Holy Cow…have we ridden some great rides here in Phoenix! State Road SR89, SR87 (Beeline Hwy), SR89A, and SR88 (Apache Trail) are some of the coolest (literally), most scenic, twisty, technical roads we’ve ridden.
First, I’ve got to say, we trading in our old bike for a new 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra Screaming Eagle. Yes, it’s red too. What an upgrade! The Rushmore changes are nothing less than outstanding. The vents, the bags, the new bars, the audio/media and the integrated GPS make this the best Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It tracks better, feels stronger and makes me not want to get off! Today it’s in the shop for oil change and 1000 mile service and Dyno tune!
We did a lot of break-in miles varying throttle, shifting often and staying under 4000 rpm. After several trips up and down IH17, on and off exits, breaking and shifting, we headed for Prescott up SR74 and SR89. SR89 crosses a pass and goes up across Date Creek Mountains and down to People’s Valley. What a view, our camera could never do it justice! The road has some straight patches on SR74 but over-all it it’s very scenic with some great twisties. So, first day 200 miles.
Friday we decided to go up the east side, the other way to the same area. SR87 is awesome! Talk about big vistas…OMG! Big sweeping high speed curves! Pay attention to the road but slow down to enjoy the big views. The road climbs the Mazatal Mountains almost all the way to Payson. From there we went up higher on up to Strawberry. I think they asked a little girl to name this town :D. It’s about 7,000 ft. elevation and 44 degrees, BRR! Here we found giant ponderosas pine trees, gorgeous! After going down and crossing Verde Valley we went up the west side to Cottonwood. I see why they call it Cottonwood, tons of cottonwoods in bloom for frigging spring time! Onward to Jerome, a tiny mining town not unlike Eureka Springs Arkansas, made for tourists and artists. This town literally is carved into the side of a mountain. Narrow roads, super slow cars snaking through a zig-zag street with a giant drop-off on one side. It’s a clutch workout. Leaving Jerome we went up and up to snow country and 43 degrees and 7,200 ft. Good thing for longjohns, sweatshirts and leathers. It was still pretty cold but the road was dry. This road is magnificent to say the least. All the twisties, hairpins and “s” curves you could want with giant drop-offs. The red rock walls are vertical and crazy colorful! After Jerome we went down to Prescott and took IH17 back. IH17 is no slouch when it comes to scenic drives.
Saturday we met Michelle’s cousin Rich and his girlfriend Stacy for another ride. We decided to go to Tortilla Flat. It looked like rain but decide to go anyway, great choice! Tortilla Flat is a tiny stop over on the Apache Trail from the pioneer days. It exists today for the scenic road and a couple of lakes and the tourist stop at Tortilla Flat. The Superstition Saloon is a 125 year old saloon with a “million” dollars on the wall. It is literally wall papered with one dollar bills. It has good food and beer and a live band on Saturday. They were good too! Cool place, highly recommended. The twisty road needs work but has some of the coolest views. It has a lake called Canyon lake with shear cliffs around it. A big paddle-wheel boat cruises around for site-seers. The road is carved in the mountain along the shore for a while and has an amazing viewpoint turnout. Be sure to stop if your checking it out. Apache Trail is definitely a ride to make. Thanks to Rick harleytravelsandtips for the Apache Trail tip. We will have to come back for the ride from Sedona as it was freezing up there.
All-in-all we really enjoyed Phoenix and look to return for more great rides!