In order to offset last week’s trauma at the end of the dual sport ride, we went dirt riding today near Payson, AZ. We started our day at Crosswinds restaurant, then drove the car and trailer, loaded with the dirt bikes, to near where the dirt road began.
First we rode down the part of the road that had been paved fairly recently. We had been there three years ago, and I remembered this fantastic dead tree:
Sadly, it now looks like this:
That’s what happens when people have to “develop” every inch of everywhere.
This area now borders on a designated wilderness:
Evidence of how people have to act like jerks:
Really? What kind of people have to put bullet holes in everything??
We rode back toward Payson and found FR414. We have ridden it a couple of times before, and I rode it on the F650GS the last time I was here. Today I was on the TTR225 because the GS is still in the shop, diagnosis still unknown.
We took the 414 south, which is a little rough in some spots. Yesterday, a friend and mechanic, Tom, fixed the suspension on my TTR, and it made all the difference in the world!
It was a beautiful day today, the air was cool, and it was windy. The clouds moved quickly through the sky, and the sun seemed high and burnished, floating, a big golden orb, diffused by the high clouds. A hawk drifted on the wind, moving gracefully, his eyes watchful. We rode farther south, and these are some of the images I shot during the ride:
Evidence of an old wildfire:
On the road:
Hal riding through a water crossing:
Me riding through the water:
Hal’s DRZ at the turnaround point:
We rode all the way down to Rye, which we had passed through with the car earlier in the day. We wanted to make it a reasonably short day, so we turned around. But, we took the “other” road back to Payson, despite really not knowing how we found it. All of a sudden we realized that we were already on the upper road, and we didn’t really know how we’d done it.
At the end of today’s ride, I was much less tired, thanks to properly adjusted suspension. I don’t know why I always jump to the conclusion that it’s my fault and I am a bad rider. Tom said that once the suspension is adjusted properly, and I get some new tires, I should do just fine.
I hope he’s right!