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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by scarysharkface, Sep 7, 2012.
Sure thing. Glad you're enjoying. :)
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This is without doubt, one of the best landscape & scenic pictorials I have ever had the pleasure to review here on Advrider.
To be frank, this is why I ride myself! The joy of riding not withstanding, its the splendid scenic views, especially those of rugged & desolate desert terrain, that I find very invigorating!
Well done indeed!
Allow me to share a few pics from Randsburg and nearby Fremont peak in the SoCal desert from a recent ride I took:
Fremont peak at Dawn:
A close up of Fremont Peak at Dawn:
Sunset at Randsburg:
Thanks so much for sharing ....
GREAT pics and write-up ! Thanks John
Outstanding as always. Thanks.
There's a rest area North of Hite, and another gathering of motorcyclists with a van and trailer. This group is maybe an hour, give or take, behind the other group. It occurs to me that this is probably an effective method for harvesting dollars.
It's a pretty neat little rest stop.
One can only guess how long it's been since water flowed here..
The group gears up and heads out. One of them "blocks" the highway initially while the rest pull out without checking for traffic. It's kind of a scary thing to witness as I have a few times on this trip.
Not much farther down the road I see water. It's nice that the rain seems to have stopped. Today might be a dry one after all.
Here's a video of portions of this ride: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19757139#post19757139
loving this SSF!!!
love the narration and the pics are SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!
bestbwishes from Down Here
Very nice John,
Your hike into those canyons was awesome-------I need to start packing some good hiking shoes so I can get off the bike
occasionally------take a hike and stretch the legs like you do.
So glad you didn't get your arm caught in between 2 rocks and have to cut it off :huh:huh:huh:huh:huh
I have the same tent you have-----Rei Half dome plus-----that's been my favorite tent I've ever had. So roomy---it's made for big guys-----but with one person and gear it's really nice---especially with the 2 big vestibules. If the weather is bad and you have to spend some time in it-----it's awesome.
Keep the KLR a goin' John------thanks !!!
I like this a lot! For one thing, there's no howling headwind!
You are kind. I do my best work when I don't try to explain anything.
I love that tent. You're right, in that it's just about perfect for one person with some gear. As for hiking shoes, I brought an old pair of Vasque Sundowners along. I only ever used them once, when I was fixing a flat tire. I can pretty much guarantee that if I hadn't packed them I would have wanted them daily!
I'd figured I'd take advantage of the rain to wash the mud off my sandals, and that's worked reasonably well. It's been dry enough the last bit that maybe mud won't be an issue anymore and I'll be able to head back off pavement soon..
Just a wee bit further up the road is an overlook. Off in the distance is the bridge I'll need to cross to continue Southward..
Looking the other direction, you can see the boat ramp at Hite. Looks like the water is low to me..
After having a nice chat with yet another group of Harley riders and their van/trailer (mostly Europeans, doing a "Wild West" tour) I push on down the road. Turning South toward the Moki Dugway, I'm pretty happy that I've stayed dry as long as I have. It's dark sky ahead, but maybe my luck will hold. At any rate, I'm enjoying the ride.
I ride a bit and the sky looks ominous again. Time to pull off and throw on my rain pants. They're just regular rain pants, so I have to do this funny little dance where I have to completely remove each boot and stand on one foot while wrestling pants that were never designed to fit over riding gear that's probably two sizes larger than they are. Such is life.
It's pretty atop Cedar Mesa, so stopping and looking around while hopping around on one foot isn't all bad. Not at all.
Practically as soon as I put the bike in gear it starts to rain again. So, I count this as a win for me.
I had a list of things I wanted to do or see on this trip. One of those was to ride the Moki Dugway. Well, here I am. It's raining and the trip down is graded gravel and dirt. Today it's a bit slimy and sticky, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. It's probably good that I'm riding down it. First/second gear and rear brake serve me well and I don't fly off the edge on the switchbacks in spite of myself..
Every time I have the slightest mechanical issue on the road (or off) I think of you, and of how you are made of stuff so much stronger and wiser than I. You set the bar for dealing gracefully with mechanical adversity way far out in the boondocks.
I'm looking forward to our paths crossing one of these days.
My plans to powerslide around Valley of the Gods vanquished by rain, a pit stop in Mexican Hat sends me towards Kayenta, Arizona, via Monument Valley. It rained the entire way and visibility was between a quarter- and a half-mile. Who rides Monument Valley in half-mile visibility? This guy.
Kayenta has a McDonalds with a much-sought-after-by-now roof and wi-fi. Oh, and food. I drain about a gallon of water onto the floor in a relatively vacant corner. I say relatively vacant because the place is packed with Asian tourists and a handful of leathered-up bikers. There are something like three people working, and the language barrier inside is as evident as the rain outside. After literally ten minutes of watching a fellow attempt to order something, finally both parties figure out that pointing fingers can in this case be a good thing. The deal is done and I've only got three more of these to endure before it's my turn. A Filet-O-Fish never tasted so good, but the wireless was saturated and unusable. I call Tracy and she breaks the news that I'm screwed and it's raining everywhere around me.
There is a rez dog in the parking lot who seems to have special powers. He's in the last free-range dry spot I'll see this afternoon.
I pick a short route to Many Farms and then Chinle, where I fuel up again (I have nothing better to do than fuel up, and it's relatively dry under the awning at the pump).
A few miles South and the rain is a light sprinkle, so I stop for pictures..
I stop in Chambers, Arizona, for the night. The place is hoppin' and I'm ready for a warm, dry bed.
Dinner is a Navajo cheeseburger with fry bread in the restaurant attached to the motel. I'm not really in the frame of mind for it, but it's okay. Breakfast is bacon, eggs and hash browns, and is similarly-odd to my taste. I'm told it's Navajo bacon (thick) and that part is good.
It rained most of the night and morning, but stops during breakfast. There is hope for a dry day.
I load my crap..
And check the Weather Channel. Hope dissipates.
And it starts raining again, hard.
I am not swayed, and mostly just don't want to spend all day not doing anything, so zippers get zipped and off I go..
I don't know why the van and the empty trailer? I didn't see any Urals, I only saw Harleys!
The road has been hit. I'm thinking maybe the road to Chaco Canyon is paved. Rain continues.
The road to Chaco Canyon is NOT paved, and the sign says it's impassable when wet. And it is wet.
I notice a trend. Whenever the road drops to cross a stream, horses dart across the road..
Bucking this trend, sometimes horses dart across the road on hills too..
I stop in Cuba for fuel and another Filet-O-Fish, and chat with a couple of guys headed up to Telluride from El Paso..
Progress toward who knows what is pretty good in spite of the rain. It's a nice day to ride. Then the rear wheel starts to feel a bit sloppy...
I'm kind of in the boonies, the rear tire is flat and I can't for the life of me find any punctures in the tire. I air it up and hope I can make it to somewhere..
Ojo Caliente has a liquor store with an air hose, and they point me up the road a mile or so to an inn that appears to be closed for the season. Across the street is a coffee place, and after explaining my predicament the owner phones the folks who run the inn. They set me up with a room and a courtyard for working on the bike. Excellent.
It's wet, I'm tired and the flat can wait until morning. I head over to the coffee place and compare notes until well after dark with a girl who is riding the CDR on a mountain bike. There is pizza as well, so I head to bed on a somewhat full stomach.
Oh, the carnage...
I can see my shadow so the sun must be out. The pinch flat was an easy fix. Today is yet another good day.
I meander North, stopping occasionally to check the rear tire pressure (I'm paranoid like that) and snap a few pictures with the cell phone..
All is well, and just inside Colorado I get to take a picture with a narrow-gauge locomotive. Awesome..
A bit further North I pull off to check the tire again. It's fine. What appears to be a Maserati passes. As I'm getting my helmet back on, it comes back and U-turns in behind me. I give 'em a thumbs up and they head on down the highway. Cool.
I keep forgetting that I'm on the East side of the Continental Divide here, which is probably why my shadow is leaning the way it's leaning instead of leaning the way it's not leaning.
I catch the main East/West road and turn right. Through the pass in no time at all and *sigh* I'm back in the flat lands again..