Southwest by Versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by klaviator, May 18, 2015.

  1. notsofasteddie

    notsofasteddie Semi Slow Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Far North (of Arizona)
    You should be able to get reasonable rooms in either Holbrook or Winslow. I40 kinda sucks with all the truck traffic but I have a good friend that is Navajo and lives in Page and his parents live north of Gallup a little bit. He goes to Flagstaff on highway 89 and then hops on I40 rather than driving across the Rez just due to livestock on the road and drivers coming on and off the highway unexpectedly. And it has become a commute for him over the last 12 years.

    I also replied to your pm.

    Enjoy the ride, wherever you end up!
    #41
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I was planning on getting off the interstate and riding through the reservation. Maybe I should re-think that?
    #42
  3. notsofasteddie

    notsofasteddie Semi Slow Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Far North (of Arizona)
    I just wanted to make you aware. My next trip to Tucson, by bike, I'll go through the Rez rather than taking Highway 89 and then I17 and dealing with the truck traffic combined with what seems to be constant cross wind in that stretch. Not sure whether AZ 87 or AZ 77 would be better for you. Anyway you go you'll have some long straight stretches with the chance for sheep, cows, horses, along with the locals using a short section of highway to connect their dirt road journey to see their cousins down the way, or European or Japanese tourists with some of the latter known for just stopping in the road to get pictures (that can be the most surprising of all).

    OK, now I'm looking at the map plotting out a ride to see my son in Tucson. Now that the off-season hotel rates there are in effect that sounds like a plan. See what you've done...
    #43
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I spent a long day in the truck today droning down I-40. It was kind of boring but it would have been just as boring and less comfortable on the bike. It was at least interesting watching the scenery change as i got further west. I did stop at one interesting rest stop in the middle of nowhere in Texas.

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    There was a pretty view.

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    Even if you aren't on a motorcycle, dangers are everywhere.

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    I saw hundreds of windmills today, only bigger than the one in the background.

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    #44
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  5. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Location:
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    Great to see that you're on your way klaviator!

    Wishing you smooth roads and fantastic weather for your western ADV.

    :lurk
    #45
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks Sam. I'm on my way but the actual ride starts today:wings
    #46
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I got on the road early this morning and drove around 170 miles to ABQ where I unloaded the bike, loaded luggage on the bike and got on the road. I try to avoid the interstate as much as possible but that's mainly what I did today. It's not very exciting but at least the scenery was interesting.

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    Eventually I got off the Interstate and visited my first National Park of the trip.

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    I went ahead and bought an Annual Park pass which gets me into all the National parks, monuments and maybe some other federal fee areas. With all the Parks I'll be visiting on this trip it will be worth the $80 I paid.
    #47
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  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    This is not one of the really well known National parks like the G.C., Yellostone, Yosemite and a few others. There is a reason for this. It is an interesting and scenic park but not that spectacular that I would go way out of my way to visit it. The main attraction of this park, at least for me, was not the petrified stuff but all the interesting scenery.

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    Someone asked if I wanted my picture taken so....

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    In case anyone is wondering, yes it was pretty hot out later in the day, I think around 90, but I was comfortable in my mesh riding gear. I didn't even feel any need to take off my jacket when walking around. The light colored jacket actually seems to reflect the heat and the mesh lets the air flow through. The black pants did heat up a bit in the sun but still weren't bad.

    Some more scenery.

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    There was a family of 5 traveling in this small RV. It's small enough to drive and park most places you would go in a car:

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    When I win the lottery I'd like to get something like this:D

    An actual fossil:

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    And the story behind it.

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    There were a whole bunch of fossils here.

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    #48
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  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Probably the most interesting part of my visit to this park happened when I was passing the visitor center on my way out of the South end of the park. I saw two riders all decked out in adventure riding gear. They waved at me and I waved back. Then I saw their bike parked and decided to go check it out and see where they were from. Their bike was probably the most heavily loaded BMW GS I have seen. The tag said California but they were actually from a little farther away.

    This is Simon and his Girl Friend who are traveling around the US, Canada and perhaps Mexico. They are from China.

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    I talked to Simon for a bit. His GF didn't speak English unfortunately.

    He asked to sit on my Versys:

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    I asked where they were going and he said Chicago, New York and maybe Canada. Chicago??:puke1 I could certainly think of better places to go ride.

    He asked about where the best place would be to cross into Mexico. I recommended he register on ADV and start a ride report. That would be the best way to get some good advice for his trip. He is already documenting everything and doing some kind of blog in China.

    So we exchanged information. Maybe we'll see them again. One more pic:

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    Then a young lady with an accent wanted some advice on her trip. Actually it was a couple of young ladies from Europe traveling around in a rental car. They were "camping" in the car. They needed to be in Denver by Tuesday morning but wanted to drive an interesting route. I came up with a route through Durango, Montrose, and Aspen but realized they did not have the time to do it. To bad they didn't have another day but they had to catch a plane. I'm sure they had an interesting trip.

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    One of the great things about traveling on a bike is you tend to meet more interesting people than if you travel locked up in a cage.

    After that I headed off to Hollbrook to find a motel.

    Total miles on the bike today was 258 miles.

    My plan for tomorrow has changed again. I'm going to head southwest through the Coconino National Forest, then through Oak Creek Canyon and then up to Marble Canyon.

    I probably won't have internet tomorrow night so it might be a couple of days before my next update.
    #49
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  10. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    central valley, california
    Great stuff!
    #50
  11. notsofasteddie

    notsofasteddie Semi Slow Rider

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Far North (of Arizona)
    Enjoy the ride southwest. I'm guessin' you'll be going through Pine. You'll like that ride up in the trees and it will get you into cooler country quicker. It will be warm when you get to Marble Canyon tomorrow afternoon. If you have any daylight and energy left when you get there, they repaved the road from Marble Canyon lodge to Lee's Ferry. While the speed limits are pretty low the road is still a really nice little run down to the river.
    #51
  12. Raptorman

    Raptorman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    Looking good so far Win! :lol3 Can't wait to meet up with you in Hurricane. :freakyHope today was as enjoyable as yesterday! I'm sure your next batch of photos will be quite rewarding. :clap
    #52
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    You ain't seen nothin yet!

    It was just a little "warm" from Flagstaff to Marble Canyon. I got there too late and with too little energy to do any more riding.


    The last two days were spectacular. That first day of riding was just a warmup. I took a bazillion pics so I'll try to post the highlights tonight and then go back and fill in after I get home and have more time.

    I'm in Hurricane and it is HOT here. I'm going to get something to eat than I'll try to post the highlights from the last two days.
    #53
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I woke up early and checked the time. My watch and my phone didn't agree:huh It turns out Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time so it's an hour earlier than the other mountain time states. So it gets light at around 4:30 AM. I didn't feel like wasting daylight so I was on the road around 6.

    I headed across the desert on 77s to 377s to 277 to 260 west. the landscape changed from desert to pine trees. Eventually 260 turned into a really scenic mountain road. I stopped to get some pics.

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    A guy pulled up in a truck and complimented me on my bike. We talked a bit. He rides a Vulcan 1700 and so we talked bikes and places to ride in the west. I told him about ADV so maybe he'll see this. This is Craig:

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    Riding along on 260.

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    260 eventually turned into a really nice and twisty road. Unfortunately it is one of the few roads connecting towns in the mountains here so it does have some traffic but it wasn't too bad.

    Then 260 went back down into the desert and heat. I decided to take a "slight" detour and ride to the town of Jerome on my way to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. Jerome is a really cool little town built on the side of a mountain with spectacular views of the distance.

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    I took a bunch of pics and I'll post more later. I had skipped breakfast since I got on the road before the motel served it's breakfast so I was hungry. The was a really cool BBQ place in Jerome so I ate there.

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    I could even watch my bike from my table.


    Then I decided to ride a ways up 89a towards Prescott. I had forgotten what a fantastic road this was:ricky:wings:ricky:happay

    I went about 11 miles and then turned around.

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    Coming back into Jerome.

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    By the time I finished up my "slight" detour it was about 3 1/2 hours later.


    Then it was time to ride to Sedona. An interesting note is that Arizona has replaced many traffic lights with roundabouts. It's so nice to be able to keep moving, especially in the heat.

    Lots of red cliffs heading toward Sedona.

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    #54
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  15. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy I aim to misbehave.

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    895
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    Yep, I remember that road (89A).

    In the 80's we used to race from Prescott Valley to Jerome (and back) on it. :evil
    #55
  16. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,857
    Location:
    Central Mn
    Great pics and such, off to a good start man.

    Say, how is the 'Vers handling the weight/cargo?

    I have an 08, but I think you beat me in record-carrying cargo.
    #56
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Location:
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    I rode through Sedona which appears to have turned into a huge tourist trap.

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    I didn't stop except at the numerous red lights.

    Going into Oak Creek Canyon.

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    The Canyon is still spectacular but like Sedona, has become over developed and full of tourists. Keep in mind that the last time I was here was in 89. Things have changed a bit.

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    The road coming out of the North end of the canyon is still cool.

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    Then it was time to ride some miles. It was getting late and I had a long way to go. I stopped in Flagstaff for gas, which by the way is more expensive that in Alabama. Then it was some long and very hot miles through the desert. It was pretty boring just north of Flagstaff but got more interesting further north.

    I saw this at a gas station. The couple driving it were wearing short sleeves and no sun screen:eek1 They were pretty burnt and had just bought sun screen

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    As I neared my destination, the scenery kept getting better.

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    My destination was the Marble Canyon Lodge. It out in the middle of nowhere. One motel, one restaurant and one gas station.

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    And I forgot to mention, one river and TWO bridges.

    So I walked over to the bridges. They just don't want you to have any fun:lol3

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    That one river would be the Colorado River.

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    We had a full moon that night.

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    Edit (4-9-16): I was just looking at this last pic nearly a year after my trip. The pic did not really capture the scene. It was really much darker and the moon brighter. Being out there in the middle of nowhere surrounded by cliffs......and solitude. It was such a peaceful and beautiful setting. I wish I could have captured the mood better but looking at the pics reminds me of how it felt. Although I saw much more spectacular scenery on this trip, Marble Canyon and the night I spent there was one of the most memorable parts of this trip and going back someday is on my bucket list.
    #57
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  18. Raptorman

    Raptorman Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    Jerome is one cool old mining town that I got to visit while on business in Phoenix many years ago. Forgot how really cool it was. Thx for the reminder! :nod Hope you had better luck in Sedona than I did. Not my kind of town although the red rock scenery was excellent and housing was quite unique. Looking forward to more pics as you have time to upload them. Thx for sharing! Be safe and see you Thursday. :ricky
    #58
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I got up early again and went for a short walk. This sure is a scenic and peaceful spot. The Motel here isn't fancy but it was pretty inexpensive, I paid 62 bucks for the night, and it was clean. I'd stay here again.

    Sunrise in marble Canyon.

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    Then I got on the road after eating a few peanuts and granola bar for breakfast.

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    I didn't ride too far when I saw this interesting spot so I pulled a quick U turn and pulled in.

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    After riding across the desert for a while, the road started climbing up to higher elevations.

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    It was a great twisty road with fantastic views.

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    I stopped in Jacob Lake for some breakfast.

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    Then it was time to head towards the North Rim of the Grand canyon. Before I got to the park I saw I saw a sign for a Grand Canyon view only 4 miles away. So I rode down a nice dirt road to get there.

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    Then it was a short hike to this view. Not the typical view of the Grand Canyon.

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    Then I went into the park. I was glad to have bought an annual park pass.

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    There must have been some big fires some time back, both before the park and in it.

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    On advice from notsofasteddie I decided to ride to Cape Royal

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    This was the highlight of the day. This road would be a fun road on a motorcycle even if it wasn't scenic. It's a great twisty road that just happens to run along the Grand Canyon. It didn't have that much traffic on it so I was able to have a little fun:ricky:ricky:ricky

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    Did I mention this was a scenic road?

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    #59
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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    It's a great sport bike road but if you screw up.......it's a long way down over the edge:eekers



    I don't really notice the extra weight. I'm not carrying as much as it looks because there is nothing in the tail trunk. I use that to store my helmet & gloves when I stop.
    #60