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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to share my little journey I had last month. It started with a little teaser trip up to the Sierra's last year that got our appetites ready for some more distance. It was myself and a couple of moto buddies and we decided to do a nice 1450 mile loop.

We packed up and left on a Thursday with just a quick jaunt up to Las Vegas for an evening of fun. After a quick stop outside of Barstow for some eats we made it into town a bit before 7pm. It was the perfect timing because by that point I was pretty chilly. I didn't completely layer up thinking we would've been in town a little bit early in the evening before it cooled down too much.

Here's the steed all packed up and ready to go. I haven't even left yet and I noticed the edges of my new saddle bags were already being damaged by my shocks. I grabbed the old miracle worker known as duct tape and rigged up a solution. It worked for the remainder of the trip, but luggage brackets are certainly on the wish list now.


A few miles outside of LA, I hook up with the other fellas.


We were staying in old town Vegas because my buddy runs The Beauty Bar out there, so we bypassed the strip on our way in, but once we got settled into the hotel El Cortez, we took off all the way down the strip to my favorite buffet in town!!


Let me just say to all you 49 state people....it's really a chore to NOT split lanes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We took in some sites in old town. The Fremont area is pretty cool. Old smoking casinos and interesting lurking characters. It's my kinda scene. LOL!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
More Vegas then Utah

After taking in the scene at The Beauty Bar we stumbled in some casinos. The crap's table was certainly kind to me and I left with my trip pretty much paid for!!!! Nothing to complain about there.


The next morning was a late push off understandably. We grabbed some breakfast and made our way down to check out the Hoover Dam. Our goal for the day was to check it out then turn back around and head north to Utah passing Lake Mead along the way. We were hoping to get into Utah before dark.

The Hoover Dam was a bit hectic to get down to with tourist traffic but we stopped to take a few pics.



This massive bridge they are making is sick as hell!! It's mind boggling to think about the engineering that goes into that stuff


We put our heads down and charged up the Lake Mead area and just took in the sights. We fell behind schedule and wanted to at least get to Utah to either find a campsite or hotel to crash out. Luckily we got past St. George and into the town of Hurricane (pronounced w/o the "e" i've been told). In town we got the last hotel room!!! We were kinda bummed that we weren't camping, but it was quite cold out at that point and we were exhausted. We figured a hotel room would do us some good and allow us an early morning departure.

Next stop.......Zion Nat'l Park.

....to be continued!!
 

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2004 Daytona 955i, 2018 Indian Roadmaster, 1980 CB650C in resto
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Fantastic report so far! Keep 'em coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next stop......Utah baby!!!

So our unexpected hotel stay afforded us the rest we needed and after a typical continental breakfast (english muffins were consumed), we were off!!!!! The riding was amazing. Just what i expected. Big mountains, huge rocks, blue skies.......



After waiting for a few moments at the tunnel.....


......we were in Zion Nat'l Park!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Goodbye sweet Zion.....Hello big AZ!!

After taking some time through the park we came to the exit and started to push on into Arizona. We were about a half of a day behind schedule so before getting back on the motos, we decided that we were going to have to bypass the south rim of the Grand Canyon and push forward to the Sedona area to find camping. Most of the places down there were first come, first serve and after 2 nights in a hotel room we were aching to get to some good campfire time. Now the moment of truth struck down on us. Did we want to take the low route 89 down towards Lake Powell or the high elevation route 89 through Jacob Lake????? We did what any self respecting traveler would do...........we flipped a coin.

Funny thing about elevation.....................SH&T gets cold up there!!!!!!

I again didn't layer up like I should have and by the time we got to Jacob Lake, my hands were numb, nose running like crazy and I needed some layers!!!! We stopped at a gas station, I filled up on petro, hot chocolate and a healthy dose of snowboard gear. I brought my jacket and pants for a moment like this. LOL!! After warming my body with the hot coco and thawing my hands on my exhaust pipes, we got back on the steeds and kept moving along.

After leaving elevation we started to approach Marble Canyon and the scenery started to change.....no more snow on the ground.....no more trees......just crazy red everywhere and that big blue bird sky!!!




Don't mind my best Joe Strummer impersonation....rock the casbah!!


We came to a bridge crossing over the Colorado River that presented an amazing photo opportunity!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Elevation can be the pits!!!!!

Elevation sickness is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low air pressure. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and sleep disturbance.....

.....or if you are lucky..............YOU PUKE IN YOUR HELMET!!!


After our comrade Ken cleaned himself up, I took the opportunity to take some more photos of all the contrast that surrounded me.


 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Feelin' the Vortex vibes..........

After passing Marble Canyon we start heading down into Sedona and into an area that most reminds me of back home in NY. We drop into an amazing valley with trees everywhere!!! The road snaked down into the Oak Creek area and we found a great site. Not bad for a full day of riding on a Saturday.

Bootlegger's Campsite


We set up site and took off down into Sedona for some dinner and beverage. We filled our guts at a local joint, grabbed some libations for the campsite and headed back. We retired for the evening and woke up to the sound of the creek.







After relaxing for a bit on some rocks waiting for our slow morning riser (ahhh Michael).....we were off. Today was going to be our biggest day. We were pretty much at our turning around point and our goal for the day was to make it to the Mohave Desert to set up campsite at Mitchell Caverns. Sunday looked to be a mighty long day for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bye bye Arizone.....time to get some kicks....

"Get your kicks.....on Rte. 66"

We get on the road Sunday morning before 10am and feel good about the day. Before leaving the Sedona area, we came across an interesting road vendor. The carnivores were quite happy with discovery:

Elk jerky anyone?


The gentleman who was selling those treats was quite friendly and offered up some good small talk about motos and traveling in general. He mentioned Jerome was an old mining town of some sort and we were looking forward to checking it out.

Jerome was a great little town built right into the side of a mountain.


They seems a little conservative though........LOL!


Although I'd recommend the eats!! Perfect fuel for the road ahead.
 

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Wow; I can now recognize Zion, even without ever having been there!

Love the Colorado River shot. That's a beautiful river, everywhere I've ever encountered it.

Elk jerky can be really good.

Keep the photos coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Americana........

The riding after Jerome was pretty epic. Lots of twists and turns going up and down the mountain pass. There was some traffic that held us up and times, but overall it was some solid riding. So far we had some nice twisties in Zion, Sedona and now Jerome. Not too shabby!!

At Prescott we turned north towards Ash Fork and then west back to Cali via Rte. 40 with a nice detour on Rte. 66. Long and steady was the travel......long and steady. It was pretty uneventful up until Rte. 66. Those are the times you kinda get lost in your head and unfortunately sometimes it's the point where your mind starts to think about the fact you're heading back home to life. It quickly shaken off though when we get to some interested road exhibits!!







I love how they murdered the spelling on this sign. It's supposed to be Burma Shave....haha!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Final Countdown

As stated before....the riding had become pretty grueling and we were still a good chunk away from our destination. We put our heads down and just pushed forward. Past Kingman, past Needles towards Essex. It was dark by the time we made it to our campsite, but we loaded up on the necessary libations at the truck stop before and we were all good for the night. It was pretty trippy riding up to the site through the Mohave because it was pitch black and coming right off the highway I couldn't tell what we were riding through. For some reason I felt like I was riding through a forest, but I knew I was nowhere near one. Tons of rabbits were playing chicken with us the whole way up too!!!!

Morning brought us some splendid views.


Seeing as though our comrade Ken works for the state parks we were able to score a private tour through Mitchell Caverns. I apologize for lack of pics, but I took those pics with Ken's camera and I've yet to get them back. For now you get pics from my cellphone...that kicks a$$ at day shots....not so much for night or low light situations.

Coming up to the caves you'd see the original entrance the Mitchell dude would take people through years ago.


Look Mom.............I made it out alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Leaving the caves we saw some cool lizards.....this one was apparently in the "mood" cuz she was putting on quite the push up show. I wasn't aware of lizard's little mating dance. It was funny as hell to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Before leaving our campsite and heading back to LaLa land, we hiked up a little and found a cool tub the Mitchell guy made back in the day.


Some great views from up there.


And a little desert vegetation.


 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We decided to head south back into Essex and travel some more on Rte. 66 but then get off at Amboy to shoot down into the Joshua Tree area. Travel was a little boring at times with tons of semi's shooting tar in our faces, but we made up for it with some quality grub at The Crossroads in Joshua Tree. I highly recommend it to those in the area!!

By the time we reached Joshua Tree all 3 of us were pretty road torn. It was our last push home and it was great to see all the sites. Looking back on the trip, I am quite satisfied with what we accomplished. It was a pretty good mix of sight seeing and exciting motorcycle riding. I'll be sure to do a lot more traveling by moto for years and years to come.

An abandoned market in Essex. The funny thing was we thought there might have been a place to eat there. LOL!


We came into the town of Amboy........population 2 (not including the ram)




Good eats in Joshua Tree!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I remember thinking to myself when we were out in the middle of nowhere on Rte. 66 about where that dinosaur was in the Pee Wee movie. LOL!!! Low and behold......it happened to be on our way home!!!!!

"Tell'em Large Marge sent ya!!!"




Until next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Jay-
 

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Excellent!

Wow what a great report, and some breathtaking pictures. I love seeing the scenery from these reports, but the personal touches like pics of the resort and food really add a lot! Thanks for sharing :thumbsup:
 

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Great shots and story.

That was really entertaining! Good stuff! I'm also happy to see that the dinos are still there. I had heard that they were torn down a few years back.
Your travelogue is inspiring me to make a similar trip when the weather cools off this fall. Did you need to make reservations or just find campsites along the way?
Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thx for the comments everyone!! This trip was amazing and I'd do it all over again with the exception of getting some sort of screen on the moto. LOL!! 1450 miles of head bobbin' put a nice crink in my neck, but it was nothing my chiro couldn't crack outta me the first day back. Haha!!

As far as reservations, I've found that a lot campsites are "first come, first serve" type of establishments, but on the few moto trips I've been on, I've never had any trouble finding a site. I've been lucky to put myself in areas that offer many options for sites. We'd literally pull into a site, find the camp host and if it was booked we'd just push on down the road to the next site. Sooner or later we'd get a spot. For this trip though, our Mohave site was being held for us because one of the gentlemen that was traveling with me works for the state parks and had the park ranger "hold" us a spot just in case it filled up.

Now that I've officially taken a few hits of the touring "crack pipe", I'm already planning more trips. I'm really fortunate to be in SoCal with so many amazing Nat'l forests within a couple of hours away. My next trip I think is going to be up the coast past Malibu into the Los Padres National Forest. Looks like there's LOTS of mountain roads to explore up there!!!!! http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/lospadres/

I'll be sure to do another ride report for sure!!!!

Ride safe out there everyone.

ROLL FOREVER
 

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Great write up

Steve
 
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