sorry for the delay guys, life get's in the way...
anyways, DAY 3...
day 3 started with us in Cameron AZ and a plan to move north across the canyon and then turn west to the north rim. after our issues with camping the day before we had some hesitation at the beginning of the day as to where our 3 night camp would be made. i was worried that we would not find anything on the north rim park side and should maybe push onto Fredonia AZ and head south to canyon from there. i spoke to a Bud of mine (his name as well
) and he told me about a place he had camped when he did his G.C. loop. it was a place called Teroweep and was supposedly right off the edge of the canyon. catch was it would take 60 miles of off-road (dirt) that i had not GPS'ed, and i had no idea about conditions of. with the issues we had with camping and the let down from the night before, we wanted a camp sight right on the canyon and this sounded like our best bet. so that was the plan....
we packed up and rolled out of Cameron AZ at 6 am and headed for Lee's Ferry Crossing. this is the only place to cross the canyon other than the Hoover damn. it sits on the east edge of the canyon and is accesses from Cameron by Navajo Res. land the whole way. traffic was light and we cruised, 80-85 was no problem and no one seemed to care.
the land became less bleak and more beautiful the farther we went.
great, pretty smooth, 2-lane road. just about perfect road if one has been forced to ride blacktop. then you hit the crossing....
the colors are amazing as well as the topography. standing on the bridge and looking down definitely gives you a tickle.
after this the plan was to blitz ahead to Fredonia for gas, then south to Teroweep. We had fueled first thing in the morning and weren't worried about gas being an issue today.
as we worked the highway west we started to climb up out of the flat land of the canyon. i was still following my day3 GP route and things were cruising along. we had our music, the weather was perfect, and we were hauling arse. Hwy 89 out of Lee's crossing was beautiful and you start to climb in elevation and watch the terrain once again change. next thing you know you are in a conifer forest and your watching the temp gauge on your bike fall by 15 degrees. as you continue on, there are only 2 options, 1) right to Fredonia on Hwy 89, or 2) south on Hwy 67 to the south rim.
our plan was to follow Hwy 89 on and to Fredonia, but like i said before, i was happy and trucking along following my day 3 route. as we approached the 89/67 junction i knew which way i need to go, but my GPS was telling me the other way. i promptly turned around and blindly followed my route.
once again the roads were beautiful, surrounded by tall, green, evergreen trees, something we don;t see in Tucson much. it really felt like i was back in Wyoming. the miles were flying by and temps couldn't be better.
after several miles a funny feeling started to tingle in the back of my brain. something told me we weren't right. then i saw it, the North Rim gas station. the only place i had found in my searches to provide the fuel for a run down the north rim. as soon as i saw it i knew i had turned the wrong way and were now in a spot. i had gone 30 miles out of my way and was now going to have to buy gas. i passed the station and turned off on the next dirt road exit. i rode up a ways and stop to talk to the kid and admit my mistakes. as we stopped and i climbed off the bike, my nose instantly smelled something not well. it had caught a hint of it the last stop but this time it was undeniable, something was really hot!
i started looking around quickly and my eyes locked on the back tire. i started the ride with a 50% spent perelli mt-90. i put 30 PSI in the tire and assumed that was good. turns out it need 40. oops. i had spent my back tire, it was almost bald and smelled like a hot rubber factory. guess all that 90 MPH down the road fully loaded took it's toll. now we had and issue...
issue 1) I still had to track back my 30 miles, make it to Fredonia, then down 60 miles of dirt road, then back, then to St' George on this tire. i could have kicked myself!
after a quick chat with the kid, we decided the best plan was to go back to the station, get some gas (luckily i brought octane boost, they only had old 89) and then ask for some guidance.
we pulled up to the station (North Rim Country Store
) and were promptly greeted by the owners. they asked if we needed gas and how we wanted to pay, we then explained our predicament and they offer a map and advice one we were done fueling. turns out, if you go just a touch farther south and turn off on FSR-611, there are lot's of free camp sites with a view of the canyon. hey, we were saved and had the option of not doing 60 miles both ways, and still getting what we wanted, a camp site over looking the canyon. plus this will save the tire and make it a lot easier to cruise into grandmas house north of St. George. went outside and tried to call the boss on the cell phone to inform her of the change of plans. nothing, no signal at ALL!. went back in and asked them if there was anywhere i could make a call, they told me up on the edge where we were going you might get a text out, if not you had to go to the north rim lodge and hope the signal would come across from the south side.
we would try the camp site, then head south if needed. and off we went, once again with a fool proof plan....
promise i wont take so long for the next update,