WOW y’all…what a trip I had yesterday. Met another volunteer here at Ft. Verde and he is a Jeep Nut. I don’t mean he likes Jeeps like I do…he is a Jeep NUT!!!! Oh…and he is 80 years old. Been everywhere…done everything. He’s been places and done things I didn’t even know about. Anyway…
He asked me if I wanted to go out on a Jeep trail. I said great! I like to scout around and thought I was quite the Jeep scout. HA!!!!
He said “how would you like to go out to Sheep Bridge”? Sounded pretty basic to me…drive some back roads…see a bridge and a river. Pretty basic, right? HA!!!!
First 30 miles were south on I-17 toward Phoenix, exiting at Aqua Fria Nat’l Monument. Next 20 miles were BEAUTIFUL and dirt roads that had been graded. Ok…at about another 20 miles we crossed over a ridge…and…OH MY GOD! I think it is the most beautiful view I have ever seen. The best analogy I can give is that this is what Abraham saw when God showed him the promise land. I am trying to figure out where is falls into the range with the Grand Canyon and Angel Lake. Right now, because of my past loves of both the Grand Canyon and Angel Lake, it is in third place, but the more I think about it, it may, just maybe, move up a place or two, bumping one of the others down a rank. Stay tuned…I will let you know.
Anyway from mile marker 20 it was another 20 miles to Sheep Bridge (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tonto/recarea/?recid=35219) over the Verde River, and was the best (views) and worst (roads) I have EVER been on. Yep…after 20 miles of dirt road, I had 20 miles of rock climbing, 4 wheel drive (LOW RANGE), and in low gear. If any of you know the Moki Dugway…it has NOTHING on this road. My heart was in my throat. Check out the picture of the truck that went over the edge. (thinking of you Jocelyn...you probably would have driven a knitting needle through my throat). George, the guy ahead of me in his Jeep Rubicon, had to keep stopping ahead and waiting for me. Here I am in my little Jeep Sport with street tires….Jezzz. Did I mention that we had to RETURN this way too????? Well, I left Joey at Ft. Verde at 8 am thinking I may be back at noon, or maybe mid-after noon. Poor Joey. I show up back at the RV in Ft. Verde at 6:30 pm. But, as you can imagine, there he was, just as happy to see me, and oh…ah…where is SUPPER????????
So take a look at the pictures. It is very frustrating to take pictures and put them on the blog when the pictures really don’t do justice to the sights.
1) leaving I-17 entering Agua Fria National Monument. Hummmm…nice graded roads…
2) Mile Marker 20 crossing the ridge and beginning the drop into Bloody Basin
3) Bloody Basin
4) One of many creeks to cross
5) Yes…even Saguaros and Ocotillos.
6) A pick up that didn’t quite make it.
7) Sheep Bridge…George
8) Sheep Bridge, Verde River
9) Jack the Jeep at Sheep Bridge.
10) Friend that I met that was spending multiple days on the Verde River leading a group of his Son’s friends. I say friend, but will probably never see him again. Ships in the night…
11) We came across two couples traveling to Sheep Bridge in a Jeep Unlimited. They had a flat tire and no jack. They were from Phoenix and were just out for a drive like maybe they were going to Home Depot or something. Doesn’t it just make you wonder what people think???? So...Mike's little Jeep Scout with the tiny street tires had to bail out the big bad Jeep Unlimited with tires sooooo big I couldn't pick them up. LOVE IT!!!