|2012 KJ Road Trip-WA to AZ and back again.
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|Author:||teddyearp [ Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:29 am ]|
|Post subject:||2012 KJ Road Trip-WA to AZ and back again.|
My posting of this trip report here was somewhat inspired by yellocoyote's Route 66 road trip.
So for what it's worth I will post a full on report of my trip from WA to AZ and back again, from Apr 30 - May 15, 2012. I posted a few reports over at virtualjeepclub.com for some of the individual side trips, but I guess for the other sites where I will post this I will combine all of it here, hope you enjoy.
It took a bit of planning so I could arrive at certain places at the right time of day with enough time to find a place to camp for the longest legs of the trip. With that said, my first day was leaving work 'early' on April 30, 2012, around 1PM so I could get to Ontario, OR. Nowhere to camp that's nice near there, so I booked a room in advance at the Stockman's Motel via booking.com. As a side note, that motel sucked, I left a bad review for it at booking.com. I had had a better hotel with more amenities in Israel in Tiberias for about the same $$$. And Israel is supposed to cost more. Check my review at booking.com, if it matters to you.
The next day May 1, 2012, I pushed on. While I was passing through Boise, ID, I stopped to see if I could get a good falafel (for some reason I was/am craving a falafel like I got in the middle east last Oct 2011). Anyways, my nav made me go right to the downtown canyons in Boise to a franchise place called "Pita Pit". And the falafel was the pits. Not only that, while I was going back to the freeway, I saw another Pita Pit a lot closer to the freeway, what a bummer. I could have found out how much their falafel sucked alot sooner, but that's just my personal falafel experience.
But my destination for this day was to camp outside of Payson, UT at or near Maple Lake.
Here's a quick pic of Salt Lake City as I was passing through on the interstate:
I made it to Payson, UT and camped at the Maple Lake campground. It's a fairly nice and secluded campsite, the lake is a ways down the hill, but there's some decent concrete pads in each site with tables on them. It is easy to get to, but it seemed to get alot of traffic. I saw lots of young folks 'cruising' the site in their cars and then later a sheriffs' vehicle patrolling as well. All this on a Tuesday night? Anyways, the campground will cost you $16 but while I was there it rained, so even though I paid, it was a total waste for me. Though there was some nice things about this site. The deer that wandered through like they had no care in the world, and then the turkeys gobbling at night and the next morning. Here's a pic of the road to the campground:
Here's one taken from the campground, looking down towards Payson:
On my way out the next morning, here's a picture of a schoolhouse in Payson, UT:
So on day three, May 2, 2012, my destination was Alstrom Point, UT. It's on the north eastern side of Lake Powell down some pretty remote roads. My original plan was to go from Cannonville, UT down Cottonwood Canyon Road, perhaps go into Kodachrome Sate Park and _maybe_ find all the backroads I saw on google maps that would take me from there to Alstrom Point without hitting pavement again. At worst, I would take Cottonwood Canyon Rd straight to HWY 89 just west of Big Water and hit only about 5-10 miles of pavement.
Unfortunately that was not to be the case. Once I got to Cannonville, UT, there was signage at the BLM office in Cannonville for the Grand Staircase that Cottonwood Canyon road was closed to Hwy 89. Hmmm, what to do? I thought about going all the way back on pavement through Panguitch, Kanab, and then to Big Water, but since that was a lot of backtracking, so I decided to take the road that cut over to Johnson Valley road then to Hwy 89 then to Big Water and go from there.
There was a more pressing reason I had to make this choice. When I topped off my gas tank in at Panguitch, UT on the way in, I realized I had already spent too much money (mainly on gasoline) for this trip and now had to economize, lol. The only bummer was that this was not planned so I didn't know how much more time it would take, so I kind of 'power' traveled the roads until I got to Big Water. Which pretty much worked out for the best timing wise.
So anyways, here's some pics. I'll start with a few hwy pics while going through Red Canyon on Hwy 12 to Cannonville:
Now south of Cannonville, the road is paved all the way to Kodachrome SP and as I said my original plan was to be able to just continue south by south east from there, so when I started to roll towards Kodachrome I was still undecided about whether I wanted to take the time to visit the park or not since it was now about 4-5 miles out of my modified way. But anyways, south of Cannonville:
Now I like old buildings and sometimes can't decide whether they look better in color or B&W:
What do you think?
Looking into Kodachrome SP; decided not to enter:
Now I backtracked to Skutumpagh Rd and hit the dirt:
Just like with the picture of the old buildings above, I started playing back and forth with color and B&W on my camera. Each seems to have it's merits, but there's just something about B&W:
More road, mmmm dirt:
Just before hitting Johnson Canyon Road:
Johnson Canyon Road ended up being pavement as well:
Now on Hwy 89 headed to Big Water:
Finally, off the pavement for the day and on my way to Alstrom Point:
The colors in the landscape out in this place was most interesting. It is similar to Monument valley with it's red formations, yet at the base it is almost all grey and then there are these huge red boulders just strewn about. How did they get there?
And again a B&W perspective:
Dirt road, isolation, and nobody else around for miles:
And as usually found in some remote areas, it is tempting to just go across country (I didn't) since the 'road' sometimes just looks like a couple of tire tracks:
This is after taking the turn to Alstrom and getting close to Lake Powell:
Ahhh, pretty much there:
Home for the night:
Past the spot where I spent the night the road went up a set of slickrock steps that my little stock height KJ could make no problem. No pics, though. I wanted to get further out on the point where the view was more spectacular, but there was already someone way out there so I turned around.
Here's my "Everytrail". If you look closely and zoom in on my track, you'll see where I doubled back:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php ... %3EAlstrom
After waking up the next morning and looking at the remains of my campfire, I hope this was low impact enough:
Then I decided to take a few B&W's:
I thought the zoom on these formations gave a cool effect:
Obligatory flower pics:
Now on the way back out, I passed by an intersection of what looked to be another main road that took off to the left. When I checked the map on my GPS/phone it looked like it could be a shortcut to the way out. However, it had some fair washouts and suddenly I came to this wash that was about 10 feet deep and not much more than 25 ft across at the top and probably less than 10 feet across at the bottom. The pics never show enough. I'm driving along and suddenly the road just drops before me. I stop, get out and look and see that although it's very steep in and out, there's no rocks/shelves, so I'm good. Well, after crossing it the road just totally petered out. This pic was on the way backtracking. And yes, if you look closely, you can see where my gas tank hit the dirt.
I was here:
Back on the highway now, and entering Arizona:
Happy Birthday Arizona:
I forgot to mention one kind of weird thing that happened while I camped at Alstrom Point. Sometime after the moon set and before the sun rose, I got woke up by 'something' grabbing my empty can of the previous night from right next to me. I never saw what it was, but after it woke me up twice, I just kind of tossed the can a bit further away from me so I could sleep better. Though I did hear the scurrying of the critter and the can, when I finally woke up for the day, both were gone.
Day four, May 3, 2012, my plan was to head down to Snowflake, AZ and stay a night with a friend of mine. I already posted a couple of pics from this day above, but for the rest of this day and following night, the only picture I took was of my friend, his girlfriend and her kids. It's a really sweet pic, but I won't post it here. I've already taken a ton of pics from Page, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ and beyond. I did stop at another place in Flag for a falafel, the Alpha and Omega. This one was much better, but more greek than Israeli. I had a great time visiting my friend in Snowflake, and then the next day moved on. There was one other significant thing of mention on my travels to Snowflake, AZ. I got a rock on my windshield that turned into a crack that couldn't be repaired. This crack might show up in some of my subsequent pictures.
Day five, May 4, 2012, I was supposed to stay at another friends' place in Lakeside, AZ, but I got a phone call saying that there was sickness in the house, so I shouldn't visit; or better yet stay healthy, lol. So I cruised through Show Low, Pinetop and Lakeside instead; taking a picture or two, and visited some of my old co-workers as well. I ended up this day staying at Scott's Reservoir campground. And then my friend from Snowflake called and decided to come out to visit with me some more and camped out as well. There was much drinking and talking, we stayed up till almost or after midnight having just a good old time.
Anyways, here's a couple of pics of the 'mountain' on May 4, 2012 before I spent the night at Scott's:
The Show Low sign, always a nice thing for me to see:
The traffic on White Mountain Blvd is a bit more than I remember:
I used to work here:
Show Low Lake:
There's an old barn or some such right at the entrance to Lakeside; the intersection of Porter Mountain Road and White Mountain Blvd (SR 260):
Afterwards, I headed up and past Pinetop CC to find my old 'secret' campsite off Sky High road, I used to call it the 'ranch' since you had to open and then close the gate after you. Unfortunately, it looks like the FS has closed it off for good now, Uuggh! The pictures do not show the berm blocking the road very well:
So, since I couldn't camp there (as I said, I ended up at Scott's) I decided to take the back way to Lakeside, the road that exits up above the old Blue Ridge school:
And as reported, I ended the night at Scott's with my friend from Snowflake with much partying, lol. We both survived.
Day six, May 5, 2012. I had already planned on taking the long way from Pinetop to Hawley Lake on this day and since I couldn't visit my friends in Lakeside, I went ahead and did so, but with another drive around first to Woodland Drive to Woodland Lake Drive and to visit the park:
I have some fond memories at that park back in 1996-97. Had to wonder if this kid is catching anything:
I had to stop and take a look at the Love Kitchen, I used to eat and volunteer there:
After actually heading out I had to stop at one of my 'secret' rim lookouts that are on the WMAT rez. This is on the way:
A few of the lookouts:
Obligitory flower pic:
On the way in and out of there, there were signs of life and death:
The short way to Hawley, not going in that way:
After heading east on Hwy 260 and then taking Hwy 273 south, the road to the place where I wanted to check out the really old geocache on top of the hill before getting to Sunrise lake was marked as a 'closed area', so I didn't go.
Also, all of SR 273 is paved all the way to Big Lake. When I used to live up on the mountain, the pavement stopped where the road left the res. But this cabin is still there right after re-entering the NF:
Afterwards, I decided to try to find a few of the old 'grouse camp' sites.
Now 'grouse camp' was never at the same place twice. It was just somewhere that we would go on the first weekend of September, get drunk on Friday night, and then go out with our shotguns all hungover the next day and hunt grouse. And then do it all over again. On the way:
Was it here?:
Maybe it was up this way:
Oh the heck with it, here's a bit of the Wallow fire damage:
Afterwards, I explored the campgrounds around Big Lake and then headed towards Reservation Lake:
This cabin on the way to Reservation Lake used be standing, now there's only a foundation:
Some pictures from Reservation lake. One of these looks very similar to one of the above grouse camp searching pictures, but I have carefully checked and they are different. I took pictures of the sign boasting about the state record trout, then a couple of the campground and then one from the shore:
After leaving the Reservation Lake area, I went down all the back roads on the White Mountain Apache rez toward my final goal, Hawley Lake. Here's an farm/ranch house just past Reservation Lake:
A stream runs through it:
Drift Fence Lake:
Dirt road and meadows:
I took a side road to the old 'ghost town' of Maverick, AZ. Maverick used to have a railroad spur from McNary and was a loggging town back as late as the 1970's. It even had (has) a heliport. Back in 1997 I was able to drive right up to the heliport, but the road right into the town itself was locked. If you feel adventurous enough you can go to ghosttowns.com and look up Maverick and see the pictures I took back in '97.
These days the whole road into the whole bottom of the valley area is locked, but they seem to have now converted it into an elk hunting camp, and probably charge rich folks a ton to hunt gr8 trophy elk in there, because I'm sure they're there.
Here's the best I could get of Maverick now, the heliport:
And the sign that indicates its an elk camp:
An attempt to get a pic of the 'town' of Maverick:
And so I headed out towards Hawley. Drop dead beautiful country to be seen:
This is after I took the right to head to Hawley instead of Whiteriver:
Well, I skipped a few pictures; here's one of a wikkiup(?) near Hawley:
Still on the road to Hawley:
I have seen beautiful meadows ringed with pine (Ponderosa) trees in central Oregon and elsewhere, but for me there is nothing as beautiful as a meadow ringed with both Ponderosa trees and Aspens. You can see something like that in parts of Colorado and definately in the White Mountains:
Now I have arrived at the campground at Hawley:
Yeah, kind of buried, but here is the everytrail link of this days' trip:
A couple of pictures of the lake itself:
May 5th was the night of the 'close' moon, here's one of my attempts to get a good shot of it:
Here's a better shot (I hope):
Now I have a 40+ year history of camping at Hawley Lake, but I was not able to camp in my family's 40 year historical campsite since it seems as though everyone else has caught on in the last nine years that it is also closest to the best bank fishing on Hawley Lake so the area was goober crowded, but this is me pulled into MY site:
"C" marks MY spot. I marked this tree back in 2003 (sorry):
I went ahead and spent two nights up at Hawley lake; the last couple of pictures were from the second day, I found it to be very nice and relaxing. In fact I was so relaxed that I took a 'power nap' and my friends from Lakeside found me and woke me up, sleeping on the table around 4pm the second day. I will have to try to see if I can get them to upload and link that picture! Here's one of mine:
But for now here is my campsite, getting ready to break camp on the morning of May 7:
On my way out, the overflow from Hawley Lake dam:
Day seven, May 7, 2012, I went back to Pinetop-Lakeside, cruised around a bit and then spent the night at my friends house in Lakeside. But before I got there, here's a few from around the town. The Veteran's memorial near the old Pinetop-Lakeside city building:
The 'chimneys' below Porter Mountain:
Atop Porter Mountain:
There was a geocache near here, but I couldn't find it:
So as I said, I spent the night at my friends in Lakeside, AZ on May 7, 2012. No pictures.
Day eight, May 8, 2012, I left Lakeside, AZ and headed west on HWY 260 to Payson to try and explore FR 300 above the rim, also known as the rim road or better the General Crook Trail. I stopped at the Basha's in Payson and bought a huge package of top sirloin steaks, then on the way north on Hwy 89, I stopped at the Circle K to get the rest of my 'provisions', you know, beer, ice, and a Mountain Dew or so for the morning. While I was there I saw some younger folks pulled up there in a lifted (and well mudded) XJ flying both 'rim country four wheelers' and 'Arizona Virtual Jeep Club' stickers. I just gave them a nod and went on about my business since they were alot younger than me. They probably were scratching their head(s) already as to "why did this old dude give us a nod?"
Next time I get a chance to visit AZ, I think I will forget all my old 'haunts' on the mountain and explore this area more. Not only were there spectacular views to be seen from the rim in this area, there were many, many, many roads to explore as well. I passed right by the turn to Payette Draw, I hear that's a great place to go to as well.
Here's some pictures. This one is north of Payson, AZ on SR 87:
Now I am on the 'rim road':
As I said, this area affords much exploration, but here's one (of my many) rim lookouts:
And another few:
So much playing with color and B&W, it's hard to say which is better:
Well, now back to some of the roads. There was a turn off to the "Battleground" site. It was about 8 miles off FR300 (the rim road). At the end of this side road, the road just petered out to nothing and I never found the actual site, but along the way it was pretty pretty. I didn't get the pics of the other side roads one could explore up in that area. Suffice it to say, one could probably spend alot of days exploring some dirt roads here about. Here's a couple just going up:
After coming back down, I saw that I was on or near the Arizona Trail:
Here's a plaque about another battle:
Next was a side trip to the General Springs Cabin. It was a lot closer to the rim road and followed a powerline road down to it:
Now as you know the pictures never show how steep a road can be, but it was every bit as steep as the one last part of the Blue Richard Mine attempt run (later in this report), but the steps were smaller and much easier for my stock KJ :
Anyways, here's a few of the cabin itself, some color, some B&W:
Afterwards, it was starting to get a bit late and a storm was trying to brew, so I figured I'd press on and find a camp ASAP. I went further east of FR300 for a bit (more overlooks):
Then hit the road to Knoll Lake:
Well, as it turned out, by the time I got to Knoll Lake it was nigh onto dark, it was starting to sprinkle, and it cost ~ $13 to camp there. Well, I decided that was too much to pay for a table and fire ring that I probably wasn't going to use anyways and went a few back the other way and found this spot to cold camp:
Everytrail for this day:
As it turned out, it didn't actually rain at all, but oh well, made for a real easy camp break in the morning.
Here's the site the next morning:
Now the next day on my way out of course there were so many more pictures to take!
There was a spot called Lost Lake as an 'Aspen restoration project'. We have a Lost Lake up here in the Central Eastern Cascades as well, but anyways:
Doesn't look like it worked, typical for our government:
A few more rim lookouts:
Now sometime back, I saw and grabbed a real cool picture from the pictures forum at virtualjeepclub.com of somebody with their Jeep on this very spot with a the bent top of a pine tree, so I tried to put myself there (not quite the same angle):
But while I was there, it seems as though this might be a popular place to have one's ashes spread, judging from the carvings on these rocks:
Now I was on my way to a friend's house in Cornville, but here's just a couple more pictures, this one of a cairn:
And finally some more rim, just great lookouts all the way around:
Done with the dirt and on the way down to Camp Verde and then to visit that friend in Cornville for a few days:
I didn't take any pictures of Cornville/Cottonwood. Stayed at my friend's house until the morning of Saturday May 12, 2012 when I met up with a couple of folks from virtualjeepclub.com to try to explore the Bradshaw Mountains and specifically try to make it to the Blue Richard Mine. Yes, that's what it's called. So, though I didn't get a whole lot of pictures from that run, here is that copied post:
Well, we met up at Walker Road and SR 69 at the AM/PM around 11am (it was supposed to be earlier). I have run solo so long that I almost tried to get there even later and miss, but when I pulled into the AM/PM I saw the two Jeeps off to the side with the VJC stickers so I knew I was in the right place.
After some greeting and talking about the options, we left.
We went down Walker Road to a place called the "pink car" where Shilo took a bunch of pics, White Rabbit had to change out a wheel and we all aired down. But first, here we are on the way:
The Pink Car:
Afterwards, for a little while I was tailgunner; after we left the airdown site:
Nice that some one put a fisheye on a blind corner:
Already forgot the name of this lake, just remember that it's pretty much a private one as you can see from the fence:
Now somewhere along the way, White Rabbit took up tailgunning and put me in the middle of this three Jeep trip. So, I figured I must have to try to take a rear view mirror shot. And of all the ones I tried to take, this is the only one that came out worth a crap:
Now we had to stop here for something that White Rabbit obviously needed to find. I can't rememeber what it was, but he sure seemed to need to find it, lol:
A couple of photo ops on the way:
Now, here we are at the Davis Dunkirk Mine:
Random shot of the old tracks into the upper part of the mine (wish it would have been a better pic):
Afterwards we continued on to attempt to get to the Blue Richard mine. As we progressed uphill through more and more loose rocks I finally clicked into 4H for more traction. The other two had been in 4LO for a bit now. Then after we topped out and started going down, LittleBurro stopped and showed me the line I should take going down this one little shelf. It really wasn't anything a lifted Jeep would have troubles with, but I am stock so when I went down it I hit my xfer case skid plate. It wasn't really a problem for me, I knew exactly where I placed myself in case of a hit and it hit off center to the passenger, exactly where I wanted it to; no problem. Then the road got better for a few hundred yards and there was a really cool campsite off to the right where I parked my Jeep for a bit and to continue down I decided to take a shotgun seat with LittleBurro to see what the next portion of the road looked like. Well there was what I will call a 'spar' rock, one that just stuck straight up about a foot beyond where you were decending off another rock shelf (and that's where I admitted defeat, i.e. I'm not taking my Jeep down there).
And further down the road it degraded to a virtual waterfall. The pics that LittleBurro posted about this part of the trail earlier (in the planning thread at virtualjeepclub.com) do NO justice at all. LittleBurro drove down to the approach of the final drop/fall where we all then said, "No Way!"
There was a very nice overlook down there, but I only had my cellphone to take pictures with:
And real quick while I'm linking my cellphone pics from this run; though a tiny bit out of order, here's Whiterabbit showing a bit of 'flex' on a log near where I parked my Libby:
And I'm not sure, but I think this is the one flat spot at the top of the last part approaching the fall, LittleBurro in the foreground, Whiterabbit in the back:
So anyways, after we got down to top of the "No Way" part and turned around, I decided I wasn't going to camp at the site where I had parked my Jeep, just in case for some odd reason I couldn't get back up that one little shelf. As it went, I did go back up the same line (in 4H) but lost a bit of traction. Nobody got pics of my attempt(s). I just backed off and tried again with a tiny bit more 'umph' and got over it without any bumping or banging this time. And that is where I threw down the gauntlet for WhiteRabbit to do the same, i.e. in 4H as I had.
Here is him preparing, with wife in front:
So, even though he was taking a different line in 4H, this is where he stopped?:
He then did a quick click into 4L and up he comes:
Afterwards on the way back those guys decided to do some more mine exploration:
And I went on to find a place to camp:
And so I did:
After a long day of Jeeping. Beef, it's what for dinner. Tonight:
I could have stayed up on top of that hill where I parked my Jeep earlier in the day, but as it worked out for the overall timing to get back home it was best I didn't.
So, On May 13, 2012, I headed out through Prescott, Chino Valley, and north on US 89 to I-40; west to Kingman and then north up US 93 through Nevada on my way back towards home. Here's some more narrative.
This is one that hits close to home for me, it was taken some where off I-40 well before I got to the US93 N turnoff in Kingman:
Heading up US 93 north of Kingman:
Going over the 'new' bridge at Hoover Dam. Three years ago in 2009 it was still under construction:
Tried to get a pic or two of Las Vegas, not too good:
I stopped very briefly at Cathedral Gorge SP in Nevada:
A few pictures of a cool looking old and new town; Pioche, NV:
Didn't actually go there (to Boot Hill in Pioche), it was getting time to start looking for camp, maybe next time:
A bit further up north, after passing several promising roads to 'camp', I picked this one. Off the road again. And actually this is looking back east towards the highway (US 93):
I camped the night of May 13, 2012 somewhere north of Pioche and south of Ely, NV. Totally free and no charge on BLM land. I drove over a cattle guard or two, but the rancher (no picture of him) who drove by just waved. HFTN:
The next morning:
An old homestead along US 93:
I forget what town this is, Maybe Ely(?) still in Nevada:
I know the above picture wasn't taken in Wells, NV, but there was something in Wells that was of note. I had my CB on and tuned to CH 19, the channel of 'truckers' and the open road. Well there were a few broadcasts by a lady advertising her ranch. "Come and let us make all your dreams come true". And advertising the breast size of her 'ladies'. Quite a laugh, you had to have been there, lol.
Anyways, crossing state lines:
And HFTN, May 14, 2012 about 30 miles west of Baker City, OR and north of Sumpter, OR. I had camped here before while heading home from a road trip in 2010, so it was known to me and convenient. And on this trip, the best part was it was still free, the 'charging' season started the very next day, but it's still only $6:
Now to finish off this trip, here's a couple of random pics on May 15, 2012 of Phillips Lake and Baker City, OR:
And my final notes for this part of my trip is that the whole area of NE Nevada seemed intriguing, it might warrant another vacation all of it's own for exploration.
Hope you enjoyed!
And my whole album for this whole trip is here:
p.s. My camera was a Fujifilm Finepix s6000fd, my nav (Everytrail) device (and cellphone pics) were the Motorola A855 Droid.
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