Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..


Cherry to Crown King to Prescott loop, 6/22/2009

Tom & i met at cherry road & hwy 169 at 8:30am. He rode over from Prescott, I came from Sedona.

Cherry Road is about 10 miles west of I-17 on hwy 169. We went north on Cherry road to the intersection of the Great Western Trail, which continued on down Cherry Road.

The riders: Scotty & Tom.

This first part of the great western trail was open with great views.. through mostly chaparral.. it was rocky & rutted in spots, but nothing too difficult.

We followed the road back down to hwy169 near I-17, where we crossed & continued on dirt. the road got a little more primitive, but still easy for us.

This guy kept following us.. maybe he'd seen us ride before & was hoping for a snack!

We had a total of about 10 water crossings.. the deepest was at Dugas, which was about axle high with some loose rocks below & out of sight.. Most were in 8" or less. This was a wider crossing. It's a very pretty riparian area with a lot of green.

Tom got the better pics of water crossings.. he even made me go back & cross again to get a better shot!

Next came the unexpected.. but i was expecting it. Whenever you ride with Tom, he will carry on how easy the trail is.. but he forgets the tough sections.. maybe because they're so easy for him, or maybe it's a little mean streak in him. We had 3 or 4 little crossings along this creek, when the trail started going back up. I go around a turn & face a steep, rocky climb with big basketball sized boulders strewn throughout the trail. There was no line you could take, but just keep the throttle open, & ride it out. I managed to go up a couple of 12-16" steps & stayed upright. But no time to rest, no sooner up that section when the trail switchbacks up into more jagged volcanic rock, not as big, but with more loose gravel & softball sized rocks to climb up. This is evidently a popular 4x4 jeep climb.. plenty of ruts, broken up boulders & a nice steep climb. This climb switchbacked back & forth up the hill for about 1/2 mile until it flattened out. I got my camera & tried to go down to record Tom's riding expertise, but i was only part way down when he roared up.. wondering what all the fuss was about. So i only got this wimpy shot of the carnage:

We continued on this road until it came to bloody basin road.. a great name for a road, but very wide, gravelled, & easy. We got past the worst of this road, but the rest was not easy. For another 25 miles or so we climbed up & down, through washed out arroyos, & a few tricky sections.. but nothing like the climb earlier.

Bloody Basin was another 15-20 miles, but wide & easy.. but it had a few sharp curves you had to be careful with. We went under I-17 & headed toward Crown King. The road to Crown King was also pretty easy.. some washboarding, but mostly graded gravel. The main problem with this road is the elevation. When you see these guys, you know it gets hot, especially in June.

It was after noon & getting hotter. The road to Crown King is very scenic.. it climbs up with beautiful vistas of the lower desert floor.

Tom's front tire was new, & he was not comfortable with it on the gravel. But he kept upright & managed fine. Here's a closeup action shot of him coming up the switchbacks on crown king road.

Finally we got into the pines, cooler weather, & the old Crown King bar & restaurant.

We arrived at crown king a little before 1pm. Tom was getting low on fuel, so imagine his dismay when he saw the 'out of order' sign on the pump. :eek:

We parked under the trees by the picnic tables, & Tom started talking to the guy who runs the gift shop & the powersport shop.. he happened to have a little over a gallon of premium, which Tom jumped on. While his wallet was open, he got a spare tube for the rear of the honda. Tom likes to be prepared for flats, even though his last flat he just rode home on.

But we had a couple of beers, a nice lunch & chatted with some of the other patrons. We left the saloon & headed back into the pines.

I've always thought the road from prescott to crown king is a delightful variety.. there are sweeping vistas, windy roads, steep ups & downs, creek crossings, & a variety of elevations. Tom has probably ridden this road about 20,000 times.. he could do it with his eyes closed. I think he might have slept through the first part of it..

One of the wide vistas when coming out of the pines from crown king..

The view to the south.. probably phoenix air, but might be from a distant fire..

Back into the pines.. a cool, tranquil dirt road.

Nice water crossings.. this time of year they are easy..

Tom just roars by scenes like this.. not me. 'Ooooh! Lookit all the purty flars!!!' 'ahm takin a pitcher'..

Somewhere between the flowers & the next water crossing, Tom woke up from his nap & noticed his back brake was going down too far.. almost hitting the stop. He got his handy honda wrench & made the quick adjustment. Then, back on the road.

This was the easiest water crossing, but also the only one that i got ahead of Tom & took his picture. He tried to power through it to make a big wake, but this was all the creek could muster..

'Oooh... looky, looky Tom.. more purty flars!!!'

Finally out of flowers & water crossings, we got back into prescott. Tom turned to his house, & i went back the 50 miles further to sedona.

It was a fun loop. 11 hrs, 240 miles. For me, about half that pavement. Most of the loop was gravel, with about 2 miles of it very nasty, steep & rocky. I haven't uploaded the track from my gps, but i'll post the map & maybe the track if anyone wants it.

Next big ride:
Mogollon rim, Strawberry to Pinetop, 3 days, July 13-15 tentave..

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