Wednesday, December 20, 2017

RV Trip: Day 8 - Uraling to Apache Lake

Scarlett and I rode up AZ Highway 88 past the Lost Dutchman State Park (it's really designed for hikers, not riders and so I skipped going inside the park.

The road past the park is in pretty bad shape, there was frost heave damage every few feet along this road (which is why there was construction crews clogging traffic up); all the way to Tortilla Flat.

Tortilla Flat is a small "town", population 6, smallest one in AZ with its own post office.  It's the last remaining Stage Coach stop from back in the Apache Trail days.

Ironically, the pavement became "smoother" once past Tortilla Flat, no more frost heave damage.  Of course, the pavement soon ended and it became a dirt road with wash boarded sections but otherwise not too bad.

Full of twists and turns too, you have to be careful and watch your line.  The scenery is a bit mild and the highlight before arriving to Apache Lake was the Fish Creek Hill Road which one uses to dive down into the canyon below.

In fact, there used to be a Fish Creek Hill Challenge back in the earlier days of motorcars; where drivers competed against the clock for the fastest climb up this 10% grade hill.

For the record, Scarlett did it in 5 minutes 10 seconds.  As I doubt there's been another Ural on this road, I'll claim the record for this class!  :)

 From near the top of Fish Creek Hill

 Working our way down Fish Creek Hill Road

 One passes Canyon Lake on the way to Apache Lake

 Near the "beach" at Apache Lake.

There's a lodge and a small RV campground at Apache Lake, they even had Extended 3G Internet (slow).  After perusing the lake's views I saw that it was another 17 miles of dirt road to the Roosevelt Dam.  It had been 14 miles and 90 minutes from Tortilla Flats to Apache Lake so I decided this was my turnaround point.
 Hey look, Fall Colors!

 A nice spot for a break for both myself and Scarlett.

 Stopping at the store in Tortilla Flat where I got
a drink of Snapple.  The restaurant/post office
is next door.  Not much else to the "town".

We made it back to the vicinity of the Lost Dutchman State Park and I found a spot outside the park to pose Scarlett by with the Superstition Mountains in the background:
 Superstition Mountains

Got back to the Usery Campground and worked on Scarlett, minor things that needed attention.  She's also starting to have sporadic issues with the kill switch I think.  It won't engage the starter so I have to kick start her.  I checked the switch, re-seated all the fuses; now I can't get it to do it again.  Sigh.

Then it was time to do a test drive after messing about the steering head area moving wires around.  (Tank bag strap had started interfering with steering, not good).

Test drive went well, she turns much easier now that I'm not fighting the friction induced by the tank bag neck strap having become wedged where the steering stops are located!.

Plenty of time to find a different spot for sunset pictures, this time using the Blevin Trail Head Parking Lot to catch the sunset.

The last picture was back at the campsite, same cactus as yesterday's sunset but this time using a 20 sec long exposure so I could force the use of ISO 100; came out OK I think.

Tomorrow I resume my caregiver duties with my FIL until the 24th when I hit the road back to Colorado; hoping to be home late Christmas Day.


Jan Daub said...

Some great sunset shots
Any other vehicles on the road to Apache Lake?

Mr. Coluralado said...

Saw this post for the first time on December 26, especially the part about Fish Creek Hill. Guess what!!!! We were camping in the Lost Dutchman State Park.

So the next day we set out to conquer the Fish Hill Creek.....had to navigate past three cagers on their way down the hill, but we did the climb in 4 minutes 36 seconds......your record stood for about a week!!!

Great ride, thanks for posting about it!

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Darrell (MR Coluralado), well at least my record lasted a week and I wasn't even carrying a passenger like you were!

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Jan Daub, could have sworn I responded to your question earlier but perhaps I didn't hit the publish button. Yes, there were perhaps a dozen that I saw, and about three huge dump trunks.