2 Amigos Ride to the Grand Gulch Mine
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  1. #1
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Recently I took a ride to the Savannic and Grand Gulch mines far out onto the Arizona Strip. These are old mines established in the late 1800's. More information here and here if you're interested. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the mileage and ran short of gas before actually getting to the mines. Vegasdesertrat read of my failed attempt, and offered to ride with me out to the Grand Gulch. He's spent a lot of time on the strip, and knows the area very well.



    We met last Saturday on South River Road in St. George where it turns to dirt just south of the Southern Parkway. VDR (Mark) owns a low mileage 89 TW with the cool red and black paint scheme. He's made a number of creative modifications to his TW.







    The wildflowers were blooming, and I stopped to get a picture of a carpet of purple wildflowers on the valley floor.







    On down the road Mark spotted a snake in the road.







    I'm not a big fan of snakes, but Mark had some snake pets when he was younger so he wanted to check it out. It turned out to be a bull snake.







    After playing with the snake for a couple of minutes, Mark set it off to the side of the road. It was a good thing he did, cause a couple of trucks with stock trailers passed us shortly thereafter.



    Before we got going again some riders on big bikes pulled up. They were on their way to meet some other riders in Mesquite, but they had overshot their turn. Mark got them headed in the right direction.







    I don't know who this sign is intended for, cause this sure doesn't look like a primitive road to me.







    Bonus points if you can guess what this is.







    Eventually we made the turn down through Pidgeon Canyon. I liked this stretch of road because of all the cool rock formations.











    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tinman tim's Avatar
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    It's a really big block of cheese!
    SeatConcepts,carb mod,Shinko tires,15/50 o-ring chain,custom racks f/r, aluminum luggage,windshield,handguards,heated grips,Clarke tank,high frt fender,led running lights,folding shifter, wide pegs,12v outlets,headlight kill switch,voltmeter,stainless header,2nd brakelight,GPS/phone mount

  3. #3
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    I spotted a few interesting things along the way.







    It's amazing what a few hundred feet in elevation change can do. We dropped out of the junipers and into cactus country.











    Eventually we arrived at Twin Tanks, just a short distance from the Grand Gulch mine.







    I don't imagine the roads were all that great when this vehicle made the trip out here. The light surface rust is a testament of how arid the climate is out here.







    Approaching the Grand Gulch mine.







    Not chain drive, but old timers nonetheless.







    No power steering here.







    The "accommodations". Some preservation work has been done.







    The "facilities". Not even a two holer!



    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Wow B-dub, this looks like a really fun ride.



    I love the pic of the sea of purple wildflowers, when desert plants do their thing it can create some absolutely surreal scenes.



    I also had to laugh a little at the pic of you guys showing the three "big-bike" riders the way. It reminded me of the time when my can of Fix-a-Flat salvaged a couple of KLR riders' trip a few months back. They couldn't resist taking a shot at my TW, even as I was bailing them out of a tough spot. Little did they know that I had a KLR of my own collecting dust in the driveway. When are these guys gonna figure out that us T-dubbers know what we're doing?



    Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  6. #5
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
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    What a great ride, man that's some beautiful country. Thanks!
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  7. #6
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    There is a dirt runway on the bluff near the Grand Gulch. While we were at the mine looking around we heard the sound of an aircraft up on the bluff. Shortly thereafter a helicopter took off and headed for Vegas. They must've been at the mine and headed back to the helicopter about the time we showed up. Awhile later an airplane flew in and landed. We rode up to take a look and met the pilot and a young couple. They were walking down to check out the mine. Because of the remoteness of the mine, flying in isn't a bad way to visit.







    The end of the runway. You better be airborne by this point, cause it's a long way down.







    Remains of the smelter. Unfortunately, due to design problems it was never used.







    Remains of an old boiler. Steam power was the way to go in the early days of the mine.











    The shaft. More than 500 feet deep.







    Footings for the steam engine that was used to hoist ore out of the shaft. Water reservoir on the right.







    Ore bucket?







    Stationary engine used in the more recent days of the mine.



    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  8. #7
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    The real deal.







    Some kind of refining tool.







    This must've been a powder magazine. It was located quite aways from the rest of the camp, and built into the hillside.







    On the way back out of the mine Mark snagged a piece of wire. Fortunately he felt it hit his foot, so it didn't get wrapped up too tight around things and he had it out of there in just a couple of minutes.







    There was a surprising number of these little critters crawling around.







    Mark was very patient with me, and let me spend the time to see all that I wanted to see. In retrospect I shouldn't have taken so long. I kind of lost track of time. It wasn't a big deal for me, but Mark had to travel further than me to get home. Sorry about that, Mark. My next mod needs to be a timepiece mounted to the bike.



    Eventually I had seen enough, and we headed back.







    At first look this hole in the hill looked like a mineshaft. Upon further investigation though, I could see a pipe coming out and down to a water trough. So, it had to be a developed spring. Very little running water around here, so I'm sure they were willing to do what it took to find water for the livestock.







    I take it that Mark likes to watch western movies cause his comment to me at this point in the canyon was that this would be a great place for an ambush.







    I enjoyed Tony's videos of the NorCal guys doing the stream crossings. So, I thought I would show you guys how we do it in northern Arizona.



    <font size="4">



    A little "dry" humor for ya.



    Stopping to stretch our legs. Only 71 more miles to go.





    Last edited by B-dub; 12-28-2013 at 07:08 PM.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  9. #8
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinman tim View Post
    It's a really big block of cheese!


    Yeah, it's like watching clouds. If you're observant, and have some imagination you can see a lot of cool things!



    Quote Originally Posted by DonBenito View Post
    Wow B-dub, this looks like a really fun ride.



    I love the pic of the sea of purple wildflowers, when desert plants do their thing it can create some absolutely surreal scenes.



    I also had to laugh a little at the pic of you guys showing the three "big-bike" riders the way. It reminded me of the time when my can of Fix-a-Flat salvaged a couple of KLR riders' trip a few months back. They couldn't resist taking a shot at my TW, even as I was bailing them out of a tough spot. Little did they know that I had a KLR of my own collecting dust in the driveway. When are these guys gonna figure out that us T-dubbers know what we're doing?



    Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.


    I like the desert wildflowers, too. We have to enjoy them while we can, cause as you know they don't hang around long. I don't think the big bike riders will ever get it, unless or until they get their own TW! I'm glad you're enjoying the report. The ride was a lot of fun.



    Quote Originally Posted by r80rt View Post
    What a great ride, man that's some beautiful country. Thanks!


    Hey, thanks! I've really enjoyed your reports of the awesome country you live in.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  10. #9
    Senior Member vegasdesertrat's Avatar
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    Hi B-Dub,



    Hog Heaven this ride report.

    That little camera takes great pictures.

    I'm still a little sore from that many miles in a day, normal is 75 or so and only a day to recover.

    I need to figuire out the Photobucket img thing and I will post up too.



    It was beauTWful out there for sure and you were awesome to ride with.

    VDR
    Old As Dirt,

    Living in Las Vegas and loving it.

  11. #10
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Almost back to the truck.







    It was a fun ride. 207 miles round trip for me. I really enjoyed meeting and riding with Mark (vegasdesertrat). He's a great guy. I hope he'll add his input to this report, and I hope we get to ride together some more.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

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