Hey guys, thanks for the kind words. Comments like those are what keep me writing and planning the next adventure!
As for the people on the rez, I feel conflicted. In high school, I spent 2 summers working to rebuild homes near Kaibito and encountered some seriously grateful and nice people. This time around was a lot of inebriation and hostility. Its a shame to say, but on the bike I did not feel welcomed and that is not something I want when Im supposed to be out having a good time...
So without further ado, here comes some more AZ and maybe MX, we'll see how this goes....
After we camped out the night at Gooseneck State park, it was time to make our final approach to AZ. I previously mentioned I have a cousin in Sedona and have many fond memories of hanging out there as a kid, so that had to be included on the way down. Unfortunately this meant more time spent riding through the Indian reservation.
Just past the border we came upon this cool rock formation that was worth a look-see and a rest for some water.
For what its worth, this was the most hospitable Indian we ran across. Granted he was drunk and foaming at the mouth and it was before lunch, but he told us an interesting tale about these "elephant feet". It was cool to listen to...for the first 10 minutes. But then it became painful to extricate ourselves. Once again, we had to pull the old put the helmet on and close the face shield trick.
I must say, the one thing that is nice on the reservation is that they dont have a problem helping each other out. As soon as we started our bikes, he stuck his thumb out for a ride and before we headed out, he was already in a pickup truck with some teenagers blasting down towards town.
My brother hitchhiked from Utah - Panama and the stories he tells about trying to catch a ride in the States are absurd. No one wants to stop for a backpacker. Probably didnt help he smelled like a garbage truck, but there was no obvious chainsaw or machete to be afraid of.
My albums contain a large blank spot here and that represents the rest of the time riding through the reservation. At one town, we had to stop for some fuel and a soda. Pulling into town, you could have sworn you were in some lawless third world country.
There were dogs everywhere, people everywhere, cars all over the place, parked or otherwise. It was interesting to say the least. One guy immediately started in on us at the gas station yelling how we owed him more money and "we had a truuuuce!" He kept getting angrier and angrier. Once again, we left this raving drunk to his own devices. But we also had to eat lunch and found a subway for a quick meal and that was our last stop once our own tanks were full.
The looks we were getting were the kind you recognize on the road as the ones to avoid. I remember only eating 6 inches of a delicious 12 inch italian BMT before I was on the bike itching to go. The end of the reservation could not come fast enough.
Once we cleared out of there, we dropped in through Flagstaff and rode Oak Creek Canyon with 1001 RVs filled with blue hairs out touring for the summer. It made a trip on an awesome twisty road something on par with getting a cavity filled.
One place I remember going as a kid was Slide Rock State park. After the day we had been through, we had to take a dip. The dude collecting full fare from all the cages saw three bikes and decided that charging us for the price of one was a fair deal. Thanks friendly ranger!
The park is full of some fun cliff jumping and there is a path in the rock eroded by water that you can slide down like a water slide, hence the name Slide rock state park.
We had a blast cliff jumping though
After that refreshing dip, it was time to head into Sedona. We felt so refreshed...ready to try and tackle the high hotel prices that awaited us. We ran into a friendly guy by the name of Richard at the gas station who told us about his HP2 and riding days. He then happened to mention he co-owned a motel in town and hooked us up with a motorcycle travellers discount. It was a really comfortable place to stay and they even had buckets with soap and water out front to wash bikes down with. I believe it was called the Star Motel. Give it a whirl if you find yourself in Sedona and say hi to Richard for us. http://starmotelsedona.com
I left cousin a message earlier in the trip and was happy to find out she had gotten back to me. We planned a breakfast date for the morning at some delicious little diner and caught up on old times. Motorcycle travelling is truly wonderful because youre always playing a game of connect the dots with people and places. In this case, my cousin was a dot I hadnt seen in 10 years and the 800GS brought me right there as planned. I hope to see them again soon!
After breakfast, I took a ride to find the house my grandpa used to own and see the cool Sedona Airport that overlooks town.
The parking attendant at the airport let me ride my bike onto the pedestrian walkway for a photo. I swear if you are on a motorcycle, people instantly treat you like an old friend!
With the Sedona itch scratched, it was time to descend upon phoenix.
BrunoUtah needed to get some new tires mounted before MX. I called some ADV peeps in the area that saved my butt last time around and they pointed us to the right shop. While the shop had the bike apart, they noticed his wheel bearings were shot front and rear. I thought they felt a little funny pre-trip, but considering his bike had 6xxx miles, we didnt worry too much. Lucky that they caught them before Baja!
It wasnt a bad afternoon, we sipped delicious beer and wolfed down burgers at the dive bar next door. We also watched youtube videos of the owner racing his bikes. He is known as Ghilli Man, aka Dustin Apgar. Here is a cool video of him dragging his helmet on the track http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ov43cWkYIA
Dustin's wrecked GSXR
Dustin and his wife were so friendly and well-priced for an unexpected repair. I highly recommend them as a shop if you need some work done! Thanks again guys!
Now that we had Anferny's bike all fixed, we were ready to make the push for our border crossing. We didnt want to do it at night or late in the day, so the plan was to stop outside Yuma for the night and get paperwork and money squared away in the morning. After that was done, we were off into Baja. But first we had to survive Yuma.
We didnt want to enter town and found a motel somewhere along 95 between Quartzite and Yuma. Oh what a mistake this was. I cant speak for Anferny and Dan, but I dont think I have ever seen Semen-stained carpet, glory holes and an ant infestation in the same room in my life. But we did this night. If only I could remember where it was so I could say to stay away
Glory hole....well maybe not, but im pretty sure it could be managed
Luckily we werent girls so we couldnt get pregnant from the carpet
The next day we got all our documents and paperwork. I made sure not to make the mistake I made last time in Baja. This was to think they had ATMs around to withdraw cash. I think this time I took out 600 or 700 dollars and hid it on me, my pants, jacket, bike, vest, boots, etc. A year later I found 100 bucks in my motorcycle pants where the knee pad goes!
I love the part where you ride between Yuma and the Mexicali crossing. The fruit fields smell so wonderful and its a great send-off before crossing the border.
Next up is Mexico!