Ok, here it is. Kim & I drove up to the rim & got started about 9am. I fully expected to get rained on at some time during the, so was wanting to get the off road part done early. It was a total of about 140 miles.. we did some detours to some other sights.. I'll mix in some pics with the ride description.
Here we are, unloaded & ready to go.
Evidence of rain from the day before..
Dark clouds gathering.. it will come down sometimes today.
One of the first vistas along the rim road..
and me.. (scotty)
This isn't called the rim road for nothing.. about 35 miles of winding along these kind of vistas. I took lots of pictures. They really don't do the views justice. I think this is one of the most scenic roads in Az. I drove along it in a pickup about 20 yrs ago, but didn't go the whole way. This time we made the full length. That it is a gravel road, & relatively unknown is only a bonus. There was very little traffic, although it was a tuesday with rain threatening.
The road is pretty easy.. some washed out spots, but any bike with decent suspension would do ok.. even a street bike could get through it if you took it easy. I could have easily gotten through with my 2wd tacoma.
Here's just a few of some of the vistas..
It really is a rim road.. sometimes the road is right along sheer dropoffs. The road is wide & pretty easy, so it's not dangerous (sorry to those who are looking for near death experiences).
I'll break this up so it's not such a big post.. I probably should keep this a secret! I could do this ride, or variations of it several times a year. The air is cool.. low 70's the whole time. Elevations stayed in the mid 7000's. It was cloudy & perfect riding conditions.. the earlier rain kept down the dust & really gave us better traction. The roads drain well, so mud was not a problem. Next chapter coming soon!
I lost Kim early on in the .. I was ahead, but pulled off at one of the nicer vistas to take some pics. Kim didn't see me, & went flying around the corner. I assumed he'd realize he passed me, & would stop somewhere for me to catch up. I didn't see him for over an hour... He thought i turned off on one of the rim lake roads, & was waiting at the rim road turnoff to 260, about 35 mi into the ride.
There were so many spots to just stop & take in the views.. didn't even have to get off the bike, most of the time.
The elevation along the rim stayed in the mid to upper 7000's. The air was crisp.. i even got a little chilly in my mesh jacket, but didn't have to put on the rain cover.
Dark clouds gathered.. it sprinkled on us several times, but no downpours. We went along some spots where we could tell it had rained.. the puddles were full, the road was wet. But we didn't get any substantial rain along the rim.. i was surprised.. timing is everything!
I finally caught Kim.. We went on toward 260, but took a detour to woods canyon lake. This shot looks peaceful, but it was full of campers, fishermen, kayaks, & rowdy dirtbikers (me & Kim!). We even saw the game & fish dept. come & stock the lake with fish.. all the anglers hurried over to the boat ramp for the easy pickings.
Finally we came down the switchbacks to 260 & rode into payson. Several spots along the road were very wet, so we again just missed the rain. The elevation dropped in this section.. from 7k's down to the 4k's. It got warmer, but not hot. The clouds & rains kept the temps down.
Now that's what i'm talkin' about! Lunch! We decided to go to strawberry for lunch so we wouldn't have as far to ride in the rain, if it started.
After lunch, we decided to push our luck & ride up to the blue ridge reservoir. Kim hadn't seen it before, so we rode up 87 to there. The dam was built in 1963 by phelps dodge for their copper operation nearby. But they also have to pump it to east clear creek for the salt river project, which has the rights to the water. It's a nice, peaceful fishing spot.. not a lot of people, limit on motor hp. I've canoe camped up there with the family many times.
Only mechanical malfunction we had: Kim's vapor speedo came loose (the speedometer, not his speedos.. they stayed on fine!) He caught it before it vibrated off. He took the screws out & we zip tied it to the mount. Always take some zip ties!
The firecracker penstemon were in bloom everywhere.. they have a bright red, fiery flower. There were a lot of flowers & ferns everywhere. In the hightest elevations, we got into some spruces, but there were mostly pines.. ponderosas.
We never got rained on.. just a few sprinkles. When we got back to the truck, the bed had plugged & there were a few inches of water in the bottom, so it had rained there plenty. I cleaned out the plug & we loaded up the bikes.
This is a primo dual sport ride.. if you live in Az, or come to visit, you should do this easy ride. It's only about 50 miles along the rim road, from 87 to 260. Then it's about another 50 miles on pavement back to the start. It could easily be done under 4 hrs, even with some stops.
After i download the tracks, i'll post the route we took, if anyone's interested.
Here's the ride posted in thumpertalk
Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..
- ► 2010 (17)
- ► 2009 (24)
- 10/5/07 garland prairie
- 5/23/07 jerome-oak creek canyon loop
- 5/15/07 jerome-orme ride
- 4/28/07 oak creek canyon overlooks
- 5/2/07 prescott-crown king ride
- 10/25/07, mogollon rim & west clear creek canyon
- schnebly, morman rain ride, 8/4/07
- stoneman lake, cedar flats, morman lake loop, 6/28...
- Az rim road, 7/24/07
- s. rim grand canyon, 8/20/07
- ▼ October (10)