Chicago Region BMW Owners Association boasts over 250 members... the largest and most active BMW Motorcycle Club in the region. Meeting on the SECOND Thursday monthly, 7:30 pm 'til 9 pm at Elmhurst Elks Lodge, 711 W. St. Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126.
Had the opportunity to spend a week or so last October in the Scottsdale area. I bought a Butler map for AZ, opened it up and decided on an eastern route. The weather was fallish for Arizona so I decided to head out a little early to avoid the valley heat, but knew it would take long for comfortable temperatures as the ride elevations changed.
My destination was to ride the 191 north to south from Eager south through Clifton down to Rte 70 and back to Scottsdale, total distance turned in at about 625 miles. My east bound route took me out the 87 toward Payson turning back south and east on to 188 toward Roosevelt Lake. Not having a GS and being by myself, I decided this round about way to get to the Lake area would be rewarded with nice pavement and great views, not disappointed.
After a brief stop at Roosevelt, (impressive story behind its build) I headed to Globe Az to catch Rt 60 toward Showlow. Now my first impressive impression was the ride down through the little Grand Canyon just past Seneca, just plain cool vistas! From there I continued on Rt 60 looking for AZ 73 where I turned to head into Whiteriver, where I found a great family restaurant for lunch where the local pickup truck laden parking lot said "good food' to me. Best burger in AZ according to the sign on the door, and according to my palate they didn't disappoint.
After a beautiful ride through the well grassed plains I arrived at the junction of the 191and 260 just past Edgar, 190 miles out and early afternoon arriving as shadows moved towards the east. Well, the first part of 191 south was spectacular, nice curves, but fairly fast and fun!. Then I hit the yellow highlights portion of the Butler map and wow! I didn't know Arizona had such lush forest of pines! Well, the day light was dwindling and I did not pack any overnight camping gear (could have been a mistake) so I began to push on. Now, this is one road you don't want to ride at night as the twists are great, but miss a turn and you better hope you left a skid mark cause the only thing that will find you is some hungry four legged carnivore. However, any anxiety I mustered was quickly flames out, the vistas were just incredible! about an hour north of Clifton the big game haters were numerous as they used the remaining day light to scope out their big game delights. Push come to shove, I'm sure I could have persuaded a night rental on the floor of a trailer, but I thought there was plenty of daylight to get down the hill.
Well, my calculations paid off, as the road straightened in a descending slope, for the most part. Now, never being in this area of AZ i was in for quite a surprise as the 191 took an incline and OMG, where did the forest go! I was entering the strip mining area of Freeport MacMoran. While meandering forward, I was met with crossing guards, yup, guys in neon traffic gear who thought it prudent to stop you before crossing the path of the biggest dump trucks I have ever seen!
Now, in amazement I was stunned to see what I later discovered was a primary copper mining operation. Never seeing this I was wondering just how you move a mountain from here to there, leaving a hole where I imagined someone was at the bottom of finding our next roll of copper wiring, you know, the stuff we need to make wires that carry electricity around the canbus on our Beemers. Seems like a fair trade when I put it that way to myself.
Well, I finally arrived at the junction of 191 and 70, turned west into the early evening darkness, headed back to Globe finding the intersection of 60 westbound and back to the 101 loop. The ride was a wonderful conclusion to the 2014 riding season. I rode out from the Falling Leaf Rally, astray for another time) to leave 007 at a Scottsdale BMW dealer, to await my next trip to the valley of the Sun. Which by the way, I was hopeful of my New England Patriots next trip to the Super Bowl. Pretty smart hey?