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Old 05-13-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
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Wink The Scenic Route From Vegas To Toronto

snow squalls, blowouts, to a good start for the adventure. part 3 of my F8 travels seems to be off to a good start. trying to write up the ride in real time as i sit here in my hotel room in SLC after a day at the dealership waiting on the bike to get out of service.

The adventures of the themanfromars in Baja have been chronicled previously at

Breakin' in the F8 in Baja

after Baja it was back to the grind for another Trans-Siberian Orchestra tour. this time it was back to the theatres with a new show called 'Beethoven's last Night'. some of the same old songs...more of the same old explosions...

all of the rock n roll fun..

the tour ended with a 9 camera DVD shoot and i was pretty much exhausted at the end of it. i had been hatching a plan just before the end of the tour to fly up to Vegas, pick up my bike and ride it home for the summer. the more i poured over the maps the more i could not make up my mind. it was not until i turned on my GPS and scrolled around on the topo maps that i saw the route - the parks...the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Badlands, Great Lakes...the path kind of appeared on the screen in front of me. just like that, trip planned...for the most part..

now you might be wondering why Saskatchewan figures into the scenic trip, but i grew up on the border up there and i thought a ride through the old back roads would be a hoot.

as i crack a beer to get writing, i realize just how far there is to go....

themanfromars screwed with this post 12-23-2010 at 07:00 PM
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:20 PM   #2
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Day 0 - Viva Las Vegas

the sun was warm as i stepped off the plane at McCarren. the bike was in storage at a friends garage and i headed up to get it. for the most part on my last trip, i was happy with the setup. the one thing i did make a note of was to change up the wind screen for something slightly more hwy worthy for this trip. with that in mind i had pre-ordered a Tourtech clear screen and immediately installed it when i got to the bike

i love the original sporty screen, but this one was going to do quite a few hwy miles at speed so i was happy about the change for this trip.

also, i was a little concerned about rubber as well - the TKC-80's were brilliant tires, but i was not sure how many miles the rear had left in it.

i took a second look at my original Battlewings, but they were lousy in comparison to the TKC's and flattened anyways.

SLC was on the way so i figured I could burn the TKC's til then at the very least.

after taking stock of the rest of my gear i needed a couple things at REI to finish up my prep. as i pulled up there was a KTM Adventure 950 parked out front. i parked beside it and went in. you know, every time i am around the KTM 950 i have orange envy...i think its the sound of the twin badass sounding. anyways, when i came out of the store i met ADV Cholla.

i told him of my vague plan to ride around the Grand Canyon and he offered up all kinds of advice about the area. we had a great chat about riding in general and parted ways.

feeling sorted i headed to my hotel for some rest..and a beer.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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In....should be a great ride. You don't have to get very far out of Vegas for the road and the scenery to get nice and stay that way.

Not an expert on the area by any means, but was through some of that area in October. I-15 out of Vegas to St. George then on to 9 through Zion. At the intersection of 9 and 89 do not be tempted to eat at the place on the right Left on 89 up through Hatch and then right on 12 to Torrey. What.a.road., you will want to turn around and run it again. FWIW...not long after you get on 12, before the entrance to Bryce Canyon, there is a small white restaurant on your left in the middle of nowhere. Good eats.

Have fun, ride safe & take lots of pics.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:49 PM   #4
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Day 1 - Leaving Las Vegas..

i was loaded up and ready to roll early. i wanted to get going so choked down a cup of hotel room coffee and a power bar before getting going. now my pack was a mess this trip, because not only was i taking everything i had on the baja trip, but some extra bits of photo stuff i had on the tour with me. and i had all my cold weather gear expecting some cool weather on the way. it all added up to weight and bulk and i was going to have to tuff it home now.

so the original plan was to take a route around the south rim, check out the hoover dam, flagstaff, grand canyon village and maybe camp. i woke up and had the bug to head north so i did. the day ended up something like

i had only a few bits of info to go on from Cholla at the North Rim and had heard Zion was amazing. as i ran up I-15 the trip was taking shape with advice from locals as the theme and i was ok with that. i have about 3 weeks to play with and as long as i get some regular email work done from time to time i figure the rest of the dots will connect.

after i quick fuel stop in St George, i grabbed a coffee in Hurricane at a great joint

i wanted to press on, but the menu looked amazing with everything cooked fresh to order. def on the list of places to stop at again some day.

further up the road in a sleepy valley town the world was greening up

Zion was busy and i wanted ride and enjoy the view so i did not stop much for pics, but here's a few

the rock is pretty wild looking

this one reminded me of Jabba the Hut

signs of spring

lonely tree

the sun was still pretty high so i pressed on to Jacob Lake. I figured i would be able to get some advice on a campsite there. at the lodge i confirmed that the Grand Canyon North Rim Park was closed until the weekend.

I had drove quite a ways to prove that and wanted to make the best of it. over a cup of coffee i managed to get some advice on local roads to the north rim. there were still a few hours on sunlight so i set out to explore.

now, the last time i was in this situation there was trouble

this time, the advice on the side roads was solid

the pavement ended and i was on decent gravel for about 40 Km. the roads wound through pine forests. there was still snow in the trees and the air was crisp. the signage was great, at every fork there was some indication as to the main road and most tracks were on my Garmin so i was confident i was going to find the Grand Canyon at some point!

and there she was..

with the sun fading, i decided not to ride back to the lodge in the dark. the wind was whipping up as the sun was setting and my tent nearly blew away on me as i set up camp for the night.

i liked the spot. there was a camp fire site in the trees and the spot was well sheltered. that said, the wind was howling now and i went back to the edge to have a look

definitely some weather brewing out there. after a camp stove meal the weather was definitely moving in.

i settled down for the night listening to some crazy howling winds. at times it sounded like there were three separate pitches of winds blowing in different directions around the tent. it made for some wild dreams that night!
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:22 AM   #5
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Nice Photos and writeup!

Im in
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:50 AM   #6
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Very nice start!
ATGATT: "Because the only crumple zones on a motorcycle are YOU."
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:37 AM   #7
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Nice pics! Well done!

Thank you very much!

Best greatings from Germany
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:29 AM   #8
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very nice

what a fantastic vantage point to watch all that weather brewing up over the canyon - who needs a big screen TV?
subscribed and in for the ride!

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Old 05-14-2010, 04:36 AM   #9
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"Our Journey Is Still Far Away..."

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Old 05-14-2010, 05:14 AM   #10
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You sure are taking the long way, i mean scenic way home!!

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Old 05-14-2010, 05:19 AM   #11
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Looking forward to this
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:34 AM   #12
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Great start!

And that first pic of the Grand Canyon is a keeper.

Corbeau, riding across the continent at a high rate of travel in search of the twistiest roads on a 2002 VFR.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
You sure are taking the long way, i mean scenic way home!!

yeah, i have had some of my best holidays by keeping plans very loose. this one is shaping up great so far. i am sipping coffee on the morning of day 6 today and getting ready to leave SLC. hope to get caught up to date in the next couple days...
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:47 AM   #14
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Day 2 - North Rim

Brrrr....temps dipped below freezing during the night, but i was comfy in my tent. getting out of the tent was chilly though, but did not require too much motivation as the winds had stopped and i wanted a morning view of the canyon

yep, still there..

so i brewed up some coffee to warm up and watched the morning sun paint the grey canyon walls orange, red & purple as it rose in the sky.

shaping up to be a good ADV day..

shameless F800 money shot!

just when everything was going fine, i had a small heart attack....with the bike loaded up and ready to roll, i lean over to hit the start button and a couple weak attempts at turning over and a i try again and same thing. nothing like being in the middle of nowhere with a computer on two wheels that decides it doesn't want to kick in...had the moment i had been worrying about actually happened - a dead bike? i had a GS-911 and could hopefully get a read on the problem. i unplugged the gps, and made sure nothing else was plugged in (tank bag/suit). i was in an awkward spot so levelled out the bike to get around it. i decided to try one more time and with conviction held down the red had a little more turn. the battery must have been drained?? the air was thin?? dunno. it sounded bette, but would not turn. i let it rest for 5 mins then tried one more time with a little throttle and it fired!! i repacked, saddled up (with the bike idling) and pulled off the North Rim, puzzled by the panic, but happy to be rolling.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:24 AM   #15
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into the woods..

tall pines

i had started to track back the way i rode in, but was curious about the signe 'winter road to Fredonia'. i stopped and had a look at the GPS for guidance. sure enough, what looked to me like an old logging road was right there on my Garmin. i must take a moment to applaud the Garmin GPS Map 478...the ability to track your progress is brilliant at times like these. along with a compass & map aid to make sure you are heading in the right direction, the GPS will happily lay down digital popcorn so you can find your way out of a botched up trail. i am decent enough at orienteering, but in strange lands without a guide, this tool is brilliant. thank you ADV Chitown for laying that out for me when i was not sure what to buy!

onwards into the forest - i decided to take the winter road to check out the sights. turns out i was being checked out as well

i counted 7 crossing the road when they decided to move on

the forest quickly gave way to clear cut

now if you have never experienced clear cut its pretty impressive how everything can be left behind for dead such as this fine example

now the fledgling pines trying to replace their dearly departed have a long fight ahead of them, especially up there with the weather being so harsh.

that's a lot of seasons in there...and that stump has been there for quite some time and still no regrowth around it to speak.

i make a special point of this as i used to plant trees up in northern British Columbia in college. clear cutting is a terrible practise in general due to the displacement and regrowth issues - google it some time to read more, but i think the pictures speak for themselves. there was no evidence of replanting techniques so this forest will take a very very very long time to ever come back. i planted over 500,000 seedlings in my time and the average regrowth up in BC was only 30-40% with intensive work to put the trees back in the ground. the argument is always jobs in forestry - which is fine, just put the trees back in the ground when you are done - its called forest management for a reason.

hopefully i am out of turn and they are replanting this areas some time soon...and if you are wondering, no i did not see ANY wildlife in the clear cut scrub..kind of obvious isn't it.

a few more miles down the way i was into a gorgeous valley winding me back to pavement and my rant was fading.

turns out the road i joined up with was the back entrance to the forest on Hwy 22 - easy to access from Fredonia.

the day was beautiful and i was heading north to parts unknown!

themanfromars screwed with this post 05-19-2010 at 08:18 PM
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