Jerome and the Mangus Highway, AZ.

Monday, March 12th, 2007

As usual lately the weather again was awesome. By 9am it is T Shirt and riding jacket weather, to the despair of some readers writing me to stay where I am… they are themselves freezing on a daily basis! I had no destination when we left this morning, actually the thought was to ride 89A back up to Flagstaff and try to take some pictures of the creeks, winding roads and just experience the day.

For some reason, after filling up the tank at an overpriced $3.04 a gallon for super, not even 93 octane but the usual 91, the word Jerome came up in my memory bank, which lately has definitely not been overflowing with much items. So why not, having also heard that it is a weekend getaway for many riders.

I had to stop midtown to make my weekly call to my mother… cell phone reception at the campground being very poor. She lives in Munich, just turned 80 on the 5th of this month and I have been trying for us to get together for a while now. Either myself going to Germany or for her to come here for a while. We have decided to meet in Atlanta in June and of course I cannot wait.

It is such a shame that so many miles separates us, we are working on it! There is a larger home base in the horizons… maybe a 23′ Class C… 26?… we have planned to travel together maybe two weeks at the time… That should make for some good writing… She is also my best friend and lots of fun to be around!

Stopping gave me a chance to snap some shots of displayed Artwork… signs… some of many Galleries from the town of Sedona, Sunday morning was still quiet, a good time to walk around a bit.

 And on we went, rolling toward Jerome, through Cottonwood on 89A, left at the second traffic light. The town, as many, is an old Mining Town, and has done very well since due to the many Galleries in existence, many Bikers stopping at the local bar owned by Spirit… of course to my surprise as the sign says…

 We had to circle the town at least 3 times to find a place to park, even Spirit ending up being a celebrity in Jerome did not help the situation. By tonight he is a well know dog!… $1 a picture of him in the car is seriously sounding better and better… All I could hear was “look at the dog with his goggles”… and even when we walked around, looking for some ice cream… which by the way “mocha fudge” was great!… people where stopping us asking if that was him in the car… Soon I will start psycho analysis sessions as my well being is totally being alienated by his sudden claim to fame…

 

 Nice little town, quaint if you like the word, the streets have some serious switchbacks as it is built in levels. Everyone relaxed, many other dogs, (not as famous!… common plain walkers you know…), some exotic cars and many bikes, mainly cruisers.

As I pushed on 89 a bit later on, before the millions of calories settled, the surprise of the day made its appearance in the form of the Mangus Highway!!! It was shocker of a road as I don’t remember any one telling me about it! Maybe they did… I heard it but was not listenening. I felt like I was back in the Georgia Mountains, close to Deal’s Gap, (T Shirt says it all!… hope that their lawyers are not talking to their lawyers / for those obscured by this, clarification: Deal’s Gap… 317 curves in 17 miles, please correct me if I am wrong, has been a while, has the same T Shirt!).

 And I kept thinking… we need to do this more often. The arms are sore but the head is clear tonight from the climb to over 7000 feet and back down. Not many places to stop and snap of picture, but I did manage to take a few shots while riding, I liked that BMW GS, up above, coming the other way… whoever you are… hope you get to see it!

 

We are good tonight, back in camp, the crowds have thinned out, tomorrow will be planning day!

I am almost hesitant to write about where we are going… you probably don’t believe me anymore as I have yet to stick to any plans! I think this time for lack of choice… we are.

So… we will be heading north, take a look at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, better use this Annual Federal something Pass that I have as I understand that the entrance fee alone is $25!

The North Rim is closed by the way till May 15th. So it will be 180 to 64, then east again on 64, north on 89 to Lees Ferry and the Marble Canyon, west on ALT89 passing by the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument to Jacob Lake, on to Pipe Spring. Will cross the State Line into Utah for the first time on this Journey and stop at Zion National Park, visit Snow Canyon and drop south to… Las Vegas for finally some new tires… and on to Death Valley with the first stop being Tecopa Springs which I hear are great… All this sounds like about a month or more worth!

San Francisco Bay… will also be a stop, a city close to my heart which I know will bring back many memories, memories that I will just have to handle the best I can, I have many friends there that I have yet to meet and I am looking forward to make their acquaintances

So you see… planning for a change, just don’t hold your breath!!!

Have fun and be well…

Ara & Spirit

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5 Responses to “Jerome and the Mangus Highway, AZ.”

  1. AzKaisr "Tom" Says:

    Sorry we missed you amigo! I did Honk but as you know you can’t really stop and do a uturn on the mountain. Let me know if you are going to be in AZ still next Saturday. I may try and get up and see you. I apologize for not mentioning that we were headed up sooner as it was a last minute ride.

    Tom

  2. James - WhyBike.com Says:

    Hey the feed is working again on the aggregator! I must have had the old link.

    I miss Jerome and all the little mining towns around there. And 89 might be the best motorcycle road in the country. I just don’t say it very loudly otherwise people will go there and spoil it like Deal’s Gap.

  3. Steve Johnson Says:

    I’ve ridden that 89A a couple of times now, from Wickenburg to Flagstaff, and it’s just awesome riding. I love Jerome too. That stretch from Sedona to Flagstaff, going through the canyon, is probably one of the most beautiful roads to ride in all of USA.

  4. Joe Says:

    Tecopa Hot Springs is a cool place to stop and take a soak. I blogged about it not too long ago so cruise back through my blog if you’re so inclined. There’s a couple of spa’s there, we stopped at one right on the paved road. Somewhere is the Inyo County run one with a campground. The one we stopped at has camping for $17 and since the spa is $5, well, its a deal to me.
    Oh, and though I’ve only taken 89A once, its a hell of a ride!

  5. BookFeller Says:

    Hey Ara,

    I wonder if they would part with that neat firetruck? Would make a fun bookmobile. Can’t have just one, you know! Thanks for the photos.

    Jer

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