Blue sky, sun and clouds, tall pine trees. These were the things I was dreaming of Sunday morning. I woke up thinking of the possibilities of the day, a day in which I would, I hoped, find myself riding north on one of my motorcycles.
It was hot already in the Phoenix area. I knew, though, that it would be cooler up on the Mogollon Rim, which is where I was heading. It was time to get the DR650 out on the road/trail since it hadn’t been out for at least a month. The last trip “Diana” was on was one of the trips at the end of March to Tonto Creek when I did one of the photo shoots there. Diana had been sitting far too long, and needed a road trip. You would never know she had been sitting, though, because when I rolled her out of the garage and hit the start button, she fired right up. I have never had a bike that always starts so fast. Good for her, enthusiasm counts for everything in my book.
Hal and I hit the road by 9 o’clock, both of us on our Suzuki DR650s, and after breakfast and fuel in Fountain Hills, we headed north on the Beeline Hwy. By the time we were in Payson, the temperature was reasonable and comfortable, and when we got to the Woods Canyon Lake turn-off, it was nice and cool. We rode into the parking lot to put on one more layer of clothing, and then we were on our way on FR300, also known as The Rim Road. Once we got into the gravel, we were able to travel quickly. I thought of nothing but my tires flying over the dirt, the beauty surrounding me, and the fluffy white clouds high overhead. Here are some of the images from the day:
The sky was so blue:
The road was in great shape, a little dusty in places, evidence of moisture in others. Last time we were up here, in late March, we had found the road was still closed. We thought it was because of the season. It was true, because even if snow is absent as it has been last winter, there are still many fallen trees to be cleared. As we rode yesterday we saw evidence of that in many places at the sides of the road. A strong wind was blowing, but nothing like the fierce wind of four years ago when it actually pushed my ’06 F650GS to the far side of the road.
We rode farther along on the part of the road where it traces the edge of the Rim:
I was enjoying the ride, noticing all the great forest roads that we are familiar with: FR141, 147, 95, 123, all of them. It makes me content, for some reason, to know that they are all there, ready to ride and enjoy. You know where I will be this summer on those weekends when we are not on the road.
I saw this cute baby tree at the side of the road. Say it with me now, “Awwwwwwwwww …”
The amazing geology of the escarpment that is the Mogollon Rim caught my eye. This is the shot of the day:
How could you not want to ride this road?:
Bikes on the lovely road:
All too soon, we were nearly at the Pine-Strawberry, AZ end of the road. When we got to Pine, we had the coffee and sweets we’d looked forward to. The pastry was gone too fast to get a photo! Great coffee at the market, in case you ever need to use that information!
I convinced Hal to walk around a little bit and go up the street to one of the antique stores. I don’t usually enjoy that sort of thing, but it was “May Day” in Pine so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to be out enjoying the unique little town. It wasn’t their full-on craft day, but it was a nice preview. After we’d put it off long enough, we got back on the bikes to head home.
We descended into the heat of the Valley, and to my surprise and delight, storm clouds were coming in from the west. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day!