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dave6253 10-11-2013 08:08 PM

Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Ride
 
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I've been dreaming of this trip for a few years.

The route is planned, GPS loaded...

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and the bike is ready.

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September 20th
I leave town around 11 AM.
I can't wait to leave the triple digit heat behind. I'm already regretting wearing the winter jacket and pants.

http://dave6253.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...P9204683-M.jpg



I have 11 days to get all the way around the Grand Canyon to as many backcountry viewpoints as possible.

But first, the super-slab.

http://dave6253.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...P9204687-M.jpg



At Tusayan I turn off the pavement and leave the regular tourists behind.

http://dave6253.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...P9204695-M.jpg



There are MILLIONS of visitors to the Grand Canyon each year. You may think getting away from everyone
would be more difficult, but I've heard of a place even here on the South Rim where you can be alone.

It will cost you though...

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I cross the tracks for the Grand Canyon Railroad...

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and get reacquainted with my bike in the gravel.

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I haven't been able to ride much over the summer.

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I enter the Havasupai Reservation.

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I reach a gate and am contacted by a Tribal Ranger. Actually, he was a teenager wearing jeans, t-shirt, and an
unbuttoned official looking ranger uniform shirt. He was polite and asked where I was going.
"Havasupai Point" I answer. He asked for $25 and I handed it over. I knew this ahead of time
and was prepared (financially and emotionally). He tells me they have an elk hunt going on
and warns that all of the other roads are off limits and he opened the gate for me.

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My $25 allows me access to about four miles of this "road".

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At this intersection I turn right onto the South Bass Road.

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The "road" went up a wash with heavy erosion damage. The trench and washouts crisscross the road requiring repeated crossings.
At times the entire track was washed out with loose sand and rocks making it interesting.

http://dave6253.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...P9204713-L.jpg



I leave the Tribal Lands and enter the National Forest...

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and then into the National Park. No one asked to see my annual park pass.

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The trail doesn't improve in the park.

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I reach the Grand Canyon at the South Bass Trailhead. There were two SUVs in the parking lot, but the owners were off hiking.

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South Bass Trailhead View

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I head back a short ways and cross this puddle again.

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I find the left turn towards Havasupai Point.

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The trail gets narrower and it is obvious not as many people venture out this way.

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This log wasn't to big so I decided to ride over my first ever log even though I could have gone around it.
I was surprised at how easy the bike rolled over it. This may have contributed to an over-confidence issue later in the trip...:evil

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I reach Havasupai Point on a different route than planned. The purple line is the intended route, but that
trail is now closed. You must ride almost all the way to the South Bass Trailhead before taking the squiggly
line over to Havasupai Point.

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I like it here.

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I think I'll be like this cactus and hang out at the edge here awhile.

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The Colorado River flows thousands of feet below me.

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I set up camp and make dinner plans...

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while I watch the sunset.

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After dinner I crawl into the tent and read a book before going to sleep. It feels nice to be alone at the Grand Canyon again.

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This place isn't even that far from home.

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Day 1 Tracks in Google Earth

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http://dave6253.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...0Tracks-X2.jpg

Hootowl 10-11-2013 08:16 PM

Another ride report from one of the very best photographers on ADV.
I'll be watching and following closely and frequently
Richard

Mcgee 10-11-2013 09:03 PM

Yes, excellent photo’s. Can’t wait for more!

RedRockRider 10-11-2013 09:08 PM

In early. :clap Excellent Dave . . . I suspect you're coming my way . . . I'll be watching . . . :thumb

F800ekelley 10-11-2013 09:15 PM

Wow the tent photo is front page for sure amazing only thing missing is me i would love this ride looks amazing

Bob 10-12-2013 07:04 AM

I was wondering where your next "most excellent" report would take us!

2eddies 10-12-2013 08:58 AM

GC backcountry route
 
Great pics as always Dave. I've looked at that spot on the rez on the South Rim on maps. Thanks for taking us there. Waiting to see where else you go around the GC. The West is the best!!!!

AKMotorbiker 10-12-2013 09:22 AM

I've been waiting for your next report! I've also had the Grand Canyon on my mind. I can't wait to read all about this one.

dave6253 10-12-2013 10:36 AM

Day 2
 
I was up early to watch the sunrise at Havasupai Point.

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I usually try to avoid lens flare, but this one turned out interesting.

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I pack up and head back on the same roads. Everything seems easier the second time around and I was hungry,
so I made good time getting back to Tusayan where I had a McDonalds breakfast.

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Havasupai Point is the only remote viewpoint I know of on the South Rim that you can ride to. The others are controlled by the Indian Tribes.

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I've got a lot of pavement to ride if I want to get around the west end of the canyon.


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I pass through a bad collision scene involving at least 2 commercial trucks.

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I can only go as fast as the truck in front of me, but the guy in the yellow vest above is flapping his arm as fast as he can as though it will speed all of us up.
We were already doing about 30. He probably saw the camera in my hand and he began screaming at me to move along. I screamed right back, "F--k You"!

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After a short run on I-40 I take the scenic route along the US 66.
It is Saturday morning so there are Hot Rods, RVs, Harleys, and one KTM out here today.
This Hot Rod driver gives me a big thumbs up.

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Oh! I just realized I...

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REALLY

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LOVE

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DAISIES!:lol3

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dave6253 10-12-2013 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hootowl (Post 22534544)
Another ride report from one of the very best photographers on ADV.
I'll be watching and following closely and frequently
Richard

Thanks for the very nice compliment, Hootowl. I hope you enjoy the report.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mcgee (Post 22534752)
Yes, excellent photo’s. Can’t wait for more!

Thanks for coming along, Mcgee.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedRockRider (Post 22534773)
In early. :clap Excellent Dave . . . I suspect you're coming my way . . . I'll be watching . . . :thumb

Hi RRR. I actually thought of contacting you when I found myself unexpectedly spending time in St. George.

dave6253 10-12-2013 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by F800ekelley (Post 22534803)
Wow the tent photo is front page for sure amazing only thing missing is me i would love this ride looks amazing

If you like tent photos, stand by. I have a few that are probably better than that one. Thanks F800ekelley!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 22536199)
I was wondering where your next "most excellent" report would take us!

Thanks for coming along again, Bob! I always like hearing from you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2eddies (Post 22536745)
Great pics as always Dave. I've looked at that spot on the rez on the South Rim on maps. Thanks for taking us there. Waiting to see where else you go around the GC. The West is the best!!!!

Thanks 2eddies. I almost didn't go to Havasupai Point as I thought it was ridiculous to pay $25 for access to about 4 miles of bad roads. I'm glad I did as it was definitely worth it. Havasupai Point is almost directly across the canyon from Point Sublime and has the similar spectacularly wide view.

larryboy 10-12-2013 10:56 AM

Sweet!!

Remember to pan right, kids.


:clap:clap

LittleWan 10-12-2013 11:09 AM

Hiya Dave!

Great to see you on the KTM again! :D hey, you only recently blacked it out, right? :scratch

I'm looking forward to more gorgeous night sky photos...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave62538675309

:lurk

DMCaton 10-12-2013 11:46 AM

In! I just recently made the trip out to the GC from St. Louis but it was closed off because of our wonderful politicians... So I'm looking forward to seeing everything that I missed!

Mr Head 10-12-2013 01:06 PM

Awesome!


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