Look Out BLM Box Canyon! Here We Come!

Trip Start Jan 18, 2013
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Where I stayed
In our Winter Home in Arizona City
What I did
Box Canyon, AZ

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday 2MAR2013 BLM Box Canyon

Our Green Machine,still nameless (but we're working on it! Any suggestions?) has it's own story... We brought her home took a brief spin around the neighborhood a time or two, then Jim wanted to clean up the wiring under the hood after all the previous 'extras'... With the 'extras' comes the wiring into the system which sometimes isn't very pretty... well as the story goes, the next thing I know is that my car has been exiled to the driveway, Green is up on blocks, the hood off and Jim is taking it apart!  The Rhino was in pieces for 7 days when Jim finally got it back together! 

Our friend George in ABQ recently asked Jim Why so many spare tires for the Rhino and Jim's reply was "George, The old owner had upgraded the wheels and tires to offset wheels and custom tires....  he had the old set of tires and I asked him to include them in the deal...  in addition he had a full windshield, and some other accessories that were, at the time not installed... which I asked him to include... I'd like to upgrade the tires for the extra wheels to a simple mud and snow style tire... I'm not interested in the off road, coarse tread like a tractor tire... AND, I filled a 5 gallon bucket with wire, connectors and junk as I cleaned up his mess, installed a 8 fuse power strip an just cleaned up the stuff...  to make it street legal and have a plate on it... it needs a license plate light, turn signals, horn, etc... these were all added in a real mess...  I ran a flexible plastic conduit to the front and rear of the chassis to run my wires in" ... Old Green runs GREAT now! 

Then a couple of days later Gail&Dale show up with their side by side (Blue which they call Babe).  Of course Babe has some 'extras' as well... then Jim & Dale started taking apart Babe and cleaning up her wiring mess... It was a good thing as they found a burnt wire close to the muffler that was interfering with the brake lights!... Actually, no brake lights!... and it only took a few hours to get Babe back into shape & ready to Rock & Roll!  So I guess the morale of the story is that you had better watch out if you show up at our house with a side by side that has a history of 'extras' added to it... it will probably end up in pieces on my garage floor!

Now we are ready for our next adventure with our Side by Side(s).  Gail had expressed an interest in Box Canyon, AZ.  Connie googled Box Canyon and sent Jim and Gail&Dale the link  http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XFT002-055 ... The rest is history!

Today might have been a first….  Since the mid 80's Connie and I have traveled most of the west coast on one of our touring motorcycles or now in our RV…  We’ve got 2 trips to Alaska and countless rides of 10 miles to 1000 miles during our vacation time….   Today we took a step into a new style of riding…  A few weeks ago we purchased what is known in the recreational vehicle industry as a side by side….  Ours is a Yamaha Rhino…  think about a small jeep on steroids and you might have an idea of what this is…   please see the photos…   we’ve chosen a Rhino because of the brand loyalty from some of our friends…  We’ve not given up the Goldwing, or the RV but we’re looking for some off highway riding… trails, per say that get us out of the city, into the country and into the deserts and mountains around us….

Today’s first ride…   was just under 20 miles off road….  But by the time we loaded the Rhino, got to our location and returned home we were gone most of the day….    The weather was great…  ended up in the low 80’s and to be honest Connie got some sun, I got some chapped lips and both of us had showers that ran mud from the dust when we got home…   

But we had a blast…   Up what is called Box Canyon out of Florence AZ….   12 miles out of Florence on paved and gravel roads we stopped and off loaded the Rhino (we need a nick name...  please suggest one) climbed in... strapped in and followed our friends D&G up the canyon… ours has been modified…  some special seats for more comfort, wider wheels and tires for better tracking…  5 point safety harness for roll over protection…  Full skid plate… Raised suspension for better clearance…The Rhino comes stock with a great roll bar…  It’s not only legal off road… but its street legal as well, rear view mirror, lights, turn signals, windshield, horn… (We picked up a copy of the AZ OHV Laws and Places to Ride brochure at the Sportsman Show last weekend)... all the stuff to license it here and drive it up to the mail box, to the hardware store…. Or out to the country for a nice walk and run the dog…

So Box Canyon is narrow, in some points maybe 35-40 ft….  steep enough that you can’t climb the walls…  so when the rains come the place is a torrent of water coming off the mountain…  and no place to be…  during the ride today… we traveled up about 1200 in elevation, through the canyon…   the sides go up oh, maybe 100 – 150 ft in some places…   some of the canyon is in the shade all the time…  rock/gravel bottom…   some rocks so large we had to use low range, in 4x4 to crawl up and over them…  only once, on the trip down did we really strike the skid plate…. In a bump that I would call moderate…  

Top speed today was 22-25 mph….  in some cases we were traveling no faster than you could walk as we worked our way up and over some of the boulders and up the hill….  Pictures…. We have pictures…  cactus, quail.. we missed the lizards on the walls… way too fast…   we stopped around 12:30 for lunch, sat with our friends on the side of the trail while others like us passed us going either up or down the trail… picked up some trash to help keep the outdoors clean….   worked their way up or down the trail…    4x4 low range for steep uphill or downhill travel…

We’re looking forward to more rides like this…    and we were surprised that the state of AZ publishes a map and guide of several hundred trails dedicated to off road use…   bicycles, motorcycles, Jeeps, ATV’s, UTV’s… etc...

We need to work with Rowdy on these outings with us, and we haven't had the Rhino long enough to get him trip ready... for this trip he stayed home and guarded the house!  He was very glad to welcome us home at the end of the day!

Happy Trails!
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