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Second Annual "Burning Liberal" Weekend

For the second year in a row, Jim invited us all up to his cabin in Crown King for a weekend of riding and good conversation.  Unfortunately, a lot of the guys from the adventure board (advrider.com) couldn't make it, so the group was primarily locals. The group ended up being six BMW GSs, a 650 Dakar and my KTM.  Everyone that did show had good experience riding the big BMWs off road, so we avoided littering the trail with GS parts. (Although, that was one of the highlights of last year's event.)

On the way up, Roamer (Eddie) and I met up at Lake Pleasant to take the back way up to Crown King.  Because it was a Friday morning, there were no other vehicles on that trail, so the riding was great.    

Heading out from
Lake Pleasant
Roamer heading
up a rough spot
    Nailing the step

Once at Jim's cabin, we relaxed for the evening with beers and a campfire.  (If you're ever sitting at a campfire with Jim and Paul, be sure to ask their opinions on the use of rear brakes.  Wait... scratch that.) 

The next morning, we had a good breakfast in Crown King and hit the trail early. The trip started from Crown King and went down Wagoner Trail to an impressive abandoned mine. After exploring the mine structure, we rode down into the valley below, where several large ranches dot the landscape like a scene out of Dallas. Wagoner road then led us to the road up Yarnell (a great stretch of twisty pavement) where we stretched our street legs a bit.  (Man, was I longing for a twin right about then.)

Arriving at Jim's Setting up camp On Wagoner Trail Curtis heading
up to the mine
Jim pulling in
At Wagoner mine Remnants of the
once busy facility
Nice view from the mine JT posing James exploring
Inside the mine structure Checking it all out I got's me a tractor Wagoner road Outside a large ranch

After taking a break in the Prescott city park, we hit the road again and headed for Jerome. Shortly before hitting Mingus Mountain, Paul was in the midst of passing a red truck when the driver decided she didn't feel like getting passed and swerved to hit Paul.  The truck then turned into the local fairgrounds, where three police cars were parked outside the lot. Paul resisted the temptation to confront the truck and teach the driver a personal lesson, and instead instructed the police to stop the truck (which they did). However, after questioning the driver, the officers claimed they could do nothing. 

We all regained our composure and then continued on toward Jerome.  (The twisty pavement on the way there was the best therapy possible after the truck incident.)  After a nice lunch, we headed back toward Mayer to hit a dirt road back to Crown King.  Unfortunately, Jim's GS shut down shortly before reaching Cleator (some kind of a clutch/transmission problem), so Curtis towed Jim on up to Cleator.  After relaxing there a bit, we all headed on up to Crown King for another evening of swapping stories around the fire.

Resting in the park
in Prescott
Out for Justice If you see this truck... Lining up to decide
on a route
Paul recovering back
at camp

Because Jim's bike was out of commission, we decided to forgo any group ride on Sunday morning and packed up to head back into town.  After telling Paul about the trail up the back way, he wanted to try it on his GS, so he and I headed down to Lake Pleasant.  (It's a safe bet that's the first time a BMW GS has ever gone down that trail.)  It was also proof that a skilled rider can take that big bike just about anywhere...

It sucks not
having your bike
Zilla and JT head
down the back way
  JT landing off the
infamous step
Zilla coaxing the
beast down the step
  Nice bit of riding JT having fun... and getting some air This truck was having
trouble making it up
 
Taking the GS down This shows how deep
the ruts were
Paul coming up the
other side
Fun on the GS  

Aside from the issue with Jim's bike, it was a great weekend with a lot of good riding.  Thanks Jim and Lori!