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The 18th January was forecast as a pretty nice day, so I told the "war-department" that I was planning a ride. "To where?", she asked. I thought for a minute, remembered that I had NOT been to Gila Bend for a 'while', then said "To Gila Bend and back - probably take about four or five hours." then out to the garage to suit-up w/ her blessing.

At that time I was 'kinda' looking forward to riding W from here, wondering WHY I hadn't for so long...?

Got on, grips set to 'heat code green', then onto AZ 287 toward that far horizon, figuring to take a few more pics than usual. First was taken just down the road - of the Blackwater Trading Post (unfortunately CLOSED several years back), so I've NEVER been in it. Oh well.

IMG_0642 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Several miles later, as I approached the Sacaton exit, this pic.

IMG_0644 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Riding into town you pass what USED TO BE a beautiful adobe-walled Church - but NOW just a burned-out shell.

IMG_0645 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Sacaton was the home of Ira Hayes a native American who was part of that famous picture of a group of Marines raising the Stars and Stripes atop Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima, and there's a memorial to him just a block further. Unfortunately it's closed, so I took this pic of Hayes and the Memorial thru a fence.

IMG_0646 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

The road W from there intersects I-10, then transitioning to Casa Blanca Road, and onward to AZ 342 to Maricopa. By THIS time I was beginning to remember WHY I hadn't ridden this recently - NO significant elevation changes OR turns.

Heading W from Maricopa on AZ 238 you're entering "John Wayne Country". He owned a ranch W of town named the 'RED RIVER CATTLE COMPANY', just off a road named for one of his movies -

IMG_0648 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

his old ranch house and that of his foreman on a hill just S of the intersection.

IMG_0649 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr.

About half way to Gila Bend there's the "Sonoran Desert Nat'l Monument" (which I used to be able to ride thru, altho' it was closed for three years... around EIGHT years back!!!). The first pic is where I would come OUT

IMG_0651 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

and the second is where I would go IN, the route being that of the "Butterfield Stage Line" from way-back-when....

IMG_0652 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I stopped for my 'lunch-snack', then onward into Gila Bend and a famous restaurant themed on a flying saucer (shades of "Area 51"...?).

IMG_0653 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

IMG_0654 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

IMG_0655 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Across the road, in among gas stations and cafes, sit many welded sculptures of... PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING!

IMG_0658 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

IMG_0660 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

I was walking thru "Jurassic Park" in riding gear, my modular helmet opened UP as I took pics, when I walked into a claw on one of these two, but ONLY on the top of my helmet, and a four-inch scatch to the visor.... Oh well.

IMG_0663 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Just at the same time a pickup was entering the station, stopped, his wife and he laughing - I smiled, said "You just saw 'Mickey-Dumb-$hit' in action!", so they gave a thumbs-up!

IMG_0664 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

IMG_0668 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

I got headed back E via the Butterfield Stage Bypass and onto I-8 heading towards Casa Grande

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IMG_0669 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Quite often if the top a mountain has a "U-notch", it's called something like "Gunsite Pass" or similar, and I remembered that one was coming up S of the interstate.

IMG_0670 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

IMG_0671 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

The border w/ Mexico is somewhere not too far S,

IMG_0672 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

while this is back looking E.

IMG_0673 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

I have no background in geology, but I believe those are "lava-pipes" on this hill.

IMG_0674 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Just W of Casa Grande off AZ 84 is what USED to be John Wayne's ranch, NOW named the "Red River Dairy" w/ a BUNCH of holstein cows.

IMG_0675 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

The WHOLE AREA has a 'certain air'....

In Casa Grande I stopped at Dairy Queen for an ice-cream cone

IMG_0676 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

then headed E, and then N

IMG_0678 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

back via AZ 287 and home, 176 miles and about 4.5 hours of a MOSTLY BORING ride...! I think I'll ride UPHILL next time!

IMG_0679 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

o_O
 

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Thanks for the ride Eddie. I had hoped to get out for a frigid quicky Sat, but the salt trucks were out the night before and it was hovering about 33F. Didn’t really want to put the Vx thru that or risk finding black ice
 

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A colonoscopy would have been more pleasurable than that. LOL.

Well, at least you remember why now.
 

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Nice, if a bit fun riding challenged, ride and post up. Wifey and I were going to be out there now but a last minute(non covid, whew!) urgent medical issue for wifey came up that had to be dealt with. She's recovering just fine.

Heading outside to add another farkle to our new to us motorhome.
 

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No significant elevation changes or curves? You must have thought you were riding through Kansas! ;)

Have you ridden through Tombstone to the fascinating little mining town of Bisbee? We spent a day or two there several springs ago during our "lots of stuff to see in Tucson" ride and thoroughly enjoyed it. Stayed at the Shady Dell Vintage Trailer Court where Spyders are allowed to park by their trailers. It was a fascinating and fun trip back to the 1950s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the ride Eddie. I had hoped to get out for a frigid quicky Sat, but the salt trucks were out the night before and it was hovering about 33F. Didn’t really want to put the Vx thru that or risk finding black ice
A colonoscopy would have been more pleasurable than that. LOL.
About a year ago (late October, '20) I rode for an hour and a half on ICE on AZ 160 between Kayenta and Tuba City - TOTAL distance is 72 miles by my maps - of which AT LEAST the 62 miles starting at Kayenta WERE ice...!

Bill and I were VERY lucky that neither of us 'went down'. Trouble was - that trying to STOP or to TURN AROUND appeared more difficult/ dangerous than to CAREFULLY continue heading W, so we DID.

I've had colonoscopies in the past - NO question WHICH of the two I prefer: starts w/ COLON....!

o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...urgent medical issue for wifey came up that had to be dealt with. She's recovering just fine....
Steve - please give her my regards.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
...Have you ridden through Tombstone to the fascinating little mining town of Bisbee? ....
Yup - my neighbor who lives here ALL THE TIME, says that I've seen MORE of Arizona than HE has, and YES - been to Bisbee a few times.

Beautiful state, and riding to Gila Bend is probably the ONLY time I was bored....

:unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BTW - one of the GREAT rides here is AZ 191 (used to be AZ 666 - the Devil's Hwy - till they changed the name) between Mexican Water near the UT border and Clifton at the S end of the Morenci open-pit mine, one of the world's LARGEST!

DSC07086 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC07089 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

(y)(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BTW - the Butterfield Stage Route thru the Sonoran Desert is really historic, and beautiful. Back when it was open to vehicles I rode it three or four times, and I hiked it w/ the Hiking Club here where I live, as an 'exploratory' hike, but at 13 miles it was deemed to be TOO long for average hikers.

What follows are pics I took back then, w/ a couple from recently, going from W to E.

P1180369 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

IMG_0652 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Several miles N of those two pics, the route turns to the E thru a mountain range.

DSC09392 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC09395 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

This is the 'cistern' mentioned on the sign...

DSC09396 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC09397 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

and a corral.

DSC09403 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC09406 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC09407 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC09409 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

DSC09412 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

And my 'old' '04 KLR650 on one of those rides

H - Painted Rocks-Joe/109.JPG by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

to the end of the route for me (tho' it continues E and N...).

DSC09413 copy by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

(y)(y)

:cool:
 
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