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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Evomx971, Jan 6, 2013.
More good pics! Its good to see Jeff, mom and the cat are doing well........Good luck in San Diego.
Thanks for updating daily. If you want Pam to try out a Wee I know where one is close by. It's not for sale though.
Friday morning in Deming, NM... woke to mid-40's and another unusually cloudy day for New Mex. Eventually got to upper 60's and was another great day Avoiding Winter. I wanted to get quite a ways through AZ but wanted to do some siteseeing too so Jeff and I were up early and hit the road... for about 2 miles, then got breakfast at a cafe called Manolo's. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, and OJ to start the day off right. All for less than $5. All right with me!
Back on the road and headed west on good two lane through the desert that mostly ran parallel to I-10. Looked like some rain just to the south of us but the route Jeff chose keep us out of the drippy stuff.
Gassed up in Animas, NM and just as quietly as I slipped into New Mexico, I rolled out and into Arizona and the mountains of the Chiricahua National Monument. The Chiricahua's are the rough area that Geronimo would use to repeatedly escape capture. The canyon road we took into the mountains was spectacular. Huge rock spires and columns on either side of us while running under a canopy of trees. Very cool, but hard to get good pics.
While we were riding through the canyon, some A-10 Warthogs from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base were making passes. The sound off the jets would echo in the canyon and I'd jump every time one would come overhead.
The paved park road we were on turned into a nice graded dirt road and we stopped to say adios, Jeff was heading back to Deming to get ready to do some dual sport riding on Saturday. I saw some of the video from Jeff's rides and I'm definitely going to have to bring the XR and maybe a buddy or two back down and let him show me some desert two-track.
My next planned stop was Tombstone, home of the shootout at the OK Corral. There's a paved way to get there, but with the mountains, it's much shorter to take the 19 mile park road through and over them... and the scenery would be stunning. The road twisted and climbed with great views of the mountains.
Some sections were smooth and relative fast, others got rougher with larger rocks that forced me to go fairly slow to keep from beating the bike up too bad. Was having a great time, climbing and climbing up to the roughly 7000ft passes.
About a 1/3 of the way through or so the road came around to the north side of the mountains and that's where it got a little sketchier.
The north side of the mountains still had snow, in general about 4 or 5 inches. On the road, it varied from slimey mud spots, a couple of shallow water crossings, to some spots that had 4 or 5 inches of snow with muddy tracks through them. A few spots the tracks weren't down to the dirt, just packed snow. Hmm. I only saw two others on the road. One was a bow hunter by his truck not far along the road. As I waved, he came to attention and saluted me. I thought that was a little weird, but maybe it was making more sense now. The other person I saw was a hiker(?) pushing a big 3-wheeled cart with what I assume were his luggage and camping supplies. I passed him through a long muddy spot, I was going down and he was headed up and really struggling to push his rig on the slime.
It was slick and slow going on the loaded up Triumph, but we managed. Luckily(?), the longest sections of snow/mud were on long downhills. A few of them might have been hard to climb with my nearly wore out rear tire. I was probably more concerned I'd get to something I couldn't navigate. Unfortunately, I did have a minor that I'm man enough to share.
The slimy conditions were making me real warm so decided to stop, shed a layer and get a drink of water. Through some cosmic intersection of snow, mud, degree of incline, boot placement, and side stand deployment... the bike fell over. I tried to save it and felt my lower back twinge a bit. Ugh. I made the cardinal ADV sin of not taking a pic of the downed bike. No real damage, just scuffs (street cred) on the left pannier, engine guard, and bark buster. Not the first time, likely not the last. Had to use the "butt back" method to right the beast. The event made the drink of water especially welcome.
A few miles down the road, I caught a little slide with a foot plant that really riled my back up. Hmm. I welcomed it when the road came down below the snow line and the road returned to good graded dirt. Fantastic scenery, but frankly, I was too busy and focused to spend much time taking pics.
Out of the mountains (and after popping a couple of Alleve) I made the run into Tombstone. The trip over the mountains took longer than planned and I was hungry! Dirty Triumph taking a break by the boardwalk.
Interesting town. Yeah, it's a tourist attraction, but it's still pretty neat. Several actors dressed up as cowboys, shopkeepers, townspeople, walking about. Staged gunfights. Stagecoaches.
Jeff recommended lunch at the Crystal Palace Saloon. Apparently the "Hooters" of the old west Went with the Cowboy Burger (pepperjack, bbq sauce, onion ring)... I was in Tombstone after all.
Took a saunter up and down the main drag. A person could easily make a day of taking the tours, seeing the enactments, stopping into the numerous saloons, shopping... I might have to make Tombstone an overnight stop.
Considered the time and decided Tucson should be my destination for the evening to see if I could get my back feeling better. Was a little concerned about what it would be like in the morning. Took two lane through low mountains up to Tuscon and found a decent place on the east side of town.
Went and got a Thermacare(?) heat pad thingy and stopped at Brooklyn's Beer and Burger just up the street. Lunch was fairly late in the day so wasn't super hungry. Spotted the grilled cheese which sounded just right. Farkled it with bacon. It doesn't look like much (and for $2.99, you wouldn't expect too much) but it was the best grilled cheese I've ever had. I think it was on a toasted breakfast type muffin. I ate this one, then had them fix me a second one.
Check of the weather showed a lot of rain heading in for the evening and next day. Popped a couple of more Alleve and put on the heat pad thing and hoped I wouldn't be too rusty in the morning.
Damn! This just keeps getting better and better! Lots of good food shots but the napping bike would have made the day! Understandable though when all we can think about it how to right the big bikes in the slippery stuff...
Looks like you are having a great time, hope the back is OK!
Not sure where u are right now but if your coming into the San Diego area via 8 close to the border I highly recommend u catch old 80 at Jacumba which turns into 94 Campo Rd all the way to SD. A most enjoyable ride.
What, no cleavage shots from Tombstone Crystal Palace? WTH did you think I sent you there? For the food? you must have been tired. Really, sorry for the snow and mud run to Tombstone but you will get good street cred in SD. "You went where??? Really? Maybe a good back massage by Girlfriend is in order, I heard bites on the back are like acupuncture. You have earned it pardner. Time for some .
Tips..... Never wash an ADV bike after a tough trip....it spoils them.
Always drink the local beer.... it is the freshest.
If you did not dip your foot in the Pacific Ocean AND TAKE A PICTURE it never happened.... Bonus points for bike in water too.
You know you are always welcome here again.
Great story. You have good taste in food...(and Girlfriends it would appear!)
Are you updating this as you go along, or was this a past trip? You're doing great job if you are able to tell such a great story and put in the miles and adventures as you go.
Subscribed for the rest of the story.
SCOTT PDX this is the real deal in real time...... I can attest to that. It is only 50% complete so stay tuned. This is a great story with more fun to come. that Triumph is sitting there filthy right by the Pacific Ocean at Mission Beach as we type............ Don't bother him right now though. Girlfriend is already "bothering" him I think.
Quick Update! In San Diego with The Girlfriend. All her flights went as scheduled and getting the condo was hitch free. Had a great walk on the beach and good dinner of lobster and mahi mahi tacos.
She very much liked her bauble from Mehico... see. Plus a gratuitous cleavage shot since obviously I disappointed buls4ever with my lack of pictures from Crystal Palace.
More ride reports to come... hammered I-8 to get here, but had fun doing it...
I'm curious as to your current and future tire choices for the Tiger. (Will you go more "off-road" oriented when you replace the current tires.)
I am a little nervous about exploring the Rockies this summer on my stock tires....
Does she have a sister????
Glad you made it to SD, whats next on the plan?
Oh my, I shouldn't have checked this thread just before bedtime. Now where did I put the Ambien?
Hey good choice on the bauble from Palomas. Looks great on her.
As I'm sure you're figuring out, the stock 800XC tires last forever! But are limited in off road traction. The front and rear on mine actually wore out about the same time. I put TKC80's on it to do the Trans Wisconsin Trail in 2011. They worked great for that ride. Stick way better on pavement than a knobby has a right to and do good off the pavement. They are noisy though. I swapped back to the stockers when I got back and kept the TKC's for future dirt-focused rides.
When the stockers finally wore out, I wanted something that would strike more of a balance between on and off road. Shopped around and read some reviews and went with Shinko 705's. I've been really happy with them. Fairly cheap (can get rears for around $90). Good traction everywhere (but haven't had them in sand or really deep mud... yet). I've probably had the front on for maybe 7000 miles and it still has good life left. I put a new rear on before I left Iowa and I'm approaching 5000 miles on it now and it's toast. I'm confident I'll get better than 5000 out of them around Iowa though. The roads in the south I've been riding are all a chip-seal asphalt that I think is a little harder on tires than the concrete and blacktop back home. Plus I've been running loaded up and higher speeds as well.
I've been seeing more and more of them on adv bikes. buls4ever has them on his Wee.
I'm sure the Texas chip seal brought about an early demise to the Dunlops that I put on just before my last Texas trip. I got 10 grand instead of the normal 15. The roads in Texas are nice and smooth though compared to Michigan. Faster also with the 70mph limit on back roads.
She has two sisters actually... and no offense to the family, but I'm sure I got the best of the litter!
After San Diego, I'm planning to make my way more or less back to Iowa... I'd like to see the Grand Canyon in person, so might try to swing up through the South Rim area if the weather will allow it. I'm not going to beeline it back, but will be headed that general direction and try to find a good weather window at some point to strike north.
How about instead of tire choices, more gratuitous cleavage shots ?
Saturday morning in Tucson, AZ. Raining since the middle of the night with periods of hard rain. At least some of the mud is getting washed off the Triumph. The heat wrap worked great and my back actually felt better in the morning than it did before going to sleep.
Speaking of sleeping. I've been sleeping great on this trip even though I'm generally in a different place and a different bed every night. Full days of wandering make you tired I guess. I'm also not much of a morning person but I've been waking up at 7-ish (now 6-ish with the time changes) and feeling good-to-go. I've had a few moments when I wake up and have completely forgotten where I am... that makes your mind race for a bit. Which way to the bathroom???
There was a Denny's in front of the place I was staying so thought I'd run up and get a late breakfast, early lunch... "brunch" if you will. As I walked over, I noticed a Yamaha Super T in the lot on the other side of the motel. As I was getting seating, I notice a tall, older gentleman with a Wolfman luggage ball cap on. After I ordered my Pancake Scramble breafast meal, I went over and asked if the Super T was his. Of course it was. He was from Idaho, had trailered to southern Utah, and had been Avoiding Winter mostly in the southeast... which of course had been very wet the last couple of weeks. "Been pretty dry in Texas and New Mex" I sez. Cuz I like rubbing stuff like that in. He was now wandering around Nevada and Arizona waiting for weather to clear for him to get back north to where he left his truck and trailer. I got the gist that his wander hadn't been as nice as mine. Good chat though.
When my Pancake Scramble (pancakes, eggs, bacon substituted for the sausage) came, it looked like this:
Umm, these aren't pancakes... I quickly deduced that the gal that took my order was in training and the caca was about to hit la ventilador because this might not have been her first screw up. I'm a nice guy and said it was fine... and actually, the French Toast was very good so everything really was fine. I bet that gal apologized 20 times. I did get a free milk refill out of it.
Breakfast conquered, I did a check of the weather. Raining harder than ever but radar looked promising. Got a late checkout for 1:00pm and decided I'd head out then.
Cleaning lady was coming by as I packed up the bike and looked puzzled... then she said, "I ain't never seen a Triumph like that. I thought they all had them high handlebars, at least that's how I remember them".
I decided not to get into the vagaries of describing exactly what an "adventure bike" is... :huh
My late departure worked out good. Roads were just barely still wet. Temps were ok in the 60's. I jumped on 1-10 an headed west. Jeff and I had originally discussed that I should take 86/85 from Tucson to Gila Bend to stay off the interstate and maybe see some prettier country. Well, I was getting a late start and wanted to get to Yuma before dark and was actually a bit concerned about all the water crossings that tend to be on the two lane roads and the amount of rain that had been falling so decided to just buzz down the I-10.
Ended up being a good choice. Light traffic. And I saw heavy water running across the frontage roads. A few areas of the desert looked like shallow lakes with the water sitting. Ran through some spots of heavy mist, some fog, some light rain, but nothing dreadful. Just dreary.
I stopped for gas, not sure where, but they had a large area of outdoor ornaments... how many sleeping mexicans can you find in this pic?
And I think if you buy the monkey in the straw hat you end up on a list maintained by the government someplace. You've been warned.
As strongly as I was tempted by the multitude of sleeping mexicans, but with limited luggage capacity I pressed on, my ultimate goal in mind:
Rolled into Yuma after 252 miles and found a place to stay. Much to the dismay of buls4ever, I went and washed off the bike. Yeah, washing the bike off removed the adventure street cred, but I've got an appointment with Rocket Motorcycles in San Diego to get an oil change and new rear tire and I just wasn't going to make them work on a muddy bike.
One more short day's ride and I'd make it to San Diego...
Looking forward to the Wander back east and more GF pics. May Mother Nature be kind and forgiving.
Street/ADV cred ruined by a Yuma, AZ quarter wash? Time to look at your PMs also Stay off those damn Interstates..........you can do those on a GoldWing/ StreetGlide.