Just a drive

Dirt roads are still abundant in Arizona

Dirt roads are still abundant in Arizona

Sometimes you just gotta drive. This weekend, we headed out with no intention of camping anywhere. It makes for a lighter load. Of course we wouldn’t have had our RV this weekend anyway, since our RV is getting a new ceiling unit put in(yes, I know it’s easy to do, but we’re having a shop do it because the little lady didn’t trust my assessment that it was in fact the ceiling unit… Love you sweetie). But this would have been our off week anyway. So we headed north towards Cave Creek, and just kept going. The road up to Seven Springs is a nice easy ride in a truck, and not too bad in a car. Sadly Seven Springs has been closed for a while. But there is Cave Creek Campground further up the road.  Though going where we went you might want to think about stopping at Cave Creek Campground. Beyond that the roads tend to be a tad rougher.

Along the way you can find roadside camping and good views.

Along the way you can find roadside camping and good views.

If you do take the road further there are free camping sites along the way. Just turn off the roads and look for a nice spot that has not been taken. Be advised that this area allows people to shoot, so if you are squeamish at the possible sight of firearms, you may want to rethink heading out here. If you call the cops and say “There’s a man with a gun out here” the likely response will be, “And?” But for those that enjoy shooting, this can be a good place to set up targets and practice. Just be aware of other people, and as always, be safe.

Sheep's Crossing footbridge

Sheep’s Crossing footbridge

We took the road all the way to the “T” which was Bloody Basin rd. One way leads to the Agua Fria Reservoir, and the other leads to the Verde River. Our first choice was to head to the Verde River. There is a warning that says, “Road Not Maintained for Passenger Vehicles.” PLEASE heed this warning. It’s not kidding. If you don’t have high ground clearance, you will get stuck. Though if you do, don’t fret too much because someone will be along in a Jeep to laugh at you then pull you free. Sheep’s Crossing was used up until around 1979 to get sheep across the Verde River. There is now a plaque to designate the old mounting point for the bridge.

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The water here is deep in spots, but if you are careful, and avoid the holes, you can actually cross the river. Of course the rule of “Enter at your own risk” should be applied here. I was not quite brave enough to try it in my truck, having seen a Jeep that was in the process of tearing down the engine because his found a rather large hole to submerge in. And me not having a snorkel on my intake makes me a little wary of making that crossing, just for the sake of saying I did it.

The plaque is on the old bridge mount point.

The plaque is on the old bridge mount point.

We ate lunch, and headed back the other way. It says it’s twelve miles, but my odometer clicked off more than that. I’m guessing it has something to do with the road being regraded and changed nearly every time it rains. Yeah don’t try this road after a rainstorm unless you have 4×4 and experience. I would still recommend having a friend along so you can help pull each other out if the worst happens.

Views of the canyon

Views of the canyon

We decided on going through the Agua Fria Reservoir as we headed back to town. There were some spectacular views going that way, and the road was rough enough that I was glad I had my truck instead of her car. There are some tight switchbacks that made me cringe a bit as they just barely allowed my truck to fit around them. And at times I missed my old Bronco’s turn radius. But the Beast made it.

Snake on the road

<Insert joke about snaking road>

The road is not used as much as I thought, and that’s a good thing, as it’s barely wide enough in spots for one vehicle. I’d hate to have to try fitting two in some spots. Fortunately for the critter in the road here, there was enough space for me to miss hitting him. I try very hard not to kill animals if I don’t have to.

Passing through the Agua Fria, there was a bit more road damage than I thought. And it got pretty rough. But there was a nice spot to stop and take a couple pictures.

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All in all it was a fun little drive through the Arizona back roads. If anyone is driving along and happens to find my kidneys, I would like at least one of them back. Pretty sure I lost a tooth filling there too, but I’ll get that replaced later. For those of you who love a decently rough road, and nice scenery, I’d take this chance. I don’t think Betty(our 5th wheel) will make it to the Verde, but we might try camping along either Seven Springs road, or in the Agua Fria.

Easier crossing.

Easier crossing.


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