I've been wanting to ride up into utah, so I planned a little 3 day dual sport ride into s. utah while the weather was good. The first day, I rode from Sedona to Flag, up to Tuba City, to Kayenta, then up to Mexican Hat, ut. My report of the ride may be a little broken up.. i'm not going to write it all at one sitting.
It was a good ride. 3 days, 720 miles, mixed terrain. I'm going to break the report up into segments.. no time to put it all at once.
Ok, ready to go, 9 am monday morning 9/24.
i took 89a from Sedona, az, to Flag, then up toward page. I thought i'd take a shortcut over to 160 to Kayenta, but on the reservation, a road has many definitions..
I wound around for over an hour trying to find a way through, but finally gave up. These guys saw me riding & thought it would be fun to run along, too.
The 'road' ended on top of a ridge.. i could get down a steep rocky bank, but then i'd be at the bottom of a wash, & still had a river to cross. I could see the road on the other side. I decided to turn back to the highway.
Back on the road, i stopped for a delicious & nutritious lunch of ice tea & a deep fried green chile burrito.
It's pretty barren along 160.. a few houses & hogans every so often.. I did notice a lot of satellites, & a lot of the houses had some solar collectors.
Riding alone on desolate roads is very refreshing. Solitude is good for the soul.
After Kayenta, i started getting into monument valley territory. Some of the following shots are on the reservation, some are part of the national monument.
It's an amazing bit of terrain.. large stretches of desolate desert with huge rock formations jutting out of the ground. You can see for days.
I wanted to make Mexican Hat, ut. before it got too late. It was about 230 miles from sedona, with my little detour. It was also mostly pavement, so i made pretty good time. My gas mileage suffered, though. On the drz when i go over 60 for any distance, my mileage drops below 50 mpg. On the rest of the trip, i got 55-60, even on the dirt roads.
You can see Mexican Hat in the distance. I had switched over to reserve, but had less than 20 miles to go. I filled up in Mexican Hat & was ready for the next day.
Here is the bridge over the San Juan river at mexican hat. The inn on the right is on the river, & has pretty good food. I had a Navajo taco for dinner. That's not like the kind you get at the state fair.. the fry bread was very light & fluffy. It's filled with chili, then topped with lettuce & cheese. I finish it off with plenty of Tabasco & was more than filled. The portions are so big when you eat out.. traveling i usually gain weight. ..and to celebrate my arrival in Utah, i had a round of Wasatch Polygamy Porter... a robust brew that is a meal in itself!
My room was $35, no tv, no phone. But the bed was clean, & the shower was hot. I washed out my socks (brought 2 pair), & hung them to dry. I was one of the first ones to check in around 6pm, but when i got back from dinner, the motel was full. The area was full of road bicyclists, rafters, hikers, & motorcyclists. I was the only dirt bike.. the rest were bmw's & harleys. The guy next to me had a nice gs.. loaded with panniers, & a trunk. Since mine was light enough to toss in a pickup, & had no alarm, I provided a small cable to tie it to a steel post.
The room was spartan, and had no heat. It got chilly in the night, so i tossed on a down throw i had packed. It didn't take up much room, & i was glad i had it. I only used it on the first night.
I didn't sleep real well, but i never do. It was still better than the ground. I had decided to just rent a cheap room, rather than camp. I didn't want to carry sleeping bag, pad, or tent.. it was also pretty chilly.
A good first day, & a good place to stop. More later!
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