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Old 06-19-2010, 10:04 PM   #16
dave6253 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZaethDekar
The pictures are amazing and it looks like a great ride. :-) You have some great talent!
Thanks, ZeathDekar! I would love to make it back to Washington State again. Beautiful Country!
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:53 AM   #17
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Great pictures. I just came back from that area a few days ago. Amazing place it is.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:34 AM   #18
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Dave,
Please keep sharing your great pictures and report!!!! Thank you for taking us along with you!!!
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:39 AM   #19
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thanks for the pics they are wonderful...i enjoy the north rim so much and go as often as i can,it's like another planet and so refreshin,,,,
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #20
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North Rim - Cape Royal

I park at the North Rim and go for a walk towards Bright Angel Point. It's really warming up. It's almost 60 degrees already. I'm in motorcycle gear so I don't make it all the way out to the point. The light is already too harsh for good photos anyway.


I see what looks like scattered thunderstorms approaching from the south. Remember the forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms....


My plan for the day has changed. I will ride out to Cape Royal to get photos of Angel's Window. I then plan to ride out to as many National Forest Points as I can on the west side of highway 67.


The ride out to Cape Royal is heavenly! I highly recommend it for any motorcyclist.


Last year I made it to Crazy Jugs Point, Montezuma Point, and Parissawampitts Point. I didn't get off the bike to hike out to the view point at the last two though. Today I plan to make it to these and several other points that can be accessed on beautiful forest service roads outside the National Park. One of my goals for this trip is to camp at Crazy Jugs Point. I plan to do that tonight.


Meanwhile, it looks as though I'm headed straight towards those isolated showers.










Just a little shower?




Almost there. You can see Angel's Window from the road here.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:47 AM   #21
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Bluhduh Meteorologists are Evil

I get to the parking lot at the end of the road. Cape Royal and Angel's Window are a short walk from here. The storm is approaching fast and along with it, lightning. I park under a large tree. There's no way I'm walking out to the exposed points with lightning around. It doesn't seem to stop all the tourists though, including a group of 14 motorcyclists from Phoenix.


I pull out the Jet Boil and prepare a hot lunch. I intend to wait out the "isolated thunderstorm".


HAIL!




At this point in the story I put away the cameras. You'll have to believe me, as I have no photographic proof. (The Harley Tourer is in the previous photo.)

There's a Harley Tourer parked as close to the trailhead as possible. He's got the stereo jacked up loud because apparently the rest of us like to enjoy the Grand Canyon listening to his choice of music. A Ranger drives up, parks, and approaches the Harley Rider. During their conversation I see her motion with her thumb and forefinger close together like to mean "just a little bit". He reaches up and turns down the volumn and they continue talking.

A few minutes later the guy was nice enough to come pass along what she was actually saying. He held his hand up with the same "little bit" gesture. He said she told him there was SNOW on the roads. She said the motorcycles should try to follow the other vehicles out so there would be tracks to follow. She said the snow would likely continue to fall.

SNOW?! What? I think the ranger must be confused. Maybe the white stuff she was seeing was the layer of hail? Surely it will melt in a few minutes. I just came from that direction. The roads were dry and it was in the fifties.

Anyway the rain doesn't seem to be subsiding. This obviously isn't going to pass over quickly. I put on my rain suit and head out without even getting a look from the points.

A mile up the road... SNOW! I'm still in the wrong helmet. Visibility is a real problem. I'm used to riding with one hand, usually with a camera in the other. It's snowing hard! I am constantly using my other hand to wipe the snow off my visor. The visor must be cracked open to prevent fogging. Snow is hitting my face and ice is building on the inside of the visor. It's just after NOON on a day forecast to be near 70. It's in the low 30s.

The snow covered the road quickly. In places there were 2 inches of snow and this would go on for 3 to 5 miles at a time. For one long section it was snowing so hard there weren't even tracks from the previous traffic visible. I've never ridden in snow before.

I obey my fortune cookie and abandon my plans for the day. No way am I camping at nearly 9000 feet tonight. All the way to Jacob Lake the snowy roads continue. I finally head west on the 89A and drop elevation off the plateau. I'm nearly to Fredonia when I ride through another 2 mile section of icy roads because of hail.

I gas up in Fredonia and plan my next move. I'm freezing and wet. I see clearer skies to the west. It's still raining in Fredonia. There is now way I'm attempting the ride out to Toroweap in this weather. That road is known to become impassable due to slick mud when it gets wet. There is also the threat of flashflood. I need to head west and drop elevation fast. I know just the spot.

I'm seriously bummed. It seems my trip is a bust.





I awake from the bad dream in a familiar spot. The rain has just stopped. I'm bundled up in the rain gear and am nearing hypothermia. Everyone around me are in shorts and t-shirts. My gear explodes all other the camp site as I lay it out in the sun to dry.


Does anyone know where this is?






The day redeems itself with a beautiful sunset.






I go to bed with a new plan. If the weather looks good tomorrow I'll try for Toroweap. If not, I'm going home...
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:09 AM   #22
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Nice stuff, Dave!!

This is shaping up like one of my trips...I would have gone under that gate though.


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Old 06-20-2010, 11:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Nice stuff, Dave!!

This is shaping up like one of my trips...I would have gone under that gate though.


I know you would larryboy. But in a National Park? Maybe in the National Forest. I wussed out. Sorry. I'm gonna get up there someday for sure. I may even break the rules and spend the night out at Point Sublime.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #24
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Zion National Park

My camp site is located on the Virgin River just off the highway 9.44 miles west of the Zion National Park entrance. It was a nice warm night. I woke up with a wet tent and gear because of heavy condensation. I quietly packed up the bike careful to not awaken the nearby campers.

Then the bike wouldn't start. After several attempts the battery was dead. I guess a full day with the grip warmers on high and the gps plugged in wore the old battery down. No worries. I'm sure the many nearby campers would have jumper cables. Right?


5 or 6 different campers checked their big 4x4s only to find they didn't have jumper cables. One lady in an exspensive Volvo station wagon said, "We don't have jumper cables, We have AAA".

A couple hundred yards upriver I found homeless people living out of their old Jeep Cherokee and a tent next to the river. The homeless man rummaged through the garbage in the rear of the Cherokee and came out with JUMPER CABLES! Hooray Homeless Man!

I borrowed the cables and my camp site neighbor helped jump the bike. Almost an hour after intended I'm on the road.



The weather looks pretty good, but then again it did yesterday morning as well.




I ride back through Zion.




I've been here many times, but it's hard to not snap too many photos.





















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Old 06-20-2010, 04:15 PM   #25
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Toroweap or Home?

I love Zion NP. To truly appreciate the place I recommend getting off the bike and going for some of the many hikes available here.




Checkerboard Mesa




I stop alongside the road to add a layer and notice a nice variety of wildflowers.














I fuel up in Fredonia and head west for 9 miles to Mount Trumbull Road. Let's go to Toroweap. Only 61 miles.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:27 PM   #26
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Great pics! We were just ridn' and camping on the north rim just last week.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley
Great pictures. I just came back from that area a few days ago. Amazing place it is.
Achesley, I remember last year you wanted to take your Bandit to the Grand Canyon. Did you get out here on the bike? I grew up in Louisiana BTW, which is why I must love the Southwest.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:47 PM   #28
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Question

Frijole, Is that photo from the East Rim area? Perhaps around the Saddle Mountain Trailhead or off the FS 611? I've camped over there a few times.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:46 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253

Does anyone know where this is?

...
Heaven?

Great report! Quite a collection of front page material you have here, Dave!

Keep it coming!


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Old 06-20-2010, 07:21 PM   #30
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Awesome photos. Last time I was there, I was cagin' it. I will do it on the bike soon.
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