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View Full Version : Florence Junction Arizona Weekend of Wheeling



wayoflife
05-10-2012, 10:39 PM
Last weekend, our good friends Greg and Dave of Powerline Patrol invited Mel, Cindy and I out to Arizona to run a few of the trails out in the Florence Junction area. To be exact, we ended up running a total of 7 beautiful and epic trails including Box Canyon, the Martinez Mine Loop, Jack Handle, Orville’s Loop, the infamous Axel Alley, Upper Woodpecker and a better part of Highway to Hell before Mel's steering pump quit on him and forced us to bail out. Now, we've always heard all kinds of stories about how tough the trails are out in this area and I gotta tell you, they're all true. This area is surprisingly lush with vegetation, filled with all kinds of history and has some of the most challenging trails I've ever taken on and with razor sharp rocks to boot. Anyway, here are some pics from our fun filled weekend out in Arizona. :cool:

The Drive Out
On our way out, we pulled off the highway near Chiriaco Summit to check out the beautiful Ocotillos in bloom...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277592

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277595

Welcome to Arizona!!
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277662

Of course, you know you're in Arizona when you start to see these...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277642

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277672

It's a shame that they close up during the day but all the Saguaros in the area were in bloom and by night, they would be a real sight to see...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277633

Normally a near leafless green tree, the Palo Verde were all in bloom as well...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277670

Of course, it would be impolite to pass through a town like Phoenix withoug making a stop at one of their local brewries...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277694

Checked into our home for the night and with enough time to get all stripped down...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277706

More pics below...

wayoflife
05-11-2012, 12:11 AM
Day 1: Time to Wheel
Mel pulled in late last night and the following morning, we all met up with Greg and Dave in Florence...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277718

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to make any stops until we got to the Martinez Cabin but, the drive up Box Canyon was gorgeous...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277722

Back down in the valley, the temps were already in the high 90's but up here and under the umbrealla of giant cottonwoods, it was more like a low 70. Hard to imagine that we were still in the desert...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277731

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277737

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277734

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277764

While there was an easier way to get up to the Martinez Mine, Mel decided to take the fun way up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277784

How could I resist...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279285

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279321

Unforunately for me, I got up on a pointy rock and just couldn't get past it so, Moby ended up getting a small tug from EVO 1...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279330

After watching me struggle, Greg found a better line and made it up with little effort...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279333

Pulling up to the historic Martinez Mine - this place is way cool...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277796

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277802

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277851

Checking out the old equipment at the Martinez Mine...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277840

Belts still hang from the pullys...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277831

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277834

Back on the move and heading up the loop...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279339

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279351

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279363

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279366

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279372

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279375

After negotiating our way up a really narrow, off camber and super tight switchback road, we were treated with an awesome view at the top...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279384

Time to head back down...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277910

Starting my descent down The Luge...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279393

Toward the end, the trail is so steep and lose that your brakes do nothing but kick up dust...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279396

Here's Greg making his final drop...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277881

Did I mention how off camber the drop is...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277887

Everyone down safely...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277905

More pics below...

wayoflife
05-11-2012, 12:11 AM
Moving on to the next trail, here's a shot of Moby working his way up the first of several tight climbs on Jack Handle...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277926

Powerline Patrol getting some wicked flex...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277932

Me having fun following them up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277938

Followed by Mel...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277944

It can be tough trying to get an 88" wide JK through a 66" wide notch...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279414

And, sometimes you don't always make it through without a kiss from the rocks...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279441

Mel is slightly narrower but, it was still a squeeze for him too...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279432

I went a bit higher and turned a bit sooner and was able to miss the rocks. Of course, I didn't have any doors to suck me into them either...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279423

Up on the ridge looking out across Saguaros and Chollas...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277962

This little Cholla jumped up and tried to bite Cindy but got her Mastercraft seat instead...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277956

Dave took this off camber obstacle on Oroville's Loop a bit wide and almost dumped his Jeep...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277992

Mel working his way down...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278012

Greg getting some crazy flex coming down...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277982

Back up on top of yet another ridge looking out at all the trails in the area...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278032

Time to head up into the infamous Axle Alley...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278036

No joke, this is a dry fall about half way into the trail and it cannot be bypassed. As you can see, the camera wasn't even completely straight (about 4 off) but the ledge is still near verticle. Also, you gotta know that Greg is about 6'-5" tall and the top of the ledge is still about 2 feet above his head...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279447

Mel in position way down below and ready to make his climb up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278108

Whoa Nelli!! His first attempt up leaves him feeling a bit light...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278042

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278112

Taking some time to reposition a bit...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278054

With no real good winch points up ahead, Mel was finally able to get up under his own power with the help of Greg standing on his front bumper...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278114

When the break over angle is this steep, there's little you can do to clear it. Here's me giving it my all...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279462

You know, I think I'll just hang out here for a while...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278066

After several valient attempts, we broke out a strap. It was really frustrating to see how little effort pulling it was needed to get you up and over...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279468

Getting Powerline Patrol up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279483

Greg giving it his best shot...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278136

Who needs horsepower when you've got Mel power. Seriously, after realizing how little it took to get our Jeeps up and over, Mel decided to just try and pull Greg up with his bare hands and.... it worked...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279507

Moving right along, Mel decided to let lil' Mel take on this obstacle...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278148

Like father like son, lil' Mel did great...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278154

The rest of us coming through...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278166

More big ledges to climb...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279513

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279537

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279543

And one more big ledge before pulling out of the Alley...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279555

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279561

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279564

More Pics Below...

wayoflife
05-11-2012, 12:39 AM
This really was a great time of year to be out in the desert as everything was in bloom. Here are some of the flowers we saw along the Upper Woodpecker trail...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277912

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278207

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278180

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278245

There are some nice petroglyphs that you can find along this trail too...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278190

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278182

The entrance to Highway 2 Hell is adorned with a shrine like sign that is made of parts that broke on the trail...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278091

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278199

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278094

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278097

Time to head on into Hell...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278186

Playing it safe, Mel decides to skip Firehole, a pretty severe notch about half way into the trail and head on up to the next tough ledge around the corner...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278217

With a bit of effort and help of his competition Nitto tires, he was able to clear this jagged rock face...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278223

Greg decides to give Firehole a good hard look before giving it a go...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279591

His first attempt was to come in high on the passenger side...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278233

Giving it another go a bit lower and pushing into the rock face with just his shoulder lugs....
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278235

Doing pretty good...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279570

BLAM!! He fell in...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279579

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278239

Even worse than the fall, the sound of him trying to back out was tough to listen to...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279588

But, the damage really wasn't too bad - just a kiss...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278243

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279594

Moving on, I start my way up the same rocky face that Mel went up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279606

After several tries, I unfortunately had to break out the winch...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278227

Here's Greg trying to make his way up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278229

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278257

Unfortunately, he was forced to break out the winch too...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=279642

Once on top, we discovered that Mel's power steering pump was no longer working under 2500 RPM and so, the decision was made to bail out and head back to town. With 6 and a half trails done in just one day, I think we were all more than satisfied to get out of the sweltering heat and call it a day.

wayoflife
05-11-2012, 12:53 AM
Dave wanted to show us the kind of trails he gets to run while on the job and so, on Sunday morning, we hooked up with he and Greg again and went out for a bonus round of wheeling. Here we are near Superior getting ready to run the Hackberry Trail...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278265

After jamming across the desert, we stopped over at a low hanging section of powerline to take in the view, see the hair on our arms rise and get shocked touching anything metal...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278267

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278279

The Hackberry trail isn't too difficult especially if you're running 40" tires and coil overs but, the loose basket ball boulders will give a JK with 35" tires and standard coils a workout. Here we are dropping into one of the many meadow like homesteads...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278291

Near the end of the trail, we found some terrain that reminded me a lot of Moab...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278293

Mel climbing to the top of this steep sandstone face...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278297

Greg heading on up....
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278299

Here I go...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278303

And finally, Dave coming on up...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278305

Almost to the top...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278313

Back on pavement, we stop to take in the view before heading into the Queen Creek Tunnel...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278325

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278337

Time to drive through it - watch out for the crazy guy on the bike going the wrong way!!
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278341

And, to wrap up the day, we made one final stop over at the old ghost town of Goldfield...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278351

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=278355

I hope you all enjoyed the pics and following us on our adventures in Arizona. If you'd like to see all the pics we took, simply click on the link below:

Florence Junction Arizona Weekend of Wheeling (http://project-jk.com/wpg2?g2_itemId=277579)

A BIG THANKS needs to go out to our good friends Greg and Dave for planning this trip and inviting us out to play in their backyard. We had an awesome time and are so looking forward to doing it again soon. :thumb:

ProfessionalDriver
05-11-2012, 01:29 AM
Looks like a great time! Awesome documentation, as always!

Bummer for Greg and his Jeep... If only he had his California Car Duster to clean up that rash a bit... :beer:

highoctane
05-11-2012, 01:50 AM
Looks like a great time!

wayoflife
05-11-2012, 02:11 AM
Amazing climb by EVO 1 up the biggest waterfall on Axle Alley...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_yiehih3vg

Hightower
05-11-2012, 02:50 AM
More video please. Looked like a lot of fun and the pictures rock..:beer::beer::beer:

JKRay
05-11-2012, 03:19 AM
Looks like you all had some fun and some butt puckering moments haha! Thanks for sharing this adventure! :rock::thumb:

StrizzyChris
05-11-2012, 05:53 AM
Did I mention how off camber the drop is...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=277887
More pics below...

This would have made me poop myself. :eek: Downhill, off camber and slippery is horrible.

Irishcoffee
05-11-2012, 07:47 AM
Thanks for sharing those great pics!
:beer::beer:
We've got some muddy trails last days!
:-)
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/579463_427170197310607_299639800063648_1620975_126 1386358_n.jpg
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/319886_429497260411234_299639800063648_1626392_171 2914589_n.jpg

GCM 2
05-11-2012, 12:04 PM
Looks like a great time! Awesome documentation, as always!

Bummer for Greg and his Jeep... If only he had his California Car Duster to clean up that rash a bit... :beer:

Haha! You know I had both my California dusters, the little for dash/windshield and the large one for the external sheetmetal! In fact, Mel had never seen one before and thought it was really cool, so on day two I arrived with one of my five spares from home and left it on EVO1's driver seat. Too bad for Mel's son, because he was assigned dusting duties for the day by his dad ;)

Edit: my EVOJEEP sustained minor damage, and Eddie said it sounded worse than it was. Imagine the sound a washing machine would make if it was being dragged down the street behind your jeep.

RDE2ROK
05-11-2012, 03:04 PM
Looks like you guys had an awesome time in FJ, I wish I knew you were going it would have been fun to tag along.:thumb: GREAT PICS!:clap2:

2012jkfng702
05-11-2012, 08:16 PM
Haha! You know I had both my California dusters, the little for dash/windshield and the large one for the external sheetmetal! In fact, Mel had never seen one before and thought it was really cool, so on day two I arrived with one of my five spares from home and left it on EVO1's driver seat. Too bad for Mel's son, because he was assigned dusting duties for the day by his dad ;)

Edit: my EVOJEEP sustained minor damage, and Eddie said it sounded worse than it was. Imagine the sound a washing machine would make if it was being dragged down the street behind your jeep.

Ouch, I think I'm a lot like you Greg, Beat the crap out of it but keep it looking like the day you bought it. I'm always cleaning the undercarriage of mine. Whats your plans, are you gonna fix it or leave the character??

Eddie, awesome commentary and pictures as usual. Looks like an amazing area to test some things out :D

GCM 2
05-11-2012, 08:56 PM
Ouch, I think I'm a lot like you Greg, Beat the crap out of it but keep it looking like the day you bought it. I'm always cleaning the undercarriage of mine. Whats your plans, are you gonna fix it or leave the character??

Eddie, awesome commentary and pictures as usual. Looks like an amazing area to test some things out :D

There are some old EVO1 takeoffs that I have had dibs on for about a year now, maybe it's time I get them installed ;) I will still have a little proof of trail carnage visible, but I will be improving the look and functionality of my EVOJEEP!

Eddie and Cindy do capture absolutely the best photo and video coverage of not only jeeps doing their thing, but the surrounding beauty as well.

2012jkfng702
05-11-2012, 11:10 PM
There are some old EVO1 takeoffs that I have dibs on for about a year now, maybe it's time I get them installed ;) I will still have a little proof of trail carnage visible, but I will be improving the look and functionality of my EVOJEEP! Good deal, all I have is trail pin striping so far but then again I've only had it since NOV :D. Got a guy that called me today from a body shop up in I think Scottsdale. Apparently they bought a Red Jk from a auction with a four inch Rancho lift that was in a front end collision. Basically they wanted my front stock driveshaft off of craigslist... Maybe you'll see that floating around up there soon...

Eddie and Cindy do capture absolutely the best photo and video coverage of not only jeeps doing their thing, but the surrounding beauty as well.
And I completely agree.

2012jkfng702
05-11-2012, 11:11 PM
Wow I screwed that up :cheesy: