Go Devil Run Part 2
Vintage Jeeps hit the trail and head back to modern times.
In the article here, we told you all about the fun, frivolity, and funny hats that were a part of the first annual Go Devil Run (or GDR). With the morning of the third day of the GDR we, the flatfender aficionados and old-timey adventurers packed up our vintage camping gear (and the more recent stuff, too) and headed back down to the lower elevations where the trip began. The first part of the trip would take us down the unofficial "front way to Crown King," the Crown King Road, as opposed to the "back way to Crown King," which we did on day one of GDR. Most of this route to and from Crown King is a well-graded road, which led us to the tiny town of Cleator, Arizona. From there we hit a few side roads, searching for the less traveled way and avoiding asphalt as best we could. We stopped for lunch and played in the cool waters of Turkey Creek, west of the Crown King Road. From there we wiggled and wheeled back down to the area just north of Phoenix, Arizona, all while still having fun and frivolity, but with more heat, and thus a fair mixing-in of vapor locking and hoods up. This trip was an epic one with a great group of people united by an interest in old Jeeps and the lust for adventure even if it is ill advised.
Crown King to Cleator, AZ
The Crown King Road that takes you from Bumble Bee Arizona to Crown King (or just the opposite, in our case) is a fun drive that takes you from the Arizona deserts up to the lodge-pile pine forests at higher elevation, or just the opposite. It's a fun and relaxing drive (as long as you aren't afraid of heights or one-way traffic) that follows the old railroad bed (that's why it's one-way at times). One of the coolest places to stop on the way is the Cleator Yacht Club, in Cleator, Arizona. Of course, along the way we had a flat.
Turkey Creek for Lunch
After Cleator we headed down toward Bumble Bee, Arizona, an epically cute town along the Crown King Road, but first we turned west and a little north and dropped into part of the trail known as Turkey Creek. This trail follows, if you can believe this, a creek bed called Turkey Creek. And with temperatures rising, dipping our feet in the cool water of the creek was a welcome refreshment as we ate our period-correct road lunch. Some folks had a bit more trouble including our pal Eric Filar, whose 1946 CJ-2a is still running a 6-volt system. Eric's 6V flux capacitor was on the fritz, so he broke out a digital multimeter from the 1940s and diagnosed the issues while mawing down a sammich and drinking a period-correct soda.
Vapor Locking, More Vapor Locking, and the Back Roads to New River
New River, Arizona, was the unofficial starting point for many in our group and a good place to consider the circle of GDR complete, so that was our goal. New River is easy to reach from the Bumble Bee exit on I-17 unless you are driving an old Jeep that can only muster about 40-45 mph. In that case the I-17 is about as frightening as spending the night in a drawer in a morgue. So as a result we tried to find a back route with more dirt and fewer semis going 75-80 mph downhill. And we found another, much slower, and plenty warm route from Bumble Bee to Rock Springs, to New River with some vapor locking along the way! As the sun set, the feeling of accomplishment was real. We'd lived out of flatfender Jeeps for three days and covered over 150 miles. This was a trip of a lifetime, for sure!