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Posts posted by AZBillyBoy

  1. Wow. This Plan C will surprise a lot of people including Fish & Game and others. I was told there were not going to be many closures in the tiny section I volunteer for. Ha! That "Motorized Trail" tag is the kiss of death for any road.


    My reply to their plan is as follows. If you are a big quad/ATV rider you won't like my comments and may want to skip my reply completely.





    As I review this proposal it becomes readily obvious it is a complete disaster for Forest visitors. Working as a volunteer in the Northwest section of the Cave Creek Ranger District, I am seeing the proposed elimination of the following routes:


    FR 605

    FR 3157

    FR 557

    FR 587

    FR 595

    FR 391

    FR 610

    FR 611

    FR 1981

    FR 585

    FR 3159

    FR 481 south of the Rosalie Mine


    Closure of part of FR 36 to the Copper Creek Guard Station, a NHR site.


    Technically many of these roads would be decommissioned to Motorized Trail status which would then strictly limit their use to hunters only. It would also deny access to many historic and Native sights. Effectively, unless a Forest visitor is a hunter, most of the area would become roadless under this plan.


    Currently all of these roads are in use and passable by any four wheel drive or high clearance two wheel drive vehicle. Of course the use of any Forest road should always be tempered by the skill of the vehicle operator.

    I can see no justification for closing (or downgrading) all of these routes.


    Forest Road 390 is listed as being proposed for declassification to Motorized use only yet that road does not even exist. I stage for volunteer work on the West end of Forest Road 44 at the "terminus" of Forest Road 390 and it isn't there! Trust me! I know what I am talking about.


    Forest Road 390 is scheduled for closure (downgraded) yet it is a viable and used road.


    As for the others:


    Forest Roads 610 and 611 access the Agua Fria National Monument and significant cultural sites there.


    Forest Road 1981 accesses Turret Peak, the location of which has been dropped from your current official Forest map.


    Forest Road 481 accesses Brooklyn Peak and is in need of repair South of the Rosalie Mine but it is viable (The route suffered heavy damage after the Cave Creek Fire).


    Other numerous roads including FR 605, 557, 585, 3159, 399 are all used by Ranchers and Fish & Game personnel. I was recently asked by Fish & Game if I had plans to debrush FR 605. The initial answer was "yes" however this proposed plan leaves that in doubt.


    This section of the Tonto does not see a lot of visitors or abuse by those who do travel through the area. Most of the roads that suffered significant damage from erosion after the Cave Creek fire have been repaired by the Forest Service. Only a few still need some reworking.


    It must also be realized that closing (or downgrading status, which has the same effect) all of these roads will severely impact access in case of fire suppression. A common meme heard in every major forest fire is officials bemoaning lack of access in time of such need. Case closed on that argument!


    It would make much more sense to limit OHV (quad) access to a lot of areas since this type of transport has to be the most destructive of all motorized vehicles. Likewise quad operators tend to be at the upper end of the scale when it comes to irresponsible actions including traveling cross-country.


    I am curious if anyone from the Tonto main office has actually inventoried (visited) all of these roads? It might be enlightening to see them first hand before making broad sweeping decisions.


    Finally, one point of order. The proposed plan C has added Alpha-Numeric routes to the Tonto. A bad idea. This is a significant cost increase for the Forest because now the Agency will have to stock dual lettering books (although the folks at Rock Art will love it).


    The prudent plan, as currently used in the sector under discussion, would be to stay with a Numeric numbering system only.


    Should you have any questions about the roads in this area please do not hesitate to contact me. I have been working on all of them for over 2 years and know the area (and the roads) quite well.


    Maybe this is the time for the Tonto to make a bigger push for volunteerism by the public. When I first applied to the Forest for this activity, the nature of my proposed volunteerism was completely unknown to the Service. Two years later I would like to think that my efforts have made the area much more amenable and visitor friendly. If this type of volunteer work were expanded across the Forest, it would leave a positive impact for the land.


    Thank you for your time

  2. On edit I have been looking at google earth and it looks like the current mining operation at Gilette has diverted traffic on the old AZCO road. Still passable but of course they have closed Gilette to public access. I see also the big sand and gravel operation that used to be just downstream from Gilette is also gone. Unless they are the new operators at Gilette.


    I have followed the road on GE to the AZCO turn off. To go to Tip Top you turn left at the corral. I know "left" isn't a direction but if anyone gets to that location they'll understand what I mean. I also see they have hauled all the mining equipment out of the AZCO sight. In 2006 I went there and it was quite a sight! Lots of current era mining gear just abandoned. The "tweakers" must have been there because all the copper wire was missing from the miles of conduits! I am now on GE to the point where the road to Tip Top splits with the side road to the top of Williams Mesa. That is one road I would LOVE to try (albeit probably in someone else's vehicle!)


    I plan on tracking the road down to the bottom of the canyon to see if it is still possible to go back out to the Lake entrance.

  3. Thanks Larry for the insight to the area. Gonna start diggin through the Google results.


    AZBillyBoy I started at the I17 and Table Mesa exit. It's Forrest Road 9999. It's the road that gets you to Lower and Upper Terminator.



    I never heard of Forest Road 9999 since that area is either private, BLM or State Land Trust. I was wondering about the correct way to get there from I-17 since the County has annexed the upper level where Table Mesa Road runs into the Lake.


    You used to be able to keep going on Table Mesa road (West) and skirt the edge of the Lake, up some white bluffs, then keep going until you ended up at Cow Creek Road or whatever it's called which is the back way to Crown King.


    Anyway, before that, where Table Mesa Road meets the Lake, there used to be a road heading north. It ran along a ridge before dropping down into "Cottonwood Canyon" (how often is that named used in this state?)


    That road, which crossed some little creek about five or six times, intersected with the "other" way from Table Mesa/I-17 - that being the road by Gilette. The Gilette road ran straight to the old AZCO/Mica Mule Mine site. Just before arriving at that site, there was another road that turned as it climbed around the back side of Williams Mesa.


    Williams Mesa is the prominent feature in that area. Kind of like Turret Peak over near Bloody Basin. One you know where it is, you always know where you are.


    On the summit up from AZCO, before you drop down into Cottonwood Canyon, there is another road (used to be anyway) that goes up to the top of Williams Mesa. I never had the nerve to try it but I could see others had. I imagine getting to the top of Williams Mesa would be quite a feat and the view must be awesome.


    Tip Top was the mine site and Gilette was the mill for that mine. I can't imagine hauling ore that far with the primitive equipment and roads they had back then.


    I have a 1912 map of Arizona and it shows a "highway" running from Phoenix north past Tip Top, Columbia and up to Crown King. If you have ever been out to Horsethief Basin, the top end of that road is (was) clearly visible to the South. I don't know what the Lane Fire might have done to that area.


    That section of the old road is now off limits to vehicles because it is in a wilderness area.


    If you explore around Tip Top, which was listed for sale on the internet at one time (as was Gilette)


    (I found this link for Tip Top. It is an older one)



    you will find many hidden treasures (Unless they have ben vandalized). I can't see all the pictures in this thread at work because our net filter blocks them :mad: but it looks like one is of the Beer Hall/Brewery. Unfortunately troglodytes burned the wood on the old tin roof for camp fires which has exposed the adobe to weathering. There used to be a standing building on your right when you first came into town. The same trogs knocked it down :mad::mad: destroying an excellent example of the concrete work made with local sand and rock. Anyway, at that building site is an offshoot road that goes up a quite steep hill behind the old ruins. There may or may not be a locked gate there. The road may or may not be passable. It used to end (actually in went further but only for the daring) at a huge head frame and shaft that guys used to rappel down :eek:


    Also further into town are old ruins of miner's quarters. They are very easy to miss because they look a lot like old Native ruins on the Agua Fria. They are simple rock walls about 2-3' tall and no more than 3 x 6' in floor size. The miners used to sleep there. I think they used make shift canvas or wood coverings to keep the sun off. There are quite a few of them and very easy to overlook.


    There also used to be a huge steel wheel that was part of some of the mining machinery. The big spoke kind of wheel. I bet it weighed a lot! Buried in some ruins on the side of the road.


    Tip Top (and Gilette) were the first real ghost towns I ever saw, way back in the 1970s. I drove to Tip Top in a Chevy Luv 2wd the first time! :D Unfortunately the only thing that has changed over the intervening lustrums




    is the damage done be careless visitors. And Gilette has suffered far worse since it is easier to find.


    Sorry about the long post!

  4. Did you go by Gilette to get there or down to the Lake and in that way? There used to be those two ways to get to Tip Top but I heard the Lake access was fenced off. I also heard there was some hassles going down the old (standard) Mica Mule Mine/AZCO road by Gilette. Someone was mining there and playing "king of the hill" by closing the road.

  5. You make a lot of good points in your post. I think the big problem is there is a inherent sense of (false) security with all the techno baubles people have today. Cell phones are very unreliable in the outback. Even if there IS service, "who you gonna call?" GPS? I have seen so many people blindly following their GPS and going completely in the wrong direction! Or like the Fed Ex dual trailer drivers who tried to follow the "Old Stage Road" along I-17 when the freeway was closed during an accident.


    "It's on my map!" the driver said as he tried to turn around on a road barely wide enough for a Jeep or standard sized pickup. That "road" was a goat trail; fodder for people like us but hardly suitable for an eighteen wheeler. Yet because it showed up on a driver's GPS, he blindly followed it !!!!


    The complexity of today's vehicles don't make problematic situations any friendlier. Beyond changing a tire or belt (and even those can be pretty tough), most vehicle repairs are out of the realm of most people.


    That aside, there is the issue of common sense. It seems to be an unused extra add-on option for most people. Bad drivers on pavement are bad drivers X10000 off road. Charging into a rock face to climb over it, or getting a running start to pull someone out of a mud hole are some of the many recipes for disaster.


    Going with a group is nice but not always an option. In the end a good set of hiking boots is probably the most important item to carry off road.

  6. Since I am always in places that would really be bad if my truck broke down I have tried to come up with a plan for that and so far it has eluded me. Cell phone service is spotty and if I see one or two people in a day that's really a big deal. Once there was a Chevy that had broken down on Bloody Basin Road just inside the Tonto. It was a pretty nice truck, had out of state plates, and it sat there for weeks before it finally disappeared.


    I wondered what my Insurance company would do. They obviously would have an interest in recovering a broken down vehicle otherwise they would have to pay out for total loss. Anyone ever try going that route for vehicle recovery? Or have an offroad recovery service haul your rig out and then send the Insurance company the bill?


    Until I come up with a plan, I'll just keep my fingers crossed. :eek:


    Oh yeah last year I was working on 44 (I may have told this before) and a couple came by in their Jeep. I was using a power tool and let it idle while I was talking. I explained to them that sometimes it was hard to (or would not) restart so that's why I left it running. They told me they had the same problem and the look on my face must have been priceless. They told me that sometimes when they shut the vehicle off, it would not restart (this was a very new rig!). Of course my first thought was WTF are you out HERE? It gets even better. They weren't leaving on 44; they were going down to explore Bishop Creek. How exactly they were going to do that I did not ask.... Did they let their Jeep idle while they went poking around? About three hours later they came back and waved at me as they passed on by. I know if my truck even burped in town, I would have someone working on it before I took a trip 75 miles out to the middle of nowhere.


    Maybe we could start a thread about the stupid things you have seen people do while four wheeling. I don't mean bad driving or showing off for the Darwin Awards. I mean things like taking the back road to CK with no spare tire. Oh boy I know two really good stories there! Or being out at Tip Top in the summer with water pouring our of the radiator ("It always does that!") etc.....

  7. As for tires, I am a late learner on the sad reality that most of our big names have moved overseas. I guess I thought in my idealistic mind that at least one industry was still native. I work in the graphics field and even our paper is coming - more and more - from overseas. Like we have a tree shortage?


    As for tires, I used BFG Mudders for years. I flirted with others like the Big O Mudder - the 7,000 mile tire - and Firestone Destination Mudders - where whole blocks of tread just tear right out. Not even on particularly tough roads. I bought my first Hankooks at Purcells and I think I b!tched about that somewhere here in this forum. They beat Discount's price by a small bit but BOY do you ever pay for it after that!


    I wanted something that would not chunk out ( or as I have seen it called, "rock rash") so quickly. Since my Tacoma is used only for my offroad forays, any tire I use has a pretty short life. I was out working on FR 89 about five years ago and a whole gaggle (flock? herd? covey?) of trucks went by and about half of them had Hankooks. So I decided to try them out. Rather risky since they were cheaper than the BFGs and every time I have gone the cheaper route it has been a disaster. This time I "chose wisely."


  8. I have given up on trying to buy non-Chinese. I mean when I got my a/c rebuilt I got an American made compressor. Oh really? Assembled in the U.S. from components made in China! I figure if I don't die from the tainted plastic or cheap steel, the GMOs in the food, or the radioactive fish in the oceans, then I might actually die of old age!

  9. I like the hankooks, but while researching, it looks like they're made in China, kind of a bummer. Nothing I ever got from China lasts.. But AZbillyboy seems to have good luck so it's a hard decision.



    mine say KoReA. Nothing from China lasts? Really? :o That's pretty much anything nowadays

  10. An update. I went out on 09/14 and was curious to see what damage the big storms from the previous week might have left.


    From the I-17/Bloody Basin Road (FR 269/AF 9269) eastward to the top of the beginning of the flat Agua Fria plain there was evidence of a lot of water damage from the rains.


    The biggest surprise was at the AF River crossing, where Old Man River left a big deposit of sand. I went over it in the darkness despite my KCs it was unnerving. Someone must have dug the passage through because the picture shows a big sand berm! The County will eventually meander out there for their Bicentennial grading and remove all the evidence! But for now it sure is an impressive display of how much water must have run through that location. It was only a trickle when I passed by!




    Across the AF plain the road had been very muddy but now it was dry and returning to it's semi-concrete state, complete with a lot of new ruts.


    The day was pretty decent. Not a lot of clouds until around noon when things started to "pop." All of this with only a 30% chance of rain. I was out working on 44 again and I got to catch a lot of good shots of what is probably the last decent storm of the Monsoon season :(


    The best pics I think are a series charting a storm growing over Turret Peak.






    The Monsoon season is the best for really neat weather shots. I always hate to see it go. The winter storms are such a drag. Plus it's always cold !!!! and dreary! When I got back out to I-17 there was a big storm north of me dropping lots of rain and massive lightning shots in the direction of Mayer.


    A P.S. from earlier. The week prior I was leaving and at 4:30 found myself at the junction of FR 269 and FR 44 (East). The radio was barking about TWO traffic wrecks on I-17 so I opted to go the long way around through Seven Springs. I figured it would give me some useful info about travel times in case I ever got stuck on the wrong side of the river after a rainfall.


    Travel time from the above location to the beginning of permanent pavement north of Carefree: 4:30 pm to 7:00.


    FYI it takes about 45 mins or maybe an hour (travel times vary according to how much carnage you want to inflict on your rig) to get from FR 44 E to the Agua Fria River. If you were to make that transit time only to find out the River was not fordable, you would then have to go back the way you came (another 45 mins - 1 hour) and then add the 2.5 hours to Carefree. So it could be along day!


    And I went right by Humboldt Mtn. I read about it here. Looks like a big space pod. Not much time to explore because I was running against sunset.

  11. Yeah that was the cold overcast day when I was at the Goat Ranch. I was getting ready to leave because the weather was really going south. And then I heard the rumble of a bunch of vehicles coming and it was your group. That really turned out to be a spectacular day. After you guys left, the weather did go south big time so I left. But as I was driving along the ridge of 89 I got to see a spectacular white out condition to the West in Bear Creek. The visibility must have been near 0. White powdery snow coming down like crazy.


    I stopped at the Swastika Mine and another guy was there in his big blazer. His whole family was checking out the cabin and the ruins. It REALLY got cold then so I definitely left for warmer spots.


    Funny thing is all these people were out there on the worst day of the year and on so many really nice days no one ever passed through!


    Now the saddest thing is that all of those sites are gone now. The Swastika cabin was destroyed in the fire and there's a mini-grand canyon in its place. The one mine shaft next to the cabin is buried under feet of rock. The old pickup with the pizza sign on the cab and the big boulder embedded in it is also gone. Washed away to who knows where. And 89 is pretty much in ruins all through the burn area.

  12. Update to this thread.


    Went out yesterday (09/02) and worked down near Bishop Creek all day. Around 10 big clouds popped up and kept the sun off my head and this lasted until around 2 when bright blue sky was dominant.


    I noticed clouds reforming around 3 and by then I was ready to quit anyway. So I casually meandered back to the 44E/269 junction when I noticed a BIG storm developing East, maybe near the Sheep Bridge or even further. I casually moved westward thinking I could easily outdrive it. I got to a high point on 269 and took some neat shots of the storm










    Oh yeah. Only one other vehicle was out there. Some hardy soul in a Jeep was heading East INTO the storm. Wonder if he made it ok.




    I kept going Westward, stopping at 44 West/269 to see what was happening behind me. The storm was getting closer. Okay no worry because I still thought if I kept driving I could easily outrun it. So I headed towards the AF River. It started raining lightly. I looked in the rearview mirror. EEK!!! It was not only following me, it was getting closer!! So I drove faster. Can't go very fast because that road is SOOOO bad. I kept looking in the mirror and over my shoulder and it was still gaining on me. Almost exactly like last year.


    I started thinking about this




    LOL It's from "The Mummy" so if you want, skip it. But I was looking to see if there was a face in the clouds as it gained on me!!!! Then right before I started down the hill to the big ranch and the river crossing, it made a 90 degree turn and went north!!!!


    The AF River crossing looked like this





    Quite a change from two days ago! As I got out to I-17, I looked back and saw ANOTHER storm brewing back east. Looks like a mushroom cloud. Yes, there's Turret Peak framed in the photo as well




    And finally when I got out to I-17, I got a nice surprise. i was tempted to go back and look for the proverbial pot of gold because I could sure use it!



  13. Wow it looks so easy but so does putting together that %(*& Ikea stuff until I have to actually do it!!!! :) Guess I would always opt for the long way around. I watched those Jeeps in the 2nd video and I think my front end would be too far underwater for my taste but I don't have much lift in the front end. It's all in the back because of the weight I carry around. (Not MY weight but the weight of the stuff I haul with me!). At least if I take the long way I can wait until sunset and fire up my KCs!!

  14. That Oro Belle ledge was very scary. You are so right about the possibility of falling off the edge. I always hugged the inside wall. It was particularly tough because after you crested it, there was a dip on the other side. I knew some guys from the Bronco club took an air compressor down there and hammered away on it one time to try and get rid of it. I always had issues in my Nissan going over it. Even with the super deluxe Nissan competition limited slip diff! Of course it was a 5 speed. When I got the Tacoma with the Lockrite and auto tranny I just read a book while slowly inching my way over it!! :)


    I guess I will never cross at that Sheep Bridge location. It scares the ---- out of me just looking at it. There is another location downstream where a crossing can be made and I think it's a lot easier but trying to find anything there is difficult. When I was there a guy was living there with his pop-up camper. He showed me where the downstream crossing is but I know I'd never be able to find it again. The Bridge is not far from Carefree. I was surprised how far south you drop if taking the 269 (Blood Basin) road in.


    Well I got the Tacoma all cleaned up today so I can go out tomorrow and get it dirty again. My neighbors think I am crazy when I wash it and then go out the next day! But half of them don't have cars and the other half all have $50 cars with $1000 stereos in them. :rolleyes:



    Oh yeah I forgot. I ran into the famous Yavapai County Search and Rescue one day. They were running the CK trail. It was at the ledge. After trying for about an hour to go over it, they all backed down and let me pass on by! I hope I don't need them to come looking for me!!! :o

  15. Really? The water looks deep outside the area with the tan shading. And the tree branches sticking out. I assume you can go by them? But there's a sandy incline at the top of the picture. Would work if you were going from top to bottom but going the other way I could see my mudders burying me! See? **cluck cluck** I am too timid to do any real four wheeling! I am surprised I ever did all of FR 44 !!!!


    Which makes me ask about my experience yesterday. When I got to the Agua Fria crossing, besides the high water I saw a tree had been toppled on the far side of the crossing. It was about as thick as your arm and draping over the road at about a 45 degree angle. It was situated so that you would contact it right after pulling out of the water.


    So I have a Home Depot showroom in the back of my truck. Plenty of things to cut with. However there was no way to cut it before crossing the River. So I asked the couple of people who were also studying making the crossing and they said "You just 'power through it.'" ??? And break my KCs or dent the top of the cab or something? I love the reasoning! It was solved when the Volvo riders cut it down for us. I think they were going to try running the crossing but wisely did not.


    LOL they had the Volvo in chains - tire chains! for their trip across the AF Monument with all the mud! Bet that went really well on the tires!


    I saw another "power though it" maneuver on the CK Trail years ago at the infamous Oro Belle ledge. Some guy in a Dakota said that the best thing to do to get over that obstacle was to "power over it." So he charged it and ran smack into it. Cracked the valance, broke those aux lights at the bottom, and I bet probably toasted some AC lines since they're probably tucked behind that plastic front end. Didn't climb over it at all. Just created a $6000 repair bill!

  16. Yes you are correct. It is the paved but unbridged crossing on the bloody basin road about 5 miles or so in from I-17. Of course the hunters tried to goad me into crossing but I already took my testosterone pills and didn't fall for that ruse. Plus when I got there I was running with my KCs on so it wasn't even daylight yet! One of them kept telling the water was going down because he had a marker and could see the decline. Of course he didn't share that "marker" with anyone else. LOL when I went across I painted a spot on a plant nearby as a reference, although now I have a much better one with the seam in the pavement.


    Last year about this time I was on the same road over by the big hill that switchbacks down to 24. I climbed that hill and stopped to look back at the view. I was in my own little universe as usual and when I got out and looked back I saw this




    It was HUGE and worse yet it followed me all the way across the AF Monument. When I got down to the river it was rolling with water much like yesterday. It was dry when I went in earlier that day. So I thought I was going to have to go back through the microburst to take the long way around when a truck load of Natives crossed in their Dakota. I took the option to do the same and it obviously worked out okay.


    The big thing is to keep moving but don't go too fast, like yokels used to do down at the AF Gilette crossing. They would fly into the water and drown out. THEN the water can be really bad as it seeps into everything. I used to cross there with water half way up my doors! That's what freaked me out about the lifted Jeep that stopped in the middle yesterday! At least his engine kept running so I doubt if anything bad happened. The water yesterday was to the top of my (wheels 31" tires). Ha I read in an offroad mag once that the top of the HUBS is as high as should be attempted!


    And I know now why they call my tires "mudders." They looked like fudgesicles after crossing the AF. But the second river crossing cleaned most of that out. Then it rained like crazy on the final exit to I-17 so there was more junk all over the place. But on the freeway I lucked out and got a really good rain and so it all got washed away.


    The Sheep Bridge? Wow I would be very leery of crossing anywhere there. Last year i went down there in July and saw where guys crossed all the time.





    Would YOU cross there????? Not me. No way EVER!!!!

  17. IT looked worse than it was. Coupled with the fact that I am a COWARD when it comes to water snow or ice. Funny thing is later after the first group, a second trio of all black Jeeps came through.


    Two were stock and one was lifted. I talked to them and told them what I had seen so far. The first guy went through and water was flying everywhere. He almost fell off the edge of the concrete pad (the pavement) that crosses the river.


    The second Jeep was driven by a girl. I asked her if she had it in 4x and she asked "What's that?" LOL After showing her what that lever is for, she shifted and drove through no problem.


    The last Jeep was the lifted one and he got out in the middle and stalled. Engine racing but going nowhere. At least the engine didn't die because I shudder at the thought of water entering through the tail pipe. He got it going again and went on across.


    Muddy water always scares me. You don't know what's underneath you. At least there's pavement here.


    At the AF crossing near Gilette it was really sandy and soft and the water would get quite deep. That's where I started turning side ways (floating!) back in the 80's. There is (was?) an easier place to cross just down stream and after that, it was the preferred route!


    The weather has fooled me many times out there. Like you I did not want to sleep in my truck - gives me a pretzel feeling because it's the older Tacoma and quite ** cozy ** in the cab. And losing it in the middle of the River is not even thinkable. That would have left taking the LONG way back around to Cave Creek - assuming there was no other wash out or other obstacle. As it turned out the Saturday storm was all bark and no bite but made nice pictures! But the one Friday night and the one from last Sunday must have been really huge!

  18. I arrived at the AF River crossing on the Bloody Basin Road before daylight this morning (08/31) and was greeted by the sight of an angry river rolling by. Two quads loaded with hunters were debating about crossing.


    As light broke, two people approached from the other side of the crossing. They had gone in Friday before the flow started (in a Volvo station wagon) and were trying to get back home. One of them walked across the river and it measured up to his knees which would have been about 20-24" (he was a lot taller than me).


    The current did not appear to be too swift. Just ugly brown water. Pictures show the river as I found it in the morning and upon return in mid afternoon. There's a Gatorade bottle in the afternoon photo (#03) showing the high point of the river overnight.






    One of the hunters told me that last Sunday someone in a Tacoma tried to cross when the river was running at almost shoulder depth. needless to say he didn't make it and the vehicle died in mid crossing.


    As we debated crossing the river a convoy of vehicles showed up and were the first to go through.










    After everyone left I took a drink of courage and went across. It was actually easy but I haven't done that since the Agua Fria/Gillete days when my truck started to float sideways (different truck than my Tacoma!). The biggest mistake everyone makes (including me) is going too fast. On my return trip I went very slowly and it was much easier.


    Crossing the AF Monument was like a non stop skid through mud. That ugly brown clay that is harder than concrete when it's dry had turned to goo.


    I got out to FR 44 and was checking on my work there. As the afternoon wore on I noticed some white cloud tops

    popping over a ridge where i was working. I went up to see what was going on and WOW another big storm North of my location. I didn't want to get stuck so I FLEW (for me anyways) back across the AF Monument and got back down to the river. It had receded a lot and this crossing was much easier (Photo 03).


    I got to sit at the river (on the safe side!) and watch as a massive monsoon passed overhead. More bark than bite but it sure got dark and quite cool. The river didn't change at all.


    I have located a "high water mark" ( it's actually a seam in the pavement) so from now on when the river is up I know the limit of the water height that I will cross. There was considerable evidence of much higher water flowing through overnight. I would guess the river might have been 10' deep (or more) at that location.


    Pictures of the storm














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