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Thread: Mt. Lemmon day ride

  1. #1
    Registered User CGARR's Avatar
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    Talking Mt. Lemmon day ride

    I really envy those of you that are doing the national rally
    thing. However, rather than ponder the fun you are having I
    decided a day ride was the order of business for me.

    Since our monsoon season here in the southwest has finally
    managed to get rolling, and the last half mile or so to
    my home is a dirt (mud when it rains) road, I haven't had
    too many opportunities to ride in a week or two. Today was
    realtively dry, and I decided a short mental health ride
    would be in order.

    After considering my options, Mt. Lemmon sounded like the
    obvious choice. I haven't taken the ride from Tucson to
    Summerhaven at the top since the fires went through. I
    also figured that since I was going that way I would also
    load the GPS up with a couple of geocaches. For those of
    you who don't know what it is www.geocaching.com

    I pulled out of the house at around 8:00AM, and it was
    already starting to get hot (desert living). The route to
    reach Mt. Lemmon (for me anyhow) skirts the eastern edge
    of Tucson, and the western edge of the Rincon Mountains.
    Here is where I am heading for the day.



    After stopping to whet my appetite for photos with that shot
    within 15 minutes I was at the first scenic pullout. Those
    who live here know that the highway up to Summerhaven rises
    pretty dramatically out of the desert, and even at the first
    pullout the views are scenic. So I stopped for some scenic
    and desert views, and a gratuitous photo of my ride...









    The first indications of the fire begin to show up fairly low
    on the mountain. Acres and acres of charred brush.



    Fortunately it looks like the grass has come back in most
    places, and eventually the forest and the brush will as
    well.

    The higher you climb, the more dramatic the scenery becomes
    with scenic vistas, rock formations, and the great twisties
    that make this ride a favorite of the local 2 wheeled crowd.













    Unfortunately, many of the most spectacular spots were closed
    to access due to a 5 mile stretch of road construction. No
    stopping allowed with 5 miles of gravel road, a couple of
    which are single lane with stoplights at both ends. Lucky
    for me I hit the green light both times and wasn't delayed
    in either direction.

    By the time you are past the construction, you are well up
    into the pine forests. Time to stop for a break, and a bit
    of geocaching, and another gratuitous picture of the ride
    The road actually peaks out somewhere around 8000 ft., but
    there are higher peaks you can visit.









    After a brief stop, I continued on into the town of Summerhaven.
    Not much left of what used to be here. The businesses are
    pretty much gone, and only some of the homes are standing, but
    it looks like the builders are busy rebuilding, and someday
    the trees will regrow.





    My visit in town was brief, by this time the clouds were built
    up over the peaks and looking threatening. Since 5 miles of
    mud on the way down was not in the plan, I headed home. By
    the time I reached the desert floor the clouds were well behind
    me and the ride home was hot and dry
    '04 R1150 GSP

  2. #2
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Wow

    Can't believe that Summerhaven is kaput. I haven't been up there in years, but the last time I was there were lots of buildings and what not.
    Thanks for taking the time to share the photos and story.
    (Another one who didn't make the Rally.)
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
    www.yearroundriders.com

  3. #3
    Registered User theLuz's Avatar
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    Summerhaven

    Thanks for sharing the ride. I did go to Spokane, but have never been to Summerhaven. What's the temperature in the summer? 8000 feet should be pleasant. If I could get to Tucsan without burning up, I'd like to do that ride.
    the Luz

  4. #4
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Very cool. I am now reading about Geocaching. Hmm just what I need another hobby.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  5. #5
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    That's totally cool, mang. Thanks for posting it! What happened to Summerhaven? It looks like there was a big fire that burned the town down? Did people get hurt?
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #6
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Great report!

    Thanks for posting!

    So what little goodies did you find in your geocaches?

    And... what did you leave?

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  7. #7
    Registered User CGARR's Avatar
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    Been a while since the fire went through, but I don't believe anyone was hurt as the area was evacuated in advance. I'm sure the fire fighters had their share of relatively minor injuries...... sprained ankles and the like........

    On the up side it is still much cooler up on the mountain (read this as 70s and 80s most of the time) than down here in the desert........

    The geocaching is just a good excuse to ride someplace when I don't have any other excuse. C'mon Benn, you always need another excuse to ride.......

    For this particular cache, I was there to nab a toy jeep..... You gotta go to the geocaching web site to understand the need here.....

    I can't recall what got left that day, but it had to be a hotwheels car, or some keyrings and a homie........

    Thank you all for taking the time to read my story, and the positive feedback is always appreciated.....
    '04 R1150 GSP

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