AZBDR – Day 3 of 11
🗓: 25 Apr | 🌍: Redington to Pioneer Pass, Arizona
Map of Day 3: 23 miles paved + 59 miles dirt = 82 miles total
The sun crept into the tent at about 5:30AM causing me to wake and discover that I had the perfect view of our mules waiting outside the tent.
The mules are excited and ready for another day of riding.
We took our time to explore around the campsite for a little while before packing up the mules for the next section of trails.
We don’t get to see a lot of Saguaro Cactus where we live so I am amazed at the size and shapes of these amazing species.
Chantil enjoying breakfast.
Shortly after hitting the trail we came across the ‘famous’ three-tire cactus. At least is seemed famous to us since it was highlighted in the AZBDR trailer and movie.
A little later we came across a snake in the road. A previous vehicle had hit it and it was laying dead…
…so we coiled it up to look more menacing so we could…
…film us and the snake via the GoPro!
After playing with the dead snake, we continued north where we played with the selfie stick…
…while riding a motorcycle…
Probably not my brightest decision but the results were pretty good.
We continued onward towards Mammoth where we topped off our water, fuel, and enjoyed some delicious breakfast burritos at Las Michoacanas Mexican Restaurant.
The mules parked at Mammoth, AZ.
We continued north for only a short section of pavement before turning left on Camino Rio Road where we followed a train track access road that featured fun whoops and some little hills climbs to enjoy.
Exploring train tracks…
…and old abandoned church buildings.
After a little while it was time to hit the pavement, which was a nice break from the heat. It wasn’t to long before we were back in the dirt after turning onto Dripping Springs Road. This section of the road was a bit more challenging because of the hills. Large rocks were also thrown about the trail to keep things interesting.
Chantil tackling one of the hill climbs, littered with ruts, and large rocks.
This particular section of trail was giving us a bit of anxiety because we had read an update on the AZBDR website where there was a large section of trail that was severely rutted. I had plotted this section on my GPS. We continued up the trail without seeing anything that was described in the update. Maybe the author’s definition of heavily rutted was much different than ours? Maybe we are just so awesomely experienced that we just rode right up the hard stuff? Just about as we were to pat ourselves on the back we came across the heavily rutted section.
Boy was it! It was a challenge to get both bikes up without dropping them, but somehow we managed it and were grateful once we got through that section! I provided an update to the AZBDR folks via email so hopefully others won’t have to endure the anxiety we faced.
We decided to stop for the day at the Pioneer Pass Campground where we had the entire campground ALL to ourselves. It was a bit cooler so we set up the entire tent with rain cover in the hopes that we wouldn’t be as cold throughout the night.
AZBDR – Day 4 of 11
🗓: 26 Apr | 🌍: Pioneer Pass to Somewhere? in Arizona
Map of Day 4: 27 miles paved + 49 miles dirt = 76 miles total
Today was a short and long day. Short distance. Long hours. The trails were filled with rocks and included long sections of hills and descents. It was a challenge. Tempers were lost. Bikes were dropped. Bikes were broken and fixed on the trail. It was an “adventure”.
Getting to Globe was pretty straightforward. The trail leaving Pioneer Pass Campground was wide and graded. Once in globe we stopped by the grocery store and stocked up on trail food. We had a cold cereal breakfast at a nearby park under the view of the large orange “G” painted on the side of the hill overlook the city.
Entering Tonto National Forest.
After a relaxing breakfast, we continued north until reaching our next off-road section at Cherry Creek Road.
The lower part of Cherry Creek Road.
The beginning of the trail featured a lot of high desert cactus and cliffs. As we continued our climb we became surrounded by thick green trees, gently rolling creeks, and rocks. Lots of rocks. So many rocks. Rocks of all sizes and shapes. Stupid rocks.
Entering the beautiful Sierra Ancha Cliff Dwellings area.
This section offered beautiful scenery at every switchback making it a challenge to concentrate on the rock-filled trail.
Beautiful cliffs tower above the trail.
For lunch we stopped at a great little shaded area. A lunch of champions!
We talked a bit to a guy who drove a Toyota Tacoma. He was enjoying the solitude along with his two dogs. He mentioned that it had been a decade since he drove up here last and was surprised at how rocky the road had gotten.
During our break we fixed a few things on the bikes. Chantil’s left foot-peg and left hand-guard had taken a beating while being dropped on the rocky trail. In caveman style, I grabbed a rock and hammered the foot-peg until it was level.
We also fixed the broken hand guard by drilling a few holes (using a Gerber tool) into the plastic and using a trusty zip-tie to keep it in place.
It was just after lunch that I lost my cool. It was hot. We were struggling to get through the relentless rocky sections, and Chantil had dumped her mule and broken the zip-tie fix. Kudos to Chantil for dealing with me. She’s awesome and I’m grateful to her for letting me vent.
Big rock in the road! So many rocks on this portion of the trail!
Moo Cow looking rather agitated at the mechanical mules. My bike is bright red so I was a bit nervous that one might charge!! A twist of the throttle kept him in line.
Just before reaching AZ-288 we found a pasture area that looked like it had previously been used as a campsite.
This was our first night where we had a camp fire and it felt GREAT; especially after such a long day of climbing rocky roads. The Mountain House Mexican Style Rice & Chicken was more delicious than you could imagine.
Continued on PAGE 3…