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Old 10-09-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
Crawdaddy OP
Navigate 2 Adventure
 
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Ramona, CA.
Oddometer: 2,195
Day 4

Day 4

The winds were already howling when we woke up on Sunday morning at Yavapai Lodge…….the clouds looked a bit threatening but luckily it was still dry……..I went out to start the big Orange machine and…..aw crap, I left my heated grips on and killed the battery (note to self, rewire heated grips so they shut off when you turn off the ignition key)

So I bump started the 620 and we were on our way……Day 4 was an interesting day…….similar to Day 3 in regards to the remoteness of the riding area……I really like that big country/BFE nowhere riding…….very cool (to me) to ride out in places seen by few…….this was also a day of many, many ranch gates……..I reminded Roger that he used to work on a cattle ranch and was therefore highly skilled in the art of “gate operation”…....I also played the old man/dead battery card on him.…so that was the trade-off, “you get to ride in front……..but you also get to open/close the gates”…..

We left the South Rim on US 180 towards Tusuyan but turned off quickly on nf 800/328……easy riding though a tad bit chilly first thing in the morning……





Roger almost got taken out by 4 wild turkeys along nf328……..they ran/flew out from the right side of the road as he passed by…….these turkeys were huge……I thought they were dogs at first when I viewed them in the distance……pretty wild……they’d dispersed by the time I got there……further up the trail we encountered a wild pig……luckily it just ran away from the trail…..true to form, it had been wallowing in a mud pit near the trail…..

After a bit we dropped down to the flat plain that we would be riding across for hours on our way to Seligman……



Things got a bit interesting once we dropped down the hill in the above photo……..we rode along a fence line then came to a ranch with 3 gates which sat right on the road where I had planned to make a left turn…….crap……..so we rode further up the fence line looking for an alternative to opening these three gates and riding by the front of the house……..no dice…….then we tried a side road to see if we could ride around the ranch……it dead ended……Ok, here we go…….Roger opened all three gates and we proceeded cautiously/courteously through the gates and in front of the house……I don’t believe anyone was home…..it seemed odd to me……it was as if the house was built right across the road????........No pictures here but I did set a waypoint which will be in the posted .gpx tracks…….hopefully someone will use my tracks and find an alternate solution/path prior to arriving at this juncture so that this particular section can be bypassed…..

Once we slid by the ranch it was open/high speed riding once again….



We turned off the main road above and hoped on a few deep two tracks across the great/barren expanse……the wind was really howling now (I’d guess ~40-50mph gusts) so it was a bit challenging to see at times (dust) and stay in what was essentially a single track lane at speed……very scenic in it’s own “big country” way……..came across a lot of cows/horses along the way……









Another surprise was awaiting us when we reached Tin House…….a similar situation to the ranch with 3 gates…….except this time there was no gate…….. the fencing at Tin House was laid out directly across the road I’d seen in Map Source……..Ok, time for a new plan……..I switched map sets in my GPS from City Navigator to Roads and Rec’s and was able to see a way around the fence………we rode in front of the Tin House Ranch, turned left at the fence, and rode down the fence line until we reached a gate……we proceeded through the gate, made a right past a water tank, and hoped on a few side roads which eventually led us back over to the track I’d laid out……..the Roads and Rec’s software really saved our bacon in this instance…….these old/seldom used side roads did not appear in City Navigator 09……needless to say, I just left the Roads and Rec’s mapset on my screen at that point in case we needed it again……and we would need it again……

Once we got around Tin House and back on the main track we rested for a bit and then came across the entrance to Boquillas Ranch……no shortage of signs here….



Travel is permitted through the ranch on the main trail…….you just need to fill out a permit application at the entrance sign…..

The road through the ranch was pretty scenic……and a bit rocky in places…..we bounced around a bit but cleaned it all without issue…..when it doubt – more throttle!







We exited the ranch across a great/open plain



Once we got past the ranch we had to reroute a few times to avoid private property…….a few more rocky roads and soon we were down in Seligman…….trippy/quirky town along Route 66……we stopped here for gas/lunch before heading up to Peach Springs on Hwy 66…….the ride to Peach Springs was horrendous……the wind was howling so hard I thought my helmet was going to get ripped off my head!

Once we arrived in Peach Springs we checked in at the Hualapai Lodge…….then I inquired about buying a permit to ride down to the CO. river (to the best of my knowledge, the road leading down to the CO. river on the Hualapai reservation is the only road/access to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the south side)…..we were dressed in full moto gear…..no need to play games/pretend we had a car…..

“Sorry, no bikes allowed”…..that’s the standing order/reply from the front desk…….I tried to explain that we weren’t riding Harley street bikes……that our “Adventure” bikes were more than capable of riding any terrain suitable for a 4-wheel drive vehicle……no dice………so I walked over to the concierge and started my appeal for reasonableness…….they were a bit more receptive to the situation……they suggested we ride out and find the ranger so she could inspect our bikes…….if the ranger felt they were suitable she could sell us a permit ($16.05/per bike)……they also suggested we carry ~$33 cash because if we wanted to use a credit card for the permit purchase she’d have to drive back to the lodge to run the cards…….so off we went in pursuit of the Ranger cash in hand……we found her sitting out near the transition where the road turns to dirt some ~20 miles above the river below…….she was really cool…….a quick glance over at the bikes was met with, “Are you boys riding down to the river?”…….that quick glance confirmed the obvious - our bikes were more than suitable for the journey…....so we paid our $33 and off we went…….I’ll have to check my active GPS track, but I think we descended about ~4K’ down to the river…….it was 90 degrees at the ~1400 elevation down at the rivers edge……..beautiful ride down to the bottom……not too crazy about having to pay $16 for the privilege to ride down but no other choice/option….besides, that “sightseeing permit” would come in handy the next day……more on that later

A few pics leading down through the Canyon to the river:





The road gets a bit wet/rocky near the bottom then opens up into a nice beach with a few cabanas…….a few Hualapai Rafts were also tied up down there……I didn’t check the fees, but for a price you can arrange trips to float down the CO. river from this point for ~45 miles…..

Made it......









Time to head back up to the Lodge



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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
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Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:13 PM
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