So, my long time buddy warp9man has given me the adv bug and it has bit hard!
For the longest time, I have been 'into' street bikes...more specifically sport bikes. But, after I sold off my last one
it didn't take long for me to get the itch again to get some powered two-wheeled vehicle but I was well over my head deep into a home renovation project that had to be completed before life continued on. Finally the time came...the job was done...we sold the house, and landed in a new house that wasn't too far from where we first met warp9man. Of course, once I stopped by the house to let him know I'm back in the neighborhood - he showed me his collection of 'toys'. I knew I had to get one...and soon! I needed my therapy...I needed my two wheels of freedom.
Sensing this, he let me know about his exploits which have included runs to Baja, Moab and any number of other places. Carefully planting seeds...he directed me to this site to read one of his ride reports.
I think it was about a month later, I called him up and I told him that I needed to find me one of those dual sport bikes.
So we started the search. We agreed to find me my first adventure bike...my `99 DR650.
So, the adventure begins...here's one of the tales:
Retards in Redrock
warp9man told me of some of the guys that he's ridden with; The Walrus, and Starskey.
He told me that he's been talking to them about a trip. My attention perked up when he said they were considering the Grand Canyon. I've never been there and I couldn't think of a better way to see some of it but by bike.
So, we got us all together at Robintino's in Bountiful, UT. for some good Italian and start laying the plans for the trip.
We set the date to be the weekend of Oct-19th.
For those of you still with me, let's fast forward...the week arrives and we nail down the final plans and make preparations. Thursday the 18th rolls around and Starskey drops his gear and bike at warp9man's place.
Now I know what you might be thinking...these are adv bikes! The bikes should get gear packed on them and be ridden to the canyon...but, due to work schedules (for those of us in the group that have to work..) we wanted to make the most of the amazing riding down there and decided that it would be best to tote the bikes down and set up a base-camp. We decided that camp should be 20 miles or so South of St. George across the Utah / Arizona border.
So, like I said the bike and gear was dropped off. I met up with warp9man that evening and we made a run to pick up the grub needed for the days we'd be down there. By 9:00 that night I got home and finished packing the gear and crashed.
06:30 on Friday I'm up and eating a bowl of Lucky Charms. By about 08:00 he and Starskey roll up to collect me and the last bits of my gear and we hit the road.
At around 08:30 we meet up with The Walrus in SLC and make a transfer of some gear and Starskey's bike....and then we really
hit the road.
Without further delay...here's the rest of the story in pictures and hopefully much less verbiage! :)
By about 3:00 that afternoon, we had arrived at what would be home for the next few days.
With tents pitched...I think it was warp9man who finally said what we were all thinking...are we going to go ride since we have plenty of daylight to go exploring under?
So, we set off...thinking we'd go check out the trail head for the next day's ride. We rode to the turnoff to go to Mt. Trumbull when I found that I had a flat rear tire after the other guys had already ridden off save for Starskey. I told him that I would start limping back toward camp.
Probably about two miles later, warp9man rides up telling me that we need to find a good sized rock to set the bike up on. We're going to do field surgery and repair that flat.
after about maybe 15 minutes of work, the new tube is in and the wheel is back on and I'm ready to roll again...there is still light left!
So we start riding out to meet up again with The Walrus and Starskey who are on their way back toward camp. Warp9man and I decide to go check out one of the spur trails. We got to the end of the trail and would have to turn around or do some boondocking. We turned around and rolled back into camp at dusk
At this point it was time for eating something, sitting around a fire and making sure we knew what we were going to be doing the next day.
We all got up at about 08:00. The first night was somewhat chilly and I'm not sure if anyone slept all that well...not sure if it was the fact that it was chilly or that everyone was anticipating the next day's ride.
At any rate, after eating some breakfast, packing lunch, snacks and all the gear that might be needed on the trail - we left camp at approximately 09:30. If I recall correctly, we were heading to or maybe through some area called Kelly's Pass...I'm not sure about that one. Maybe Starskey will weigh in on this and comment with clarifications.
Not sure what's going on in this pic below...I snapped it for a group photo - but, it appears that Starskey is either asleep or saying some prayer
while The Walrus has resorted to getting down on all fours and warp9man seems to be wandering aimlessly...
The Walrus taking the lead through the scenic section...
A little sun-washed - but, I attempted to capture the fall color of the leaves to the right...
And into an alpine section of the trail...
Unfortunately we came to a couple of mud bogs and the KTM slid and went down. A little body work damage occurred but nothing that can't be fixed with some time and some fiberglass...
We reached a old abandoned rancher cabin area with a warning...
But with 'facilities'...
After this area, we continued on getting into some fun, more technical rocky sections. Me being a noob - I am sure I am exaggerating - none the less, there were some sections where the rocks kind of threw you around a bit.
As we got to a point in the trail, we decided to have a reality check...not once, but twice...
The first check was when Starskey is almost taken out by what appeared to be a 4-point buck. The beast popped out right in front of him crossing the trail. It must have had the bejeezus scared out of it by the close encounter as it fell to the ground performing a low-side slide through the lower portion of an old ranch barbed wire fence...then pop up and run off.
Starskey was a bit shaken by this - but we carried on. A couple more miles or so, we stopped again to have the second reality check - the realization that we weren't going to make it to the destination...(where ever that supposed destination was). So, we finally stopped for lunch. Now at this point, I think we were a good 80-90 miles in and we only
had about 25 miles more to go - but as I was reminded, it was 3:00 or so in the afternoon and we left at about 09:30 that morning. We were going to have to push it hard and fast to make it back to camp before nightfall.
So, after a quick lunch, we turned around...
So, we're flying along on one of the country roads and of course some ranchers still use the area for cattle. A small herd was crossing the road a bit off in the distance, but we were coming toward them at a pretty good clip. This caused some of the more mature ones to hurry it across...but calves being kids...they just dottle along and then when presented with a situation that they might not be all that familiar with, they bolt...and generally in the wrong direction.
Starskey hit / clipped a calf which sent him into a wobble from hell. This resulted in a barrel roll where the Honda and Starskey tumbled. Some parts got knocked off the bike, but fortunately other than bruised and maybe a little shaken, Starskey made out pretty good. The Honda started up, parts were collected, and we were off again racing the sunlight. But not before we snapped a pic of the mad cows and the amazing Honda!
We made it back to camp just as the sun was setting logging in an estimated 208 miles for the day.
With the shake up of hitting a cow, combined with the fact that the DR's appeared to be a bit more thirsty than expected - we decided to change and head over into St. George for some food and get some gas. Lasagne and pizza was had at The Brick Oven.
Pretty much after getting back to camp, we decided to call it a night and went to our tents satisfied from good food, good laughs and a good ride - which probably could have been a lot worse.
On Sunday, we woke up maybe around 09:00 - likely a little more tired from the previous day's ride and maybe we all thought about staying in our tents just a little longer because the sleep seemed just a bit better than the first night.
The day's ride plan was to head out toward Mt. Trumbull, AZ and meet at the Mt. Trumbull one-room school house that was evidently in used into the 1960's. From there, Zebbidog and warp9man would ride out to the rim of the Canyon via Whitmore Canyon while Starskey and The Walrus rode to Toroweap overlook.
So we headed out arriving at the Mt. Trumbull school house about an hour later.
The school house is open to the public now. Evidently, after it was no longer being used - it fell into disrepair and was eventually restored. Unfortunately, after that some vandals burned it down. Local residents and family members of those that had attended the school came together to rebuild from the ground up.
Anyway...we're here to ride - so, we parted ways and warp9man and I headed out to Whitmore Canyon.
From here, we ended up being about 300 feet above the river.
Warp9man ended up having to make some adjustments...a throttle cable was causing some moments of 'cruise control'...Gotta love the DR's! They are so easy to work on!!
A bit further up the canyon, The Walrus is sunning himself on a rock at 3,000 feet above the river at Toroweap.
Picnic area at Toroweap
Did I mention...3,000 feet down?
All good things come to an end however, and we had to head back to camp...warp9man and I head back through Whitmore canyon
Back in Mt. Trumbull...we pass by this abandoned home.
Time for one one more campfire...
Gotta go back home tomorrow
So, all in this being my first post to ADV, I'm hoping you like the pics and I'm sure over time some of my descriptions will get even better.
I can think of no better way to see the Grand Canyon than this!
Hope to see you out there! Let's ride!