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On the road again....takin the high road!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mailman, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor


    This morning I woke up and decided I wanted to take a ride to somewhere I hadn't been to since I was a kid.
    I started out with a short trip to a nearby coffee shop to have a bagel and coffee with my wife, then she went to go watch our granddaughter play soccer and I headed for the hills...literally.

    Today I will be riding to and up South Mountain, it is an ancient ridge of mountains pushed up by tectonic plates crashing into each other millennia ago. South Mountain regional park is the largest regional park in the United States and all the surrounding land is a preserve, made so by President Calvin Coolidge.

    I turn South from my house and ride through flat farmland ,dairy farms and I cut across the corner of the Gila River Indian reservation, headed for the loosely knit community of Laveen, settled in the 1800's , originally a farming community, now home to big homes on acreages and horse lots. The South Mountains start to loom up.
    That's when I run into the Del Monte Market.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    This market has been here and in continuous operation for 110 years! Earning it the honor of being the oldest continuously operated store in Arizona and a place on the historic register. They have a hitching post on the side of the building that still gets used by horseback riders.

    I soon reach the turn in to South Mountain Park. This really is a beloved destination for Phoenix equestrians, bicycle riders, and hikers, with over 150 miles of horse trails and hiking trails of every level of challenge.
    Almost immediately the road starts to head up. In just about seven miles it will go from sea level to nearly 3000 feet.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Photos do not do this road justice. It is way beyond twisty, it's one blind corner after another, it's one hairpin turn after another and the road is very narrow, very steep and has precipitous drop offs with no guard rail in many locations. It is simply impossible to photograph the really treacherous areas because there is no where to pull off the road.
    Getting close to the top , I see where I want to end up, the broadcast TV and radio towers at the summit.


    Here I am at a scenic overlook prior to the last leg up to the summit. That's downtown Phoenix over my left shoulder, about 15 miles out and 2500 feet down.


    Back on the road, still some altitude to gain, a bunch more twisties and the towers are in reach.

    Up the road a ways there is one final look out. A circular lot with 360 degree views in all directions, really impressive. Check out the hawk doing a fly by straight up above my front fender.

    Nothing left to do but turn around now, but before I left I stopped at the beautiful, modern visitors center near the entrance, that tells all about the history, the wildlife and geology of the area.
    I learned that there was an ancient Indian people, the Hohokams that lived here as far back as 300 AD and you can still see their petroglyphs on some of the hiking trails.


    It's also home to the nations largest population of Chuckwalla lizards, including this unique fella, the carrot tailed Chuckwalla, who can only be found in these mountains.


    Well, this was fun, all in around 60 miles , it was an easy ride, but interesting. Dan Akroyd was right, two wheeled therapy is the best!
    Until next time,

    Attached Files:

    Michaelo, rhkansas, peanut and 9 others like this.
  2. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Here is a good little video ( not mine) if you would like to see what it looks like to ride up this road.

    59Tebo, madmax-im, nighthog and 6 others like this.
  3. robinc

    robinc Member of the 'yellow meter gang' Top Contributor

    Awesome travelogue Bob! Great pics, thanks for posting this!
    Jim and Mailman like this.
  4. yamageddon

    yamageddon XS650 Addict

    Great pictures! Beautiful scenery and a great story to dream away in a country where it is now winter.
    Mailman and Jim like this.
  5. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    20 deg. with snow on the way.... rub it in....;)
    That looks like a fun ride Bob. Wish I could join ya.:)
    Mailman and yamageddon like this.
  6. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Robin, Yamageddon, Jim,
    Thanks, it was a fun day for me. When the summer comes , I'll be living vicariously through you guys!
    yamageddon, robinc and Jim like this.
  7. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider Top Contributor

    I gotta get out your way Bob. Great stuff and thanks for sharing. C'mon down and I'll show you some of my routes.
    robinc, Jim and Mailman like this.
  8. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Thanks Rudi,
    Mt. Lemon has been on my radar for years now!
    Jim likes this.
  9. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider Top Contributor

    25 mi up and 25 mi down. 35 mph. Some nice sweepers and twistys. Views are great. Kinda like your trip here.
    Jim and Mailman like this.
  10. spectra

    spectra XS650 Enthusiast

    Looks like a great time! My mom used to live there and its a nice place but to hot for me in the summer time....... I don't like to sweat :D

    Sun was out today here and almost took one out but didn't.........
    Jim and Mailman like this.
  11. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Your day is coming very soon! Post your ride photos for me.... when it’s 110 degrees here!
    Jim, spectra and azman857 like this.
  12. robinc

    robinc Member of the 'yellow meter gang' Top Contributor

    Hey Bob, just had a chance to watch that video.........Wow!

    I'm so happy for you that you've got her dialed in so well and can enjoy a ride like that. Well done my friend!
    Lookin' forward to the next time!
    Mailman and Jim like this.
  13. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Great pics, Bob. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

    That's the most concentrated clump of antennas I've ever seen.

    I could just feel all that HF RF energy...
    Mailman and Jim like this.
  14. jradvantage

    jradvantage XS650 Addict

    Looks like an awesome road!

    Was in Cave Creek last week. Recognized a bunch of places from the pictures you took. Also made a point of checking out Buddy Stubbs Museum. Nice!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    Mailman and Jim like this.
  15. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Makes the hair stand up on yer' arms...
    Mailman, TwoManyXS1Bs and spectra like this.
  16. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Beautiful ride Bob....dammit, I’m comin’ over!
    Mailman likes this.
  17. xjwmx

    xjwmx XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    One petroglyph near here is described in a journal written about 1775 and it's still there down the hill in some weeds near the modern paved road that approximates the animal trail road in the journal. Just downr the hill in some weeds, very unceremonious.
    Mailman likes this.
  18. Meddy

    Meddy XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Another great write up Bob, thanks for sharing.
    Jim and Mailman like this.
  19. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Thanks 2M! Yeah I was just up there getting a little inspiration for my little cut the cable project. Operation Free TV!

    JR, I'm happy you had a chance to get back to Cave Creek and check out Buddy Stubbs museum. Did you make the ride to the lake?

    Pete, you know you are an honorary Arizonan now don't you? See you next winter?

    That's terrible, these petroglyphs are so rare and so easily ruined. They really should all be protected. You wouldn't believe it but there have been instances of people taking big hammers to them to try and break off a chunk to take home!

    Thanks Meddy, I'd love to see some of your part of the world!
  20. jradvantage

    jradvantage XS650 Addict

    No, I didn't make it to that lake. I did check out Watson Lake just outside of Prescott. That was pretty cool. Then from there drove to Jerome on 89A. Was wishing I had the bike with. That was an awesome road. I'm thinking 89A from Prescott to Flagstaff would have to be one of the best bike rides a person could take in Arizona.

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