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Old 10-25-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
armourbl OP
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Northern Arizona -- and upper part of AZBDR

My first ride report ever, so go easy on me. A friend invited me to join him and his friend on a ride up through Northern Arizona from Phoenix. It was
planned as a 4-day weekend. Some of the sites we saw along the way were Clarksdale, Jerome, Williams, South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Navajo Nation Land,
Vermillion Cliffs, Kanab Utah. On the return we went through Jacob's Lake, then to Flagstaff, down Oak Creek Canyon and through Sedona.

In all, it was 927 miles. We did our best to stay off major interstates and highways, riding dirt whenever possible. Dirt sections included backway from
Jerome to Williams, some exploring just before the Grand Canyon, and the Northern parts of the AZBDR. We did make a mistake between Cameron and Marbles
on the AZBDR and accidentally cut out the northern part of this section.

Here is the pic of the route we took starting in Clarksdale. The GPS battery died in Marbles on the way back, but that is okay since what was captured
was really the best part of the ride anyways. The missing parts are the interstate getting to Clarksdale and the ride home on the interstate and
highways home from Marbles.


Here I am with my KTM. Seems appropriate to show me and the bike early in the post. This was at the Little Colorado Lookout on the AZBDR.


I managed to pack really light for this trip. Everything I took with me is in this picture with the exception of my food and water. Pictured are my

tent, sleeping bag with liner, sleeping pad, JetBoil, change of clothes, hygiene items, etc.


Everything fit in my KTM dry bag, which I mounted on the rear rack. My tool bag was stored in a Wolfman medium size dry bag. All my food was in my tank

bag.

The other two guys were on BMW GS650's. I was impressed with how well these bikes did on the trip. And of course I game them shit a few times about

being on Beemer's during the trip...


Just a few miles after Jerome.


If you are ever in the area, you really should stop into Williams, Arizona. It is a cool little town with some historical sights to see.


At the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.


First night camp was at Desert View campsite at the Grand Canyon.


Mmmmm...dinner...


Not long after we setup camp, two riders circled the campgrounds in search of a place to camp for the night. I went over to meet them and I'm so glad I
did. Turns out they are from Instanbul, Turkey and are on an around the world journey. They are filmmakers and are documenting everything. You can check
out there page at www.ridemustgoon.com

We spent the dark hours of the night getting to know Tolga and Caglar, learning about Turkey, all of the cool stories they had to tell about the
adventures, etc. They were some really cool guys to run into. The next morning we gave them some directions and parted ways.




Outside of the Grand Canyon there was a really cool could formation with tons of rainbow colors bleeding from it. Too bad the camera didn't capture
things as well as my eyes.


We stopped into Cameron to get our permits to drive on the Navajo Nation land. It was already 9 a.m. and there was no one there. Sign on the door said
they opened at 8 a.m. We waited around just long enough (a few minutes) and were lucky enough that the worker drove up right before we were ready to
leave. In case you didn't know, as we didn't, the rate is now $12 per person instead of $5 like it used to be and now allows you to camp overnight and
hike trails within for the 24 hour time limit on the permit.

The scenery from the dirt roads across the Navajo Nation Land is just amazing. It is ever changing. It is hard to concentrate on the road ahead with so
much to take in.




It might seem like it is out of the way, but I highly recommend taking the 6-mile spur on the AZBDR to see the Little Colorado Lookout.


I climbed a small hill above the trail for this spectacular view on the way further North.


....breaking the post up....
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armourbl screwed with this post 10-25-2014 at 01:29 PM
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:04 PM   #2
armourbl OP
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It isn't everyday that you get see Mustangs...These were running parallel to me on the road.


Back on the main highway, we eventually arrived at the Vermillion Cliffs.


Back on the AZBDR just West of the Vermillion Cliffs and headed North. We took what looked like a promising spur to the right to go find a campsite for the night, but about 1/4 mile down the road it turned into "baby-powder" sand. It was too late in the night and our bikes and us were struggling. We didn't even go 100 yards before turning around. This sand was tough.


A bit further down the main road we found a much more promising turn off. About 1 mile up that spur I found this grouping of rocks, which turned out to be a fantastic place to camp. The rocks formed a natural corral, elevated just enough by sand that had filled into the center. Each of us had a nice cozy spot to set up our tents for night and amazing views of the valley around use from a top the rocks.








Breakfast with a nice view of the sunrise.




From there we continue North on the last leg of the AZBDR toward the Utah border.




Buckskin Gulch. I'll have to return here someday. It is a slot canyon, and pictures of it on the web look amazing. It is about a 4.5 mile hike in before it starts to get good. It was too late in the morning and due to one of riders losing all of his water through a never identified leak in his water bladder we were out of water from the night before. No way we could even begin to attempt this hike without water. I think it would be ideal to hike in, camp at some point and hike out the next morning.


We finished up through Kanab and then later through Jacob's Lake. On the way over the Navajo Bridge I caught a glimpse of one of the two California Condors that lives under the bridge. If you didn't know, these are endangered birds. I think there are something like 400 left in the world today. He was flying parallel to the bridge on my right headed to a cliff perch behind us. I motioned for the group to turn around and managed to snap this photo of him. Such a rare sight.


From there we pushed back past the Vermillion Cliffs on our way to Flagstaff.


The guys were itching for a warm bed and hot shower. When we pulled into Flagstaff it was raining, so it turned out to be a call. We spent the night there and continued on the next morning home. Not many pictures at this point. Here is a shot of my final milage.


If you'd like to see the full photo album and/or fullsize images, you can see them all on my Google Drive page.

Another option is to view the trip on the Garmin Adventure page that I put together. Shows were each photo was taken along the trip.

ben
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
ducmons
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Thanks for this post. I'm also wanting to explore this area. BTW. For some reason, I can't see the pics.
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armourbl View Post
We did our best to stay off major interstates and highways, riding dirt whenever possible. Dirt sections included backway from Jerome to Williams, some exploring just before the Grand Canyon, and the Northern parts of the AZBDR.


....
Thanks for fixing GIANT photos. Very good report!

Actually you rode a lot of unnecessary highway and missed some great dirt.

I see you have GPS, take a look at the Great Western Trail tracks I posted on GPSXchange.com It goes from Jerome to Cameron via Grand View in GC on all dirt except for gas in Williams. Then dirt from Cameron to Gap, then dirt south of 89A with more views into the river to Jacobs Lake.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:17 PM   #5
armourbl OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducmons View Post
Thanks for this post. I'm also wanting to explore this area. BTW. For some reason, I can't see the pics.
Pics are on Google Drive, so if you are looking from work the site might be blocked.

ben
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
armourbl OP
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Thanks Countdown. Got your file. That is a wealth of knowledge there!

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Old 10-25-2014, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by armourbl View Post
Thanks Countdown. Got your file. That is a wealth of knowledge there! ben
Ben, Thanks. Everyone looks at the one BDR Track but there are a lot more options along that general path. Jerry
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