Adventure And Beauty: The Perfect Ride 4-17-11

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As much as I love all the places my husband takes me, I get really excited when the trip is a new one for him too. I guess it’s the forging new trails together, that gets to me. I think it’s also the possible danger of the unknown. This was one of those trips.

Not 50 yards down the road was our first bad spot. The road was sort of washed out. It’s hard to describe the condition of it other than to say it had deep lengthy fissures that made me say “Uh oh”. I guess I have about 3 levels of concern when the road get’s scary. The Uh-Oh stage is just a surprised, kind of excited response. I know that we can make it and I completely trust Ralph’s confidence and driving skills. Then there is the “Hmm I’m not so sure” place. We might need to park the quad at this spot and survey the area for the proper route, a possible winching spot up ahead, and just a general how to. The worst places I just say “Nope, I’m not doing that.” So we made it through the uh oh place just fine and continued on.

Steep & Scary

The area was beautiful. Super green with flowers. Within I’d say ½ a mile, we came to the- nope I’m not doing- that place. It was a typical washed out place where the road is on the side of a hill and makes a curve inside where water washes down from above. This particular spot was BADLY washed out. And the wash was steep and ended up in a canyon of sorts. It scares me, not only when there’s not much of the road left, but when the road is severely slanted and we could potentially flip or roll. I also factor in how many times we might roll, what would poke me on the way down and finally – where we’d end up. So at this spot I just said nope. Not surprisingly, Ralph still wanted to do it. I got out and hiked to the other side of the wash to watch and pray. I decided to take a movie with my camera, just because. After some careful surveillance and planning, he drove on over. It was over like that. No problem, whatsoever. We flipped our RZR once on a trip in the Tortilla Mountains a mile or so past the Martinez Mine. It was on the side of a canyon. We could have rolled several times, but luckily didn’t. Since then we’ve added the long travel suspension that has really made a difference. That flip shook us up. But honestly, this place was ten times worse. I hopped back in and on we went.

Sandy Wash...Not

The road was pretty good after that. There was one spot where it got very narrow and we had to drive over a big rock to get by. We made our way down to a creek bed where the road had a habit of disappearing and then appearing again. It wasn’t your nice sandy creek bed where you can drive 35 mph; it was rocky and very rough. We spotted tracks here and there and that helped a bit. Our GPS is really handy on trips like this where we aren’t sure if we are actually on the road. It looked like we would end up at highway 188 so that’s where we were headed.

There was a cool spot with lots of Saguaros that was particularly beautiful. We took at side trip up out of the creek bed, but the road ended at the top of a hill near a stock tank. It was gorgeous up there with spectacular views all around. We could see Roosevelt Lake, highway 188 and my favorite landmark to spot from almost anywhere- Four Peaks.

Backtracking a bit we were able to continue on the hill road toward the highway but ended up at the back pasture gate of a very nice ranch. We decided he probably wouldn’t like us driving through his lush, green pasture so we turned around to go back to the creek bed road. One thing puzzling and kind of disturbing, was a large area of Chollas that had been cut down. Branches cut off and then the trunks. Lots of them. Maybe a ¼ square mile area. The only thing I could think of at the time was that maybe the cattle were getting stuck too much. But now I have a few other ideas. Anyhow, back to the creek bed we went.

We finally ended up at hwy 188 but there were some gates so we weren’t sure how to actually get onto the road. On the way back we saw a group of very pretty horses and two guys on bikes. They were the only people we saw. The fewer people we see, the happier I am.

When we came to the-nope-spot, I got out and wrung my hands while my awesome husband had no problem doing what he does. And we managed to bypass the first bad area by coming out near a blocked off entrance instead. It was an absolutely amazing and wonderful trip. The perfect ride.

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About Ellen

A native Arizonan, who grew up camping and backpacking all over Arizona. My husband and I share a love for the spectacular Arizona landscape and rich history. We are passionate about spending our weekends exploring in our RZR. Backcountry driving combines my love of the outdoors with the thrill of experiencing my husband's expert four-wheeling skills on challenging terrain!
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