Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Off Road Scooting

I enjoy going on little adventure rides. The only vehicles I have to do this kind of thing are my scooters, so that's what I use.

The October issue of AZ highways' Drive of the Month, was a ride up and over Box Canyon, in the Santa Rita Mountains. It looked like fun, so I took off this morning to ride it.

Scooters are unlikely off-road vehicles, but I have found them to do well on dirt, gravel, sand etc. You must go slower than a dirt bike would go, but you can still get out and see some great sights and not be limited to what you can see from the pavement.

I started off going south on Scenic Highway 83 toward Sonoita, AZ. This first pic shows the Santa Ritas in the background. It was a little windy this morning, so there were times I was only going 45mph. This highway also has some decent hills, so nature was conspiring to keep my speed down, today. There was very little traffic on 83, so I had no difficulties with traffic.

I turned off on the Madera Canyon road. This is rough, two-lane asphalt, which gives way to dirt after 2 or 3 miles. The second photo is taken on the paved part.

The third photo is of a warning sign. I found it to be quite sobering. I was hoping my scooter didn't sound like a patrolling Boarder Patrol vehicle.
There were some of the worst wash-boards that I have ever ridden/driven, but over all, the road was in good shape, it's usually wide enough for two cars to pass each other and it's fairly well maintained.

A few months back, I rode up a fire road which goes up the northern side of Mount Lemmon. It wasn't as pretty as this, but the ride itself, was very challenging. Here is my post on Modern Buddy, where I talked about it. There are some pics, too: http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/

As I was coming down the west side of
the mountains, toward green Valley, I
saw a sign that said "Helvetia 8 mi."
Helvetia is a Ghost Town, that I read
about, so I decided to make a detour
and go there. I found the cemetery,
but was unable to find what is left of the

I'm sure I was very close, but I began
running low on fuel. I knew I didn't want
to run out of gas out in the boonies, so
I headed for home.

I had a great time, and now that I have
a better idea where Helvetia is, I'll be
going back that way, before too long.

Scoot On!

ps - I apologize for the crappy formatting. I'm still
trying to get the hang of this thing. It's definitely

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