A place to share words and pics. Mostly bikes, but my photog eye does wander.

Bikes let the good times roll. In solitude or with friends. For a half hour or 8 hours. Pedals become the gears that turn the earth as the sun seems to track their motion, day after day. Miles become food, and you're hungry. The bike stops being a vehicle, or toy, or transportation and becomes an extension of will, allowing you to journey beyond the pain of self into the realm of almighty, joyous nature, she that feeds our souls. Pedal yourself into the maw of creation. Pedal yourself silly.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Mining the Goldfields

John has been working on a nice bikepack route from his house, now that his obsession is hitting full stride, and we were to do some route scouting through the Goldfield Mountains in north Mesa, which would connect Hawes over to the Superstitions, where we'd pick up the Gold Canyon goodies, then to Picket Post, etc. etc...... It was the last day of the year and there seemed no better way to end it than with some fresh exploration. Let's prime the New Year for new experiences. I've never been familiar with the Goldfields, but I know that Mtbikeaz has an sweet header from there on his homepage, so that is what I was expecting.

Well, that was about what we got. It was chilly with a hint of rain in the air, but the clouds were opening up enough to let spatterings of light through all morning and drifting clouds revealed snow on top of Flat Iron. We didn't know exactly where we were going, or how long we were going to be, but the casual flow of the ride was relaxing. I knew there were no Strava segments out there.

An early morning heading east on McKellips Road. Flat Iron and the Tonto National Forest are directly ahead. The clouds hide a chilly blanket of white.

Excellent morning for a ride.

The patchwork of clouds gave forth exuberant pockets of light that seemed to dance as if they were rocks at the bottom of a crystal clear aquarium that is next to a window with the sun shining in. I felt like a wheeled bottom feeder, taking up all the best parts of the dirt. I was happy with that.

Dance! You magnificent expression of Earthy Nature and Atomic Fusion! Your pallet would tickle Bob Ross's soul. 

So we were only about 20 minutes into the ride, clearly enjoying it to the max. Here I play with a color accent on John's jacket.
Soon enough we get close to the 88 and snow is revealed on the top of Flat Iron. That's at about 3500ft.

I guess you don't have to go too far to find snow in Phoenix.

A juxtaposition of dichotomous natural elements, each representing thermal extremes.

Weaver's Needle peeks out from the Tonto National Forest.
And we broke through to Rt 88. After this we'd head to Jacob's Crosscut or somesuch trail. I've never been there. That would lead around toward Gold Canyon.

Entrance to the new Secret Trail.

Because it's awesome.

As we made our way back to the TH, we ended up climbing on top of the ridge where we were greeted with this playground looking area 52 type place. We didn't explore much, so there's some taste of the pie to go back for.

I contemplated my short Redbull Rampage career.

Heading off the ridge, we were greeted with this view.  And as I look at it, I think I finally spy where Mtbikeaz got his header from! I've been wondering for years. Ah, Phoenix. For a big city, your mountain biking rocks.