Less Talkin', More Rockin' 2012 LA to GC ADV Ride
Dates: May 25 - May 31
Riders: FYYFF, h8chain, m1jeep, Riddler990, Rruugger, Browneye, TBarstow, Loner, Buster714 & Frank
In order to write my ride report, I need to go back a while. A year to be precise. When Joel anoounced last years ride, I was dying to join but I couldn't, for the obvious reason, my GF's birthday on Memorial Day . But I made a promise that day, I would make it the next year, no matter what I needed to do...
So I start working on my evil plan. I kept talking about the ride day and night and made sure she understand how sad I was to miss that amazing, once in a life time ride. And once you are back, I made sure she saw all the amazing pictures from the ride and made sure she saw me crying over those pictures.
So finally I got what I asked for, the green light for 2012 Grand Canyon ride. YAY!!!
Then finally Joel announced this year's Grand Canyon Ride. I jumped on it and begin getting ready right away. Bike was in good condition, I ordered new summer riding gear, Klim Dakar pants and gloves, Klim Revolt Pullover, shin guards and an Acerbis Koerta Pressure Suit. I also needed dry food since we would be out camping for 4 night in a row. That was the kind of adventure I wanted to have for a long time.
Finally departure day was here. Riddler was kind enough to offer us a ride on his Suburban and trailer. We were gonna meet at his house and put 5 bikes (my and Rruugger's 990, Rich's DR650, Loner and Riddler's 950SE's) on his trailer to meet rest of the crew at Masquite, NV.
I and Rich met around 7:15 and head over to Riddler's place in Burbank. We were so excited since this would be our longest riding/camping trip ever.
When we got to Riddler's house, we were the last one to arrive. Other 3 bikes were already on the trailer. We loaded our's and we were ready to roll.
We stopped by at a local Starbucks (of course) and got something to eat/drink for breakfast. Our lunch would be at Mad Greek, Baker.
Our trip to Masquite was unbelievably comfy thanks to Jon (Riddler990) and his Suburban. Only thing missing in the Suburban was a hot stewardess. We watched Erzberg Enduro Race on DVD and got pumped up for the upcoming ride. They say only 1% of the riders can finish that race every year. That wouldn't be the case in our ride because we never leave a rider behind.
There were many accidents on our way to Masquite. A car was on fire right before Las Vegas, a huge RV's driver window was shattered by the mirror, an other RV was laying in the middle of the highway with a blown up front tire and worst of all a truck was turned over by the high winds and the trailer was all over the high way. Thank God nobody was seriously injured. We got to our hotel (Virgin River Casino and Resort) around 3 o'clock. Chris (Browneye) was already there along with Aram (Buster714), Joel and Frank.
We got together around 7:00pm for dinner. We went to a Los Lupes Mexican Restaurant, had some beer and Margaritas. Didn't want to stay late because our plan was to hit the road at 8:00am in the morning. I dont have pictures of the night. But I know Joel has some since I stole them from him.
Saturday morning was the big day. Tim Barstow meet us too and we were ready for an epic adventure. We gassed up and hit the road towards Elbow Canyon.
Everybody was too excited and didn't know what was coming.
Frank was riding his new 690 and he was fully loaded. Two hard cases on the sides and one huge dufflebag on the back.
Elbow Canyon started nice and easy. Just some rocks here and there. But it got harder and harder every mile.
Our first casualty was Rich, I wasnt there but he said he was adjusting the extra weight on the back. We regrouped once again. Weather was perfect...
This was the last time we saw the whole group together. Uphill got steeper and rockier. And noobs gone wild...
So many loose hill climbs that we need to stop and recon.
I went down 3 times on Elbow Canyon climb, I had help for the first two but not this one. I waited for 10 minutes, nobody showed up and I felt bad seeing her laying down like that. I picked her up alone. HULK
That was pretty much the last hard section. I jumped on it and cruised away to the top. On the way I saw Joel's bike on his side but no sign of Joel. He was up the hill two turns away from the bike. Under a shade, kick'... Top of the hill was niceeeee.... Breezy and clear.
I was so tired picking up and riding Joel's bike hahahahahah so I took a break once I hit top of the hill. Set up my butterfly chair and kicked back for a while.
About 30 mins later rest of the crew begin to show up. But there was no sign of Joel and Tim.
I was energized again and decided to walk down to see what's going on. 3 turns down the hill I saw Tim and Joel. Joel's bike was headed down hill instead of up. I told Tim that I'll take care of it and he was gone before I finished my sentence. He must be tired.
I turned around the bike and took it up to a nice flat hard pack place for Joel. He was exhausted. I have to confess that I had great respect for Joel and Paul on this ride. I found out that they are both 59 years old and still rocking... Congrats... Hope I can do the same at their age.
At the top of the hill Rich and Paul were ready to roll.
After spending almost 3 hours on an 18 mile stretch, rest of the road was much easier and faster. Of course scenery was breathtaking all the way.
Whatever I write I am always missing something. Going down the hill towards Bar 10, Joel and Paul somehow got lost. Paul didn't have a GPS but I wanted to know Joel's excuese. His front suspension bleeder was broken and he didn't have front suspension all the way on Elbow Canyon. I though he took off to take care of it at Saint George. But I was wrong. He should tell his story...
We were doing doing great time and flying on some dirt super highway when I picked up a nail.
Thanks to Tim it took me only 15 minutes to change the flat. But an other 20 to put the tire on. But that's OK because meanwhile Aram, Tim and Rich made some new friends. An other story.
Finally we made it to Bar 10 with couple of hours delay. But the first group (Riddler990, Rruugger, Browneye and Frank) was still there, waiting for us. Still no sign of Joel and Paul.
They took off to claim the camp grounds at Toro Weap. That worked out perfect since we were not supposed to ride in to the camp as a big group.
Meanwhile we had out lunch, got some rest, check the bikes and refueled at $7/gal.
Tim is checking his chain:
I asked the manager/owner of Bar 10 if we can use their wifi to track our lost friends. And they were very helpful. I checked Joel's Spot and they were headed to Bar 10 as well. Only 30-40 miles away. We took our time to wait for them. Finally they arrived and had their lunch. By this time we were about 3 hours behind schedule. But who cares, we were having a blast...
We took off and hit the road to make it to the camp before sun down.
Rich's new AdvMonster LED's were working great.
Camp site at Toro Weap was amazing. You have to see it because it is hard to explain. You feel like you are on a different planet. Ground is solid rock, huge boulders around and a magnificent sky full of millions of stars...
Paul's tent at night.
Sorry I dont have anymore pictures from day 1. I was tired and couldnt even go for the night photo shoot with Tim. But he had some great night shots.
I know I am still missing tons of stories and details on day 1. Please fill in your stories with pictures.
Thanks to everyone that ride and kept an eye on us (Jim) on this trip.
More and more and more report and pictures to come...
nice pics ersin....:clap
this is the one you missed last year
this is the loop we just did, counter clockwise @ 800 + miles
mesquite - bar 10 - toroweap - fredonia - indian hollow - point sublime - north rim - jacobs lake - lee's ferry - vermillon cliffs - navajo lake - cedar break - ponderosa - zion - hurricane - st. george - mesquite
Ahem, since Tim's chain is on the other side......... He must be adjusting that BMW's drive shaft :lol3
I wonder if the Forest Service put crushed rock on Elbow Canyon ?
So Far, So .... Well Slow ! :ear
You can sleep on solid rock after a day like that. :1drink
Back to the ride reporting.
As, Ersin said, Rich was the first casualty:
Frank on the 640:
Ersin on the 990
Joel (prior to going Rogue)
Paul on the 950
Most of Elbow Canyon avoided my camera, as I was too busy picking up bikes.
After Joel went rogue and took Paul with him, we decided to go to the Bar 10 and meet the rest of the group, get gas, and decide how we were going to find the rogue rider and Paul.
Ersin and his flat tire:
The best part of Ersin getting a flat tire was the guys in the Nissan truck that stopped to ask if we needed anything. I responded with "we could use some beers." Phil responded with "Hey man, we have 3 spare beers you guys can have." So we had some beer and some of their homemade vodka while Ersin finished up his tire change.
Ersin and Rich:
Aram and Ersin expressing how we all felt:
After Rogue and Paul made it to the Bar 10, we needed to get moving as the shadows were starting to get pretty long and Toroweap was still about 50 miles away.
I managed to get a few more pics on the way there:
You can see the dust clouds below for the guys behind me.
After we arrived, set up camp, and had Jetboil dinners, it was time to hike over to the overlook and play with the camera in the moonlight.
Aram, Ersin, Ruger:
5 minute exposure at Toroweap:
Some awesome night photos Tim:clap
Torro weep was the only place really wanted to go this last trip that we missed. Just got the timing wrong but we could have spent the day there..............excuse to go again
Im waiting for more:ear
Great night pictures Tim. We should have done it at Indial Hallow too. :clap
Great pics!!! I'm in next year :)
Been waiting to view the RR. Some great stories and pics so far...:thumb
This ride is going to have to get on the bucket list!
How about a fall trip do over? October is a great time of the year for southern Utah
thanks to you ersin, tim and aram. without you guys, i will be sleeping in elbow canyon....:lol3
tim is a stud, all of us were exhausted and he's the only one keep on ticking.
sorry, i didn't mean to go rouge....it was the dreaded garmin montana white screen failure......:puke1
the good side, after we got lost, paul and i had a lot of sand practice:rofl
cat, october may be a little too late if we get an early snow. we were on high elevations 9 to 11K feet. we froze our butts for 2 nights.
love to do a repeat for sure.
GREAT reporting Ersin & Tim! Very detailed, I like it!! :lurk
Awesome trip with the some of best bunch of guys I've ever met! Makes me want to do a repeat already!! :clap
Thanks to Joel & Jon who did most of the work to get this thing together. You guys executed it almost perfectly!
A definite possiblity John. There are so many roads and things to explore on Kaibab Plateau that a group could spend a few days just camped out and exploring up there. Hit Toroweap, then the Kaibab Forest, Sublime Point, all over the north rim.
From the Browneye...Day One
So, as mentioned, we had been prepping for this trip for weeks. As we got closer wouldn't you know it but a big weather front was moving in on central California and forecast to bring gale force winds to the area and temps 20 degrees below normal. So the normal 60 and 90 temps would now be 40 and 70. So much for the new vented gear I just bought. :ddog
My initial quandary was which bike to take. I have a Kawasaki Versys and the Husky TE630, both setup for hauling gear and camping off the bike. Joel said knobs on the Versys would be fine, (which it does not have) but that everybody else was riding dirt-type bikes. So that was easy, the Husky would be the right tool. But riding it 500 mles on slab to get there and back was just slightly unappealing. So I was the first to say I was trucking/trailering to Vegas or Mesquite. I guess that sounded like a good idea since we had plenty of adventure miles to cover once we got to Arizona. Since TBarstow is in the Vegas area it made sense to stage there. As it turned out, we all decided to stage at the Virgin River Casino which was a great call.
Getting there Friday afternoon and going for a swim in the pool after 6 hours on the freeway was heaven. Everybody got there and we got situated in rooms, had a couple a brews, and then out to dinner. Great little mexican place.
And yes, the wind blew 40-50mph with gusts to 60-70 on Friday, the drive up. Thus all the carnage on the freeways. We were all glad to get to Mesquite to the casino hotel, but apprehensive about the weather for our departure.
Last year there were a few comments about wind at Toroweap. I had visions of 40 degrees, 40-50mph wind, and there was a 20% chance of thunderstorms. Gee, sounds like fun, eh? Camped out in tents? YeeHawwwww! As it turned out, Toroweap was absolutely beautiful. The NOAA wind warning got called off for Saturday, the winds died off and it wasn't nearly as cold as forecast. We just lucked out and it was like that for the duration of our adventure.
Saturday morning heading out it was a bit breezy, but nothing like the day before. The guys will talk about Elbow Canyon. As I look at some of the pix it appears to be much more difficult than I thought at the time. I dumped 3 times going up the mountain, and bashed my skid on a big rock going thru one of the slots. My bike was so heavy it took all the strength this old weakling could muster to get the bike back up, get on it, and keep going. In so many ways, I had picked the right bike for the trek.
Riddler passed me waiting for the group about half way up. As it got more difficult it became apparent the group was going to have trouble. But Riddler said screw it, I'm not dealing with these rhino's that kept passing us so he kept going. I figured I would just follow. We got to the top and waited...and waited...and waited. Finally StuCazzo and RRuugger showed up. They had no idea what the status was on the rest of the group. There were 10 of us supposed to be riding together, first stop Bar Ten Ranch some 80 miles away. It was now 10:30 and we had gone 17 miles. WTF. I thought oh my, this is gonna be a long day.
There is a rustic cabin at the top of Elbow Canyon Road, right before the 3-way split up there. Easy to get going the wrong way....Joel the rogue rider....are you there?????
As it turns out, the three rhinos climbing the grade the same time we were, were up there as well. While we were waiting on the carnage below we walked down and checked this place out. The rhino people were three older couples and their dogs, gear, and their 4x4 "golf carts". :D Turns out one of the rhino drivers' dad is who built the cabin so many years ago. What a coincidence!
Well, we waited for about an hour and a half up on top and decided since we had so far to go, and because there was still a group of 6 to help each other, and because we sure as hell weren't going to ride back down there just to ride back up, we decided to keep going. That's really the telling of the difficulty of a trail - if you're not willing to do it over again then you just got through by the hair of your teeth. So we built a huge arrow on the road with rocks and sticks, pointing to the correct road to continue, and off we went.
We were heading toward the huge plateau that borders the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. Fortunately we had excellent GPS tracks and were never in doubt about the route. Joel....????? Joel has bad luck with GPS's :rofl
The road seemed to go on forever...and ever. But now it had gentle slopes and a smooth surface so we were able to make really good time.
More to come.....later....much later.... :wink:
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