Saturday, March 19, 2011

89A ... From Prescott to Sedona... by Way of Jerome

It's not the Dragon... but it'll do! 158 curves in 12 miles... out of something like a 30 mile run... (at least for this part of our Ash Fork/Prescott/Jerome/Sedona/Flagstaff and back to Ash Fork Circle)

We waited 'till the thermometer climbed up over fifty yesterday morning and took off from our camp south of Ash Fork, bound for Sedona and beyond.

Rolling south on 89 you cut back east, on 89A, just as you enter the Prescott City limits, flat road with not much excitement, till you hit the mountains and start climbing through the twisties. Some rough spots of pavement... and the occasional bit of gravel on the asphalt, keeps you paying attention...

... as well as the 4 wheel gawkers who seem to have some difficulty keeping there 6' wide cages inside a 14' +- lane. :)

... but... when you break yourself out into a lil' bit of "open road"... you can scrape the pegs a time or two...

*Twisties on 89A going over Mingus Mountain*
It's one of those good roads, where you straighten up from a left to lean right back over to the other side...

... when it all comes together... the cagers get spread out to give you some room, the asphalt cooperates with a few miles of clean running, your speed and rhythm fall into place...

... it's like a dance.

Some feel they've got to Push it... and scrape on every bend... and sometimes I suppose, me too...

... but... most the time? Just that fast, graceful, rhythmical, back and forth, two wheeled dance as you swing up and across the mountain is what I'm after.

Finding that smooth and even line that has you eating up the miles in that narrow balance between the adrenaline rush of speed and the soul filling grace of a two wheeled mountain dancer... glad that you're alive... glad that you were smart enough to drag your carcass out of that cage, and put it on two wheels... so you could see, so you could breathe, so you can FEEL...  what those cagers never will... THAT... is what Two wheels on asphalt is all about for me...

*Looking down on the twisting Asphalt of 89A on Mingus Mtn.*
As you come down off of Mingus Mountain you enter the lil' town of Jerome... a one time "Near" ghost town... now a tourist place of everything from tourist junk to fairly high end jewelry/furniture and from what I could tell... a couple of decent eateries...

*Jerome, Arizona*
I've walked through so many shops and such on our travels... they offer me little interest these days... mostly I like far country and twisty roads...

... but... if you're there anyway...

So... after we walked around for a bit... saw what we figured there was to see...

I fired up the Raider and made the run on down out of Jerome, to Cottonwood and Sedona...

Was a time... I really liked Sedona and Oak Creek... I mean ... REALLY LIKED the place...

In the intervening 30 years or so... way too many of the other people who Really liked it... moved in there and built... houses, and stores and apartment buildings... and now... what used to be a pretty quiet and relaxed canyon town... is a bunch of traffic, spinning through round-a-bout after roundabout from Cottonwood to Sedona...

*The Redrock Scenery of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon*
Even still, it remains an awful pretty place to ride through... and it...

... Wouldn't be an issue, I guess... if any of 'em had the faintest idea... how you drive through a round-a-bout!

I had to take a break halfway through, before we went in to the canyon... to get something to eat.

Good for me, most of the traffic was coming out of the canyon rather than going in, when we left! :o)


... Your twisties and peg scraping aren't done yet either... You still have to run through Oak Creek Canyon, climb out at the north end... and run on up to Flagstaff...

... which we did... and on back to Ash Fork, as the sun was sinking fast, and the air was gaining the chill of a late afternoon/early evening of an Arizona March in the mountains...

Grab Your Handles and Ride!
Brian

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6 comments:

Donna aka Froggi said...

I love, love, LOVE 89A...ridden it twice now. Stu loves it, too, and we plan to ride it again next winter. Jerome is such a neat little town.

DRF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D. Ford said...
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myrideblog said...

First let me say I enjoy reading your motorcycle blog. I check it regularly. Great post "Ribbon of Highway". This is a great ride. I've gone from Wickenburg Northbound to Prescott, Jerome, Sedona and on to Flagstaff on more than one occasion and found it very enjoyable. Especially when you want to get out of the 100 degree plus temperatures in the Phoenix area in the summer.

Brian said...

easy Froggi... you'll snap a Belt :)

Myrideblog; or... the 10 degrees of up home in Colorado! :)

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