The Great Western Trail
[I finally figured out how to set photos so that they can be clicked on and viewed much larger. Enjoy]
This will be an unusual post, in that I won’t tell you all that much about the title subject. You can search online for that yourself. Still, the small stickers I kept seeing along the Woodchute Trail I’m camped on made me curious, especially since one was placed on a trail clearly impassable by the Intrepid. I’m nearly at the practical limit of what the large-barge Furdster can do here, and to go more than a quarter-mile further up really needs a spotter to make progress practical.
Anyway, the so-called Great Western Trail is a modern patching together of existing trails into a network that is envisioned to go from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, and perhaps one day to Alaska. Because some of its pieces or at least locations have some historical provenance, as it were, its fans like to claim that some of your distant ancestors have used parts of it to migrate from one area to another. Mine? No, definitely not. Maybe yours. Some 350 miles of trail have been assembled in Arizona so far, and it’s likely that it’s the only stretch legally passable by motor vehicle. Other states apparently can’t make that claim. Some areas are for street-licensed vehicles only. It varies.
From what I can tell, much of the trail is a normal two-lane dirt road. The parts that aren’t can get pretty hairy. Going by a video (a DVD preview) created by Great Western Trail Guide as the couple traveled the route, a modified Jeep is about the largest vehicle that has a chance of going end to end. That is, one wearing tall tires for clearance, and enough lift for the fenders to clear those tires. Otherwise, 4WD ATVs and motorcycles should have a much easier time of it.
At any rate, I consider most of what I’ve seen here to be impassable by bike/e-bike. Between the large rocks, the deep troughs and other abrupt hazards that abound here, a bicycle would be a reasonably quick way to kill yourself. Fatter tires and more low-end power is the order of the day. So far, the only wildlife I’ve seen are hawks and wild turkeys. You can hear the latter each evening and morning, as well a coyotes with a deeper call than usual.