Saturday, January 18, 2020

More T-Dubing exploration of Area B of the Barry Goldwater AF Range

Sunny and cool when I headed out shortly before 10AM southbound again on AZ Hwy 85 for 18.4 miles to Gate #9 of the Area B portion of the Air Force Gunnery Range.

Portion of the map for reference for yesterday and today's riding:

Instead of repeating yesterday's riding, I instead headed south on Trail 605 until I got to its junction with Trail #611 to check out what looked like a Yagi Antenna carved out of the ground for airborne usage.  It's the landmark in blue in the map above.

I wonder what its purpose is?

Anyways, moving on.  From the 611 junction, I rode the diagonal (it wasn't as straight as shown on the map!) trail to its junction with 621 where I turned north to get to Trail 620.  Trail 620 proved to be laid on what was a dry river bed, very fine gravel and sand and very slow progress on my part.

I saw where it seemed to emerge onto a packed dirt portion so I took it and ended up somehow missing Trail 619 and ending up on Trail 617 which was what I wanted to eventually get to anyways.

This would be my first brush with the border of the Range Area in pink in the above map.  You have to call into the Range Control office to see if there were any active ranges going on but since I had no cell coverage, no way to call.

So I got on 617 and headed towards yesterday's pass which I had ended up hiking to the top of.

 Enroute to the top of the pass, a shot of what I called Pyramid Hill

It was a gentler grade up to the pass, with a couple of dips filled with big rocks that were a bit technical but not too bad.  Yagi motored me up to the top of the pass with no issues;

Coming down, I was vindicated in having chickened out yesterday when headed up  this side of the pass.  It was steep, sloping, lots of slick rock, ruts and boulders.  Yikes.  managed to throttle up unintentionally and ended up hitting brakes and stalling Yagi, then promptly dropping her on her left side.

No injuries or damages but I forgot to take a picture before righting her and after calming down my breathing, slowly making my way back down to the point where I had parked her before during yesterday's riding:

That particular ordeal over with, I rode to the junction with trail 609 and then took the main trail towards its juntion with Trail 608.

It was a deadend trail, which led out onto the flatter areas of the valley.  No pics.

Retracing my route back to the main trail, I then headed for the junction with trail 607 which proved to be a loop around a small set of hills where a water holding "tank" had been constructed.

I also rode by a camper van, VW type, alongside this trail.

 Near the water tank where the trail loops

 Water holding structure, no water inside, just green scum/moss

Finished out the loop on trail 607 exiting onto the main trail and turning right to ride down to the junction with Trail 606.

 From a distance it looked like a cave but it turned out to be an alcove

Trail 606 dead ends before a big ditch, didn't find a water tank here though.  Still, it's a nice camp area if you can get your vehicle into it.  There were a couple of ditches that mandated high clearances!

Again back on the main trail and just before the junction with Trail 605, I found what could be a nice wide and flat camping area for the next time I'm in the vicinity:

Taking Trail 605 north, riding alongside the railroad line of the Tucson-Cornelia and Gila Bend route, I stopped at each gate  on trails 603 (Gate 8) and 601 (Gate 6A) and finally trail 600 (Gate 5) where I confirmed that each gate's padlock was set to the same combination!  I'd gotten the impression from the safety briefing that one had to use Gate 9, not so.

I ended up  riding up trail 601 to its border with the Ranges border and got this picture of Lookout Mountain:

Just a pic to show what Range Control apparently uses to monitor traffic passing through the gates, looks like a Trail/Game Camera.  I didn't confirm whether there was something inside or not.

Now riding again on Trail 605 north, paralleling the rail line and the fence line, I stopped for one more pic of Lookout Mountain:

I left Area B at Gate 5:

Riding Trail 605 saved me about six miles of highway riding so it was less time on pavement being wary of clueless cagers in a frantic hurry to be somewhere.

Got back to camp by 3:30 PM with no issue, refilled Yagi's tank for tomorrow and in general just relaxed in the URRV the rest of the afternoon.

A good day of riding!  I really like Area B of the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range.


Bluekat said...

You really make me want to rethink my “gravel bicycle” for a little dual sport. This is just the kind of place I’d love to explore.

I have always loved the tw200, though salespeople like to point me to the Yamaha 250.

Nice post today. I’m inspired. Maybe I’ll go peruse the sales ads. ­čśë

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the comments inspiring someone, my work is done. :)

SonjaM said...

While Kari was thinking about gravel cycling I was wondering how good of a hiking area this would have been. Are there any water holes along the trails?

redlegsrides said...

No visitor support mechanisms whatsoever, unlike the trails you show us SonjaM. You pack it in, and you pack it out. The water tanks and holding areas I've seen are usually empty and if not empty, the water is foul looking. Its water collected for cattle usually so not for human consumption.