John Wayne, Monument Valley, and MORE! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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John Wayne, Monument Valley, and MORE!

Being as how my wife and I spend our winters here in Arizona, arriving mid-October, there're a few places on my "Bucket-List" that haven't been accessible because they're closed during winter, and the closure date depends on snow. I love the Grand Canyon South Rim and seeing the North Rim's been a dream for quite awhile.

Well, this year started to sound like the year to ride there - I'd set up the ride with my friend Bill which I posted here a little while ago as... Arizona's "Tail of the Dragon", only BETTER!... from the 29th to 31st of October, so I tentatively figured on heading north on the 2nd of November for from 4 to 6 days riding on mostly roads on the map that have lines of dots along them, indicating 'scenic highways'; in northern Arizona and southern Utah. These would include the North Rim, Bryce Canyon, Burr Trail (for 20 miles), the Anasazi ruins in Boulder, Capitol Reef National Monument, the Glen Canyon area on north Lake Powell, Muley Point, the Goosenecks, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and, after Show Low, AZ the road through the Apache Mountains and the Salt River Canyon.

In anticipation of much cooler temps, I changed windshields to my "Majestic" scooter one, put the plastic guards on my "Zeta XC" handguards, made sure my "Tourmaster" heated jacket liner worked , packed the "V" and set out at 8AM on the 2nd.

Leaving Mesa via Usery Pass put me onto the Bush Hwy past Saguaro Lake, then intercepted the Beeline Hwy (87) through Payson and Strawberry, then switched to 487 at Clints Wells - ALL scenic 2 laners. After Flagstaff, 89 heads north past the turn-off for the South Rim to a fork at Bitter Springs (the FIRST 2 pictures) which I turned west on, 89A, and the Vermillion Cliffs and into the Kaibib Forest.

Pictures from #3 relate to day 2.

(to be continued...)
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:36 PM
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Very nice...colour me envious. My folks winter in Yuma and it's my plan to make it down there on the bike one of these winters, so I'm taking notes. Keep it coming.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:48 PM
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Beautiful!!



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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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The Vermillion Cliffs are spectacular and go on for miles! Then 89A climbs a hill and enters the Kaibab Forest - lots of curves but really not much to see. Time was nearing 4PM, and Jacob Lake came into view with a "vacancy" sign illuminated. It's the ONLY show in town up there, so I swallowed hard and ponied up $106 for a rustic cabin for the night. Supper, too , but NOT included in the $106!

Got a good sleep then up before dawn for breakfast. Br-r-r! Temp was below freezing (pic 3 in previous post shows frost on the meadows on 67 south of here, going to the rim), so I set out with my liner on MEDIUM heat and heavy gloves.

Through the high country the GPS said I was over 8,800 feet - no wonder it was COLD - but the station at the entrance to the North Rim hadn't opened yet when I arrived at 7:45, and the sign on the window said to pass through so I saved the $12 motorcycle fee, continuing on to the turn east to Point Imperial and Cape Royal where the views are GREAT. In fact, you can see the Colorado River from Royal, the ONLY place on the rim of the Grand Canyon that you can see it (I was told) .

Many pictures later I saddled up, rode north and west to visit the North Rim Village (high end Hotel there) plus more great views. Finally around 11AM I headed north towards Jacob Lake (liner now on LO), passing it at noon, then gas at Kanab, UT, back on 89 north through more great scenes.

At the junction with 12 I pointed 'Big Red' east, a mile later entering Red Canyon, a taste of Bryce about 12 miles down the road. Bryce Canyon was open so this time I paid my $12 for viewing/ photographing - well worth it! When I noticed the time - about 4PM - i pointed myself east and made Escalante just before dark, finding a motel pretty quickly. WD40 the chain, get out of my gear, 'crack' a cold beer, supper then a well deserved sleep!

(to be continued...)
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Getting up before dawn is my curse, I suppose, and the 4th was more-of-the-same. No breakfast available in town, so I hit the road just as the sun peeked over the horizon (and into my eyes!) , rolling into Boulder an hour later after riding the top of a ridge for several unsettling miles. Sign said OPEN FOR BREAKFAST 400' RIGHT, so I turned. Gal served me a good meal, lots of coffee, then suggested I ride the Burr Trail for 20 miles.

"Where is it?" I asked.

"You've been on it for 400'." she replied. (Oops )

Paid my bill and started on the Burr. (ALL the pictures before the 'ruins' are the Burr, including the slot canyon.) FANTASTIC! Reds and ochers, yellows and browns everywhere, (and 12v in evidence in my liner...) and I waved as I rode past the restaurant then right to the Anasazi Museum.

Gassed up, then east again till Torrey where 24 became my choice to Hanksville, which then spit me onto 95 and south. You enter another area of red cliffs, then a sign points to parking for petroglyphs. If any of you remember Von Danican's (sp?) "Chariots of the Gods", he showed these and claimed they prove that extra-terrestrials had visited.... I don't think so, but it's too bad that some idiots with .22s used them for target practice.

After an hour there, it was south to the Glen Canyon part of Lake Powell, where the Dirty Devil River and Colorado River enter, then past Fry Canyon, turning right onto 261 to Mexican Hat. Interesting road - about 20 miles paved, then signs that no traffic over 40' allowed, as narrow DIRT 5 MPH switchbacks are just ahead. The MOKTDUGWAY SWITCHBACKS, if I read the small print right. Got there with only 1 bar on the gas gauge so I passed on Muley Point, checked my altimeter, headed down. At the first turn you can see down to where the LAST turn comes out, 1,000' below!

I decided against heroics and maintained traction down, soon arriving at the junction with 163, 3 miles to Mexican Hat (named for a rock formation that looks like a sombrero - in one of the pics). Got some gas, a motel room, then WD40'd the chain, out of my gear and into a cold beer... or is that "out-to" a cold beer...?

(to be continued...) ...and I JUST traded pictures so NONE should be sideways...
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 04:03 PM
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wow!...BEAUTY PICS

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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More pictures from 4th November.

(to be continued...)
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Have I mentioned my CURSE? Again, up at oh-dark-thirty, so, leaving everything except my camera and hydration pack in my room, I started up Big Red (amidst a sea of Ducatis and Beemers - MORE later....) and headed back towards Muley Point. The Switchbacks are REALLY interesting in pitch-black , and I arrived at the top and headed into the Muley Point Road as it started to brighten a bit. Nice view of the "Goosenecks" of the San Juan River, but not what I wanted, so back to the Switchbacks, and down. From the top you get a GREAT view of Monument Valley to the south (got pics for you!), but down again, and over to Goosenecks State Park for some nice pics of them, and Monument Valley again.

Time for breakfast, so back to the hotel, where I met the Duc and BMW riders, all members of the "Hellfire Canyon Club" with California plates, and shared some "neat roads" info. Loaded up, gassed up, then southwest, and WOW!

I first saw Monument Valley in John Wayne movies like "Stagecoach", but it's even GRANDER in 'person'. And, I swear that, when I squinted, I saw the Duke and Ward Bond riding towards me....

The only drawback is that it's much shorter in length than I was hoping for, but many pictures and around 40 miles later, I photo'd Big Red at the side of the road, Monument Valley and John Wayne in the distance....

At Kayenta I joined 160 northeast to Mexican Water, then south on 191, ANOTHER scenic great highway! At Chinle I followed the signs east to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and REAL cliff dwellings! The largest dwelling in my pics is called "the White House" because of white paint on the walls inside the upper one. Note the petroglyph on the sheer wall below the right side. Looks like a full sized man (or E.T.?).

After that stop, though not noted as scenic highways, I followed 191 south to east on 264 to Window Rock, then south on Apache Road 12 (this is MOSTLY Apache reservation), intercepted I-40 for 18 miles, to go south on 191 again, this time to St. Johns where (it turned out!) I took a room in the WORST dump I've stayed in!

(to be continued...)
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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The motel was SUCH a dump I was glad to wake up early! This day, 6th November, had the FIRST clouds I'd seen on the whole trip (probably LESS that 1/10, or thin scattered), but still great out. Crossed the street and got a large coffee at Circle K, packed up my stuff, and headed west, heated liner doing its stuff! At Show Low I decided to visit Fort Apache (which I'd seen before, but from the south), but after doing the ride there, I'm not sure I'd recommend 73 (not really twisty...), though the part northwest to Hwy 60 is OK.

Once back on 60 heading southwest is another matter - NICE road, and the Salt River Canyon is SCENIC, and a GREAT ride, although lots of traffic, it being a Saturday.

Continued south through Globe, then Superior (the LAST picture is coming into Superior with Picketpost Mountain in the background) to Florence Junction, and south to home. Arrived at 2PM, 1,606 miles on the odometer, and total cost for the 5 days at less than $500.

Recommend this trip to ANYONE! (Two thumbs up as Siskal and Ebert would say.)

Hope SOME of you enjoyed reading this and looking at my pictures.

BTW, I 'culled' these shots - 90 - from the 400 or so I took on the ride.
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 11-14-2010 at 05:26 PM.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 06:37 PM
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Very nice Ed! Awesome photo's! That is a great place to travel up there. I took the wife up to the Ver. Cliff's a couple years ago in mid Oct. and we camped right on the AZ. UT. border. We woke to 16*...She was sooo happy.

Thanks for the report.

Chuck
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 07:25 PM
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Beautiful way to spend a few days!

Hey Pops - nice posts and beautiful pictures. It looks like you had a good trip. Glad you could get out there in time before the freeze! Funny though, in a few pics there was a big red bike in the way, you're usually so much better at framing a shot Looking forward to your next excellent adventure.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 08:02 PM
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I refuse to read this post - I am too damn jealous! Just kidding. Wonderful trip and pics. Thanks for sharing.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 08:44 PM
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 11:23 AM
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Awesome pics. Thanks!

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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It's been bugging me that the pics of the slot-canyon came out sideways , so I'll repost those pics again, in THIS post!

Hope it works...! YES!!!
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 11-21-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn View Post
Hey Pops - nice posts and beautiful pictures. It looks like you had a good trip. Glad you could get out there in time before the freeze! Funny though, in a few pics there was a big red bike in the way, you're usually so much better at framing a shot Looking forward to your next excellent adventure.
Hey All -

This post is from my BEAUTIFUL daughter , who USUALLY is much more considerate of her old Dad...!

Ed
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 03:40 PM
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More great pics and another fine ride report.

Good on you and enjoy your AZ winter...it is paradise.

John in AZ
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 08:36 PM
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Great ride report - keep 'em coming.
Congrats on surviving the Moki Dugway. That road scared the crap out of me. (Well, it would have if my sphincter hadn't spasmed so tightly shut after the first turn...)

P.S. I'm sure you could remind your daughter that your picture taking has been remarkably consistent for years- with all those pictures that have some pretty girl in the way of otherwise nicely framed shots.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 09:33 PM
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You traveled through some of the most beautiful country in the US on this ride IMO fasteddie. Cheers! and thanks for the report!

Michael
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn View Post
Hey Pops - nice posts and beautiful pictures. It looks like you had a good trip. Glad you could get out there in time before the freeze! Funny though, in a few pics there was a big red bike in the way, you're usually so much better at framing a shot Looking forward to your next excellent adventure.
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Hey All -

This post is from my BEAUTIFUL daughter , who USUALLY is much more considerate of her old Dad...!

Well then!! Welcome aboard Dawn!!





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