The goal of this trip was to get to the southern part of Virgin Mesa rim quickly and and check out a road that I saw in the aerial photo that was not there in my earlier explorations. I am splitting this into two parts because there are so many photos. The Part 2 will cover the part on the rim.
Looking back at the junction of FR607/607F
I took the road on the left FR607F.
A short side road puts me on the rim. The rim route goes through here.
Heading south on FR607F
This road has been decommissioned. They did light thinning here. I wish they would do them all this way.
Backing up a bit, users have made this connection to the previous road. This will get me to the road in my goal.
Looking back, there is a nasty climb to get onto this ridge. That explains why this road is not being used even though it is an open system road.
This is the road I want to follow.
I made it to the rim again. In between was a lot of clear cut that is growing back with brush. I didn't get any photos there.
Continuing southward, the road that was so clear in the aerial photo is not being used and has good potential for a future route for the bike or hiking.
As it approaches the next road, it has been decommissioned.
Another side road that will no longer be used. I case of fire, roads like this can be easily cleared to provide needed access.
Here is another of many old log cabin from the days when this area was being logged. I have photos I took of these over 20 years ago. I should compare them.
This used to be the main road.
It is now closed. Other parts of this road had some severe erosion issues which would be reason to close it.
Back on the main road, I continued southward.
FR1614 was only lightly used before the thinning. They have made it the main road now.
On the right, you can see how thick the trees used to be. The smaller ones, called 'dog hair' can be over 100 years old. They need to be thinned.
This is on the south edge of Amoxiumqua ruins. It was occupied from 1350 to 1680 A.D. and had ~1200 rooms. Parts were up to 4 stories high. See more about this site.
This is another old road from FR609 that goes to the rim. I decided not to keep going south, so I back tracked to Amoxiumqua and followed that ridge north putting me between two sections of the rim I wanted to do. It was pretty warm and the cloud cover was most welcome. Starting there I wouldn't have to carry as much water and could leave rain gear and anything else I didn't have to carry. I had ridden 13 miles to this point. I did the next part on foot to minimize exacerbating a recovering injury to my elbow. My hike south on the rim would take me back south to a point east of here and then back north some.
Part 2 of this trip will cover the incredible trip along the rim.
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