The Great Southwest Tour of 2013

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Mr_Gone, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I posted something on his thread. If he doesn't respond there, I'll PM him.
    #41
  2. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,027
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    #42
  3. eddie98

    eddie98 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    WOODSTOCK, GA
    Mesa Verde
    [​IMG]

    If you spend the night at Pagosa Springs, stay at the Best Western there. It has a drive in theater attached to it. You can watch the movies from your room :D
    #43
  4. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I actually do think I will be stopping for the night in Pagosa Springs. There, or maybe Durango. Great tip on the Best Western... I'll keep that in mind!!!
    #44
  5. eddie98

    eddie98 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    WOODSTOCK, GA
    Also South of Amarillo there is Palo Duro Canyon.

    [​IMG]
    #45
  6. JacqueTanis

    JacqueTanis Sassy

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    You're missing the area around Cloudcroft, NM - great riding, on the dirt and off! We'll miss you!:rofl
    #46
  7. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I would really like to get south, check out White Sands and Alamagordo, watch the UFOs over Roswell, and maybe even check out Carlsbad Caverns... I just don't think I'll have the time.

    I will have to ride through on another trip.
    #47
  8. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    546
    Location:
    No.VA
    Look on a Utah map between 12 & 13 and find Goblin Valley state park. Very weird. It's just a few miles west from 24 north of Hanksville.
    #48
  9. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    [​IMG]

    If you're talking about this... very cool!!! I will put this on my list of things to see. I believe I'll be riding past it, so it should be a quick detour.

    Thanks!!!
    #49
  10. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    My plan is to ride the Southwest (Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon) in late May (19th - 25th).

    Has the big wave of tourists hit by then? I know the south rim of the Grand Canyon will be busy, but what about the other parks?

    Also, I ride until I want to stop, then start looking for a hotel, so what are my chances of finding most hotels with an empty room?

    Any help/advice would be appreciated. (I won't be camping on this particular trip, so it's hotels at night.)
    #50
  11. cb1313

    cb1313 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I feel your pain, I live here too. Cb
    #51
  12. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Wasatch county
    I think all the southwestern national parks are already plenty busy by May. I visit them in April-May because it's too hot after that. I've been at the NPs on a cold blustery April weekend with snow flurries blowing around, and had busloads of pushy French or Japanese tourists mow me over. But it stands to reason that they get worse after the kids are out of school. So I guess you could say, no matter how bad it is, it could be worse. :D

    As a general rule, I don't make reservations in advance when I'm on a trip. And I always find a place to stay. But around the NPs it might be different because of the crowds. You can always find a bed if you head down the road a little ways. Anywhere near a NP, I wouldn't wait until almost dark to start looking. Whenever I plan on staying in Moab I get a reservation just to be safe. That's partly because Moab is kinda spendy and the cheap little mom-n-pop joint I like only has 8 rooms. I think you would probably be safe if you don't care how much it costs.

    Remember that 99% of the visitors in southern UT are going to the NPs. I like to say we keep the parks around just to keep the tourists out of our way. LOL. The beauty of southern UT doesn't end at the park boundary. In between the parks you'll find gorgeous country and little towns with peace and quiet and plenty of room. Places like Kanab. Escalante. Mexican Hat.

    One other thing. I don't want to be preachy. But don't let the long ride from AR to the west get you down. A lot of people think that the best way to cross the plains is to get on the interstate and put there head down and grit their teeth until they get past it. If you slow down and take the little roads you might actually enjoy it.

    -al
    #52
  13. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    Great advice!!! I'm trying to hit certain parks either during the week (when, presumably, there will be a few less tourists) or hitting the north rim of the Grand Canyon, for example, which I know has much less tourist traffic. I might swing through the south rim, but it'll be for photos only. I hate to say it, but I probably won't spend much time on the south rim despite it's great views.

    I usually book a hotel one day in advance. When I wake up, I see where I want to end up, then book a hotel in the a.m., ride all day, check in when I get there. That way I have some flexibility. But I might change that on this trip, especially around Moab and also the Grand Canyon.

    I don't usually mind the trip out.... I'm decompressing from work, enjoying the extended hours on the bike, seeing new sights, and generally in a great mood because I'M ON VACATION!!!

    It's the ride BACK that drives me insane. I'm usually doing 1,000 miles the last two days, so I'm not stopping often, I'm sore, my butt hurts, my legs are cramping, there's nothing to see.... yada-yada-yada.

    But my worst day on a bike is still better than my best day at work. I try to remember that every mile.
    #53
  14. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    What do you ride?
    #54
  15. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Wasatch county
    At the GC north rim, be sure and ride out to cape royale.

    If you want a relatively inexpensive room in Moab, look up the Kokopelli Lodge. It's right in the middle of town but a block off Main Street so it's quiet. Its funky but not trashy. Around $75.

    On hwy 12 between Escalante and Boulder, about a mile west of where the road crosses the Escalante river, is the Kiva Koffeehouse. Its out in the middle of nowhere overlooking the river canyon. Be sure and stop for a meal or even just a coffee break. They have two cottages for rent too. The most gorgeous and peaceful dining experience in Utah!

    http://www.kivakoffeehouse.com/
    #55
  16. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    Brilliant!!! This was just the sort of advice I was looking for.

    I'm probably stopping in Moab for a night, so I'll check out the Kokopelli Lodge.

    I'll probably be riding through Escalante and Boulder, but I can always use an excuse to stop and stretch my legs and have a cup of coffee.

    Thanks, ALinUTAH.
    #56
  17. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    In Zion National Park, has anyone hiked out to Angels Landing? How difficult is that last half-mile? And is it worth the hike for the view?
    #57
  18. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,378
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    Ten days is not enough to do justice to what you are attempting. All you are going to do is ride so it really doesn't matter which way you go. Most of that stuff has been out there for thousands of years and probably isn't going anywhere. Pick about two or three things you really want to see. Example : Mesa Verde; you need at least two days. Otherwise all you'll do is drive through it. If you don't take time to do a couple of hikes there, you've wasted a good trip. That's like doing Europe in ten days just so you can say you went to Europe.
    #58
  19. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I know I'm rushing it. I'm looking at this trip as a reconnaissance mission. Trying to see everything, with the idea that I'll plan a later trip out to see just those sights which interest me.
    #59
  20. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I'm leaving in 10 days.

    I've also managed to squeeze another day into my itinerary, so I'll have 11 days on the road to see everything. Not enough time, I know... but I'm going to try.

    Anyone have any idea if 148 will be open through Cedar Breaks by May 22-23?

    Also, how are the high passes on Colorado 550?

    Any road condition reports would be appreciated.
    #60