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