Well, it's time for one of my favorite trips of the year.
I decided to leave a day early so the 6 plus hour trip to the meet up spot wasn't as bad. Plus, there were some roads I wanted to explore!! Why take blacktop when you can take dirt??
That's one clean truck! It's almost unrecognizable with the one that came back. It's mostly a hazy brown now.
I drove towards the little town of Salome and hit dirt just after it. From here on in the adventure began.
There is something about corrals that makes everyone want to snap a picture. I'm not immune.
I wouldn't recommend drinking from this one. I think sulfuric acid could sting a bit.
As I drove along I came to this sign. Pretty funny how in life you find yourself in a familiar place without meaning to. I didn't even recognize the area where I have been a few times to race the Parker 400. Now I realized I was standing at the midway pit! It all became familiar again.
As I approached the Bill Williams River there were a couple of really nice ranches. How I'd love to live here.
I had to go past the farm's private land, but eventually I found an area of public land that I could enjoy the river. Looks like a good place for lunch to me!
Looks good enough to do a little fishing.
This was strange. A fellow that looked like a monk was riding a mule leading two others down a random back road. He hurried off the road as if he didn't want to be seen. Lots of luggage on those mules. Very strange. I wonder if there is a traditional monastery nearby???
For just a gas pipeline bridge it's quite pretty.
The next section I came to was really pretty. I didn't expect red rocks out here so I was excited to see it!!
Next up was the ghost town of Swansea. Here is a little background info: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/swansea.html
It was a fairly neat town, but I could tell right away that it saw far too much attention from both the public and the government. Instead of the neat little touches a derelict town has like trash, wood and rusted metal. This one was pretty well "swept up" and sanitized. For me, I was glad I checked it out and I never need to go back. With that roaring sales pitch here is the rest of it! Haha.
Time to keep moving. I wanted to get back near the river to camp so I started exploring some different roads leading to it.
A nice little natural arch. It's hard to see in this shot.
As I headed for the river I saw an interesting looking little side trail. Red rock and high sides. How do I NOT check that out!
Glad I did.
With signs like this, I was pretty deterred from trespassing.
After running into several roads that had been closed by the government or Nature Conservancy just short of the river I gave up and went looking for a new area to explore. Time to get more remote.
On the way I passed over the Central Arizona Project canal. Bye bye water. See you in Phoenix!
After exploring a road that would drop me just along the Colorado River in the morning I came to another road closed sign... DOH! I was so close that I could see the river/lake. Alas, I new that I'd better just find a place to camp since the sun was getting low. I'd have a several hour trek back just to get where I started in the morning.
So close and yet so far.
Potential camp spot 1. Hmmm. Nice view, but no water!
Always watch out for these! Jumping Cholla will jump into the window of your truck and get you with their barbed poisoned hooks!!!
And. I'm. Sold!
Time to relax!
It's good to be back in the world and away from the city. That was the end of my day 1.