Riding the Rim!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Supahflid, May 26, 2012.

  1. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    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:
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    Before the test ride:
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    Bikes loaded and waiting on departure:
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    Picking up DavidQ the next day:
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    Notice how much more compact his gear is than mine?


    Finally, we are on the road:
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    My English buddy Richard asserts that no trip is really started until there is a bag of Funyuns:
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    I think there was some beef jerky and other inconvenience store junk food laying around too.


    Rain near Dallas:
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    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:
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    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:
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    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:
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    A little snow left:
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    Cool clouds:
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    Self portrait:
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    I scared up about a zillion of these:
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    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:
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    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!
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    Lots of big sky:
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    Wild horses!:
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    Cows:
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    Odd:
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    Starting to warm up:
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    Near Shiprock:
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    I am always amazed at the different types of terrain. At every turn the scenery changes:
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    Rare:
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    Four Corners:
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    On the road again:
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    The wind was blowing like hell this day. I think we did 80 or 90 miles of this:
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    I believe this horse was bridled:
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    My camera battery died so I had to pull out the cell phone.



    We found a spot and made camp:
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    Our dining room and observation deck for the upcoming sunset:
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    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:
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    The setting sun:
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    We managed to pass through these two states, although, these pics are out of order:
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    Day 3: Mexican Hat


    Leaving the camp:
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    Stopped for breakfast here in Blanding:
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    Good roads:
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    Did he say, “You're number one?”:
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    I don’t do well in sand. DavidQ seemed to have no trouble:
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    These next few are of, I believe, Valley of the Gods road:
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    Met these lovely ladies from Australia who had secured a YEAR LONG holiday to ride through the States!:
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    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:
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    On to THE Mexican Hat:
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    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.
    [​IMG]



    We headed back to the hotel, showered and went to the world famous Swinging Steak restaurant.
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    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:
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    Day 4: Hell’s Backbone, Ferry, two Kansans on KTM’s:
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    There are supposed to be four planes in this picture, but now I only see three:
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    Cruisin':

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    Saw these two adventure riders disembarking the ferry:
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    I believe this is Lake Powell:
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    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:
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    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:
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    On we go:
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    More terrain change:
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    Hell’s Backbone:
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    Met two fellow inmates, but I don’t remember their names:
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    And their trusty steeds:
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    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:
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    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?
    #1
  2. OTRATT

    OTRATT On The Road All The Time

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Mississippi
    :lurk
    #2
  3. Paddle007

    Paddle007 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    S.E. Louisiana
    :uhoh:uhoh:uhoh:uhoh
    #3
  4. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,767
    Location:
    Central Mississippi
    Great pics!!! :thumbup:

    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2
    #4
  5. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,864
    Location:
    Jackson, MS
    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!
    #5
  6. Everett49

    Everett49 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Northern California
    Why did your ridining "Buddy" leave you??
    #6
  7. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    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.
    #7
  8. joenuclear

    joenuclear Planning.....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,555
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    #8
  9. Deseret Rider

    Deseret Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    East Central Utah (Deseret)
    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? ) :rofl:lol3
    #9
  10. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,519
    Location:
    Fayetteville, AR
    Great report Supha....thanks! :D
    #10
  11. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    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!
    #11
  12. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    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?
    #12
  13. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    Thanks Charlie! Looking forward to getting together with you again!
    #13
  14. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    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:
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    Were those “walking” feet or “paddling while riding” feet?
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    Either way, I still suck at riding in deep sand and made my own “paddling while riding” feet marks.


    Getting nice again:
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    Oh hell, what happened to the road?
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    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:
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    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:
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    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:
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    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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    #14
  15. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
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mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> 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 hadn’t 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 didn’t 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 didn’t give it enough gas or the coughing, sputtering basterd just couldn’t stay cranked. Either way, the engine ceased to run and all of my forward momentum was lost; I dropped it.
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    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 didn’t 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.



    Isn’t 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!:
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    Wouldn’t you love to have been there when these big boulders rolled off the hill?:
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    #15
  16. weave

    weave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    657
    Location:
    In the Bush. LA.
    Damn Supa a real adventure....keep it coming
    Looks warmish out there
    #16
  17. Knightwork

    Knightwork Have Coffe Cup--Can Travel

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,096
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Cool looking ride Supa

    Love the gypsy packing :lol3
    Looks like the way I pack ---everthing that I can dream of and then some:lol3
    #17
  18. joenuclear

    joenuclear Planning.....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,555
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Out report just gets worse. How bout more of yours?:deal
    #18
  19. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,458
    Location:
    Westby Wisconsin
    Looks like an amazing route and one heck of an adventure!
    #19
  20. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,805
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    I made it to Big Water and took a much needed break. I called Northland Motorsports in Flagstaff and sure enough, they had the air filter. They also assured me that they would gladly look at my bike and try to get me back on the road as quickly as possible. Further, they informed me that I should ask for Tharon as soon as I got there as he is the KTM guy. Awesome! I was happy to have the &#8220;I hope I can get this bike running better again and maybe all I need is an air filter, but if not, it seems like someone can help me&#8221; monkey off my back. With a big ole new attitude, I jumped on the bike and made my way to Flagstaff. Even though the wind was blowing like crazy, I was eager to get to my destination and happy to be on the bike.
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    See the big dust devil?:
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    I made a bee line to Northland Motorsports where I met Tharon who was very knowledgeable about my bike. He suggested that I go ahead and pick up the air filter, install it and see how it ran. If it didn&#8217;t seem to be running right, he promised that if I showed up first thing the next morning, he would put me right in and check the bike out. I promised him that I would wash the bike before I dropped it off. He also assured me that they had plenty of brake pads, should I need them. Satisfied that I was on the track to a better running bike, I purchased the air filter and was on my way.

    I found the Heartland Country Inn in Flagstaff and secured a room for two nights. I thought that I might have to leave my bike with Northland Motorsports the next day, so I wanted to be sure that I had a room since I knew that the Overland Expo was in town and accommodations might get sketchy. Plus, even if I didn&#8217;t have to leave the bike, I had seen signs just north of Flagstaff indicating a volcanic park that I wanted to visit. The Heartland Inn is a nice, very clean hotel. I believe it is family owned and operated and the owners are very nice.

    It turns out that I didn&#8217;t have all the appropriate tools to remove the air filter, so I had to make a trip to Auto Zone. I quickly replaced the air filter while chatting with a young man, who along with his friends, were making a trip to Las Vegas. We had a nice visit and I was sure to tell him to be careful over there and not to lose big. Dang, I&#8217;m an old codger dispensing that kind of advice. We said our goodbyes and I treated myself to a much needed and pleasant shower.

    Time to eat!

    I saw this bike, but I never got a chance to speak to the owner.:
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    I ended up eating here both nights.:
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    The food was ok, but the staff was very attentive and nice. I also had a chance the second night to try some local brew from the Flagstaff Brewery and it was good!


    Moving forward&#8230;..


    Day 6: Is this bike going to run? The volcano!

    The next morning, I chased down a car wash as I promised Tharon I would clean the bike before dropping it off.
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    I made it to Northland Motorsports before they opened at 9:00 and was standing by my bike when Tharon pulled up. He noticed me and came directly over and asked to listen to my bike run since the air filter had been changed. After a few minutes, we agreed that it seemed to be running fine, except, of course for the valve tick, and we elected not to deal with that issue further.

    He took the bike back to look at the brake pads and before you know it, he came into the store and informed me that he thought I had more than enough brake pad on front and rear and that the squealing was probably just dirt caught between the pad and rotor. Essentially, I had been worried about nothing. So, refusing to accept any dollars at all, they sent me on my way. I cannot say enough about how professional and courteous the fine folks at Northland Motorsports are! They sell Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM and Polaris, so if you are ever in that area and need their assistance, they can more than adequately help you! Thanks guys! (I am in no way connected to Northland Motorsports other than the previously described encounter with them).

    Feeling a lot better about going forward, I headed back north on Highway 89 to visit the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, showcasing the lava flows that were the result of a volcanic eruption about 900 years ago!

    There are a couple of walking paths that take you up close to the lava flows. How frightening it must have been for the indigenous population when the eruption happened. Fascinating!
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    After I had hiked the trails, I headed off to see the Wupatki Pueblo about twenty miles from the volcano. I found some NF roads that took me near the pueblo and did some off roading!:
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    About 600 years ago, this pueblo was thriving with around 100 people, but they eventually abandoned the pueblo and left little, if any trace of the reason why. The pueblo was used by the U.S. government workers in the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, who established the park area. Work has been done to the pueblo to stabilize it in an effort to slow its&#8217; deterioration.
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    Since I needed to wash clothes and find a phone charger, I called it a day around three or four o&#8217;clock and headed back to Flagstaff. I suppose from the previous days excursion, my back was sort of bothering me making me wish I had a nice massage. Well, as if by miracle, I came across a massage business right in the middle of the mall. This guy worked his magic on me and I felt like a million bucks after!:
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    Up next, Day 7: The Grand Canyon, finally!
    #20