Day 6 April 18th, 2003

After an early breakfast and gas down the mountain, we rode back up into town and went the direction of that big arrow towards the Gold King Mine. It was still the narrow old rough unpaved road it was when the mine was working. This old truck was 4-wheel drive and the brakes were cable operated. We looked it over good, but I don't think we ever did find out what kind of truck it was. I'm sure it was an original truck from the mine.

The Gold King Mine

Again----an internet search will bring you up some real neat info about this old mine. You could take a tour of it which would be very interesting----however we were riding sickles. Mining was started in this town in 1876.

In 1900 Jerome boasted the 4th largest population in Arizona. The mines in the area had all ceased operation by 1953.

Here is a closer look at the old buildings and what fascinated us the most. All those old vehicles you see were the most interesting I ever seen. There were many old trucks that had been modified for the mining operation. We seen one old "REO" truck--so many others I can't remember. There was a bus that somebody removed everything above the frame and built a house out of wood on it. I found it amazing it hadn't fell apart. Things just don't rust to the ground in Arizona like they do around Illnois. There were some real treasures and me and Kenny both knew if we got off the bikes we would be gawking at these things all day.
Not to many miles out of Jerome we got on the old railroad bed of the historic "United Verde & Pacific Railway Co." It was high in the mountains. It began operating in 1895 and was called the "crookedest railroad in the world" by the miners who rode along its 3-ft. wide tracks. It had 126 curves from start to finish. It connected the copper mine in Jerome with the Santa Fe, Prescott & Phoenix Railway in Chino Valley.
The hauling of coke for firing smelter furnaces was the primary function of the United Verde. Passengers and other necessities were also carried to the booming town of Jerome. This railroad was abandoned in 1920 when the standard-gauge railroad was extended to Jerome from the east----the United Verde & Pacific Railway was abandoned and Jerome Junction was left for the ghosts. $600,000 was spent to lay the 26 miles of track

We are still on the railroad bed here----we had road for miles and miles in the mountain switchbacks coming down to this valley.

I waited along time as Kenny and Don were stopped way out in the middle of the valley---I thought they were having some kind of problem, but when they showed up, they said they had been watching a herd of antelope.

I ran the ole' KLR wide open across this valley---Paris to Dakar style.

It was getting much colder as we headed Northerly on the old Perkinsville Rd.---and that is snow not fog or rain you are seeing in this picture.

We started on this old mountain road which got much narrower and rougher before it was over with----it is called the "White Horse Lake-Pine Flat" route. We encountered falling snow and lingering old snow drifts from the winter months which hadn't melted yet, but they presented no problem for us.

We rode another trail up here called "Hell Canyon"------and it was hell. We didn't have the energy to take a picture of it. This led us all the way down the mountain to route 89---and we headed South to Chino Valley where we found a great little motel and little "Mom and Pop" restarurant.

These very nice people ran the "Primrose" motel in Chino Valley and were really interested in our adventure and especially our riding outfits as they said they never had anybody ever come in to their town looking like we did. They would point to our armored riding gear and ask "whats that for". We were happy to explain to them all about our gear and bikes.

They were so taken by us and our travels that they went and got the old camera (it had film in it--it was so old) and took our picture. I tried to tell them about finding this trip on the internet and they could see their picture, but I don't think they were computer savvy!! If you know of them---try to let them see this trip and their picture on my website. I know they would get a bang out of it !!!

I almost forgot to tell you that these people were resoponsible for us doing one of the most exciting things on our adventure. He was telling us how we could ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon all the way to the Colorado river. I responded with "you can't do that" !! I thought I knew what I was talkng about as I had been to several places around the Grand Canyon and knew you had to walk or ride a mule---so read on and find out how we got there.

On to Day 7

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