Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..


Az: Stoneman & Morman lake, Mountainaire, Oak Creek Canyon

This is a report of a ride we did on 8/11/09. Kim & I (sedona) were on bright yellow drz's, & Tom (prescott) was on a shiny red honda 650L. This was an 'old guy refresher ride'.. to see if old guys could remember how to ride motorcycles. Tom had been out for a while after his grueling crash in Pinetop, & Kim hadn't ridden in a while because of a heart virus that took out half his heart. I didn't know that he had one at all..

Anyway, i brought an extra walker, some training wheels, & plenty of depends. With the defibrillator & plenty of gauze & casting plaster we were ready for a ride!

Morning came at the usual time, but my bike wasn't running right. I got to the gas station where Kim & I were to meet, but had trouble starting it up. Finally i rolled it down a hill & bump started it, then rode to the intersection of 179 & I-17 where we were to meet Tom. I rolled up to Tom & the bike died.

I wanted them to go on without me. I could call Darlene to get me & they could have a nice ride without someone with bike troubles. But I think Tom was worried that Kim couldn't bandage him up right, & perhaps Kim thought Tom didn't know cpr. Anyway, they wanted to fix the bike right there, so i started taking off the tank to check the plug. Kim had a spare, so we put it in & it fired up. It still was running a little rough when it heated up, & would die at idle. But it had cooled, the plug worked, we got the bike back together & started down the road an hour late.

Here's a pic Tom took of me & Kim discussing the bike repairs..

The weather was still cool, & getting better as we climbed into the pines. The old stoneman lake road was the original road before they built I-17. Some of the old timers called it 'the old blue grade', because of the color of the rocks.. some have a bluish hue to them. We climbed up past stoneman lake, passed through our secret pass (which evidently isn't very secret anymore..) & made our way to Mormon lake. The forest service was doing a 'managed burn'. Kim is an retired fireman, & he was a little uneasy about miles of fires just burning.. but we consoled ourselves by saying they knew what they were doing, plus we had places to go.

The roughest section of road we went on was fr219, but no one took any pictures. It was only a few miles, but had plenty of rocks, ruts, climbs, & gnarly sections to entertain us. Everyone made it fine & we didn't have to airevac anyone. Then we reached our destination: The Mormon Lake Lodge.

We were careful to park our bikes in a nice row.

The Mormon lake lodge is a great place to eat. It is very interesting, with western memorabilia on the walls, & lots of animals. Kim got into the spirit of it & posed for some pictures.

I didn't want Tom to feel left out, so i took one of him, too.

Even with our late start, we got to the lodge at 11:30 am. Lunch wouldn't be served for another half hour. Hungry guys like us could not have another breakfast, so we took our only option: Drink beer & wait for noon.

While we were waiting, we all got out the little electronic gadgets everyone carries. We're not sure what they do, but we've got them.

After a long wait & only a couple of beers, we got our lunch. I picked up some carburetor cleaner & poured some in my tank. We hit the road again & headed toward Mountainaire.

FR700 is a nice graded road.. easy, cool, lots of pines.. a pretty road.

But even with our long lunch, we got into mountainaire, gassed up, then made it across to 89a by around 2pm. So we decided to take a scenic detour on fr535, which goes up above sedona. There are several scenic overlooks you can get to from there.

But just a few miles into our side trip, Tom gets a flat.

Kim had some fix-a-flat type stuff in a can, but it leaked out & wouldn't hold. So we decided to take it off & fix it.

This flat was no match for our combined years of experience, technical knowledge, & innovation.

In less than 2 hours, we had that tire changed & fixed. Tom carries spare tubes with him. I got to use my fancy allow tire irons. Kim was feeling smug that his bike was the only one that had no problems..

We continued our quest for a scenic overlook, but the roads we took ended in the pines.. you could see some distance through the trees, but it was not an overlook.

By now Tom's thumb was beginning to throb.. the riding, changing the tire, & hoisting the beers finally took it's toll & the old injury from pinetop came back to haunt him. So we ended our search for an overlook, & headed down 89a & oak creek canyon.. one of the most scenic roads in the state, by the way.

Kim & Tom, holding up traffic...

It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was shining, but there were some clouds for the photos.

Crossing the bridge at slide rock.

All of the grueling work changing the tire made me hungry & thirsty, so i suggested we stop at dairy queen for an ice cream. Tom didn't want to stop.. he still had many miles to go back to prescott, but Kim was in. Kim & i ate our ice cream, then returned home. It was an easy ride.. around 100 miles (double that for Tom). A couple of mechanical issues, but nothing we couldn't solve. Strangely, my bike is running fine, now.. maybe a combination of spark plug & fuel..


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