On the Trail with Discount Tire Direct-Desoto Mine Trail to Crown King AZ - ATV Forum - All Terrain Vehicle discussion for Honda, Yamaha and more ATVs
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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On the Trail with Discount Tire Direct-Desoto Mine Trail to Crown King AZ

Just before the sun came up I popped out of bed and headed north of phoenix about 45 minutes to meet a few of my friends that were camping out. I hadnít made it out the night before as planned so I was pumped to be on my way for an awesome day of riding. A few of my friends had come from out of state and I was extra excited to see them.

Shortly after turning off the highway and heading down Bumble Bee Rd I spotted the heard camping.



We planned to start off by traveling on the main road to a trail we have ridden on many times just past the town of Cleator. (Population 7) This trail is called The Desoto Mine trail. It is a well known Jeep trail that will get your attention in a few sports for sure. For this ride I planned to be a passenger in Jimís Polaris RZR-S for a change of pace.

Off we went, and only into the trail a few miles we had our first problem show up. Bob was climbing up a nasty short rutted out trail that threw him into some creosote bushes. Unfortunately one of the branches went through the sidewall of his Maxis Cerros tire. No matter what tire you have they can all get punctures if you try hard enough.

Three plugs later and we were ready to hit the trail again. At least we thought we were.



As we were plugging the tire we noticed a few of the group were not with us. Just before the puncture, we had come up a steep off camber hill but it should not have caused a problem. Two of our riders went back to see what was going on. About 10 minutes later they came back and reported Zaneís Can-Am Outlander 800 shut off and would not fire. Zane is one heck of a mechanic and even he could not figure it out so they decided to pull it to the top of the hill with one of the other machines and leave it off on the side of the trail to look at later. Zane decided he would drive his wifeís 2 up Can-Am 650 with her on the back for the rest of the trip. On the way back we would stop and pick up his quad.

Here we are back on the trail.



We made it to the toughest hill climbs on the trail. We wanted to make sure everyone was ok with going up the hill. Sharon decided she would ride up the hill in Jimís RZR instead of attempting this climb. We always have extra bodies willing and able to ride somebodyís machine through a nasty spot if necessary.



Shane got his front end up pretty high in the air on the first part of the climb. Bob was scrambling to try to get there for help but Shane rolled through without any trouble.



From what I understand Robert stood his borrowed Suzuki King Quad straight up at this same spot. Thankfully someone grabbed the front rack as he let off the throttle. I missed the shot as I ran up the hill to make sure a couple of the riders were OK at the next tricky spot.

This trail is a blast. It winds up and down several mountains and climbs in elevation. There are several tricky spots along the way; some are tougher than others depending on which way you are traveling.





Here is an outstanding view of the trail we were just on. You can see it go all the way from left to right in this photo as it winds up the mountains.



From here we transition onto another trail that goes through a creek before heading up into the pine trees from the desert. Along the creek is an obstacle we have played on in the past that can be tough especially when it is wet.

As Katt approached he ended up just off line enough and found out the hard way how tough this obstacle can be. I was just a few feet away when his nose started to up and roll over.







Thank goodness they both had their seat belts and helmets on. Also, the passenger kept a firm grasp on the T handle built into the passenger side of the RZR. Luckily, both came out unscathed. This can and does happen to the best of us.



It took a group effort to get the Polaris RZR back on its wheels in this awkward position.



As we all regrouped I found out that Jeff rolled his Suzuki King quad on a straight flat spot on the road about 1 mile back. He said he just reached up to adjust his sun glasses and the handlebars cranked full to the right. As his quad rolled, it landed on him hurting his hand. I volunteered to let him ride in the RZR S and I would ride his quad. Yea, I get to ride today after all.

Now that the excitement was over it was time to get into the higher elevation. There had been a late snow storm in the area just before our ride so there was snow along the trail as we got higher.



We made it to the top of Tower Mountain and took a short break before heading down to the old gold mining town of Crown King for an awesome lunch.



Some of the others that were camping drove up to meet us for lunch. Here is Shane along with his wife and new baby.



The old Saloon was packed with riders of all kinds. This town used to have about 5,000 people in it during the gold rush days. Now days it is a Mecca for riders of all kinds that like to ride from the desert up to Crown King for lunch before heading back down the hill.



Inside the saloon there are tons of old photos like these of a hanging that was common in the nearby town of Prescott during the gold rush days.



Itís pretty wild to think about how different things are today. Thank goodness we have progressed from those times. There are also many old photos throughout the Saloon showing the train that ran from the desert up to the town. The dirt road that is a switchback road up the mountain used to be a train track. They would run the train up one switchback and continue past the turn, and then they would back up the next switchback past that turn and go forward again repeating this up the side of the mountain. It was quite a remarkable feat.

After lunch with our bellies full it was time to head back down to our camp. Along the way our large group split into smaller groups and headed back a few different ways. I went with the group to go get Zaneís quad. He got on it and it started right up. It must have just wanted the day off. Zane took apart the electrical sensors back at camp and cleaned them. He believes they must have been dirty and shut down his quad when it got hot.

Back at camp we had a visitor show up. It was Bill Clinton. He came just for dinner as he was not able to make it for the ride this time.



Jeff built a pit out of blocks for the pre-arranged meal he planned, which were Baby back ribs. The rest of the group brought all the other fixings imaginable for the feast.





All that was left was to sit back around the roaring fire and enjoy stories from all the rides we had been on over the years.



There is nothing more fun for me than to be out camping and riding with a great group of like minded people. We are very blessed to have found a good core group of friends over the years and many of us met on the forums. Make sure you take the time to enjoy life as it is very short and always buy your tires and wheels from Discount Tire.

Don McNeilly
Discount Tire

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