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Old 10-15-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Another Sublime Failure

Thursday October 7th, 2010
I head out for another 4 days of solo riding in the great Southwest. I plan to use the first and last day for the highway from Phoenix to Southeast Utah and back. The best stuff will be on days 2 and 3. The plan includes;

Valley of the Gods Road
John's Canyon Road
Moki Dugway
Lake Powell Ferry
The Burr Trail
Boulder Mountain
Capitol Reef National Park
Hell's Backbone Road
Smokey Mountain Road
House Rock Valley Road
Grand Canyon North Rim
Point Sublime Road

Over the past two summers I've twice ridden to the North Rim intending to ride Point Sublime Road, but it was gated closed. Armed with new information about another route to get there, I plan to see if the place lives up to the name. This will be the 3rd attempt at Point Sublime.

Darkness Lurks
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:52 PM   #2
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Thursday - Day 1

I get a late start after working all day. It's 4 PM by time I hit the asphalt.

I join the steady stream of traffic heading north out of Phoenix on I-17.

The red rocks of Sedona come into view, but I'm heading to a region that is even better.

I stop during a typical Arizona sunset to add layers and change to a clear face shield.

Stuffed up the bottom of an impact-absorbant styrofoam cranium protective device and miniature personal comfort environment my mind wanders...

Darkness sets in as I near Flagstaff. ~200 miles to go.

I roll across the Hopi and Navajo Reservations in the darkness. I stop in Tuba City for a burger at America's Drive-In.

North of Kayenta I rode through Monument Valley in the dark for the second time. I was hoping for starry and clear skies for some night photography among the familiar silhouettes. It is dark and cloudy so I don't bother stopping. I started seeing lightning flashes to the east and north. I could only make out the rock formations when the sky lit up.

The weather was supposed to be clear all weekend with only a slight chance of thunderstorms left over tonight. Earlier in the week the entire Southwest had some heavy storms.

I fuel up at the closed station in Mexican Hat, Utah.

A few miles north of Mexican Hat I turn down a familiar dirt road. After about 4 miles I find a spot to stop alongside the road and shut off the ignition. I set up camp and crawl into the tent around 11 pm.

Tomorrow I awaken among the Gods.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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Day 2 - Valley of the Gods

At first light I peek out of the tent to see my bike begging to be ridden.

Valley of the Gods Road is pretty easy. Almost any bike could ride it. I've done it on my sport-tourer, although I wouldn't recommend it. The storms this week did quite of bit of damage to the road though. It was in the roughest shape I've seen it.

I make quick work of Valley of the Gods Road. I'm looking forward to a new road.

Up Next, Exploring John's Canyon
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
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John's Canyon Road

Last year I rode out to Muley Point. While I was awestruck by the view of Monument Valley and the San Juan River canyons, I was intrigued by the dirt road I saw on the rim 1000 feet below. It reminds me of the White Rim Trail. I discovered the road was a dead end named John's Canyon Road. I've dreamed of riding this road ever since.

John's Canyon Road as seen from Muley Point

The road starts out from the 316 that heads out to the Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park.

Muley Point

The road becomes fun as it skirts around the base of Muley Point.

I stop to eat a breakfast bar. It's getting warmer so I remove some layers.

These Boulders....

...are also seen in this view from the top of Muley Point.

More to come.....

dave6253 screwed with this post 10-20-2010 at 06:59 PM
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #5
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Eek Stranded in John's Canyon - Time to Panic

John's Canyon Road is a dead-end. I've decided to try to make the 12 o'clock ferry at Hall's Crossing so I must limit how long I'm in this canyon.

After turning the corner beyond Muley Point the road enters John's Canyon. The canyon is named after John Oliver, a stockman who ran cattle here in the 1930's. John Oliver was murdered by a horse-theif who wanted him out of the way so that he could convert the canyon into his own personal stolen-horse corral.

The creek runs through a crack in the rock. It can be a tricky crossing as it's much deeper that it appears.

The road is not maintained beyond the creek and it is apparent it's not as heavily traveled either. I guess many turn around before the crossing.

There are several short rocky sections, but nothing very hard.

I stop here as I've run out of time. I snap this photo while the bike is running in neutral. I have a ferry to catch and alot of riding planned today. I'll have to return here someday to finish exploring. I hear there is a nice campsite at the end of the road...

I stow the camera and reach for the clutch as I quickly click it into gear. Oh SHIT! I stupidly killed the engine by not getting the clutch pulled in fast enough.

I should know better, but sitting here with a dead bike doesn't seem like a good idea, so I immediately try to start it again. The starter says, "Eh." OH Crap! Try again. "Eh". Put it in neutral and try again. "Eh" Dammit! After about five tries I realize I'm just draining the battery.

I dismount the dead bike and take this picture.

Survival scenarios are racing through my head. I've got enough food for four days. I have water and there's more nearby. This road sees very little traffic, but tomorrow is Saturday. Maybe someone will come by. I gave my wife instructions to send help to this road, or Smokey Mountain Road, but not unless I don't call by SUNDAY EVENING! I could try push starting if I can walk the bike through the rocky incline ahead. I've never push started this bike and don't know if it's easy, hard, or even possible given the terrain.

Then I started thinking. I remembered the 990 can sometimes stop with the cylinders in the wrong position causing a sort of vacuum lock making it difficult to start. I jump back on the bike and roll the bike forward a couple times popping the clutch to move the cylinders a little.

Vroom! The bike 990 roars to life! I realize the ride is back on and I'm still in a big hurry. I check my watch. I had been stranded (don't laugh ) 3 whole minutes!

The ride out was an absolute blast. Except for the rock incident. I hit a huge rock on the oposite side of a deep hole I was going much too fast to avoid. I had to stop to check the front wheel. I was shocked to see the wheel and tire had survived that hit. I couldn't even find a new dent in the rim. (An advantage of not airing down.)

As I rounded a corner I noticed a fresh motorcycle tire track. I thought to myself, "Wow, look at that! Someone had fun powersliding around that corner." Then I realized the track was mine. I'm not used to re-tracing my own routes. I wondered if any other riders were looking down from the more popular Muley Point watching as I blasted around below.

I made it back to the highway in time... If I really hurry!
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:47 AM   #6
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Nice camera work.

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Old 10-17-2010, 06:06 AM   #7
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Dig it
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The Adirondacks and Beyond ADV ride report
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:22 PM   #8
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Ride Report

Really Great pictures and ride report, I was out in that area in June on a tour bike, I defintely want to go back on a my dualsport. Thanks
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
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Bluhduh The Burr Trail

This year the Burr Trail started out like this...

I figured Bullfrog Creek a few miles away is the reason for the closed road. I went around the barricades and went to explore a way across...

Uh oh...

Oh NOoooooo! This is what it means when they say "Impassable When Wet".

That doesn't even look safe to walk on. I guess I underestimated the heavy rains earlier this week.

I don't even attempt that crossing. I'm not insane. That leaves me with just asphalt between here and Capitol Reef National Park. My plans for this day are ruined. I'm worried the rest of the roads I have planned may also be impassable.

I stop to refuel in Hanksville. Then the bike wouldn't start again! I tried dislodging the cylinders again, but is was apparent the battery was dead. I push the bike over to Stan's Burger Shak.

After a very good double bacon cheese burger with fries I wandered back out and tried again. Nope, the problem wasn't self-repairing. The burger recharged me, Not the bike...

I was forced out of my introverted shell to ask strangers for help. A few minutes later we had it jump-started.

Let's hope the battery charges on the next run.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #10
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Talking In Conclusion...

Utah has the BEST scenery anywhere.

The ride over to Capitol Reef NP on the 95 is delicious.

After about 40 miles I stop to view the petroglyphs.

I love the rocks here.

Old and newer... WWI and WWII Generations from the Same Family?

I love the rocks here.

Ancient Flatscreen

I love the rocks here.

I love the roads here.

The battery is dead again. With recurring bike problems and impassable roads, I start to realize my weekend plans are shattered. I decide to ride over to the campground, grab a site, and tear apart the bike to see if I can sort out he problem. I put a new battery in just a few weeks ago, only because the original battery was nearly 4 years old. Maybe I have loose wires or something?

After the second jump-start from a stranger I ride towards the campground. As soon as I got there I saw the dreaded "Campground Full" sign posted. Crap. I would've never guessed Capitol Reef was popular enough to fill up the campground. I was here in November last year and had the place nearly to myself?

Screw IT! I'm going home. I did a U-turn right there on the highway. Snap Decision. Mind Made Up. If I can stretch out my fuel stops I'll only have to get two more jump-starts. It's nearly 4PM (Arizona Time) and I'm about 400 miles away.

I retrace my route back to Hanksville and turn south.

I'm severely disappointed, but at the same time I'm still counting my lucky stars that I'm not stranded or wrecked in John's Canyon. The ride is still enjoyable and scenic. If I can just make it home tonight...

I pull over at the scenic view point of Lake Powell to take a short break. I tell myself repeatedly, "Don't kill the engine". So what did I do?

Kill the Engine!

Lake Powell

The Confluence of the Dirty Devil and Colorado Rivers

After jump-start 3...

Still Fun. Somewhere along here I picked up some bug splatter on the camera lens. The rest of the evening's pics are worthless. I ride down the slippery gravel of the Moki Dugway in the dark. It was a beautiful starry night crossing Monument Valley. Too bad I can't really stop here for some long-exposure pics.

For the second time in 24 hours I start across the big Indian Reservations in the dark. I've got some sort of battery or charging system problem. The headlamp is dimming, the ABS light is on, and the bike runs lean (Great for fuel range).

I stopped in Mexican Hat just in time to see two Native American families jump-staring one of their cars. I got another quick jump start. Jump Start 4.

This is what the rest of the ride looked like.

I stop in every big town (about every hour) to call my wife. "If I don't call within a couple hours come find me between ________".

The bike gets it's last fuel in Flagstaff. (It was cold there.) Instead of asking for another jump-start I decided to try push-starting it. I need to know. It worked!

Day 2 Stats

I made it home without further incident around 12:30 AM.
1090 miles in 32 hours on a STOCK KTM SEAT & STOCK WINDSHIELD!
Stop yer whining in the OC. This bike is awesome on or off the road.

BTW, I purchased a new battery (again), but put the old (confirmed good)one in until I can rule out other causes. If I have a faulty charging system I don't want to fry another new battery. I also found and cleaned two connectors that were filthy. I'm still not getting the specified volts at 5000 rpm though. The manual says you should see 14-15 volts at the battery terminals at 5000 rpm. I see 13.9 at idle and 13.2 at 5000 rpm? Is this normal, or should I try replacing the R/R or stator?

dave6253 screwed with this post 10-19-2010 at 09:04 PM
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #11
Mil T
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Sounds like you had the luck I did sort of. I did it in 48 hours due to pending weather the week before you. Looks like the rain I was avoiding that hit caused your detour.

13.9 volts is normal charging and is close enough to 14 but 15 is a bit hi in my opinion. Isn't there something about the ADV having a problem with charging sometimes? I thought I had heard or read that.
You sound just like me when the trip starts going south like yours did.
Ahh F_ _K IT!! I'm goin home.


We must get together.

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Old 10-22-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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Wow, some stunning photo's
"History is written by the victors." Winston Churchill
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