pressed the ON button - YAY - IT WORKS!!!
...Now I don't need to 'break-in' a new one...! -

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjcintucson View Post
Now you have done it again Eddie. You gave away our secret of the great ride known as The Mini Grand Canyon. It might be the best in the state, although The Devils Highway and the road up Mt. Lemmon might be in there also. Ooops, now I did it, and gave away 2 more of our other favorites.
Chuck - I'm gonna have to "check you out" on riding to Shiprock....

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 08:03 PM
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Thanks for the ride Eddie............it's cold and snowing here ..............spring isn't too far away I guess.
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