Exploring with no "Plan."
Often, I find myself planning the next big trip, ad nauseum. It’s to some pretty destination and I’m researching neat trails, cabins, campsites etc.
Those are fun, but I try to always remind myself to wander aimlessly.
This type of “Overlanding” is the kind that relieves the most stress and quiets my soul. Just picking trails/roads that you’ve NEVER been on and exploring. If they go through, great, if not turn around. Just watch the fuel/water/supplies and if it doesn’t go through, you turn around at the point where you need to.
“Need to” meaning the point where you estimate that your water, fuel, food, or time will run out (With a nice big safety margin) if you don’t turn around. Often times, you’ll find a way “through” and add a new trail or connector to your mental map of an area.
That’s what I did last weekend.
We jumped on a road that everyone around Phoenix knows. The backroad to Crown King. It’s like a zoo trying to navigate this road. It’s filled with over 100 UTV’s and Jeeps most weekends these days. That’s not my idea of a fun time so we bypassed this road and decided to see if we could connect some other roads together to get there.
Note: Be sure to put an SD Card into your camera before you try to take photos...... I got a lot of really neat ones before I realized my mistake. Oops!
We took a break and several times someone in a UTV or on a quad stopped to ask for directions to the Crown King Backroad. We realized that the only people we were seeing were ones that missed the turn. This was a good sign. Ahead of the next gate ahead I bet we’d see almost no one.
The roads weren’t horrible, just bumpy. These get so little traffic that the “baby heads” (Description for these size rocks) don’t get throw off the trail so you just bounce around on top of them.
There are thousands of lonely old windmills pumping underground water into stock tanks in AZ. Most of these are from the late 1800's to mid 1900's. Most are Aeromotor’s from Chicago.
Eventually we connected to another backroad to Crown King. Still lesser used than the main backway, but this one see’s daily use.
Might need a patch or two...
It’s always nice to have a bottle opener handy.
Scored a parking spot of front!
The Crown King Saloon is a neat place! Lots of history as I’ve mentioned in previous posts.
To get away from the folks that now flock to this old Saloon on weekends, take your beer up the outdoor steps and enjoy the view. You really feel a word away up here.
You can actually rent these rooms. I’m sure it’s more now, but it was once $25 for a night. Well worth it, but don’t expect a quiet nights sleep. You are just feet above where the band plays, in a 120 year old building, that was once a whore house. Sleep tight!
Looking down main street. Site of one of the shortest 4th of July parades. :-)
Here is a view of the same main street from the opposite side of town when the “Impossible Railroad” used to go right down the middle. The second to last building is the saloon and patio where I took the picture above.
General store in the 1800's. General store now:
How do you not get a photo of an old 40 doing work helping last nights band tow their van to the highway?
Now, that’s patina.
As you descend what was once carved out as a railroad bed, it’s hard not think of the history this area has. It speaks to you.
Time to air up and head home. Good Saturday.