The Reconnection Ride: CA, NV, AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, AR, OK, UT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rodr, May 30, 2011.

  1. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    After many months of anticipation, planning, and some friendly advice from fellow ADV'ers, I'm finally ready to hit the road early tomorrow morning for three weeks on my Weestrom.

    There will be high places, low places, friends, family, hotels, camping, fun and work. Yes I'm taking my job with me, that's how I can afford to take the time to do this. I'm lucky that I'm a self-employed consultant and almost everything I do is over the Internet. So with a mix of wi-fi and mobile broadband I'm good to go just about anywhere.

    Reconnection is a big theme for this adventure. I'll start that in Houston, visiting a sister whom I've not seen in five(!) years. Beth is a tall striking woman with flaming red hair, and was a very cool sister and one of my best friends when growing up. Maybe that hair isn't so red any more, we'll see!

    Then there's my friend Bob in Louisiana. Haven't seen him in 20(!!) years. I knew Bob and his wife in Atlanta when we were all addicted to competitive contract bridge. Bob's wife passed away recently. I'll be there for two days and we will have many things to talk about, not to mention playing some cards and enjoying the local food and attractions.

    Then it will be a short jaunt down the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway and three days in the New Orleans French Quarter with my brother and both sisters. Yep we'll have a little family reunion in one of the most fun places on earth.

    Next reconnection will be with some old high school classmates in Mississippi. I have literally not seen any of them since graduating from high school. So for this one we're talking over 43(!!!) years.

    Also in Mississippi is one of my nieces. I can't even remember how long it's been since I saw her, and I have never met her husband or any of her kids.

    The final reconnection will be rather one-sided, paying respects to my deceased mother and grandfather.

    So with that, I'll leave you for now with a map of my first leg, from Fairfield, CA to Beatty, NV.
    #1
  2. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    The loaded bike
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    Starting Mileage
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    #2
  3. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,856
    Location:
    Utah
    food, fuel, and tires :evil
    #3
  4. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    Most of these pics are Highway 108, which becomes Sonora Pass:

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    Mono Lake:

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    Then comes Nevada:

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    My home for the evening:

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    Dinner and my charming waitress.

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    #4
  5. Sojourner2005

    Sojourner2005 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I'm in.
    #5
  6. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    My second day's ride (map here) took me through Las Vegas. My contribution to its economy consists of a hearty breakfast at MacDonald's: :D

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    Riding through the Nevada desert was not nearly as boring as expected. There are hills and mountains all around, and a fair share of sweepers in addition to the straight sections. A mild dusty haze was all around and created vistas where far-away mountains were grey while nearby hills were in normal contrast. The overall experience in 360-degree panorama was truly awe-inspiring, pictures cannot do it justice and I did not want to delay my schedule by taking any.

    After passing Hoover Dam and gaining some elevation, I stopped at this scenic overlook of Lake Mead and snapped some pictures. Also here were some Native Americans selling jewelry.

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    On towards Kingman, Arizona I go. Leaving Boulder City I pass a "Last Stop" gas station. No problem, I'm thinking, the Wee gets 250-300 miles on a tank of gas. What I didn't consider was that fully loaded with a stiff headwind at 80 mph, it might not do so well.

    About 25 miles before Kingman the low fuel warning thingy starts flashing and I start to worry. Sure enough, just inside the city limits the engine dies. But I ran out of gas in the best possible way, coasting downhill and into the very first gas station in 75 miles. Whew!

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    My V-Strom owner's manual says the tank holds 5.8 gallons. I now know that when that thing starts flashing, I can go about 25 more miles. :D

    Stopping somewhere in Arizona to take a break and call my wife.

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    Upon reaching Highway 97, the riding gets much more interesting:

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    Finally reaching Prescott, I settle in for the night at the Lynx Lake campground:

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    #6
  7. Mechanoligist

    Mechanoligist Just along for the ride

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    115
    Location:
    Central Mass
    "About 25 miles before Kingman the low fuel warning thingy starts flashing and I start to worry. Sure enough, just inside the city limits the engine dies. But I ran out of gas in the best possible way, coasting downhill and into the very first gas station in 75 miles. Whew!"

    I love when a plan works out!

    Looking forward to more.
    Have a great trip
    #7
  8. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,084
    Location:
    Jacksonville Florida
    I'm In.. You have a nice touch with the lens. :1drink
    #8
  9. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    956
    Location:
    norcal
    Great photos of 108 Rod. i didn't realize it was open yet....

    I was in Arizona for the first time in the fall.... loved it...
    #9
  10. tractorking

    tractorking Retired Moto Courier

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    I think we may have seen you going the other way...Somewhere around Nevada border

    2000mi
    #10
  11. tractorking

    tractorking Retired Moto Courier

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California

    SR108 just opened on the 27th/28th, Tioga is still closed.
    #11
  12. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    Welcome gents!

    Thanks, my luck is holding up so far. :D

    Thanks!

    It's beautiful right now too! Stay tuned. :evil

    Thanks, I'll check your RR... looks like you had a great excursion!
    #12
  13. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,094
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    This is looking great!
    #13
  14. NorCal.matt

    NorCal.matt Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    27
    Thanks for sharing. I'm thinking about a route similar soon, so am excited to see where you head next!
    #14
  15. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,973
    Location:
    in The Cloud
    Fairfield, CA....nice town. I'll be looking forward to reading your report, and checking out your pix. Enjoy, and travel safe!

    Steve
    #15
  16. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    Day 3 began with a faceful of 6am sunlight through the mesh of my tent. One good thing about camping, it's hard to oversleep.

    Then, time to lube the chain. Noticing also that it was too tight, I got out the tools, loosened the rear axle net and adjusted the chain. I didn't like re-tightening the axle nut without a torque wrench, but that's life on the road.

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    Here is my route for the day. Jerome, Sedona, Payson and beyond for more camping!

    But first, a stop at the nearest Starbucks in Prescott to get some work done, as well as catching up on email and ride reporting:

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    A couple of pics approaching Jerome:

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    Jerome is pretty much a tourist destination, and there were bunches of motorcycles. I didn't care to add to all that, but stopped just past the town to take a few more pics.

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    Looking back at Jerome

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    Approaching Sedona, I stop at a scenic overlook and chat with a fellow rider:

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    He obligingly takes my picture:

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    Here's a pic from the other side of Sedona:

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    The ride onward to Payson was very pretty, with many sweepers, hills, twisties and beautiful scenery. Finally I arrive at my destination without incident and set up camp.

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    Darkness and the chilly night air eventually put an end to my time on the computer at the campsite table, and a camp fire then provides warmth and time for meditation.

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    #16
  17. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    Forgot to mention, when I was doing my chain maintenance that morning, an older (yes, way older than me :lol3) man carrying a fishing pole came up to me and talked about how he rode a motorcycle for 25 years but recently gave it up for safety reasons. It was obvious from the light in his eyes that he wanted to be back on two wheels again.
    #17
  18. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Fairfield, CA, USA
    I think camping is starting to lose its luster. :lol3

    More so when there is work to be done on the computer. In the daylight it's hard to see the screen. At night it gets cold and uncomfortable, insects are out, you can't see very well, battery life is a factor, mobile broadband may or may not work. I'm very happy to be in a hotel room tonight, especially when it costs only $13 more than the campground did last night!

    This morning I managed to get on the road around 7:30 and a while later made it to Show Low and a McDonald's for breakfast, and a couple of hours of checking email and getting some other things done.

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    Bad news by email, my Tennessee sister is bowing out of the gathering in New Orleans. This cascades into the event being canceled. So my plan now is to spend an extra day with my other sister in Houston. then a couple more days with my Louisiana buddy, and maybe do the rest of the trip as planned but a couple of days shorter. This is not all bad because three weeks is a long time to be away from my honey at home; I miss her a lot already.

    Some pics en route from Show Low to Eagar, taken "on the fly":

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    More bad news awaits me just past Eagar. There is a major wildfire near Alpine and highway 180 is closed! Even up here, smoke is heavy in the air. I'm not quite sure what to do now, but all reasonable options seem to involve going East on highway 60, so I do that intending to stop somewhere for lunch and study my maps out of the heavy gusting wind.

    Edit: Here is a news story about the fires.

    Here are a couple of pics where I stopped at a historical marker on 60. You can see how thick the smoke is:

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    And continuing on 60:

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    Finding a cafe in Quemado, NM:

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    Enchiladas - best meal I've had all week!

    Stopped here to check out this large collection of radio telescopes:

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    Socorro, NM is my new destination for the night. Now to figure out what's next!

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    #18
  19. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,856
    Location:
    Utah
    Enchiladas do look good....
    Finding a good meal on the road can be a treasure.
    #19
  20. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,526
    Location:
    NWA
    No green chili????? A travesty!!!
    #20