My brother and I took a 100+ mile dirt trek out to Sheep Bridge and back. We took Cave Creek Road up to Bloody Basin Road, then East to Sheep Bridge. After lunch, we back tracked to the Cave Creek & Blood Basin intersection and headed West towards the Agua Fria National Monument and on through to I-17. Then we headed 60 miles down I-17 back to Phoenix.
Today was a wonderful day to head out to the Great Western Trail. We cruised up Pima road to Cave Creek road and to Tonto Hills. There we posed for some pictures with the “World’s Tallest Kachina Statue”. From there we headed up to the old washed out 7 Springs Campground. Not a really long ride, but enough to get out and have some fun.
So last week, I had to be in Vegas for a the NAHB International Builders’ Show. What better way to get there than ride? I also wanted to take as many two lane highways as possible. All in all, I covered 600+ miles there and back along some great Arizona and Nevada scenery, including Route 66!
I finally got to complete the full loop of The Great Western Trail to Bloody Basin to Sheep Bridge to Horseshoe Lake Dam. I fell off once and tipped over twice. If you are going to ride this loop, be careful of the two concrete water crossings in the 7 Springs Recreation area. They can be as slick as ice with all the damn algae buildup. I’ve crossed them half a dozen times with no problem, but I slipped on the second crossing and fell off in the middle of the concrete. Not hurt, but busted off a mirror
The most challenging areas though, was the going down the rocky incline on the East side of Sheep Bridge and getting up the West side of the path down to the crossing under the dam. I tipped over on both those spots. Thankfully, I had a riding buddy there to help me get the bike up. It is a lot of work to do this loop in 100F weather. Other than a little heat exhaustion that set in once I got home (headache and throwing up), it was a decent ride.
This time I camped out, just off the trail of NF-41. Nothing super exciting, but it was nice to get out of the city and away from everything. The 7 Springs Campground was PACKED, so I kept on riding past it and went up to NF-41 and went West. There weren’t too many good spots to camp and there were tons of people out there just blasting their guns for fun or hunting white tail deer. Anyhow, I found a spot and enjoyed the peace and quiet once the sun set.
So I went to have lunch with a friend today and took the KTM. After a nice lunch at Freddy’s and chilling with my friend. I took the “scenic” route home and played around the Westworld area. It was a bit warm out today, but I still enjoyed myself.
This is a nice little picnic bench near the Southeast area of Westworld. Westworld was wide open today and I rode around the entire property. There were no signs saying stay out, and no one chased me away, even after multiple slow figure 8′s in their big giant inner asphalt lot. There were tons of skid marks from the stunter shows a few weeks earlier for bike week.
After bumming around Westworld, I took off to explore a gravel road leaving the property and going under a local bridge. It ran along a canal for awhile before merging with a golf course. There were a few offshoots from the trail I was on, but all of them were marked for walking/bikes only.
Well I got laid off from my job this past Friday. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but I had hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. Anyhow, now that I have a lot more free time, I decided to grab Lola and go scope out a campsite for a future trip. I decided on 7 Springs since I’ve been through the area before on my KTM.
I was a little nervous to be taking the Scion. I have TRD suspension and it rides a little more than an inch lower than a regular xB. All-in-all, it worked out just fine. I had to go real slow in a lot of areas, but the xBizzle made it there and back with flying colors. I don’t think Lola enjoyed the ride in and out all that much, but I know she had a good time once we got there.
I made a last minute trip on Friday 4/1 down to Amado, AZ. to see the Overland Expo. It didn’t go as planned, but I did make it out and back safely. I kind of overdid it on Friday and by Saturday morning I was feeling ill. Sadly, I ended up cutting my 2 day trip short and went home. I did have a really good time on Friday though, it was great meeting new people and all the great gear and vehicles.
I finally made it after driving 3 hours from Scottsdale, AZ. There were 4 car wrecks, 1 serious, so traffic was pretty lame most of the way down there. I saw one person getting hauled off on a stretcher. Her car had flipped in the middle median.
On the way into the expo, you walked by the Land Rover demo driving area. Once I got my day pass, I made my way over to get signed up for a drive. I got to drive one of their 550HP, 0-60MPH = 4 second monsters that costs $90,000 base MSRP. It was a hoot!
After that, I made my way over to the Moto Village to check out BMW, Touratech, Black Dog Cycle Works, and many more. It was nice to talk to the owner of BDCW and the various other vendors. As a new dual-sport rider, there was a lot of good information presented. I signed up to ride some of the BMWs on Sat., but sadly I never made it.
I am so lucky to have time to make a run out to Bartlett Lake today. I got on the road around 3PM and made my way North on Pima Rd. The view is very nice once you start coming into the Cave Creek area. I should stop and take some pictures, but I was feeling great and the wind was cool. Good thing I didn’t stop, as it turns out,i forgot my camera. Ha! I’m such a retard. Good thing I can use my iPhone cam as a backup. Anyhow, I took Cave Creek Rd. as far as the asphalt lasted. As you make your way into Seven Springs, you’ll see a “pavement ends” sign and the asphalt ending shortly thereafter. After pulling off to the side of the road, I took a few minutes to relax and take in the visuals. The sky is clear and there is no one around as far as the eye can see.
After that, I backtracked to Bartlett Dam Rd. and started my way down to the lake. This is a very nice ride and well worth going, even if you are stuck in a car
Here is a pic down by the boat launch…
The low fuel warning light popped on shortly before I made it down to the launch. There wasn’t much going on and since I was here the day before, I didn’t stick around too long. I made my way back to Cave Creek and had good fun gassing the RC through the turns and straights. Here’s a smoggy, crummy phone cam picture of the way back to Scottsdale…
If you live here or are visiting with access to a vehicle, it would be worth it to take a drive out to Bartlett, especially on a motorcycle!
Stay off the GWT, North of Bloody Basin when wet!
So I found out, the hard way, the limits of my KTM in it’s current state. The street tires and front fender were both victims of my last attempt to traverse the Northern portion of the GWT. It rained a couple days prior, but all the main forest roads were all in great shape. However, I tried to get to I17 via NF-68D and got stuck halfway up a hill. I gave up trying to climb it, the mud was so bad, and was back-tracking my way down. I was halfway down when I biffed it and put the bike in a muddy ditch. I ended up making a campfire (it was 34 degrees out) and hanging out for about 4 hours until a Deputy picked me up and dropped me in town at McDs.
I had to pay a towing company to get my bike out for me 2 days later. The bike is ok, a bit busted up and scratched, but is getting polished up at the dealer. I’m looking forward to getting out and trying out my new Kifaru Tipi, so once the KTM is back, I’m headed to White Tanks to do a night of camping.