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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
.......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...
Arnold left, Doug right...
They even had a horseshoe pit with Horseshoes there under that tree. Mike taught me that it's a younger mans game...
This is Tecopa vibrant down town today
Post office next door...
Some of the building burned a few years ago...and the rest was abandoned to go to oblivion.
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.
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.
I don't know why I don't have a picture of the Gift shop and relics around the place.
The original ranch house is in those trees
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.
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.
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.
Shoshone also has a Cafe/bar and motel as well as a gas station and Post office.
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.