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Old 10-11-2007, 09:59 AM   #76
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 32 Wednesday September 26

Flagstaff, AZ

I hit AZ pretty soon after starting out this morning.

Saw some rock called Mexican Hat... its hard to believe that it stays up there, its held on by so little.




There's a bunch of fun little off road tracks all over the place at Mexican Hat. So I played around on those a little, but my strapless left bag kept sliding around.

took a picture of this big thing off the side of the road. Not sure what it was, something to do with coal maybe. It was massive.


Thats about all the photos I got for the day.

I went thru monument valley (I think), but I didnt see any monuments. I ended up pushing my way all the way to Flagstaff, since they had a motorcycle shop there, and I wanted to pick up some parts tomorrow.

After I got a hotel, I went to a bar for a couple of drinks. This guy was sitting a few seats down from me, obviously pretty drunk, and talking shit to everybody who came by. It seemed like most people knew him, and just sorta played along. Then he said something to me, something like "I guess you cant help the way you feel" I said "yeah I guess" and then he called me a "mother $%^& %^& sucking $#%^&". It surprised me how little that bothered me. I just turned back around and went back to watching the ball game and drinking my beer. I remember thinking "hey that should piss me off shouldnt it", but it didnt bother me one bit. Back at home I would have to hold my ground, but tomorrow I'll be in another town, and this drunk guy can get his ass kicked by somebody else. I did decide to leave that place before the 10 cent beers started... dont really wanna see their clientel that wasted.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:10 AM   #77
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 33 September 27

Grand Canyon, AZ South Rim

There was construction this morning, so I had a very frustrating time finding the Honda dealer. I bought a can of chain lube and a couple bolts that had vibrated off a few thousand miles ago.

I ate breakfast (more like lunch by then) at a place called Hot Dawgs or somthing like that. Had a couple chili dogs. They were pretty good.

Then I rode on up to the Grand Canyon. Man that is a pretty big hole in the ground. You lose all depth perception looking at it.


I got a spot at the camp ground for the next three nights.

As I was going to fill up my camel back, I noticed another lone bike. I went over to say hi, and I see he's got NC plates.
"Hey, you from North Carolina?"
"Yep"
"what part?"
"Charlotte"
"No way"

Apparently we both left Charlotte within a week of each other, and were both at 7-8,000 miles into our trip. Wierd. The first biker I run into on a long trip is from the same city as me... I guess thats just how we get down in Charlotte. Me and Jonathon decide to hang out tomorrow, and maybe go hike some of the Canyon.

We have some drinks and call it a night... a pretty damn cold night.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:19 AM   #78
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 34 Friday September 28

Grand Canyon, AZ South Rim

If you ever come to the grand canyon, be sure to fill up your gas tank at least 100 miles before the park. I waited and as I got closer gas got more and more expensive. I hit reserve in the park, and had to fill up for 3.40 a gallon... it was only 2.60 a gallon in flagstaff the day before.

We hike down the South Kaibob trail. The plan was to turn around at skeleton point, but we werent all that clear on where skeleton point was, there arent really any signs out there. It was 3 miles and 2000 feet down.


See that big rock sticking up in the pic. When we got down to that section we decided to climb around on it for a little bit. Pretty cool spot.

This is sitting on the rock, you can see the trail go down, and then we had to climb up the rock face to get to where we are now.


Not a bad looking place


That's the trail we were taking.


all the steep parts are covered in mule crap. I wonder if the steep parts scare it out of them

On the way back up we saw a Big Horn Sheep, but it was too far away to get a good photo.

Back at camp there were some deer that came right up behind our tents.


We got some beer and firewood and hotdogs from the grocery store and that was dinner.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:24 AM   #79
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 35 Saturday September 29

Grand Canyon, AZ South Rim

Damn birds. We had left a bag of doritos out last night (unopened) these birds had ripped it open and eaten the entire thing. There werent even any crumbs or left over chips.

Jonathon left this morning, headed for 4 corners, and then probably home after that.

I got some laundry done and then went hiking on the west side of the canyon rim.

The rock we were climbing on yesterday


Animals around here just arent afraid of people.

That guy just crawled up on my leg and hung out for a minute.

It was very windy today, and cold (well to me at least).

See the river waaay down there


I had dinner and a beer at Maswik Lodge in the park, and then finished reading Heart of Darkness before I went to sleep. It was an okay book I guess, just not as interesting as I had thought it would be.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:37 AM   #80
FREDO RIDER
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Oddometer: 655
Alright... You've got my attention !
Nice report and great pictures.

I'll be waiting for your daily report.

Cheers,
Fredo.



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Old 10-11-2007, 11:23 AM   #81
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by FREDO RIDER
Alright... You've got my attention !
Nice report and great pictures.

I'll be waiting for your daily report.

Cheers,
Fredo.



.
Haha, you might get it daily or twice daily or thrice daily for the next week or so, but once I get caught up, you can only expect it weekly... if that. Im in Sothern California, so I got nothing better to do besides update this thread, theres nothing good around here just givin you a hard time.

I am at my second library of the day now, in Carlsbad, CA. We must learn about these "internet cafe's" that the rest of the world seems to have kept secret from us.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:42 AM   #82
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 36 Sunday September 30

Kingsman, AZ

It got very cold last night. After I took a shower, I checked out the map in the laundry room. Looked decent, so I took it with me, in digital form.


There were a couple of dirt roads that looked like they headed in the general direction of where I was headed (west), so I set out to find them.

hmmmmm we seem to have a luggage problem here.


I pulled out one of my BMW tie down straps, which the dealer in Matthews, NC had given me for free, and used that to secure the bag to the frame I had a long loose end hanging down though (more on that later).

Shortly after I took that pic I dropped my bike. It was sad. I had pulled over, and was trying to fish my camera out of my pocket, so I could check the map. I didnt put the kickstand down, and I was using both hands, so I just leaned too far, and down the bike went... at least she doesnt leak so much gas now when I drop it. I had to take my freshly rigged bags off of the bike though to lighten it enough to get it upright.

After a while and past a couple of gates I came to this one.


I went thru it, but when I tried to get the gate back closed, it just wouldnt fit. Maybe I was too weak, or maybe there was some trick to it, but I couldnt figure it out for the life of me, so I grabbed a piece of barbed wire off of the ground and made an extra loop so I could get it closed.


that'll have to do.

Shortly afterwards, I came to an area where there were a bunch of T intersections, and I really wasnt sure where I was any more. A guy was in his pickup truck off the side of the road, and I asked him. Apparently I was headed towards the indian reservation ("the res" he called it) and there really wasnt anything up there. He pointed me in the right direction though. So back thru my customized gate and across these bad roads again.

Its hard to tell from these pics, but these roads were pretty rutted, and sometimes the ruts were soft sand, somtimes they were hard baked mud, with no easy way to tell which.


The roads he sent me down were really really rocky, and went thru the middle of nowhere. I started worrying that I didnt have enough water.

Eventually I came to an open area and had a snack by this tree.


At least no one was around to see me running like a fool in my boots to try and get back in time for this photo.

After a little bit, I caught the main road... I think this was the one I was supposed to be on all along, but I ended up taking it almost all the way back to where I started. Nice and smooth... and really really straight.


After that time consuming experience, I decided to stick to roads with signs. Which alas, meant I would have to stay on paved roads.

I took the paved roads all the way into Kingsman, AZ. But lots of that was route 66 which is a reasonable road. At the motel I stayed in, the lady at the desk said there was a whole Route 66 museum. Route 66 is cool and all that I guess, but I didnt really want to see a museum about it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:46 AM   #83
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 37, Monday October 1

Las Vegas, NV

I got breakfast this morning at a diner called Hot Rod Cafe. It had a bunch of photos of cool old cars taken out in front of the cafe plastered all over the walls. I shoulda taken some pics of it.

I rode on down and across the Hoover Dam. Wow! I didnt know it was such a tourist spot. I didnt stop to take any pics there. I did notice that the water level above the dam was pretty low (compared to the water marks on the canyon wall) hope they dont run out of water around here.

I went to an REI in Vegas to try and find a footprint for my tent. They didnt have one, but told me to buy some painters drop cloth at Home Depot and make one myself.

No pics today.

I got a room at a Motel 6 for a couple of days and hit the Casinos. Lost $180 playing poker.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:48 AM   #84
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 38 Tuesday October 2

Las Vegas, NV

I hit the casinos again today, and to make up for yesterday, I won an 11:00 texas hold em tournament, for $280. Spent most of the day wandering around and played a couple of other tournaments. Again, no pics, if you want to see what vegas looks like google it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:56 AM   #85
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 39 Wednesday October 3

Tonopah, NV

I hit the Honda shop in Vegas for a couple quarts of oil and a filter.

Headed north into the desert and saw this sign off the side of the road.


In case you cant read all that, it says something about how they test nuclear missles here for "defence and peaceful uses of nuclear explosives" Peaceful nuclear explosives ???? I think by definition explosives cannot be peaceful... especially nuclear ones. That one had me laughing for the next 5 miles.

Outside of Tonopah, I saw these hills with dirt roads carved all over them.


Looked pretty fun, so I rode around them for a minute. I was gonna camp somewhere around there, but the ground was so rocky, and I didnt have a ground cloth, plus there were these no trespassing signs every once in a while, so I rolled into town and got a cheap motel. Tonopah is supposed to be the #1 place for stargazing in the US. I think because its high dry desert and there isnt anything for a few hundred miles in any direction, but it didnt seem especially spectacular or anything.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:01 PM   #86
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 40 Thursday October 4

Reno, NV

It was a kinda chilly morning. And it was windy all day.

Yesterday was the first day I went around a right hand turn leaning left. It feels a bit odd. Today I was leaning left the whole day.

As I came out of Tonopah I felt a snap, and pulled to the side of the road. My tie down strap that is holding my saddle bag on got ripped off by the chain. I look around for the end that got ripped off, but dont see it, so I head on down the road, figuring it probably got thrown off.

Came across this interesting shoe tree to the side of the road. The little driveway from the highway was even paved, and it didnt go anywhere but to the tree.


Apparently there was nothing interesting the rest of that day, cuz I didnt take any pictures. Or maybe I was just hanging on for dear life leaning left as hard as I could to try and keep going straight .

I got a hotel in Reno and played another poker tournament I was 6 or 7th out of 50, but it didnt matter because the money started at 4th.

I got out of my tournament at 10:00 or so, and I couldnt find any food! All the restaurants were closed. I had to hit a convenience store and get some junk food for dinner.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:11 PM   #87
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 41 Friday October 5

Sacramento, CA

It was COLD in the morning. As I hit the road it started to rain... wait thats not rain...


its hard to see in that picture, but THAT'S SNOW!!!

And a lot of it... at least to me, a southern boy.

I pulled off and had some food at the subway, called some friends and tried to wait for the snow to go away. It let up for a little bit, so I hit the road.

Apparently the road has to go over a mountain, 7000 feet or so this isnt gonna be fun. I stopped to warm up at a convenience store which was called "Base Camp" also a bad sign.


A guy in the store tells me how to avoid the highway and get over the mountain on old 40. I take it. Its really hard keeping the visor clear of fog and snow at the same time. I was half blind most of the time.

trying to keep my breath off of the face shield


Near the top.


At least there isnt much traffic here, but it sure is cold. I have to stop to warm my hands ever 10 miles or so.

More of this stuff than I ever wanted to see while riding a motorcycle.


I make my way over the mountain eventually, and as I get down into Sacramento, its 80 degrees. At least I got through the snow without crashing.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:36 PM   #88
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 42 Saturday October 6

County Park near Stockton, CA

I fulfilled one of my goals today. I ate a cheeseburger at Squeeze Inn in Sacramento. I had seen it on TV back home a few months ago, and I told my friends that if I was ever out there I was definitely gonna get one. So when I decided to ride out, I had to come thru here. The line was long, but the food was good. I even got a seat inside (i think there are only 8 or 9 seats) so I could watch them make the burgers.

You may commence drooling...


yeah, theres a good bit of cheese on that sammich.

I spent some time at the library today, uploading photos, and didnt really leave Sacramento until 4:00

I did my usual just pick a road that looks like its going in the right direction. It didnt work so great today, because there are a bunch of rivers/canals that you have to cross at certain points.

I did wander into this area though.


Which was pretty cool. There were a bunch of campgrounds, but the only one with an attendant said that they were for members only.

So I hit the interstate south for a little while.

Got off of the road just past Stockton, CA and found a little County Park with camping. The lady there was really rude and bitchy, running up to me before I even got off of the bike to see if I put my money in the little pipe thingy yet. But the campsite had electricity, so I could charge my phone and camera batteries, and nice soft grass so that I wouldnt rip a hole in my tent (still dont have a ground cloth). They even had hot showers FOR FREE... sweet.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:37 PM   #89
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 43 Sunday October 7

Big Sur, CA Andrew Something-or-other State Park

This morning I notice a good bit of oil underneath my bike, and splattered around the front sprocket area. I pull off the countershaft cover, and I see the blue tie down strap that got ripped off back in Nevada. Its wrapped tightly around the shaft, behind the sprocket. I pull that off, and it was a good 2 and a half foot length that had got wrapped up in there. Probably not good. Hope that didnt have anything to do with the oil that my bike is now leaking.

I rode south, and hit California 130C. That is a gooooooooood road. Paved, but gooooooooood.

like this for 80+ miles


almost stepped on this guy getting that shot.


lots of trees in the way, but you get the idea, this is a tight road


At the top there are a bunch of telescopes, I guess its an observatory or something. On the other side, the road is still like this.


except on the way down you are on the San Juan side, and there are odles of bicyclists all over the road, so that lowers the speed a little bit.

From San Juan I worked my way over to highway 1, the pacific coast highway. I had some Cambodian food for the first time, but it was cooked by a white guy in restaurant that looked like it mighta been a chain, and it was very underwhelming.

Stopped at a Home Depot and got a big sheet of material to make a ground cloth out of for $3.

The pacific coast highway was pretty nice, very scenic for the parts that it is actually along the coast.

I stopped at Andrew XXXXXX State Park (i need a better memory), and got a campsite. It was a fairly nice camp ground, but I had to haul all my gear (100lbs +) 1/3 of a mile to the site, and leave my poor bike all alone.

made it to that left ocean.


And got to see the sun set over the ocean. Cant see that from my side of the country.








On the sandy hill to the right of that last photo this girl kept walking up to the top and doing summersaults down the hill. Looked kinda fun, but I bet she got really sandy.

Snow and sand a day and a couple hundred miles apart.


Saw a bunch of deer on my way back to camp from the ocean. I'll have to be more careful and keep an eye out for them on the road.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:03 PM   #90
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 44 Monday October 8

Lompoc, CA

I hauled all my heavy gear back out to the bike in the morning, not a lot of fun.

I rode down the PCH again. I tried to find a library to use the internet, but everything in a 100 mile radius at least was closed... no, not for Columbus Day, they were all closed for a computer upgrade. And a bunch of the libraries were just not open Mondays ever... whats up with that???

A nice sight to start the day off.




I stopped for breakfast at a little cafe off the side of the highway. I shoulda checked the prices before I ordered. 3 blueberry pancakes and a coffee ended up costing $16, no hash browns, no eggs, no toast, just the pancakes and a cup of coffee. Ouch.

A little down the road I saw this.


I guess seals just like hangin out at the beach, no wonder they were almost hunted to extinction. It couldnt have been that hard to run down there and bop a few of 'em on the head.

I ended up in Lompoc, CA for the night.
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