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Old 04-11-2014, 12:47 AM   #1
Grokking_Fullness OP
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After a winter in the Ponderosa Pines, the waters of Mother Superior Beckon

Last fall after my first season of guiding sea kayaking on Lake Superior i packed up my KLR650 and headed West. After a month of traveling i ended up spending the winter working as a lift operator in Flagstaff, AZ.

After enjoying the hell out of flagstaff, Mother Superior beckons me to return to her cool shores for another season of guiding.

Tomorrow i leave Flagstaff and head south to Chino Valley for a KLR meetup, then monday i head back north. The plan as of now is to go through Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyon Lands, and Moab, then north towards yellowstone the east from there to michigan.

If you have any suggestions for places to see along the way please let me know! I have about a month of time to spend on the road before i have to be back in Michigan and theres gotta be lots of places to see, hike, and camp inbetween!

I like to take lots of pitcures on my rides and will have plenty to share after this weekends ride. Heres a shot of Rocinante from a ride a couple weeks ago in sedona just to get the thread started.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:47 PM   #2
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Southern Utah

Make sure you ride Moki Dugway, and go up to Mulie Point I do not recall the highway nober but once you are up on top the road going west leads generally to Bryce Canyon and was a great ride.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:14 PM   #3
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Make sure you ride Moki Dugway, and go up to Mulie Point I do not recall the highway nober but once you are up on top the road going west leads generally to Bryce Canyon and was a great ride.

I really wanted to ride that road but a couple guys and i from the Group ride have decided that were going to ride from Chino Valley up to Zion then cut over to Bryce. There they plan to turn around and go back to California while ill keep heading east to Moab before heading more north into Utah.


Friday i left Flagstaff and hit the road south to Chino Valley to meetup with 13 other KLR riders for a 2 day backcountry ride. We ended up doing a little over 200 dirt miles over the 2 days. Including 2 river crossings and 10 miles of some of the most gnarly hilly, rocky, roads that most of us have Ever ridden.

GPS tracks of the ride
http://ridewithgps.com/trips/2477249

Group shot of all the riders.


The canyon (Burrow Creek Canyon) that we spent all day riding to.



The ride to the canyon ended up being one for the books. Everything started out fine with plenty of highspeed dirt roads, then things started to take a turn for the worse. It started with a rider that had a slow leak that turned into a flat when we stopped at a diner in Baghdad, AZ. Thankfully that was quickly sorted out.

Fixing the flat in the parking lot across from the diner.


Shot of me coming around a nice sweeper on a forest service road.



Then, shit really hit the fan a couple hours later. We were only about 5 miles from the campground when one of guys in the group got crossed up in some ruts, went off the road, hit a rock, and got his leg pinned under his bike. It resulted in a fracture of his tibula and fibula. He ended up having to get airlifted out as we were 60+ miles into the desert.

The ruts that led to the demise of his bones


The damage that his front rim took from the rock impact. Amazingly the tire still held air.


It took the sheriff and Response team almost 2 hours to reach us because they had trouble finding us. We figured that giving them GPS coordinates and road names that they wouldnt have a problem. Turns out that no-one in the Sherrif department really knew what to do with the GPS Coordinates, thankfully the Heli crew did. The guy who setup the ride planned ahead and had his truck parked down at the bottom of the canyon just incase something like this happened, so we were able to extract the bike and not leave it to the cows out on the mesa.



The rest of the ride ended up being great. All of the rest of us descended into the canyon without incident to the campsite. It ended up being an amazing place to camp right on the river.

looking upsteam at the canyon


Cant have an ADV ride without a river crossing!


Some of the bikes at the campsite



Off to Zion in Utah tomorrow. Not sure when ill have internet again, but stay posted for plenty more pics! I still have almost a month of time on the road before i have to be back in michigan, and lots of places to explore!
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:23 PM   #4
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http://s734.photobucket.com/user/cli...5f3ec.png.html

here is a link to what happened to cliff's leg. only craig and i witnessed it. it was a pretty nasty fall.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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Not sure when you are planning on hitting Yellowstone, but it can still be winter up there in May. Had snow the second week of June when I was up there once.

Glad you got your riding partner out of there.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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Not sure when you are planning on hitting Yellowstone, but it can still be winter up there in May. Had snow the second week of June when I was up there once.

Glad you got your riding partner out of there.

Once i get to northern Utah im going to take a look at the weather and plan accordingly. I knew planning this trip that id risk running into some weather in that area but thats why i like to keep a loose schedule!
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:15 PM   #7
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Well its been a few days since my last update, but its been filled with plenty of amazing rides!

After the group ride, Rick and I took off towards Zion National Park. We took the scenic route over Mingus mountain, through Jerome, and up into Sedona. Once in Sedona we figured we hadnt eaten enough dirt over the weekend and took Schenlby Hill road out of Sedona to pop out on the I-17 north to flagstaff.

About a third of the way up Schnelby Hill Rd. overlooking Sedona. It was great to fly past all of the jeep tours on two fully loaded KLRS


We stopped at the overlook at the top to drink some water and snack. The road was a fun detour even fully loaded.


Our destination for the day was Lone Rock Beach just outside of Page and a few miles past the Arizona border. We made it to the beach pretty early in the day and were able to have a few hours to enjoy the sun.




I turned on my phone and saw that i had a text message from my girlfriend saying that there was supposed to be a total lunar eclipse that night. I didnt manage to capture any pictures of the eclipse or the Blood moon that followed, but the moonrise was pretty spectacular as well!
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:02 PM   #8
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The next morning we woke up right at sunrise and took our time packing up and hit the road right at 9am. It was a pleasant drive to Zion from Lake Powell. In Zion there turned out to be quite a bit of traffic in the park due to California schools being on spring break. The road through Zion is one of the few roads that its hard to be upset getting stuck behind a slow car. The views are so amazing you cant help but go slow and soak it all in. We also happened to be in the park while they are spraying for the caterpillar infestation, so most of the campgrounds were closed. After talking to the ranger at the campground, we were pointed to some BLM land just west of the park. It turned out to be a great spot with a full panorama view of the towering cliffs of the park.





It was a pretty secluded spot that over looked the river and parts of the town along its banks. At some point during the night there was a drum circle going on but it was actually pretty nice to fall asleep to.




Once again we were on the road by 9am and on our way to Bryce Canyon. The ride back through Zion park was great but as we started to get closer to Bryce along the 12 some weather started to become a concern. North of us a system was rolling in with a snow/rain mix. We stopped at a subway and planned our next move over some coffee and sandwiches. While checking the radar it looked like the system was going to stay north of us so we got back onto the 12 and made our way to Boulder, UT and the Burr trail.

We just popped into Bryce canyon to check out the Sunset Point overlook and left before we got stuck in the weather.


Rick and i setup camp a few miles down the Burr tail. After setting up camp we were hanging out enjoying a cold beer when another KLR rider drives by. Naturally we wave, and he turns around and stops at our camp. We invite him to camp with us and it turns out hes heading east as well.

The next morning Rick makes the decision to head back to California where his wife and kids were waiting for him. He was a cool dude and it was great to ride with him for the first few days of the trip.

Jeremy and I start off down the Burr trail. If you ever pass through the area i highly recommend taking this route to capitol reef. It was an amazing curvy road along a river with vertical red sandstone cliffs towering over you.

A ways down the Burr Trail it turns into dirt. It was all hard pack with a few washboard and sand sections. Nothing a big loaded bike couldnt handle.

Set of switchbacks a few miles past where the pavement ends


With Capitol Reef off to your west the views constantly change



In Capitol Reef Jeremy and i took a little side road into the Grand Wash. We pulled off and ate some lunch and enjoyed to sun and cliffs.


From Capitol Reef we kept going east through to Hanksville, UT. The scenery seemed to change around every corner. With spring in full force we got so see tons of wildflowers in the moonscape.


We continued on to the mighty colorado river and the glen canyon national rec area.


It started getting later in the afternoon and we were looking for a place to camp. We came across this boat launch area and found a secluded corner to unroll some tarps and sleep under the stars for a night.



The next morning we got up early and started to make our way to durango, co to meetup with some friends. It was another great drive with a little detour to Natural Bridges National Monument.



I have to say, for heading out on a solo trip i have managed to randomly meetup with some cool people to ride with on the road. So far i have traveled around 1300 miles, with 300 miles of that being on dirt, and only 110 miles of solo riding.

With that being said, tomorrow Jeremy and i are planning to Ride the 550 north into the San Juan mountains, where we will part ways. Him going east, and i, back west to go play in Moab, canyonlands, and arches. After that i plan to head back east to Vail, Denver, and then Fort Collins before deciding were to go next.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:34 PM   #9
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Jeremy and i parted ways in Durango and i hit the 550 north through silverton and Ouray before cutting back west to go to Moab. The ride up and through the mountains was super fun and with almost zero traffic.

There was still a ton of snow up in the mountains but after spending almost two weeks in the desert the cold crisp air felt good.

Taken from a pass near Silverton, Co



These next few shots are from 550 just south of Ouray, Co.




After a solid ride through the mountains, i cut west and dropped back down into the Utah desert and headed for Moab. Once there i setup camp at Sand Flats and hiked up a little hill to check out the view. Being able to see so much geologic history at once is awe inspiring. Millions of years of history of the earth cut away and exposed by time is a cool feeling.


After i got camp setup i went and got my toes wet on a trail in the Sand Flats area just to get a feel for the riding in Moab.



I stayed in Moab for two days with the intention of riding the white rim trail while i was there. Unfortunately the winds picked up big time the day i was planning on riding the WRT so i decided that instead of fighting the blowing sand and up on the plateau to go Arches and go for a hike instead. I did the 7 mile devils garden loop and got tons of awesome views of the sandstone arches and the cool fins that make up the park.



From Moab i took the long way back into Colorado over the Grand Mesa and up into the Avon/Vail area to stay with a friend for a couple nights. I was having way to much fun riding the twisties and didnt really stop for any pictures, but did make it out for a hike at Sylvan Lake state park.





From Vail i cut down to leadville then back up to the 70, the around the tunnel and over the loveland pass before stopping for an amazing lunch/breakfast at a small diner in Georgetown. At the diner i noticed a "wellness" center next door and popped over to enjoy the newly changed laws in colorado. From there i took the Peak to Peak byway up to Estes Park and then over to meetup with a friend who lives in Fort Collins. Once again i didnt really stop to take any pictures as i was soaking in all the sights and just generally having too much fun to stop the flow of the winding roads.

So far i have covered 2200 miles since leaving Flagstaff 2 weeks ago. 300 of those miles being dirt and with the exception of around 150 miles on the interstate its all been on twisty scenic highways and byways. I will be trying to cover the next 1200 miles arcross the plains over the course of two days to get to detroit to spend a week or so with the parents before taking the long way to marquette. Possibly through canada and over the North shore of lake superior. My time in the mountains may before over for now, but Michigan is a beautiful place to ride and i still have about 3 weeks before i really need to be anywhere. We shall see what adventures await!
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:38 AM   #10
sophijo
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Over the top......

Instead of the Mackinaw route; crossing over at Sarnia and riding north up the Bruce Penninsula, catching a ferry at Tobermory, then north over Superior would be a great ride! Be Safe!
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:09 PM   #11
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Instead of the Mackinaw route; crossing over at Sarnia and riding north up the Bruce Penninsula, catching a ferry at Tobermory, then north over Superior would be a great ride! Be Safe!
Right on! Think i may have to do that! Anything i should take care of going into and out of canada? I have a current passport but the last time i crossed the border was years ago.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:27 PM   #12
Marc LaDue
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Highway 20

If you should happen to choose to take hwy 20 out of Yellowstone on your way east, feel free to give us a call at 712)255-4461 when you get close to Sioux City, Iowa. We'll be happy to put you up for the night, and if your steed needs some TLC we can accommodate you on that count as well. Enjoy your adventure and all the best,

Marc & Marsha LaDue
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:05 PM   #13
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If you should happen to choose to take hwy 20 out of Yellowstone on your way east, feel free to give us a call at 712)255-4461 when you get close to Sioux City, Iowa. We'll be happy to put you up for the night, and if your steed needs some TLC we can accommodate you on that count as well. Enjoy your adventure and all the best,

Marc & Marsha LaDue
Thanks for the offer guys! Instead of going to yellowstone i decided to spend a week in colorado. From fort collins ill be taking I-80 straight across the plains to detroit to stay with my parents for a week or so.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:01 AM   #14
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Canada crossing

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Right on! Think i may have to do that! Anything i should take care of going into and out of canada? I have a current passport but the last time i crossed the border was years ago.
Lots of traffic (lines) at the major bridge and tunnel crossings. Here's a good alternative, and cheap too ($4)! Small ferry at Marine city. You'll need your passport, DL, insurance......etc. Get some fudge in Tobermory but not enough to put yourself into a coma!

http://www.bluewaterferry.com/ferry-services
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:03 PM   #15
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Left fort collins this morning on the I-80 heading east through Nebraska. Definitely ran into the tail end of those storms passing though the south east right now. Was battling a very strong crosswind and rain across western nebraska. After 6 hours of that crap i decided to play it safe and found a hotel somewhere in central nebraska along the 80. I didnt realize why everyone thought i was insane for riding today until i settled into my hotel room with some sonic and a tasty treat of the new legal colorado "medicine" and turned on the news. Hope this clears up tomorrow so i can make the haul to detroit.
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