San Pedro Highway/Cascabel Rd
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  1. #1
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    So I've been cooking up a scheme to tackle a dirt route from Tucson to the Willcox Playa for awhile now. I've been to the Playa before in my Suburban, but we took the interstate there and back.







    From what I've been able to glean from my road atlas and google earth, it is possible to get there a "back way" that is almost entirely unpaved. I don't have the fuel capacity, tool kit, or experience to tackle a route like this just yet though. My goal would be to ride from Tucson to the Playa, goof around on the playa for awhile, and then ride all the way back to Tucson in one day. If that sounds like fun to anybody near here, I'm hoping to actually make the full trip in late spring sometime and I'd love to have some company.



    Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to scout out the first part of the route, so that's what I did today. I rode about 55 miles from my driveway to Three Links Rd via Redington Rd to Cascabel Rd/The San Pedro Hwy, then back again. All in it was about 100 miles of dirt, which was a new milestone for me.



    An interestingly eroded hillside just before Redington intersects Cascabel. That Saguaro in the upper right is probably 40 years old, but he'll be lucky if he can hold on to that edge for more than one or two more monsoons. You can see what's left of his brother on the ground behind my TW.







    Sorry for the poor quality on these, but I had to share anyway. This has to be the thickest stand of Chollas I've ever seen. The whole hill was lousy with 'em.











    I didn't apply a sepia effect to this, it just came out that way.







    There's a lot of this kind of topography down around Benson, AZ. I didn't realize it occurred this far North of there.







    When I pulled off onto Three Links Rd, I stopped for a snack before heading back to Tucson.



    Looking back the way I came.







    Looking Southeast towards Willcox.







    Three Links Rd seems to be fairly well maintained, as was most of the San Pedro Hwy. In AZ the "Highway" nomen does not necessarily indicate that a road is paved, and in fact I only hit pavement about 20 yards before turning off onto Three Links (which is also dirt). I was comfortable cruising around 35-40mph most of the time on the San Pedro Hwy, but I had to slow WAY down on the turns. That Deathwing front tire has got to go before I try tackling a route 3-4 times this length in one day. Those little washouts are too unnerving, even if they don't result in a crash.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Nice slice of heaven you have there.



    There are so many different flavors of desert here in the southwest that I doubt I'll ever tire from riding from one to the next.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  3. #3
    Member Splinter's Avatar
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    Looks like you had great time with great weather. Thanks for the pics.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Originally coming from cornfield country, I've fallen in love with the mountains, pine tree's, and the desert (when it's not too hot). These are some really really nice photo's in the desert. Thanks for sharing
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  6. #5
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBenito View Post
    Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to scout out the first part of the route, so that's what I did today. I rode about 55 miles from my driveway to Three Links Rd via Redington Rd to Cascabel Rd/The San Pedro Hwy, then back again. All in it was about 100 miles of dirt, which was a new milestone for me.




    You rode 100 miles in one day on a STOCK SEAT!?!?!?!?



    Wow, you should get the IRON BUTT award!!
    Rocky
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  7. #6
    Senior Member old mad max's Avatar
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    That wall looks like the badlands in SD. Great area ya got there. OMM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    When I hear "San Pedro" I think of the harbor town next to L.A. Nice pics. I wish I had someplace like that close by.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

  9. #8
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    You rode 100 miles in one day on a STOCK SEAT!?!?!?!?



    Wow, you should get the IRON BUTT award!!


    Well, I didn't really spend all that much time sitting down! You spend a lot of time up on the pegs riding these desert roads.



    Whether or not my butt is iron, my legs are feeling pretty rubbery today!
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
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  10. #9
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Looks like you had a fun and interesting ride! That is a thick stand of cholla! Have you come into contact with a cactus while on the TW yet? Thanks for sharing your pics. I checked it out on Google Earth also. Looks like you have a lot of great riding country there.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  11. #10
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-dub View Post
    Looks like you had a fun and interesting ride! That is a thick stand of cholla! Have you come into contact with a cactus while on the TW yet? Thanks for sharing your pics. I checked it out on Google Earth also. Looks like you have a lot of great riding country there.


    As a matter of fact, I came precariously close to several previously shed cholla buds while vainly attempting to frame my bike for a good shot. Fortunately for me, the chollas didn't have any more luck than I did!



    I have gotten up close and personal with a few cactus before though, which is why I carry a mini leatherman with needlenose pliers on my keyring now. The extra weight on my belt loop is annoying, but not as annoying as hiking 7 miles back to my truck with prickly pear spines and glochids stuck in my hand was!
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
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