Sunday, November 18, 2018

Wild Burro Canyon, The Ride Home and Big Changes.


Wild Burrow Canyon.

We left the hotel around 9:00 and drove north on 77. We tuned west on the Edwin Road. As soon as we left the highway we pulled over to air down.

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The trail was very easy but dusty.

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We drove about 6 miles east and stopped to check out this windmill and water tank.

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This was at the end of this trail.

A Bunch of Bull.

There was a big bull bellowing at the fence.

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He probably thought we were the farmer bring him some hay or grain. He sure was noisy.

The End of the Trail.

We back tracked a bit and found the trail going east again toward this big Marble Mine.

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We followed that trail about a mile and came to a locked gate.
Apparently the place has changed hands and the new owners have closed the trail.

Interesting Plants.

We turned around and headed back toward the highway.

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As we drove along Patti had me stop so she could get a picture of these interesting plants.

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Here is the same type of plant before it bloom’s.

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Back at the highway we aired up and headed down this road

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to I-10 where we headed west.

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We stopped at this station for a break and Patti got this dinosaur picture.

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From here we headed for home and arrived in Quartzsite around 4:20.

It was a fun five days of jeeping and Dennis did a great job leading the group.

Big Changes.

When Patti and I left home in Santa Rosa we were discussing upgrading our RV as we wanted more room and our Flair is getting old. It will need a roof in a few years and other stuff is getting old as well.

By the time we got to Quartzsite we had decided that we would look around for a newer unit.

Our neighbor had his property, a 1/3 acre lot with a 30 ft. Fifth wheel trailer on it, up for sale.

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We went over and checked it out. The fifth wheel is a little newer than our RV and has two slide-outs; one in the living area and one in the bedroom.
His asking price is lower than what it would cost us to get a newer motorhome.

After discussing it during the week we were in Oro Valley, we decided to buy the place.
Now we are going to be property owners in Quartzsite.
I figure that if we bought a motor home its value would depreciate rapidly and we would take a big loss when we are through with it. Hopefully the property value will appreciate over time.
Now we have to sell the motor home.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Rice Peak Loop and the The Back way to Mount Lemon .


Background.

The Rice Peak loop is a side trail on the way to The Back way to Mount Lemon.

Mount Lemon is a 8000+ foot mountain east of Tucson, AZ.
There is a paved highway that goes up the south side and a dirt road that goes up the north side. Patti and I hade driven up the paved (front) way several years ago.
Since then we have tried going up the north (back) way twice. Each time was in the Spring and we were stopped by snow.
This time we are attempting it in the fall. No snow yet.

Rice Peak Loop.

We left the Hotel around 8:45, stopped at the Valero station to pick up Tom and Lillie. From there, we drove northeast on Highway 77 to the town of Oracle. Here we headed south on Mount Lemon Rd.

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The pavement ends at the Arizona Adventures Zipline.

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We stopped here to air down.

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When we got to the Peppersauce Campground we turned right on Rice Peak Trail.

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We headed up the trail through some primitive camp areas.

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The trail is a little rough, not bad but very dusty. There is one very tight switch back. There is sign there that recommends that vehicles back up to the corner then drive straight up the switch back.

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We decided that we could just drive up to the turn and with a little back and fill we made the turn easily.

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Here is Dennis M going up above us.

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Looking down behind us.

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We made it to the top of the loop and after a break headed down the other side.

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Here we are going through the valley where the campground is.

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The Back Way to Mount Lemon.

Once back down from Rice Peak, we headed out the nice graded road to Mount lemon. The road is real easy until the last 6 Miles.

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We found a good wide spot to have lunch.

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We passed the place where the road is closed in winter and the road becomes a bid rougher.

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Motorcycle Rescue.

We were coming to a particularly rough spot and found this guy with his motorcycle on the ground. Apparently the guy, who’s name is Gordy, was trying to get to the top but he hit this rocky area wrong and got dumped. His motorcycle was a 600 lb. BMW Touring bike with street tires.

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When we arrived he was sitting on the ground as he couldn’t lift the bike on this steep hill because it kept rolling toward the edge of the canyon.

It took all of us to get him righted and headed in the right direction

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Once he got the bike started we moved to the side so he could go passed us.

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Oh No, Not Again.

We let the biker get ahead of us a little and started up the hill.

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After about 2 miles we came upon him in trouble again. This time his bike was trying to take him straight down the mountain side.

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Fortunately a tree stopped his decent. This was a scary situation. Here is a 600 lb. motorcycle heading down the mountain side.

We connected a tow strap to the bars on the uphill side of the bike.

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We connected the other end to Dennis M’s jeep to keep the bike from getting away. Once the slack was taken up we managed to pull the bike back up the hill.

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Once the bike was back on the road we let Gordy go ahead of us again.

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After a little bit we continued up the trail.

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We never saw Gordy again. I hope he made it. We didn’t see him in any of the canyons so I guess he’s okay.

Eventually we made it to the top where we stopped to air up.

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Hikers.

We saw a couple of hikers when we were on the Rice Peak trail. They were going up when we were going down the trail.

While we were airing up the tires the same hikers came out a trail to the north of us.

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They covered the distance from Rice Peak to Mount Lemon as fast as we did it. That must be a pretty easy trail or these two folks have super powers.

Down the Front Side of Mount Lemon.

Once the tires were aired up we headed down the front side of Mount Lemon.

IMG_3911 Hoodoo's.

As you drive down the highway you go through an area of interesting hoodoo’s.

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The Worst Part.

The worst part of the trip was about to begin.

What you see out there isn’t an ocean with white caps.

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It is the urban sprawl of Tucson. Yuck.

Tom’s jeep breaks.

We stopped for a break at a Circle K and Tom said that he had a serious vibration. He and Dennis M checked it out and found that the rear universal joint on the rear drive shaft was real bad.
There was nothing we could do there so we continued the drive back to Oro Valley.

Supper.

We stopped for supper at the China Phoenix restaurant and had an excellent Chinese meal.

After supper Tom stopped at an auto parts store and bought a new universal joint.

The next morning he and Dennis M had the U joint replaced by 9:00.

Okay that’s all for now. Tomorrow we start for home.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Charouleau Gap for the Third Time.


Background.

Patti and I have done the Charouleau Gap trail twice before. This time it seemed a lot rougher at the beginning.
The day was overcast, windy and cold.
The trail goes from the town of Catalina, AZ  northeast through the mountains and ends at the town of Oracle, AZ. a distance of about 19 miles. 

Get Going.

We met Tom and Lillie at the Valero Station on Golder Ranch Road in Catalina.
This is the turn off for the Charouleau  Gap Trail.  After topping off the tanks we headed east down the road. After about a mile and a half we turned north on Lago del Oro Road. About 2 miles up Lago Del Oro we came to the start of the trail.

This is the sign at the entrance to the trail. It is easy to miss.

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We pulled off and stopped at the staging area for the trail to air down the tires.

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While we’re airing down Patti spotted this road runner and just barely got a picture. They are very fast. 

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On the Trail.

The trail starts out rough right from the staging area…

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and gets progressively rougher.

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Granite Domes.

About a mile in you start climbing over large slabs of Granite.

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This is the last of the granite. The climb up the dome was not as hard as it may look.

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This is what it looks like from inside our jeep.

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Moving Right Along.

We cleared the Granite and now we are on the rocky dirt trail.

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We stopped at the Charouleau  Gap to take a break.

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Down to the River.

The ride to the river is pretty rough.

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Yes, this is the trail not a gully. At least it isn’t a gully right now but I think it is a gully when it rains.

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Eventually we get to the river. It is pretty low at this time of year.

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We drove along in the river bed but eventually we were back in the rocks.

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Then back in the river for a little while.

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Silly Sign.

Down in the canyon we came to this sign.

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If the road ahead is hazardous what the hell did we just come through. I know I had to use 4wheel on that stretch.

Many River Crossings.

A little farther down the rocky road we crossed the river again.

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More Rocks.

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And we are back in the river;

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and back on the rocks.

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Back in the creek.

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Climbing out of the Canyon.

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I think this hill is called the Elevator Shaft. It looks hard but if you stay on the right side it isn’t bad at all.

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As we near the top of the canyon we can see the Biosphere.

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The trail at this point goes down into some deep canyons…

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then it climbs up to the top again. After several miles of this we eventually got to the end of the trail at Oracle. We aired up the tires and headed for the hotel.

Okay that was our third trip over the Charouleau Gap trail and I think we have done it enough to be able to say that it is the last time.