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For the last couple months DanRider and I had been whining about the lack of fresh air, campfires and good whiskey in our lives.  So we planned to find a cure with a departure date of last Friday.  Only problem was that on Thursday afternoon I booger'd up my front wheel and caliper (another story) and took my bike 'out of play' for awhile. But a certain SDAR MotoBrother stepped in and fairly insisted I take his bike and go, so as not to leave Dan alone and unsupervised over the weekend.  Thank you Dave!

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The Flying Goose saves the day.

We thought it would be nice to ride about 700 miles and take a picture of rock Dan hadn't seen before, so we aimed at Flagstaff and gave the horses their heads.

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Apparently our horses were thirsty from the 104 degree weather and detoured to a little spot called Topock.  There were about 100 Harleys in the parking lot (literally) and easily a hundred boats.  This is one popular watering hole.  With plenty of Harley leather and Sturgis attitude to go around.

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Does this chair make my butt look big?

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Dan is in his happy place.

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And you thought motorcycles were expensive!

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Thirsts slated ... we focused on Flagstaff.  But upon arrival we decided to throw another 100 miles behind us which planted us firmly in Tuba City.   Now to find a campsite and cold beer.

Have you ever been to Tuba City?  Good.  You've not wasted a precious day of your life then.  This is a dry reservation town.  No beer for you!  So after riding 600 miles we landed at the most beautiful campsite I've ever stayed at.

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I just love the sound of fireworks popping all night instead of a real campfire.  I love drinking Pepsi with my Sonic Burger. And I love lying awake all night wondering if the bikes and gear will still be there when the sun comes up in the morning.  Fortunately Dan had flask in his gear to help take the edge off.

The next mornings sleep antidote.  Good coffee is essential.

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This fella wanted to share my oatmeal.  I don't think so.

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So off we continued and eventually found Dan's rock.  Welcome to Monument Valley Utah.fullsizeoutput_3144.thumb.jpeg.2e8cee0fcace19dd23d05ef847850d13.jpeg

Dan took his picture . . .

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Dan has eye's in the back of his head.

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... and we turned around to go home.

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... to be continued .....

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You guys picked the busiest weekend in a long time in Topock. Harley ride in Laughlin and Desert Storm boat rally in Havasu, but the weather was great for a ride. Looks like a good time except Tuba City. We stopped at that Sonic for burgers once on a ride and never again.

 

CiD

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I camped at a free site not far from Tuba City last year, it was really nice.  Too bad I wasn’t able to join y’all.

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CID, was that the Sonic we stopped at coming back from UTBDR? If so, yup, that was nasty. Very friendly employees too, if I remember correctly...NOT. 

Anyway, thanks for sharing Kelly / Dan. 

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The Kayenta MacDonald's is a regular store with courteous staff.  Twenty-five miles south of Monument Valley. I thought the Mexican Hat Motel restaurant was passable. 

      🏍️

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20 hours ago, Bagstr said:

Thanks Dave, yeh we had a 'time' issue as I only had 4 days for this trip.  DanRider pushed me hard to add another day or two --- so that we could do a proper job of camping and seeing stuff, but I couldn't, thus at 600 miles we were done for the day.  We even cut Mexican Hat and Mokee Dugway off the agenda on day two as we wanted to have more time at Grand Canyon.

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20 hours ago, Oracle said:

CID, was that the Sonic we stopped at coming back from UTBDR? If so, yup, that was nasty. Very friendly employees too, if I remember correctly...NOT. 

Anyway, thanks for sharing Kelly / Dan. 

If you could order fast food in prison, that's what this sonic would be like.

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Much of the Monument Valley and Grand Canyon area is Indian reservation land, and the locals admonished us to travel in groups for our own safety sake.  We found a proper escort and made it safely to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Dan threw several tourist over the fence so that I could get this shot of him, alone, by the creek you see running in the background.

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Whereas I may or may not have just been standing in front of a painting on the side of a hardware store . . .

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Here's the blood and guts version.  Note to self - don't buy a white helmet next time.

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Dan wanted to pee over the edge but I advised against it.  I heard 6 people have died in the last month or so, mostly from rogue wind gusts knocking people off the edge. Yikes.

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We eventually tired of all this splendor and found a proper place in the park to celebrate our success's. 

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Fortunately for us all the campgrounds were full.  So we ventured deep into BLM land outside the park entrance to find a suitable spot for fire making, whiskey testing and general Tomfoolery.

 

 

 

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A proper campfire was made by Dan while I ran to the store for the evenings sacrament. A good bottle of Knob Hill was acquired and typical campfire shenanigans transpired as we were in for the evening.

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Sunrise the next morning . . .

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Dan was already up trying to make sense of the night before.

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Don't screw with Dan in the mornings.  He will mess you up!

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I crawled out and assessed the carnage.

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Had my typical oatmeal and coffee start ...

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And hid the rest of the evidence.  Apologies to Dave DSM8 in advance (just look away Dave).

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We saddled up and pointed south.  Dan wanted to introduce me to a friend in the Chino Valley area.  

One of the great joys of Moto-Travel is the randomness of unexpected discoveries.  And John (my soon-to-be new friend) gave us a little tip on a little detour that was sure to please if we were up to it.  So off we went . . . a left turn here, a side road there, past the ranch, to the first wash, and we dismounted and commenced the short hike.

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Out there in the wild, with no signs pointing the way, no paved pathways, hand railings or interpretive signs... just 'out there' somewhere we found a wall where our ancestors spent considerable time doodling.

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A LOT!  Lot's and lot's of doodling.

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There is about 100 - 150 yards of petroglyphs along the wall.  And outside of 2 or 3 idiots that have added their own initials, it's basically unmolested.

Dan and I could tell you where it's at, but we'd have to kill you.  So don't ask.  Unless of course you have Whiskey,  

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We pulled into Johns driveway and were instructed to leave the tents on the bikes as we would be proper houseguests of theirs tonight.  Great people, living a wonderfully (hard working) country lifestyle, far from the city lights and noisey traffic we all seem to endure in southern California.  This is a working farm with a capitol W.

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Afternoon sky . . . . just gorgeous out here.

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We sampled a locally distilled whiskey and shared our best stories while John wood-smoke grilled a huge Tri Tip bathed in his own home made rub of spices. 

All in all a great evening of food and drink and heart felt hospitality.

The next morning we woke up to this . . .

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and mosey'd into town for a little breakfast.

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Sometimes the last day of a ride it's hard to stay in the moment  .  .  . and not just beat it home.  The first half of the day was wonderful, 2 lane highway through twisty nowheresville.  Perfect.  But as soon we hit the 10 --- holy cow did the wind blow!  I don't mind a little rain here and there, but the side wind ... it just beat the daylights out of us.  A guy can only ride so long with his head getting beat back and forth side to side, until you're just not having fun anymore.  We even slowed down to about 60 and turned on the flashers in an attempt to survive the heavy side winds.

We made an exit hoping to get off the freeway and ride box canyon . . . but alas . . . the gods had other plans.

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So back on the 10, into the mayhem.

As we passed Palm Springs, the wind farm, and that glorious gateway to Idyllwild on our left.  I told Dan I was done.  Gonna head into the mountains and just find a campsite for the night to relieve my aching neck!  

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Especially since the sky directly ahead of us was black as coal, and promising rain heavily mixed with our present wind storm.

But Dan would hear none of it.  Committed to the goal of a warm bed, bubbling hot tub and a wife cooked dinner -- we soldiered on.

Somewhere near Escondido we waved and gave each other a big thumbs up and the flying Goose took me home.

And a good time was had by all.

The end.

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1 hour ago, bushwacker said:

Fantastic!  How was the Stelvio?  Full candid bike review please.

I love it.  I'm 6'2" and never felt cramped.  Grant it, I tour in a full sport touring riding position (Master Yoda Riding Position ) and didn't have 'cranky butt' even after a 600 mile first day, and 1500 mile total trip.

The airflow is superb.  easily the most aerodynamic bike I've ever ridden.  The low screen looks like it could become tiring (and loud at high speed), but it's not.  Smooth clean air that flowed magically over my pudgy frame.  As for side winds, well, everything gets beat to hell in a side wind.

Power - wonderfully intoxicating from low rev's on up.  Perfectly suited power curve for commuting and touring.  North of 5,000 rpm she get's pretty angry and you better have a firm grip.  It's not an inline 4 though.  Thank goodness.

The motor has a definite character, just like Ducati L twins, and boxer engines, and Harley's have their own distinct attributes.  I grew to really really like it over the trip.  It's very thumpy up to 4k on the tach.  Almost like a 3 cylinder motor with one dead cyclinder.  But in a very cool way.  It's odd at first, and then you get to liking it . . .

And finally .... the italians know what a real motorcycle is supposed to sound like.  It sounds like a well piped Moto Guzzi.

Would I buy it? In a heartbeat ..... if I were a 3 bike guy.  I'm a GS rider. I need a 500+ mile day road bike, that I can crash on the sand and gravel trails for a few days, then go ride 500 miles back home at California highway speeds comfortably.  That's the big GS in case you don't know.  The Stelvio would not be a great choice for off pavement riding in my opinion.  My 2nd bike, if I allowed myself a second, would be an honest hard working KTM525.  For obvious reasons.  Then my 3rd would be this Guzzi.  It's the perfect hooning-around-town bike for commuting, day riding, canyon carving, and long weekend touring on pavement.

Dave may be looking for a buyer.  That's @DSM8 here if you don't know.

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Thanks for the input.  These things just seem  so cool and well equiped. I guess I"m drawn to things Italian (Beta 390, wife).The only thing is that 600 lbs..  No way I"m picking that up if I drop it. Did you get off road with it at all? I wasnn"t sure from your report.

 

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It was a great trip Kelly,  did we ever travel, I think Tuba City was the hi-light of the trip for me when I had a drunk Indian come up to me and explained that he had been in a car accident with his mom last night and she did not make it and pasted at the Hospital early in the morning.  I told him I was sorry to hear that, then he asked me for some money, I told him I did not have any, then he pointed to a ATM machine and said you can get some money from that.  Oh Brother!  Tuba City does not even have a Hospital.  

I really enjoyed the pirate camping on the BLM land outside of the Canyon Park.  

Johns wife is the hardest working lady I have ever met! she works so hard on that small farm,  who gets up at 0 4:3O to milk 9 goats and 4 cows by hand the old fashion way.  Then she feeds the chickens and seven dogs.  They live in the middle of nowhere in Paulden AZ where there is a place you still can find clean country liven. 

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27 minutes ago, danrider said:

 I think Tuba City was the hi-light of the trip for me when I had a drunk Indian come up to me and explained that he had been in a car accident with his mom last night and she did not make it and pasted at the Hospital early in the morning.  I told him I was sorry to hear that, then he asked me for some money, I told him I did not have any, then he pointed to a ATM machine and said you can get some money from that.

I hope you told him that ATM machines won't take credit cards.😎

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7 hours ago, bushwacker said:

Thanks for the input.  These things just seem  so cool and well equiped. I guess I"m drawn to things Italian (Beta 390, wife).The only thing is that 600 lbs..  No way I"m picking that up if I drop it. Did you get off road with it at all? I wasnn"t sure from your report.

 

I had a wildly romantic 2 year fling with my Ducati ST2.  It was the hot italian girlfriend.  Then I went to the hardworking german girl you want to marry.  The BMW 1150GS. Stone cold reliable, and does everything so much better than you think it could.  But no matter how hard you try, she'll never sound like a real motorcycle, and she'll never be one of the pretty ones at the dance.

You will not pick the Stelvio up by yourself.  Even with the bags off.  The boxer motor bikes win that one every single time.  The weight goes away when your moving, but unfortunately you'll need to pick it up before you can get moving again. I don't know anyone who thinks this would be a great alternative to a GS for dirty rides, and I decided not to test it.  My short unpaved section to the petroglyphs was all dry hardpacked clay.  No sand or gravel.

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