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ZAMM Fanatic
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Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me why I love riding motorcycles.

Took off out of Phoenix toward Wickenberg with Warren, along Grand Ave/Hwy 60. Beautiful, beautiful morning, nice and warm. Leather jacket only for protection, not warmth.

Stopped in Wick to see the Doctor --- Dr. Pepper --- and then headed up towards Yarnell, the place where the Granite Mountain hotshots lost their lives fighting a fire last year :(

The road to Yarnell is nothing short of incredible. Endless twisties, hairpin curves. I led most of the way and heard Warren behind me scraping at least a third of 'em.

@ Yarnell we stopped to take a picture in front of an antique cop car, AS IF I was getting pulled over (like I did the day before, for reals...) and hit the thrift store where warren found a slicer for his food truck, "What's Fresh!"

They were having a community Chili and Cornbread feed but we were headed on to Cottonwood to meet a fantastic musician, and one of Warren's great friends, Lipbone Redding. This guy plays his hands and lips like a trombone, it's utterly amazing how good he is. Go watch a Youtube if you've neer heard of him. Sings like... I'll think of his name in a minute, black blues guy...

So then it's some high plateu riding at high speed and then over ANOTHER set of twisties into Jerome AZ, old mining town built on a hill.

Guy on a big ass bagger, can't remember if it was a Wing or a HD, PASSES me and Warren in the twisties, WITH A PASSENGER! Man, THAT guy knew how to ride!

He didn't actually pass, I LET HIM BY after I screwed up one corner and heard him hot on my tail..... showed him the RESPECT he DESERVES by riding so well!

So Jerome, 15 mph, try and buy a milkshake but shes outta milk.....RATS!
I'm a little tired, worn at this point, swung wide on ONE (and only one corner) which sez to me...... time to rest.

Now, in Prescott, which I left out, we stopped at some Mexican Restaurant (name to be added later) and HIT A HOME RUN! the lunch special was $4.99 for 5 rolled taquitos with FRESH, YEA, FRESH guacamole, rice and beans, and the Horchata was fantastic too. Gotta yelp that place, so excellent! I had the Relleno and it was fantastic too. Excellent beans, great rice, Warren is telling me the trick to making good rice.....lots of rinsing..

First twenty miles out of Prescott is flat, high desert, infinite visibility, so we're hotfooting it till the twisties begin short of Jerome.

After Jerome, we head down the road to Cottonwood where Lipbone is playing, meet at a coffeehouse, and have a ton of male bonding, laughter, and flirting with the every so cute but WAAY too young waitress, with a dog named Sprinkles. Blue heeler, smart as a whip!

Lipbone shows us his "flying Machine" a converted diesel Sprinter van with just about the cleanest home-built RV conversion I've ever seen.

So after an hour or so of male bonding, jokes, flirting with the hottie, etc. Warren and I take off to hit a few thrift stores and get dinner before Lipbone's performance. I wisely invest in (another) set of running tights to wear on the trip home.

It's Arizona, but it IS winter, and it WILL be nighttime, and at 4000+ feet it WILL be chilly the first 50 miles till we get off "the hill."

(*insert Youtube of Lipbone Redding performance*)

Lipbone, of course, is fantastic and has the crowd eating out of his hands, laughing, cheering, singing along, wolf-whistling, buying CD's and the women all trying to take him home. You're gonna see this guy on Letterman or SNL one of these days.

So we take off after the first set, head for the Wrinkle Ranch, and it's quite chilly -- especially since I left the vents on my jacket open. My gloves are gauntlet, but they're summer gloves not winter, and my hands suffer. I've got on the tights and got my jacket liner in, and aside from the hands, doing ok.

We both need to pee and at the GEICO sponsored rest stop, take a leak, and I adjust my headlights down.....the brights were aiming at the sky. NAILED IT. Now I can see the rest of the trip. Warrent's got one of his driving lights out....damn bulbs just don't seem to last in motorcycles.

Ahh, finally, it's getting warm, and I pull into the Wrinkle Ranch about 9:30. after waving Warren off along the 101. I take the Grand exit and the back way in, he takes Peoria and turns left even though we BOTH live off Peoria Ave.

So again, an open invitation to anyone needing some motorcycle relief to come on down, crash out, and do some winter riding with us down here in AZ.... I thank God every day for my blessings and friends, and the chance to be here in the winter and get on such a fine bike and have such a complete
blast.

So what makes a perfect ride? Great weather, little traffic, no mechanical problems, great friends, good food, no drivers attempting to kill ya, l

Cheers!
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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12,844 Posts
Thank you for sharing
 

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Driftless Rider
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1,485 Posts
good times indeed. That's why we do this isn't it?
 

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45 Posts
Great story, and I too am envious. I've always wanted to ride over Mingus Mountain on a motorcycle, with the obligatory stop in Jerome of course! :)
 
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