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Retired and Riding South West US Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, May 13, 2021.

  1. ricksax

    ricksax Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
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    139
    It is great to find this thread and follow you on the road again. An excellent mix of practical motorcycling advice, travelogue and beautiful photos. Actually, after following your experiences, I finally bought an oilhead because I like the simplicity and fixability. If you get out Portland, Oregon way, be sure to PM. We have a guest room.
    #41
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  2. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Sorry been off grid at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. WOW. Write up to follow

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    #42
  3. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Kitty litter USA
    Jealous! :photog
    #43
  4. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    North Rim Pictures

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    #44
  5. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Wind Sucks

    Funny pictures from today in Williams,AZ. Too windy to go to the south rim. And I guess too windy to keep the covers on the bikes.

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    #45
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  6. Blancr

    Blancr n00b

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    Good to see you two back on the road - will be following
    #46
  7. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Thanks. Glad to have you on board. Please give Mary Jo our best. We speak about your invitation to us last summer often.
    #47
  8. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/18/2021 St. George, UT to Grand Canyon North Rim


    Off to the Grand Canyon North Rim. It was a relatively short ride. We fueled before hitting route 9 heading East. We transitioned to Route 389 and then 59 as we crossed into Arizona. In Fredonia we fueled again. Patti got a kick out of the sign on the front of the, apparently all-purpose store.
    D0AF25C1-47A3-4476-8968-B56187D5BCE2.jpeg

    In Fredonia we were on Route 89A until we arrived at Route 67, the access road to the North Rim. All the roads to this point and on into the National Park were fun and interesting roads. When the road were straight there is something to look at. There were several areas where the curves and the changes in elevation made ridding fun.


    We had made reservations at DeMotte Campground which is just a few miles before the main gate to the Park. It is an overflow spot for the main campground 12 miles further on.
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    As we were pitching our tent the camp host came by. I asked about extending and he told me that half the spots were first come first serve and they clear out early in the morning. So, we would not have a problem staying on. All we had to do is move the next day.


    We didn’t completely set up so we could get into the Park and look around. We passed through the entrance showing our Senior Pass.

    At the Visitor Center we parked the bike and took our gear off and changed into hiking sneakers. And then it was WOW. Our first views took our breath away. I have already posted pictures and here are some more. The view is indescribable. It almost does not look real.
    5C03A82A-932A-473D-97EF-483580C2665D.jpeg 81DE5420-05A1-44E8-8815-1BC7973C342F.jpeg CC261632-598D-4DB9-89BF-6D447D6B4BFF.jpeg 409BA090-C05B-4C7A-BBBF-FD198115A08B.jpeg 6E4E50BD-F094-435E-A31C-70BD24B03CE8.jpeg 7D213E7E-1149-4F6C-B6BF-6A2E5C915AE9.jpeg 4B5DC5DE-D2A8-480F-9C16-234352F0444E.jpeg 1A5BB915-B11C-4980-A5E7-D9B430E3CE64.jpeg B3111994-3ACA-4FF7-A1DD-91CDA4A6B77B.jpeg A393579D-D46E-4935-99E9-15CC1C3A22F3.jpeg F0A29164-48C8-4C52-A049-0260A4706C66.jpeg 45B75EFB-E2FD-4740-86A7-D21DC0BFFD9C.jpeg
    There is a view point that takes you out to a peninsula. We moved among the other guests stopping frequently to take pictures and just take in the majesty of what we were seeing. This is not an area if you fear heights. Even staying on the path, you may feel way too close to the edge. We saw some younger people taking the risk of standing on top of rocks with no guard rails. Nope, no way.

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    We took the walkway that brought us under the main lodge. It led to another view point that we walked onto. Not as many people here.

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    From there we walked up a set of stairs to lodge to find the doors leading in locked. But there was a seating area with Adirondack Chairs facing the view. We sat and took in the views.
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    After resting we headed back down the stairs and then up a path leading to the rental cabins and the Visitor Center. We worked our way back to the bike and readied ourselves to move to another view area that was on our way back towards camp.

    CONTINUED NEXT POST
    #48
  9. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    May 18

    A few miles away from Visitor area is a turn off that leads to two separate viewing areas. We decided to go to the closest one and save the other until the next day.

    We rode the 13 miles out to the Point Imperial view point. Off the bike we followed the path down to another peninsula. Again, the view was breathtaking.

    661F8DB8-4FD8-4939-B207-264258BE3D5E.jpeg 47A9C5EB-32F9-44ED-8808-C2A9B69FD459.jpeg 96CA2617-CE0B-4E5B-9001-DA189AE466A1.jpeg E361C7DA-F100-4285-84D2-F86B6D589AD2.jpeg D68F92D5-A5A3-4825-AA2E-04D42B35DFBC.jpeg 01964888-2648-4DC6-A08D-F41FFB74AB88.jpeg A06E15CC-CE43-444F-A95E-882A0E4B761A.jpeg 0C471CDB-FE2E-4E59-A43A-54391B419F4B.jpeg B0E10B74-21F0-4935-869A-EF3E59A2EAFF.jpeg 763E159D-0488-4FD3-B7FF-7D136AA8B39A.jpeg 902F3E89-F540-48FA-8008-1EE507D49F6C.jpeg 9A2096B0-19DF-427C-B000-9D069CB63ACA.jpeg
    Enough for one day. Before getting back to the camp we stopped at the North Rim Country Store which is almost across the road from DeMotte Campground. We were looking for something to make for dinner. Slim pickings. After much looking, we settled on Dinty Moore Beef Stew. Yes, that was the just about the best thing they had.

    Back at our site we finished setting up our site. After I went to buy some wood. The host sold me three bundles for $20 and he delivered two bundles in one of the campground golf carts.

    The Jet Boil made quick business of heating up the Dinty Moore. We truly enjoyed this flashback moment from our childhoods.

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    The evening chill set in as soon as the sun set. We had been told by the folks next door that the temperatures had been in the high 30’s the night before. We stared into the fire until we decided it was time to climb into the tent.

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    Miles

    165


    Avg Moving Speed

    46.8


    Max Speed

    73.5


    Max Elevation

    8779


    Moving Time

    3:32


    Total Time

    8:10
    #49
    dano619, Blancr, Smidty and 2 others like this.
  10. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/19/2021 Grand Canyon North Rim

    I was out of the tent by 7:00. The sun was already well up in the sky. I had all my layers on including my rain jacket to cut the wind. I made coffee thinking about walking the campground looking for an empty spot where we could move. The section below us had good sun which would be nice in the following morning.

    After a while Patti climbed out and we sat drinking our coffee moving our chairs to take the best advantage of the sunshine for warmth. Cheryl, one half of the husband-and-wife host team rolled by. I asked if any of the first come sites had opened up. As we were talking the couple at the site just above us overheard us and told us they were leaving a day early and we were welcome to take over their site. Bonus, an easy move for us. No packing, just drag our gear and tent 50 feet.

    By 10 we had all of our belongings moved up. A nicer site with better Sun. Then it was back on the bike heading to Cape Royal, the overlook we had bypassed the previous day.

    Cape Royal is 23 miles in from the main road. The ride in was spectacular with tight curves and constant changes in elevation. It was a great precursor to yet again spectacular views.

    Cape Royal is also the site where Angels Window can be seen. From the side you can see the “window” that creates a natural bridge out to a viewpoint.
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    Beyond the access to the Angels Window overlook is the Cape Royal overlook. Again, words cannot describe. Just look.
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    Having taking in as much as we could we were back on the bike heading back to the village. We rolled into the Sinclair Gas Station where the attendant, Chuck came out. He was wearing a bow tie and short brimmed had ala the mid 1900’s. He was in from Alaska working for the season.

    Tank full we went to the better stocked Grand Canyon General Store. We picked up some ground beef to make meat sauce for pasta. We also grabbed some ice cream which we enjoyed sitting on a bench in front of the store.

    We then headed into the village. We were hoping to get some internet access so we could plan for the next day. Patti got us some drinks at the Roughrider Saloon and we sat out front. After not being able to get internet, I gave up and said finding a place for tomorrow will have to be a problem for tomorrow.

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    Back to the bike and suited up we headed back to DeMotte. We arrived to find a flag in the fire ring informing us that no fires were going be allowed due to high winds. In fact, the wind was already pretty strong and was supposed to increase overnight. I rechecked the tie-downs on the tent to make sure they were secure and tight. The couple across from us had a travel trailer and told us if things got too bad overnight to knock on their door for refuge.

    Rather than meatsause and pasta dinner was freeze dried lasagna. MMM
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    As the wind increase we escaped to the tent.




    Miles

    77

    Avg Moving Speed

    31.6

    Max Speed

    67.5

    Max Elevation

    8759

    Moving Time

    2:26

    Total Time

    5:50

    Attached Files:

    #50
  11. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/20/2021 Grand Canyon North Rim to Williams, AZ

    The wind had blown hard all night but inside the tent we were well protected. We had taken our riding jackets and pants in the tent with us using as an extra layer of insulation. We both slept pretty well.

    Outside I placed the jet boil inside the metal fire ring using it as a wind-block. The water boiled and I made coffee. The wind was steady at 20+ MPH with gusts much higher. Breaking camp was going to be a challenge. I took apart our Kermit Chairs while enjoying coffee.

    Patti was up shortly after. Normally we pull our sleeping pads and bags out to deflate and stuff them. Not today. We both climbed in. I took care of the pads as Patti stuffed the sleeping bags and pillows into their sacks.

    Tent almost empty I began pulling the tent stakes. As soon as I did it started to blow in on itself. Struggling we folded the fly then the tent and ground cloth. It was not possible to compress them as much as normal and the dry bag where all the gear goes in was difficult to close.

    It took us less time than normal to get everything pulled together and packed on the bikes. Soon we were on the road heading out Route 67 to Jacob Lake. There was no escaping the wind and we were blown back and forth. This was to continue throughout the day and would only get worse.

    At Jacob Lake we went into the dinner to have breakfast. We took our time as we planned where we would end up that night. We wanted some time in a hotel. The weather was going to be cool and very windy for the next few days and campong was not in the cards for us.

    As we ate, we made plans to head to Williams. It would be a good central point to go to the South Rim and other sites in the area. I found another budget hotel and booked a three-night stay.

    Back on the road we were on 89A. The first several miles were fun with curves to enjoy. Not too long after we rounded a bend and found ourselves looking over Marble Canyon. The curves were done and we were soon on the Canyon Floor.
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    When we left camp we had all our layers on as it was cold and windy. We now had dropped 5000 feet and the temperature had gone from the 50’s into the 80’s. We had to pull over and take off layers. We stripped down to our long sleeve shirts, sipped some water and then went back to battle the wind as we went down 89A and transition onto 89. We bounced back and forth across our lane continuously.


    In Cameron we stopped for fuel and bought some Gatorade to re-hydrate. Too soon we were back on the road heading towards Flagstaff. In Flagstaff we transitioned to Route 40 for the last 30 miles to Williams. Here is where the wind really caused the most concern. We found ourselves struggling more than we had all day. We had to lean the bikes over several degrees to keep moving straight.

    After what seemed like hours, we finally exited Route 40 and rolled down Route 66 into Williams. Our motel was right on 66 near the center of town. We were checked in quickly and had the bikes unloaded. A cocktail was in order to get over the day.

    The Long Horn Saloon was diagonally across the street and we headed over for dinner. Cool place with dollar bills stappled everywhere. We added ours as well.
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    Ribs seemed right and we ordered a full rack of beef ribs. We could have fed four with what was on the plate. We gnawed on the bones until we could not handle any more. Leftovers in a box we made our way back to our motel. Done!.


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    Miles

    225

    Avg Moving Speed

    50.9

    Max Speed

    69.5

    Max Elevation

    8781

    Moving Time

    4:25

    Total Time

    6:55
    #51
    Ohio_Danimal, COBob, Smidty and 2 others like this.
  12. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/21/2021 Williams, AZ

    0 day on the bikes. We took a down day today. It was crazy windy and we wanted to explore.

    This area of Williams is tourist drives. Innumerable motels, many looked like they have been here since the hay-days of Route 66. Tourist stores, dinners are also abundant.
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    Walking into the wind heading west we stopped into a few shops looking at every imaginable t-shirt with either Route 66 or Grand Canyon theme. There was also the requisite made in (insert country of choice) crap that kids crave. There was a display of old-time candy. When is the last time you saw candy cigarettes?
    652ABD05-DE91-4993-8654-0113B09CEA06.jpeg EA86FD3E-BDE2-4E32-97D2-A511B7DD12D5.jpeg


    Western garb and leather tac also is heavily represented. Want a cowboy hat, leather belt with a big buckle?


    We finished the tourist trap walk and headed to the Post Office. We had a half dozen t-shirts for our kids and their significant others to ship back. Easy with one-rate boxes and fortunately they live close enough to each other that we only had to send one box.


    What to do of a Friday afternoon in Williams. Why go back to the Long Horn Saloon drink beer and hang with the locals.


    Before going to the bar, I wanted to check on the bikes. Good think. Our bike covers had acted like a kite and flipped my bike on its side.
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    It took us a few minutes to disentangle the cover and get the bike righted. I did a couple of minor repairs and called it good.


    At the bar It was a hoot listening to the local gossip. This is the kind of place where you can bring your dog in and sit it at the bar. That made Patti happy.
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    Many of the locals were happy to give us ideas of roads to ride and sites to see. A fun way to while away an afternoon.


    Adult beverages dispatched we went back to the hotel to spend a quiet evening.
    #52
    Ohio_Danimal, dano619, COBob and 7 others like this.
  13. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Sep 17, 2010
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    1,368
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Great trip.
    #53
  14. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/22/2021 Saturday Williams, AZ

    Another 0 day. Time to catch up on the ride report and blog. I worked for a few hours before we headed across the street to another Route 66 themed diner.
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    After a huge breakfast we went back to the motel. Patti packed up the dirty laundry and headed down the block to do a small load before we headed back to camping.

    Our family and friends blog was updated with picture posted. Next was to update ADVRider. That is a slower process. It took another hour to get this done.

    While I was finishing up Patti got back and began hanging our wet wool out on the motorcycles to dry. This caught the attention of a group of Harley Riders. Apparently, they found it amusing. What I found amusing was how one of the women was geared up. Does a pink pony tail help with ATGATT?
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    The Harley Crew told Patti that there was some kind of traveling event going to happen across the street later in the afternoon. Sounded like a Harley type of event.


    To avoid the expected crowd, we decided to head back to the Long Horn Saloon in the mid-afternoon. From the number of cars parked out front we expected to find a huge crowd inside. Not the case. We were able to get seats at the bar with a good view of the room. There were a couple of locals that we had met previously who checked in with us. They continued to give us ideas of things to do and see.


    The Saloon is primarily a locals hang out. It is a mixed bag. Some business owners, retirees and cowboys. There were a few ZZ-Top beards.


    One particular Cowboy sauntered in with a loose-jointed gate. He sat just around the corner from us. Tall and rail thin with another ZZ Top beard. He was wearing a 10 Gallon Hat. His face was windburned and weathered. His callouses had callouses. A cowboys cowboy. No beer and a shot for this guy though. Unexpectedly he was drinking a Rock Star energy drink. Not sure if he loses cowboy points for his choice of drinks. Probable a retired drinker that still enjoyed hanging with his peers.


    The Saloon continued to fill up. There were only two bartenders that were covering almost 100 guests. We were fortunate to have a seat at the bar. We saw people come in and sit at the tables only to leave after 10 minutes because they had not been greeted or served. Too bad, a lot of revenue lost here. The lack of employees is rampant in the service industry. The Saloon had a sign up “Wanted Dead or Alive. Servers, Bartenders and Cooks.”


    We began to hear and see some motorcycles come into town. There was a small plaza outside of the Saloon where the festivities were going to take place. Surprisingly things were pretty quiet. We were expecting to have to use earplugs to be able to sleep. Thankfully that was not the case.


    We made our way back to the motel before 7 and spent a quiet evening.
    #54
    norton73, COBob, Smidty and 2 others like this.
  15. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/23/2021 Sunday Williams, AZ to Grand Canyon South Rim

    It was a quick hour ride from Williams to the Grand Canyon. 64 North is the only route heading in from the south. After a short line at the entry gate, we rode a few more miles and found our way to Mather Campground.

    Finding campsites in the National Parks right now is challenging. Especially the popular ones. By luck we were able to get a site for one night. I inquired about cancellations for the next night and was told to be back the next morning at 8:00.

    At our site we set up the tent and got everything squared away before we headed off to explore. The Grand Canyon, like Zion blocks off certain areas to regular vehicle traffic. The only way to access them is by shuttle bus. The first area we went to was one of those view-points.

    Working our way back we stopped off at a couple of pull-off’s. These gave us our first views from the South Rim. I had been wondering how it would be different from the North or how it could be better. It was both. The geology is different. There are more flat sections in the South compared to the rockiness of the north. There was more green on the valley floor. So equally spectacular but different.

    33277BAF-74B1-4423-BEBB-9A7A0332D9D9.jpeg 76A8E1B2-1D5B-4DA4-A523-25A2C3B3A973.jpeg 60A18B60-6C27-4F4E-BBF1-926D065C2FE1.jpeg 06F508C5-917D-4FA2-B672-EE5111000582.jpeg 7AD25AE5-9057-415E-9BCD-9BE663A3062C.jpeg 35AEA587-AF2D-4D7A-A6FB-74E1800373FD.jpeg 63B856EE-4227-4C1B-9EE8-3B3C05076554.jpeg F932EAC7-FCC3-4D4A-8AE3-41F354F4D314.jpeg 055D5FCC-56E6-4904-A54E-8A4CA2FAE2E0.jpeg
    At the visitor center we parked and walked out to the rim again. Unlike the North Rim there were hundreds of people walking back and forth along the safety rails. This was a turn-off for us. We had grown accustomed to having more open space and easier access to the view-points.
    21D1A066-C994-4BCD-B250-35D1FA87F7D4.jpeg 4F3B4FBC-A08E-485F-9F8C-571538F0DF23.jpeg B9A82868-9425-47C2-AE82-F43D09AFD2E6.jpeg A6A64A93-E6BD-4065-87A9-C8DC690279B5.jpeg 995AF8E7-89B9-4781-A09F-1AEF3A4935CD.jpeg F60687A8-3AC0-46EB-943D-4B7DC73BF929.jpeg F60687A8-3AC0-46EB-943D-4B7DC73BF929.jpeg

    After a half hour of skirting around the crowds and getting limited viewing opportunities we went back to the bike. Suited up we went back to the campsite. I left Patti and headed down to the store to get some provisions including ice and firewood.

    Back at the campsite we made our favorite meal, spaghetti and meat sauce. It was challenging using our small camp stove but we managed.

    Later on we sat by the fire. As soon as the sun begins to set it gets cold quickly. We continued to add layers along with adding wood to the fire until the chill chased us to our tent.

    B35F49EB-3850-4C46-A530-AD2F036AB1E0.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    #55
  16. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/24/2021 Monday Grand Canyon South Rim

    I was up at 6:00 and made myself some coffee. I was also able to get the fire going again using some of the twigs that Patti had collected the previous day. There were the remnants of some logs from last night fire which quickly re-ignited. I also snapped off and cut off some dead limbs on the trees that surrounded our site. This was expressly prohibited by the campground but I felt I was doing them a favor.

    I kept a close eye on the time wanting to be back down at the check-in station well before 8:00. Having been through this in the past I knew that there are usually people lined up to get the First Come First Serve spots. Surprisingly I only found one person waiting. He had arrived before 7:30. We chatted while we waited for the windows to open.

    Precisely at 8:00 two windows opened. I went to one and he to another. When asked which one of us arrived first I said that the other man had. He, in-turn wanted to give first dibs to me. I insisted he was first.

    Come to find out there was only one site open in the whole campgrounds. I was being given the “when to check again” by the ranger when I turned and asked if the other person was willing to share his site. That is allowed but is a deal between campers and the campground does not get involved. Fortunately, he said yes so we were good for another night.

    Site don’t turn over until 11:00 so we had plenty of time. I did not plan on packing everything up. Instead, I was going to move piece by piece. The tent had to come down and the sleeping bags put in a bag to move them. Around 9:30 is started to ferry things to the other site.

    When I arrived the occupants that had it for the previous evening had not started breaking down. I dumped load one at the end of the entrance to the site and headed back for load two. It took around seven round trips before our entire set up had been moved. By that time the other folks were just finishing packing.
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    Forty-five minutes later our camp was reassembled. Our host arrived and we finally formally introduced ourselves. Holden was from Georgia and was one month in to a three-month road trip seeing the National Parks. He had just completed his law degree and had just passed the Washington State Bar exam. He was relocating there with his girlfriend.

    After we finished getting to know each other we headed our separate ways to go view the Canyon. Patti and I headed towards the East Rim trail. Today it was not busy. There were very few people on the trail. Access to the best viewing areas was easy and not crowded. We walked a couple of miles taking in the views and taking innumerable pictures. The main visitor/hotel area was at the end of this trail. Here was where everyone was. We passed through and went another quarter mile before we turned around.
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    I had wanted to take a shuttle back and we sat down at the waiting area. We chatted with some people as they passed by as we waited. I looked towards the sign to see when to expect the shuttle. It was only then did I see the sign stating that the shuttle was not running. So, we were back on our feet retracing the trail back to where the bike was parked.


    We had left the bike at the grocery store. I had told Holden that we would buy and prepare dinner as a thank you for letting us share his space. We picked up some basics and I brought Patti back to the campsite. I went back to the store to buy a couple of bundles of firewood. $10 per bundle! What a rip off.


    Back at the site we mixed a cocktail and Patti started the fire. Shortly after Holden was back from his day. We swapped experiences while we waited for a bed of coals to start cooking the hamburgers we bought.


    That was a little bit of a bust. I ended up having to finish them off in the fry pans. At least they had a nice charcoal braze.


    It turned out being an early night for all of us. We were all in the tents by 9:00.
    #56
  17. Canton rider

    Canton rider Canton Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    Canton, GA
    I think I noticed that you are using some type of hydration system. How did you set that up?
    #57
  18. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,119
    Location:
    Traveling in the US
    We both have Aerostich tank panniers. We put a water bladder in one side and route the hose to on top of our tank bag. I put Velcro around the neck of the hose and on the tank bag so it stays is place. Not pretty but it works.
    #58
  19. danh600

    danh600 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    South Florida
    I put in my retirement notice. I will be retired as of the end of July.

    Threads like this make me know I made the right decision.

    Those North Rim pictures are amazing.

    Thanks for taking the time to take us a long with you.
    #59
  20. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,119
    Location:
    Traveling in the US
    Congratulations!

    Best decision we’ve ever made. No regrets at all.

    The actual experience is better than pictures or descriptions.
    #60
    rkover1, danh600 and 531blackbanshee like this.