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AZBillyBoy

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Everything posted by AZBillyBoy

  1. your point? let's don't go somewhere we shouldn't with this thread.
  2. I haven't figured out the rationale for which roads get "fixed" and which ones do not. With the current "Travel Management Plan" running through all the Forests like a wildfire, I was surprised the Tonto opted to leave FR 44 open. It did sustain damage from the Cave Creek fire but it is still in service. The Tonto does do repair work on some roads but I don't get their logic there either. This year they did work on FR 677. That was a waste of manpower since it was in pretty good shape and required very little repairs. That made me wonder if the Tonto plans on working on FR 44 next year. They normally do their road maintenance in the Spring. FR 677 is next to FR 44 so we will see. They already have done FR 9014 - another waste since it is on the muddy clay dirt common to the AF Monument. That road work was obliterated by last summer's monsoons. Fish and Game told me that one year the Tonto came in on FR 44 East and went all the way down to Bishop Spring. I would loved to have seen them do that; esp. dragging any big equipment through the riparian areas along that route. Very tight for anything big like a dozer or grader. They built a reroute down to the creek (the current switch back section). The goal was to fix the windmill at the Spring. After all that prep work, they took all their toys and went home without finishing the job! They also did FR 269 down to the Sheep Bridge (last year) and this year did 269 from the AF boundary all the way to the 24 junction. Keep in mind this is only in the Bloody Basin area. I have no clue what they are doing anywhere else! I also don't know how big their Roads Department is. The Prescott NF's Roads Department is a complete joke. They have one grader and one dozer which I think are tethered to Prescott since they never venture far from that area. If FR 42 is not going to be repaired it may be scheduled to be closed. I know the Tonto is going to close FR 18, which runs down to the Verde River. I think there's a thread on it somewhere in this forum. I think the biggest reason they get away with closing a lot of roads is because the Offroad Community doesn't SPEAK UP enough!!! LOL They won't "commission" anyone like me because there aren't any people stepping forward and volunteering! I am the only one in the Tonto - they had no clue what I was proposing until I took a ranger out in the field and showed them what I did. BTW most offroaders DON'T like what I do. The casual forest visitors and hunters are the ones who appreciate my sometimes seemingly suicidal road work efforts.
  3. i doubt if it will be this season because i have so much work to do there. i do want to get to the top because according to what i read there used to be a Native settlement on top! what a view that must have been!
  4. it's easy to get to. given that fact i am surprised it is in such good condition.
  5. There three buildings. The cottage, a genuine one-holer (outhouse) and a feed building at the corral. A windmill and flagpole are also there.
  6. I am not saying it is there BUT when (if) you go inside there are TONS of rodent droppings all over the place. The air is pretty rancid too since it is enclosed and all the windows are intact. The last time I looked inside I caught a glimpse of something scurrying into a cabinet on the wall (still there along with tables and chairs!) and then down a deep hole in the floor. "Hanta" came to my mind and the ranger I work with made the same comment. I told the FS they should fence it off rather than closing down the whole road (typical over reaction!). Being on the National Register of Historic Places make have some influence on whether it can be closed down or not.
  7. it's a very nice area. other than a ton of hunters, not too many people go there. it is recovering nicely from the fire except there are not many trees left :-(
  8. I debated about posting it because there's always the chance the wrong people will see it. Actually the FS doesn't do any upkeep on it at all. For some reason it has been left alone from vandals and other bottom feeders! I told the FS they should put a metal roof on it. Luckily it survived the CC fire which burned all around the location. There is another big cabin on 269 as you go down the switchbacks. It is stone with a tin roof. The CC fire burned right through the area and took out all the smaller buildings (all wood) but the cabin survived. It's pretty nice with two fireplaces inside!
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_Creek_Guard_Station Yes I have pictures but this way I don't have to use up my allocated storage by posting them. A real jewel worth seeing before the FS closes it down too!!! Warning: Don't go inside unless you can hold your breath or have a face mask. (Possible Hanta Virus). Otherwise it is a real beauty.
  10. Good luck with that one. (About the FS closing all the roads). I made the same argument after the Gladiator Fire. The FS said the same thing when that fire took out 18,000 acres. Last year's rains have really ruined a lot of what few roads there are in the area. The hill sides are slowly sliding down and filling in or obliterating the roads. Nature is doing the FS's job for them! (closing down access)
  11. NOAA said it rained up to .7" in some areas.
  12. Oh no it rained for sure. There are rain bands in one of the photos but they are from my cheap phone so not too good.
  13. Was working out in the area of 44 near Bishop Creek on Saturday (08/17) and lost my cloud cover around noon. Had to stop as it was tooooo hot to work any more. So I explored a little along the Creek and generally bemoaned my lack of clouds and the lack of any good storms. There was one storm to the East - maybe near the Sheep Bridge or beyond, and another North of me - Maybe near Camp Verde. Then about 2:00 things really changed. Clouds started popping out of thin area. You could actually watch them grow, get torn apart by the winds and then reform. And reform they did. The one storm to the North and the one to the East looked like they actually merged. Then they (or it?) started to grow really fast. I watched this from Bishop Creek for quite a while until it became apparent the storm was coming towards me. Mindful of being stranded at the AF River, I flew across the AF Monument and watched the one BIG storm get even bigger. I kind of hoped for a flash flood at the River but it was bone dry. I waited there for about an hour and still no water. However the storm had really grown. It stretched from the Bradshaws in an arc to the North and then around to the East. I finally headed back towards Phoenix and the storm followed me! At Table Mesa the wind was blowing so hard I could barely stand up (the "benefits" of being a lightweight). Got back to Phoenix and it finally arrived, alas more wind than anything else. But it did give me some good pictures!
  14. I am working on FR 44 right now in the vicinity of Turret Peak. Saturday I was out there quite early and around 9:00 saw a vehicle coming back on FR 1981, which is the road to the Peak. Had a very informative conversation with the early bird driver and his passenger - guess they are hunters getting ready for the upcoming season. The road to the Peak is passable in a stock 4x4. Actually the road doesn't go TO the Peak since it is in a wilderness area. The only obstacle on the road is nasty brush. I am supposed to detail that road out unless the Tonto tells me it is being decommissioned. The Peak is the most prominent landmark in the Bloody Basin area. It is easily seen from Sunset Point or Cordes Junction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Turret_Peak http://www.experience-az.com/About/arizona/history/battleofturretpeak.html
  15. It is a 7 mile loop road off of FR 269 (the Bloody Basin Road). If you enter the Tonto NF from I-17 (after crossing the AF Monument) you will come to the Tonto/AF boundary. The first road to the North after that boundary crossing is FR 677, the back way to Dugas. That is an awesome (but easy) road that drops into a riparian area right before coming out on the Dugas Road. Last summer the riparian area was ripe with water, reeds and assorted indigenous inhabitants. Next road off of BB Road is FR 36 which heads to the South. It is about 20 minutes in from the AF/Tonto border. There is a huge steel message board there as well as a locking gate (which hasn't been used in years). If you follow 36, it crosses Copper Creek and loops around to AF Road 9014, which goes South to the Brooklyn Mine or North back to the BB Road in the AF Monument. You also pass 9014 right at the AF kiosk, just before the AF/Tonto boundary. FR 36 has the Copper Creek Guard Center, a 1930s era National Register of Historic Places site. Warning: Don't go inside the building because of intensive rodent droppings (possible Hanta virus ). It is a very photo friendly site! Also off of FR 36 is FR 588, which runs down further South and crosses Copper Creek, ending up at FR 481. FR 481 starts off of 9014 south of the 36/9014 junction. 481 runs south past the intersection with 588, passes FR 593 which also connects with 9014, and splits at the Rosalie Mine. From there 481 gets rougher and squeezes through a very tight hairpin turn (a wash out that I fixed up) before ending at the Brooklyn Peak switch backs. The BP SBs are an awesome creation but unfortunately are not vehicle accessible due to a washout from the days after the CC fire. I have to see if that is repairable or not. All these roads are fairly easy and as you can see, run in a network of circles so there are many options for just exploring about. There are some Native habitats all over certain areas in this road grouping. Anyway, next after 36 is 44, which like I said is a loop road off of the BB Road. It therefore has a "west" and "east" entrance. It (west) is about 40 minutes in from the AF boundary. The West end has some pretty severe washouts which at the FS request I have worked on to prevent further deterioration. There is a nice long but not too steep but slightly off camber hill to climb, another short, steep hill to climb, then a series of neat washouts (not too hard) and hairpin turns and a couple of "U" dips. One is quite steep and reminds me of a rollercoaster ride as you dip down and then go sharply up. Not recommended for LWB vehicles, wide vehicles, or vehicles with low ground clearance. Most of the road runs over the famous "decomposed granite" (how can an inorganic compound "decompose?"). After all I have described, you come to a section that hangs on the side of a hill before dropping down to Bishop Creek. You cross this creek several times along the way. It was flowing all winter but not now. You will pass FR 585 which ends quite oddly on google earth at a large undefined object. I don't know if it is a mine or a huge washout. I haven't worked on that route yet so the brush could be invasive. It is marked where it meets 44. A fish and game ranger told me he thought it used to connect with FR 677 which I mentioned earlier. Be aware it now is a dead end road, so anyone going in has to come back out the same way. After that, 44 passes the windmill and water tank at Bishop Spring. Then comes the junction of FR 1981. That is another dead end road I haven't worked on yet. It does get you close to Turret Peak, which is THE landmark point you can see all over the region. It has history so google it. (Last big Indian battle in AZ with General Crook). Then 44 climbs out of Bishop Creek, switchbacks up a hill, and drops down to the first of two more riparian areas which are dry now. Huge trees that luckily did not burn in the fire. Plenty of shady spots. All this area is "cat" country (and I am not referring to the cat bulldozers!). You pass through a riparian area like I mentioned, by the junction of FR3159. Don't waste your time on that road. It is a short spur that goes nowhere. I don't know if I am going to work on that one or not but the brush is really bad. Another riparian area (actually a continuation of the last one) and the "decomposed granite" gives way to that UGHH Malapai Rock and clay. Very Slow driving. Bumpy as all get out (like crossing the AF Monument). The soil is like concrete until it gets wet and then it turns into a icky nasty muddy goop. You will pass the Wright Cabin site (where I saw the bear) and finally end up back on BB Road. Just East of that point the BB Road takes that awesome switch back drop down to Bloody Basin itself. Across from 44 is FR 58. A LOOOONNNNGGGGG road that dead ends at a range shack. Unless you like total isolation, bears and cats, I would skip it. There are remains of an old cabin about a mile in from the junction of 44. But 58 is a dead ender so if you do go in, you will have to come back the same way. If you google FR 44 you may find a video about some guy driving from the 44/3159 junction to the 44(East)/BB junction. It's all over the internet. It has been edited down to about 10 minutes because that drive, while not long, takes more than 10 minutes.... Also if you put in the right key words you might find an Expedition Portal write up about 44. It was done some years ago. Had a variety of vehicles including some X-Cab Yotas. They made it through but a vehicle that long and low (the X Cabs are lower than the standard cabs!) might drag in some places. I did see a big Ford Triton pickup go through last fall but he told me he was dragging in a lot of places. I can believe that! Also an old Rodeo did it but he crushed his tail pipe - probably on the "U" dips. FR 44 is all signed and marked for route finding. All branch roads off 44 are marked as well. FRs 588, 593, 36, and 481 are all marked as well. Because I did that in June. The signs are all fresh and shiny! Please observe "Tread Lightly" and remember if your wheels are spinning, you are NOT in control of your vehicle. Oh yes: Tonto NF Roads use the same base numbers as in the AF Monument EXCEPT the AF adds a "9" or a "9" and a "0" to the Tonto number. So Tonto FR 269 becomes AF 9269 Tonto 14 becomes AF 9014 Just to confuse people I guess.... And the AF has more roads than I ever saw in my life! They must have spent a million dollars on the carsonite strips and the numbers alone!
  16. I hope I see him again on Saturday but I bet this chance encounter was my one in a million opportunity. Still there's a lot of cats out there. More than enff to soil a whole package of my Depends!!! The whole region there is crawling with critters. I think it is because the area is recovering from the CC fire + not a lot of "hoomin" intruders
  17. Ha ha ha that place is so desolate it makes isolated look over populated. not even any cell service!
  18. it's bearly possible that the bear might drink your beer
  19. I was out today again working on FR 44 in the Tonto. On the West entrance I saw more tracks from my unknown friend. I moved over to the East entrance off FR 269 (Bloody Basin Road) and guess who I ran into? Not very big. Had red tags in his ears. Shot right up the tree he was hanging out under when I started up my power tools. Smokey Bear Jr.
  20. he should thank me for clearing the road for him. he walks right down the middle of it every week. i don't appreciate him pooping in the road though. i mean i left him a porta potty.... what else does he NEED?
  21. how do they get cut loose? is that natural or is man interfering? that would make him/her pretty hungry then. maybe looking for a tempting snack
  22. That's what I am afraid of. Actually the mountain lions scare me more. But I usually make a lot of noise with all my power tools. I met a fish and game guy at the start of spring and he told me about a guy staying in the shack at the end of FR 58, which is a long dead end road to nowhere (just across from the East entrance to 44). Anyway a bear kept pestering him so he left!
  23. Okay here's what on found on the internets.... specifically wikipedia everyone's source for editable news and sometimes misinformation. I see my borrowed images are copyrighted but since this discussion lacks a profit intent I think its okay under that fair use provision.... From the images I saw on google, if it is a bear it is a very small one. If so, then where's mommy?
  24. Look at the ends of the toes. Aren't those claw marks?
  25. Update. I was out in the same location working today and finally found some prints. Whatever it is sure likes walking right down FR 44 because I followed the track for quite a ways,
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