We met in the morning with cold rain falling. It was chilly for April in Arizona. Thankfully, most trails in the lower elevations of AZ are sand and rock which helps to keep things from getting muddy.
Ginger Fire was cold from the long freeway morning ride so she decided to get bagged up! Having nice weatherproof riding gear is great, but in AZ having riding gear that breathes is more important. So... we covered her legs in trash bags so she wasn't soaked through... at least not "too" fast anyway.
Everyone made it. Let's head north!
Westy has a really nice truck. He's put a lot of work into it over the years. Those are 37" tires.
Heading towards 7 Springs.
The snow starts before we even hit dirt. Wait, the what? This is April in AZ.... We are about 20 minutes from Phoenix. Alrighty then.
And kept falling.
This is a pretty road no matter what, but seeing the snow is really nice.
Okay, now it was downright sticking. Hmmm. How will this day go...
After a moss covered cement river crossing gingerfire's bike decided to shed some weight. AKA, she fell in ice cold water. Yikes. From here on out we'd take her gloves, put them on a vent with the heat on high and then trade her another pair of gloves I had. We did this the rest of the drive to try and keep her from freezing.
Getting more muddy, but not too bad yet. The trail was nice and hard pack so it was just a light spray of mud.
A cool cattle scale.
Time for gingerfire to rebag!
More and more snow.
More and more mud! Uh oh. This was "actual" mud. The hard part now is that it had rained/snowed so much that the once hard surface had gone soft. There was no point in turning around or turning any direction. We just hoped to make it to lower elevations next to the Verde River where the snow will subside and the ground will go back to sand and river rock.
It was slippery. I've never been so happy to have pizza cutter tires. The tall skinny mud terrains were cutting down and helping me have a bit more traction than most, but it was still more like guiding a sail boat than driving. Slow and steady, but never stopping was the pace.
The snow level was 4200 feet in April. Wow.
This is a good picture to remind myself why fenders and fender flares are a good idea... Brian had many hours of cleaning with a pressure washer ahead of him.
The front tire had stopped turning at this point. It was locked up entirely.
A bow wave of mud on those tires. This was some interesting slop!
Giving up, but just for a minute. Time for a beer and to smile through the pain and anger.
Giving it one last try. After all, she was getting ready for a week long trip to Death Valley the following week so we knew the bike couldn't be left behind!
We each gave it a shot. Pushing, riding, scraping mud. In the end the clutch had enough and quite. There was no more chance of forward movement... What to do...
This bike had to weigh an extra 100 pounds in mud. Ouch. It really sucked. Thank goodness one of us had a truck. Gingerfire was scared about getting the bike fixed before DV, but I think she was secretly thrilled to be inside a truck now.
Almost to the Verde.
And no more mud... on the ground anyway.
The crossing point. See the video.
We ate carne asada and hung out in an exclusive camp spot. Exclusive since very few can cross the river in their vehicle and on this day no others did.
Jon's fridge bridge! He sleeps under it.
Letting it drain out after the crossing. Not a ton inside, but I did find one hole. Not Toyota, but Tim induced... oops
We found a pressure washing place that had a couple of designated "mud" bays. The operator of the place wasn't mad, he was excited. Not at the $100 or so we'd spend power washing all of the trucks, but because of where we'd been. Once we told him of where we'd been he said "PERFECT! I pan the Mud traps for gold and that's a good area."
Crazy or brilliant, this guy was happy.
$20 at the pressure washer that day, per car, and then another $10 last night and there is still this hardened mud clay.
All in all it was a great overnight, with great food, great friends, and great sites as always.
- ► 2012 (21)
- ▼ Apr (5)
- ► 2010 (42)
- ► 2008 (41)