Here's a report of a we did today.. 2 Drz's, 170 miles. Started in Sedona, went pavement to granada wash.. Kim said this road would be great to practice riding whoops.. seems like there's a big one every 50 yds. trouble is there is also ruts & loose rock before & after. It was only a few miles, then we made it to middle verde road, went a short run down I-17, then hwy 260 to cherry road.
Cherry road climbs up out of the verde valley to the south. Here's a view to the north.
The san francisco peaks are visible, still with snow, as well as the sedona red rocks.
Don't blink, or cherry is gone.
There's a bed & breadfast, but the old general store looks like it's been closed for years.. work was being done on it, but it's still a long ways to the grand opening.
Once on top, we crossed hwy 169 & went down orme road, then crossed over to 69 toward mayer. This section was washed out in a lot of spots.. i crashed here last year & sprained my ankle.. :(
we went through some pines getting into cherry, but settled in to mid desert elevations in the 2-4k range.
Kim wheelied across.. well, almost.. you can see his front wheel just coming down.
We got into mayer, & asked a local where a good lunch could be had. I made a wrong turn, then tried to cross the median after all the traffic had cleared... way in the distance i could see a white suv.. here he is!
Kim is the smooth talker, & we were out of jail in no time. still hungry, we finally made it to the restaurant.
We felt right at home! They welcomed us with open arms! Their green chili burro was on special for $5, so we saved money, too.
I wasn't sure how they got Kim's picture for their wall mural..
Lunch over, we crossed the hiway again, & started south toward cleator. Kim was running low on gas, so we stopped in cordes to fill up.
We're well fed, & gassed up. We're heading for cleator & points south. This is the black canyon trail.. the road is pretty good most of the way.. it gets very gnarly past cleator & bumble bee.
We saw these guys crossing the road.. Kim wanted to stop & pet the cows..
But then we saw this gal & decided some fresh milk would really hit the spot.. but the bulls were glaring at us, so we changed our minds & rode on.
It was pretty windy.. coming from the south it gave us a pretty stiff headwind. It also kicked up a little dust.. still the views were pretty good.
Just below cleator, the elevation had dropped below 3k, & the saguaros were just starting to appear. It was still early for them to bloom, but many other flowers were getting it on.
Now for the nature portion of the ride report. Other than the wild cows, we didn't see a lot of mammals.. lots of hawks & other tweeting birds, & then we came upon this guy, trying to relax in the sun.. i'm sure he groaned something about the paparazzi when we stopped.
It was not a rattler, or other poisonous snake, so i tried to just shoo it off the road so the occasional car wouldn't flatten him.
He did not want to be 'shooed'. I finally got a stick & picked him up & set him off the road.. slithering & muttering.
It was very green.. lots of grasses coming up from the winter rains.. it's going to be a fun fire season..
The first hedgehog cactus i've seen flowering this year.. they don't usually grow as well in the lower desert, but are very adapted in the mid range.
Down here, even the mesquites were leafing out.. up in the verde valley, at almost the same elevation, they won't leaf out for another month.
Kim showed tremendous patience.. i was stopping every mile or so along this road for views, flora & fauna pics..
The famous 'jumping' cholla.. don't see it this far north too much, or at this elevation. ..also called the teddy bear cholla. 'choy-ya' Stay away from them! They are very pointy, they drop their little land mines all around, & aren't nearly as cute & fuzzy as they look..
This gives some perspective on how big these guys get. That's why they started calling Shaq 'the big cactus'.
It was getting late.. pushing 5pm, so we decided to just ride back on the freeway & not go around through dugas. We got on I-17 at the bumble bee/cleator exit & rode on the freeway about 60 miles back to sedona. It was past 6 when we got home.
It was a total of about 170 miles, about half pavement (mostly on the ride home). Temps got cool in the pines around cherry, but still in the 50's & 60's. It was probably near 80 down by cleator. The roughest roads were between cherry & Mayer.. everything else was easy gravel.. though some of the gravel roads past cordes was deep & slippery.
We saw lots of side roads we wanted to explore.. especially along the creek.. i think the agua fria.. some of them looked like they went on to crown king. Not a lot of traffic.. couple of quads.. a few cars.. but one of the reasons we ride during the week. Weekends on these roads are a different story. We probably saw 200 harleys on hwy 69 around mayer.. there is a harley shop there, & the area seems very biker friendly. Kim & I will probably go back to that bar some evening with our moto gear on & visit with the guys.. :)