Riding to the Ranch

Since the desert between north Phoenix and Carefree Highway is quickly being gobbled up by developers — especially along Carefree Highway where they’ve been widening it to four lanes all the way from I-17 out to Cave Creek Road. I decided that if I was going to ride across it to the ranch, I had best go do it.

I started by riding pavement to Deer Valley Road and 7 Street, then north along 7 Street, crossing the CAP aqueduct. Just a short distance across the CAP, is a small paved road heading east which has a break in the fence, on the north side, giving access to some faded double-track heading generally north-east. A couple of short climbs into the Union Hills put me past both the Cave Butte and Cave Creek Dams. The rest of the ride was over fairly flat and uneventfull land. As a matter of fact, I got bored riding along a freeway-smooth dirt road I found and headed off along a cow path that cut across the road. I did find the herd, by the way, they were all taking it easy in the shade of trees surrounding a large water basin. I eventually made a moderate climb and came out at the top of Central Avenue and Dove Valley Road in New River. From there it was just a short semi-paved ride to the ranch. In all, it was an hour and a half to loaf along 17 miles, six of which were paved.

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