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Old 10-09-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
Crawdaddy OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Ramona, CA.
Oddometer: 2,206
Looped the Grand Canyon out of Vegas - 5 days/1200 miles

I had a work meeting scheduled in Lost Wages in early Oct. so I decided to take advantage of my time there and “Loop the Grand Canyon”……..I started mapping out my plan in late August……lot’s of good input from other ADV Riders…..Strega signed on to accompany me which was a welcome relief since I’d be getting pretty far off the beaten path in my quest to stay near the canyon and on dirt to the greatest extent possible……after all, that’s why we have ADV/Dual Sport bikes……so we can travel the path ridden/seen by the few rather than the concrete loop driven/scene by the masses in their minivans/buses…..

We headed out last Wednesday afternoon from San Diego to Las Vegas arriving in the late evening and packed up our saddlebags for the trip……we were up and off to the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign by ~7am……..seemed like an appropriate place to start/end the trip and associated .gpx track file in case others decide to follow in our wake….

I rode my 98 KTM 620 EGS-E Adventure Bike and Roger rode his 01 KTM 640

A couple of pics at the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to start off our trip (7am so no traffic on the strip):






I only had 5 days to knock out this loop which meant the first day would be a long day – Vegas to Fredonia / ~300 miles……..very doable provided we hauled the mail up to Mesquite…….so, realizing we needed to take some pavement to make good time, but not wanting to jump on the 15fwy, we took the 215 to the North Shore Rd. and swung around the north side of Lake Mead up to Overton/15 Fwy then slabbed ~20 miles on the 15fwy into Mesquite……stopped for gas in Mesquite and realized my battery was toast when the bike failed to restart with the magic button (I had kept the bike on a trickle charger at home but apparently it only had enough juice to get me started on Thursday morning)……not a problem…..we swung up to Mesquite Power Sports and picked up a new battery (created a Waypoint in .gpx file for the shop......it's a quad shop but they carry misc. items like batteries, helmets, googles, etc.)

We’ve ridden over to the Bar 10 Resort from Mesquite a few times on the standard “Whiterock” route that runs by the remains of the Butch Cassidy Hideout but we’d never ridden UP Elbow Canyon/Black Mtn/Wolf Hole Valley so we opted to take that route over to the Trumbull School house… …….the ground was dry so no slipping/sliding on the rocks/switchbacks heading up Elbow Canyon……cake



As we headed across Wolf Canyon we encountered another like minded/equipped ADV rider (Will) traveling in the opposite direction on a KTM 640 ADV……we stopped and looked over the maps briefly and recommended that Will follow the path we had just taken into Mesquite (as I understand it, Will rode a Ducati street bike to Michigan(?), then dropped down to Phoenix and picked up the 640 ADV……rode up and around the Grand Canyon, and was on his way back to Seattle……hopefully he’s there now......on this particular day he was on his way to Vegas to get a new set of rubber for the final push up to Seattle)



Will and Crawdaddy discussing Will's planned route to Las Vegas for a new set of tires



After parting ways with Will we swung a right onto a series of two track fire roads……






Last gate on way to Trumbull Schoolhouse



Arriving at the Trumbull School House






Once we reached the Trumbull School House we took a rest break and then conversed with a couple other riders on their way back to St. George from Toroweap………



I had planned out a route in Map Source to get us over to Trumbull Rd. from the School House but it was already late in the afternoon, we had ~100 miles to travel, and I was concerned about getting shut out by locked gates…….so we opted to just ride CR5 over to Trumbull Rd. and take that over to Fredonia.....

The sun was sinking low as we headed across Trumbull Rd…….nice to have a nearly full moon coming on its heals…..



We gassed up at the Judd Service Station then headed over to the Grand Canyon Motel……friendly owners offering basic and inexpensive accommodations……perfect……we showered up and headed over to CJ’s diner for dinner (it’s a mile or so north on 89 towards Kanab)….

A couple of pics of the Grand Canyon Motel






Note: As stated, we rode over to Trumbull Schoolhouse/Rd. via Elbow Canyon, etc…….I believe the Whiterock, etc. route is more scenic so if you’ve never been to the area I would take that optional track in my .gpx file……….likewise, we’ve stayed at the Bar 10 before, we’ve been to Toroweap before, and we were short on time on this trip so we just hauled the mail to Fredonia on day one...…….if you haven’t been to either of these spots, and you have the time, I’d strongly encourage you to visit both……..the Staff at Bar 10 are very nice, they have gas for sale, and they offer lodging/food……..or head over to Toroweap for fantastic views and camp near the lip of the Canyon (I believe there are 9(?) sites on a first come/first served basis)……if you ride over to Bar 10, and you’re on a big or heavily loaded bike, you might want to reverse course when you leave and take CR257 back out to the Trumbull Schoolhouse........then take CR5 over to Trumbull Rd. rather than taking the rocky (but fun) shortcut over to Trumbull Rd. from the Bar 10……..I’ll include optional tracks for this area when I post a .gpx file in GPS Tracks West section of ADV Rider.
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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
http://www.CrawdadOffRoadEvents.com
http://www.DualSportMoto.com
http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com

Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:09 PM
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:19 PM   #2
Crawdaddy OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Ramona, CA.
Oddometer: 2,206
Day 2

Day 2
We were up early on Friday morning and set out for Crazy Jug Point via Ryan Road and some side nf roads…….it was pretty damn chilly on Ryan Road but it had warmed up nicely by the time we reached Crazy Jug Point which was our first exposure the Grand Canyon on this trip…..

Some misc. pics at Crazy Jug point:



















We left Crazy Jug and motored along on some really nice/fun nf roads/Ryan Rd. on our way down to Pt. Sublime:

Lot’s of color in the trees……the photos never due justice to the “big picture” scenery/colors……



We pulled over at a small turnout/viewpoint on our way to Pt. Sublime…



Roger showing a bit of “the Captain” in him…



Chris taking it all in (again)



Self timer attempt on Roger’s camera:



Roger’s 640 blocking my view



Pt. Sublime was very impressive:















Chris soaking up the view



Roger taking it all in



Roger's self portrait with Canyon in background



Ya really need to watch your step on the edge



As we were standing at Pt. Sublime a rider pulled up on a DR350.......his name was Mike and he was camped over on the North Rim......Mike was out on a month long "all about me" trip with his truck/trailer to hold his bike and no family.......a solo journey spent driving his truck to different destinations, unloading, and riding around the countryside on his bike......we caught him ~3 weeks into his trip.......he'd ridden all over Utah by the time we met up with him at the Grand Canyon.......nice guy/good attitude......Cheers Mike!
Once we left Pt. Sublime we blazed across some more FUN fire roads and one expansive meadow before hitting Hwy 67 which took us down to the North Rim Lodge









We parked at the Lodge and got a bite to eat……

View from inside the Lodge:



We were too lazy to walk down to the view point



Roger Chillaxing at North Rim Lodge:



We stopped by the deli for a couple of slices of pizza…….too many people/buses……that’s NOT the experience we were seeking……let's get out of here!
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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
http://www.CrawdadOffRoadEvents.com
http://www.DualSportMoto.com
http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com

Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:10 PM
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:21 PM   #3
Crawdaddy OP
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Day 2 cont'd

Day 2 continued
We headed out of the park on 67 and gassed up at the store just north of the park…….from there we continued north on a few nf roads with views of the flatlands/Canyon to the east……





The nf roads eventually intersected the “Kane Trail”…….I’d seen the Kane trail on Map Source/Google Earth and wanted to explore it to see if it was a viable way to get over to Buffalo Ranch road and a couple of scenic viewpoints/waypoints I’d set over there in my planning file……

It started out tame enough…..



Then it narrowed…..then basically disappeared into a rock field and started to drop off pretty steeply…….you had to keep an eye out for rock cairns that marked a way down through the rock field

Here’s a photo looking back up the hill (steeper than it looks)



I sent Roger forward to scout out the trail because I was about to reach the point of no return on the 620…….if I went down much further it was going to be a real bitch to climb back out…….he made his way down and radioed back something like, “come on down, it’s doable”…….so I proceeded down…….a few minutes later he came back on and said something like, “hmmmm…….you may not like this last part”…..too late now, I was committed…….basically you head down through the rock field to a dead end/bluff





Once you reach the dead end you really only have two options……turn around or hang a hard left and drop down a steep/~100 yd long section to the flats below as marked by the rock cairn in the below picture



Look just to the right of the evergreen tree behind my bike in this photo and you'll see the large rocks up top marking the dead end…...it’s steeper/looser (knarlier) than it appears in this photo…….eventually we got both bikes down…..



Can you find Roger hiking back up in this photo?



Once we got down to the flats we made our way along a fence line which eventually ended and allowed us to get on Buffalo Ranch Road



We quickly turned off of Buffalo Ranch Rd. onto a little used two track road I'd mapped out.....banged the throttles and headed out for the Canyon across the flat plain…….







Unfortunately I spaced out on one left turn here and forgot to make a right and head over to the first viewpoint/waypoint………but we did find my second viewpoint/waypoint a bit further north…...The first viewpoint/waypoint we skipped will be in the .gpx file that I'll be posting.....

More awesome views seen/experienced by few……nice



















At this point we also discovered Roger was missing a bolt holding his subframe to the main frame…….we only had ~10 miles to ride so we opted to deal with it when we reached Vermillion Cliffs......





The sun was nearly down as we headed for our night two lodging destination, Vermillion Cliffs Lodge…….but wait…….I wound up with a front pinch flat less than a quarter mile from the lookout……needed to knock this out quickly before the sun set…..time to stack some rocks and heave-ho the 620 into position



All fixed up and daylight fading fast…..

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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
http://www.CrawdadOffRoadEvents.com
http://www.DualSportMoto.com
http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com

Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:11 PM
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:22 PM   #4
Crawdaddy OP
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Location: Ramona, CA.
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Day 3

Day 3
We woke up early Saturday morning with a view of the Vermillion Cliffs behind our room at the Lodge:



First things first, we needed to deal with Roger’s sub frame…….no sweat (I thought)……we’ll just cannibalize a bolt from somewhere else on the bike (I actually found a bolt that would work with some washers in my misc. “just in case” stash)……….so Roger tried to thread in the replacement bolt……..no dice……..aw crap, the bolt didn’t slip out…..it broke off inside the sub frame…….we asked around at the lodge to see if anyone had a drill/easy out we could borrow…..no dice…….so we decided to ride up to the Honda Shop in Page…….this would add ~40 miles of pavement to our day but we decided we really didn’t have much choice………the Sub Frame would rub against the swing arm if we did nothing……we’d ridden with Gawin, the owner of Honda shop in Page, before and figured he’d be equipped to help us out……..so when we got down to the intersection of 89A and 89 we hung a left and headed ~20 mile sup to Page……here’s the funny/embarrassing part of the story…….by the time we reached Page some ~40 miles of pavement later, the remaining piece of bolt had backed itself out due the vibes put out by the mighty 640 thumper…….it turns out a counter sprocket bolt from a Honda 50 works perfectly…….so we threaded it in, gassed up, and headed south for the Navajo Lands…..



View of Vermillion Cliffs/Grand Canyon in the distance as seen from Hwy 89 heading south from Page, AZ.





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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
http://www.CrawdadOffRoadEvents.com
http://www.DualSportMoto.com
http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com

Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:11 PM
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
Crawdaddy OP
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Location: Ramona, CA.
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Day 3 cont'd

Day 3 cont'd

I was REALLY looking forward to riding out on the Navajo lands…….truly adventure riding in my book because I wasn’t able to get any feedback on ADVRider regarding these misc dirt roads out in BFE between the Grand Canyon to the West and 89 to the east…….so I was looking forward to heading out there and hopefully laying down some good active tracks for others to follow in our wake………we weren’t disappointed……..the views were unique and spectacular…….we skipped viewpoint/waypoint 3 (the first on the Navajo side of the Canyon) since we’d lost some time chasing down the bolt /sub frame issue……but that viewpoint/waypoint will be in the .gpx file I'll be posting......

On to Viewpoint/Waypoint 4.....
Viewpoint/Waypoint 4 was pretty spectacular……..and we both had cell reception too?!?!













We could see a few rafters down below...



Roger hamming it up again showing he STILL had some of “The Captain” in him….



Got a chuckle out of the GPS instructions on my route when we reached the viewpoint/waypoint, “When possible make a U-Turn”…….no kidding!



On to the next viewpoint……a lot of NOTHING in between viewpoints so we were able to twist the throttle and make up some time……we had a few sustained ~80+ mph stretches…….kinda nutty…..but also kinda fun





Viewpoint/Waypoint 5

Some of the photos I've posted were taken with my cell phone so they're a bit blurry……but hopefully you see Roger on the bluff down below….





Roger’s mean machine out on viewpoint/waypoint 5



Roger snapping photos of me high above making my way down….(I was a ways behind because I tried a short cut that didn’t pan out…..it left me stranded on the bluff above)



Viewpoint/waypoint 5 was awesome……..reminded us both of Horseshoe Bend by Page……misc. photos below left to right)









Approaching Viewpoint 5



What a view

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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
http://www.CrawdadOffRoadEvents.com
http://www.DualSportMoto.com
http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com

Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:12 PM
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:25 PM   #6
Crawdaddy OP
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Location: Ramona, CA.
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More Day 3

Day 3 cont'd

On to Viewpoint 6!







I rode a ways around the corner for a different perspective…

Zoomed in



Zoomed out (look in upper left hand corner)



Roger snapped my approach in his rear view mirror…..cool shot….



Then I swung around him on the way over to Viewpoint 7



View Point 7…….our final viewpoint on the Navajo lands









Roger’s Black Beast at Waypoint 7





Chris taking in the sights……sensory overload on this particular day



Both bikes on a bluff near Viewpoint 7





Time to haul ass back towards civilization/Hwy 89





Came across some wild(?) horses





Wow, that was a long/dry/remote/beautiful stretch………we dropped down to Cameron on 89, fueled up, and headed down to the Gray Mtn Truck Trail to lead us into the South Rim…..a few pics along Gray Mtn Truck Trail….









Once down to Hwy 64 we started down dirt trail and came upon a Navajo wedding



So we diverted over to another trail that turned rocky for a bit before dying out on a bluff



It was getting late….we’d already had a big day……so we just hung a U-Turn and headed back up hill to the main trail/Hwy 64……..I lost my rear footing in one section and spun out……didn’t fall but was forced to dismount to lift the rear end around…….Roger whipped out the camera before I could get restarted



Once we got back to 64 we raced up to Desert View to get gas for Roger…….then we pulled over at a few viewpoints on the way into the Village and he snapped a few pics of the South Rim/clouds as the sun was setting…..







The clouds put on a quite a show as well….



By the time we pulled into Yavapai Lodge the sun had set…….we rode around for a bit trying to find some friends of mine that were hiking in the Canyon on Sat as I thought they might be at the Bright Angel Trail head……..we couldn’t find’em so we checked in, ate, and passed out…….long day……fun day…..
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Chris Crawford (Crawford + 4 kids = Crawdaddy )
http://www.CrawdadOffRoadEvents.com
http://www.DualSportMoto.com
http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com

Crawdaddy screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 01:13 PM
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