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teddyearp's 2014 AZ Road Trip~Apr 25-May 10

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This is long and I tried to post it about a week ago but some of the pic links got screwy. But the heck with it, here goes . . . .


Well, here I go, another road trip report. April 25, 2014 - May 10, 2014. Washington -> Oregon -> Nevada -> Arizona -> California -> Arizona -> Utah -> Idaho -> Oregon -> and back home. There won't be any of Washington, nor of Idaho and Oregon on the way home and only took a couple in Utah, since I have already taken plenty pics on those roads.


At the outset, I planned on motelling in Burns, OR the first night, then finding the ghost town of Aurora, NV the second, perhaps visiting Gold Point and Rhyolite, NV on my way to camp near Chloride, AZ the third. Then it was to be off to explore the back country between Wickenburg and Crown King, AZ for a night or three; camping along the way. A quick trip to California was planned on May 1-2 to visit some old friends, then I was going to go back to Arizona on May 3 to camp somewhere along the Four Peaks road, then go down to Roosevelt Lake and up the back way to Young, AZ via the Cherry Creek road to see the cabin there and end up at Promontory Butte sometime around May 4. Then head over to Pinetop and camp at Hawley Lake (been camping there for over 40 years, why stop now), head to Tucson to see an old flame, then high tail it back home starting Friday May 9 and arriving home on May 11.


I've been a map guy since I was knee high to a grasshopper, so I had most of these 'routes' burned into memory from studying and since I am in the 21st century, I used my Android device to load up offline maps via OruxMaps (and other apps like PDF maps), saved alot of geocaches for offline use with c.geo and off I went!


Well, all the best laid plans can always change, and change they did based upon weather conditions, fire restrictions and people problems.


So without further ado, let's get to it! Now mind you, I am the master of taking pics out of my widnshield while driving, and that said probably too many of them are highway shots. I headed out of Randle on my way to Burns, OR via Portland and did a quick stop in Sandy for some cash and stuff. Heading further down US 26 here's one shot:






Started to get a bit dicey looking towards the top of whatever pass I topped, it did snow; but did not stick:






Over on the other side on the Warm Springs Rez, it was just fine:









Further down towards Madras and/or Prineville:






Between Prineville and Burns, some could be along the road between US 26 and US 20:












Just about to Burns:





I did end up staying at my motel in Burns as planned. [rant]I just have one thing to say. Do NOT go the the McDonald's there. They shorted my Big Mac by a whole patty and I think they shorted my Qpounder as well with the missing patty from my Big Mac. They were the only place open, and I was starved.[/rant] Now I know why I hate Mickey D's, but they were the only thing open . . . . .

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So, here I go the next morning heading out OR78 towards Nevada:









I like the lonesome roads:






After joining up with US95 south, entering Nevada:






I went through Winnemucca and Fallon, NV but as I got closer to where I would be going to Aurora, NV, the high country didn't look too good:






The turnoff to Aurora was south of Hawthorne, NV however, there's a few nice things to take pics of near Walker Lake, north of Hawthorne:









By the time I got to Hawthorne, it was pretty windy and cold even down low, and it looked like there was snow on them thar hills in the high country as one of my previous pictures showed. I took a look at my saved Google terrain map in Oruxmaps and checked where Aurora sat. Over 6000' in elevation, so I decided to just stay at a very nice motel in Hawthorne. I stayed there once before in 2008~ish. It's run by some very nice folks and the room was only $40. It's called the Holiday Lodge and for that $$ I got free WiFi, has a micro and fridge, and in room coffee. If you are a five star traveler forget it but if you're a road tripping prefer to camp out and spend as little $$ when not camping like me; it is an awesome place. And no, I am not being paid by these folks, it is only because I had such good value for my $$ both times now. And here is my room, lol, via a 360:




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The next morning, I pushed on south on US95:






Now between Hawthonre, NV and about Beatty, NV there's quite a few towns with interesting 'stuff' to see; some ghost towns, some not so ghost: Mina, Tonopah, and Goldfield are some of the names, but there's old stuff scattered all along US95 in that stretch of road:












Some places, it's just a lonely highway through the desert:






This is probably just before Tonopah, as it looks like there's a larger town in the background:






And this:






Yup, Tonopah:






More lonely highway. Yeah, not really Jeeping, but everyone loves a good road trip, don't they?:






Here's a few in Goldfield:






Don't know why, but I love them old courthouses:






And a bit more Goldfield:









This is just one real original/weird looking house on the south end of Goldfield, built out of rocks:






"On a long and lonely highway, south of Tonopah . . . . ":




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Once in Beatty, I took a side trip to the Rhyolite Ghost town, on the way up and over on NV 374:






And Rhyolite. Took quite a few there switching between color, B&W, and sepia mode:
























I don't know why, but I wasn't quite 'on my game' in taking pictures this trip; or actually lucky as I should put it. This is about the best pictures I took the whole trip however, the fact that it came out somewhat out of focus just adds to the fact that I was using sepia mode on my camera, giving a truly 'old timey' look:






Now, that's quite enough of Rhyolite. Afterwards I hightailed it south because I wanted to camp this night up near Packsaddle camp area north east of Chloride, AZ. But before I left, I did take a picture of this dude sitting on the ceramic sofa at the geocache called "Just sit here" in Rhyolite:






Entering Arizona (always gotta get one of the sign):






A few miles south of Hoover dam, and north of the Chloride turnoff is the road to Packsaddle. Mmmm, dirt. Heading up on BLM land towards the higher country:






A road winds through and up it:






What's this? Leftover snow?:






Awesome views that can be had from most high places in Arizona:






And home for the night, Sunday, April 27, 2014:




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My original plans had me heading to Wickenburg and camping just outside of (or somewhere near) town on Monday, then meeting up with whoever wanted to go exploring for a couple of nights between Wickenburg and Crown King; I posted these plans over at http://virtualjeepclub.com. I thought about meeting on Tuesday, April 29, exporing and camping somewhere (because there's a lot of roads) ending at Crown King on April 30, then I was to skip over to SoCal to meet some old friends before heading back to AZ on Sat, May 3. However, stage 1 fire restrictions (meaning no campfires in dispersed areas) came into play so I just did a quick trip to Wickenburg, got a motel and then a meetup in Wickenburg for a one day run up to Crown King and then to Blythe for the night of Apr 30.


That said, heading out of Packsaddle the next morning:






Not very good, but an obligitory flower picture:






More views:









All the time I lived in Arizona, I saw a place called "Nothing" on the map. And here it is. And yes, there's Nothing there. I guess there used to be a gas station, long closed:




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Here's the Wickenburg to Crown King part of my Trip report. Copied, pasted and then edited from my post at VJC:



Let me preface this with, yeah I drive a stock KJ, so as you know most of my pic threads are not totally true 'wheeling'. But this one did put me to the test, read on. . . .



We met at the Wickenburg McD's around 9AM and set out. Neither had paper maps, I only had maps saved to my Android device. At the first eyehatetofu led, but when we got to the one turn onto a different route, he said I should lead since I had the map. And so I did. We Went up a couple of steep climbs (which Tim was surprised I just went up), but then we got to this one steep hil, it was like a 'V'. On the left and in the middle (or bottom) was a bunch of boulders and on the right side it was a very off camber ride to the top. We walked it to the top and it looked OK beyond, but for some reason I decided to turn around instead. In retrospect, I wish I wouldn't have gone ahead that way. When we went back, my map eventually took us back to the "CK rock" and we went up the usual backway to Crown King. Tim then took the lead again.


All I can say now is WOW! Now I know what Jeep folks mean by "wheeling". And this on a moderate 'trail'. But all I have is a stock Libby, Tim's was a lifted Libby; and even still taking all the bypasses he was strugling in places. I must say that the whole road was pretty much effed, earlier reports of it being well graded, were false to me anyways. And that's why I didn't take too many pics of the trail, I was concentrating too much on tire placement; but on the other hand I did get quite a sense of accompishment since eyehatetofu said I made some spots he struggled with look easy. (Sorry Tim).


So with all that said, here's some of the pics I did take, Downtown Wickenburg on the way to McD's:






Heading out Constellation Road:












And moar:






Some scenery:






Going up:






Moar scenery:






Here's where I took over the lead, this road looks promising, love that sign:






Like I said, I didn't get as many pics as I should have. I guess when traveling with another I feel constrained if I hold back/go slow too much to take too many pictures. And with this road I was more worried about keeping up a pace (albeit very slow) than with taking pictures. I stopped going up this road at the real off camber hill climb and we turned back. But here's a familiar site for you folks who have run the back way to Crown King, Arizona:






But we came from the opposite direction, from behind the CK rock. Again, I found out what my stock KJ could really do on this road, but alas didn't take enough pics. Only when I didn't have to pay too much attention to the road. Like these two probably further up past a few obstacles:









Man you can see almost forever in Arizona:






The play area, I think:






Pushing on:






Some ruins:









Looking back:






Another look down the canyon:






Once we topped out in town, we stopped at the store, eyehatetofu bought some fudge, I bought a sticker; then we headed toward Hazlett Hollow campground for the night. On our way to camp:






Some awesome views to be had on the way there:







And on the way back the next morning, but that's a different story:






Once at camp (no pictures), we drank a few beers, talked a lot, had a tiny injun fire, cooked over it, then camped. I had a good time. Learned a lot about my Jeep and my abilities to drive, er almost wheel it. As they say, it's all about wheel placement. I just wish I would have gotten more pictures of the ride up, because even the 'bypasses' were pretty rough. And then there was the biggest obsticle of all just before the 'lunch spot'. Eyehatetofu said it was good I didn't take pictures of how we got through that one; he said I would have given the environazi's more ammo. Hell it was only a tree fallen across the road. I found out that my chainsaw was dull, but with a bit of sawing, tossing, and strapping the rest out of the way . . . . we were on our way. There was no way I was going back once I was that far.


Oh yeah, we met one of them new fangled Trail Hawks heading down just after the other road (FR193?) may have joined the trail.



The only Everytrail track I took on this trip:




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The next day, Wednesday, April 30, going down the 'front way' to Crown King:






A pic or two of Cleator, Arizona:









Hardly a good picture at all, but there were some interesting volcanic upthrusts between Cleator and BumbleBee:






Now back on the freeway, next stop Blythe, CA, but there's still the Centential signs:






After that, there's no good pictures to be had really. Have you ever traveled between Phoenix and Blythe? Or beyond? I personally cannot stand California so I have no love for it; with pictures, nor my money. Heck (and I knew this) gas was almost $1/gal more in Blythe than in the last stop in AZ on I-10 west; a mere 20 miles max difference.


And as it went, the meetup in SoCal didn't go as planned so I headed back a day early, Friday May 2, 2014. Again, I will say my original plans after Cali were to head up the Four Peaks road, camp, then go down past Roosevelt Lake and then up the back way to Young. The very back way on Cherry Creek Road. I hear tell of a few cool things to see up that way, but again the fire restrictions gave me pause; however, fire restrictions or no, I was GOING to camp at Promontory Butte on the Mogollon rim.

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I did take a pic on I-10 east just inside AZ:






I believe I'm heading up the Beeline Hwy here (SR 87):






Headed straight through Payson, then west on AZ260 to the top of the Mogollon rim. Mmmm, trees. Along the Rim Road (FR300):






And now off of the Rim Road and down the 6 mile or so bumpy road to my destination:












I didn't get a lot of pictures of this road, but suffice it to say that although it's not a "Jeep trail", it certainly is NOT a graded forest road. RV's and trailers do not attempt:






At the end of the road is the reward:






As shown, there was an awesome table/chair built of large rocks as well as a huge firepit at camp. And then there's the views to be had, again some playing with settings:






Oh yeah, that's another rock chair on the edge:





















Gettin' towards dinner time:




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Sunrise the next morning:






It was so nice and peacefull up there, I stayed the next day and night as well. Then on Sun, May 4, I left and headed towards 'the mountain', i.e. Show Low and Pinetop with plans to spend the night at Hawley Lake. As I said, been camping there for over 40 years now, so it is now almost a ritual to go there whenever in Arizona. It on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation and lives up around 8000' in elevation or so. Here is another shot of the road to Promontory Butte on the way out:






I ended up pretty much just passing through Pinetop and such, only stopping for some supplies, gas and camping permit at Lone Pine (now Hon-Dah). Decided to swing down through Upper Log Camp and pass by the memorial to Tenny Gatewood, an Apache Tribal Police officer who lost his life over a twelve pack of beer. Pretty sad since my only encounter with him was pretty fair. I was camping at Hawley Lake (of course) back in 1996 and he came around to check permits. Seemed I had 'forgotten' to get mine this time. He said, "Well, head over to the store and have them backdate your permit and pay what you owe". He could have done a whole lot worse. I have heard some stories.


Ok, enough of my life story. They have paved some of the road to Upper Log, but ahhh, dirt finally:






Upper Log camp is along the north fork of the white river, here I am crossing the bridge:






Up past Upper Log, along Slide Creek road:






Tenny Gatewood's memorial:






Another weak attempt at an obligitory flower pic:






Hawley lake sign. To the left the cabins, to the right the campgrounds. I took the right. Seems like more pavement here than last time two years ago:









Nosed into my traditional family camp site, but this part of the campground seems to have become more popular on my last two visits:






But my mark is still there:






I ended up a little ways south and found a campsite without any neighbors:









This night was special to me so I did a bit of feasting. Baked beans, beer brats, and bacon wrapped filet mignon:




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The next day Monday, May 5, I decided I liked it so much, I was going to stay another night. I headed over to the Hawley Lake store for more supplies and such, but it was closed. Sign said the store had moved to the boat launch/rental place across the road. That was all boarded up too. Oh well, love the aspens, this is on the way back to the campground side of the lake:






The huge meadow that I love across from the campground (but it is always much better in late summer; greener and tons of wildflowers):






Since the store was closed I went back to Indian Pine (Hon-Dah) to re-supply. Blah blah shot along AZ 473:




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