Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..

10/8/07

s. rim grand canyon, 8/20/07

This was a solo ride, on Mon. 8/20/07. I left Sedona at about 7:30am & rode up the canyon. The bike is a drz 400e with a few mods. I travelled light, just had a tank bag. I went with a agv modular helmet, fieldsheer mesh jacket, oxtar tcs boots, & frank thomas leather pants.

Oak Creek canyon is a pretty nice ride, especially early. The traffic is light & the scenery is breathtaking. It was cool early, but i didn't stop & put on the rain jacket (my cool weather backup).
This is at the top of the canyon..


I got annoyed with my mirror.. it kept losing it's place. The screwdriver i had was way too big, so i had to stop somewhere in Flag to pick one up to tighten the mirror. The best place for a cheap screwdriver passing through Flagstaff? Right. Home Depot!


I also filled the tank & got a powerade. I was planning on going across old rt. 66 over to 89, then up toward page. But i've been wanting to check out the road on shultz pass that go n. of the san francisco peaks. So i turned up 180, & at shultz pass road, asked a native american guy on a catepillar if it went to 89, & if the road wasn't too bad. He said my ride was perfect for the road, so off i went.

I had originally routed the trip with much more forest roads, but going solo i decided to stick to pavement. But this section was fairly well travelled, so i got my off road section in.



My gps is showing the odo, speed, & elevation. Most of the ride was in the 6-8k range. It started about 4200' in Sedona, & dropped some in the Navajo reservation, then climbed back to 7k at the s. rim.


I had a little trouble getting back on hwy 89. They widened it, divided it in spots, & had more limited access. The forest road came to it, but didn't connect right away. I followed a couple of the old roads trying to get to 89, but they were fenced. Finally i got to 89. This is the last section of forest road. After this, it's pavement the rest of the way. Sometimes when someone goes with me, i've got a forest road ride routed out.


One of the great things about dual sporting, is the variety of terrain you can tackle. I got off the forest road, where i probably averaged about 20-25mph. Once i got on 89, a limited access hiway, the speed limit went to 65, but everyone was doing 75. The old drz had no trouble at all cruising in the 70's, & the teraflex was pretty smooth, too (well, for a knobby).

I was definitely out of the pines. The reservation opens up & is dotted with trailers, hogans, & ranches. There's not a lot out there but wide open spaces.


Cameron is at the intersection of 64, that goes over to the South Rim. There is a gas station, a couple of motels, & the local dwellers.


Hwy 64 was another smooth road. You could see the old 64 in a few spots. There was not a lot of traffic.


You first come upon the little colorado river canyon from the east. It is a big gorge, & the Navajo's have an overlook at a particularly scenic spot. All along this road there are roadside stands where they sell stuff to tourists.



There were a lot of unimproved roads winding around by the canyon's edge.. but i didn't check them out.. too chicken riding alone!


I got into the grand canyon nat park at desert view about 11 am. They only charged $12 for me.. same as pedestrians & bicycles. It's $25 for cars. The guy at the gate looked the bike over & said, 'I've got to get me one of these!' I passed lots of harleys & other cruisers a couple of bmw's, but not many smaller bikes or dual sporters like mine. Everyone waved at me, though.

I parked at the desert view lookout.. where the old tower is still in operation. Many of the next few photos were up in or around the tower.




Finally, some pics of the grand canyon. i've been here many times, but it is still awesome. It is one of the seven wonders of the world, & gets my vote as #1 on that list.




I took the above pics starting at the east, & panning left. I also took a few panoramic shots.. to stitch together later.


I could make a poster out of these.. of course the pictures do not capture the awe of seeing this expanse in person.

This little guy wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get a good shot..


I got back to the bike, relieved everything was still there, & drove along the rim.


There were lots of pull outs, scenic views, & picnic areas.




I stopped for lunch.. jerky & a coke. Not particularly healthy, but it perked me up.


I'll stop this for now, & finish up later.
scotty
Ok, here's some more. I finished my meager lunch & continued along the rim. There were a few spots where i could get pretty close to the edge, even with the bike. So i took a few shots. Thumpertalk has a thread for 'best background view of bike'.. i'll have to post one of these on there.









I took a lot of pictures, but have only posted a few.. You hear very little english.. it's quite the tourist draw. I know people in Az who have never seen the grand canyon. Can you believe it? One of the most awesome sights in the world, but because it's in their back yard, they don't get around to seeing it.





This is another panoramic stitch..


Here's where they keep the mules for the rides into the canyon.


It was after 2pm by now, so i thought i'd start heading home. I had a measly 3 hours along the canyon rim.. you could look at the overwhelming views for hours, but i had a ride to do.

Out of the park, s. toward flagstaff


Out of the pines, back on open high chaparral. I saw a few antelope, but was cruising along with traffic, so didn't stop for a photo op.


I turned on 180 & headed to flag. The traffic cleared here.


There was a lot of color. We had good monsoon rains this year, so the wild flowers were in full bloom. I think my bike got embarrassed while i stopped to take pictures of flowers..




It snorted a little & seemed happier when i stopped to take the deer's pic.


Heading toward flag, you could see the peaks getting closer, & finally get into pines & aspens.




All together, it was 270 mi. I got home about 6pm. Every time i go there, i scold myself for not going more often. It is a spectacular place. I had no mechanical problems (except for the loose mirror). Filled up twice. stopped for dinner at kentucky fried chicken. This was a cheap, easy ride. I should do this at least a couple of times a year! I can post the route if anyone's interested.
__________________

No comments:

Scotty's info

My photo
Sedona, Arizona, United States
Semi-retired home builder. Musician. wr250x adventure rider. Amateur philosopher. Innovator. Tech & gadget freak, genealogist.