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We had fantastic weather for our ride in the desert near Florence, AZ. There were 19 rigs from several states that had gathered for this ride.



This is one of my favorite areas as there are a lot of tough, technical trails, along with gorgeous desert mountains.







We headed out through Box Canyon towards the diversion dam near Florence.



Near the dam we crossed the river and headed east after having a little fun in the water.





Jeff surprised me by swamping my passenger with water when I made my crossing. I should have been looking as we have a history of doing this from time to time. It is all in good fun and thankfully it was a warm day.

The south side of this trail heading towards the coke ovens follows along several washes and is twisty and somewhat smooth for a few miles.



 

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After crossing the river again we were on a section of the trail that sometimes is impassable depending on the water level. Fortunately this time it was almost dry.





After another few miles we made it to our destination, the Coke Ovens. There are five(5), 30-foot tall rock domes that were built in the early 1900's as smelters to make charcoal for the mines in the area. Surprisingly they are still in extremely good shape. It is nice to see people have not trashed them but instead appreciate the history.



After lunch we headed back on the rough rocky part of the loop towards camp.



My 30-inch Rage Thunder tires really shine when it comes to rock climbing. They are a softer rubber compound that stick to the rocks like velcro. Instead of going to the right of this obstacle like most, I went right up the gut without slipping a tire.



The outstanding scenery makes you forget about the rough rocky trails on this side of the mountain.



As we made our way back, Jim decided to take us on a slight detour along the ridge lines. Fortunately there are 100's of miles of trails so we can take a slightly different trail each time we go out.



Along this trail my front tire threw up a Cholla cactus that happened to land right on my finger. I was just thankful it did not hit me in the chest!



After a brief stop to remove the Cholla, we were back on the trail. There were many very steep, loose, hill climbs and descents that made me think I was on a roll-a-coaster ride. What a blast as my Rage tires were spinning in the loose dirt grabbing traction where ever they could to get me to the top of the hills.

After 80+ miles we successfully made it back to camp; no flats or breakdowns along the way.

It was time to get the campfire started and the pot luck set up for everyone to fill their belly's and tell their version of the days adventure.



Additional photos: Coke Oven Loop 11-15 Slideshow by DTDForums | Photobucket

Remember to stick together, ride within your own abilities and buy all your tires and wheels from Discount Tire.

Don McNeilly
Discount Tire
 
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