Silver City, NM to Phoenix

Well, the calendar has now turned to June and the Phoenix area weather has been great so far. You know it is a good year when you can make it to June and haven't lost any skin from touching the steering wheel in your car. From the looks of the extended forecast we are going to make it to the middle of the month before we have our first 110 degree day. At that point, I'm sure the Summer motorcycle trip planning will click into high gear. And speaking of motorcycle trips, I had a little milestone with my bike on the Silver City trip as I crossed 50,000 miles on my 2005 Road Glide. As I take a moment to reflect back, there are a lot of great memories, beautiful scenery and unforgettable moments packed into those 50,000 miles. I'm already looking forward to the next 50,000 miles. Isn't it funny that with a car, we try to keep the mileage off, but with a motorcycle, we try to add as much as we can. I guess the riding and the memories count for more than the resale value.
And speaking of adding mileage to your motorcycle, today I am going to finish up the report from last week's newsletter about our weekend ride down the Coronado Trail and to Silver City, NM. As you might recall, we had spent Friday night in Eagar, AZ then traveled the beautiful and exciting Coronado Trail to Silver City on Saturday, adding in a late afternoon 75 mile loop on the "Trail of the Mountain Spirits". Sunday was going to be an early start as we had to make the 400 mile ride back to Phoenix to attend the Fleetwood Mac concert that night. And yes, it was a great concert! Even at 60 years plus, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks can still perform at a high level. They sounded great doing what all legacy bands should do, only playing all of their top hits. So we got up early, stopped by the McDonalds across the street for a "Big Breakfast" and was on the road by 6:30am.

I was excited for this leg of the ride because we were going to travel Hwy. 180 which is on the New Mexico side, just East of the Coronado Trail in the Apache Sitgreaves Forest. Having heard a lot about this road, I was anxious to see how it stacked up to the Arizona side. It is a great road, but it doesn't compare to 191 on the other side of the mountain that is said to be the curviest road in America with a reported 430 turns. That being said, Hwy. 180 is a beautiful road that features more sweepers and lazy curves than does 191. Coming from the South you wind your way through a couple of small towns, rolling hills and meadows before making the climb to over 8500 feet into the tall pines for an endless view into New Mexico. Shortly after reaching the top you will cross back over into Arizona and the small town of Alpine where we had eaten breakfast the morning before.

As it turns out, Hwy. 180 turned out to be a great compliment to 191 as it was less demanding, but still very entertaining and excellent scenery. A perfect day of riding would be to go down 191 from Alpine, take Hwy. 78 over to 180 and then back up to Alpine. That would be 214 miles of some of the best riding you could get.

From Alpine we continued on to Springerville, for our first gas stop and then took Hwy. 60 on into Show Low for our ride down through the Salt River Canyon and into Globe, AZ. If you are new to the area, and haven't ridden this route yet, you are in for a treat. It is an 87 mile ride from Show Low to Globe and at approximately the middle of this route lies the Salt River Canyon. It is a giant 2000 foot deep river canyon loaded with some of the most dramatic views you will find in the State. The Salt River Canyon is often called the mini Grand Canyon, with its sweeping vistas carved by millions of years of erosion by the Salt River. The big difference is that you can actually drive into this canyon.

Coming from the North you will ride about 43 miles through some pines and low level trees before you get your first look at vast canyon area. As you ride the road that hangs off of the side of the mountain, you can't help but sneak a look down into the bottom of the canyon as you wind your way down 2000 feet to the bridge that crosses the Salt River. I would suggest to pull into one of the overlook areas to really take in the history and beauty of this area. The pictures are good, but they are nothing like seeing it in person.

After crossing the bridge at the canyon bottom, you will start your 4 mile ride up the East side of the canyon as the road snakes its way back and forth up the mountain for your 37 mile ride into Globe. There are also a few scenic view stops on the East side of the canyon that will give you a great view of the road that you have just traveled. All together, it is about a 9 mile ride from rim to rim through the Salt River Canyon that will leave you wanting more as you steal one last look to your right at raw Arizona desert beauty. The Salt River Canyon contains a wealth of history and was used by Apache warriors during the 1800s as a refuge from pursuing U.S. calvary troops. These days, the river provides a border between the San Carlos Apache Reservation to the south and the White Mountain Apaches to the north.

The next 40 miles into Globe is a nice ride but comparatively less interesting compared to what you have just experienced. And the suddle reminder of the heat that you are about to re-enter will hit you as you start your decent toward Globe. The old mining town of Globe is a good place to stop for lunch as there are many choices of fast food or a few restaurants in the historic downtown. It is worth the effort to ride a few of the streets either side of Broad St. They are doing a nice job of renovating the old town area. Just 20 miles from Globe you will pass through another very pretty area of rock outcroppings and old bridge just before Superior, AZ.

From Globe we were about 105 miles from where we started at I-17 and the Loop 101. As much as we all love riding up North in the higher elevations, coming home to the heat is always the trade off. This day we were lucky in that it was only about 98 degrees as we made our way back into the Valley. That is very doable. But if you are dropping back into Valley at over 107 degrees, you might want to spend a little more time in Globe and plan your re-entry around sunset.

I said it last week and I will say it again. If you are looking for an excellent 2 1/2 day trip to the higher elevations this Summer, this would be one to do. It could also be done in a long weekend if you left early in the morning, which is probably what you would want to do anyway. We were  actually only gone for 48 hours, we just split it up over a couple of nights as we left at 2:30pm on Friday and returned at 2pm on Sunday.

If you missed the first part of this 2 part newsletter, Click Here.

Click Here for 100 Photos of Day Two.
Click Here for 175 Photos of Day One.

Click Here for the Map of the entire route. I have added an alternate route on return trip that takes longer but is more scenic.

Westgate Bike Night Update

Westgate Bike Night will now end on Thursday June 25th. We just have the 4 Thursdays in June left.

The plan is to take a break for the Summer and then start again the first part of September. That date to be determined. This week see Discovery Channel Builder Paul Yaffe with his display of Custom Baggers and parts. See all information on Westgate Bike Night below.


Bike Nights This Week 

Thursday Night 

The Bike Night At The Billet Bar The Billet Bar was the place to be during Bike Week as well as the rest of the year. Set on the patio and watch the action. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.


Bike Night on Thursdays through June 25th
Westgate City Center Bike Night in Association with Cyclerides.comWestgate Bike Night Has Been Extended to June 25th!!!

Due to the overwhelming participation, we have decided to extend this event to June 25th,

For the First Time, The premier entertainment venue in the Valley,
Westgate City Center, will Host a night for motorcycles through June 25th. I have been wanting to see a Bike Night at Westgate for a couple of years and it is finally here. If you have ever been to an event at Jobing.com or University of Phoenix Stadium, you are most likely familiar with the Times Square feel of Westgate City Center. Starting Thursday, April 9th, for the 6 Thursdays, Westgate will open up Coyote Blvd. from 6pm - 10pm for parking of motorcycles next to the 6 Million Dollar Dancing Fountains. Restaurants including Margaritaville, Bar Louies, Shout House, Which Wich, Moe's, Kabuki, Johnny Rockets and Hell's Half Acre will have Bike Night food and drink specials and will be welcoming all riders.

You will be given a flyer that will get you the discounts at the participating restaurants.

Discounts include $2.00 Miller Lite, $5.00 Chicken Nachos and $6.95 pulled pork sandwich and fries at Bar Louie's and $3.00 drafts, $2.00 well, $2.00 off Margaritas, Mini Quesadillas for $5.95 and Sliders for $6.95 among other specials at Margaritaville. Sit out on the patios and enjoy the entertainment on the big screen. 

Click Here for full menu of specials
Thanks to our Westgate Bike Night Sponsors - GEICO Motorcycle Insurance, Arrowhead Harley-DavidsonRidenow Powersports,
Click Here for Photos From the Last 4 Weeks.
Thursday, June 4th will feature motorcycle displays by Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation, Arrowhead Harley-Davidson, Ridenow Metro Motorsports. 
There will also be motorcycle programming and music on the Huge 30'x50' LED screen located in events plaza.

What to do:

6:00 pm - 10pm: Displays of Custom Baggers and Bikes From Arrowhead Harley-Davidson.

Sport Bikes, Cruisers, Rhinos and Spyder From Ridenow Metro Motorsports.

Custom Bikes from Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation.
Come park on Coyote Blvd. and enjoy the music or eat at one of the restaurants.
Music and Videos all night.
Every Half Hour:
Music and Performances by the 6 million dollar Dancing Fountains. 

Take a ride to Westgate, located on the SE Corner of the Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. 
Enjoy this beautiful venue that is offering a night just for motorcyclists every Thursday for the next 5 weeks starting April 9th - May 14th. Get something to eat or drink on one of the many outdoor patios in events plaza, watch the video presentations or just join in the fun and view the display of bikes lined up on Coyote Blvd. in Westgate. ALL MOTORCYCLES WELCOME. Click Here for photos of Westgate. Westgate City Center is located at the SE Corner of the Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. Enter Coyote Blvd. from the West next to Jobing.com Arena.

This Week

Saturday, June 6th
Catz for the Cure Poker Run. Proceeds benefit The Catz For The Cure Grant Program, Providing financial assistance to those battling Breast Cancer. Registration 8-10am at the EVDI Desert Breast Center located at 1450 S. Dobson, N. of hwy 60 in Mesa, AZ. For More Info Call 480-459-5640 20.00 Single, 2up 30.00 Includes Lunch & Festivities Live Band (Fools Life)Pre-Register @ No Rulz Customz & Receive 5 FREE Raffle Tickets Pre-register ENDING 6/5/09 Run Starting @ Dobson & 60 FWY. (EVDI Desert Breast Center) 2nd Stop (Joeta,S Leathers)3rd Stop(No Rulz Customz) 4th Stop (Uncle Bears) Ending @ The Monastery @ Falcon Field. (4810 E. McKellips- Between Greenfield & Higley)Bikni Bike Wash/Silent Auction and RAFFLES...EVERYONE WELCOME.

Sunday, June 7th
Operation Transition Warrior Scavenger Hunt. Benefits Operation Transition Warrior for our returning disabled Veterans.  Ride starts at American Legion Post 105, 3534 W. Calavar Road (602.983.1811).  The scavenger hunt is a point system winner, extra points for every ounce of gold you bring to the event.  Registration 10 am, $15/per person; food, music, drawings, prizes and more.  100% of the proceeds to go to assisting our disabled Veterans.  501C3 non-profit organization.  For more info:  Tina at 623.205.1914.

Next Week

Saturday, June 13th

Katelynn Stinnett National Memorial Ride. This is a memorial ride to honor and remember Katelynn Elizabeth Stinnett from Lexington KY. Katelynn was beautiful 2 year old little girl who was brutally beaten, by (allegedly) her 18 year old babysitter. Come Join The National Memorial Ride to Benefit Arizona Children. All proceeds are going to The Crusaders For The Children MC. We are the Crusaders For The Children! We stand ready to assist children in need - the survivors of abuse or neglect and those suffering through illness. Our crusade is to raise awareness in our local community to recognize the needs of these little ones; every child deserves to have a voice. Check-in/Registration: Rock Springs Cafe, Exit 242 off Route I-17 from 8am - 11am. Food, Live Music, Kick Stands up at 12 noon. Ends at Pennie Lee's (formally Coyote Hill), 12417 W Glendale Ave. at 1pm. 50/50, Auction, Vendors, Food, Prizes, Live Music. Opening band is: Wrestling Rumors, followed by, Lucero & The Blues Crew and our Main Stage Act is Jack Ripper and His Band.
For ride/sponsorship information please contact: Judy Amsbury. 623 628-1969.

Saturday, June 13th

Supporting Wounded Warriors of Arizona organized by American Legion Riders Post #36. Starts at American Legion Post #36, 5845 E. 22nd  St.  Registration 7:30 am – 9:30 am; last bike in at 1:30 pm.  Cost is $10 / $15 two up.  High hand $150, Low hand $75.  Breakfast, lunch, soft drinks and adult beverages will be available for an additional fee.  Raffle prizes, 50/50, raffle tickets for 50 cents.  A signed U of A Women’s Basketball and Cal dueling pistol will be available.  Vendor info:  520.603.1300.



IMPORTANT UPDATE!  Westgate Bike Night will be moved back to Thursday's starting June 4th - June 25th. Guest bike builder will be Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation with a display of custom baggers.

Sometimes animals do funny things, including taking care of the primal urges right in front of you. The lady laughing is infectious. Click Here to View.

It is sometimes amazing what people will teach their dogs to do. This one is pretty good
. Click Here to View.

Video Of The Week
Ok, This video had me laughing out loud and watching it several times. Very funny. Click Here to View.

Until Next Week,

Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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