Tag Archives: bikepacking

Spring on the Cabin Loop!

Ah yes, another overnighter on the Cabin Loop.  What?  5 times now?  What am I thinking?

I am thinking it is all that.

official signage
hmmmm. what to put on the bike?

2 tallboy corona extras later and it is ready to go!
Always a good idea to sign in. I like to look through the log for any communications. Just in case.
Pinchot Cabin. Looking a little more secure.
no armor needed for this flow!

short ride, like 6 miles to camp! I am super hard-core.

oh how I like this little bridge.
Spring is about ready to burst up on the Rim.
Aspen Cabin. Falling apart and smelling like an outhouse.
You have to like the siding.
genuine US Steel. I have to think that is not available any longer.
A multi-family backpacking trip in a few weeks – and this area should be blooming pretty nice for it.
my 2nd campfire ever. I think I can trust myself now.
There was lots of snow. I had a ton of fun on the ride South up to the Rim, zipping through snow drifts.

Lots of down-fall.

It was a short 23 mile loop and that was all I needed.  I finally have the gear set up down to a comfortable minimum.  It is easy to get it together and get out with not much thought.

Bikepacking on the Cabin Loop in the Spring.

Good stuff.

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Spur Cross. connected.

A few weeks ago I saw the Maricopa Trail connected to the Spur Cross Trail, which in turn connects to Trail #4 in the Tonto NF.

What fun to connect them all.

it is all blooming right now

$12 Titec Hellbent grips. Such a deal.

the same shot as the last time I went bikepacking North. Clouds and low temps were very welcome.

entrance to Cave Creek Park after going under Care Free Highway at Cave Creek.

lots of trail systems connected.

cloudy with a chance of rain was the forecast. they were right.

sticker graffiti on the backside of the entrance to Spur Cross from the West.

the preceding miles from Go John to this point were not on the map. There are a ton of trails leading all which ways up to this point.

Spur Cross trail is a ton of fun by itself.

I liked it so much I took 2 pictures.

tricky crossing here. There is so much water right now along the Creek, water crossing are best done by barefooting it.

I left the house at 10:30am. Stove on at 5:30. Really happy it was rainy and overcast much of the day. I don't see doing this overnight ride again soon unless we get another storm in. Better left to do in the Winter months.

Believe it or not, this is my first campfire. Prior to this point, I either did without or let someone else be in charge. This is going to change.

great area. As I was riding out, I ran into an ancient man on horseback who quizzed me as to where I was coming from and where I camped out. I talked of what and where and he was grateful of my share. I could see he understood.


yeah.

I have yet to find a map of this trail system. I took 3 separate trails that helped me eliminate the pavement on the way home.

this trail is better left to the horsemen.

end ride at rest

the next time up will be a honed masterpiece.

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stretch

It is what I need to learn to do.

That is the outcome of the recent overnighter ride out to The Maricopa Trail.

The piece we checked out was from the west end of Spur Cross to Black Canyon Trail at New river Road.  Very enjoyable trails in Cave Creek Regional Park and trails to connect them courtesy of The Town of Cave Creek and the Desert Foothills Land Trust.  Quite the system is developing to connect major trails together.  Exciting stuff

sunrise

john henry

flume remnant, on the Flume Trail in the Cave Creek Regional Park.

overall, the signage was good. apparently someone was frustrated with this Maricopa Trail sign. Next time bring maps!

awesome all-day riding.

singlespeed bikepacker

Esbit. Quickly replacing the penny stove.

More at UpsideOut.

My story:

Friday.  March 19th.  5:15pm.
I found the table to be as it normally is.  Comfortable.  She did her
usual check over.  I lay there fully relaxed and prepared for what was
to come.  She did not surprise.  I knew what I had came for and she
had delivered it with no emotion.
Pain.
“Take it easy the next few days” she said.  “Ok! see you next week!”
In the car, I see myself filling the next few days with riding,
routing and eating.  I get home after running around getting stuff
ready – a stop at REI to pad next years’ dividend and a stop for
Bushmills and peanut butter for the pack.  Too much food!  I always
think that and it is always true in the end.  Must cut…
At home, I finish up packing the bike and the pack.  Kinda bulky, need
a new sleeping bag…hmmm..REI dividend is coming soon…
4:36am.  Saturday, March 20th.
Sprocket.
Snoring.
waking me up.
The ice bag is warm.  The back feels okay.  A little stiff.  I step on
Sprockets snout as I crawl to the bathroom.  Jesus.  Is this what old
people feel like every morning?
I get to the bathroom and take the haze in.  Feeling better already.
Do the clean and refresh and make myself to the kitchen for the coffee
kit and get dressed.  In the garage I check the weather one last
time.  Looks to be perfect.
The Russian arrives in an unusual state of unpreparedness.
I wait.
Electrical tape.  What the hell have you been doing all week?  Is this
the first time you have done this?  WTF?
6:10am Saturday , March 20th.
It is almost dawn.  Sky is a brilliant hazy burnt orange fire
overshadowed by deep dark blue waves of black.
Awesome.
We make way on the 51 path North.  We stop several times to fish out
an Allen wrench to adjust a seat post someone had stuffed into his
newly minted frame with a burr inside the seat tube somewhere.  This
takes two grown men to adjust.
Things start to look better when I get back on the bike.  They always look better on the bike.
The bike takes me effortlessly along.  I feel great on the bike.  The
issue flares only when I have to actually move around off the bike.
We talk of stretching and balls and sticks to help.  Whatever.  I am
here to ride.  Who cares what pain cave I crawl into?
The haze continues up the path and well into our route to New River at
Carefree Highway.  What a route!  No traffic on these trails and paths
and roads.  No one out here.  The desert is lush and quiet.  Awakened
only by my 2.55LT tires and the scratch of whatever the Russian has
shod his burr ridden steed with.
More haze.
The route comes together with no plans.  We travel along with general
ideas and harbor an attitude of what comes is.
We find an entry to Cave Creek Park with signs telling us not to use
these trails but to use the Flume Trail.  We home in on it without
delay and climb to an unknowing end.
Riparian desert areas are pretty sweet.  Such a joy to stumble upon
them and live within the confines of them on the bike for a few
minutes here and there.  Spring makes even that much nicer.  The sweet
smells along the meandering groomed trails that we climb up to The
Maricopa Trail are truly sublime.  Go John Trail is a piece of work.
Yes.
Go John.
Oh my. What a trail.  Indeed, there is something to be said of
sanitized Sonoran trails.  Speed.  Traction. Cornering.
Lots of corners on the way up.  Like riding on rails on proper banked
concrete path.
Stoopid hikers out enjoying what they can before they pack back to
Ohio.  Interrupting our groove man.
The Maricopa Trail.
Signs.  They seem to point everywhichway.
Confusion?  Or just the haze?
Maybe I should eat.  The gnawing center of emptiness in the pit is
growing painful.  Peanut butter.  Gummi Bears.  A 1/2 package of fig
newtons.
It does the trick.  Back on the bike.
We ride up.  We ride down.  Check that sign!  It leads to nowhere!
Someone fucked with it.  Has to be wrong.  Tell others!  Scratch it
out!
Fuk it. Ride up and around the mountain.  Dirt roads.  More like rock
roads.  Lots of rocks.  Back hurts.  I dig the cave deeper.  It feels
awesome.
Pavement!
Hit it hard.  It is downhill!  Rip it.
Where am I going?  I can make it to I17 real quick.  Where is the Russian?
Clearly, I have gone mad.  I turn around.  The Rusky is coming.
“you blew the turn!”
Meh, it is Saturday and I don’t have to be anywhere.  I ride this
road.  It takes us to a spur off of The Maricopa Trail.
Luck.
We take the trail down to a store to reload.
Kids do not like bikepackers hanging out near their special carts made
to look like race cars.  The four year old makes me move my kit so she
can get on with the purchasing of the Kool-Aid.
Subway.  Quick and easy.  Sometimes I think they ask way to many
questions about your sandwich.  Just make it already.
Red Stripe in a can!
Pictures at 2:00pm.
I look in my camera.  3 pictures. What the hell am I thinking.  I make
a half-hearted commitment to slow down and snap the pics.
The break is over.  We head up The Maricopa Trail that we missed on the way
down.  I can’t say we missed much though.  Haphazard.  Someone hates
motorized vehicles.  Lots of big chunk to overcome that others have
placed in travel ways.  Poor signage again.
Let us Camp!
A good spot.  Pretty well hidden.
I am wasted.  Not riding long distances a lot takes a bit out of you.
3000′ measly feet of climbing and I am lying down napping and nipping
on the flask.
Get the fire pit ready.  I don’t do much.  I am not allowed.
Darkness falls.  Pandora is on.
Wait!  WTF is that??  Light on the trail.  Moving.  Pandora hard to
shut down.  Quiet!
Haze.
We question the light.  No answers.  Pandora back on the speaker.
Light the fire!  Flame on these canned sausage things that taste like
spam on steroids.
Put cheese on it!
uh oh, it is bright.
Kill the fire!  Someone will surely see!
Kill the bushmills, it is time to sleep!
Rusky speaks of things while sleeping.
Morning comes and VIA is there to spark us up.
Eat up. Load up and ride.
Beautiful.
It came and went without fail.
Till next time.

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the Picketpost Overnighter

Picketpost trailhead South to the White Canyon Wilderness boundary.

some short steep climbs on little used dirt roads created some hardship

el mariachi looking fat

The top at the Wilderness boundary. We hiked up from where we stashed the bike to this view and camped a bit farther back towards the bikes to keep out of the wind.

Cactus loves that rock.

Lots of green after the wet week preceding this bikepacking trip.

keep hydrated.

A pretty good ride and hike in the Tonto National Forest yet again.  Such a diverse place – truly usable all year long.

azt sign post

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