For D's birthday we decided it was time for a solo trip. About 400 miles, over 300 on dirt and we were back home.
I can't describe how good getting away from it all, the further the better, is for the soul. The ability to consult the maps in the morning and find an area with little or no roads that you've never been before that you want to explore is so freeing. We tried a few new roads that neither us nor anyone else by the look of it had been on.
On Friday after work we headed toward Payson, AZ. there is an all dirt option if you have the time to get to Payson and another to get to Strawberry, but there was no time on this short trip.
We headed just west of Payson to camp. Because we chose a dirt track that required crossing the East Verde River (Only about 2 feet deep) we cut down the amount of traffic we'd see. Down to one other truck that cruised by late at night.
Made it to camp with light left and just enough time to use one of D's birthday presents. Her new chair... Okay so I got myself one too...
Time to start getting ready to cook brauts!
Not a bad camp site.
D is getting even more amazing at taking pics of flowers.
This area was so green still. The valley is nice and brown already.
The next morning we headed toward Strawberry. Some nice water crossings along the way. Very easy shallow ones.
Lots of little worms hanging on and eating bacteria out of the water.
We grabbed some greasy breakfast in Strawberry that was GOOD. Chorizo Burrito's are gooood.
We then hit pavement for a bit and headed out onto the Rim Road that runs along the Mogollon rim.
Cool WWII era logging truck. I'm sure there is a story to this truck.
Holy front diff!!
We then headed out onto the Black Canyon road and came upon some Native American Petroglyphs.
At another spot we hiked a bit to see a rock house and some more petroglyph's. It was about as green as is gets.
We found a little used road that we had to winch a couple logs out of the way to get down, but it yielded a great camp site.
We had... okay more brauts. What is one to do when shopping at Costco. Ya just gotta eat a lot... and a lot of the same thing. Damn it's a good thing to have too much of though.
The next morning we took a look at some maps and headed out on the road. Not before some flower picture taking.
And off we go!
We checked out some historic graves of some family's that settled this area.
Wild wild horses!
These three graves are of the last three people to die from the Pleasent Valley War. A feud that resulted in many deaths between the Graham's and Tewksbury's. See this for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleasant_Valley_War
These three people were killed because they were thought to be on one side of the fighting families when in reality they were from back east and had nothing to do with the feud.
This area was ravaged by a huge forest fire many years ago. The trees have fallen and look like matchsticks laid out along the hillside.
Bit of dust.
New KM2's are holding up well.
There are always more roads that need exploring!
The OJ sticker is taking a beating.
Memories of a trip to Japan...
Rack wasn't loaded down too much, but my home built rear bumper is still holding up well after about a year of use.
We took about 160 miles of dirt down the mountain toward Phoenix. Much of the road was over grown and then occasionally we'd end up on a road to someones ranch so the quality would significantly improve for a while.
Well worth airing down to 20psi so I could maintain a comfy ride!
Coming up to another river crossing.
The Saguaro's were wearing their bonnets!
This crossing was about 60 miles from pavement. Talk about an amazing find. No trash and no other recent tire tracks. Perfect.
I could have spent all day here.
There were a few old abandoned ranch houses. A few looked as though they had been occasionally looked after.
Once down the mountain we took the Apache Trail from Lake Roosevelt to Tortilla Flats where we had some burgers. The Apache trail is a bit busy, but an amazing drive not far from Phoenix.
The road goes right next to Lake Apache and Canyon lake.
Can't wait to do it all again, and take some more side roads of course...
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