Motorcycling Arizona

Motorcycling Arizona

Five days of tough riding, 300 miles per day for a total of 1500 miles to get in everything we wanted to see. Rented BMWs in Phoenix, first leg was 300 miles up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Temperature in Phoenix on departure was a balmy 107 F degrees. We rolled up highway 17 parboiling at speed trying to get some altitude and lower temperatures. We had gotten out of Phoenix a little late and didn’t arrive at the hotel until after dark which was plenty scary as that’s when all the creatures come out of the desert to cross the road in front of us. We managed to get there in one piece, and the temp at midnight was 31 F.

Next morning we rolled around the North Rim, which not many visitors get to see as it’s plenty out of the way. It was a variation on the theme of the South Rim where most visitors go, but it was interesting. Then another 300 miles up through Southern Utah through Bryce Canyon and into Monument Valley which was absolutely spectacular. It rained cats and dogs the afternoon we arrived and we were in full rain gear. Lightning all night long and the following morning was spectacular with fog and low clouds, quickly clearing to a beautiful sunny day.

The hotel (and the Valley) is on Indian (Navajo) land and they built a nice hotel with each room facing out toward the valley with a spectacular view. This place is booked up four months in advance so it’s a good thing the Tour Nazi and Maximum Leader Jim Clark had anticipated that and a lot of other things before the trip. There is no way to get into the valley without a guide because the roads are all just cow paths and require Jeep/4 wheel drive. We got a young Navajo kid that took us out for over two hours and we saw everything. It was beyond spectacular. Some of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen anywhere.

Out on the road again next day through Canyon de Chelly and other similar sights, then over to the Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ, then over to what turned out to be a highlight of the day, a fry-it-yourself cafe at a local Harley shop East of Flagstaff. They supply Angus patties, you sizzle them on their bar-b-que grill with 20 or so flavorings to pick from. Best burger I’ve had for ages. The Harley place, riddled with grizzled Harley veterans is right off a mile or so stretch of the old Route 66. They bought up the land and so the road is more or less protected as a nostalgia event and photo op. Memories of my childhood; my dad and I driving that road long ago.

On the way back to Phoenix we had some time so we decided to divert to Sedona, AZ, a place that neither of us had ever visited. Turned out to be a waste of time. Sedona is a big, high end tourist trap set in the middle of some nice scenery. Then back into the furnace and outta there for home.

I have sorted out 45 photos that I think represent what we saw, and made a high resolution video of it. There is an eight second space between photos. he whole thing runs about six minutes. The photos came out darker than I would have liked, but the resolution is pretty good. The photos are pretty self explaining. The final few slides are of us on the old Route 66.

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