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AZ Trip - Advice Requested

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Great, thanks. That fills in the last bit of info for my itinerary. I'll be meeting up with my high school buddy in Williams on May 13, and we'll work our way east across the state. And for this leg, I may just turn off the GPS and rely on -- what are those things called? -- maps.

Thanks again.
 
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That'll be for another trip with the wife, & possibly the grandies, along, Jeff. This trip's all about the bikes. Although we do plan to ride up to the canyon & take the rim tour on the trams.
 

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Tim, I may steal that part of your route. My youngest sister-in-law is getting married on May 5th in Phoenix and I may just ride out for that.
 
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So you're gonna ride my route before I do? That just ain't right.:-P Nah, have a great time. You can let me know if I'm gonna enjoy it.
 

Texas T

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State highways that are scheduled to reopen (along with the anticipated reopening dates) include:

State Route 261 between Eagar and Big Lake in the White Mountains – April 12
SR 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake in the White Mountains – April 12
SR 473 between SR 260 and Hawley Lake in in the White Mountains – April 12
SR 67 leading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona – May 15
 
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I should be okay on those. Arriving in AZ about May 13, and won't be making the North Rim on this trip. Heck, come to think of it, would the North Rim even be open in May?
 
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FYI, Overland Expo in Flagstaff is May 18 to 20. There will be 4 of us twtexans goingbfrom Phoenix. If ypu're in the area stop by. It gas a large motorcycle segment as well.

Texas T, wanna join us?
 

Texas T

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FYI, Overland Expo in Flagstaff is May 18 to 20. There will be 4 of us twtexans goingbfrom Phoenix. If ypu're in the area stop by. It gas a large motorcycle segment as well.

Texas T, wanna join us?
Thanks for the invite. There is some cool stuff there, but it's not my kind of thing. Roughing it for me means no room service. :trust:
 

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Wife and I just did the first week in April driving around AZ. The 273-261 loop around Greer was closed due to snow. Highway 60 crossing the Salt River canyon is beautiful, 191 from Three Way to Springerville is awesome and as Texas T said Indian Road 13 is spectacular running up to Roof Butte and then right next to Ship Rock. So many sights to see. We decided spur of the moment to sidetrack to see the Petrified Forest National Park and are very happy we did. It is incredible!
 

Texas T

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Wife and I just did the first week in April driving around AZ. The 273-261 loop around Greer was closed due to snow. Highway 60 crossing the Salt River canyon is beautiful, 191 from Three Way to Springerville is awesome and as Texas T said Indian Road 13 is spectacular running up to Roof Butte and then right next to Ship Rock. So many sights to see. We decided spur of the moment to sidetrack to see the Petrified Forest National Park and are very happy we did. It is incredible!
If people really don't "know" Arizona, they think we are nothing but deserts, cactus, and the Grand Canyon. There is SO much more to our state than that, so please come visit, spend your money, and then GO HOME!

:mrgreen: :trust: :mrgreen:
 

RTL

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Our original destination was Sierra Vista. Our son lives there. We toured Fort Huachuca, a copper mine, a cavern nearby there and enjoyed a shootout in old Tombstone. We drove up Mount Lemon and drove around the east side of Mount Lemon on gravel roads through a forest of giant cactus. It was all very memorable. Next trip we will try to see the central and western sights in AZ.
 
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If people really don't "know" Arizona, they think we are nothing but deserts, cactus, and the Grand Canyon. There is SO much more to our state than that, so please come visit, spend your money, and then GO HOME!

:mrgreen: :trust: :mrgreen:
At least you've got the Grand Canyon. As we all know, Texas is just deserts and cactus. Big, tall Saguaro cactus. And cowboys. :trust:

Our original destination was Sierra Vista. Our son lives there. We toured Fort Huachuca, a copper mine, a cavern nearby there and enjoyed a shootout in old Tombstone. We drove up Mount Lemon and drove around the east side of Mount Lemon on gravel roads through a forest of giant cactus. It was all very memorable. Next trip we will try to see the central and western sights in AZ.
I have a high school friend in Sierra Vista. I've always wanted to visit that corner of AZ, and will find time to do so one day. Alas, not this trip.
 

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If people really don't "know" Arizona, they think we are nothing but deserts, cactus, and the Grand Canyon. There is SO much more to our state than that, so please come visit, spend your money, and then GO HOME!

:mrgreen: :trust: :mrgreen:
I WAS thinking the same. seen some az stuff too and amazing.

i think i heard that the "welcome to texas , now go home " slogan was originally California's, before they fried themselves.
 

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Tim,

Keep an eye on this fire watch page as you get closer to your departure date. Usually in the summer there are a couple of big fires burning out of control in Arizona.

Right now, it looks like the Rattlesnake fire is five percent contained. It is located about thirty to fourty mile west of Hannagan's Meadow on Highway 191.

RB
 

Texas T

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Our original destination was Sierra Vista. Our son lives there. We toured Fort Huachuca, a copper mine, a cavern nearby there and enjoyed a shootout in old Tombstone. We drove up Mount Lemon and drove around the east side of Mount Lemon on gravel roads through a forest of giant cactus. It was all very memorable. Next trip we will try to see the central and western sights in AZ.
Ft Hoochy Cootchie is a major CIA/NSA installation, but your son probably already told you that.

They have a very good Buffalo Soldier museum on post, as well as a good signals intelligence museum. Hopefully you toured both.

What copper mine did you tour?

Kartchner Caverns near Benson? The largest "living" cave in the country.

Even as a native, I've never been down the back side of Mt Lemmon, but I'm not sure if that's what you meant. The eastern portion of the Saguaro National Monument is located at the base of the Rincons to the SE of Mt Lemmon so maybe that's where you were?

Western AZ doesn't have a lot to compare to where you've been, so I'd stick to more NE sections of the state from Payson/Prescott/Jerome/White Mountains up to Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley.
 

Texas T

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Tim,

Keep an eye on this fire watch page as you get closer to your departure date. Usually in the summer there are a couple of big fires burning out of control in Arizona.

Right now, it looks like the Rattlesnake fire is five percent contained. It is located about thirty to fourty mile west of Hannagan's Meadow on Highway 191.

RB
InciWeb is my favorite site for tracking the wildfires in the state.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

We've had an EXTREMELY dry winter. Most of the state's moisture comes in a couple of winter months and then in the last summer monsoon season which also brings the haboobs and lots of lightning created fires.
 
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Good to know about the wildfire watches. Thanks, Red & Brian.

Here's a new question, pertaining to New Mexico. Has anybody been to Shiprock? If I'm passing by on the highway & want to stop & take some pictures (but not spend time driving off the highway), which sides offer good views from the road? The options are the north (US 64), east (491), or south (Rt 13 toward Red Valley) side. The south side looks like it would be best, but once past Shiprock, that is one long, desolate highway with not a lot of gas. Does anybody have any experience with this area? Any suggestions?
 

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FCBH

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Brian,

I put the Navajo Indian Service Route #12/13 headed to Roof Butte Park on the bucket list. Do I need a special "park" permit to ride on those roads located on Navajo lands residing in Arizona?

Thanks,

RB
 

RTL

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Brian,

I put the Navajo Indian Service Route #12/13 headed to Roof Butte Park on the bucket list. Do I need a special "park" permit to ride on those roads located on Navajo lands residing in Arizona?

Thanks,

RB
Pardon me, I know this was addressed to Brian but I just went through those roads the first week in April and no special permit was required. They are open to the public.
 
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Tim, I've been on the 491 and 64 route and did not stop to take pictures. IIRC, too far away. I just now did a Google map satellite view and it confirmed my "too far away" memory. 13 was better, but still far.
 
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Tim, I've been on the 491 and 64 route and did not stop to take pictures. IIRC, too far away. I just now did a Google map satellite view and it confirmed my "too far away" memory. 13 was better, but still far.
Well, that settles it, then. I'll take 13. I did some googling of all the small towns along the way. Looks like there's gas at least every 50 miles, plenty good for a VStrom. I wouldn't want to be out there on certain cruisers, though, with their 110-mile ranges.
 

Texas T

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Pardon me, I know this was addressed to Brian but I just went through those roads the first week in April and no special permit was required. They are open to the public.
Here's the only cautions I really give folks when they are traveling on Native lands... you are in a completely different country with completely different customs and laws. Don't be the stereotypical "Ugly American" and you'll be fine.

I tend to watch my speed on the Reservations more so than I do on regular Arizona roads, and since you'll have out of state plates I would encourage you to not drive/ride at excessive speeds.

At least here in Scottsdale on the Salt River - Pima land you cannot possess a firearm but I can't speak for all the other Tribes in the state. Again, if you're not being an Ugly American you most likely will not have any issues having a weapon in the vehicle, but I would be hesitant to be wearing one.

Also, while there will be signs that say "Now Entering...", it isn't always real obvious when you're on Tribal land and when you're not. Err on the side of caution.

If you're riding, know that MUCH of the tribal land is not fenced, so you WILL encounter horses and cattle walking on the highway at all times of the day or night.

I know it's stereotypical, but alcohol abuse is rampant among many of the Native peoples, and now you can add Meth and Opioids to that as well. DUI is a massive issue on Tribal lands.
 
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Good info; thanks. I will take it to heart. Actually, I'm not much of a speeder anyway. No interest in tangling with state police, and certainly not reservation police.
 

Texas T

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Tim, do you have a cooling vest (or two)? The temps have really racheted up this week. I was in the White Mountains over the weekend and the high was 79. It was 54 coming down the mountain about 7:30 am Sunday, and it was an even 100 when I rolled into the driveway at 10 am. We hit a high of 106 that day which is a new record for us.

It's 103 as I type this, 104 on Wed, 105 on Thu, and then dropping down into the 90s for a couple of days and then back up again to 99/100 for the rest of the ten day forecast.

Obviously, this won't impact you as much in the higher elevations, but you're still going to need to be ready for it.
 
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No cooling vest. I do wear a Camelbak and will be pumping a lot of water, and I've learned to linger & soak up a bit of a/c at gas stops rather than just doing the Splash & Dash. I'll be crossing some hot areas for sure, but - hey, I live in north Texas.
 

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Just got back from Arizona. I experienced 40-50 mph sustained cross winds on some days on the open plains. It was brutal. I had to crank the preload to almost the maximum setting which improved the bike's stability.

20180427_101441-S.jpg


Navajo Indian Service Route #12/13 headed to Roof Butte Park was outstanding. Thanks goes to Brian for suggesting the road!

:clap:

RB
 
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I'm watching the weather. Looks like I'll have 25-35 mph winds across west Texas & NM on Friday, maybe into Saturday. I've done it many times, I can do it again. But man, it's hard work. Not looking forward to that aspect, but it's part of traveling in western states.
 

FCBH

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I'm watching the weather. Looks like I'll have 25-35 mph winds across west Texas & NM on Friday, maybe into Saturday. I've done it many times, I can do it again. But man, it's hard work. Not looking forward to that aspect, but it's part of traveling in western states.
Hey Tim,

Here are some of my tips to minimize wind related issues based on riding in the western state wind blast furnace zone...

:lol2:

1. If you zig-zag the route planning it can help dealing with a sustained frontal western wind.

2. Air up your tires to the maximum pressure allowed. This helps stiffen the bike's feel and is less likely to sway.

3. Hold the handlebar very lightly which will not only release tension in the shoulders but also allow the bike sway back and forth less.

4. Consider getting a Laminar Lip or a an extra top screen winglet that helps reduce helmet buffeting.

5. Get a start in the morning as early as possible before the sun's rays increase the wind velocity as the day progresses. I know the V-Strom has very powerful lights, so you could do 60 MPH on the freeway so as to not "outdrive" your lights in the wee hours. If you start at 3:00 AM, you can cover a lot of terrain by lunch time and stop early for the day.

6. Set your suspension settings based on your full luggage weight. This can make a dramatic difference in how the bike feels in heavy winds.

7. I find by not using hard side cases, the bike is less likely to wander in the wind due to less drag coefficient. I prefer soft luggage on the passenger seat.

8. A weird trick but it does seems to work...if the wind is blowing from one side, hang the corresponding knee out. Somehow the wind will blow your leg about rather than the bike.

9. Plan for abrupt wind speed changes when passing a truck and or buildings, bushes, lines of trees, culverts and even passing trucks.

I hope this information is useful.

Cheers,

Fred
 
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The single most important thing I've found about not letting the wind ruin my day is having a helmet that fits properly (see the current helmet thread). For a while I was wearing a Shoei; I didn't realize it, but it was too long for my head, even though the width was fine. I rode through a lot of west Texas windstorms with that helmet, but it yawed back & forth. One day, it tried to corkscrew on my head. Man, that was scary. Also, on that trip, I had a magnetic tank bag that got ripped off the tank. I threw my chest over it & saved the bag (and possibly a camera inside).

The good news is my current VStrom handles the wind much better than my '05 did. Couldn't possibly tell you why. Would a different windscreen make that much difference - who knows. In any case, I've done it a bunch of times. And I will definitely take note of your suggestions.

The only time I've ever been borderline scared in the wind was about 4 years ago out in the great hinterland between Dalhart and Raton. I don't know the windspeed that day, but I held the bike over in a heel to the right to keep from being blown off to the left. Whenever I came up on a truck I very quickly learned I had to be prepared for the bike to suddenly veer right. You know, like toward the truck and those big freakin' wheels. I got good real quickly at timing it. Once I hit Raton Pass, the world was calm again. A couple of hours later I was in a gas station. Two guys on Harley tour bikes saw me pull in. One asked, "Did you come through that wind back toward Clayton?" I acknowledged. The other one said "I've never been so scared in my life on a bike."

Anyhows, Day 1 to beautiful Clovis will probably be a beating - can't be helped. Looks like Day 2 to Farmington will be better. And from Arlington all the way to Williams AZ, the only interstate will be be I-20 to Sweetwater. Interstates are where I most dislike wind riding, partly because it's not as safe to slow down when necessary. Also because there's more traffic, and particularly lots of trucks. You know, with big freakin' wheels. :eek2:
 

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DOT announced this morning that 67 from Jacob Lake to the North Rim will be open on May 15.

've learned to linger & soak up a bit of a/c at gas stops
With my LD Comfort helmet liner I've learned to soak it, leave it inside my helmet, and place my helmet inside the big ice boxes outside while I hydrate. When it's time to leave, that COLD helmet liner feels SO good on my head for the first few miles.
:rider:
 

FCBH

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Brian beat me to it. A head liner under the helmet helps to quite the wind noise and provides some degree of wicking of moisture from the cranium. I like a cottons head rag soaked in water before I put it on. It stays cools for about an hour.

I also clean the helmet's rubber shield gasket. I do this by removing the shield and using soap with water. After installing the plastic shield, I put a dab of silicone grease around the rubber gasket. This helps make the helmet a bit less noisy.

When was the last time you washed your helmet? I use Woolite and soak the helmet in a bucket of warm water. The helmet fit much better after it dried and smelled fresh too.

...of course I assume you have good set of air plugs. I suggest lightly dipping them in baby oil before inserting them in your ear. The oil makes the seal in the ear even better thereby reducing the wind noise.

RB
 

Texas T

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...of course I assume you have good set of air plugs. I suggest lightly dipping them in baby oil before inserting them in your ear. The oil makes the seal in the ear even better thereby reducing the wind noise.
I think I'm going to try Neosporin the next time to cut down on the soreness, itchiness, etc when I have the plugs in for 12+ hours at a time.
 

Texas T

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FWIW, I just check the fire and road conditions for 191. The Rattlesnake Fire has reached 191 below Hannigan Meadow, but is currently 90% contained. Smoke will be a pretty strong possibility.

DOT is not showing any impact to travel on 191 but I highly recommend a daily check to make sure it stays that way.
 

Texas T

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By the way, I did get confirmation from two riders last weekend that 273/261 that drops south from 260 and then loops back up is a great road.

You hit 273 riding 260 east, and you hit 261 riding 260 west from Eagar. I was in Springerville last weekend but I didn't have the time to go down and check out the road.
 

Texas T

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I'm wishing Tim all the best on his ride. The temps dropped today (only hit 100) but the wind and the dust is pretty terrible. I hope he's sheltered from some of that behind the pines are the far east side of the state.
 
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Better. Spending the night with family in Clovis. The worst wind was Abilene to Sweetwater. It was a beating but I've been through worse. The last hour's heat was a bit oppressive. On to Farmington tomorrow. Getting up at the butt crack of dawn.
 

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They have a very good Buffalo Soldier museum on post, as well as a good signals intelligence museum. Hopefully you toured both.

What copper mine did you tour?

Kartchner Caverns near Benson? The largest "living" cave in the country.

The eastern portion of the Saguaro National Monument is located at the base of the Rincons to the SE of Mt Lemmon so maybe that's where you were?
Sorry its taken me so long to respond. Working a new job and very busy.

We did tour all three museums on the base.
The copper mine was called the Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ. Very cool little town.
We did the tour of Kartchner Caverns.
The road we took north went from Benson, AZ to highway 77. I think it was called Cascabel Road. Mt. Lemmon was to the west of this road. It follows the San Pedro River. About 30-40 miles of very smooth gravel road.
 

Texas T

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Sorry its taken me so long to respond. Working a new job and very busy.
It's a good problem to have. ;-)

We did tour all three museums on the base.
The copper mine was called the Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ. Very cool little town.
We did the tour of Kartchner Caverns.
The road we took north went from Benson, AZ to highway 77. I think it was called Cascabel Road. Mt. Lemmon was to the west of this road. It follows the San Pedro River. About 30-40 miles of very smooth gravel road.
Bisbee almost died in the early 70s when the mine shut down. The hippies saved it by buying houses for $500 and turning the place into an arts/crafts mecca. We love staying down there instead of in Tombstone or Douglas.

I really like Kartchner, but the wife has an issue with dark, confined spaces so she's never been inside. The owners of the property are friends of my sister who lived in Benson for 20+ years.

Dual sports can make it up the backside of Mt Lemmon with no issue. It goes up to 9,000 feet and is the most southern ski valley in the country. Nice and cool up there when Tucson is 100+. When I lived in Tucson I could make it from my house to the ski lodge in an hour. We also used to road race up/down the mountain when we were very young and dumb. I'm lucky I survived.
 
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