|Jan 22nd 2016, 08:41 PM||#1|
So I went to Arizona Last Summer (2015)
Well, I was actually hoping to post this up before now, but I was waiting for the return of the "Edit Button" on that 'other' scandalous site. By the time it did come back, I was too disenfranchised with Carbon Media Group, and had already decided to move on to other endeavors. However, that's all in the past now; and since someone scandalously did a half-assed report of describing their harrowing journey into and out of Portlandia, without any pictures (I might add), I figured that I oughta post something up to raise the bar on what is expected of our noble masterpieces of ride literature.
I suppose I should also add that although I intended to take more picts, I often fell into a nice reverie of the road, and would often times not even think about picture taking until something interestingly majestic and cool would pop up along the way. Of course there were a few times when the road was either strait and boring with no real scenery to speak of, or it was so damn hot that I didn't want to stop, and just boogied on through. I do have some regrets in this regard, as it was my intent to take a few picts along each major road I traveled, especially the real interesting ones. Regardless, some days I made several stops and took many picts, and others few or none. I'm therefore going to break this down into multi-day posts to make it more manageable.
Now down to business. So last June, I took off to visit Curveaddict down in Arizona. Originally, I was going to drive down, but as I was going to be traveling alone, Dave (Curveaddict) suggested I ride down instead. A mutual friend of ours (Charlie) from Cottonwood, AZ would ride up to meet me halfway if I were to ride down. So after talking to Charlie, and asking his advice as to recommended routes through Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah, I made my plans.
1st Leg: Portland to NE Utah (just south of Evanston, WY); Day 1-3 (Maplink)
Day 1 - I was going to originally depart on a Monday June 1st, but since the weather was getting ready to become wet the next few days, I decided to leave a day early (Sunday the 31st) and try to dodge the rain. I headed out bright and early and decided to try to make some time by going down SR-14 to the Hood River Bridge and then on down the east side of Mt. Hood. Destination for day 1 was the vicinity of Sumpter for the night. In short, I basically made a Fossil run, and then on through Service Creek, Spray, Kimberly, Monument, and Long Creek. I ended up taking County Road 20 to Bates and then on to Sumpter. I then made a weather call, and instead of camping the first night, I decided to Motel it in Baker due to the increasing chance of showers that night.
Mount Hood from the Dee Hwy south of Hood River
Cooper Spur Road south of Parkdale, OR
County Road 20 NE of Long Creek, OR
Day 2 - I stayed at the Oregon Trail Motel and woke up to a damp parking lot. However, by the time I got packed up, the roads were almost completely dry. My destination for the day was Challis ID, on HWY 93. So I headed out HWY 86 towards Hells Canyon, and then on to Cambridge ID. I then went North around Cascade Lake to Banks, then on through Lowman and Stanley, to Challis. I was thinking of camping at the local Hot Springs, but T-Storms were forecasted that night, so I decided to Motel it again and stayed at the Village Inn Motel.
Brownlee Reservoir, Brownlee-Oxbow HWY, OR
ID HWY 71 along the Brownlee Reservoir
Banks Lowman Rd along the Payette River
Sawtooth Mountians from ID HWY 21, West of Stanley, ID
Day 3 - I Definitely made the right call to motel it, as I woke up to thunder, lightning, and heavy showers. Fortunately, by the time I finished breakfast and packing up, the rain had stopped and the roads had dried a little. My interim destination for the day was Alpine, WY where I was suppose to get a hold of Charlie and plan our linkup. So down HWY 93 to Arco I went, then onto HWY 26 through Idaho Falls and into Wyoming. This was one of the few days that was a little onerous. Most of the roads were nothing special, and HWY 26 between Arco and Idaho Falls, was definitely the low point of the whole trip. HWY 93 wasn't too bad, as there was at least something to look at, and sections of it got a little interesting. However, it definitely isn't a HWY 218 or HWY 71 from the previous day. Luckily, the worst part of HWY 26 only took an hour or so to get through, but talk about boring ( ) . On the other hand, HWY 26 between Idaho Falls and Alpine was actually OK. Nothing really technical, and still a lot of slabbing, but it was definitely more interesting than the morning's ride.
Upon reaching Alpine however, I wasn't able to contact Charlie, so I decided to continue on to Evanston, WY, where again I had no luck in reaching him.. The weather was looking great, so I left him a voice message and headed South on HWY 150 to look for a campground. Within about 20 miles I found a great spot at East Fork Bear River Campground and settled in for the night.
ID HWY 93 South of Challis, ID
East Fork bear river Campground
Morning Day 4 - So I woke to brisk blue skies, and decided to wait until the sun came fully over the hill to pack up camp. While waiting for the sun to warm things up a little, I heard some splashing in the river to my left and noticed something big moving along the shore in the shadows behind some trees. My first thought was BEAR, but as it drew nearer, it moved into a sunny spot and there she was.
At this point she hadn't noticed me, so I slowly looked around to see if a calf was with her. When I didn't see one, I breathed a little easier and sat quietly still as she got closer. If you look closely at the above campsite picts, you can see several big rocks in the water by the picnic table. She came right up to those rocks where she finally spotted me. She then turned and started across the river. I was able to snap the above pict before she reached the other side.
So that concludes the first post of my Ride report. I'll probably post up the next ones in a day or so.
Edited by FeralRdr on Jan 24th 2016 at 10:09 AM
|Jan 22nd 2016, 08:55 PM||#2|
Hazel Dell, Wa
Honda VFR800, Husqvarna TE 610, Ducati M600, Ducati Hypermotard 1100S
Yeah man it's me Dave..... I got the stuff.
Yeah, it's me....I got the stuff!
Dave's not here.
Edited by Flyboymedic on Jan 22nd 2016 at 08:58 PM
|Jan 22nd 2016, 09:18 PM||#3|
I Just talked to Dave about a week ago, and he's doing alright. He's still doing motorcycle repair work, but this is the slow season (even down there), so he's still trying to stay busy with side work. I sent him a friendly "We be PNWMoto now" so hopefully when he gets a chance, he can check in here.
|Jan 22nd 2016, 10:15 PM||#5|
|Jan 22nd 2016, 11:34 PM||#7|
|Jan 24th 2016, 11:59 PM||#9|
Second Leg of the Trip Down
2nd Leg: East Fork Bear River Campground to Cottonwood, AZ; Day 4-7 (Maplink)
Note: There's a routing error on G-Maps SE of Kamas, UT. G-maps is currently (as of this posting) trying to avoid routing HWY 35. The actual route is HWY 150 to Kamas, then directly onto HWY 35 to Duchesne. All other routes are currently correct.Day 4 - Well after my early morning guest left, the sun finally crested the hill and I was able to finish packing up without freezing my cahookies off. Bear in mind that I did mention it was brisk out, and I was just waiting for it to warm up a bit. I decided to keep heading south on HWY 150, and grab breakfast in Kamas. Hopefully I'd get a hold of Charlie and arrange a linkup. After a hearty helping of Biscuits and Gravy, and a round of phone tag, I was able to get a hold of him and we decided to linkup in Duchesne. So, down HWY 35 I went.
After a stop for fuel, water, and a quick catch up, Charlie and I initially thought we would go back up HWY 35 and find a good place to camp. Unfortunately, a thunderhead was fast approaching , and the entire western horizon was becoming dark, so we decided that heading south would probably be our best bet. Specifically, we would head to Huntington and stay at the local State Park. We then headed down HWY 191 to Price, and then on HWY 10 to the State Park.
A quick note on the roads. Highways 150, and 35 were definitely the high points of the Day. HWY 191 between Duchesne and Helper was also a very fun road, it's just not as tight as the previous ones. To draw a local comparison, HWY 150 is very similar to Chinook/Cayuse Pass in regard to twistiness, and scenery. However, south of Helper, HWY191 becomes a straight 4 lane highway, and HWY 10 isn't much better.
Utah HWY 150 south of East Fork Bear River Campground
Pass Lake along HWY 150
HWY 150 adjacent to Pass Lake
Looking west from Bald Mountain Pass along HWY 150
Day 5 - Another beautiful sunny morning, only this time it was comfortably warmer. A quick pack up, and down the road we went. Our destination for the day was Duck Creek, UT. We continued down HWY 10, which was definitely not exciting, but there was at least something to occasionally look at to take our minds off the fact that the bikes weren't getting much of a chance to do much leaning. Once we reached I-70, things radically changed. We continued under the freeway, and the road became HWY 72. We continued on down to Loa where we had a water, fuel, and rest stop. We then proceeded down HWY 24 to HWY 12, where we rode through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This was one of those roads where we had a great run, but also made several stops just because of the sheer amount of majestic scenery. This was definitely one of the high points of the trip. Upon Reaching HWY 89, we went for food and fuel, then headed south down to HWY 14 and west out to Duck Creek where we spent the night in a local National Forest campground.
HWY 72 south of I-70
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument from a scenic overlook along HWY 12
One of many Summits along HWY 12
Another scenic viewpoint along HWY 12
HWY 12 farther south and at a lower elevation, east of Escalante, UT
Day 6 - Originally, this was supposed to be a relatively easy day for us. However, we woke up to overcast skies, and upon checking the weather, we found that Thunderstorms were suppose to be passing through the area. The night before, we had planned on going up to Cedar Breaks National Monument, then loop back around to HWY 89, then continue south into Northern Arizona and stay at Jacob Lake (just north of the Grand Canyon). Charlie strongly suggested that we not even attempt going to Cedar Breaks NM, as being in a thunderstorm, out in the open, at high elevation, is not the wisest of things. So we decided to go through Zion instead. It did mean that we would have to do a little slabbing down the Interstate, but not for too long as we would be able to move at speed fairly well.
By the time we hit Cedar City, the skies had cleared up, and we felt pretty good about our decision. Unfortunately, as we approached the exit off I-15 to HWY 17, we could see some seriously ominous dark clouds coming in from the southwest. We jumped onto HWY 9 and headed east to the park entrance, but as we approached the park, the skies got darker, the roads turned damp, and a light drizzle started. We stopped at the park entrance, and put on our rain gear. The traffic had gotten very heavy by this time, and we made our way slowly back into its creeping plodding flow. At the entrance booth, the rangers stated that they had already closed the hiking trails, and were in the process of getting hikers out of the canyons. As we proceeded into the park the rain got heavier and the sky turned almost as dark as night, with an occasional flash of lightning and subsequent boom of thunder. We traveled through the park at a blistering 15-20 mph practically bumper to bumper. As we followed along, we could see why the park rangers were so concerned about hikers in the canyons. They were almost full of water (side to side). How deep I couldn't say, maybe a few inches or maybe a few feet; but what was there was moving quickly, and there was more cascading down into the canyons from the sides of the rock walls. We eventually made it to a point where the traffic opened up and we were able to move a little quicker. The rain soon stopped and we were able to pick back up the pace fully and get around the slower traffic fairly easily. We soon made it to HWY 89, and decided to stop at the Thunderbird restaurant to warm up and dry out a little with some coffee and pie.
During our warm up break, we discussed our plan for going to Jacob Lake, Charlie suggested that we stop in Kanab, UT and see what the skies looked like to the south, as well as check the weather on my phone. If there was any doubt as to staying dry, we would motel it, as Jacob Lake sits at about 7,000 ft and we figured that it would probably be a wet miserable night. We got back on the road and when we reached Kanab, we could see another dark cloud front moving towards the Jacob Lake area (south of us), so we got a room at the Four Seasons Motor Inn, and called it a night.
Unfortunately, this was one of those days that I didn't take any pictures. Once we hit rain in Zion, we just wanted to get out of it as fast as possible, and the roads stayed wet the rest of the day. Needless to say, we didn't want to make any more stops than we had to.
Day 7 - The final day of the trip down. This was a relatively easy day: south from Kanab down HWY's 89A/89 to Flagstaff, AZ, and on through Sedona and into Cottonwood (or so I thought). We packed up early, checked out, and headed south to Jacob Lake for breakfast. The skies started out bright and clear and we had great weather all the way to Jacob Lake. After breakfast, it looked like a few thunderheads were coming in so we put on our rain gear, but fortunately didn't end up needing it. We then continued on towards Flagstaff. We made a short en route stop at the Cameron Trading post for gas and water, then proceeded on our way. I was expecting Charlie to lead us on to 89A and into Sedona, but he bypassed the exit and took us down I-17. It was definitely faster, and still a little scenic, but 89A has always been more fun (traffic depending). During a stop at a rest area on I-17, Charlie told me that the traffic has gotten so bad in Sedona over the past couple of years, that it backs up regularly into Oak Creek Canyon. Being as how it was a weekend, there was no doubt in his mind that there would be no joy in twistyville, with stop and go traffic, and little chance of passing or filtering, so he opted for I-17. Anyway, we proceeded down to Cottonwood, and arrived early in the afternoon linking up with Dave.
HWY 89A SE of Jacob Lake, vicinity of Vermilion Cliffs Scenic Over Look
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
My noble steed next to mobile repair.
So that's it for the trip down. However, there's still more to come in another day or so. Stay Tuned.
|Jan 27th 2016, 09:06 PM||#10|
The Visit - Cottonwood Greater Metropolitan Area...and Burbs
So, I spent roughly two weeks in Cottonwood visiting Dave and Charlie. Though I didn't ride everyday, we did get some nice day trips in every couple of days. The big trip for us was going out to Springerville, and riding HWY 191 (Old Route 666) down to the Morenci Mine complex (and back). Due to the larger amount of pictures of the "191 trip", I'm going to post that another day, as we still have a limit on how many pictures we can put in a single post. So, instead of posting by the day, I'll post by the routes we rode.
HWY 89A (From Cottonwood, over Mingus Mt. through the Prescott Valley and Prescott, to the bottom of White Spar Rd).
This is probably what we rode the most while in Cottonwood, or more specifically, the section going over Mingus Mt. We would often just go to the spot on the map labeled "Arizona 89A", and turn around and head back. If we had more time, we would continue down to White Spar Road which is also part of HWY 89A, and runs south out of Prescott. The route was in excellent shape with only a few sporadic tar snakes here and there. Prescott was also a good place to grab breakfast. In particular, we've always had a good meal at the Lone Spur Cafe.
My host Charlie posing for his granite monument: Mt. Stone Seat Charlemagne
Section of 89A on Mingus Mt.
89A - White Spar Rd.
Dave (curveaddict) under the water tree at the bottom of White Spar Rd. in the vicinity of Wilhoit
HWY 89A (Sedona area), Cornville, Page Springs, Beaverhead Flats Rds, and HWY 179 Loop.
This was a short little breakfast loop we did during a week day when we hoped the traffic wouldn't be too bad. We headed out on HWY 89A until we reached Cornville Rd, where we took a right and headed to Page Springs Rd. Page Springs Rd wasn't very long and just led us back to 89A, but it was a rather nice twisty bypass with some pleasant scenery along the way. Once we hit 89A we proceeded to Sedona, and on up to the local airport for breakfast at the Mesa Grill. We then decided that we wouldn't try going up Oak Creek Canyon due to the amount of traffic we already encountered. As an alternative, Charlie suggested we go down HWY 179 and loop back on Beaverhead Flats Rd. This would put us back onto Cornville Rd, which would take us back home. As we approached 89A from Cornville Rd, Charlie signaled me to follow him and we ended up at DQ, for ice-cream to beat the heat. Because?..... Well, everyone likes ice-cream (unless they don't).
Sedona as viewed from scenic viewpoint below airport
Sedona Airport Road
HWY 179 heading east out of Sedona
That was it for our day trips. We didn't hit Skull Valley, or go up to Flagstaff or out and around Mormon Lake this time. Charlie pretty much hosted the week day rides, and Dave would lead the weekend ones. Though it would have been great to get out to some of these missed routes, it was predominately an issue of available time, as well as me and Charlie still trying to recoup a little from the trip down.
Anyway, more to come soon. The next post will be the 191 trip, and this time, I made sure to get plenty of more picts of it.
Edited by FeralRdr on Jan 28th 2016 at 07:50 AM
|Jan 28th 2016, 08:42 AM||#11|
Awesome pics, thanks for making the time to stop and take them.
I find for me, I rarely stop and take pics when on an epic windy road. I always tell myself (and riding partners) that I am going to, but once I start riding it, I hate to break up the rhythm by stopping before arriving at the end
I need to get out that way and ride some of those roads this year.
|Feb 4th 2016, 02:50 PM||#12|
The Visit - HWY 191 Run - Cottonwood to Springerville to Morenci... (And Back)
Well, it took a little longer than anticipated to get this posted, but here it is: the big run that we make every time we (Dave and I) have gone down to visit Charlie. HWY 191 (AKA Old Rte 666 - The Devil's HWY).
We typically head out of Cottonwood on HWY 260 Until we reach Show Low. From there, we usually take HWY 60 straight into Springerville. This year however, Charlie had heard that a few roads had been paved in the higher elevations southwest of Springerville, so we decided to take a nice twisty detour from Show Low to Springerville instead. We continued on HWY 260 south out of Show Low, until we reached HWY 273. We then looped around on 273 and HWY 261, until we ran back into 260 on the outskirts of Eagar/Springerville. We spent the night at the fabulously, luxurious Reeds Motor Lodge, and went across the street to enjoy the fine cuisine of Ché Booga Rouge ("Booga Red's" for the unsophisticated).
We got up the next morning bright and early, and headed for breakfast in Alpine at the Bear Wallow Cafe. Afterwards, we continued south to Morenci. We made several stops for water along the way, and you can see a few of them in the picts below. I took a little extra time in the southern section to get more picts, as that is the one area that I always wanted to document. Unfortunately, on the prior trip, we ended up stopping to render assistance to a fellow rider who crashed into the side of a hill, and we ran out of time to make additional stops. Once we reached Morenci, we stopped for fuel and more water (it does get a little warmer down there), and then made our plans for the return trip to Springerville. Charlie opted to head back via HWY 78 into New Mexico, and then up HWY 180 back to Alpine. Dave and I decided to go back up 191, since he had only ridden it northwards once, and I had never done so. We again made a few stops along the way for water, but as we proceeded back north the weather changed as thunderheads rolled in. We caught only a few light mistings between Morenci and Hannagan Meadows, where we stopped for coffee and pie. Unfortunately, as we continued north towards Alpine we got heavily soaked in a heavy downpour. However, by the time we reached Alpine we were pretty much out of it, and the skies returned blue. By the time we hit Springerville, we had pretty much dried out. Charlie showed up not too much later, and said that he had stayed dry the whole way back.
We headed back the next morning, and pretty much took the most direct route back: HWY 60 to Show Low, then HWY 260 back into Cottonwood. I suppose I should add here that though HWY 260 is pretty much a slab ride, it isn't too bad as it does have a few nice sections, and there is some nice scenery. This year we had the benefit to enjoy the "greenery", as the region had experienced more rain than in previous years. As a result the vegetation was more lush and abundant, as opposed to the more typical dried out brown.
HWY 191 Run - Cottonwood to Springerville to Morenci and Back
Rest Break at the junction of HWY's 260 and 87
Big Lake - HWY 273 SW of Springerville
Bear Wallow Cafe Parking Lot
HWY 191 between Alpine and Hannigan Meadows
Rest break at Hannigan Meadows. There's one of our favorite signs.
HWY 191 south of Hannigan Meadows
Another rest stop about midway between Hannigan Meadows and Morenci
I'm not sure if there is a local name for this set of twisties, but it is a wonderful fun section just a few miles north of the mine complex. You can see some of the mine's surrounding high ground in the distance.
A little ways farther south. That's Dave (curveaddict) down below waiting on me.
Maybe tapping his foot?
A little more niceness.
Still having fun on 191.
Finally at the mine. As mentioned in previous years, there used to be a mountain there.
Rest and water. It was already starting to get warm out.
A rest stop or two on the way back up
This was it for the major runs down in Arizona. Though my tires weren't even close to being through, they were starting to get close to the wear bars, and I didn't think they would get me home. I therefore decided to stay one more week so that I could order in and mount up a new set of PR2's. After mounting the new tires, we did get one more ride down to White Spar Road and back (just to scrub them in mind you), but that was pretty much it for my visit.
Next up, the trip home.
Edited by FeralRdr on Feb 4th 2016 at 09:43 PM
|Feb 4th 2016, 10:08 PM||#14|
Hazel Dell, Wa
Honda VFR800, Husqvarna TE 610, Ducati M600, Ducati Hypermotard 1100S
Looks like I'll be going back down to Tucson in May. I'll have to do some research and look at the roads you took and see which ones will work for me. Got any 'must see' roads? I'll probably end up taking my Husky and riding with a much slower rider and doing some mild off road stuff too.
|Feb 4th 2016, 11:59 PM||#15|
848evo, DRZ400SM, XR100
What a great write up and pictures! Thanks for mapping it for us too
I've always wanted to do Hwy 191, but still haven't done it. Looks like Hwy 150 and Hwy 12 is a must if I head that way some day. Love those pictures around Cottonwood/Sedona. What great looking areas and roads.
Can't wait to see the roads you chose to go home on.........or same route?
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