How's that for a title to get your attention? Any feedback and/or questions are welcome Intro: I’m Peter, from Denmark, I’m young and stupid. Work sent me to LA for 6 months, I bought myself a ’09 990ADV with my sights set on some weekend rides and then this "big" ride. !Spoiler alert! I made it back to LA last Thursday in one piece.. Disclaimer: My first dirt bike in 10 years, old(!) sport bikes since I was 18, a short stint with MX bikes in my teens and some sheep herding on an XR in Australia about 9 years ago. My first motorcycle trip, a lot of issues I encountered could and should have been avoided, I know! My first encounter with navigation on roads that aren't; paved or maintained and do not have signs everywhere. My first encounter with anything as deserted and remote as this, I’m European after all. Units are all mixed up, have the bike dash in proper metric and the GPS in gibberish (imperial), will try to translate. Except for temperatures, the Fahrenheit scale is ridiculous and it is not worth using. The RR is made up of bits of "diary" I wrote each night, why it might seem I have more sense of drama than the great Ewan himself - I expect to get hired whenever they do LWU ;-) This will be a whole lot of pictures of bike and landscape, few of me and other stuff - solo trip remember. Goal: Go ride a lot of dirt in some remote places, see some national parks and ride all the way to Moab - have fun on the way I didn't quite work out like this though, but that was part of the adventure - easy statement to make as I'm typing this having a fancy coffee... Until the RR is completed, one can sneak into my instagram profile @PeterKaa for some snapshots. Day 1, LA to Valley of fire, state park NV: 360 miles of horrible I-15. Blasted through - boring in a, well let's admit it, not very safe way. Got out of LA a few hours later than I would have liked to, cleared traffic and stopped in Upland to check air pressure in my tires, which was way off. The big girl in all her glory, all loaded up and ready to get dirty: I must say the 990 is a beast, able to do just eat up freeways for days on end at 80 mph if that is what you desire. Things got pretty hot when I rode through the desert phew, actually boiled of some coolant when parking to fuel in Barstow, I think it was. Was initially a bit worried about this, was thinking it could be a bad water pump overhaul (by me) or air in the coolant. I tented in the dark in Valley of Fire, cooked up some camp food on my small burner, had a scotch and looked at a clear night sky. Having no idea where I had camped really, looking forward to the next day which should involve some more exciting riding. Day 2, Valley of Fire to Toroweap via Mesquite. 200 miles, about 190 miles dirt. Headed out of valley of fire at 8:30, even though I got up early, getting coffee, a small breakfast and packing stuff just took time. Camp ground in VOF: I rode the Valley of Fire HWY to Mesquite: Nice road/area if you are heading east beyond Vegas and need a stop in that area it is not the worst option. I stopped in Mesquite for fuel, food and water. Full Rotopax/tank, lot's of water, full stomach (second breakfast - Hobbit style). Ready to head out on @wbbnm s GPX track that should take me on dirt roads up and out of the desert at Mt. Bangs and to Mt. Trumbull wilderness where I would eventually hit the "School House crossing". But first I realise that I have completely forgotten to bring the spare tubes that I had prepared at home, so out to find a set in Mesquite, went relatively easy but the time is 10:30 before I head out of town. Yes, on dirt! on the first part of the road I meet up with a grader preparing the road. I thought to myself that a bit more challenging road would have been nice. Soon after I take this back. To get over the first pass, I'm taken on an unmaintained Jeep trial. The bike is full of gear and fuel, it is heavy and I'm struggling - really big rocks, steep climb switchbacks and ruts. I drop the bike soon after on a downward slope and I'm simply unable to get it up, it must have been 35 deg C and everything smells like the fuel that's pouring out of the bike. I get the bike up only after having unloaded it, this sucks: Next 12 miles, same kind of road :-( this was tough - had another small get off but was able to get the bike up quickly. Then things started to improve: Reached the summit and things started to cool down and I could enjoy the ride: Even did a selfie while coasting down the switchbacks: Continued on this road down, amazing! Had a blast! finally this is ADV-riding I thought; mountains and road that is not killing me, life is good Hit the plateau and roads were even nicer The track took me through a few forks in the road (backroad navigation is not that easy, who'd have thought?) and led through a few gates, nothing major though and again @wbbnm s tracks were spot on. Then I hit some really though road along a dry riverbed, felt like the GPS was playing a cruel game of "road or riverbed" with me. I don't have any pictures of this unfortunately, but speeds were significantly lower here I tell you.. Since must have lost about 10 litres of fuel in the sand of that first get off, the fuel light came on about 12 miles before Trumbull school house, however I didn't know how far the school house crossroad was, I was quite quite shocked and actually I almost had another get off just after, bottomed out the front in a ditch that crossed through some dried out mud. Maybe a bit panicked by the fuel situation and clearly fatigued - I just did not see that ditch. Decided to continue on the trail since the GPS told me that was the closest way to civilisation, fuel and water, I had not met a single person since heading out of Mesquite that morning. In case you are wondering how deserted the "Arizona strip" and Mt. Trumbull is, you can read the first few lines on this page: http://www.summitpost.org/mount-trumbull/154115 Just after the school house crossing I met some Jeepers, I have never been so happy to see a lifted Wrangler in my life. The Jeepers were part of a larger group that were headed from Toroweap to Bar10 ranch to spend the night. I was told there was fuel at Bar10 and headed South at the school house, the Jeepers radioed ahead and let the rest of the group know I was coming. I get fuel (7 usd/gallon! beggars can't be choosers) at Bar10 and chat a bit with the Jeepers, a really nice bunch who ride EXCs when not Jeeping. Unfortunately no pictures or names - I'm a terrible person. They guide me the way back and highly recommend Toroweap, off course I make a wrong turn, hit a sh*itty road and fall of again. Soon though, I'm back at the school house and at the Mt. Trumbull road T-intersection, where it is either South to Toroweap or North to Fredonia. South for a glorious view or North for civilisation and fuel: I'm a bit torn here whether I can make it to Toroweap in daylight or if I should just head North. I decide to head South to the lookout, imelapse, try HD: At the Tuweep Ranger St. The ranger was very helpful and explains that there is a reservation only camp ground available at the Toroweap lookout, and that it is all mine after a bit of paper work, "..I'd take that deal.. - GOOD DEAL!" Well actually he has to convince me what a good deal it is, since I have no clue, but I sure am glad he did. He warns me about a rocky climb on the last part of the road to the lookout, but not about the deep sand that almost launched me over the handlebars, but it's all good How is this for a place to stay for the night? Based on the direction of the shadow, this must be the next morning, but you get the idea I hike about 1,5km to the Toroweap lookout to see the sun set. 3 retired gentlemen are also having a scotch and I join their conversation of general BS They offer me a ride back to the camp site in their car, we all forget about the tailgate on their Land Cruiser and the bumpy trail back makes sure we loose about half of their stuff on the way, good laugh :-D Day 3, Toroweap to North Rim via Kanab. 220 Miles Around 180 Miles dirt. Had a cup of coffee at my awesome campsite. I hiked to the lookout to take a few pictures and enjoy the amazing view once more: Another shot of the awesome campsite: To get up to the road from the camp site I carried my stuff up to the road and had one of the guys from last night, help spot me over some rocky steps, went fine with surprisingly no drama at all - it really does wonders to unload the bike. The road from Toroweap to Tuweep offered a bit of excitement; deep sand and some steps to descend that I didn't recognize from the day before, I must have not realised it racing to see the sunset. Met two fully loaded KLRs on that road, which were the first ADV and bikes I had seen so far, I thought I would have seen a lot already, but it turns out that the American west is a pretty big place. From Tuweep to Fredonia the Mt. Tullub Rd. is in very good condition, it is about 60 miles long I'd say, but it is all 50-60 mph stuff. It was very tempting to go fast and I'm a weak man.. The "hiway" Tuweep to Fredonia: Video, stupid music included: And suddenly "civilisation" and a rock formation, I think it is called pipe springs. I rode the extra 10 minutes from Fredonia up to Kanab (UT) as it is a bigger city, to get a burger, coffee, food, water and fuel. It was burning hot (33 deg) when I was loading the bike outside the grocery store, the locals did give me a friendly smile, with a look of either pity, "What's this f'ing idiot doing" or both After some GPS misunderstandings I figured out that I have to go back South a few miles to Fredonia (AZ) make a left and then go on "Ryan Rd." (22) South in to the Kanab Wilderness (a very suitable name btw.). The road was paved for the first 10 miles or so and the turns in to well maintained dirt. My trail took me of 22 soon after and west through a valley with a very decent road as well: Rd. 22, the brightest of you will see the shadows in the video and think; "What the hell, this dumbass is going east." I had not yet understood that my Garmin would recalculate my route to the GPX track if it was not precisely where it thought the track was, I did not notice this while riding, so often at a fork in the road it would suggest some alternate route on pavement. It took me a lot of going back and forth before I figured it out, hence the video of me going East. I probably wasted a good 1,5 hrs with this... 90 minutes that would have been very useful later that day. The switchbacks take me up and in to the wilderness, the roads and scenery here is really amazing and it takes some whoopsie moments to shake of the 990s rally feel and face the brutal reality of a loaded ADV-bike. The gpx file is taking me to @wbbnm s “secret lookout”, I doubt that it is secret, but I cannot remember what it is called. Kanab creek maybe? Roads look like this: Quite near the lookout I encounter a very steep, rutted out descent. Not really keen on turning around here, since I'm very close to the lookout.. Kickstand down, note awesome flag on dash. Yeah it does not look bad, but the picture is not really representative. Walked all the way down the hill to find a good line and kick some rocks out of the way. I unload the bike , transfer the fuel from the rotopax in the tank (does not make any sense right now) and put my gear next to the road. Yes, I did mark the location in my GPS, it would be a pretty big disaster to loose the stuff here. Boom, I'm at the lookout a few minutes later, now how is that? The bike made it there as well I head back, make the climb up the steep rocky stuff, with no drama and find my gear, great success! Sun was pretty bright at this time and I'm a pale Scandinavian, why I'm wearing a pretty awesome combo of headgear. So this is halfway through day 3... At this point it is worth mentioning @dave6253 is riding this exact same area at the same time on his 990adv. He seems to know where he is most of the time, has experience with riding the area and he takes way better pictures than me. See his RR here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/alone-on-the-gcbar-again.1103256/ After returning from the lookout, I was on the road, which was somewhat all right, a bit rocky but otherwise easy, on my way to Crazy Jug Point. Here is some unedited video from that stretch, it's only a few minutes, the weather is nice, I have gained some altitude so it is greener and cooler. Yes, that is a pretty close call in the end, seems the big girl had not forgotten her rallying heritage completely, and had to be reminded that it is a fully loaded ADV bike far away from mechanics and medics. This is actually only my second day of riding the bike on a real knobby front, previously it had some worn out Shinko. Now knowing the bike/tire better, watching the video, I'm pretty sure I could have just leaned it in and grabbed a handful of throttle to save it. But hindsight is 20/20 and maybe I have forgotten how the bike feels with all the gear strapped on to it. Anyway I make it to Crazy Jug Point. At the lookout I bumb in to two retirees in RVs were very interested and jealous of the whole ADV bike concept, made me realise how lucky I am to be able to do this sort of trip. I'm sure these are the guys @dave6253 refers to as "Looney Tunes" in his RR They were nice enough and we chatted while I mounted up my axillary light on the crashbar. As you can see this turned out to be a pretty good idea. Yes, that is a cow. Headed back in to the forest onwards to North Rim, it got dark, cold and scary in those woods very fast, had not realised how much elevation I had gained though the day. 4 deg C pitch dark for 2.5 hours. I'll admit I was rethinking my definition lost of while riding that trail: Technically: Not lost, had a compass and a fully functioning GPS. Realistically: Clueless, I had no idea where I was, I had no idea where I was heading, I could not see a thing but forest roads criss-crossing in front of me while dodging water, mud, cows and coyotes. WMNBs GPX trails had been solid up until now and honestly that was pretty much what kept my spirits up. Just follow the little blue arrow and try not to hit a three, or a big rock. Here is an unedited video of a long ascend, it does not do the road conditions or my increasing state of panic any justice. It turns out @dave6253 has been nice enough to take some pictures of this road in daylight as he rode them going west, see this post: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/alone-on-the-gcbar-again.1103256/page-5#post-28000915 I finally see some lights after riding in what seems like forever, it is a couple in a Jeep, it turns out I'm only like a minute from HWY67 than goes south to the North Rim and North to Jakob Lake. Quickly pitched the tenth at Demotte camp ground, still shaken by the the ride through those woods, cooked another bag of delicious camp food on my little gas burner and killed of my last sips of scotch. Delicious. There are quite a few people at the camp site, even though it is the last night before the camp site is closed up for winter. At about 3:30 in the night I realise why, I'm camping at 2670m (8760f) it is quite literally freezing, there is ice inside my tent. No more sleep that night, just wait for the sun to rise.