Lost on The Rez - Navajo Nation

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Paulutions, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    Out here, just because the map calls it a road and just because the GPS says you're on it, doesn't necessarily make it so. There are "roads" that aren't roads at all and then there are trails not found on any map that, nonetheless, serve as roads to the people who live here. And, of course, they all intersect and dead end in any number of places. Mind you, its really not advisable to just barrel along out here, as people don't always take kindly to having strangers just roll up on their place. But, today, I headed out for what was supposed to be an hour long ride down "well marked" logging roads. My XT550 is stripped down, waiting for elves to straighten the frame in the night, so I took the only bike I had - my 85 Honda Shadow VT1100. I was gone for 6 hours.

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    #1
  2. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    How the hell do I post pics on here?
    #2
  3. obrianmcc

    obrianmcc Been here awhile

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    You need to first upload them into a host site like photobucket... Then copy the IMG tag .... Hit the insert photo button above ... And paste
    #3
  4. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    Thank you:ear
    #4
  5. redninja

    redninja Will ride 4 scenery

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    :lurk
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  6. havabusa

    havabusa Adventurer

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    If you don't mind. You already have a photo hosting account?

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    #6
  7. havabusa

    havabusa Adventurer

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    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. havabusa

    havabusa Adventurer

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    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Well at least you got PIX.
    #9
  10. muskeg

    muskeg Been here awhile

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    And now, the rest of the story?
    #10
  11. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    Well, I very easily could have wound up as one of those stories you read about & think, ” what an idiot.” You might still think that. I had no food, no water, no charging cable for my phone, which was all I had for GPS, a full tank of gas & a nagging wife & kids at home who I had just spent 3 days with in the car - a recipe for disaster. If it had rained, I'd have been really screwed. But, as it turned out, I had a blast. I wish I had taken more pics. At one point, I had to cross a rickety rotting bridge over a deep wash with my 500+ lb bike. I still haven't looked at the bottom of my engine, as I came down hard on so many rocks, that I'm just glad I didn't lose any fluids. At one point, I gave up on trying to decipher what was a road & just bushwhacked it for a few miles which, as it turned, was the most productive decision I made all day. At the end of it all, after coming down & going up some crazy steep, rocky, sandy, and, at times, muddy terrain, I came on the locked gate in the picture. I could hear the highway in the distance, but could not see a house, so I laid my bike down & dragged it under the gate. Then, as I was riding towards the road, a herd of horses ran with me on the other side of a deep ravine, excited that I might be bringing them food. I turned my head for a second & when I looked again they were gone. Suddenly, they came flying up out of the ravine almost on top of me. I had to hit the brake & swerve from hitting a colt. But, I made it home. Next time, I will be more prepared.
    #11
  12. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    By the way, the so-called road on my map turned out to be an old logging road that had been abandoned for 40+ years. That's the kind of info you can really only get from locals.
    #12
  13. California

    California Motorcyclist

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    Wish you had a GoPro mounted for that encounter!
    #13
  14. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    Me too. If wishes were fishes, I'd be a net. I'd just like to get my xt going for now & work my way up to something, anything better.
    #14
  15. Bullspit

    Bullspit Adventurer

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    Nice! I used to teach on the Navajo reservation so I always like to see pictures and hear stories about it.

    It is true, the Navajo people don't really like unannounced visitors, but they are, as a rule, some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.
    #15
  16. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Thanks for the report and pics. Looks like an interesting time.


    +4 to that. Here is what happened to us last September on the Navajo Rez.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727309
    #16
  17. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    I live just down the road from Sawmill and am quite familiar with the route you took. It is often impassible in anything but a good 4x4 and even then its pretty treacherous. People who live up that way are often stuck there for weeks on end in the winter. Whenever I go up there with my jeep, I bring my tow chain. I have had to pull people out many times. Then, when it dries, there are deep ruts as hard as cement. But, it is a relatively major road on the reservation nonetheless and that is how it appears on the map. In reality, its like flypaper to motorcyclists. There have also been many reported big foot sightings up that way. Too bad you didn't run into him. He might have helped you out.
    #17
  18. Paulutions

    Paulutions Adventurer

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    What can make riding really treacherous in the mountains up here is that the ground is clay, it gets wet and crazy slick, pine needles fall on the surface, holding in moisture in random places while everything else gets dry. It may not have rained for days and you're cruising along on dry road when, suddenly, you're not anymore. You're on your back, looking up at the trees wondering what the hell just happened.
    #18