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Wanted to do it, Did it  :)

From earlier post - a proposed ROUTE:

Lake martinez, up red cloud, to cibola, cross river, to palo verde, through old palo verde road, might go to see radio towers in remote area, then down to Indian Pass, back-way into picacho, a celebratory brew on picnic tables  :) , down picacho road, play a little on side roads, maybe out to "Rock Faces?" then cut across to Ferguson, then back to Senators, Senator's Wash to Hidden shores, to Martinez. Monday morn after overnight in martinez. Could stay Night after ride, even head to other riding locations after loop on following days.  This 60 year old likes to keep moving, but nothing too fast or technical for this newb on a 07 525. Will have- Ham radio and Delorme and GPS. Will have, as all others should too- tools, tubes, cold and hot gear, munchies, water,  (extra Gas?).  cheers. 

Last Sunday, March 4, I loaded the trailer and gear in truck, with coolers, camping gear, etc...  ate breakfast, and got all excited to be heading out when.... I turned the key and the battery was dead.  Well, better at home than in the wilderness.  No warning signs.  I drove down to auto parts store in car, got a new battery, and headed home.  I took out the battery and parked the car when all of a sudden, a big clunk, and the car window wouldn't go up.  Hmmm, should I go ride???  Still yes.  I moved stuff in garage to leave car in garage since window was broken down, and installed battery in the truck, and drove east.  I met some buddies at McCain and had a glorious ride.  A bit cold at first, but dirt was nice after the rain. 

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The classic, I like my bike pic - haha.

We finished the ride and started the BBQ, and ate (elk, salmon, tuna, beef) surf and turf burritos at the oak tree tables.  Very nice. 

Then, left McCain and drove to Lake Martinez.  A nice $5 a night camping spot, started a fire, a couple cold ones, and another snack.  All good.

A warming morning fire, coffee, breakfast, and packed up the bikes around 9:30 am,  just 2 of us, and headed north on Red Cloud.  The river views were so nice in the cool morning air.

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Heading north, the track was quite wash-boarded, and there seemed to be a significant increase in rzr tracks, but only saw a couple jeeps not far from Matrtinez.  The washes were dry, so the ride was nice, however, as went tried to transition to Cibola road, there were many new fences.  We wandered casually for awhile in some very rough terrain as we tried hard to avoid the nature conservancy.  There may also be some terrain wars going on up there as we saw a very disturbing rut purposefully dug out in one of the roads.  Right across the entire road on a ridge, a backhoe looks to have dug a 5 foot deep and 5 foot wide crevasse.  That is very very dangerous and should be outlawed.  If a bike or rzr was even moving briskly, a skid would likely still end in a drop in.  We tried to gather big branches, but it seemed to hide the ditch when we did so, so we left it open.  Basically, if you know anybody going up there, be super careful as you approach the old mine before cibola road.

We finally navigated the rough terrain and found the major road to head north, we set our sights on Palo Verde to have lunch and get gas.

Although a bit knackered at that point, we were thinking we were about half way at 60 ish miles (that also included a crazy search about for the road we needed to find earlier).  As we left Palo Verde, I took the advise given to me from my earlier post (thank you) to avoid asphalt and take the old Palo Verde road through the mountains.  We almost missed it because you actually have to turn into the Palo Verde Dump road, that has locked gates, but for only about 10 feet, then you can see the branch off to head through the peaks and valleys.  A super nice road that drops you out at Milipitas, but we went right across to avoid the paved hiway, and were very delighted to find the dirt hiway that headed south which allowed 50 to 65 mph rates through the open desert of groomed dirt.  I like that  :) We zipped south and were treated to the pleasant surprise that just as I began to think that I should keep my eyes open for a way to find Ogilby, the dirt hiway stopped at the intersection of ogilby and 78.  Nice.  We zipped down to Indian Pass and flew up to the pass and then dropped down into the wash.  That area is worth riding just for the colors and mountain ridge contrast.  Great stuff!  We then wandered over to Taylor lake and had a couple cold ones looking over the river.  Spectacular views from there, but still had the wind vest on as the chill was more evident at speed.  I was knackered there as the washes keep this newbie alert while trying to avoid all sleeper rocks trying to put me down. 

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 If you wondered what that round thing was on the back of the bike....  that was the keg - haha. I had filled the fifty/fifty in PaloVerde, and the liquid was nice and cold near Picacho - Cheers!

We headed down to Picacho proper to get the classic pic from the picnic tables at the doc, it is so dang nice there with the river zipping by!!

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The sun was getting lower on the horizon and we didn't want to miss the gate getting locked at Hidden Shores, and we didn't want to ride at night.  So we made great time at we zipped south from Picacho, turned east under the big power lines a few miles before the canal, turned at the end towards the canal, followed the canal east to the end, and turned to the asphalt road just before senators wash campground turnout,........................  then ran out of gas..... shocked, what???   but yep, we had gone about 100 miles since Palo Verde and I don't recall riding much without the throttle fully open, so a silly mistake not being attentive to that.  So we took 2 of the 4 MSR bottles out of my saddle bags to gas up.  We entered Hidden Shores a bit more cautiously, and rode the hills back to Martinez.  Sunset was a couple miles before our return.  Good timing for a ~ 9 hr. and ~175 mile loop. Another campout back at the truck, a warm fire, cold ones, and a good sleep.  Until next time.  Cheers. 

 

k

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That is one of my favorite loops.  Great write up. 

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Nice report I saw ur truck and trailer at mccain and thought it was overkill for a day trip

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Nice loop. Is Indian Pass doable on a big bike with a qualified operator??

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Thanks fellas. To Oracle, the ogilby to picacho route through Indian Pass has a tale of 3 stories.  From Ogilby to the actual pass, (about the midway point from asphalt to river, ~ 6 miles) I would zip on my weestrom and be happy as heck on hard packed road (in fact, I would highly recommend to all off-road big bikes that when riding in the area, ride out to the pass and back. I could also do the rocky chopped up section going down from the pass (for about quarter mile, a lot of cool color and natural beauty there). Then for the next ~6 miles to the river, and the next 7-8 miles south to picacho, the wash and road along the river has variant levels of grainy soft sand that would be quite unpleasant for me on my loaded weestrom on 705's (tires). Some of it has small sections of firmness, so I could do it, but the fun would be gone and it would be a gritty grindy adventure for me on that bike, that would likely include 7-8 naps.  I have thought about it many times, but haven't done it on a weestrom (my DRZ liked it, the orange bike considers it normal travel terrain).   

Back to the point, yes, you could do it :) .  If you would ride your big bike on fish creek, diablo, tapiado, etc...  you should be ok knowing it could be a pain at times in the soft stuff. The sand has more grit there, so that helps a bit, but if you get half way and get exhausted, that would be a longggggg 6 miles to get out.  I will let the Big Bike riders who have done it chime in as to the actual level of difficulty, of course, the big bike model & make will have a lot to do with it. Maybe the Vey's Klim moto camp out riders rode the north route out of Picacho????   And soon, the 700 tenere's will be zipping through there in their white boots - haha. Cheers

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The other option is Hyduke Mine road.  It is off of Ogilby a couple of mile south of the turn off for Indian pass.  It roughly parallels Indian pass and is mostly hard pack.   There are some sandy and rough spots but not the miles of deep sand you get on Indian Pass.  It will take you to picacho and you can turn right to head to Yuma or left down to the river. Take notice that the area at the end of Picacho road along the river is actually a state park and require a $5 payment to go into.    

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Thanks again dstss.  I just got back from Quebec city, been there 9 days.  Gosh Darn cold there (snow boots and down jackets all day).  Consequently, I sure could use a so cal desert fix.

I think I will load the bike tomorrow after work, head east, take a couple days off, and find Hyduke Mine road Tuesday morn (never been there) from senators or martinez or gold rock rv.  Then maybe a wander around Picacho, and the next day to Lake Ferguson. If you have any tracks or know of other exploration roads in the area, post or PM.  

Thanks.  Cheers

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If you have a chance to visit a BLM office, get the map for BLM Routes of Travel for Eastern Imperial County. It has all the designated routes through the Picacho area.  I will look to see if i have any GPS tracks or POIs but while in the area, you must see the Valley of the Names.  I think its on Route 690.  https://www.visityuma.com/offroading.html   The coordinates are in the linked article.  There is also a cool slot canyon accessible off of Picacho road. I just replaced my computer so i need to look through some old hard drives to see if i can find the actual coordinates.   

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Got it, thanks again.  I might see if there is any way to get from Ferguson to Picacho more directly, but doesn't look like it. I was intending to visit valley of the names, off of Barney oldfield.  I had posted that I wanted to do it last visit but the ride got too long.  However, kinda funny how there is so little posted about hyduke (on maps).  I looked on google earth, but wasn't quite sure.  I will try to get my hands on a BLM map, or.... simply wander around  and look for it :)  .....  Since I do not really have an agenda except to be in the desert, ride my bike, see new lands, followed by a campfire and a cold one at night, and a coffee in the morning, ride again.  A Picacho BDR - haha. 

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If you take Picacho road, you will see the major power towers that cross the road. Just past there is a sign that says Exit on the left. Take that and the take the trail that heads north like Picacho but heads slightly west of the main road. It takes you through an area that most people camp. Stay on that and it will take you right through the Valley of the names.  It is a fun twisty road with several off shoots. The entire area pretty large.  As you come to the north edge  of the Names area look for a trail that heads right. It will take you back down to Picacho road. Take  Picacho north.  A little bit down the road, it goes down a hill and turns sharp left. Right at the bottom of the hill is a sandy area on your right with  a trail that leads into the slot canyon.  From there you can stay in that wash until you come to a dirt trail crossing the wash. Take it right and it will follow the power towers back to Picacho road. Fun little loop.  It is possible to get from Senators wash to Picacho without getting 'on the road, but It involves a long rocky hill descent and some deep sand along the canal.  Haven't done it for a while and the last time i tried, I struggled to find the starting trail.  Wish I didn't have to work or i would come along for the ride. 

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