I've been having fun with finding gravel routes. There doesn't seem to be much of a list on any site I have found. There are a few on an AZ Gravel FB page and some on a gravel web site so I will create a list and begin posting somewhere on this site. Anyway, I drove out #79 toward Florence and parked at 96 Ranch Road.
I knew there were only 2 Strava segments on the 40 mile route, one on the opening, 13 mile climb so when I saw a rattlesnake, crossing the road in the first mile I had to keep going rather than pause but then saw another and stopped to take this pic. It's weird but on a gravel bike on an uneven surface, I gave the snake a wide berth. Hitting something and being thrown onto that....yikes.
Actually, in addition to that 13 mile Strava segment climb, there is a fairly continuous climb of about 19 miles but the average grade is only 2%. Of course, 2% on sand/dirt is quite a bit harder than on pavement. I saw numerous serpentine tracks through the sand so lots of snakes had been crossing the road. I merged with Barkerville Road and then reached Freeman where I made....
….a right while having a decent view of the Superstition Wilderness. It's odd not to see multiple group hike options every day for hiking in that awesome area. Friggin virus! While the first two aforementioned roads were in great condition, Freeman was less so but still ridable for a newbie like me. Just prior to reaching #79 after a long descent....
….a power line road gives the option for a return to my car rather than #79 so I take it. After about a mile, I hike a sandy wash, climb through a barb wire fence and get on #79. Back on pavement, I cruised with a tail wind the 7 miles to 96 Ranch Road, finishing with 49 miles and 1900' of climbing. I'd do that route again.