HUALAPAI MTN RIDE REPORT
5/24/14 and 5/25/14
Ride leaders Mike & Lynn
Mid-gunner Capt. Bob
Tail-gunner Roger Walkemeyer
This weekend we had 15 people and 10 machines. (10 members, 5 guests, 5 side by sides and 5 ATV’s). The weather was almost perfect. Light rain in the evenings and a breeze so the dust was not a problem. Chilly in the mornings and about 73 degrees in the afternoons.
Saturday, we headed out toward the Boriana mine complex which is about 23 miles from camp (one way).
About 15 miles down the trail, one of our side by sides had a failure in the rear-drive. The rear tires completely locked up solid and we were unable to roll the machine forward or backward. We ended up removing both rear axles and then were able to drive the machine out under its own power using front wheel drive. This was not easy because the trail is nothing but steep switchbacks with ledges, rocks and other obstacles. Luckily, they were able to get someone from Kingman to come the back way toward the Boriana Mine from the I-40 through Yucca with a trailer to pick up the machine. The next problem was with a couple driving this trail with a stock Chevy Tahoe and they tore a sidewall open and were unable to put on their spare tire. We stopped and helped them out and they were very grateful for that. These problems delayed our ride by a couple hours, but we finally made it to the mine.
Since it was cloudy, we didn’t need shade so we had lunch at the goldfish pond. This pond is fed by a natural spring and has hundreds of goldfish in it. These goldfish were supposedly put there to control the mosquito population. It must work because they looked very healthy and there were no mosquitoes. We stayed awhile and explored the complex that has it’s own trail system. We also found one open mine entrance that goes a long way into the mountain. After that we headed back to camp. We picked up the pace as much as we comfortably could because it was getting late.
It was a great day and everybody loved the trails and the challenges they encountered. The scenery was spectacular. Most of us met for dinner at the lodge and then we were so tired we went straight to bed.
Sunday’s ride had 5 people and 4 machines. We rode a 30 mile loop starting with Wheeler Wash trail to Blake Ranch road where we picked up Antelope Wash trail to Upper Moss Wash to Flag Mine road then back to camp. Wheeler Wash was covered in wild flowers of many colors and was very technical with many tight switchbacks and obstacles. Many small stream crossings also. On Blake ranch road we stopped at the Yellow Pine Ranch. This used to be owned by Don Laughlin and he built a large ranch house to entertain his high rollers. It is now owned by a Kingman businessman. Some people that help take care of the ranch came out to the gate and talked with us for awhile. There’s a large pond here where their dogs were playing. Next we took the Antelope Wash road which is a well groomed fire road with many scenic vistas. We went to the Democrat Mine but not much to see there. Lunch break was at the Wild Cow camp which has lots of shade trees, picnic tables and clean bathrooms. After lunch we hit the Upper Moss Wash trail. This was by far the the most difficult (and most fun) trail this weekend. It had speedy washes, steep hills, steep off-camber crawling over rocks and ledges and some narrow switch back shelf ledges. Finally back to Flag Mine Road with about a 10 mile ride back to camp. We went about 4 miles and came across a guy who thought it would be a good idea to take his Mom for a ride in his Honda Accord (Looked pretty new) and he knocked a hole in his oil pan, lost all his oil without realizing it and kept going til the engine seized up. We gave him a ride to the ranger station so he could arrange for help. He made his mom stay with the car. This trail is marked “high clearance 4WD only”. Fun times. What a great weekend and everyone had a blast.