Tuesday, January 14, 2020

T-Dubing to Newman Peak, Forgotten Structures, Tom Mix Monument and a Sunset

Rode Yagi, my Yamaha TW200 Dualsport north towards the settlement of Picacho and from there wandered about a bit trying to get closer to the north side of the mountains composing Newman Peak.

This is the mountain that you can see across the highway from Picacho Peak.

Didn't have much luck finding a direct route, google maps kept trying to have me cross the Central Arizona Project's Aqueduct which of course was not possible in this particular area.  Ran into rocky dead ends, narrow trails and rocks, so many rocks.

This is as far as I could get next to Newman Peak's vicinity before the aqueduct stopped me.

I found a dirt road that paralled power lines to the west and it allowed me passage south along the western flank of Newman Peak.  I came across a rocky formation I'd seen from the top of Picacho Peak yesterday.

Interesting rock, chocolate-colored and kind of hard like quartz or perhaps marble?  Unsure.  Still, it made for a nice picture subject, while I posed Yagi on a nearby concrete pad.  Not sure why the pad was there....weird.

Continuing on the dirt road, it eventually curved around to the east/north some more and I came across a bridge over the dang aqueduct!

Besides the no trespassing sign, it also says no swimming.
Not sure I'd go swimming in this water.

At this point I was following google maps directions to try and get back to Park Link Road from my position.  I ended up going way further west than I wanted to, more on that later.  Still it was nice packed dirt with many instances of deep loose sand which took some of the fun out.

Had to go cross-country on paths carved out by others to bypass the really deep sandy portions.  What I couldn't avoid, I traversed in first gear and in full outrigger mode at times, going very, very slowly.  Happily I managed to not dump Yagi in the loose stuff.

Along the way, I stopped at structures that had been abandoned.

The first forgotten structure I found was what looked to be a square building made of concrete bricks in the distance.  As I neared, I thought I could see an RV paint scheme inside.  That made me curious as I parked Yagi near the building.

 See the paint stripes visible through the doorway?

View of south side of Newman Peak

It turned out to be an old and quite dilapidated RV Trailer.  Not sure why, but someone had placed it inside this structure and then sealed it in!  There was evidence of construction work to put in electrical wiring and such as well.

Nearby was an abandoned metal storage building of some sort.  Heavily damaged, or perhaps never finished?  Not sure.  I rode Yagi over to it and got these pics:

There was evidence inside of idiots shooting their guns at stuff and at the building itself.  Lots of spent bullet casings, holes in the structure frame members...etc.  Again, not sure why all this was put here and later seemingly abandoned.  A failed ranch's infrastructure perhaps?

Kept on going and several miles later after a couple of false turns and many encounters with small herds of cows; found the paved road leading to the Cactus Forest Landfill.  I also had switched to reserve on Yagi's gas tank at 95 miles on the trip meter; I continued to see how far I'd get.

Boy was I way off from where I wanted to end up.  I rode the 7 miles to AZ 79 from the landfill and turned south for the estimated 18 or so miles to the junction with Park Link Road.

Along the way, I spotted a brown tourist sign announcing the Tom Mix Monument.  I had a vague idea of who Tom Mix was, some sort of cowboy actor of the silent movie era.  So, I stopped.  There was indeed a monument and some picnic stands and shelters alongside the highway.

There were some photos and news clippings on display on the picnic table near the monument along with a Visitor Log.  Too bad nothing to write with though, so I wasn't able to sign it.

This photo of Tom Mix on a motorcycle of course
caught my eye first.

There were blowups of newspaper clippings of back in 1940 when Tom Mix died in a motor vehicle accident.  Apparently, he blew through the detour signs at a nearby wash where road work was being done and at an estimated 80 mph (back in 1940 now) and crashed/overturned his car.

More details here in the clippings of the day.

I like finding such unusual sights while riding, the Tom Mix Monument was a bonus for today.

I ran out of gas within sight of the turn for Park Link Road.  I pulled over to the side of the road, got the spare gas can unmounted and poured it all into Yagi's gas tank.  I made it to 118 miles on one tank.

It was another 10 miles or so to Water Tank Rd and my turn to the BLM campsite.  All good.

Today's sunset was pretty fiery:


Martha said...

Ahhh...it's purple sunset time...my favorite of the AZ types.

Looks like a fun time just poking around the neighborhood

redlegsrides said...

Yep, finally some cloud cover during a sunset.

SonjaM said...

The sunset is spectacular, especially with the the cacti. You don't get such in our neck of the woods. Well, maybe the colours but not this kind of vegetation. Not yet anyway, but hey, with climate change we might soon have deserts and cacti nearby ;-)

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, as to cacti in the Black Forest, that would definitely be something catastrophic