Rides & reports of motorcycle adventures..


Tricky tracks. Flying cows. Deja vu Grand Canyon, 7/26/10

Deja vu daytrip, Grand Canyon revisited                                                            7/26/10

I'm a couple of weeks late getting this ride report up.. i didn't take any videos.. didn't even take the video camera.  I got a few stills, but nothing spectacular.. even though we were going to the Grand Canyon.

Tim had to cancel on our Annual Grand Canyon ride, & Terry has been wanting to come over from Ca & ride with us.  Tom eventually got tired of the whining & set up another grand canyon ride.  It would be a deja vu ride to the Grand Canyon, going up through Ash Fork, where he had gone earlier with some of the Phx boys.

I'm always up for a ride to the Grand Canyon.. it has to be one of the most amazing spots on earth.. certainly that i've ever seen in my few years of living on this planet.  I was to  meet Tom & Terry in Jerome, then we'd take dirt up through the perkinsville road, over to drake, then up to Ash Fork, where we'd meet Tim.

Early morning along the perkinsville road..

North toward the San Francisco peaks

We met Tim in Ash Fork, gassed up, then went north to go along the railroad tracks for a bit.  Tom had the gps tracks, but he had also given them to Terry as a backup.

After a few wrong turns, lost riders, & general confusion, we determined the problem to be with Tom's gps.  His tracks were the same color as the roads, so he couldn't tell if he was on the track, or just another road.  Terry would stop when we made the wrong turn, but it would take a while for us to get back on track.  Once we corrected the track color on Tom's gps, it was easy sailing.

Along the tracks..  this is a fun section following the train tracks.  We followed 2 different train tracks on this ride.

The trail wasn't hard.. it went up & down & treated us to some great vistas in the junipers.

The riders:  Terry, Scotty, Tim, Tom.  Riding honda xr650l, yamaha wr250x, honda xr400, & yamaha wr250r, respectively.

Our only mishap on the ride.. Terry picked up a staple somewhere along the road.  Tom had a spare tube, which we expertly changed & continued on the ride.. less than an hour, even with all the talking & gawking from the gallery.

Soon we left the train trail, & ventured into open cattle country.  We crossed many gates, which worried Terry.  Being from California, he was used to closed gates being closed trails.  Rules, regulations..  But out here, unless it is clearly  marked & padlocked, a closed gate is just for the cows.  If we can open them, we're going through.  Terry did draw the line in not wanting to cross a gate with signs warning to stay out.. no trespassing.. violators would be shot, etc.  Tom's track had us going through that gate.. following the route that the earlier Phoenix troublemakers took.  So we took the long route.. out across the open prairie, following miles of wide easy roads.. with occasional ruts & washouts to keep us alert & entertained.

Terry had the big tank.. he was the supertanker.  Tim had the smallest range, & eventually ran out.  You probably didn't know this, but the old honda xr400's are so versatile they will run on colas.

A couple of drinks for the honda, & we were back on the road.  We were getting closer to the track Tom had, which would get us back to following the train tracks.. the grand canyon railway tracks.  But dark clouds were beginning to form.  Afternoon rains are quite common this time of year.. some of the monsoons we get can be drenching.  We were heading towards those clouds.  As we followed the train tracks, we also came upon more cows.  Most of them would flee in terror from the vicious carnivores who pursued them.  But this time, Tom felt sorry for the terrified beasts, & circled around them.  Terry & Tim dutifully followed our leader who was so sensitive to the feelings of nature's gentle creatures.  But there was one who seemed to enjoy watching his quarry flee the pursuing hunter.. the morbid torturing of the victims we intended to eat.  I stayed on the trail, watching the cows scatter from the mighty hunter, like a cat toying with a mouse..

Some of the cows got seperated from the main herd.. then would realize they weren't following the group & bolt across the trail, risking death for both the hunter & the hunted.  That's how the herd instinct works.. doesn't have to be based on common sense, or what is reasonable.. just follow the herd.  ..even if it kills you.  We do that, too.

My herd was back on the trail, & the guy above made it back safely to his herd.  That is a good reason to always ride slowly & carefully through animals like this.  I've seen many cows wait motionless until you were right on them, then bolt unpredictably.

We got through this group of cows safely, then it began to rain.  We were hurrying to get to Tusayan.. we were hungry, tired, & wet.  The temperature dropped 20* & being wet didn't help, either.  It was later than planned, due to backtracking, re-routing, & flat tiring.  We ran into several dead ends.. the road was marked on the gps, but fizzled into nothing or a fence.  We finally did make it to Tusayan, gassed up & had a pizza.

We were planning to go back along the Az trail.. ..dirt trails toward Flag, but it was getting late, so we decided to slab it back home.  I turned off on hwy 180 towards flagstaff, while the rest of the crew continued toward Williams, then over to Ash Fork.  We rode all the way up to the grand canyon, but no one wanted to go see it.  Tim said he'de seen it in the rain before.  So this ride didn't really have a destination.. it was for the ride.  What about the title shot?  The first picture in this report is from an earlier ride i was on this year.. i thought i should at least have a pic of the Canyon since it is in the title of the report..  Sorry about that..

I had over 300 miles on my odo when i got home.. most of it from the pavement home.  But it is very nice to have a good street worthy bike to ride on the pavement if necessary.  Tim's xr was geared a bit low for the long ride home.  But he got back to his truck & loaded up to go back to Bullhead City.  Tom & Terry made it back to prescott.  We survived another long day ride.

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