Sunday, July 15, 2012

Prescott-Jerome-Alpine Trip 2012

Last weekend my dad and I took Friday off work and rode up to Prescott, AZ.  We stayed overnight at my uncle's house, and the next day the three of took off on a day trip through Jerome, Payson, Show Low and over to Alpine where we stayed the night at my dad's cabin.

View Prescott-Alpine 2012 in a larger map

Here's the bike on Friday morning. Wanted to give a picture of the new DrySpec bag strapped down.  I have a tent bag from the old Speedpack bag strapped to the top.  No tent, just my bike cover in case I felt the need to cover Bonnie from the elements.  Overall I'm very happy with how the bag handled on the trip.  Easy on and off, and I ended up going through a few rain storms.  Everything inside stayed nice and dry!
It's been hot and muggy here lately, so my dad and I wanted to get an early start before temperatures really got going.  He arrived at 7am, it was going to be 6am but someone changed the time at the last minute.  My dad got the new headlights installed on the Tiger.
After saying my goodbyes to Kiri, and a quick final picture, we were on our way.
First stop was Gila Bend, AZ.  My dad wanted to avoid going through Phoenix so we headed north and west out of town.  Gila Bend sits southwest of Phoenix and you always pass through town if you happen to be going to San Diego from Tucson.  You'll notice my dads soft top case is strapped down to where the "real" hard top case belongs.  This wasn't really the best place for it as it left a little bit of movement.  Once we made it to Prescott we figured it's really meant to be strapped down over the passenger seat.  New bike, we're still working out where/how all the do-dads go.
If you're ever in Gila Bend, there are Shell stations gas on each side of town.  Both sell great nick knacks for your yard.  Who can turn down a T-Rex lawn ornament?
From Gila Bend we headed north on Old US Hwy 80.  There's a quicker route north on Hwy 85, but I wanted to show my dad the Gillespie bridge and dam.  Arizona is celebrating 100 years as a state this year, and they just recently finished a road project, at this location, that was dedicated to the celebration. They installed a small vistors segment and strengthened the bridge..even though it still looks ancient.  We pulled over to check it out.
I passed through this area a little over a year ago and none of this visitors segment existed.  Brand spanking new!
In 1993 the state had some record flooding and the dam failed.  It's the worst dam failure in state history and I don't believe they have any plans of repairing it.
The bridge survived the flooding and was just recently strengthened.  Although it doesn't really show:)
It was a little muggy so after a few pictures we got back on our way.
We stopped for gas in Wickenburg, and I was getting pretty hungry.  I was going to grab a burger at the gas station but my dad mentioned that he knew of a road side restaurant a few miles north of town. So we made our way to the Arrowhead Bar and Grill, just at the base of some rather steep mountains.  It was getting pretty hot at this point, so being able to park the bikes in some shade and cool down with a burger and soda was just what I needed.  The owners were very friendly and let us use their wireless network to check for any storms in the area.
After lunch we climbed into some higher elevation and finally reached Prescott.  We had to kill some time before my uncle got off work so we headed east out of town and visited Lynx Lake.
We pulled into the south shore parking lot to see how many people we're trying to stay cool on a Friday afternoon.
There were quite a few people out on kayaks and paddle boats.  Looked like fun, I wish I had a kayak handy.
As we were taking pictures a nice woman came up and offered to take our picture.  My dad and I need to work on having unique poses next time.
We finally headed over to my uncle's house.  We knew we had the right place as his bike was parked outside ready to go for tomorrows ride.  My uncle has three bikes, this is the '06 soft tail.
I can't remember the year of this one.
And finally this one which has and old shovelhead engine.

My uncle is kind of a gear head.  His current project is my dad's old pickup truck from the seventies.  My family spent our summer vacations tooling around the country with this truck, first with a camper shell on the back, and finally towing a fifth wheel.  My dad decided to sell it to a friend of my uncle, and then my uncle decided to buy it back from his friend.  Now he's working on getting it back into shape.  He mentioned something about handing it down to me once he's gone _IF_ I make a donation to the restoration project.  I replied by asking who's getting the shovel head:)
This is the view from my uncles garage.  Talk about a nice view to work on your gear.
Oh by the way, here is my uncle and his cat Sweet pea.
And his pug Tucker.  Kiri said this picture makes him look like he's only got three legs.  Don't worry it's just the angle of the shot.  He's got all his paws.  He's sad because he has to stay behind.
After a nice evening of catching up, we all hit the hay and were ready to go the next morning.
Our first stop was Jerome, AZ.  An old mining town with a rich history.  This place is a local hangout for bikers.  If you get the chance to ride near here, please make sure to stop.  You won't be disappointed.  On a side note, we came into town on highway 89a.  My uncle told me of a guy who sits out above town every day and takes pictures of bikers as they ride in.  He then sells these photos online.  His website is: .  Check it out, as it shows some of the neat scenery of the area and you can see some of the riders.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he didn't capture us as we came through.  I would have bought our stuff and posted them here:(
There were a few other bikes parked on the street.  I though this BMW S1000RR looked pretty sharp.
We wandered around town, it was pretty early so shops were just beginning to open up.
Just about everything in this town has a bronze plaque on it.  This one talked about the old Bartlett Hotel.  Tons of coins had been tossed down below.  I believe the money went towards preservation of buildings throughout town.
As we headed back towards the bikes, I saw this BMW F800GS parked among quite a few other off-road vehicles.
We pressed on and passed through the towns of Strawberry, Pine and Payson.  At one point we came to a traffic jam and had to come to a complete stop. 
We weren't going anywhere, so I took the opputunity for a picture.
Using the zoom on the camera it looked like a car had caught fire by the side of the road.  Traffic was stopped while firefighters put out the flames.  We were only there about ten minutes before we were ushered on.  As we passed it looked like a Chrysler 300 or something.  I didn't see anything else so I'm not quite sure how it happened.
We continued through Show Low and stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Pinetop.  When we came out clouds were starting to roll in, so everyone got their rain gear ready to go.  Modern water resistant textiles.
And old school leather.
Favorite shot of the trip.  This is near Big Lake, right next to the Sunrise Ski Valley.  I stopped at this same rest stop a few months ago.
We stopped again at a look-out just above the towns of Eagar and Springerville.
My uncle has the cool of Steve McQueen.  If Steve McQueen wore flip up helmets. 
We stopped for some grocerices in the town of Springerville before heading to the cabin.  We hit our first serious rain heading out of town. Nothing too bad.  If anything, it made the smells of the forest that much more intense.  I can't explain the great smells that you experience on a bike and are completely oblivious to in a car.  We made it to the cabin and unpacked after a great days riding.
The next morning my uncle gave my dads bike a spin before heading back to Prescott. 
Both he and I had to work on Monday so he departed in the morning and I waited until 4pm to head back.  I rode home in the evening to avoid the heat of the desert.  I dodged storms all the way through Salt River Canyon until the town of Winkleman where the skies finally cleared up.  Even with the sun down it was still in the nineties as I made my way back home.  Since it was dark I didn't take any pictures on the way back.  Overall it was another great trip.  Around ~870 miles total.

Until next time.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Great trip. It is awesome that you could ride with both your Dad and Uncle.

    I am glad you didn't get too much rain, although with the warm temperatures light rain might have been welcome for you.

    Thanks for sharing all the pics and the ride report.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Another ride planned next week. I'll make an attempt to do some posting from the road, but full coverage will have to wait until I get back.