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Old 05-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
longtallsally
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Originally Posted by DaFoole View Post







What the old guy who supposedly rode to Baja said...
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:46 AM   #17
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are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there yet?



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Old 05-25-2013, 11:59 AM   #18
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Because HOW, that's why!
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:31 PM   #19
Ben Carufel
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Oh yay, I'm e-famous.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:51 PM   #20
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I'll pick this up tomorrow or Monday if we don't hear from Devin.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:31 PM   #21
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Huh

Going to let the slacker dude skate on ya huh?
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:48 PM   #22
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Delete.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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Day 1 - San Diego, CA to Scottsdale AZ

Right...so, back to work. Sorry about the intermission. Anywho...where were we? Oh right, Scott had just bought a new bike, Ben rode it down from the Bay Area, Scott & Ben merged an 1100 and an 1150 to make one full bike, and we were getting ready to take off.

"The Plan" for Day 1 of the trip was to hightail it from San Diego to Scottsdale (no relation to a certain Yeti on the ride) AZ. Specifically, to the "Best Western Plus Papago Inn" in Scottsdale. You're probably saying to yourself "That's pretty damn specific, why would he bring this up?" This would be a good question. The reason for THAT specific hotel is that it's the closest hotel I could find to Papago Brewing, in Scottsdale. I figured if I'm going to ride ~365 miles on the 8 FWY heading east through some boring flat areas, there better be something good at the end of it, and that "good" is known as Coconut Joe. The most MAGICAL milk stout known to mankind. If you're into beer, and planning a trip to that area, be sure to go there. If you don't like it, you're wrong, it's that simple. Shall we start with a photo of us as we left?



That would be YetiGS on the (oddly enough) 1150GS, me in the background with the white helmet in front of the Dakar, and Ben Carufel (coming to see us off safely, 'cause he wasn't going) in the yellow vest. We hit the road heading East, with no plans of turning back West for a few days. There wasn't a lot of scenery this day...just some windmills...


There was a (not so rare on this trip) successful photo of a Yeti...


BIG boat(s) being transferred...


And some jackass riding on the back seat his motorcycle to give his ass a rest.



Of interest to me...our route took us by Firebird International Raceway, which interestingly is right across the highway from Local Motors, which makes the (to me at least) SUPER cool Rally Fighter most likely not something any of you care about, but I thought it was cool...and it's my post so there. After 6-7 hours of blowing across the desert, occasionally sweating balls as it was warm-ish, we arrived at the hotel, to find 2 harleys parked out front. We checked in, and the guy behind the counter told us to park our bikes there near the harley s in front of the hotel so they could keep an eye on them overnight (mighty nice of them), we went up to the room, relaxed, walked over to Papago, had some AMAZING beer (did I mention how awesome Coconut Joe is)? And began the search for someplace to buy brake pads for an 1150GS on a Sunday. See, those pads that Ben pointed out were worn on Scott's new bike were SIGNIFICANTLY worn, and Scott thought it would be best to try to find a way to get those changed out before we went too much further. A location was found, and we decided we'd ride over there in the morning and see if they were open. Then, to bed.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:44 PM   #24
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Day 2 - Scottsdale, AZ to Jerome AZ

The "Original" Plan for Sunday was to head from the hotel out to Apache Junction, up the Apache Trail out to the 188 north via some dirt & highway to Strawberry, turn off there and catch Fossil Creek Road to Camp Verde, AZ area, down and around to stay the night at the Mingus Mountain Campground above Jerome AZ. See, we HAD a plan...but that's not how things always work.

After breakfast at the hotel with the Harley crowd that was apparently staying a the same hotel, we decided to pack up and head out to Go AZ Motorcycles in north Scottsdale to see if they had some pads in stock for Yeti's bike. As we were gearing up, I noticed that my left boot had a spattering of green fluid on there, which looked suspiciously like Anti-Freeze. Now I know some of you are thinking "they're on BMWs, where the hell would Anti-Freeze come from?" Well, I've got an '02 F650GS Dakar, a bike that was assembled by Aprilia, with a motor built by Rotax and sold as a BMW, so it's a bit of an odd bird in the BMW lineup, and it is in fact water cooled. Hence, finding coolant on my boot had me a tad worried. Checking things out I found that it appeared that I was leaking some coolant from the hose where it goes through the frame (or so I thought at the time), figuring there was nothing I could do about it then, and being ~ 10 miles from the local BMW dealer, we hit the road up to Go AZ and I'd worry about it then.

Once at Go AZ, it turns out their parts AND service department were both open, and though they were booked for the day, the shop manager took pity on Yeti's plight and decided to do the pad install himself given our situation. I tore down my bike to see how the coolant level was (slightly low, but nothing that would terrify anyone). I topped it off, tightened the hose clamp a shade, then inquired as to whether they had any coolant lines in stock for my bike. After indicating they did not, I headed off to the local O'Reilly auto parts to buy enough spares that I was "fairly" comfortable that if something went sideways on the trip I could bodge something together enough to keep rolling. Time passes...Yeti's pads are installed and we're back on the road. 3 hours behind schedule, we'd have to adapt the day's travels, but it's time to get on the road and really start the fun part of the trip.

Heading out the Apache Trail takes you into the Superstition Mountains, the views there are quite beautiful:


The road starts out as a nice twisty paved FUN road (provided you're not stuck behind the guy towing his boat)

climbing up into the hills, past lakes and over bridges:

until it turns to dirt, and then you get views like this:

and this (yup, that's the "road" down there heading off into the distance):

at the end you come up on the Theodore Roosevelt Dam

we then chose to cross over the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge heading up the 188 towards Strawberry.


The "steeds" parked at lunch in Payson, AZ


We decided that due to our late start, we'd skip some of the off-road excursions we'd planned for this part of the trip, and just slab it to Strawberry, then take Fossil Creek road over to Camp Verde area. We got up to Strawberry, followed the signs to Fossil Creek road and as we got to the entry of the road found a sign saying "ROAD CLOSED - 2 miles ahead" (thus begins one of the sub-themes of this trip). Being the ADV guys we are we decide to head on up and see what kind of "closure" they're talking about. As we start riding out Fossil Creek (which my parents had taken about 2 months earlier in a stock Jeep Wrangler and my father described as "sedate") we note that it is an epically rutted out mess, to the point that you have to make a decision where you want to ride between the ruts, hoping that you don't make a bad call and have to drop across the ruts, or risk dumping the bike and picking the pig up. A couple (2 probably) miles down the road we find the official "ROAD CLOSED" sign and stop to make a decision, ford on past the sign, or turn back and ride on? We decided that discretion being the better part of valor, and that it was later in the day than we'd planned to be there, and given the ruts we'd seen so far, it was probably closed for a good reason, so we turned back and headed on towards Jerome.

If you're not familiar with this area of Arizona, it's much higher altitude, and much less desert-y, it's really quite beautiful if totally different from what you'd expect of Arizona:


We stopped in Camp Verde for gas and beer, and headed on up the road towards Jerome, and ultimately to the top of Mingus mountain to Mingus Mountain Campground...which is where things went sideways again.

See, when I planned this excursion originally, I looked at a map, said here to here, here to here, here to here, then started looking for camping opportunities along the way. I found Mingus Mountain campground, which seemed perfect, right in the area we wanted to stay, cheap, and should have really nice views. Plus (as we learned on the trip up there) going through Jerome and up the 89A out of Jerome is some AWESOME riding. However, it's not really well documented that the campground was NOT OPEN at the time we were going there. After a long day of riding, that got started late, we ended up at the top of the mountain, in front of a closed campground an hour from anywhere else to stay. We decided that maybe this "ROAD CLOSED"

sign wasn't where the campground actually was, maybe it was down this other road here...so we travel down that road for a couple of miles realizing there's no campsite down there either, but we see another sign for another campground. Sure, why not? Let's see where this goes...another 10-15 minutes later we hit on ANOTHER "ROAD CLOSED" sign (starting to sense a theme here?)

at which point we stop to talk. We're now further from anywhere we want to be than we were last time we came on one of these...and it's darker now than it was, and getting dark quickly, so we decide to just ADV it and camp right there. What the hell? Who's going to know?

We setup our tents, boiled just about the last of our water to make dinner, ate and watched the stars come out. Within an hour and a half of us setting up camp it was full dark, we decided to call it a night, and hit the tents. Right around 11 at night I was awakened by the sound of a truck, pulling through our "campsite" stopping, opening the "ROAD CLOSED" gate and driving through, then closing behind them and heading on. Yeti watched this happen and indicated that it was a male and female ranger in a forest service truck, we assume they were heading out to the middle of nowhere for a little hanky-panky. The rest of the night passes uneventfully.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:01 PM   #25
YetiGS
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One thing Devin didn't quite adequately describe was how dark it got at the end of the road. When the sun went down, it went from light to pitch black dark (no moon) in about 15 minutes. And then there were the mozzies . . .
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:54 AM   #26
McRuss
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Lived in AZ for too many years, rode most of the pavement and dirt, know the Jerome area pretty good, looking forward to more of your adventure!
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #27
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I live in the Phoenix area. It's fun to hear an outsiders perspective on the area. Keep it up! I'm looking forward to the next post.

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtallsally View Post
Get to the pics you morons!

Anyway, I wanna see the parts of the route that didn't suck!
Yes. Seriously. Post the ride report. Jesus fuck.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:37 PM   #29
YetiGS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GillaFunk View Post
Yes. Seriously. Post the ride report. Jesus fuck.
The next day we went from Jerome, through Sedona and up to the Grand Canyon through the worst cross-wind I have ever ridden in . . .
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #30
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Day 3 - Jerome, AZ to Tusayan, AZ

Here's where "The Plan" really starts to take a beating. After a long night at our improvised campground, we hit the road to find someplace for
A) WATER - of which we used up pretty much the last of last night.
B) Breakfast - since we had no water, there was no joy of cooking.
C) Toilets - expecting "campgrounds" with toilets we hadn't really planned for delicacies like Toilet Paper. Note to self: no more traveling without that "DaFoole's Shart Kit" I saw on late night TV infomercial one night. This thought will cross my mind later in the day, so we can say Day 3 was potential Shart day. Great.

We rode back through Jerome, and out to Cottonwood, where we found a Denny's, and a guy in the booth next to us open carrying his pistol (oh yeah, we're in AZ, aren't we?) and a waitress who used to live in Florida and worked at a restaurant that "That piece of shit OJ Simpson used to come into". After her enlightening tale that she wouldn't serve OJ (but the unkempt Yeti and I were perfectly acceptable, go figure) we had our meal, pooped, and were back out on the road. Our original plan for this day was a lot of off-road, however due to some confusion (and planned co-riders falling out of the ride) we had less than stellar directions for where we were supposed to go, so we said "Fuck it" and headed out to find some fun.

We rode up the 89A towards Sedona, AZ where you get sights like this:

it goes on and on like that for miles, truly the area is just lousy with amazing scenery. We rode through town and out the other side for a photo op (like there wasn't enough nice scenery already?)

While stopped there we were looking at the map and seeking a fun way to get from where we were, to where we wanted to be. While looking at the map, I found a little twisty line that looked like it would do the trick, so we headed in the direction of that and found ourselves surrounded on both sides by Pink Jeeps, this lead us to believe that we were "on to something" that just might be fun,

and it was, this trail is known as Schnebly Hill Trail. To paraphrase my personal hero Ferris Bueller "if you have the means, I highly recommend giving it a try". The trail started out VERY rocky, and the jeeps weren't really bothering to get out of our way, which lead Yeti with his GSA with non-A shocks to drop just a little bit of bashguard on a rock ledge pretty hard (funny, it was easy on the Dakar). Further up the trail there was a section that I refer to as "The Rockgarden" or "that place where I almost ate shit, but didn't have the sense to let off the throttle enough to let the bike go down, and stayed on it and stayed upright" or "this is the second time today I've thought about "DaFoole's Shart Kit". Yeti watched the whole thing his rearview mirror (as he had pulled over ASSUMING he'd need to help me pickup my bike [which was logical]) and upon my semi-successful completion of that area with both of us laughing (me from not dying, him from watching something that was probably seriously funny, if it wasn't happening to you) we took a quick break
before we continued on the trail uphill, with more rocks. Up the hill a bit further we pulled over to let the GSA cool off, and found where they shot the scene in National Lampoon's vacation where the Griswold's see the grand canyon from (or so we were told, I haven't re-watched the movie to confirm this).

Further up the trail (beyond where the jeeps go) the rocks go away, it becomes more of a fire road through the trees:

no, those are not animals at the edge of the lake, those are stumps. I thought they were animals too. Then we could really pick up some speed:


All too soon that trail ended in the 17 Freeway, and we took that north. Up near Flagstaff we stopped for some lunch, then headed on towards the 54 that would take us up into the Grand Canyon. When we got up to the 40, it started getting "breezy" we got back on the 89, and continued INTO THE WORST WIND STORM I'VE EVER BEEN IN, now so you don't think I'm exaggerating here, I grew up in Southern California, and have spent much of my youth in the desert, and in Arizona. I've seen my fair share of windstorms, this was UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE. There was a motorhome coming the other way with it's awning ripped off, I was following Yeti and thinking that at any time he was going to drag his windward footpeg or bag on the ground he was leaning so far over. There were 2 lanes going the direction we were going, we were in the left lane (with wind blowing form the left) and I would occasionally catch a gust that would push me into the right lane, and over towards the dirt, the only option I had was to back off th throttle, assuming at least that way I'd be going slower when I hit the edge of the road. The photos that Yeti (somehow) was able to take do NOT do this thing justice. Note in this photo the brown stain on the horizon is the sandstorm we're heading into.

Even this video (note, that's not static in the video, that's crap blowing around in the wind, and we were in an area that was VERY light on the wind compared to what we'd been riding in) we took when we pulled over to take a break before turning head on into said windstorm, which was now a sandstorm (YAY!), and to put on our goggles so we don't go blind. About 10 minutes before we hit this turn off, I felt a fart coming on, I was honestly so terrified that it couldn't sneak out, but here's the 3rd time today I started thinking about what a fool I was for not dropping the $19.99 for "DaFoole's Shart Kit", I mean it even had free shipping & handling, and here I could be with Shart, and no kit . I could write a lot more about my feelings during this windstorm, but you really don't want to hear a grown man sob, do you?

As we started heading up into the hills...the wind died down, the scenery turned back towards the tall trees and deep hole that the Grand Canyon area is known for.




the rest of the evening was fairly uneventful. We found our campground (open!) drank some beer, ate food out of bags, and went to bed, having NO IDEA of how much "fun" we'd have the next day with a little bit of misdirection and a whole lot of good intentions. So you'll want to stay tuned for that.
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