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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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4 days, 4 states, 1,621 miles, and 500'ASL to 10,500'ASL!

Each year I try to start my "return to Arizona riding" by doing a trek over several days, sort of a get-to-know-the-area ride. For this year I thought that I would 'finish' the ride I started (and failed to complete, due to heavy rain!) in 2011 to Shiprock, NM. I called it..."Another run to Monument Valley (or - how I learned to check the weather forecasts)...", and it's here http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=17451, or the one I did in 2010, "John Wayne, Monument Valley, and MORE!...", here http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=12907 but ridden in 'reverse' - CCW rather than CW.

While in the planning stage I saw that a 'direct' route from the PHX area would go via Winslow, famous in the old Eagles song "Take it Easy"... 'Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see...', and I'd read somewhere that a statue had been erected there (Glen Frey???). Continuing that line would go by Chinle (and the Canyon de Chelly National Monument), connected by some Bureau of Indian Affairs roads, then again by MORE BIA roads including dirt roads over a mountain range then down to the "Shiprock"..

I wasn't sure that my route would be possible, so I had back-ups in mind when I 'saddled-up' at 0730 last Wednesday, the 23rd October and headed north.

Up the Beeline Hwy - 87 - to Payson, then left via Pine and Strawberry, Clints Well then on to Winslow, still on Hwy 87. It took several minutes riding around there (and asking for directions...!) to find the statue. Really neat, and the intersection has a LARGE embossed "Route 66" in the road. (You might notice BIG RED in the background... cough, cough...).

From Winslow I followed 87 north, then transitioned onto BIA 60, then BIA 15 up to where it intersected with US 191 to Chinle. My route from there was via the north 'rim' of Canyon de Chelly on BIA 64 to BIA 12, then the dirt BIA 13 over Roof Butte at 9,784' ASL, and FINALLY Shiprock, IF the dirt was passable..., and as I got close my GPS warned that ...non-paved road... ahead of me, so I was wondering.... Passing Lucachukai in the transition from BIA 12 to 13, where the dirt showed on my GPS, I saw a VERY RED rock canyon ahead, surprised to see that it was INDEED paved, and EXTREMELY twisty. Steep TOO...!

As I climbed and the air cooled down I started to see ice and snow in the ditch, then over the top, and my FIRST view of Shiprock (...from the ground - when I used to fly the Toronto - LAX route we would be able to see Shiprock quite clearly from 35,000'). Nice looking 'hill'....

Soon I was in the town of Shiprock looking for a room, only to find that there were NONE! NO motels or hotels there - the nearest in Farmington 30 miles EAST. So... off I went for another half hour, got a room and some grub and settled down for a rest after that day's 438 miles over 8 hours "in-the-saddle". All-in-all, a GREAT riding day.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 05:41 PM
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 05:45 PM
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 07:49 PM
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 08:04 PM
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Nice pics& report... i'll get over that way on the bike..((someday))

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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HALF of day two... including BIG RED down!!!

Thursday 'dawned' early in Farmington. Once the steed was loaded, I geared-up, saddled-up and headed west. Saw my FIRST highway patrol car along the road about half-way, but I was struggling w/ my 'heated' jacket liner - it WASN'T... heating... that is, and I was below the limit.

Hit Shiprock just as the sun cleared the eastern horizon, and into McDees for sustenance - sausage and egg McMuffin and a senior's coffee - plus a couple of $ menu McMuffins for a couple of cold and lonely lookin' gents hanging around outside.

Finished THAT, gassed up BIG RED - then west again, only stopping for a pic of the Shiprock in morning light. First time thru Monument Valley I rode north to south, second time it was south to north in off-and-on rain showers, so today's plan was to ride to Kayenta via US 64 and US 160, then turn right thru Monument Valley to Mexican Hat, Utah for gas, then further east to the Valley of the Gods, 16 miles of dirt.

The ride to Kayenta was clear, altho' to the west I saw clouds gathering, w/ what looked like virga (rain coming down but NOT reaching the ground... YET!), and wondered if I was in for another wet day in Monument Valley. Took a few panoramas on the ride west, then MORE thru the Valley. One of the iconic views is looking back west (at pretty much the eastern end) w/ the road as straight as an arrow, rising into the buttes.

Couldn't QUITE understand three young guys lying on the road taking pictures along the center-line...! Looking back west the clouds I saw earlier seemed to be getting darker, thicker. But it WAS sunny to the east where I was headed.

A few minutes later I left Mexican Hat, tank full, riding the 6 to 8 miles to the start of Valley of the Gods. It snakes thru a beautiful valley full of red spires in every direction for 16 miles, before spilling out onto the road leading to the Moki Dugway Switchbacks, a series of tight switchbacks that climb about 500' in three miles (check the .pdf at the end of my pics, at the bottom...).

This would be my FIFTH time up or down it (once UP before dawn...), and I stopped at the first good area for pics, took a few then got back onto BIG RED which I'd propped on its stand, a low area to its right, and a couple of feet from the rock wall....

I put my right foot down to find... NOTHING..., jumping clear just as BIG RED gave up, falling into the wall, Aprilia mirror against the rocks, twisting itself.

Oh CRAP! I tried lifting it, but it didn't budge, so off w/ my jacket and helmet, tried again, then removed some other gear, trying again.

As I ran thru my options - NONE, really - a pickup came around the corner, stopping when the driver saw my predicament. He parked out of the way, then came, and together we got the bike up and back on its stand. He waited IN CASE the same thing might happen again, but I started it, got it off the stand then parked a few yards away while I thanked him and got all the gear back on ME or BIG RED...!


The ONLY damage, after the 'dust cleared', was a scratch on my Zeta guard thru the reflective tape, and a SLIGHT mark on the back of my Aprilia mirror which HADN'T broken!!!

Watch for the remainder of this day in another post, from here to Escalante thru MORE gorgeous scenery - the Capitol Reef Nat'l Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument....
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File Type: pdf Moki Dugway.pdf (741.3 KB, 66 views)

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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OOPS! Just found three pics I'd intended to go w/ the above post. A pic from Valley of the Gods, one of the start of the Moki Dugway (my V went 'down' where the road seems to end, top right) w/ a view of how Mr. GPS saw it.


Just updated the .pdf in the previous post - seems my 'putor missed a bit. BTW - right where the 261 marker is - that's where BIG RED "bowed-out"....
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 03:39 PM
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 04:24 PM
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"Couldn't QUITE understand three young guys lying on the road taking pictures along the center-line"

That shot is on the front of The Best of Eagles album. Maybe they were trying to re-create it.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-Eagles/dp/B00004TG1R
I once drove (before my m/c days) down that road and went 'Umm, this is vaguely familiar' but couldn't work out why. It wasn't until a few years later when I went through my cds (before my mp3 days) whilst moving house that it suddenly dawned on my why I thought it familiar.

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhidbeyRider View Post
"Couldn't QUITE understand three young guys lying on the road taking pictures along the center-line"

That shot is on the front of The Best of Eagles album. Maybe they were trying to re-create it.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-Eagles/dp/B00004TG1R

I once drove (before my m/c days) down that road and went 'Umm, this is vaguely familiar' but couldn't work out why. It wasn't until a few years later when I went through my cds (before my mp3 days) whilst moving house that it suddenly dawned on my why I thought it familiar.

Paul
That's why I called the shot "iconic". I just wondered about LYING in the middle of a highway....


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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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SECOND half of day 2... now that BIG RED was rested...!

Took a few minutes 'suiting-up' again, then had to whisper to BIG RED that I understood..., but it's now OK, Ole Girl...!

CAREFULLY (my savior in the white truck was GONE...) mounted-up, put my right foot down, then retracted the 'stand, started the engine and continued up the REST of the Moki Dugway (NO stopping for pics, for SOME reason...), then back onto pavement as UT 261 headed north to join UT 95, then north-west (AND towards deepening clouds, as I wondered if this was to be a repeat of the driving rain I'd ridden in LAST time to Monument Valley and Shiprock...) along "White Canyon", across the Colorado River and the top of Lake Powell, thru Hanksville where the road turns west, passing Caineville (where I shot pics of the rock-singer and stegosaurus sculptures... ) and thru "Capitol Reef Nat'l Park".

A few miles further west, and after filling up at Torrey, I transitioned onto UT 12 heading south over Dixie Summit at 9,260+ feet ASL - a BIT chilly, note the ice in the pic..., and into the "Grand-Staircase Escalante Nat'l Monument", thru Boulder (NO vacancies...) to Escalante where I DID get a room.

At one point the road follows the very top of a ridge, a 45 degree drop-off on each side, then into more, beautiful, canyon country.

This whole series of roads have the "scenic" designation on my maps, with GOOD reason(!!!), and I hope I'm not putting in TOO many pictures.... Believe it or not - I ACTUALLY deleted a LOT!

I'll add another batch of pics of day 2 in another post.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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MORE day 2 pics of Utah!

BTW - the pic of my rear tire is to show how it looked after riding that new pavement which was rather abrasive, and shows how much of my tires I was using....

HOPEFULLY I'll get day 3 up SOON (tomorrow?).

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 02:16 PM
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Great write up & pics Eddie!

I miss not living on your side of the country some times..................
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 03:00 PM
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Very nice photos!


--
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
That's why I called the shot "iconic". I just wondered about LYING in the middle of a highway....

Maybe they were Harley Riders, and were trying to find the bit that had just fallen off their bike ?
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 10:28 AM
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Maybe they were Harley Riders, and were trying to find the bit that had just fallen off their bike ?
LOL!!!!!!!!.........Now that's funny!!!

PS, are you enjoying the weather right now up thar in WA?
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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"Into every life a little rain must fall...!"

Woke early (as usual!), did the 'shave-shower-shampoo' thing, then next door for breakfast. STILL cloudy to the west....

Several cups of coffee later - paid my tab, then back to load the bike, still 'eying' those clouds right where I was going to ride. Saw a few drops of rain on my tank, so I put my rain pants on, continued loading. DAMN... NOW it's starting to 'spit', so off w/ my top-bag, out w/ the rain jacket (my Kilimanjaro jacket is waterproof, but I always try to keep it protected from rain on longer trips IN CASE it AIN'T...! ) and gloves, soon suited up for WHATEVER.

Did the Versys 'shuffle' - right leg over, settle into the seat, hit the starter, west again on UT 12 thru some EXCEPTIONAL scenery and twisty roads. (For years I've maintained that the WHOLE state of Utah could be declared a "National Monument" !)

I've visited Bryce Canyon several times, so it was off my list for this trip, substituted by "Kodachrome State Park" a few miles before it, and just after I'd been able to remove the rain-gear - it hadn't got past the "spitting" stage . As I turned off 12 to go south I glanced back to the east and then took a pic of a cloud-burst right where I'd just been! Rode thru the Park a bit, including dirt roads, got a few nice shots, then back onto 12 and west. Some of the rock formations NEAR Bryce are just as memorable as those IN it, so I continued to Panguitch on UT 89 where I planned to turn west onto two scenic highways, first UT 143 passing Panguitch Lake, then onto UT 148 which climbed south to over 10,400' (thru SNOW..., and rather CHILLY!), and leads past "Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument" resplendent in shades of red and yellow accented by the white of fresh snow! Even took a 'hero' pic of BIG RED there!

The 'plan' included over-nighting in Bullhead City to give me the 500' ASL lowest altitude mentioned in the title, but also to catch the Virgin River Canyon in the Arizona part of I-15 (VERY pretty), then scenic NV 169 bordering Lake Mead to the east of Las Vegas, so when UT 148 joined UT 14 I rode west to Cedar City then turned left onto I-15 (and its 80 mph speed limit - in Utah, anyway) and made 'tracks' south. At 75 to 85 you cover a LOT of miles, FAST!!!, altho' I stopped for a lunch break in the rest-stop a few miles down the interstate, home of the pic of me in the shelter.... (The remainder of Friday's ride will be in my NEXT post!)
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 10-31-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 01:30 PM
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Thumbs up

Great photos again Eddie!!!

I lived in Vegas for 4yrs & travelled many times to Utah but never knew about the Kodachrome State Park!

As you said though, the whole of Utah should be declared a State Park.
( & then you'd only have to pay one entrance fee!!!)
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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...leaving UT, entering AZ, NV then AZ again (in the SAME day!)!

The 134 miles on I-15 went by in a flash, the exit for Glendale, NV and the scenic NV 169 thru "Mead Lake Nat'l Park" (w/ its $10 entrance fee...) to Henderson and Boulder City, hurrying towards me.

About 20 miles south on 169 I took a few pics of the start into the Valley of Fire, but hadn't planned the time for it, so back south, thru the entrance to Mead Lake Nat'l Park, and its $10 fee, headed south. The road, both scenic and fairly twisty, has views of Mead to the left, mountains everywhere.

I could see two riders on 'cruisers' a few miles ahead, riding in a bizarre fashion: one in the right lane (remember - 169 is a fairly narrow two lane hwy!) swerving back and forth into turn-outs, while the other swerved back and forth in the LEFT lane.

Before long I entered the Hoover Dam area, transitioning onto NV 93 till the exit for Needles, then NV 95 south towards Bullhead City. Hwy 95 seems straight as a needle for a long way, traffic moving at 80+ mph, but I pulled over to 'WD40' my chain at a pull-out (as I try to do, about half way thru each day's progress, as 'preventative maintenance'), and discovered a Tarantula that apparently someone had thoughtlessly stepped on. Unnecessary....

Hwy 95 passed thru Searchlight, then the exit to 163 and Laughlin, Bullhead City, and Needles arrived and I rode down the hills to 500' ASL and the Colorado River. Found a motel room (w/ a green Ninja in the lot), down to the store for some beer and fried chicken, then unloaded and, gear-off, feet-up, "cracked" a beer and relaxed - another 434 mile, 8 and a quarter hour day in the saddle OVER!
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