Honeymoon on a KTM: Phoenix to Moab

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jadedillusion, May 16, 2010.

  1. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    Roughly one year ago, a super romantic man (sarcasm) sat a girl down on the couch and proposed. Although, the girl had to clarify if there was even a proposal or not. Shortly afterwards we debated where the honeymoon would be. Somehow the girl (well, me) was conned into a road trip on a dual sport. The original plan was Phoenix to Colorado, but there have been an abundance of reports on Moab, and the weather seemed perfect, so "we" decided Moab it would be.

    First however, were the vows: May 15th....
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    After all that nonsense (we should've eloped, regardless of how beautiful the day was), we said goodbye to the dogs and headed out from Casa Grande this morning. Summer has crept into southern Arizona and it was felt. After sitting in traffic at a multi-car crash and then construction on I-17 I wasn't sure we'd make it. An overheating KTM 990 and two cranky passengers. I'm pretty sure the bike was lying because it felt more like 193 degrees...

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    We hopped off I-17 out of frustration and found a frontage road in order to cool the three of us down. From there we motored onward, northbound towards cooler temperatures. We made it up to the high planes near Prescott, AZ and the scenery improved by leaps and bounds.

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    Sedona from a distance..

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    We hit 89A and headed towards Sedona. We found a loop off of 89A through a killer neighborhood and a tiny bit of dirt. We ended up behind 3 Harley's at one point. And then the pavement ended. The promptly turned around and we continued on. Our excitement over the dirt was short lived...barely 1/4 mile of it before more pavement. Obligatory gravel pic:

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    We stopped in Sedona for ice cream. It was one of those days. Found a table with a view and took some time to chill out.

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    After ice cream we suited up and headed onward. 89A is totally worth it. I highly recommend it.

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    I'm pretty sure I had the better seat today, I got to check everything out and take loads of pictures while he drove.

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    The road had plenty of fun curves for him. See, proof from the Garmin.

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    Guess I should have introduced our beaut before. Our lovely KTM 990 Adventure taking a breather north of Sedona.

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    At this point we were 15 minutes from Flagstaff and our final destination for the night. After several tries, we found a room at the Comfort Inn. Before parking, we encountered French tourists who had rented Harley's and were taking Route 66 from Chicago to LA in two weeks. They were highly impressed with the KTM and were asking about things to see near Phoenix.

    We checked in, relaxed and headed out for dinner. Mike wanted to go to the Irish Pub we passed on Route 66 earlier. The temperature was 30 degrees below what it was when we left Casa Grande this morning. We didn't mind, in the least.

    Onto Collins Pub it was. Mr. Originality ordered the same fish and chips I did.

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    He finished before I did and played with the camera. The train station across from the Pub.

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    And the KTM with a longish exposure.

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    And moi, all ragged and tired and frumpy.

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    Funny enough, when we returned from dinner, there were two gentlemen in the parking lot watching us park. They turned out to be two of the three Harley riders who shied away from the small bit of dirt off of 89A. They too were highly impressed with the KTM.

    Tomorrow we'll head to Page via the Grand Canyon. He's lived in AZ 7 years and hasn't seen it. I've been here 3 years and seen it twice so far, once in the snow.
    #1
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,662
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Have a great honeymoon! Great lookin' bike. You should love Moab.:thumb I'll be riding the 89A tomorrow.

    BTW, How does one KTM have two passengers and a driver? Who's ridin' the thing?:smile6
    #2
  3. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    498
    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    #3
  4. DUC54

    DUC54 Giddy Up!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Omak Washington
    Have a great trip and honeymoon!!! Northern Az. is fabulous. Ride safe, and send lots of pics.

    Giddy UP!!!
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,132
    Congrats you love birds! What a great idea... a honemoon on 2 wheels and to MOAB no less!! :clap

    Thanks for taking us along! :lurk
    #5
  6. alergia

    alergia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Cali - Colombia
    Great Idea, honeymoon and bike, two loves in one place.
    Congrats.
    #6
  7. Mechanoligist

    Mechanoligist Just along for the ride

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
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    115
    Location:
    Central Mass
    Congratulations! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We went to the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Grand Canyon</st1:place> on our honeymoon 32 years ago. It’s work out pretty well for us. Great report/pictures thanks for taking us along.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Best of luck <o:p></o:p>
    #7
  8. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    We left Flagstaff in the morning and began heading north to the Grand Canyon. It was over cast most of the day, which is odd for us.

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    Living in the desert makes you really appreciate trees. For about 45 minutes we kept ogling the pine trees. There was a fierce cross wind most of the way up. It kinda sucked the fun out of a lot of the ride. But part way up 180, we stopped at turn off to take pictures of Red Mountain.

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    After that brief stop, we continued on through the nothingness of northern Arizona to the Grand Canyon. We briefly contemplated taking a helicopter ride over the canyon, but I don't exactly have the best track record with flight recently. I didn't want to throw up all over myself on my honeymoon.

    I had to sift through over 300 pictures of the Grand Canyon, so be prepared...

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    We only had brief moments of sun, so some appear more washed out than others.

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    We made more motorcycle buddies, when we shared our parking spot with two BMW RT riders. They took our picture.

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    I've been to the Canyon twice before. Plus I'm not afraid of heights. So, I tend to creep towards the edge to take better shots. Mr. Adventure, is afraid of heights. It was like being at the Canyon with my mother all over again.

    My edge shot..

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    Then I turn around to find him clinging to a tree.

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    I love him anyway.

    At about this point he says to me "I'm canyoned out". Remember kids, the Grand Canyon was his idea.

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    And then we came across a whole group of classic/muscle cars. He, of course, turned around to look at them all. We were taking pictures of the one below, when the old man who owns it walked up. I said "we come to the Grand Canyon and he is more excited about the cars than the scenery".

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    Last one, I promise..

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    We were both hungry and tired at this point and wanted to eat. A local had told us about the trading post in Cameron off of 89. We battled another cross wind out. Someone needed to pee, so I got a shot of the bike.

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    Anyway, back to the food. The Cameron Trading Post was actually good. Local Navajo cuisine. We both recommend it, although go with a huge appetite, or share your plates. Everything on fry bread. Mmmmm...

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    We ate and noticed that it wasn't partly sunny anymore. Actually it looked as though it wanted to rain. So mach 1 up 89 to Lake Powell it was.

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    And then, the memory card was full. Which was a bummer, because the ridge line we followed and then crossed was beautiful. I'll have to catch some pictures of it on our way back. We finally hit Lake Powell well after dark, to not be able to find the hotel. They are not on the road they said and they do not have any signage telling you where they are. But we are sitting on Lake Powell at the Lake Powell Resort. We took advantage of the hot tub, then went to bed.

    Today. Today we'll play around in the Lake Powell area before crossing into Utah to head up towards Mexican Hat. Til this evening everyone!
    #8
  9. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Location:
    Denver, CO
    :lurk
    #9
  10. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #10
  11. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    498
    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    Today ended up better than yesterday.

    The wind beat the crap out of us leaving Page. Then the scenery improved dramatically as we made our way to Monument Valley. We checked in the Hat Rock Inn, dropped the luggage and headed for the Mogi Dugway, Muley Point and the Valley of the Gods Road. It started getting dark and we stopped at the Mexican Hat Steakhouse, home of the Swinging Grill. It was pricey but the steak was the best we have ever had. Unfortunately the Wi-Fi is almost nonexistent so the details and pictures( 25ish out of 400 ) will have to wait.

    We are heading for a nice B&B with Wi-Fi in Moab. Until tomorrow.

    Mike & Amanda
    #11
  12. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    We eventually left Page. I say eventually because it took us 45 minutes to check out of the hotel. While the view from the hotel was killer, I don't recommend it. It was expensive, the room smelled of moth balls, and they are not very organized on the reservation side of things. While eating breakfast, we had an amazing view of Lake Powell.

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    And yes, those are rain clouds. We decided to head out soon after.

    But first, we needed to stop to the Glen Canyon Dam. And chat with English motorcyclists.

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    One more before heading out. The rain was creeping up on Page very fast.

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    Our good friend Mr. Crosswind, beat the bejesus out of us almost all the way to Utah. I blame the impending storms we managed to sneak around. This was one of the short moments of me not clinging on for dear life.

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    We FINALLY made it to Utah!!

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    We opted to give Monument Valley a shot. I don't really recommend it. I got one good shot from the park:

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    I felt the views were better from the highway leaving Monument Valley. We were highly disappointed. And I'm almost certain we were the only Americans there. It was our own personal Small World ride while sitting on the patio eating our Lunchables.

    See, better views from the road.

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    He stopped along side the road so I could take a picture of Monument Valley from a distance. I looked to my right to see this:

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    Imagine that. Perfect stopping point. :lol3

    We motored on up to Mexican Hat so we could drop the luggage off at our hotel. I was quite impressed. It appears to be a small hole in the wall hotel, and it was the best we had stayed at so far. Clean room, quiet town, hot water and good water pressure.

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    We left to scrounge all the daylight we could. We immediately headed to the Mogi Dugway. 3 miles, straight up a mountain on a grated road. Mike's personal wet dream.

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    Shit, we had the UPS truck pass us halfway up. There is no way a KTM couldn't make it.

    We made it to the top and had the most amazing views yet. I want to say, better than the Grand Canyon.

    Muley Point.

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    Yep, this is where we came from and it was where we were going!

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    And then....Valley of the Gods. Seriously, the best part of the trip yet. We were equally in awe during the entire ride. Hench, you will be stuck looking at a gajillion pictures of it.

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    We kept pointing out all the different rock formations and what they looked like. I was all giddy when I noticed the horse.

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    I see why they call it Valley of the Gods. Only the gods could make something so beautiful.

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    We were quickly running out of light, but he wanted to take a short detour up to a rock formation.

    A detour that took us through our first official water crossing.

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    Super scary. :wink:

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    Sunset through a wind screen.

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    He had the camera and I got bored. So I climbed.

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    The last shot before daylight was no more. Looking out over Monument Valley from Valley of the Gods.

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    Seriously. You all need to go ride Valley of the Gods, Mogi Dugway and Muley Point. This was by far the best day so far out of the trip. Me, my new husband and our motorcycle, just riding through America's beauty.

    After a nice ride, we needed food. Eateries are limited in Mexican Hat, but we found the best one. Mexican Hat Steak House. Steak cooked over a swinging grill, open wood flame....melt in your mouth goodness.

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    Mexican Hat steak...expensive but well worth it. If your in southern Utah, Mexican Hat and its surrounds are a must.

    We retired to our quiet little room (without wifi :huh). This morning we headed out and made our way to Moab. The little cafe that is supplying us with wifi is closing soon, so today's adventures must wait. Til then kids...
    #12
  13. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Goat Herder

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    Hot as Hell Tucson, AZ
    Hopefully the great views and dinner made up for all the wind you had to endure getting there. I've never heard of a swinging grill before, although your pics do show what it is. I wonder what the benefits to such a setup are.
    #13
  14. waltwhitman

    waltwhitman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    123
    awesome pics thanks for sharing
    #14
  15. SQD8R

    SQD8R Eat squids and be merry

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    7,421
    Location:
    The Village: 75°53'34"W, 45°17'42"N
    Congrats excellent start to a great marriage. :thumb
    #15
  16. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    498
    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks for following along. We are having a great time on the trip. Sometimes the WiFi is hard to come by, but we will keep updating as we can. (This is from my phone) Today was a good one Shafer Switchbacks, Potash Road and some of the White Rim Trail. We also had our first crash together. We've crashed plenty on our own! Don't worry no injuries.
    #16
  17. dentedvw

    dentedvw Where did I put that

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
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    Location:
    ☼SLC-ish☼
    Great photos, I never tire of seeing pictures of Utah. :clap

    Hope your marriage works better than ours. :cry Maybe it's because we started ours in Canada. :rofl
    #17
  18. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    We lazily left Mexican Hat. After of course, breakfast at the San Juan Inn.

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    Out of town, we snapped a shot of its namesake. The Mexican Hat:

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    He insisted that we reiterate the climb we took the previous day up to Muley Point. Yep, up yonder is where we ended up, compared to the valley floor. Pretty incredible.

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    Bye bye Valley of the Gods. It really was that memorable.

    Utah is pretty amazing. Great desert views, then WAM!, you're cruising through valleys and farmlands. Along the way we passed tons and tons of Cruise America RV's. They travel in herds. Modern day buffalo herds, migrating through Utah. They definitely aren't hurting for business. Anywho... It kept getting cooler and cooler. We stopped to put on our liners when it hit the mid 50's. That's chilly for us Arizona folk.

    A small pass through Bluff, UT.

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    We're getting closer and closer to Moab!

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    We hit Moab and made our way to the B&B. Adobe Abode. Super cute place. Really unique, quiet and nice. Except for the fact that the wifi is down. Bummer. But I recommend the B&B if your ever in town. We were all about a slow paced, relaxed day, so we just moseyed around Moab and took a river boat ride at dusk. We needed to just chill out and enjoy each other off of the bike. The river boat tour was really nice.

    The Colorado River.

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    I know, I know, they aren't motorcycle views, but it was still part of our adventure. I am in love with Moab. I want to stay and investigate everything it has to offer, but we only have two days here. We've decided that we are coming back, no doubt about it.

    He teased you already, with the Canyon Lands stuff earlier. We had a blast today, and if the laundromat I'm sitting in stays open long enough, I'll try to catch you all up from today.

    Thanks!!
    #18
  19. bike_pilot

    bike_pilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    Battle Ground Washington
    And Happpy Honeymoon to! Spend lots of time together and forget about selfishness and you will be together forever!
    :velvt

    Glad your getting to experience Moab! It is a gem!:clap
    #19
  20. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
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    Isn't it charming? Not the bike, the B&B. :lol3

    After a quick breakfast and a refuel, we promptly headed towards today's destination...Canyonlands National Park. He's been looking forward to this ride since we planned the honeymoon.

    We hopped on Potash Road. Passed the mine and ran out of pavement. Then we kept going. We passed a film shoot of a Thelma & Louise - Bing commercial. We ran into a German on a BMW 1200GS. We chatted for a moment, he oogled our KTM and actually said he wished he was on it over the Beemer. Then we pressed on.

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    Finally, we made it to the park.

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    We thought that the Mogi Dugway was cool yesterday. And then there was this..Shafer's Switchback. I'm really glad that he doesn't bother to tell me when he gets nervous. I was cool as a cucumber all the way up. Totally impressed with the cyclists who were peddling their way up. I'm not remotely afraid of heights and I trust him completely, so I just clung on and enjoyed the view.

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    Look ma, look what we just did!!

    And the view from the top. I teetered on the edge to take this, glad he wasn't there to see. :wink:

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    After a short rest, he wanted to head towards more of the White Rim Trail. So we went down Mineral Bottom Road towards a smaller set of switchbacks.

    Talk about Open Road...

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    Mineral Bottom. Wonder why its called that? Gee, looks like a bad penny.

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    I needed lunch and a break. We found a tiny bit of shade and sat for Lunchables.

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    We ended up following the river most of the way.

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    And then there was soft sand. I'm clinging on for dear life and I hear "We're going down!" through my headset.

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    And we did go down. Thankfully it was a nice soft landing.

    I let him get the bike out of the deep stuff before I climbed back on.

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    We recovered only to need to dismount a short time later. I let him do this solo too.

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    I climbed up. It was a great view, but at this point, I reached my peak. Being 2 up on some of this stuff is brutal. Next time we do it, I'll rent a CRF. I would've enjoyed myself more if I was on my own bike.

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    And I'm pretty sure he would have been happier solo too.

    So solo he was down the crappy part.

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    I was ready to find pavement again. Or at least something that wouldn't beat the crap out of me. He had other plans. Like Long Canyon. "Its an easy ride and it's a short cut back to Moab".

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    Apparently this is where they do movies and whatnot.

    Isn't he cute?

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    Long Canyon was pretty and a nice short cut back.

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    I had made a comment earlier in the day that we barely had any pictures of the two of us together on our honeymoon.

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    We had a good day. Back on pavement, we noticed indian pictographs.

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    I was able to climb up to this one and get a decent shot.

    We were hot, tired and hungry at this point and went straight back to Moab for dinner.

    We went to Jay's Pasta for some much needed caloric intake.

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    We saw Ira and his pup headed down Main Street. I love this town.

    All in all today was an experience. We had our first fall together. We dirtied ourselves proper and it was all worth it. A honeymoon to remember. Unfortunately, we leave Moab tomorrow and have to head back to Phoenix.

    Reality sucks.

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    #20