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