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Old 05-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
Supahflid OP
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Brandon, MS
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Riding the Rim!

When fellow inmate, DavidQ, mentioned an out west trip to the Grand Canyon several months ago, I enthusiastically said, “Yes!” I have never been but have always wanted to visit. He figured we needed two weeks; no problem. Two weeks away from work sounds like just the ticket! The plan was to both camp and motel, so we would have to carry all of our camping gear on the bike. We had both ridden out west under similar circumstances (Does Size Matter?), so we knew what to expect and tried to pack accordingly.


Apparently, I am still not very good at that, but I really had to have all of this stuff!



The gypsy goat wagon:


Before the test ride:


Bikes loaded and waiting on departure:


Picking up DavidQ the next day:


Notice how much more compact his gear is than mine?


Finally, we are on the road:


My English buddy Richard asserts that no trip is really started until there is a bag of Funyuns:


I think there was some beef jerky and other inconvenience store junk food laying around too.


Rain near Dallas:




We had arranged to leave my truck with a high school friend of mine in northeast New Mexico. After driving all night, we finally made it. Ken made us breakfast and then we unloaded the bikes and headed out, but not before a picture of his family and myself:


Ken makes homemade bread and had no trouble sharing it, but I did not get a pic of it! Good stuff! Thanks bro!


So, off we go! The beginning of Day 1:




I did not do the routing for this trip, so I only remember some of the routes we took. DavidQ has his own ride report here that I believe includes the routes we took if you would like to see the specific routes.


This first day we rode some highway and National Forest land and ended up in Dulce, NM.


Random pictures:




A little snow left:

Cool clouds:






Self portrait:




I scared up about a zillion of these:




We were so very tired that first day. When we arrived in Dulce, we both felt like we could not go on, so we stopped at the Wild Horse Casino on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation:




The casino had a restaurant and after checking out that restaurant and the sports bar next door, we decided that we would try our luck at the casino restaurant. The food was ok, but I don’t exactly remember what either of us ate. After dinner, I fell asleep before the sun went down. DavidQ ended up having to get another room since I was snoring and talking in my sleep.

Day 2: Riding several reservations, Four Corners, wild horses!










Lots of big sky:




Wild horses!:








Cows:


Odd:


Starting to warm up:







Near Shiprock:


I am always amazed at the different types of terrain. At every turn the scenery changes:












Rare:


Four Corners:




On the road again:








The wind was blowing like hell this day. I think we did 80 or 90 miles of this:












I believe this horse was bridled:




My camera battery died so I had to pull out the cell phone.



We found a spot and made camp:




Our dining room and observation deck for the upcoming sunset:

I love any kind of curry and Indian or Thai food. This was very acceptable and filling after a long day and a pre-meal toddy:


The setting sun:


We managed to pass through these two states, although, these pics are out of order:





Day 3: Mexican Hat


Leaving the camp:


Stopped for breakfast here in Blanding:


Good roads:











Did he say, “You're number one?”:












I don’t do well in sand. DavidQ seemed to have no trouble:


These next few are of, I believe, Valley of the Gods road:















Met these lovely ladies from Australia who had secured a YEAR LONG holiday to ride through the States!:

We decided we would stay in the town of Mexican Hat, so we shot over there and obtained two rooms at the San Juan Inn, a fairly nice hotel right on the San Juan river. The staff was very nice and they had a laundry.



We got back out for more riding; Moke Dugway and Goosenecks were two of our destinations:














On to THE Mexican Hat:








I started up this hill that took a left up a steeper hill. Once I made the first part, I chickened out on the second. By then DavidQ rode up there and got stuck; nothing to do but turn them around.




We headed back to the hotel, showered and went to the world famous Swinging Steak restaurant.

I’m not sure what the swinging of the meat over the fire does, but the steak turned out pretty good.


After dinner, I met with four guys, all related, that were originally from Rhode Island. They were nice guys and we sat around their bikes and talked the usual bike/guy stuff. There were two Moto Guzzis, a Tiger and some sort of BMW. Pic the next morning:



Day 4: Hell’s Backbone, Ferry, two Kansans on KTM’s:

There are supposed to be four planes in this picture, but now I only see three:

Cruisin':









Saw these two adventure riders disembarking the ferry:



I believe this is Lake Powell:


I had to use the restroom and luckily there was one soon after we hit dry land. I thought I kept hearing a bunch of motorcycles go by, but when I came out, I found this:



I was cracking up, so I asked him what was up with that and he explained that he was just trying to make some air; it certainly was hot that day. It looked like fun, so I had to do it too:


On we go:









More terrain change:












Hell’s Backbone:



Met two fellow inmates, but I don’t remember their names:

And their trusty steeds:


I had been having trouble with my bike running very poorly. At speed, it seemed to do ok, but at idle, it was coughing and sputtering. I tried some octane boost, but that didn’t seem to help. One of the inmates we met asked if I had checked the air filter. Well, of course, I hadn’t. And, of course, when I got it apart, the air filter was pretty dirty; not completely clogged, but enough so that it seemed like that issue could be the culprit. I spent some time scraping the oily dirt from the filter in the hopes that that would help, but it didn’t. I didn’t get a picture of the filter, but I did of the air intake:



I had also developed a valve tap. Dang, this wasn’t good.


This was also the evening that DavidQ said he was ready to go home. So, the next morning, he left.


Coming up: Day 5: Poorly running bike+lots of sand+poor sand rider=disaster?

Supahflid screwed with this post 05-26-2012 at 06:48 PM
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
OTRATT
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #4
backwoodsKLR
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Great pics!!! :

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:44 PM   #5
Anticyclone
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1) Thanks for doing this Supah! The geology out there is mind boggling for this geology student.

2) If anybody quotes that first post and just says "Cool trip bro!" They deserve to be banned. That was a seriously long post!
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:42 PM   #6
Everett49
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Why did your ridining "Buddy" leave you??
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
Supahflid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticyclone View Post
1) Thanks for doing this Supah! The geology out there is mind boggling for this geology student.

2) If anybody quotes that first post and just says "Cool trip bro!" They deserve to be banned. That was a seriously long post!
1) I love geology; it fascinates me. I took two geology courses at USM; the second I didn't have to take.

2) Yes, I should have broken it down a little more. I will consider that as I post for the next several days.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:38 AM   #8
joenuclear
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Cool trip bro!

But if you REALLY wanna make a trip more interesting..... Take Doc LeWall.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=590170

Seriously, Awesome report!
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
Deseret Rider
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Wow!

Only a 'local' like myself who has 'been there--done that" can appreciate your talent as a photographer---super pictures. Also you must be one hell of a bike rider to handle that much gear packed on the bike? Can't believe you needed all that? (the porta-potty was a little much though----assume you had one in there somewhere though I couldn't find it in the pictures anywhere? )
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:36 AM   #10
TRZ Charlie
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Great report Supha....thanks!
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:46 AM   #11
Supahflid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joenuclear View Post
Cool trip bro!

But if you REALLY wanna make a trip more interesting..... Take Doc LeWall.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=590170

Seriously, Awesome report!
Thanks! Doc seems like an awfully interesting fellow, but with his bad luck and mine with flats, I'm not sure that would be a good idea (I'm about halfway through your TAT RR)!

More to come!
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #12
Supahflid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deseret Rider View Post
Only a 'local' like myself who has 'been there--done that" can appreciate your talent as a photographer---super pictures. Also you must be one hell of a bike rider to handle that much gear packed on the bike? Can't believe you needed all that? (the porta-potty was a little much though----assume you had one in there somewhere though I couldn't find it in the pictures anywhere? )
I appreciate the nice compliment! Porta potty; that's funny! I know, I have got to re-structure and really contemplate the stuff I take. I think maybe it would be better to get the weight into the saddle bags which would make it a little lower. The problem is that my tent and my chair are a little long to fit in the saddlebags. I'm going to spend some time researching how everyone else distributes their stuff. You got any insight?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:51 AM   #13
Supahflid OP
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Originally Posted by DRZ Charlie View Post
Great report Supha....thanks!
Thanks Charlie! Looking forward to getting together with you again!
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:11 AM   #14
Supahflid OP
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Day 5: Missing Canyon Road, Flagstaff:


Now that I was alone, I had to make some quick decisions. I knew my bike was running poorly, so, I needed to get somewhere for an air filter and possibly put the bike in the shop. Oh yeah, my rear brakes were squealing even though it appeared to me there was still plenty of pad left.


After doing some research, it appeared as though there was a KTM dealer in Flagstaff, so my loose plan was to get to Big Water where hopefully I would have enough cell service to find out if Northland Motorsports would have an air filter. But first I had to get to Big Water. I made a route that took me on Cedar Wash Road, Hole in the Rock Road, Missing Canyon Road and Warm Creek Road into Big Water. If I was to go to Flagstaff from Big Water, I would just jump on Highway 89 and hustle to Flagstaff.


I loaded the bike and made tracks:


Were those “walking” feet or “paddling while riding” feet?


Either way, I still suck at riding in deep sand and made my own “paddling while riding” feet marks.


Getting nice again:


Oh hell, what happened to the road?

I was so far down this sandy road, I didn’t want to turn around. That’s an arroyo down there and the picture does not define the ten or twelve foot walls. Of course, it’s essentially a dry river bed, so it’s all about the deep sand!
Looking back at the overburdened beast:

There were tracks through the arroyo and I thought that maybe, just maybe, the path would get out of there pretty quick. I went forward and down into the arroyo. What a mistake that was. Deep, deep sand; I made a couple hundred yards and realized that if I didn’t find my way out of here and quick, I was going to burn up my clutch trying to keep this rough running beast moving through the sand.



I dismounted the bike and walked a hundred yards or so until I found a spot that someone had used to climb up out of the arroyo. I walked up, took a look around and found the road a couple hundred yards away. It was then that I realized I had taken a wrong turn! If I could just get to this spot and up the hill, I could make that couple hundred yards to the road.


I almost made it:


I knew the only way I was going to get out was to get the rear tire on the flatter ground. I unloaded the bike and knocked the goat wagon over. After much pulling and dragging, I was able to get the rear tire up on flatter ground and pick the bike up:

I re-loaded the bike, paddled my way across the sand to the road and was on my way. I think that whole episode cost me over an hour. I realized I should pay closer attention to where I am going!


Fantastic scenery!
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:56 AM   #15
Supahflid OP
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Day 5 continued....

After I had climbed from the canyon and passed through some switchbacks, I hit some fast gravely, rocky road. I passed two jeeps heading in the opposite direction; I was a little surprised by the first one since I hadnít seen anyone all morning. I was clipping along after the second Jeep, when I realized I was about to encounter rock in the road. The gravel road sort of dipped down at the base of the rock road and I knew I was about to have a hell of a jolt if I didnít slow down. So, I started down shifting quickly and braking some; I hit the rock fairly smoothly, but as I started to climb back up, while modulating the clutch, either I didnít give it enough gas or the coughing, sputtering basterd just couldnít stay cranked. Either way, the engine ceased to run and all of my forward momentum was lost; I dropped it.

Gear removal time for the second time this day. I simply could not lift the bike with the big Wolfman bag on the back, the two gallons of gas, and the five or six liters of water, plus the gear in the saddlebags; some of that had to be dismounted before even thinking about lifting the bike.



About the time I had gotten the bike to a flat spot ahead, the second Jeep I passed came rolling up to the base of the hill. I still had gear strewn about the path and at first I didnít recognize that it was the second Jeep I had passed. I ran to the gear to move it and once I did, I frantically waved them by; I hate to be a burden to anyone!


Next thing I know, a younger and older couple exited the vehicle and were walking my way. Turns out, they had seen the whole episode from the switchbacks and had rushed back to help me. I was very grateful for the effort but assured them that the hard part was over. The older gentleman, in his broken, but very passable English was very concerned about me and kept grabbing my arm and shoulder asking if I was ok. I assured them that I was and thanked them profusely. Soon, they believed me and made their way back to the Jeep. They watched as I slung the big Wolfman over my shoulder and hiked it to the bike, then, they turned the Jeep around and were gone.



Isnít it experiences like this that keep your spirit bouyed? I know that most of us might have done the same thing, but how nice was it that they really wanted to make sure I was ok?


More geography pron!:


































Wouldnít you love to have been there when these big boulders rolled off the hill?:

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