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  1. #1
    Saucy Size Moderator
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    A little jaunt down to the lake

    Turns out it's been a few years since I put together one of my famous Crown King to Lake Pleasant epics, but the stars came into alignment and I able to secure a free van, very affordable driver and dirt-cheap gas.

    Seven of us total -- half the size of our typical crew, but a stellar bunch of people -- made the descent last Saturday in 5ish hours. Actual ride times were in the 3.5-4 hour range, which tells me an all-business bunch who didn't crash and didn't have mechanical issues could probably do it in 3 or less (quite the change from my first-ever attempt, which took 11 hours). But where's the fun in that? The weather was perfect and I couldn't imagine a nicer day to spend on the bike.

    The CK Class of 2008 was: Paul B, bike=good, chollaball, NoelG, Jayem, and my non-MTBR buddies Michelle and Tommy Kelly of Team Red Energy.

    Just a few pix this time, sorry. I'm experimenting with hacking my Flickr account so, hopefully, the pix will actually show up...



    Cheesy group shot at the Crown King General Store. About 10:30 and you couldn't ask for better riding weather.



    That's a long, long ways down. I shot this from close to the top.





    Michelle headed down. This was one of the few spots smooth enough to actually stop and take a picture. I'll let others who were on the ride describe the predominant condition of the Old Senator Highway, but suffice to say that it's not "just a dirt road."



    A shot from about halfway down one of the steepest, deepest ravines you have to traverse to get "down" the Bradshaws. There's an awful lot of tough climbing for a ride that descends about 4000'.

    And that's it. Hopefully the other shutterbugs got better shots than this.

    p.
    Last edited by Paul B; 11-25-2008 at 07:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Tucson, AZ
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    I like the second shot with the dirt road rolling through the hills...looks like a great time!

  3. #3
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    You put on a good show Paul! Glad to have been there to ride. Absolutely stellar day, and it's fun to just "let 'er rip" at mach 5 down that road.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
    Occidental Tourist
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    Has it been 4 years already?

    How was the road? I had head it was heavily bladed a year or two ago.

    Looks like the guts shrunk a bit since 04 too....I was sucking mine in...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  5. #5
    pedaller
    Reputation: Noelg's Avatar
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    Thanks PaulB!!!

    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  6. #6
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  7. #7
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  8. #8
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  9. #9
    pedaller
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    A split second before Chollaball's endo...Jayem goes big...

    Last edited by Noelg; 11-24-2008 at 10:31 PM.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  10. #10
    pedaller
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    bike & leaves...and chollaball...

    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  11. #11
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  12. #12
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  13. #13
    pedaller
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    Those are some big elk!

    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  14. #14
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  15. #15
    pedaller
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    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  16. #16
    pedaller
    Reputation: Noelg's Avatar
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    Thanks again Paul. I love getting the opportunity to ride NEW places so this was definitely a treat!

    BTW, you forgot to include Jayem in our class above! Give the boy & his big bike some love will ya!
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  17. #17
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelg
    Thanks again Paul. I love getting the opportunity to ride NEW places so this was definitely a treat!

    BTW, you forgot to include Jayem in our class above! Give the boy & his big bike some love will ya!
    I think what he ment by "class" was the people that hadn't done it before.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  18. #18
    I, Mudd
    Reputation: hfy108's Avatar
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    I watched the route on MotionBased a minute ago (by 'aginaz')- That looks like a great ride! A couple friends and I were talking about a down from Crown King ride a couple weeks ago; maybe we'll try this route.

    Where do you get the trail from in Crown King? Any specifics you can relay about the route down or is it self-evident?

    Thanks.

  19. #19
    i like cheese.
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    That was fun... oh and thanks Noel... the only photo of me is pushing my bike. great. Props to Jayem for doing the ride on the ultra-efficient pedaling 8" Turner.

  20. #20
    Saucy Size Moderator
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    Augh! No, I totally overlooked Jim in that pic. Edited!

    Oh and Yuri? No. I just wear baggier clothes now. :-(

    p.
    Last edited by Paul B; 11-25-2008 at 07:28 AM.

  21. #21
    Saucy Size Moderator
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    Okay, the route works like this:

    Starting at the Crown King General Store, head over the bridge and turn right. Start climbing.

    At the T with the road that goes to Horse Thief Basin, turn right. Keep climbing.

    Eventually you'll start going down, honest! But as soon as you do, you're likely to blow past FR52. There's a post with a sign but you'll never see it. 52 bears left while the well-graded road bends right and continues to Prescott. Turn left on 52...and KEEP CLIMBING.

    52, aka the Old Senator Highway, is a tricky climb for mmmmaybe a mile, probably less. Then it begins to drop. IIRC there's a split to the left that makes you climb again but you get to descend this time. For real!

    The drop is about 4500' or so, I think. There aren't any decision points, just lots of burly high-clearance jeep "road" for like 15-17 miles. There's a really nice lunch spot near the "bottom" of the descent. I put the scare quotes in there because there's still a looong way to go down.

    The first decision point brings you to a T marked with a prominent painted rock. There's a CK and an arrow painted on the rock. While either direction will take you where you need to go, the left is MUCH more direct. Bear left and let 'er rip. This is probably the most draining part of the ride, IMO, because you've done a lot of hard work and now it's just a fast, long grind back to civilization. Oh, and more CLIMBING.

    You'll eventually hit a stop sign with an ORV kiosk, and a BIG parking area for the quad clubs. Turn left at the T. Yes, there will be another climb.

    Finally, you'll hit pavement. Shoot through the stop sign and continue down to the lake. Our preferred destination is the Castle Rock Ramp, which involves taking all lefts after you've passed the guard station.

    Total distance 32 miles, total elevation split is 4500ish feet, total elevation lost is closer to 6000 and total elevation gain is like 3500, some of which is at a very, very steep grade (20% or more). Long day but a good day.

    p.

  22. #22
    parenting for gnarness
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    some pics. Thanks Paul for putting this adventure together. My only complaint is i did not ask you for a double latte in the morning. Jayem was maybe 5 minutes behind at the finish - he pulled so much time on us on the DH's that we didn't really notice his big bike having a big effect. The unmentioned gem was the potluck dinner - ohmigod that was good. Mike R took the prize with bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers.

    images from Topofusion



















    PS: Chad you would love this ride, but in the other direction.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    wow that looks like fun. I guess this will teach me to not over look things on MTBR.

    Like Noel mentioned riding place new to use is great. As much great riding there is in AZ it wierd that I've fallen into the rut of just cycling throught he same old haunts. As good as they are that's not really a problem.

    ScottN and I were chatting on the drive back from Pinal, that we really should explore the trails that skirt the Sups. on maps it looks like there is some great desert trails out there. I've never been.

    I think the best part of winter in AZ is the abiltiy to explore new areas all day long.
    b

  24. #24
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    Man, now I really wish I didn't bag out

    Jayem, well maybe it didn't pedal like a 20 lbs bike, was it more like 21?

  25. #25
    pedaller
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    Quote Originally Posted by u2metoo
    Man, now I really wish I didn't bag out
    me too! If'n you'da joined us, we'd have an awesome video to see!

    Sorry you couldn't make it Sam.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

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