Sunday, January 19, 2020

Last Day of T-Dubing in the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range

Today was my last day of camping for January, headed for Phoenix tomorrow to put the URRV into storage for about a month while I fly home to get some chores done, report for jury duty and get my hearing aids from the VA.

I thought I would check out the Hazard Area (in pink) shown in the range map below, as I had confirmed there were no active ranges in operation today with Range Security.

The plan was to take Trail 601 to 602 from Gate 5 and then see how close I could get to the Hazard Area's eastern border with the East Tactical Range.

Today's riding was pretty much the same as the other two days, rocky trails with frequent crossing of rock filled gullies and washes.  The gullies got steeper and rockier the closer I got to the ridges that formed the eastern border with the Tactical Area, forcing me to negotiate them very slowly and carefully.

By the time I got to the border ridges area, I could see another steep trail heading to a pass over the bordering ridge.  This time I knew better and stopped way before the steep stuff began.  I shed my riding gear and hiked the short distance to the top.

Trying to show you how steep and rock-strewn it was is difficult with a camera.  But here goes:

 The last bit before the top

 About two thirds of the way up

 The half way point where I surely would have dropped Yagi

Standing Yagi back up on this side sloping rock strewn steep portion
of the "trail" would have sucked.

Glad I decided to hike it instead.  The view from the other side was "OK" but nothing to reward one for the efforts of braving the climb in the first place on a motorcycle.

I believe I got as far as where the red arrow is pointing on the map below:

A pic before I turned Yagi around:

I retraced my route, "enjoying" the narrow/steep/rock-strewn gullies yet again, and made it back onto 601 safely with no real issues.

No name for that craggy peak in front of Yagi, according to PeakFinder

Along the way, you see a water tank area labeled 578 on the map above, I believe this was it:

The area is fenced off I think to keep cattle out, not sure why its covered though unless they uncover it in the Spring?  The sign said: "Game Water" so I think it's to provide drinking water to the local wildlife.  You're not allowed to camp within 1/4 mile of such locations per AZ law.

Back on AZ Hwy 85 north, I went into Gila Bend to look for sugar cubes to replace my stock.  No luck in the two food stores I tried, just 5lb bags available and I didn't need that much sugar in the URRV!

So, feeling hungry as it was almost 2:30PM, I stopped at the McDonald's and got a meal while also helping myself two four sugar packets for tomorrow's breakfast coffee.

I'm sure I'll find sugar cubes in Phoenix!

I liked this campground a lot, cheap with full hookups, not exactly crowded but lots of room between sites to keep things friendly.  Apparently, you can stay here for six months if you wish, but you have to pay in advance and no discount.

Last camping sunset for this month


Bluekat said...

I love this rugged lonely landscape. Are there any other people around or are you pretty much alone out there? Perhaps you said do elsewhere and I missed it. Great place to explore. I understand the temptation to peek around every corner and over every hill. Good call on the hike.

redlegsrides said...

Yep, this kind of terrain appeals to me greatly Bluekat! I saw perhaps three people the first day, one in the second and no one today!

Troy said...

Goldwater has an interesting WWII story. Your blog is fun, too. Don't stop!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Troy and yeah quite the history here.

SonjaM said...

I'd love this kind of solitude. But duty calls. Guess the wife has already drafted honey-do list for ya.

redlegsrides said...

Yep SonjaM, solitude available but yes, chore list exists, jury duty beckons and VA appointments lined up

Oz said...

First, that looks like a fun area. I haven't done much off-roading, but I love the secluded areas you have been to. Second, I hope your hearing check is good and you get your chores done. Third, great job of being a productive citizen and reporting for jury duty :)

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the comments Oz.