Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Indian Country 2011

As 2011 progressed reasons for riding around the southwest began piling up. First, I had been at home for a while and needed to get out in the world. Second, there was a motorcyle get-together brewing in mid June in southwest Co. Third, AAA maps describes Indian country as a swath of the southwest thru Ax,Ut,NM, and Co where interesting thing to see abound.

I'd been there several times, but there was much that I hadn't seen. I completed 3 weeks and 3000 miles in IC. I saw a lot....and as it's big country, there is still enough left for another trip next year....and probably another and then another. :clap

As many of you know I live in southern Ca a little north of San Diego. The equipment remains the same. I'd be taking the DS bike with me as well.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's an 1100cc Honda doing the heavy lifting, and the DR350 is for the light work. Primarily this was a camping trip with light use of a motel here and there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


The trailer is homebuilt from V65 Sabre trailing arms, and it uses disk brakes from the same bike in a surge brake fashion. The trailer tongue compresses and applies the brake.
From Odds and ends

Disk brake
From Odds and ends


I've got 3 years and about 15000 miles on this trailer setup towing. I consider it pretty well tested by now. I used a Sabre fork for the sliding tongue.
From Odds and ends


.......anyway, enough about the rig....let me tel you about the ride. It began on June the second......

I planned for three weeks on the road. I'm retired and have retired riding buddies, so I asked several of them if they wanted to join me for some or all of the trip. I got a few takers....4 to be exact.

First was Doug who rides an ST1100, a man I've known since High school. Another High school buddy, Arnold rides another V65 Sabre like mine, and Mike Daugherty on another V65, and the last was 'Nip' Morgan on a Harley.

We planned a meetup at Chaparral Motorcycles in San Bernadino Ca as that was central to the first four riders, then we would meet Nip at Tecopa Hot Springs as he'd be coming from Lone Pine, Ca.

I've had good memories of Tecopa from ride there over the last 10 years. The Hot springs there used to be free and camping across the street was inexpensive.

We made the connection in Tecopa after a nice run from Chaparral. The weather was 90 degrees at the worst...as good as could be expected for early June.
The boys in the shade at Tecopa...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

...and Me
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Arnold left, Doug right...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

They even had a horseshoe pit with Horseshoes there under that tree. Mike taught me that it's a younger mans game...:freaky
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This is Tecopa vibrant down town today :rofl
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Post office next door...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Some of the building burned a few years ago...and the rest was abandoned to go to oblivion.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Nip showed up with info that the inexpensive camp ground was $16 per person and the free hot springs was now $7.50 each. Nothing good lasts forever. Nip had also stopped a few miles away in Shoshone and found us a campsite for 30 bucks total that included a swimming pool with warm water. We went for that.
But before we went to The Shoshone campground we tooka 10 mile ride out to China Ranch.
A bit of dirt road was involved...sort of an adventure ride....about 3 miles of dirt, but good dirt.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

China Ranch started in the days of the early mines in Death Valley supplying geen foods to the miners as there was a fresh water. Today it's a tourist destination owned by one of Nevada's political families. The story goes that the chinaman who started the place just vanished one day, and then the Nevada boys owned it.
They have a museum there and gift shop as well as an ice cream counter where Date Shakes are their specialty.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I don't know why I don't have a picture of the Gift shop and relics around the place.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The original ranch house is in those trees
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Arnold got himself in some soft sand at one point, and made a 5 mph drop of his Faired Sabre. It's a rat bike so the loss of a turn signal didn't phase him. No picture....
After the Date Shake we went to the campsite in Shoshone. Pretty nice and with grass to camp on. There were no tents as the air was clean and no rain in sight. That's my finger in the picture.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The date shake late in the afternoon covered my evening meal requirement. A couple of the boys went to Shoshone for a burger. I blew up my red air mattress with my air pump (DR350). Any small necked bottle (like a gas additive) will do as an adapter. If 'pump up' is started with a cold bike no melting follows.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Evening was passed with a dip in the 95 degree pool and by solving world problems....
In the morning as we went thru Shoshone we noted the Sheriff station. Love a small town.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Shoshone also has a Cafe/bar and motel as well as a gas station and Post office.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We'd be in Fredonia that evening posed to see the north Rim of the Grand Canyon the next day.............I'd never been there. I'd been seeing Toroweap on maps for year. This would be the year that the mystery destination would be disclosed.

We left Shoshone at about 9am heading east toward Pahrump. We figure to have breakfast there. It's only about 30 miles and we'd get some gas for good measure.

We hit the Main street in Pahrump and turned toward Vegas. I figured to find food and gas out that way. Soon we were approaching the outskirts of town without any satifaction.

One of us found a bakery where we stopped for a confab. Seems we would make do with a muffin and Nip told us there was gas in 40 miles. We all had enough to get there so we stuffed down a muffin with coffee and hit the road for Vegas.
...Outside the Bakery...the first picture of Nip, Doug on the right.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Arnold had had a low battery yesterday at Chaparral. He check his battery terminals, and tightened them. The bike started then so he figured all was well, but this morning his battery was acting up again so he decided to pull out of the trip.....and Doug decided to go with him to make sure he got back to Los Angeles ok. That knocked us back to 3 riders.

We only had about 300 miles to cover today so we scheduled some sight seeing. We'd take the Red Rock turn off that cut back north about 10 miles from I-15 and goes thru the Red Rock State park. That's always a ride to relive no matter how often you've been there.
Pre Red Rock mtns along the way....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I'd like to walk up everyone of those canyon....wishful thinking...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I've skipped a few pictures, but I can't pass up this one.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Here are the red rock of the state park. If you're in Vegas go west out Charleston Ave to see the State Park. It's only 6 pr 8 miles out there and it's worth it.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We wanted to avoid Downtown Vegas and as we drove toward town on Charleston there is a new belt Fwy that circles the town on the west side. We took it to North Las Vegas where we would look up Scott Corsaro who works at a Dyno shop at the Las Vegas Speedway. I'd never been there either.
My GPS didn't know the beltway had been completed so it routed us thru some of North Las Vegas that we didn't need to see. But we eventually got to the Dyno shop.
I had no idea that the speedway was such a complex of speed related commercialism. On the way to the Dyno address we passed Shelby's museum and shop. Hummmm....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I met Scott thru Scott's brother back when I was still working. The Corsaro brothers are two of the young men that give me faith that the world is in good hands for the future.
We approach the shop...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Inside Scott gives us a tour...scott's in the foreground. :evil
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

These guys work on anything. Makes me realize how little I know about bikes. Here a Harley complete with oil drip pan
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We had quite a tour at Scott's and Nip got a quote on changing his Harley over to tapered roller bearings and a gear cam drive. I think I got that right.

So after the Dyno shop we decided to go see Shelby's museum. I like cars. Here's Mike out front
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Inside we saw this retro car.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Here's the motor like is in that car. Imagine a motor with it's own shock absorbers. Scheesh!
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This little memento is worth big bucks as well.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Believe me we could fill this report with Shelby stuff, but we had to get on the road. We headed north on I-15 to the Valley of Fire road and took it out toward Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire State park.
More great scenery coming up....dropping down into the park.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There's 30 miles of Red Rocks, hieroglyphs and arches..here are a few photos.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

They built a stairway up to the glyphs
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Might be petroglyphs I can't keep them straight.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Bikes from the stairs
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

After the Valley of Fire we high tailed it back to I-15...here we approach The Virgin River Gorge north of Mesquite Nevada
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The Virgin River George is as good as it get....we see a lot of 'as good as it gets' in the next couple of weeks.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's Nip and Mike back there as we near the end of the gorge.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

A view of the river as we exit the gorge.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We've screwed around and getting to Fredonia in a timely fashion is already out the window, So I called the Grand Canyon Motel where I have a room reserved to beg them for patience. They were cool with it.
Just one more gorge picture..
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We put our heads down and got down to the business of getting to Fredonia. I had 2 rooms reserved but since Doug and Arnold had crapped out I had to get them to settle for me just getting one room. They said no sweat...that they'd rent it as it was a Friday night. I've stayed there before. A single is 38 bucks. They gave us a room with three beds for 50 bucks....Way cool. and free internet with no security key.

We walked several blocks down the street for dinner which was very good. It had been a very good day traveling.

The morning came with a clear sky, and there was adventure in the air. Before today our ride had consisted of the anticipation of seeing the North Rim.

I know that the North Rim is no big deal....unless you've never been there. We noticed as we left the Motel that there were quite a few bikes at the motel last night...maybe we would meet some of them when we got back.
......never did meet this one's owner
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Very creative in the Dir signal department :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There was this pair. The sweet Harley belonged to a gal bike writer.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

An extra clean Hawk
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

........and his riding partner. This gals husband had the trike built for him when his health wouldn't allow him to ride 2 wheels any longer. Sadly he died, so he left it to her.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


So we grabbed coffee and a roll at the gas station in Fredonia. It would be about 70 miles out to the Rim. 28 miles to the Jacobs Lake turnoff then 40+ miles on to the big ditch. We really didn't know the gas situation out there but we all had a 200 mile range.
I only get about 30mpg when I'm towing, but prolly high 30s when I leave the DS bike behind which I did for this run. We'd spend another night at the GC Motel so the trailer would be safe there.
The ride to the rim is a great ride. Good roads in the season (Sometime in May to middle of October). The elevation is around 8 to 9 thousand feet, so it's snowed in and the park is closed during the winter.
Lots of open fields, Pine Forests, and twisties.

Finally we arrived at the rim.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I tried to do all the photos in stitched Panoramas to give you a better look see.....but as you know, it's hopeless to capture the magnificence with a photo.
Here's my contribution.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There's actually a hiking trail down this valley, I think it's this valley, that goes 6000ft down to the river, and a bridge for crossing, then a trail back up to 7000 ft to the South Rim Natl park. I'll leave that for a younger man. :rofl
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Boys will be boys. :1drink
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

You just can't stop yourself from snapping off picture after picture. At least I couldn't.
There's a window rock out there that is fantastic. Note the very small people on top of the rock.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The bigger picture...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

More GC pictures at the link under each photo...if you haven't seen enough yet.
That gives you a sampling of the sights from the North Rim. Of course we moved east on the 15 mile road along the rim to Cape Royal, and the 3 mile spur road to Pt Imperial, as well.
There are also a lot of dirt roads in the park and nearby Kaibab Natl Forest.
I'll show you some of that on tomorrows Toroweap adventure....Adventure is the key word.

There's a magnificent lodge at Bright Angle Point and a gas station convenience store halfway to the point and even more at the Jacobs lake turn off. There's camping at both those places as well.
I've found that nothing is really busy during our recession, but for the north rim you'd have to ask before you went there to be sure.

We numbed ourselves out with spectacular sites. Before we left the rim new sites were just 'ho hum' events. :D

We all rode back to the motel and arrived there around 6pm. At one point of the ride I lost a map out of my tank bag window. I turned around and went back for it. I got off the bike and retrieved the map, and in my haste to not worry the guys about where I was, I left my kick stand down.
I'm terrible about that if I get in a hurry....or later in the day when I'm tired. Well, this time I didn't notice it till I was in a big left had sweeper at about 60mph.
Oh shit, I recognized the symptom right away. I've crashed doing this same thing before. I'm sure I was in panic mode. The right thing to do is to hang way off the bike on the left....then you can most likely make the turn without leaning more.
....but I was lucky, I just leaned harder and that forced the kickstand to give way before it pole vaulted me into oblivion. Wow, luck beats good.

Back at the motel we relaxed a while before going out for Bread and hot dogs for a dinner at the motel room.
We also met many of the riders of the other bikes at the motel. Nice folks.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


The North Rim did not disappoint..... I could go back there for another visit.

So today is Sunday. We'd been out since last Thursday. Mike being the youngest is still part of Americas work force. He decided that he's seen the North Rim so it was time to get back to work in Down town LA.
He's riding a clean V65 Sabre with a 100000 miles on the Engine. He rebuilds his own stuff, and keeps it pristine....unlike me. He left at first light, and reported a safe trouble free return trip. That's always good news.

Nip and I were left to continue the trip. I had told Nip that I was going to Toroweap, and he said that he'd ride around Kanab and Panguich for the day. Cool.

I unloaded the bike and got my tools strapped to the back. My DR is a 94 and it's got about 30000 miles. It's been Reliable, but you never know.
It had a new chain and tires, but the carb had been giving me trouble with particals in the orifices. So I took tire repair tools and enough stuff to disassemble the carb.
It had a 4 gal tank and I figured it was good for at least 50 mpg. That gave me a 200 mile range and Toroweap was about 80 miles away. I should have had plenty.
I had no idea of what Toroweap was. It could have been an indian Village with gas for all I knew.
As it turned out the round trip was 140 miles out and back to Fredonia. That included the 10 miles of pavement....Toroweap 61 miles
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Here's the first picture of the DR just after it crapped out 20 miles into the trip. Double Darn!
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's a lonesome feeling right there. :cry
I had lots of time so I got to it. There is a place that is awfully tight to getting the garb out of it location. I dropped the carb on that operation. A quick check showed no damage...possibly too quick.
I was happy to find a big bugger in the main jet. I cleaned that out and reassembled the bike. The bike started right up.....but it wasn't running right at the low RPM. Oh well, it was running. I suited up and continued....
Somehow, I miss read a Natl Forest sign. I took the wrong fork and went about 10 miles before I was convinced that the lack of Toroweap on successive signs meant that I was going the wrong way.
I stopped on a hill and checked my map. Oh there's where I went wrong. Humm ....the bike would start now but die when I gave it any throttle. I was on the hill so I Bump started it and got it above the idle point so it would run for me.
I began to figure that I'd need to go back into the carb sooner or later. I'd just added 20 miles to my trip. Coupled by a lower ratio with the new sprockets on the bike, and the bike running bad I wasn't so sure about the mileage anymore.
Now I'm back on the right road. The bike runs strong if I'm on fairly hard throttle, but coming off of deceleration the bike stumbles till I hit it again. It was ride-able, but not real fun.
Anyway I stuttered and stumbled out the next 30 mile to the last 5 miles of jeep road out to Toroweap. A car that I stopped to talk with said there was no gas there....and he gave me a weird look.
The bike was harder to ride at the slower speed. I finally pulled into a campground which was all that was out there. Toilets but no water...I believe that's what you call primitive. Yeah Primitive is what you call it. :freaky:lol3
I decided to look for summat in the low speed jet, that I didn't check earlier, in the shade of that small tree.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There was one guy in the Campground with his wife. He was nearly at my geezer Stage of life. Turn out Gery with a 'G' was from New Youk, and his business was restoring old air cooled Porsches. Well, we had something to talk about. Air cooled German cars.
I was lucky to Have Gery there as he was travling in an 85 VW van. He had a lot of tools with him and he had the small screw driver that I needed to get the low speed jet out of the carb.... I never found anything wrong with the carb so I put it back together and sure enough it ran just like it did when I rode into the campground. Another double darn was uttered.
I still had a 1/2 mile to get to the rim of the Co River. so I bid Gery a good trip, and rode down to the River's canyon Rim. I finally figured out why There was a place Called Toroweap. It's the easiest place to get down to the River in a 100 miles in both direction. There's a trail down to the river, I learned later.
Here's Toroweap....to the east
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

...across the River to the south
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

...Kinda to the west
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The rim there is only about 3000 ft above the river....that's what makes it easy to get to the river. In the old days if you lived in this area, you run down there once a day for water. :rofl

It was 2:30. I needed to get out of there. I fired it up and nursed it off of idle. That process was taking a couple minutes of starting then giving it a little throttle then it dying...repeat, repeat ad nauseam.

I figured to just stay with it till I was out of there. The scenery was just as good on the way out. I Stopped at about 120 miles an leaned the bike over to get the gas from the right side of the tank into the left side. That's necessary if you don't have dual petcocks. Of course, I had to shut it down to do that, but I did it on a hill for insurance with the restart.
I could see in the tank that I was running low, and about 10 miles short of the pavement I ran out of gas. Hummmm....more lonesomeness insued. :cry
Don't that look pitiful?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I contemplated my navel for a while...about 15 minutes, when A guy and his wife came along. He said, "sure get in', when I asked for a lift. I didn't need to be asked twice.
My plan was to go get my street bike and trailer and come get the DR. We had a nice half hour ride to Fredonia. Turns out the guy was a boy and lived here in the 50s when the main road was still dirt. He had walked all over this area as a boy. Their answer to public transportation back in the day was to get to the road before the postman came by cause he would give anyone out there a ride.
I asked about an old corral that we were going by. He said it was a central location where all the valley's sheep came to to get their shearing done. I enjoyed the time I spent with the guy, and was real grateful for the lift.

There was no incident with the DR retrieval ....prolly took me an hour to get the bike. All systems were go, and I was happily back at the motel by 7pm. Nip showed up at about that time.
We yacked about our days as we finished the hot dogs of the night before. I had some Ramen Noodles to add to the meal.
......all in all, it was another good day. Tomorrow we'd move to the Navajo Natl Monument.

Nip had come back with a story last night of spending time having lunch next to a custom bike shop. He talked to the owner for a while.
I had visions of pulling my DR's carb and going thru it again in this shops parking lot and borrowing their compressed air to blow out the passages.
To that end we went riding North on 89 Thru Kanab nearly to Glendale.....without finding said bike shop. Finally we gave up, but all was not lost. We'd just done 60 miles of new country to me while riding in perfect condition. Whats not to like about that?
Here's what we saw. You can't beat southern Utah!
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Some of those Cliff alcoves have been used..
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

While we looked for the bike shop, I had been thinking about how to blow that carb out with the small electric tire pump that I carried with me, after all that thing goes to 200 lbs.
I figured that I'd buy a blow gun and a tubeless tire valve stem. I'd hook them together with a 4' piece of gas hose that I carry with me. The gas hose would be my air tank. It worked pretty good. It gave me a short blast of 50 PSI air every 10 seconds. Now I was ready for that carb problem. :clap
Here's a picture...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We decided to skip the bike shop since we couldn't find it. :norton We turned around and back tracted to Fredonia and then went on toward Jacobs lake and the Navajo Bridges 89A.
Let me say that the weather on this trip had been wonderful so far. Sunshine and in the 80s at the elevations we were running around in very little wind. I hoped that the weather Gods continued along with us.
89A east of Jacobs Lake is another scenic ride down the mountain and then breaking out on the high mesa that houses the deep gorge of the Co River west of Lake Powell. The Vermilian Cliffs are spectacular on the left with wide open spaces to the right, all done in brilliant earth tones.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We had breakfast at a place called 'Clff Dwellers'. It was a small motel and Cafe. It had been there a long time. I asked where were the cave with the Indian ruins. The joke was on me. The waitress said that there were no Indian ruins. The Cliff Dwellers were the people of the motel as they were so close to the Vermilian Cliffs out back. :norton
From Indian country Feb '10

From Indian country Feb '10

On to the Navejo Bridges and Lee's Ferry... This is the Co River Gorge that the Navajo bridges cross.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Speaking of Lee's Ferry.....apparently Lee was kinda exiled to run the Ferry since he had massacred a bunch of Mormon men women and children, in his care, over near St George. He tried to get away with it by sticking arrows in the victim's bullet holes and blaming it on the local indians. Read more....
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Lee#Mountain_Meadows_massacre[/url]
.....on the way into Lee's Ferry
From Indian country Feb '10


We moved on across the bridge to Bitter Springs where we doubled back toward page Az.
From Indian country Feb '10

That took us up a 3000 ft Mtn and thru a remarkable gap.
The wind had begun to pick up about an hour ago, and was blowing 30 to 40 mph. A hard head wind will slow me down to where I can't pull sixth gear. I struggled with that for the last 2 hours....seemed like 6hrs.
To compound my problem, I'd put a car tire on my bike in order to get better tire mileage. The tire was 1.5 inches larger which weaken my bikes pull. I struggled on over to the N N Monument 100 miles away.
The NNM is 10 miles off the beaten path, and their free camping is a little know fact. Seems like the Indians like to give up rights to certain Indian ruin area so that the Federal protection will keep the treasure hunters at bay. Usually the Indians retain certain rights to the areas, and often stipulate that they maintain free camping.
Museums and scientific foundation were as bad as anyone in the past 100 years or so. They'd come in and do a bunch of collecting and take the artifact out with them to study, and then put them on display in a museum somewhere. The Indian would like to have all that stuff back.
Anyway the Indians and the feds have a tense working relationship in these areas. They're working it all out, I guess.

We got into the Visitors Center before it closed for the night. We learned that there was a walking tour in the morning to the Betatakin ruin which we signed up for. [url]http://www.jqjacobs.net/southwest/betatakin.html[/url]

We went on to a campsite and set up for an early set up at 5pm.
From 2011 SM4C

It's a pretty nice campground...bathrooms and potable water.
From 2011 SM4C

We had time so we ran back the 10 miles to the intersection of 160 and picked up the makins for a Spaghetti dinner. It consisted of a lb of pasta, a pint of spaghetti sauce and a lb of frozen hamburger.
Nip found a place on his engine to put the hamburger in order to thaw it out on the way back to camp. It Thawed half of it out by the time we got to camp. :rofl
I crank up one of my Alcohol stoves to cook the Spaghetti, and another to cook the hamburger with the sauce. For a first timer, the dinner was great. Truthfully a can of Spaghetti in sause would have been as good. :D
We went to bed thinking about the 2 mile hike to Betatakin in the morning....

Betatakin
The Navajo Natl monument is all about appreciation of the Indian Culture. We got up and made our guide tour commitment at 10:30. We missed the 8am tour by over sleeping.
We were going into this Canyon by foot.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

An Indian ranger gal was our guide. She was knowledgeable and pleasant. Here's one of the places where she gave us info about the Native use of the herbs of the area.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From near the top we can see the trail below.......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Nip and I both survive the going down part in good spirits.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The ceiling of that alcove was consider unstable so we didn't get any closer than the last picture. That was cool. The ranger told us all that they knew, (or thought) about the Indians that lived there.
She said that the women did the masonry work here, and there were about 25 families there....and of course many of the stories have fallen down
Peculiarly, the Indian lived here in the 13th century, but thru carb dating these ruins were used for less than fifty year. That's extremely short as many cliff dwelling in the southwest were centuries old.
Here's my best picture.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Also everywhere we looked on the ground near the ruins were lots of pot shards.
Looking across the canyon from the ruins.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We got ourselves up the 800 ft back to the Visitor's Center. It wasn't too bad. This Indian maid was in the VC weaving a rug. That's a couple of months worth of work by the time she's finished.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

......and here's another artist selling small painting. He could really capture a scene...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There were donation bowls for the artists and another for the VC. I chose to give a small donation to the artists.

There's another Ruin known as Keat Seel with an overnight walking tour to it. It's eight miles away, and you have to carry everything in for the night. That's at least 2 gallons of water. I Don't know if I can do that...but I'm thinking about it. :eek1 Maybe next year when I grow up. :D

Later that day the ADVriders, the Tuckers, rolled into camp just across the street from us. They were on their way to Alaska's DtoD rally in Dawson City.
They had been forewarned, about me, by Gery with an E. Small world.
...Look at those classy BMWs. James and Colleen were great to spend an evening with.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Another nice day was had. We would spend another night there camping, then move on to Canyon De Chelle tomorrow...

Valley of the Gods
Canyon De Chelle was only a hundred miles away, and before I went down there 70 miles south of 160, I wanted to go north of Kayenta thru Monument Valley to Mexican Hat.
I wanted to run the Valley of the Gods road that curls around to the base of the Moki Dugway.
Today was to be the day, but I had to get the DR going first. When I filled the bike up from the out of gas situation, it wouldn't start. I got up early and ripped the carb off again...I was getting good at it by now.
As I looked the carb over I found a bugger in the float needle....and something that I'd missed before. When I dropped the carb out on the trail the other day, it fell on a capped off vacuum nipple and cut a hole in the rubber vacuum cap.
Crap all I had to do is plug that hole and all would be well. Sure enough the DR ran like a scalded dog when I got it back together.
Now I was ready for the Valley of the Gods road. :clap

The real Valley of the Gods

Nip and I rode out of camp by 9:30 to another ideal day. We made the first 30 mile destination to Kayenta, and stopped at MD's for breakfast and a bit of internet catch up.
We agreed to go our separate ways for the day and meetup tonight at the campground at Canyon De Chelle.
It was 45 miles of pavement out to Mexican Hat so I towed out there thru Monument Valley. Lately I've been there 3 or 4 times, but I took pictures again as I rode. Pictures thru there are always different due to cloud and sunlight conditions....so here are my latest.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I was struck with how much this one looked like an Indian maid.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I unloaded in Mexican Hat and started out on the V of G road about 10 miles east of town. The road is only 16 miles long going over to 261....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The road is ride-able by any bike, but there is a lot less stress on a lighter DS motorcycle.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This is BLM land so dispersed 'free' camping is allowed out there. Lots of rock fire rings show evidence of over nighters. It's very clean with no trash of any kind.....and lots more natural monuments.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Almost to soon I find myself at Hwy 261 looking at the cliff that hosts the 'Moki Dugway'.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

looking down...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From the top....That building down there is the 'Valley of the Gods B & B'.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Once on top I had to make the 6 mile ride west to Muley Point. Camping here is also possible with all of MV in the background.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's the San Juan River down there. See that little bit of water there on the right?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Well at a 10 power zoom you can see folks having a ball down there. :freaky
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's John Brown road there below the cliff. I won't get there this trip, but I will someday.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Note the fire ring...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I headed back to Mexican Hat. Along the way I got off the main road to capture the MH rock.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Behind the rock hides the San Juan River as well as that magnificent patterned hillside.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I went back thru Monument Valley toward Kayenta. Note the different colors of the scenery later in the day.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


The wind kicked up again on the road from 160 to Many Farms (Many Farms is an Indian Town). There was quite a bit of blowing sand, but it was only 60 miles long.
I was happy to be in the shaded campground of Canyon De Chelle. The large trees provided shelter from the wind. Nip showed up shortly, and we went into the town of Chelle, and enjoyed Burger King's finest for dinner.
Did I mention that it's a free campground.....? :evil

Canyon De Chelle, South Rim

We planed to spend a full day riding the south Canyon Rim looking at the beautiful red Canyon and it's cliff dwellings. We left in the morning for the ride along the rim. It's roughly 20 miles out with a half dozen view sights from the rim and one that allows you to walk down into the canyon.
Here are scenes from the South Rim. With the north rim included there is about 40 miles of canyon bottom with a bunch of tillable land for crops. There is a ruin in that alcove on the left
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Indians still live and work the land down there. The park services runs all sorts of guided tours, taking care not to bother the residents....often thru an active stream, by the way. It's not cheap though. Ruins in the far wall.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

One of the ruins called the 'White House' allows you to visit. The walk is just over 2 miles total with a 700 ft elevation change. It's a tester. :eek1
Here we start down...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The trail is interesting. Nip waving for the folks...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

A second tunnel....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally at the bottom
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Sometimes there is a lot of water, and a bridge is required.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We round a wall down there and are greeted with these Indians trying to make a living. It was the last thing that I expected, but I don't blame them...money rules.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There's the White House, and look at that humongous cliff.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's as close as we could get....gotta respect how fragile that stuff is, as well as how many people want to see it.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Nip and I tried to see the hand holds and path that the Indians used to get to the second level for some time. Later a ranger told us that the bottom level was five stories high when folks were living here. We felt kinda dumb after that. :rofl
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

....and I was there. :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

......We start back up the hill...There are a few benches in a bit of shade along the way. You feel pretty good sitting on one of those benches. Then another geezer comes along but you're still sitting there. They go on by.
Well, payback is hell at the next bench, and those folks that just passed you by are sitting there on the bench that you would die for. :evil:evil
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Our trail is gradual and winds around a lot, very gradual decent. We watched a pair of teen age kids just taking a direct route down the hill like this picture. They said they had to tend the sheep after school. They didn't even know the hill was there. :huh
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We finished out the day running out to Spider Rock. This rock has been in many commercials. I think one had a jeep on top of it. My camera ran out of battery so go here to see Spider Rock. It's the third picture down.
http://www.sacredlandtours.com/naztours.html

Back at camp we prepared hamburgers for dinner.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Alcohol stoves performing as hoped...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Fed well, we went to bed happy. Tomorrow we'd head out the North rim to see the sites and then head for Albuquerque. Taos is in the distance. I've never been there.

THE SECOND WEEK FROM CANYON DE CHELLE

Today's route

View Larger Map
I've dabbled around Albuquerque in the past, but not near enough. So today we went out along Canyon De Chelle's north fork. We spent till 11am looking at more rim shots of the beautiful Canyon.
Here's another ruin....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Indians lived here long before the Spanish of Coronado's time. And of course this was Mexico's land up till little over a 100 years ago, so the Indians and the Spanish have had a long running battle over the years. Even the French, who ruled Mexico for a while got in their licks at the Indians. It's no wonder the Indians sot out hard to get at places to live.
There's a park plaque of a dwelling that is call 'Two Fell' along the cliff top. It's a small alcove some 50 feet from the rim. Story has it that some Spanish soldiers had gotten into the alcove to do a bit of massacring, and one soldier was surprised by an Indian woman that caught him not looking. she knocked him off the ledge. The 'Two Fell' 500 ft to the canyon floor.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Current Indian hogan down there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


After we left the CdeC we travels on the couple hundred miles thru Window Rock and Gallup to Abq. There was a lot of photo worthy scenery, but I had trouble with my camera as I shot while riding, and couldn't look at the shots that I took. I didn't know that the camera was malfunctioning.

We arrived in ABQ around 5pm. It had been running in the High 90 degrees. We decided that it was motel time. We'd last showered 5 days ago in Fredonia. It was time to clean up and catch up on the Net. The night in the motel was well deserved........

ABQ/TAOS AREA
This is the ABQ/Taos area, and where We/I traveled for the next several days.

View Larger Map

CALDERA AND BANDELIER PARK


That morning we abused the motel for their free breakfast and coffee, and prolly got out of there by 8am. First we headed over to long time biker friends Steve and Linda who lived on the north side of town.
It was hard to get past their 4 nice bikes in the garage. A '98 ST1100 with 16000 (for sale, PM me for info), a Veradero, a KLR, and Steve has a nice liter Sport bike.
In spite of all those nice bikes they still talk to me. :rofl It was great to see them again, but I had ulterior motives. They both know the local roads from a moto point of view.
They got their maps out over a fresh pot of coffee, and we talked roads from ABQ to and around Taos. They routed us on the little roads where the things to be seen were. It worked out very well.
We found out that they are eager to get relocated to Colorado where they bought a few acres last year. Steve is retired and Linda needs to find a good Job up there. They figure sometime around next spring.
We were on the little roads on the way north on 550 then 4 by the Caldera and past Bandelier Park.
On the way, hardly 30 miles out of town, we stumbled into these hot spring like deposited.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


In general we just tooled up the road looking at olden times, and great twisties in the mtns. It was a great day and we were high enough that the temps were moderate.
There were big fires in Northwestern AZ and NM but the smoke that was bad earlier in the week wasn't bad while we were there.
Not far into the mountain we stopped at a view point over looking 'the Caldera'. A caldera is a huge earth crust explosion usually. In this case it's a bowl 10 miles wide and 15 miles long. This one is grassy with no trees. It's protected from hunting and has a large herd of Elk out there.
If you noticed the little animals at all, a mile or more out there, you'd think it was cattle, but signs will correct you if you read them.
They are still little even with my 10 power zoom.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Some other bikes pulled up while we were there. One of them on an FJR said, "I've seen you and that trailer rig on ADVrider". He took a hard look at it up close, thinking that pulling a DS bike with him to Alaska later this summer interested him.
We moved on. Next we passed the entrance to Bandelier Park. I wasn't going to stop thinking it was a day use place with camping. Nip hauled me down and said that we should go there as he'd been there, and it was a good deal more than I expected.
As we entered the Park the Ranger asked if I was going down to the lower level...if I was, I couldn't take the trailer down there. Huh?? OK, I found a place and parked it, then we went the several miles down to the Visitors Center slash gift center.
I'm really glad we stopped at the park as there were major ruins and cliff dwelling down there.
Here's the major Round House. It was surrounded by probably hundreds of cliff residences. Many of which were hollowed out soft rock rooms.
These pictures will explain.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Cliff hollowed out dwellings. The cliffs even look soft.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There was also lots of masonry housing at the base of the cliffs a few stories high.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Perhaps the most complete of all the ruins.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The holes show where roof beams were plugged into the wall for stories no longer in existence.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


After leaving Bandelier we enjoyed curves all the way to Penasco where we had dinner.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Evening approached. We needed food and a campground about the time we rolled into Penasco. There was a small Mex Food trailer on the right.
The place wasn't much but the food was good.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I asked the owner where I could take a wizz. He said to go out behind the dump truck around back....my kind of place for sure. :freaky
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There were a couple Mex seniors there when we got there. We asked about camping. The eager one said sure, go thru town make a turn and go a couple miles to a National forest campground.
I tried that and got about a mile out of town on a dirt road....hummm .....this can't be right. I stopped and asked some Indian/mexicans at a ranch where the campground was. They said it was a few miles further on that dirt road.
I elected to go back to Pavement and look for a campground over there which we found inside of 10 miles. We had camp set up by 7:30. I don't think I lasted to 9pm before my lights went out.

Red River, Wagon Mound, Springer and more tomorrow......

We woke to more wonderful weather. The nights are cold at altitude. Nip is on the verge of being cold. He's resorted to sleeping with all his clothes on including his long undies. Complicating his sleeping is a leak in his permarest mat.
Finally we soaped his mat up and found his leak and put tire patch cement on the hole which stopped the leak. Nip was now hopeful of better nights sleeping to come.
There is a 100 mile figure 8 couple of loops in the Taos Mtn for a great ride of the area. We would do most of that today.
Here we are at a historic building just outside of Penasco...Nip and his Harley make a great model.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped at Kristi's Kafe, near Mora, for breakfast. It was a good choice. Good food and good quantity. By the time we finished the temp had warmed to perfect.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Lots of open country
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Lot's of old ranch houses/barns returning to dust....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Nip follows along passing another old relic of a building. We went north from Mora.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The folks have time for their churches up there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Back to the relics...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I have great respect for these guys. Looks like fun if you can just subtract the pain in the legs.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Springer NM is east a bit. I needed to go there as my last name is Springer. A true adventurer had to go there. To that end we took 120 east. I hadn't noticed that a bit of it was dirt, but only about 15 miles.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We went up to about 9000 ft, and saw a Cinnamoned colored 200 lb Black bear who was all about getting the hell away from us. That was cool with us. I'd have a hard time doing a quick u-turn for an escape.
Shortly we regained pavement, but at the hotter high planes level of 5000 ft.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Look at those blue skies and cotton ball clouds.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


Wagon Mound next......
The 25 miles out to Wagon Mound was sweet. Lots of decaying old ranch building as almost all the old small towns along a freeways (in this case I-25) are drying out.... Still they have a charm all their own.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Photos often lose their sharpness when you shoot from the saddle....talk about distracted driving. :evil
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I love a red barn......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

the ride was complete with antelope......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped at a convienience store for sodas to help with the new found heat of the Praire. Oh....it's Sunday and small town America may be closed. Today was that day. Wagon Mount school, across the street, was good sized.
From Drop Box

We rode 25 miles north to Springer....It was another town bypassed by I-25. That kills the commercial aspect of a town which son religates the town to hardly more then residential....with some quaint older downtown buildings.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped at the town museum...they had a tribute to a fallen soldier from last year, RIP.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I'll bet the Cozy Motel could tell some stories about the good old days, but those days have faded into the past. :cry
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We had spent enough time down here in the heat, and I had seen the town of Springer. This was a far east as we'd go on this trip.....it was all west from here. We headed toward Eagles Nest back on the Taos figure 8.
We found a place to eat in Eagles nest. It was kinda an upscale restaurant, but their country fried steak burger was huge and inexpensive.
I'll remember this place as we had a 15 or 16 year old waitress. She was actually the dishwasher, but her older sister, the real waitress had let her handle us.
We were the second customers that she'd ever waited on. She was cute, and made a lot of rookie mistakes, but still she was a highlight of our day.
A nice red bike sat out front....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We moved on to Red River. Our first stop was at the CofC building. It was closed but their Wifi reached to the shaded tables out front.
I wanted to check mail so Nip went for an hours ride, and I fired up my netbook. When I was finished I wandered around out back and found the original Snowmobile.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Nip came back...we went to gas up. There was a nice air supply there so Nip took the time to check and air up his tires. I noted that he had a time getting the air chuck to seal on his tires valve stems.
Soon we were on the road.....it was about 5pm. I'd been watching the map and thought that we would soon run out of FS campgrounds....like in 10 miles or so. Nip thought it was too early to camp. Yeah it was early, so we continued
We road on to Questa and made the proper left turn in town. As we left town, Nip who was leading made an out of the ordinary stop on the road's shoulder. Whas up....I wondered.
Nip said that his rear tire suddenly went flat...WTF. Sure enough it was dead flat. What to do now. A guy and gal walking told us that at the last Maverick station, just a 100 yards behind us, they had a tire bay and would fix that tire. No crap....how's that for luck?
Nip wobbled the bike back and the store owner who ran the tire part came down to work on our tire problem. Apparently when the tire was installed with a steel stem it wasn't tightened enough, and when Nip had trouble airing the tire up he had knocked it so that it leaked.
Our new best friend, the Maverick station owner, was able to get it tight, and within a half hour it was all aired up and ready to go.
We asked about campgrounds on down the road toward Taos. They said there were none so we back tracked to a campground a few miles back, and set up for the night.
Nip enjoyed a much better nights sleep with a mat that held air.

Tomorrow we would see the legendary Taos.........

We had our coffee in camp next to the creek that passed by our campground. We looked forward to Taos.
Taos was only 20 miles away. After trying to get breakfast in Questa and finding everything closed on Monday...or not open yet, we just soldiered on to the McDonnalds in Taos.
Traffic was a bit of a clog for three of four blocks downtown. There was lots of art for sale along the streets as well as galleries.
I had no idea of what Taos would be like, but it was clearly up scale. Up scale is good, just not for me.
Across from Micky D's was a custom motorcycle shop. We went in for a visit. Nip was more interested in the cruiser items inside.
Turns out Taos is 2 towns. The old Taos Indian Pueblo, and the commercial Taos that has grown up a couple miles away. The Indians are trying to maintain the old village ways with lots of booths and tables to sell Indian crafts and jewelry.
I think hard times have hit the Indian vendors as well as the rest of us. I'd heard there was a charge of 8 dollars just to get into the Pueblo. If so, there's no longer a charge as they don't want to drive people away.
On this day (Monday) there were only 5 or so tables and those were folding up by 1pm. There were Indians on top of the houses yelling a traditional chant. We were told there would be an Indian dance later.
It just wasn't our cup of tea. Although in the beginning....50 to 75 years ago....Taos Pueblo was a hell of an authentic Indian Village. There might have been a couple thousand inhabitants. Indians still live in the mud/adobe dwelling.
The houses now sport electricity and stove pipes sticking out of the roofs. It all seems a bit of a fleece job of the tourists. An hour in Taos and I'd seen enough. In all honesty I may have been getting tired from traveling every day.
I wanted to start working my way back to Dolores Co for the biker meetup next Thursday. Nip on the other hand had been trying to connect with a high school buddy that lived down east of Santa Fe a little south of I-25.
We agreed to separate. Nip would go south and I'd go east. Goodbyes were said, and then we were alone.
I had to go a mile north to find Hwy 64. I gassed everything up before I left town. I spotted a Natl Forest on the map some 50 miles away. There appeared to be camping there near El Rito. I was all over that.
I had scarcely got 10 miles out of town when I discovered, purely by accident, the Rio Grande George. What a grand surprise....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Of course the Indians had a large crafts concession on the east side of the river. That's a good distance down there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

just after the bridge, I turn south toward El Rito. El Rito is an old town...recently most of it's downtown has closed up. El Llano Bar sells some convenience store items and liquor....and there is a 15 foot wide Mex restaurant left in town....later I found a library.
They have to go 30 miles to get gas....Matin's general store closed a couple years ago.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I found the NF free camping not far from town and settled down for a couple days. I pumped up my air mat and got comfortable.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I had a few hours to kill so I got my Tony Hillerman Indian novel out and started storing up some energy. I had plans for tomorrow.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I had a little camp fire later...it was probably against the law....and went to bed about 9pm.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


THE CARSON NATIONAL FOREST


From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I made coffee in the morning heating water with my alcohol stove. I must have brought 8 or 10 stoves to try out my latest designs. Of note is that tin can with all the holes in it on the seat.....that one burns twigs or balled up paper.
I usually put a handful of twigs in the can, and add a splash of alcohol for fire starter. The twigs are free and it burns in a breeze unlike alcohol stoves....and you can add more twigs at anytime.
My IC map showed a bunch of dirt roads in the area. I figured to give the DR a workout today. Looked like a 100 miles of forest roads in the area. :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There were a few relics of the past.......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

A family of beavers had been busy in the area.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Note the trees stumps in the middle of the pond.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

These beavers were very busy...kinda over achievers.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

These stumps were 16" or 18" thick.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I took a little [URL="http://youtu.be/Ac2y2gibTOo"]video[/URL] today....please ignore the thumb. :wink: Note that the road is not challenging...just right for me or anyone with a big Adventure bike.
I had chosen to go to Canjilon some 30 miles away. I didn't have a full tank when I left so I needed to gas up there.
I took a side road out toward '15 springs'. I never saw the springs but scenes like this one were all I needed to make the side road worthwhile.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I got as high at 9500 ft at Canjilon Lakes.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The other lake
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Canjilon was a nice little town, but no store of any kind. I had to go out to 84 and north a few miles to Anthony Martin's Maverick store/bar/gas station. Anthony was a pleasant guy so I had a couple drinks with him.
Anthony had a Maverick station with some old out building. He showed me a brand new Corvette and a show Harley in one of them with a new pickup out front. Yes Anthony, behind me was doing ok. Nice guy....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I got back to the ride and reentered my route back at Canjilon. I'd take the southern route back to my camp at El Rito.
Not far south of Canjilon my DR ran out of fuel. I knew it was fuel starvation as I couldn't drain any fuel out of the float bowl via it's drain. I figured it must be another booger in the float needle....damn.
Well if a booger can flow into the needle then I should be able to suck on the fill line and get it out of there. I took the fuel line loose from the tank and gave it a few good sucks. The fuel began to flow out of the float bowl drain....and more to the point was that the DR started and I was able to finished the ride.
Somehow I lost all the rest of the pictures of the day. But no matter, it was just more beautiful mountain forest scenes.
I finished the circuit at about 1:45. I was in time to get a seat at Farlito's 15 ft wide Mexican cafe in El Rito before they went to siesta at 2:pm. Damn good food.
Cody was an engaging young man doing waiter duty. He was born and raised in Long beach Ca. I've no idea how he got to this BFE small town. He was doing online courses to get into the computer game business. I can't imagine what that entails. Cody told me of the free wifi at the library down the road a couple miles.
The wifi tip was great....after lunch I went to the Library and spent an hour on one of their computers. Good stuff.
About 4:30 I was back at camp. I stumbled around there for a while...I'd finished my Hillerman book....what to do, what to do.....
Well there was another forest road that went 15 or so miles over to Vallecitos where it connected to a paved road to Canon Plaza....where'd that name come from, I'll never guess. :D
The new forest road was cool, as they all are. It went up for a while...I passed a bicyclist. I slowed as I went by and asked him where he was going. He gave me a weird look and said 'Canada'. Wow, I thought, and rode off.
A few miles later I came on another bicyclist. I matched his speed and again asked where he was going. He was more talkative.
I found out that he and the other biker were in a 15 man race from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide Trail. Ah soo....now I know why the first guy looked at me weird.
This guy, Russ Mcbride, had broken a petal in Abq and it took a day to get his bike fixed. Because of that he said he was fresh, and would ride another 6 or 7 hours today, about 180 miles for the day. I learned that I could track them at the 'Tour Divide race' tracking page.
I did track him for the next week. somewhere near the Montana border Russ was listed as scratched. I'll alway wonder what happened to him. Maybe he was eaten by a bear.
I rode on, and not far away I ran into a biker with a trailer who was from Minnesota. He was just out here kinda following the bike race and testing himself as he might try this race one day.
He had time to talk so I learn a lot about what was going on. Pretty interesting stuff. 15 riders had started out from Antelope Well on the Mex border racing north, and 75 guys had started out at the Canadian border heading south. As we talked, I began to appreciate gasoline all the more. :freaky
I continued on to Canon Plaza and a few miles beyond, then I turned around and back tracked to camp passing all my new bicycle friends.
Back at camp I had a bowl of Ramen noodles and finished up a bag of chips for dinner.

I would leave my little paradise in the morning.....

CROSSING THE APACHE RESERVATION


View Larger Map

I broke camp by 10am. I was in no hurry. BTW, there should be a law against being on tour and in a hurry. :rofl I went by the Library....it wasn't really open but a geezer was there doing something so he let me in for a web session. He was a husband of one of the ladies that I met yesterday at the library. He said that she told him that a mtn man was in there yesterday.
I reckon I needed some house breaking and a clean up. :freaky

Anyway I got out of El Rito before noon. I had about 3/4 tank of fuel....I figured I was in good shape gas wise, but I had to remember that the DR was low so I couldn't count on that for much gas.
I drove up to Tres Piedres, no gas there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It would be 60 more miles east on 64 before gas could be found. I didn't know if I could make the sixty, and I wasn't sure that the next town had gas as it's map letters were the same size as Tres Piedres. I elected to go back 30 miles to Taos for gas.
It was just as well that I did because that took me past/over Taos Mesa where all the Earthships were built. Earthships are weird ultra green houses that I've seen in pictures. There must be 25 of them on that Mesa....most too far away for camera shots. They are all similar to this one. See the others in the back ground?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

As I passed the Rio Grande Gorge the vendor were out in full force.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Now I was back to heading west on 64 ultimately with Bloomfield or Aztec as the goal for today, Wednesday.
Hwy 64 was a beauty. It went up to 10500 and was spectacular with both scenery and road surface.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I gassed up in Tierra Amarilla before I cut across the Apache Res at Lake Heron
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This route took me between Heron and Vado lakes, then it would spit me out on a dirt road as I entered the Apache Res.
The Indian Road started out poorly, and I was worried that I might get into some soft sand, but that wasn't the case. Let me say here that the big tires on the trailer let it roll easily in sand
I wound through a beautiful canyon. The road got better and better till I was again on pavement. I breathed a sigh of relief and began to enjoy the ride again.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This village looked like summer shacks bay a lake on the Res.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I spent the rest of the day marveling at the landscape naturally, but more than that at the amount of Oil drilling Gobernador to Bloomfield and north to Aztec.
I arrived in Bloomfield at about 6pm, and looked for a motel room, but there were none. I moved on to Aztec and found a nice room at the Enchantment Inn.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I retired after McDonald for dinner and used the free wifi for a few hour before going to sleep. I had less than a hundred miles to go tomorrow. I'd have to find a scenic route.......

NAVAJO DAM, VELECITOS, AND DOLORES


It's Thursday. A few riders from all over Colorado, and at least 4 other states will be represented in Dolores tonight. Most have left this morning and a few like me left days ago. We would all have a few beers together tonight. I looked forward to it.
But first I had to spend at least 8 hrs riding in order to not get there too soon. I perused the map and found a road that went out past Navajo Dam then up to Bayfield, and north to another Velocitos before going to Durango.
I followed the San Jaun River east toward the dam. The rivers were full all over as the snow continued to melt in the mtns.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's the dam. The spillway is on the left looking like my road. But no the road is that diagonal line going up the dam to the left. I'd never seen a road built on the back of a dam like that.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The lake is huge and goes for 15 or twenty miles back into the hills.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I rode on to the Valecitos area. It was beautiful. It had lakes, luscious green fields, and snow covered Mtns. I was glad that I rode that way today.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It had only been a 100 mile ride to Durango. I rode thru town and got out of town without trouble. While I was riding thru town I was spied by a young ADVrider that was riding in Calif a couple years back. He ended up staying in an adjacent condo unit to mine.
We introduced ourselves and actually went on a couple local rides together. He was freshly graduated from college as an engineer and was looking to relocate from Michigan. As it turned out he couldn't find a job, and he went back to MI. I figured that we'd probably never run into one another again.
His avitar is xdbx. I didn't see him but he called my cell phone and left me a message that he'd seen me pass thru town....there aren't many bikes pulling a bike. He could hardly be wrong.
It really is a small world. I sure hope that he managed to escape from MI. I liked Daniel.

I set my course toward Dolores. Soon I was there, and had camp set up in the Dolores River Campground and RV park, with the Dolores River less that 50 yards away.

Don Goldston (FJR rider) was there. I honestly don't remember the exact order of events, but anyway we went to town to buy steaks for dinner, just the 2 of us.....and we came back with a couple of good 10 oz steaks.

You see I'm kinda a minimalist, and like I said before, I had about 10 alcohol stoves with me....it's kinda my hobby this year. And I had a G I mess kit for a skillet to pan fry the steaks.

I had small stoves, big stoves, short burn, and long burn. Most of these have been used on my patio doing test boils of water. Anyway to cook a thick steak we prolly needed 7 or 8 minutes a side.
So I got my long burn stove out and got started.... It was pretty simple, spice up the steak, put it in the mess skillet, and set it on top of the stove. I put a can of New potatoes on top of another stove, and the can of spinach on a third stove.

Of course the spinach and potatoes weren't any problem cause you can eat those cold....if you have to, but the steak needed some watching. They cooked quite well, one at a time of course. But the problem came from putting the thin pan on top of the stove. That puts the fire out under the center of the pan, and only the outside of the steak is cooked from the outside fire jets, and the 2" center was hardly cooked.

We solved that by eating the outsides, and recooking the centers. I'm still learning about all the refinements of minimalism. :rofl

I hope to do better next time. Don was a good sport. We enjoyed having dinner together. :freaky

A couple of my other riding buddy showed up a little later. LD walker on the right and Dave Snell, left. These boys were from over around Westcliffe Co.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


CANYONLAND'S NEEDLES OUTPOST


I had looked at my Sabre's rear tire. I was running a car tire as a test. I was looking for big mileage from it, and didn't get it. The tire wouldn't get me the 1500 that I needed out of it to get me home.
I use the same wheels as the trailer does, on the Sabre, and I had one nearly new tire on the trailer. I dreamed all night about what could go wrong out here if I changed that tire & rim to the Sabre In the morning.
....but apparently that was what I needed to do. As soon as I finished my morning coffee, I got on the wheel switch. It takes a little longer when you have a trailer hitch to deal with. My hitch is pretty easy as the back part just unbolts.
From Odds and ends


Much to my surprise the swap was completed in about an hour. Last time I took a wheel off the trailer, I had a slightly rusted/stuck axle on the trailer. I don't think I could have handled that out here in the RV park....at least no quickly and with the tools on hand.

Here's today's ride route.

View Larger Map

LD, Dave, and I checked in with the riders that checked in late last night. They were headed toward Teluride for the day, so we made plans to drink their beer when we all got back. We did have breakfast with them all before we left
Our 3 man group was going to Canyonland's Needles Outpost about 25 miles southwest of Moab. I'd never been there. I was eager to see it.
It was a 110 miles out to the park, but the spectacular stuff started just west of Monticello. The road took a jog once in town to find the right way to the outpost.
Actually it wasn't the right way. We added a leg up into the Abajo Mtns to add value to the day's ride. We attained 9000 ft. Because of the clouds and some very light sprinkles we stopped to add a layer of clothes. This was only 20 miles into the Mtns, then we were back down to 5000ft and again surrounded by the magnificent rugged red cliffs that is so common around southern Ut.....off with that layer of clothes.
The first thing we came to was Newspaper rock. It's probably the biggest rock with the most petroglyphs on any one rock it the USA.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It was another 20 miles out to the end of the road past these buttes and canyons.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This scene give you the big picture, and says it all....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We stayed out till 4pm and then made a beeline back to camp. LD, almost ran me out of gas. I was going to stop in Dove Creek even if he didn't. He did though, and I had less than a half gallon left.
There was a country diner across the street from the station, and it was close enough to dinner time that we elected to get some semi home cooking. The food was good. We made a good choice.
Everyone was back at camp so we had a good evening lying to each other before retiring. It was decided to take in the Needle's Overlook and Moki Dugway tomorrow.

NEEDLES OVERLOOK
Day 2 at Dolores would be spent riding with the boys, and girl. I was really enjoying a couple days of riding with no trailer.
We had one big KTM and an SV1000 ridden by Ye Wilde Ryder, and His wife Lynn. This couple has been riding big bikes fast together for years. She hangs off his 6 about 20 feet and to the side. They've been doing this for the 10 years that I've known them. She is there like glue and he knows she's there. They are a great team.
Then there were the 4 boy down from the Denver area. One of those 4, Dave Ryder, was from Pittsburgh On a borrowed 1250 Bandit thanks to Matt Mcdonald. Matt rode his Long trusted 700 Magna for this week.
Actually Matt Mcdonald and DeWayne organized this little get-together. Don Goldston was along just for the joy of riding on his newish FJR.
First we tried out Karla's for breakfast. Turned out to be kinda self serve style. They had three topping that they put on everything. Sausage gravy, Green Mx Chilly sauce, and Mx red chilly sauce. It was great.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Ye Wilde Ryder and Lynn
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

After breakfast Ye attempts a parking lot wheelie to set the ride's tempo. :clap :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

....and partner Lynn
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

DeWayne on his very nice Honda liter bike.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Dave Ryder on the Bandit
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Don Goldston on the FJR...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Dave had his V1 radar detector with him. It seemed like a good Idea for him to ride point as we would be pressing the speed limit out there in the wide open spaces. The trouble with that was that Dave didn't know where he was going.
After some starting and farting, it became clear to me that I was the only one that had been to all the places that we were going to go today, so I took the lead and showed the way. Later I dropped back for a few pics.
...somewhere on 191 around Dove Creek on 491.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I love this shot with the crop duster...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We passed Church Rock signifying 6 miles to the Needles Overlook road. Someone hollowed out the rock for some reason and gave the rock a name. That's a great looking rock...nearly symmetric.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It was only another 25 miles to our destination. The red cliffs would soon begin.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Looking behind us across the plateau is the majestic La Sal Mtns boasting Mt Beale as it highest.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We arrived at the Overlook parking...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The first order of business was to pick up Don's FJR. His foot had slipped on the pea gravel and done a slow speed drop as he was backing in. Damage was a foot peg. Don easily replaced it with a passenger peg.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The Needles Overlook looked out at the Co River as it snaked past, and the Needles Outpost that I'd been to yesterday. Believe me, it was a completely different view from up here.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's the Co River snaking along out there......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Ye, DeWayne, Lynn and Dave
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We spent an hr out there walking all over the place....it was worth the visit.
Matt and Dave......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It wasn't easy to get the whole group together....and look at that sky, just f'n beautiful.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Then we move on to Blanding where we gassed up and had a bit of fast food for lunch.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


......... NEXT THE MOKI DUGWAY..........


View Larger Map

Having gassed in Monticello, not Blanding, we all discussed how far it was to Moki and then Mexican Hat for gas. It was important because Matt's Magna was only good for 120 miles or so.
I figured it was a little over a 100 miles. It was easy for me to say as I wasn't the one that would run out. :evil But Matt took my word for it. I don't know if I'd have done that.
So we lit out down 191 to 95 east and then 261 South to the MD. There are some vast landscapes, gaps and cuts through cliff, and curvy roads on the way. The Dugway was about 90 miles away, and some pretty good riding if I do say so myself.
All this was out there....look at that little dirt road over there....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Recapture lake, I think, south of Monticello.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally we arrived at the 2000 ft cliff that is the reason for the Moki Dugway. Copied from a net search: >Indians had long had trails up to the top of Cedar Mesa. Then in 1958, Texas Zinc, a mining company, built the Moki Dugway, in its current form, so they could carry uranium ore from the Happy Jack Mine in Fry Canyon, Utah to a processing mill in Mexican Hat. The Moki Dugway descends 1,100 feet in 3 miles. It is the slowest 3 miles you will ever drive.<
Ye was the the only one capable to drive to the edge.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Does that look like only 1100 ft to you?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally a picture of Matt's 700. It was a sweet looking Magna, but lately it had begun to slip out of second gear and leak oil from behind the clutch slave cylinder.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It was getting late and we had another 100 plus miles to go, so we rode on into Mexican Hat and had something to drink. Some shed a layer as it was closer to a 100 down at the new lower altitude.
It was pretty much 'make Jet' for the ride back to camp....but there were still things to see.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Lynn and Ye stopped in Cortez to get the making for a spaghetti dinner for everyone. That was beyond the call of duty, for sure.
They had a room at the RV park with pots and pans so we all took advantage of that, and chowed down heartily. We had a few beers afterward, but everyone was tired, and went to bed early. It had been a long day.
There were a lot of leftovers so I bagged it up for tomorrow.....remember there are lots of starving kids all over the world, and it's bad to be wasteful. :evil:evil

...............PARADOX AND THE CASE RANCH.............

The couple days riding with the boys was fun. Everyone packed up and left Sunday morning. I took off toward Teluride as did Matt, Ryder, and DeWayne.
.....the last I saw of Matt.... Thanks for getting us all together.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The ride toward Teluride was majestic for sure, and took me to 10000 ft again.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Rico is a pretty little town along there somewhere. This was June 21st and it should have been prime time tourist season, but Rico was suffering from the recession like everywhere else.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

My ride bypassed Teluride. I was headed toward Norway and Naturita, and Nucla. The last 2 towns were name for the urainium boom here in the '50s. I don't know what put a halt to uranium mining around these parts, but there are towns like Uravan just down the road that are completely gone.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I picked up a bike behind me. I moved over and waved him by....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

....I noticed as I was traveling along the Delores River once more a little south of the Norway hill.....I was getting hungry.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I pull into Bear boat launch area. I should have been a little more cautious. I saw a car down in there, but it didn't register that he was getting ready to come out the steep entrance, and that he probably didn't see me.
As I pulled in he was making a little run at his exit hill. There really wasn't room for 2 vehicles to pass. No way was I able to back up. He pulled over as far as he dared, and I was able to squeeze by.
It was squeeky, and with just a little more caution on my part it could all have been avoided.....but what the hell, that's what makes it an adventure, right.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I got a stove out and heated up last nights spaghetti. I sat by the stream and looked for a raft or something to come by. Nothing but one duck came floating by. He looked like he was having a ball with the river all to himself. BTW, those pliers make an excellent pot holder....and have a 100 other daily uses.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally I make it to Paradox Vally. My goal Is Glenn Case's ranch still some 20 miles away.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag
.
I spent three days with Glenn learning how to ranch a hay farm. Glenn's wife, Enid, has roots in this valley that go back to 1880. Her great GF came here from the Ca gold rush. It is said that he had asked a mtn man where he should go as he wasn't making it in Ca. The man told him that Paradox valley was the most beautiful place that he'd ever seen. I tend to agree....
From Glenn Case's spread

Or
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The trouble with the valley was water. The nearby La Sal Mtns had plenty of snow pack to supply water through the summer growing season, but it needed to be managed. So back in 1890, the ranchers got together and hired a man with a team of horses and a drag bucket to dig this ditch for 5 miles along the upper side of the valley for irrigation. It's been doing it's job ever since.
From Glenn Case's spread

Glenn seemed very relaxed in the last picture, but I followed him for 2 days as he managed his 2 rolling irrigation lines. It was fun for me, but it was frustrating as well with all the things that went wrong that would stop the watering.
From Glenn Case's spread

Glen had finished bailing the hay the day that I arrived, but he still had to get rid of the hay before anything bad happened to it. It's a liability till it's sold and off the property.
Glenn had 65 ea 15000 lb bails out there at $120 dollars a bail. He gets three cutting a year. The first cutting goes for his hay making expenses. The next 2 are his profit.
He make a small fortune there, by starting out with a big fortune. :freaky:freaky
We moved hay and worked on the sprinklers for 2 days before we could take a day off. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't work for me, I was just playing with new bigger toys. I had a blast.
From Glenn Case's spread

Enid took good care of me. I didn't get any breakfasts like this on the trail....
From Glenn Case's spread

I don't want to bore you with ranching...After the hay was finished, Glenn and Enid and Buddy took me for a ride over the the La Sal mtns.....

......................THE LA SALs........................

After the Harvest We took off for a ride over the La Sals. Glenn stoked up his Jeep pre-runner, and up the hill we went.

From Glenn Case's spread

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Just look at that mountain...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Getting closer
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped by to look at Geyser Lake as it's a part of their irrigation system. The check valve was hopelessly clogged with winter storm debris. Glenn figure this would take a backhoe to fix.
Buddy had fun just the same.... He's a mtn dog, no little sticks for him :freaky
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

If that small landslide gets any bigger it might take the road, up there on top, with it.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We traveled around the Mtn on the east side. Our route went to nearly 9000 ft whereas the peak is at 12800. The valley at Paradox is routinely a 100 degrees or so. The locals all have a vacation trailer or cabin up the hill for heat relief. It's their style of air conditioning. Works for them....and the beauty of the mtn is good mental therapy as well. :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The Cocopelli trail went down there in that valley. I'd been there on my DS bike a few years ago.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Further on we approached Castle valley on the north side of the La Sals.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There are some great red cliffs there bordering the Co River before it gets to Moab.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Eventually we reached the Co River. I'd never seen it so high. Nearer to Moab it was over parts of the bike path along the river.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We finished the day off with lunch at Micky D's. I'm a big spender so I bought. :rofl
We rode back through old La Sal. They pointed out the old building where Enid's GGD started his store back in the 1880's. They pointed out the road to the defunct Cashan Copper mine. These are all places that I have to go see.
I reckon I'll have to make at least one more trip to see Glenn and Enid.

.............THE CONCLUSION AND 2 SMILES.................

I was up in the morning. I packed up leisurely. Enid fed me up well. There was nothing left to do but give my two great hosts a hug, and hit the road which I did about 9:30.
I traveled west, back up the La Sal creek road, past the Cashin Copper mine road. Speaking again about the Cashin Copper Mine[URL="http://ontheroadwiththesagrillos.blogspot.com/2008/04/atv-ride-to-cashin-mine.html"]Mine[/URL], check it out.
I had one other Indian destination that I'd like to check out on the way home. About 25 miles south of Tuba City there's another Indian Village on top of a 500 ft high mesa called Tewa or something like that. It's not on my AAA Indian Country map.
It seems like the Indians of the area (Navajo Nation) have been betrayed by the white man in the mental perception department. The tendency is for gringos to view the Indians and their culture, over the years and then, denigrate their ways.
It's resulted in the Indians keeping to themselves even more, and when they do allow people to view there ways it's in a controlled guided tour and quite often there are no pictures allowed.
It's that way at Tewa. I went on a tour at First Mesa which is 15 miles away and a similar village. The guide pointed out Tewa, which could harly be seen cross the lower mesa between, as we walked on her tour. So I wanted to see it. I'd like to do that on the ride home.
The trouble was that the weather report spoke of a hot front moving in. In fact it spoke of 115 degrees at The Colorado River at Needles Ca. I didn't know how that would translate to temps at Tuba City a few hundred miles from Paradox.
So I figured to make the decision about Tewa when I got to Tuba City. Well, at TC, it was a hundred degrees with the sun blazing down. I decided to save Tewa for another trip and make a Beeline to the higher elevation of Flagstaff.
In TC I broke out my cool vest. Those things are fantastic at making a hot day tolerable. Still I preferred not to linger in hot country.
It's 4000 ft at Tuba City and 7000 at Flag. The climb put a little extra stain on my Sabre. On the steeper climbs going toward Flag, I noticed a different exhaust note and a slight loss of power.
At first I wondered if I was imagining things, but further incidences confirmed that I was losing a cylinder on the longer climbs....Hummmm.... Slowing 20mph would bring the cyl back though.
I concluded that I had a fuel flow problem (probably fuel filter),and decided to go with it as I could usually maintain 60mph. From Flagstaff it would be all downhill to sea level at home with only a few climbs.
I breathed a sigh of relief at Flagstaff. I even found the right turn to get to I-40 without going through Flag's downtown. Ok, now downhill to Kingman.
I saw some news At the Micky Ds in Tuba City that said it was indeed 115 degrees at Needles. I didn't want to deal with that today so I decided to hold up in Kingman for the night.
There were more uphills sections in the ride to Kingman than I remembered. I resorted to taking advantage of the draft from trucks to help me up the hills. In retrospect I should have found an auto parts store in Flagstaff, and replaced the fuel filter with something generic.
I didn't want to deal with stripping the bike down in the heat, plus I didn't think I'd have such a struggle keeping my speed up going down to Kingman.
I checked into my favorite Motel at Rt 66 in Kingman, the 1st Value Inn, for $29 with Wifi. I decided to get to sleep early and leave at 2-3 am.
That worked well as the temps were probably only 100 at the river, but my bike suffered with the strain of the 2000 ft, 15 mile long climb going west from needles. In fact keeping my speed near 60 was a problem even using drafting when I could. A couple times when i'd start dropping that Cylinder it got so bad that I'd be on the shoulder as low as 25 mph before the fuel level in the carbs would come back. then I'd nurse it along till I could get in a truck's draft again.
It seemed like a long ride to Barstow. In reality I only lost 15 or 20 minutes, but time goes real slow when your having trouble
I took a break in Barstow and had a coffee with a burger at the junction to I-15 south. Back on the road, I could tell immediately that the 30 Degree angle change of travel to a more southerly direction helped with a little less headwind.
I only had one more episode with the lack of fuel on the last 150 miles home.
I walked in the door at 10am to be greeted with a hug as if I were a returning conqueror .......and to make the moment even better my 4 yr old GGD was there as well. Those 2 smiles made my return a holiday ......

It was good to be home......though I'd left a few things unseen. I hope to get back out there in the near future...........we'll see.

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