Monday, February 9, 2009

AZ. Road Trip Day 3

Saturday morning was cool, about 45 degrees. I was on the road at 7:30AM. This is the northern end of Roosevelt Lake. It appears they have gotten plenty of moisture since the low lying brush areas are all under water. There were some early fisherman out amongst the trees and bushes in their boats. Looked somewhat treacherous since there are so many snags just below the surface. I stopped at a grocery store with a Deli and had some coffee and a huge fresh made breakfast burrito. I wasn't yet sure of my route for today but the weather report was looking rather grim in the north, chance of snow / rain in the south later in the day. I decided that I had better head to the south as snow didn't sound too good to me.

Just before the junction I came across a group of riders at the side of the road, including 3 or 4 BMW's. Visited with a couple of the guys for a few minutes but all in all they were not a very friendly bunch. They were more into their fancy high dollar gear, GPS's and fancy new bikes to spend much time talking to a guy in leathers, on a 36 year old bike & sidecar. So piss on'em, and away I went. Headed south towards Phoenix and hopefully away from bad weather. The road south was a very good divided highway with some fantastic views.
Off in the distance here you can see the Superstition Mountains. The pointy peak in the middle is "Weavers Needle". This is where the infamous lost Dutchmans' gold mine is supposed to be. I had never been on this section of road before and was really impressed with the road and the country. Was a great morning ride. I ended up coming into Phoenix north east corner and traveling south through town for over an hour to get through.

I passed up this BMW dealer in Chandler so u-turned and returned as I was out of BMW oil which I am using in the bike. I've been buying it in Montana and having it shipped. Really expensive stuff at around $11.50 per quart. The old beemer had a view of all his new BMW relatives while I was at the store. Nice shop there but everything was priced sky high. Some nice riding jackets were on sale, from $599.00 reduced to $499.00. I should have bought two at that price.......NOT. I got some directions from one of the mechanics at the dealer and found I was right on the route I had figured. I left the Phoenix area and went as far south as the road went. Turned into an Indian Reservation and headed west for 30 miles or so. I was struck by the unbelievable condition of the homes on the res. You wouldn't think anyone could live in such squalor. Poor is one thing, but many of these places used their yards to dump their daily house hold garbage. Biggest messes I have ever seen. Pretty sad. I passed a cemetery which had big mounds over each site and white washed wooded crosses. Almost looked like the poor departed were just laid on the ground and a bucket of dirt was placed on top of them. I thought of poking into one of the mounds to see if I was right but decided that it wasn't a very good idea. I ended up on a very lightly traveled back road over to Gila Bend. One of my maps shows that it's a gravel road but there was pavement all the way. I got to witness a tug plane pulling a glider up into the sky. Tried to photo it but it didn't turn out well. The wind was blowing out of the south at around 25 to 30 MPH all the way. Started hitting rain about half way to Yuma. Pulled under an overpass for a few minutes while a downpour was occurring. Got a little wet but not bad.

About 25 miles from home I was faced with this scene. There is a big range of mountains amongst all those black clouds between me and home. I sat here for 1/2 hour or so hoping that it might pass but no way. It was swirling around and I could see the water roaring down a mile or two up the road. Finally decided to go for it. Put on the rain gear and tarped the sidehack (and my computer) as best I could and away I went. It was a gully washer as I went through Wellton and there was a lot of water standing on the roads. Eventually I had to get back on the Interstate but the rain subsided just long enough for me to get home fairly dry. As I passed over the Fortuna Wash it was roaring with dirty brown water. In 15 years down here we have never seen it run with anything. I wanted to go down and photograph it but more black clouds were heading my way so home I went. Had just enough time to unload the bike and throw everything into the trailer before the rain poured again. All in all I was happy I cut the trip a little short and came home. The weather was real crappy that night and the next day where I had planned on being. Oh well it's Winter.

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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.