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Old 05-23-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
Xskydiver OP
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Overland Expo



The day had finally arrived! I had been anticipating going to the EXPO for months. My bike was new to me at only about a week old. I had a new tent and panniers for the first time in my life. I had planned a scenic route and seven days on the road. Now it was time to leave.



Here I am at my first fuel stop. Total mileage so far... about three and a half. Guess I didn't think of everything...




I stopped for a quick break at the beginning of the byway. This is a great way to cut out one of the boring sections of hwy191 on the way North to Clifton.







A little history of the road.





A little look at the road...



I was really impressed with the detail put into this bridge considering where it is.



Water in southern AZ..? This is the Gila river.



I almost buzzed right past this little railroad cut. Something about it caught my attention so I turned around for a closer look.



This was the bridge I had just crossed over. I thought it was pretty cool.



I noticed this oddity about the rail. It looked like extreme heat had been applied to it. The normal I-beam sort of shape had been mushed toward the outside of the turn and it looked like the inside of the rail had actually heated up to the point of melting. I would guess the train was going way too fast with brakes locked up. The rails were clean and shiny as if they are still in use. Seems like this would have been replaced.



This was my first glimpse of Clifton. Well, the mine at least. There is a whole town there you can't really see.



I'm not sure if you can make out much in this photo but there was a small kiosk on the side of the road that shows the lay of the land.



This was set into the concrete of the kiosk. I thought it was pretty cool.

There were a few signs explaining the mining if Clifton and Morenci but they are really hard to read in the photos so I'll skip them.



Ok, this one is crappy too but will play a role later. Take a close look at the size of these trucks. The tires are 10ft high. That makes the truck about 20ft tall. That will be important for scale in as minute...



Look closely...See the two big buildings in the distance? Now, look to the left of those all the way to the edge of the photo. Those two tiny black dots are those giant trucks. Believe it or not, that doesn't begin to illustrate the scale of this place. It's the biggest man made thing I have ever seen. It's really worth taking a minute to check it out on Google earth. Google Clifton or Morenci, AZ and see how both of those entire towns look like smudges in the bottom of the mine.

That's it for now, more to follow...
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Great start . . . looks like a cool ride.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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This gives an idea of what 191 is like from Morenci to Alpine. Imagine this for about two hours straight. No guard rails. I didn't take many pictures. I didn't want to stop. It's an amazing stretch of road.










I thought it would be worthwhile to stop for a bit and take a few pictures. You may remember that last year in this area was one of the biggest forest fires in U.S. history. These show some of the damage and regrowth.



A marker I found near a lookout.



After climbing these steps back up to the parking lot I ran into a group of husbands and wives all on different bikes on their way to Reserve for the weekend. They asked if I had seen the "arrow tree". I had missed it (probably in the interest of not driving off a cliff). I had seen a picture of it at the Bear Wallow Cafe in Alpine a few times so I knew what they were talking about. They gave me a mile marker so I went back to look for it.




Local legend says that if you miss your elk you have to take a shot at the arrow tree. Looks to me like the elk population is thriving.



By the time I got to Alpine I needed a power snack. It's hard to beat Corn Nuts and a cherry pie.



This was my first Jones soda. It was strawberry lime and delicious. It won't be my last.

While sitting on the front porch of the little gas station and general store and sipping my Jones soda, I chatted with a couple of locals and changed my route due to their recommendations. It turned out to be one of my favorite sections of the ride. I didn't even take any pictures because I was enjoying the ride so much.

My reroute got me into Sho Low near sunset and I started looking for a place to bed down for the night. I ended up between Sho Low and Heber. I camped not far off the pavement. I had a little tuna in a pouch and fell asleep to the sound of elk bugling in the distance.

Sorry for the lack of pictures in through here. My phone charger quit working. I took the front of the bike apart to figure out what was wrong with the power socket. It turned out the socket was fine. The charger was broken. I took it apart and was able to McGyver it enough to get a charge. I would need a new one at the next opportunity.

I woke up in the morning to the sounds of wild turkeys in the next tree line. I looked for them for a while then decided to get back on the road.

I broke camp, packed up the bike and crossed my fingers as the bike tried and tried to start. The battery sounded really weak as it finally fired up. I climbed on and got going....

...for about a hundred feet. The front tire was completely flat. I got out my little Slime compressor and hoped for the best. It held air. I aired it up and got going again. I didn't take many pictures because I wasn't sure if I would get my phone charged again.



More in a bit...
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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Now, where was I...?

I got back on the road and pointed the bike toward Mormon Lake. I was in no particular hurry but didn't have any stops planned either. Over the course of the next couple of hours I rode through some very diverse landscape. I left what looked like northern Idaho and began riding down out of the mountains through what I could swear was the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. By the time I got to the bottom it felt like Ohio. It was a fantastic ride indeed.

Coming into Payson, I was thinking about my broken phone charger. And then...there it was...lo and behold!....WalMart!!!!

My ability to take pictures would soon be restored.

While I was there I picked up some Slime for the front tube.

Now on to the Expo!




I think the best way to go through this part is to just pile on the pictures and comment as appropriate. The roof top tents were here in abundance. I think it looks cool but I'm not sold on the idea just yet.








Another common theme was the Toyota Landcruiser. You'll see several examples throughout this. I also noticed after I got home that I didn't take any pictures of the super high end stuff. There were offroad motorhomes that go for a million dollars. They didn't interest me much so I walked right by. I was more into the old or unique stuff.



















Some of the pics are just a quick way to capture a web address that I wanted to look at later. This whole place was pretty overwhelming. There were so many ideas and variations of ideas that you could get lost in it all.








As I was going through my pics I realized this was the only picture I took of a motorcycle. Why...? Who knows?

More later...
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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As the sun set on Thursday, I contemplated the things I had seen and the things I had scheduled to do over the weekend. I was getting hungry and with the no fires policy I started looking for something to eat on site. The obvious choice was the restaurant. I was seated by myself at a picnic table in a steakhouse/bar sort of cowboy atmosphere.

I ordered a hamburger medium. By the time it came I had been joined by a nice couple from Tucson. As we discussed the finer points of dual sport riding I enjoyed a delicious beef treat cooked over an open flame. We said our goodbyes and exchanged contact info to get together sometime.

I went to bed early.

About 3AM I felt a rumbling in my stomach and decided to take a little walk to the port o let. The walk quickly turned into a run...

Too late...My decision to order a medium hamburger ended up costing me a good pair of shorts and a brand new sock. At least it was dark when I got to make the naked mad dash back to the tent. I would soon return. I slept in the port o let until after sunrise.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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On Friday afternoon I was scheduled for an "advanced overland route" ride. The ride was pretty good. There were about 25 bikes on it and we started getting pretty spread out to avoid the dust. At one point I waited for what seemed like ten minutes for the guy behind me to get to the turn. It was probably only three or four minutes really. I took off to catch up to the rest of the group. The road was fairly smooth and flat so I was making good time. I slowed down for an off camber turn and saw the group bunched up waiting for the rest of us.

I was looking right and turning left when the front wheel washed out and gave me a good body slam. My left side ribs took the brunt of it. The bike shed a turn signal but took it in stride. After regaining some composure and some help picking up the bike, we rode on.

A short time later the guy in front of me went down and broke the bead on his front tire. We tried every trick we could think of to get it seated again but it became obvious it was not going to happen. We ended up zip tying the tire to the wheel to keep it from sliding off and limped it back to camp.



Back at camp my ribs were hurting so I just walked around and took a few more pictures and talked to people.



This is a Rally Fighter. It runs about $70k. The builders from the company were on hand and really proud of the car. They are producing 2500 of them and have the new owners actually fly in and do a lot of the work themselves. I thought it was a good concept. The car is pretty cool too.



As the Expo went on I found myself taking less pictures and talking to more people. There's a lot of cool people doing a lot of cool things out there. I got a lot of good advice and was able to learn some things from the experiences of others. The classes were largely review but I could always pick out one or two pearls of wisdom I hadn't heard before.



By Friday night I finally sat down and went through the welcome packet they gave us and found this little gem. I didn't give it much thought until the middle of the night when I had to pee and it was pretty cold outside. I figured I'd give it a shot. It worked well. It was easy to use and worked as advertised. I'm not sure I'd spend money on them but for free they were cool.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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Overland

Thanks for sharing! Always wanted to go to an Overland Expo, but may have to wait until retirement LOL
I love seeing the variety of vehicles and am interested in the pull behind trailers. Mine would have to incorporate something to carry my bike as well.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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I know. I know.. you're all terribly jealous of my snazzy survival bracelet I made in paracord class.



I thought this was a really cool idea. I guess it's to keep the window from getting broken. I think the other side was zebras.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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Originally I had planned for two days to get home but my ribs were still hurting pretty bad so I thought pitching and breaking camp again would suck. I'd try to make it home in one day while still keeping the ride interesting.








I took FR300, otherwise known as the rim rd along the Mogollon rim down to young.




My attempts at self portraits...cut me some slack.

The rim road is fantastic. Highly recommended.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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So, I was on my way home but the adventure wasn't over quite yet. On my way through Young I must have missed the only gas in town. Now I was headed up into the mountains again and looking at the mileage to Globe and questioning if I'd make it. My front tire seemed to be leaking again as well. I had slimed it earlier and it held air fine but now it was low again.

So there I was...Headed into unknown terrain with sore ribs, a leaking tire, and questionable fuel. Sounds like an adventure in the making right?

I stopped twice on my way up the mountain to top off the tire. I had a killer plan to save fuel, I'd shut the bike off and coast down the mountain. It worked great. I was coasting several miles at a time until I'd have to start it and power up a grade before turning it off again.

I was just starting to think I was going to make it on fuel...I was headed down out of the trees and into saguaro country. About thirty more miles to Globe. I was coasting along at about twenty miles per hour thinking about how hot it had become all of a sudden when I left the tree cover. I caught my first glimpse of Roosevelt Lake and was thinking how cool and refreshing it looked. My speed was down to about fifteen but I was going to milk the hill for all I could.

The front tire had finally had enough. It went flat completely and instantly. I was really glad I was going so slow. I managed to get it to a pull off. Getting it onto the center stand was no easy feat with my ribs the way they were.





Not exactly the middle of nowhere but close. Did I mention it was HOT!?



This is going to be a problem...I had a spare tube, sure...at home...right in the garage where I left it before the trip. I had a patch kit...why would I ever need a tube?..just seemed like extra weight.

Luckily I had cell service here. I called my insurance company because I have roadside assistance...on my cars apparently. I decided to google bike shops in Globe and see if I could drum up a pity rescue. As I dialed the first and only shop in Globe I realized it was Monday. CRAP! Bike shops aren't open on Monday...but wait...someone answered.

Thank god you're there...(Insert long sad story)...Sure we'll bring you a tube, where are you?



Nothing to do now but wait for rescue.

Several vehicles went by during this time. One even had federal government plates on and didn't stop to see if I needed help. Thanks!

After about an hour two guys did stop and gave me some cold water which was a welcome relief from the heat at this point. At about the same time a tattoo covered guardian angel showed up. I feel like a tool for not remembering his name but he was a top notch tire guy. He had the tube changed and the wheel back on in a couple of minutes.

This shop demonstrated the best part of the motorcycle community. They didn't hesitate to help when needed. It didn't matter what brand I was on. That's what I want to leave you with. The rest of the ride home was uneventful. I spent twelve hours on the road but made it home.

If you get through Globe, AZ please stop by All-Pro Cycle and Offroad and buy something. They are located at 1770 E. Ash st. Their phone number is 928-425-2030.

This is the kind of local shop we need to support. Feel free to tell them how you heard about them.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:00 AM   #11
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Thanks for the RR

I was hoping to get to the Overland Expo but I couldn't. Your Ride Report was the next best thing. I appreciate all the pix and hearing about your ride. Sorry about your ribs. I did same thing (took a tumble and hit my left side) and for a few weeks after I slept in the easy chair because I couldn't lie down. I hope you are feeling better.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:29 AM   #12
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Talk about a happy ending...

Great to hear that there are still great shops out there... Seem to be getting harder and harder to find...
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:31 AM   #13
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Great report. Thumbs to the MC shop guys. Next time you will be prepared
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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Great stuff!

How are the ribs?
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Head View Post
Great stuff!

How are the ribs?
I can feel bones kind of clicking together in a couple of spots. I went to the Dr. to get some better meds and he did a little pushing here and there and said there were some breaks. He ordered an X ray to see how many and how bad. He called today to tell me the X ray showed no breaks. Go figure? I guess I'm just a sissy
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