We had a guy’s trip planned since the blistering summer heat in Arizona was finally breaking. The plan was for several friends to meet at a campsite near Bagdad, Arizona so we could explore a new area.
I had a slight setback as my garage door broke the night before I was to leave and I could not get my quad trailer out of my garage. I was lucky that a friend of mine that owns a garage door company was able to have one of his guys at my house early in the morning to repair the broken door.
The drive for me was about 2 and ½ hours towards Vegas which is about the same distance for one of our riders (Pete) to travel to camp from his home in Vegas. Unfortunately I did not get the GPS coordinates until I was already on the road. I thought I could put them into my smart phone but unfortunately that did not work. I tried to call but the group that was there early were out riding and had no coverage.
I went north of Bagdad, AZ where I thought we were camping, but could not find the group. I unloaded my quad and rode about 15 miles of trails looking for the camp site with no luck. I then rode my quad into Bagdad so I could get phone coverage and tried to call my friend Jeff. Again no luck. I then called Zane in Phoenix; he told me they were in a different area towards Hillside. I loaded up and went in search of them. I took two roads off into the desert for many miles without any sign of them. At this point I was frustrated and decided to go back north of Bagdad to the area that has tons of balanced rocks and camp by myself so I could take photos of the beautiful scenery.
I found a place to camp where there was even a picnic table next to some very cool rocks. Too bad the local kids tagged the rocks with graffiti.
I quickly unloaded so I could get some photos of the balanced rocks before the sun went down.
This rock looks like a strange creature.
I found a very nasty hill climb that I started to go up but it was not doable without any help. I would have liked to see if the DWT Moapa’s could get enough grip to claw their way to the top of this hill for a gorgeous view but I am always much more cautious when I'm riding alone.
I was riding as fast as I dared trying to get some good shots before the sun set.
As I came over a small rise I went right over a large Tarantula. It's amazing I did not run over it.
Darkness was fast approaching so I went back for a bite to eat before turning in. Since I was alone back in the boonies, I decided to sleep in the back of my truck. The seats fold up and I had a couple of backpacking air mattresses so it shouldn’t be too bad.
It was a bit on the cold side (46) and my air mattress both went flat so I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up. I had seen some eyes out in the desert near me so I wanted to wait for daylight before I got out of my truck.
Finally it was starting to get light out. I had stopped in Bagdad and bought some cake tins so I could use them for cooking. I made a small fire and put the bacon in the tin. When it was done I used the grease for some eggs. It turned out OK for roughing it.
Now that I was full it was time to go explore for the morning. I might as well go for a ride until about noon and then try to find the group again. I went over to the area where I saw the eyes in the dark with my flashlight and there were some rather large paw prints of some animal. I am not sure what they were from but they may have been from the legendary chupacabra. Glad I didn’t go out last night!!!!!!
As I took off to explore the area I noticed 2 more hill climbs that looked interesting. I thought if I went to the top I could get a better idea of where the roads where. I made it to the top where there were some awesome views. There are quite a few roads winding through the area to explore. As I will find out later the road in the upper right hand corner of this photo took me down into a canyon where there used to be a huge mine.
Just like a lot of trails it was easier going up with momentum than the ride back down the hill. This trail is very loose granite with large ruts and rocks. It gave me the feeling that I would not be able to hold the line going down without sliding sideways but I was lucky the DWT Moapa’s gripped the rocks on this steep grade. I was definitely warm after this part of the ride.
Every corner I turn there are more interesting balanced rocks. They are truly amazing.
There was a place off the main road where they had 2 water lines suspended across a canyon. I can’t imagine how they did this back in the day.
As I was taking one road after another I found this slit in the rocks. As I got closer I saw rail car tracks and knew it was a mine shaft.
I went back in a ways until I came upon some bats. At this point I took their picture and backed out.
Back on the trails there was more new dirt to explore.
I found the road I saw from the top of the hill and again was amazed at the rock formations as I wound my way along this trail. It looked like aliens used this area as a drawing board.
All of a sudden as I round a corner a huge canyon comes out of nowhere and there was a road headed down to the bottom. Oh my! Was I ever excited!!! I was wishing my riding buddies were here with me exploring. It is always more fun to find new stuff with friends.
As I make my way down the trail I get even more excited as there is a huge mine near the bottom.
Wow, this used to be a big time operation at one time.
As I was looking around there was another mine around the corner at her bottom near the creek. This is an area I am going to have to come back and explore when I have more time.
Well, it’s time to start heading back to the truck as I am getting low on gas and I don’t want to have to use the fuel in my flat pack at this time, so I head back up the beautiful trail. Its funny how just going a different direction you see so many more formations.
After loading up I headed back through Bagdad towards Hillside, AZ. I just stayed on the main highway and found the group 6 tenths of a mile up the road from where I turned around the day before. Rats!!!
The group was out riding so I went for a short ride and came back to camp. They returned shortly so it looks like I will still get in a couple of good days of riding before having to go home.
Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure.
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