Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..

7/27/08

6/08, Flag, cinders, shultz pass

Kim & I went on a ride last week up to flagstaff, looking for a pass through the peaks. We wanted a break from the desert heat & found it in the mountain pines.

We left sedona at about 9am, & rode up through oak creek canyon to north of flagstaff & up shultz pass road.

the riders:

scotty & Kim, on drz's.

I had mapped out a route through the san francisco peaks that had a lot of switchbacks, & climbed up to about 10k ft. We turned on the road that took this route, but soon came to this:

The mountain pass was closed. it was open to hikers, mountain bikes, horses, 'authorized vehicles', & just about anything except us. grumbling, we turned back.

So we continued down shultz pass road, which was an easy graded road through the peaks area. We took a few side roads, hoping one of them might make it up to the high pass road, but most of them just fizzled out after a couple of miles. So we just explored what roads were there.. we got into some pretty rocky & hilly terrain.. but no problems.




On the north sides of the mountains, there was still patches of snow! It's been very hot the past week in Az.. 110's in phoenix, & over 100 every day in sedona.

Our route had been altered.. a recurring event with many of our rides of late.. seems like gates & signs are everywhere, warning & threatening us to stay away.. move into the city.. to a high rise apartment building. ..take public transportation & keep out of the forests. Might not be long until we're all just herded into big camps.

On the way back down, we pass the cinders OHV area. This is a spot the environmentalists set aside for the motor vehicle riders to ride in. It's a big area of loose volcanic cinders.. it's a lot like riding in deep sand. There are no trails, just several hundred acres of open space, with many steep hills of cinders.. hundreds of feet high.. some might be 1000' or more. There are organized rides here throughout the year.. competitions, climbs, etc. Kim & I thought it would be fun to cut through there & tie into another road south, as we made our way back home.






The 'road' mostly disappears.. there are a few stakes every so often, but it was mostly my gps that kept us going the right general direction. It was hard going. It was whooped out everywhere, so you couldn't get speed. And going slowly through the deep, loose cinders bogged down the bikes & we wallowed along. We never found the connecting road that turned south. I though it might be over a ridge, & charged up the hill. But the loose cinders overcame my heavy bike & my bald teraflex started spinning & sinking deeper. I wrestled it around back downhill, & we decided to backtrack. I was glad i wasn't on a 250, though! The Drz had plenty of power to keep the wheel spinning in the loose stuff. We hung our butts as far back as we could, & kept our speed up as much as the whoops would let us. Mile after mile of surging up & down gave us & our suspension a good workout.

We made it out of the cinders after several hours, & to a long overdue stopping place.

Kim may have thought a little about which one he wanted, but after the vigorous workout in the cinders, the pig in the poke won out. It was pretty good, too. They had homemade potato salad & slaw that was very unique.

It was pushing 4 by now, so we decided to just take the highway back to oak creek canyon, & ride down it. Rush hour was starting in Flagstaff, so we wanted to get out of there. We got on I-40, & took it for about 10 miles to the sedona/oak creek canyon exit. Then we took the canyon home.

It was a total of about 130 miles. Temps were in the 70's up high, & maybe 100 when we got back down into sedona.

I had been thinking of going to a 4t 250 in a year or so, but this ride made me glad i had the trusty drz. It had the power to wallow through the cinders, & cruise down the freeway.

7/24/08 Jerome, Williams, Sycamore point, oak creek canyon


I haven't posted any ride reports in a while. We've been riding, just too much happening to post them. And since i'm heading up to utah next month, i figured i better get them in.



This ride was yesterday, 7/24/08. We met in Jerome & took the winding graded road to perkinsville, & headed up the mountains to Williams. Perkinsville road is a nice, bumpy, windy road that runs along the side of the mountains, then descends into the valley, crosses the river, then goes back up toward Williams. But we didn't take it to williams, we took the more interesting, scenic route up. Perkinsville road becomes paved as you get near Williams, & we wanted to have minimal pavement.




The riders:



scotty, Kim, Tom.

The bikes: 2 drz's & Tom's husky 250.

Early into the ride, Kim & i stopped for a photo op.. Tom had zipped on ahead & didn't even notice this guy.




Kim wanted to bring him along & give him to Tom, but this dude would have none of that..





Along Perkinsville road.

We got off the nicely graded perkinsville road, & got into the more unkempt parts. I think it was FR 354. It climbed up some pretty steep grades, & had a lot of rocks.. typical for Az.





We got off 354 & came back to perkinsville road & took it the remaining 10 miles into williams for gas & lunch. Tom had gone about 140 miles to this point, Kim & I about 80. After lunch, Tom decided to go back to prescott the way we had come, rather than follow us toward Sedona & have a 50 mile ride back on pavement. So Kim & i headed to our next destination: sycamore point.


There were several forest roads we had to ride on to get there. Some were almost invisible, overgrown with weeds. Some were rocky & steep. But we finally made it. It was worth it. Sycamore point is a nice overlook into sycamore canyon.. where the verde train goes, outside of clarkdale. Kim & i had been on the lower side of the canyon earlier in the year. This was a nice view of the other side.








This is a great scenic overlook, & not many people know about it.. the roads were reasonably easy to get there, & we only saw a few people along the way, & no one was there when we were. But it was after 3pm by now, & we still had a long way to go. It was also rumbling & getting dark.. monsoons were threatening!

On the way out, we stopped by white horse lake. It is a nice little mountain lake.. but we didn't see a white horse..




We had to go all the way north up to Garland prairie to get past the canyon walls to get to roads & trails to the east. But i always enjoy riding through garland prairie.. we usually see antelope, hawks, prairie dogs, deer, & other wildlife.. plus it's such a nice wide expanse. I'm a little surprised it's not covered with houses.. There are a few ranch houses, but it is pretty sparsely populated.


Kim, coming into garland prairie.





The san francisco peaks in the distance.. our northern arizona landmark.

We still had a ways to go, it was getting darker & threatening rain, so we decided to cut short a couple of side trips & overlooks, & head back to the top of oak creek canyon. This time we had to drop way south to get to an easterly road to take us there. Some of these roads were very rough, & as it was getting late, we were getting a little weary of bouncing along the rocks. But we finally got out at almost 6pm, & made our way down oak creek canyon.. paved switchbacks.. to sedona & home.

We did about 190 miles total.. about 70 paved, 60 graded dirt, & 60 miles of unmaintained forest roads.

Here's the track of the ride:


Elevations were from 4-8k, temps were warm in the morning in the lower elevations.. maybe mid 80's F. In the mountains, they were in the 70's. We managed to avoid the rain.

This was a little long, but a great ride.

Scotty's info

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