Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..

3/28/08

Fossil creek, control road, tonto bridge 3/27/08

Kim & I left Sedona around 9 am. We rode about 10 miles of pavement to fr618, went about 20 miles to hwy 260, then a couple of paved miles to fossil creek road. This is a mid elevation desert area of Az.. junipers, mesquites, lots of prickley pear.. the elevation is in the 3-5k' range. Fossil creek road is an easy, graded dirt road. It has lots of hairpin turns, & switchbacks. It's washboarded through most of the road, & has some washouts, ruts, & loose rock.

Here's some pics.

Pretty typical scenery along fossil creek road.. It's a little over 26 miles from 260 to Strawberry.


This is a great time of year to ride.. not hot, not cold, the ocotillos were leafed out, flowers were blooming, birds singing, no traffic.. it was a great day. The temps started in the 60's, got into the 70's later, then plummeted into the 40 in the mountains late in the day..


He men riders like me & Kim hardly ever stop to notice flowers & pretty rocks..

The riders:

Me on left, Kim on right. Kim's drz. My drz took the picture..


Lots of indian paintbrush.. i don't know if the indians really used it as a paintbrush.. don't really see how.. :/ The grass was green on the hills & starting to come out because we had a wet winter.



Yes, there really is a fossil creek... it actually is a water source for a couple of early hydroelectric power plants in Az. Arizona Public Service is in the process of decommissioning them. There was a little more water than usual in the creek.. spring melt.. yet the water was crystal clear.


Starting up the hill to strawberry. Here the road starts to climb & we get into the 6k range.



It was a nice clear day, with beautiful vistas..



Finally we get to the main destination.. LUNCH!!

After lunch, we got gas in pine, then had about 5 miles to the control road.. a fire road below the mogollon rim (pronounced moggy-on) That went for another 25 miles to hwy 260.


The control road is just below the rim road.. maybe another 1-2000 ft higher. It's still in the pines, but not nearly as cold as the rim.. which is why it was open in March.


You can see the rim above.. we went on a ride last year on the rim.. will probably go again sometime this summer. the views are spectacular on the rim road.. probably one of the most scenic roads in Az.. especially for a dirt road.

We took the paved 260 back to payson, then 87 back toward Strawberry. We took a short detour to Pine Creek, which is a very scenic area between Payson & Pine.

This is at a spot where the creek had eroded & formed a tunnel or bridge over the creek.. It's in the tonto national forest, so they call it tonto natural bridge, kimosabe..


It's about a 200' drop from the top to the bottom of the creek.





There's a spring that flows over the edge & makes a sprinkley mist down to the creek.. the wind blows it all around. Birds swoop through it & ride the updraft.


The view along the creek, to the south.


It was starting to get late.. after 4pm, so we decided to take the pavement back. But that meant climbing up over the rim then back down toward the verde valley. We would go up to about 7k ft, with lots of snow all around.. it was cold!


Once we started back down, it warmed up. We were back in the open, in chaparral vegetation.. you can even see the Sedona red rocks in the distance.


Off the pavement, back on fr618, heading to Sedona.

We totaled about 185 miles, went from 3k to 7k elevation. I actually did the whole ride on one tank of fuel. The roads were probably too easy for hardcore bikers like us, but we'll do a more gnarly route next time.

3/22/08

jerome to camp wood, 3/21/08

This ride had it all, so i thought i'd post it in here. My riding buddy Tom called me & wanted to go on a ride yesterday. I said, 'how about we go to bagdad?' Well, Tom thought that was great & said he'd get out his old 30-30 he used with the rough riders. I said, 'No, Tom... Bagdad, Arizona.. not Baghdad iraq!'
Once the disappointment subsided, we planned our ride. We'd meet in Jerome, about 30 miles on pavement between us, then head on a gravel road through the mountains to Chino Valley. Get gas & lunch, then go up williamson valley road to fr 21, which goes all the way to bagdad. we saw right away we were going to run out of daylight, so figured we'd stop at camp wood, then head back.

enough words. Lets get to the pics.

The riders: Tom on a 250 husky, me on a drz.



San Francisco mountains near flagstaff, vista from outside Jerome.


The road from Jerome, cut into the mountains. Jerome was a bustling copper mine the first part of last century.. now it's a tourist destination, craft shops, old hippies, etc..


We wound around the mountains, working our way to the open prairie & chino valley.


..saw these guys on the side of the road.. i zoomed all the way in & cropped it from a 4mp shot. We saw antelope a lot on this ride.. lots of open prairie.


Once we left Jerome, we had about 30 miles of this kind of road.. rocky, bumpy, loose gravel.. but we could go about 20 or so... on the straight better sections, i got up to 50 a couple of times..

I stopped & asked a local phone co. guy if he knew of a way to cut over to williamson valley road.. maybe he didn't like bikers, or maybe we misunderstood, but we went on a 1 hr detour, heading north looking for a way over to the west. I finally asked another local we met, & he said we had to go all the way back south & then cut over.. so we doubled back & crossed over to williamson valley road. It was paved in this section. We rode it up to fr 21, about 10 miles or so, where the road was graded dirt. This is the road to camp wood, then goes on to bagdad.

When we got to camp wood, we knew we weren't going to make it to bagdad, so decided to take the fr 705 back to prescott. This road was about 40 miles, & unknown to either of us.


Tom, convincing me to take the 705 back to prescott..

For about the first 15 miles, it was pretty nice.. a few small water crossings.. some ruts, but plenty of places to make a good line. I was in 3rd most of the time, & maybe 4th on some of the long straight sections.


Some of the views along the road.


Me along the 705.


We have to have some splashed from the water crossings.. there were probably 15-20 crossings.. most of them 3-4 ' long & 3-4" deep. But they kept getting bigger!


It was very pretty along the creek.. the leaves weren't on the deciduous trees, yet, so the light was more open.




This was one of the bigger water crossings.. it came up to the axles & splashed us pretty good going across. we could feel the mud & water bogging us down some, but we gassed it & made it across ok!


Our only mishap was at the last big water crossing. It wasn't wide, just deep.. axle high again.. & there was a steep bank you had to climb right after the deepest part. The bank was muddy & had loose gravel. Tom made it up the hill, but got bogged down in the loose gravel. He slowed too much to stay upright, but deftly dismounted & stayed on his feet. We picked the bike up & kept going.


With the bigger water crossings behind us, we came into ruttsville. Evidently a week or so before, the 4x4 crowd came down this road. It had rained so was very muddy, & they left lots of deep ruts. They had all dried up for us, which left us with some tricky sections where off camber terrain was surrounded by deep ruts. Then we got out of the creek valley & started to climb. Now there was no more mud or water. We went from ruttsville to rockville in just a mile or so. There were steep sections with 1' steps.. up, then down. My back end was bouncing around & kicking right & left. Several times i thought i was going down, but managed to keep it rolling. I didn't take any pictures of the brutal parts.. didn't have time to stop, & was more concerned about survival. But after about 15 miles of creeping along piles of boulders, they started to subside, & the road got better.



Here's a couple of the easier sections, toward the end.
Finally we went through a gate & the road improved dramatically. Graded dirt with view of the San Francisco mountains again in the distance!


We road this out back to williamson valley road, then turned south back to prescott.



Back to the open prairie.. where the deer & antelope play.. but we're heading back to the cities.. where the beer & cantelope lay.

Tom & I parted.. he back to prescott, & me over the mountains to jerome then back to sedona. Once we got on williamson valley road, it was paved.


Paved & mountain switchbacks mean twisties! They were there with little traffic.


As i climbed, it got colder.. it was nearly 5pm, too. There was still plenty of snow on the ground, but i made it over the top & headed down into the verde valley toward home.


topping out at 7k ft.

we did a total of 210 miles, about 50 on easy gravel or rocky road, 30 in gnarly ruts, rocks & water, & the rest paved.

scotty

3/15/08

Jerome to Peach springs, 3/13/08

n.az. 3/13/08 ride report, jerome to peach springs
It was a little spur of the moment.. Kim & i talked about it a little last week, then Tom emailed me Wed. & we all decided to ride.

The plan was to meet in Jerome at 9am, take the perkinsville road & other dirt roads up to Drake, then up to Ash Fork. From there get on old rt. 66 to Peach Springs. That was the main destination.. bia 6 goes down to the colorado river & has views of the grand canyon, crosses water a couple of times, & would be a great ride of about 20 miles.

But i will stop with the narrative & get straight to the pics.

Just outside of Jerome, on the perkinsville road. It had been freshly graded in spots, but that made the surface a little more loose. This is Tom on his honda 650, & Kim on his drz. I'm also on a drz.



Here are the riders: Kim, Tom, Scotty


This is further along the perkinsville road.. a couple of big elk leaped & bounded across the road. I stopped & tried to watch them go down the hill, but they were already out of sight. There are views of mt. Humphreys in the background.. That is in Flagstaff.




We crossed the verde river at perkinsville.. not much here.


We had one low water crossing.. here are the obligatory pics of that..
Tom

Kim

Me


This is one of Tom's of me coming into Seligman.


We stopped for lunch in Seligman at the snow cap drive-in.. a very colorful place with lots of history.. it's been written up in Az hiways mag. I should have taken a few pics of it.. the proprietor was the son of Juan Delgadillo, who opened it in the 30's.. he was a corker!

We went on from Seligman, heading up to Peach Springs on old rt. 66. It was pretty open & barren.


I did see a couple of bald eagles, but they wouldn't stop & pose.. they were after some of the local prairie dog colonists, who also wouldn't pose. I'd stop to take their pics, & they'd dive into their holes... probably muttering something about the pesky papparazi.. We also spotted a couple of antelope, but that was it for the exotic wildlife.

Now you may notice the photos abruptly ended. We got into peach springs, & stopped at the lodge to get a permit to drive down diamond creek road (bia 6). The clerk informed us that as of march 1st, only river rafters & patrons of the lodge can drive down to the river... & no motorcycles!! We muttered & grumbled a bit, then thought we'd look for another opinion. We drove through the picturesque reservation residential area, & came to the start of the primitive road we wanted to ride on. Sure enough, there was a sign with what could have been a bike with a slash through it... i told Kim it looked more like a quad, but neither Tom nor Kim wanted to be arrested by the reservation cops & visit their colorful jails. Disgruntled & disappointed, we reluctantly turned back.. It was about the money, & we weren't in the loop.

We stopped for gas at grand canyon caverns, & Tom wanted to take us on a scenic alternate route back to prescott, where Kim & I could head back to Sedona over Jerome. It was about 3pm, & we were a long way from home, but Tom assured us we'd make it back in good time.

Well, we meandered along anvil rock road, which turned west & was heading for Lake Havasu.. it did show on my gps that it went south & then tied into a road back east, so we kept going. We went through a gate, where the road became unmaintained, then after a few miles, came onto another gate with a padlock & a sign warning us to stay out. It was now about 4pm. There were no other roads heading east, so our only option was to backtrack to seligman & go home that way. We got on the freeway with about 12 miles into seligman. Tom said to take the second seligman exit, which was his exit back to prescott. I went ahead & took the exit. Tom was next, & we filled up & waited for Kim. After a couple of phone calls, Tom decided to head on home, figuring Kim had taken the first seligman exit, which he had. I doubled back to make sure he wasn't broken down on the side of the road, then headed back. It was past 5pm, & the sun was dropping fast. I decided to head back on the freeway, since it was faster, but it also went through Flagstaff at over 7k ft. It was about 7:30 when i got home. Kim had gotten home right before i did. We did a total of over 360 miles, mostly pavement. We froze going through Flag, & our butts hurt from all the sitting. My knees were stiff & my neck hurt. But we survived to ride another day... maybe not so long next time..

Ok, one more pic. This is from Tom. It is Kim making a big splash going through the low water crossing.



scotty

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Sedona, Arizona, United States
Semi-retired home builder. Musician. wr250x adventure rider. Amateur philosopher. Innovator. Tech & gadget freak, genealogist.