Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..


3 days in the desert.. Jerome to Laughlin. Snow, mud, rocks & sand. 2/15/2010

2/15/10 Jerome to Laughlin

Kim, Tom & i met in Jerome at 9am Monday morning. The destination was Laughlin, Nv. We took the perkinsville road & followed it out fr 318a to Chino Valley.

Leaving Jerome, by the fire house.

There were a few patches of snow, & it was pretty chilly.. we were at over 5000' in elevation. The San Francisco Peaks in the distance..

This was only the beginning of the wildlife we were to encounter.. they were brazen & unafraid. We could only conclude that Tom's calming presence soothed the savage beasts.

Here we are in the wide open spaces before Chino Valley. Tom & I were on wr250's, Kim on a klx 250.

Here you can see the antelope running from me as i went by.. of course they came back to the fence to see Tom.

After Chino Valley, we were heading down toward camp wood.. we'd be nearing 6k' in elevation & weren't sure how clear the roads would be, or if the previous weeks' storms might have damaged them. But we were heading to Bagdad & would find out soon enough!

Here's a clip along the camp wood road..

A little more snow, ice, mud, & water on the road..

The road was a bit tricky in spots.. there was ice under some of the mud, & it could get slippery very quickly.

It was pretty chilly, too.. we had to stop & warm ourselves every so often.

We got up into the pines.. but only for about 20 miles or so.

As we got lower, there was more water on the road, more water running across the road, & more water covering us as we went through it.

Here's a long clip of the 'Road to Bagdad'.

In this stretch we came upon more wild animals.. But Tom was in the lead, & when they saw it was him, they had to get a closer look. His reputation as a 'deer whisperer' is well known in the animal kingdom.

They even checked out Kim.. a known meat eater. He tried to offer some trail mix, but they weren't interested. This one let Kim pet her, though..

But enough of this.. Bambi will have to make some new friends. We had a ride to do. We continued along camp wood road until it reached Bagdad, a mining town. We crossed Burro Creek before we got into town.

We stopped in Bagdad, refueled, & had burritos for lunch.

The road we wanted to take out of Bagdad went north, but when we got to it, it was gated shut.. part of the mine road. We circled around some looking for a way through, but were unsucessful. Kim & Tom stopped & talked to a couple of guys who had bikes in their driveway, & they said we needed to go south about 20 miles, then connect to the burro creet trail which went back north. It was about 3pm by now, & we had over 100 miles to go. So we headed south & got on the burro creek trail. We had decided that we should take the most direct route from here on, since it was late. My gps showed a connecting road from the burro creek trail to hwy 93 about 5 miles into the trail, so i planned to turn there. Tom & Kim were in the lead, but missed the turn.. it was a challenging trail with a lot of sand washes, & they were having fun riding it & staying upright. I stopped at the turn & waited for a bit.. hoping they would notice i was no longer behind them.. but alas, assumptions almost always are wrong & they continued up another 20 miles to another turn off to hwy 93. After about 1/2 hr, i continued up the trail & finally met them at the highway. But we were further behind, now, & would have to take pavement the rest of the way to get to Laughlin by dark.

Here's an early clip of the burro creek trail.. the sandy parts got deeper & narrower as we went along, but i didn't get the tougher parts on video.

We continued north on 93 toward Kingman, going between 60 & 70mph most of the way. Right before we got into Kingman, my fuel light came on & i needed to stop for gas. Tom had passed me on the freeway, but Kim saw me exit & he followed & we got gas. We continued into Kingman, then took the exit toward Laughlin. Tom was waiting at the exit, & i waved & continued on.. assuming he'd continue, too. But as assumptions go, he thought i needed gas, & began stopping at every station along the way looking for us. I went 5-10 miles under the limit, expecting Tom to catch up with us. He had made the reservations, so we needed him to get there & check us in.

But Kim & I got to Laughlin without Tom, & waited in front of the hotel.

We waited for about 1/2 hr, then i went in to check on the reservations. "We don't have any reservations for this guy', was all they could say. Murphy's law was in full swing by now, so i thought i'd call the riverside, in case we got the name confused.. we were supposed to stay at the river palms. The riverside hadn't heard of him, either. We left a few messages on Tom's cell phone, & decided we should go ahead & get a room.. it was dark, now & we were tired from the long ride, the pavement, the night cold through Kingman, & we were hungry.

The first time i went in to check on the reservations, there was no one there & i was able to ask about our alleged reservation. But now that i wanted to make one, there was a long line to a single reservationist. Another half hour of waiting in line & we secured a room. We were planning on putting our stuff in the room, parking the bikes, then continuing the search for Tom.

Then the phone rang. It was Tom. He had already checked into the hotel. He had parked in the parking garage instead of pulling in front of the hotel, & had come in another way so he didn't see us. To add to the perfect storm, his reservation was for the following week, not this day.. which explained why his reservation didn't show up. So i begin snapping at him, questioning why he didn't look for us out front, why he didn't turn back at burro creek trail, & any other real or imagined offenses i could remember. He was tired, hungry, & cranky, too, & returned the volleys. We stormed off to our respective rooms with Tom planning to have Paula come get him for the ride back.

Kim was tired & hungry, too, & wasn't interested in all the drama.. but it was keeping him from rest & food. After a few minutes, i realized i had come across too intensely & wanted to smooth things over. We did not know Tom's room #, & to add to the confusion, Tom's cell phone wasn't working right. We called & talked to Paula, & left a couple more messages on Tom's phone. We finally found Tom down by the buffet & patched things up. The drama over, we had a late meal & went to bed.

Day 2: Following Tim. Rocks, narrow gorges, sand washes, & Oatman.

We met at Tim's house & headed off into the desert. Another riding buddy of Tim's was there, Lyle. These guys are both terrific riders. Tim was riding a 2T ktm 200, & Lyle was on a ktm 520. Less then 5 minutes from Tim's house, we were into this:

More video following Tim through the desert..

This was a very challenging ride for me.. lots of rocks.. steep hills, loose sand washes. Tim was showing us some primo riding in the area. A couple of hours into the ride, we started up another wash.. it narrowed & the water flow increased. The winter rains had made it very interesting.

Following Kim..

More rocky riding..

We stopped right before we got into the tough section.. Tim wanted a smoke.. perhaps his last?

From right to left: Kim, Tim, Tom, Lyle. This is the beginning of the narrow wash & rocky creek section.

Lyle made it look easy..

There were a few more tough sections, but nothing that slowed us down much.

Me following the short climb section.

We continued following Tim all over the mountains, sand washes, & creeks around Bullhead City.

About halfway through this next clip, look for a blue & yellow flash go by.. that's Tom flying by both me & Tim.. he got tired of dawdling along in the sand & wanted to open it up a bit!

This next clip is a shorter on with mostly the sand washes.. you can see some of them are pretty deep.. the bike moves around a lot in these!

Finally, we got on pavement & went into Oatman for lunch.. Oatman is a colorful tourist town on old route 66. It's mostly a destination, now, & one of the main attractions is the 'wild' burros that wander the street.

We were 'escorting' Tim into Oatman.. not just because he is a famous celebrity, but also because he wasn't plated.

The story on the burros is this: They are fierce & vicious animals that terrorize the town most of the time. But we had in our company the famous 'burro whisperer'. Once Tom rolled into town, the burros calmed down, & some even took naps.

This one was the meanest, orneriest, & most ill tempered beast in the whole town.. see how Tom's soothing influence made him into a gentle pet.

We finished lunch, & narrowly escaped the burro infested town. Back in the desert, we rode up to some pretty views.

More of the typical terrain our fearless leader took us on.. or subjected us to!

Eventually we made it out of the canyons & washes, & were heading home.. down to the valley in Bullhead City.

We made it uneventfully back to Tim's house, then stood around & talked for another hour. We finally decided to meet at one of the casino's buffets & have dinner. Tim & his lovely wife Tara made it, but Lyle & his wife missed us.. they came early & decided to take off when they saw the crowd at the buffet. We also couldn't take the long wait in line at the buffet, & headed to a pizza bar for dinner. Before meeting for dinner, Tom got his long island iced teas, & i knocked off a couple of fat tires. Kim, who is the hard core party animal in our group, decided to nap in the room until dinner.

But this was a day of challenging riding.. the most i've been on in a single day for a long time. Tim was his usual great & gracious self, & meeting & riding with Lyle was a priviledge. His riding & tales of injury were classic! We got to bed late, with plans for an early departure & ride on the california side into Parker, then across the dam & back home to Az.

End of Day 2.

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