So Bry came out and rented a big Goldwing motorcycle and we headed off to Tonto National Forest.
That bike was pretty sweet- I'm super spoiled now that I've had armrest and known the wonders of heated seats. I get it now. It doesn't suck to be comfortable. Also, the thing was super-quiet and I didn't get any of the usual deafness that I usually get after a couple hours of hearing the pipes roaring. Also, I had actual footrest. I think it's time for an upgrade when we get home.
It also meant I was secure enough to get my camera out and shoot the landscape zipping by.
The desert colors were so amazing. It hasn't been so dry that the vegetation had completely up and dried out yet. There were even patches of wildflowers giving little pops of color here and there.
Did I mention that it was about 100 degrees out this entire time? We made our way up to Payson, which is a bit higher up in the mountains and refreshingly cooler.
It has a great biker diner there as well- The Knotty Pine. I asked the waitress if she had any vegetables as a side and she looked and me deadpan and said, "Onion Rings".
We rode up to Roosevelt Lake.
At this point, we could have either backtracked and taken the same road back to Phoenix that we came in on, or we could take an unpaved road 26 miles up into the canyons and wilderness on the Apache trail.
Guess which way we chose.
But shhhhh, don't tell the guy at the bike-rental place.
We ended up taking a refreshing swim in Apache lake. It was gorgeous.
It was quite the vertigo-inspiring situation as we climbed higher into the canyons on a narrow cliff side road with tons of tight switchbacks.
You can see the wee tiny road far below. Scary.
At the end of the dirt trail is Tortilla Flat, a little tourist trap that sells ice cream and old-timey candies. It was completely welcomed.
Lebowski fans, take note.