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!