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Thread: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

  1. #1

    I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    This is crossposted from the MTBr and AZShooting site so some may have seen it.

    Figured Id post it here since I dont have my jeep anymore I have to contribute SOMETHING other than my useful crap talking....

    Sat morning after a month or more of planning routes that seems similar to the ways the rest of you bikepackers do it (google earth and hours and hours of scrutiny). We had decided to start in Sunflower AZ and ride down FR 393 past Bartlett lake, through Needle Rock and then through MMP and over the McDowells for just shy of 50 miles over two days.

    As with all trips it seems this was no different with a slightly later than planned start. My wife was kind enough to do the driving and dropped us off just west of the 87 on the "Old Beeline Hwy". I did have to bribe her with a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and a Bacon Egg & Cheese sandwich from McDonalds.

    It was at the unloading point that we came across our first surprise for the day. Off on a side hill was a clean white spotted/brindle pup who came down as we stopped wagging his tail with a fury!


    After making friends with my daughters, one of which shared the remainder of her breakfast sandwich, he scampered off in to the bushes to finish the sandwich. Of course he was back and playing up his "poor me/love me" puppy face to the girls while AZG23 and I readied the bikes. Goodbyes were said and off we went west past the road closure signs and heading to the 393 turnoff. Below is the planned route:
    http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1333375&code=3138f051efcd6f3 e395e85cc34fbb2cb




    1.8 miles west-north west along the Old Beeline Hwy we came to the fire road. Gated but unlocked we found the first couple miles a bit rocky and the heart-rates climbed faster than I think we thought they would. The trail started out with an almost Sedona like red clay and rock trail that quickly lead up along the powerline road.

    A view looking back north


    A bit further south we ran into our first group of hunter vehicles. We both had forgotten that it was opening weekend of deer season. We ran into a few hunters but everyone was polite and nice. (Armed Society is a Polite Society?)

    Epic checking out some of the smells along the first couple miles


    The first bit of downhill offered some very fast lines through some loose baseball size chunk with a few smallish ledges to ride off along the way. Epic kept pace with us and even found time to go off trail and attempt to herd 5 cows back toward us to see how awesome he is! Thankfully he came back when called and the cows stopped their stampede a couple dozen feet short of the trail.

    The best view of the entire trail (saying a lot cause there were many) was after a shortish climb around the 2.5 mile mark. Looking down into the valley towards Bartlett one could just barely make out the white outlines of the dam in the distance. The trail can be seen meandering in and out of the canyon walls as it heads down then back up to another vista before continuing the drop into the valley below.



    The typical condition of the trail on the upper section before we reached the lower section near the lake. There the trail turned into the typical crushed granite we've all seen around the area


    Just another view along the drop


    AZG23 and Epic surveying a side trail. A bit loose and steep so we took the normal route vs the cutoff


    Lunchtime found us at a small creek with some shade and cooler temps. Burritos were the meal of the day and Epic had his fair share along with some jerky.


    Epic jumped straight in and began filling up on water. We both had enough still in the packs and bottles so we didnt fill up even though AZG23 had a Katadyn Vario.
    Last edited by SHNIPE; 11-05-2011 at 01:30 PM.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams

  2. #2

    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Only major climb along the route was a bout 900 ft elevation gain along a mile or so of the same loose crappy traction during the hotter part of the day. This climb really taxed both of us since it was just after lunch and those burritos were NOT sitting well when combined with strenuous activity. Now I know why youre supposed to wait 15 min after going swimming. The climb FINALLY topped out and gave us our first real glimpse of the lake.


    The trail INSTANTLY transformed into the crushed granite and the speeds picked up with Epic trailing behind but keeping good time without injuring his pads or legs. The trail alternated between a short steep climb and a short steep decent. Still fun but kinda got old. At least the view was great.

    Finally hit camp around 430ish and after a bit of walking around to find the best spot we decided to finally drop packs and make camp. Dog jumped in the Verde and we refilled our bottles. The Vario did a great job making it look and be clean but it didnt really taste clean. Some Nuun would have definitely helped here!

    "Camp" (keen eyes will spot the necessities after a long ride)


    Epic found his "spot"
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams

  3. #3

    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    50* temps and an early morning caffeine influx provided by Starbucks VIA didnt do much to help the desire to climb out of the bivy sack on day 2.

    Morning view of the dam


    The best part of Day 2 had to be the river crossing. We attempted to cross where we had planned but found the area across from it covered in thick reeds that would have been way too tough to get the bikes through without them snagging the cranks and being more work than it should so we backtracked further east along the ridge to another smaller canyon. The crossing here looked to be great but a little work on our side to get through thinner reeds was necessary. AZG23 lead through the reeds which turned into a reed flooring that seemed to have been packed down by flood waters. Creaking and cracking we slowly worked our way through 10-15feet of this reed flooring towards the rock wall of the canyon.

    I felt the floor begin to give way before I could react and before either of us knew it I was neck deep in the reeds and holding on to either side of the hole with my arms. Feet dangling and unable to see the ground below me I held on rather than find out what waited for me down in the hole. Some how I was able to lean back enough with my pack on and throw my legs up out of the hole and roll over to the side and stand up. ***. Black holes in the desert.

    Turns out that where were stepped on the reed pile and started walking off to one side, the ground continued to slope out from under us as it reached the riverbed. The reeds around us were too thick to see that we werent at the same level as the river until AZG23 reached the edge. He could now see that we were around 10 feet ABOVE the ground and that the reeds were just piled up at that level but he could see under the reed pile. This was confirmed by Epic who thought it fun to run around in the black hole and chase whatever he could find in there.

    A view looking back towards the river after HAB'ing up a couple trails that were too littered with cholla to ride without worry. Epic found several with his paws as he was too preoccupied with the scenery to pay attention to his route in front of him.


    It was during one of our stops on a HAB session that my presta valve decided it had enough and just let go. Thankfully AZG23 has his extra tubes cause I was stupid enough to leave the most important spare besides food!

    Heres a couple pics of the final decent into Needle Rock Rec area along a steep and solid rock wall canyon





    We stopped for a break at the Needle Rock area and after a lengthy discussion we decided to call the trip at that point out of worry and fear for Epic, who had been with us running and trotting (and waiting for our slow asses as we climbed the hills). He had shown several signs of being overworked and his pads seemed to be taking quite the beating. Called the wife who was happy to come pick us up. Epic jumped in the front seat with AZG23 and passed RIGHT out on the floorboard.

    32 miles completed
    2 MRE's
    2 burritos
    4+ gallons of water
    2 good friends on a 2 day trip
    1 amazing Dog!
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams

  4. #4

    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    More pics:

    Winding section leading to the 900ft gain that leads right up to the left of the mesa in the background


    Time to go again?? But I was just fell asleep and was dreaming about this hot coyote I met the other night


    Makeshift leash and collar for the road section


    Lemme go climb that rock and see if I can find a good spot to camp.. "ok ill just die right here"


    Nice and cool during the break for lunch


    I ride.. therefore I am!


    Unique erosion
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams

  5. #5
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Wow that looks like an awesome trip and a great dog.

    blatant jokessubliminal sarcasmsexual innuendo

  6. #6
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    I think I would have made it the first few miles and that would be it!

    Jason
    2015 Jeep JK Baja Yellow
    Dual Sport 106


  7. #7
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    I got tired just looking at the pics.
    I am "The Focker".

  8. #8
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    I enjoyed reading the story on MTBR and think it sounds like an awesome trip. The pictures are great.
    1998 XJ RE 3.5, 33s, locked rear, open front.
    2011 Tacoma 4x4 TRD OR

  9. #9
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Hi Shnipe, as always you're good for an entertaining post. Good to hear from you, and was thinking of an old post about your adventures a few days ago, as I was hiking with the dogs behind squeeze rock. LOL, you my friend have had adventures worth telling to your grand children someday. Somewhat of a legend for adventures and comedy! So, please tell us which trail Epic took at the end of this adventure. Did he find a new home with one of you guys?
    A gold miner is just a liar standing next to a hole in the ground.
    RIP Digger B. Trouble, Rilee the Weed and Kodiak Kid

  10. #10
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Hiya Nancy...

    Yes...the adventure continues as I brought Epic Fred the dog home with me....

    Heres the pack....tres amigos con canine

    Last edited by AZG23; 11-06-2011 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Pic
    Brad B. 2014 FLAME RED JKU SPORT
    KE7SAJ To those who have served THANK YOU.

  11. #11

    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by AZG23 View Post
    Hiya Nancy...

    Yes...the adventure continues as I brought Epic Fred the dog home with me....

    Heres the pack....tres amigos con canine

    He fits right in doesnt he!! What a stud!

    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    Hi Shnipe, as always you're good for an entertaining post. Good to hear from you, and was thinking of an old post about your adventures a few days ago, as I was hiking with the dogs behind squeeze rock. LOL, you my friend have had adventures worth telling to your grand children someday. Somewhat of a legend for adventures and comedy! So, please tell us which trail Epic took at the end of this adventure. Did he find a new home with one of you guys?
    There certainly are some stories in there! Its been forever since Ive been through Syck. Ill have to plan an MTB route through there. Bet I can flip the bike somewhere!! Probably ride better than I drive anyway.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams

  12. #12
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Great write up... thanks for sharing and awesome that Epic found a great home!
    Yeah, I'm a girl drivin a jeep you have a problem with that?

  13. #13
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Very cool, sounds like a blast!
    Flexes like a boneless hooker on muscle relaxers

  14. #14
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by AZG23 View Post
    Hiya Nancy...

    Yes...the adventure continues as I brought Epic Fred the dog home with me....

    Heres the pack....tres amigos con canine

    You're the MAN!! Rep points to you, and thank you for the wonderful story ending. You Rock!
    A gold miner is just a liar standing next to a hole in the ground.
    RIP Digger B. Trouble, Rilee the Weed and Kodiak Kid

  15. #15
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    Re: I think we will call him "EPIC" (pic heavy)

    Unusual story, and one for the books! So the dog came up to you guys, all nice and clean, well fed, and friendly. He decided to hang with you guys, and from the pictures it looks like he has been with you all his life. I love this post.
    A gold miner is just a liar standing next to a hole in the ground.
    RIP Digger B. Trouble, Rilee the Weed and Kodiak Kid

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