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Old 06-29-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
danceswithcages
 
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7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

My wife and I had originally planned for the last two weeks of June to ride to Indiana for her annual family reunion, but she works for the State of Montana as a CPS worker, and things went sideways at the last minute and she wasn’t able to take the time she had scheduled off. I don’t sit still very well and the thought of sitting at home for two weeks didn’t sound like fun, so I decided to take off for a few days. I asked our 16 year old daughter- our last kid at home –if she wanted to go and she was all over it.
So! We’re off like a hoid of toitles. Or something.

As I planned this new trip, I wanted to ride to the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa and add some new states to my map, but bad weather and flooding helped me to decide to head south first, to see my boys in Phoenix.



Day 1, Monday June 20
I had spent the previous weekend getting La Bandita packed; loading, unloading, rearranging, sorting, swearing, jumping up and down, and loading again. I tried to get our gear down to the bare minimum of what I thought would be necessary for a 10 day trip, but the poor bike weighed slightly less than the space shuttle at take-off, and as I paddled our way out of the driveway and wobbled down the street, I worried if this top-heavy barge would make the trip.

Rachael scrubbing the 'newness' off her boots!


I had reserved a cabin for our first night on the road at the KOA in Provo Utah, and as we began our trip at the crack of noon, I felt we were already running behind and should make some time to get there; so I, naturally, took the long way down. South from Missoula down Hwy 93, over Lost Trail Pass into Idaho, stopping for lunch in Salmon, then east on Hwy 26 through the Lemhi Valley to Hwy 15 where we would continue south into Utah. We christened the Lemhi Valley ‘The Never-Ending Valley’; although only 122 miles long, it kept going and going and going. Maybe it was because we were amped up to get the trip really underway.

Previews:








Lunch in Salmon Idaho





Snack break in Mud Lake Idaho
We had Granny in her rocking chair perched on top but I think she fell off near North Fork


The shadows were getting long as we joined Hwy 15 and the possibility of wandering creatures on the freeway kept me alert and scanning the shoulders carefully. We stopped for fast food somewhere near Brigham City then hauled for Provo. I installed driving lights that I bought at WalMarche a few days prior, and surprisingly they lit up the road really well. They would save our butts several times over the next several days, all for $18.00.
We rolled into Provo, unloaded the barge and were asleep almost as soon as we hit the pillows.
Day 1 total- 560 miles.

A note about the bike:
She’s a 2007 1250 Bandit, and she answers to ‘Jamie’. Yes, I name my bikes. Deal with it.
I purchased her on ebay, totaled, in April 2008. There were only 116 miles on the odo at the time I got her and she turned 21,000 miles on this trip. I put out a feeler on TWT (Texas bike) to see if I could learn how she was wrecked (wheelied over backwards) but I never found out. To date we have two SS1000’s, one BBG1500/24, one Utah 1088, and dozens of trips all over everywhere. Wonderful bike!
Mods are few. She’s completely stock, with the exception of an Airhawk seat, driving lights, GPS, and XM.
I’m very satisfied with Dunlop Roadsmart tires and installed a new set in Arizona.

Tomorrow- Day 2
Bryce Canyon Utah, Grand Canyon Arizona!
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

thanks for sharing!!! cant wait to read the rest!!! I need to talk my dad into a road trip soon =)
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Looking forward to hearing more about the trip. My eldest (13) and I often talk about going on a road trip together!! This might get us started.. Have fun and take plenty of photo's to remember it by later on!!

Gary
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!



So far, so good....
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Day 2 Tuesday June 21
We got on the road early- for us –around 8am and pointed the bike south.

KOA Provo






Not a lot of pics from the ride south, but after a bit we entered Red Canyon, then Bryce Canyon.





Hoodoos in Red Canyon




More Hoodoos




















After Bryce Canyon we rolled into Kanab Utah on our way to Jacob Lake Arizona. It was quite hot, but the red mountains were amazing.





Squeaky talking to her sweetheart


Made it into Jacob Lake and set up camp. Oddly, I brought my tent and sleeping bags, planning to camp the whole trip, but those little KOA Kabins spoiled us, as you will see!




After setting up camp, I got to looking at Jamie and noticed the lower brackets on the rear rack had broken. It's a rack I had on my XR650L I sold. I had to come up with a way to temporarily fix it...





With the bike unloaded she transformed from an overloaded pig to a svelte beauty! We headed to the Grand Canyon for an evening ride















One of my favorite pics


We had hiked to the end of Bright Angel Lookout






The views are incredible!
































There is a restaurant with huge windows that overlook the Canyon.










Made it back to camp well after dark, riding the 45 miles fairly slowly as there were tons of deer wandering around. Those el cheapo Walmart driving lights saved us several times.

Day 2 mileage- 402

Tomorrow- Phoenix, my boys, new tires! Oh yeah- it was 116 deg when we rolled in!
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Nice!
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Alright, lessee....day 3 I suppose...Wednesday June 22

We got up and broke camp, crammed everything back onto my Bandit and headed out.
We rolled through some really cool canyons then the land opened up and dropped us into the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.







This part of Arizona was incredibly beautiful and getting incredibly hot! The roads were very rough and from this point all the way into Phoenix we were battling a strong headwind.



















One thing I forgot to mention is that Rachael took most of the photos in this RR





The Colorado River below the Navajo Bridge




The vehicle bridge is on left, the original bridge on right








It was already like 385 degrees or something, and as we are ATGATT type of people we felt we better get down the road.
We got near Flagstaff and rode through two National Monuments, but it was so hot we decided not to stop.





We pulled into Flagstaff for Taco Bell and fuel, then got back on the road. Flagstaff sits at nearly 7000 feet, and while it was quite warm there, it was nothing like how hot it was as we dropped to the desert floor. We rode and rode through 112-114 degree heat, into a major headwind, with semi's blowing us all over the road. When we wheeled into Phoenix at 6 pm I nearly kicked my son's door in to get inside!

Day 3 mileage- 309

Day 4-

We did absolutely nothing today. My three sons live in Phoenix, and while they were at work, Rachael and I hid in the apartment. Too much !!
When the boys came home we hit the pool.

My oldest boy with Rachael






I can't believe I have a 24 year old!




My second son, Robbie



We hung around and did nothing for two and a half days and loved every minute of it!

Day 4 mileage- 0

I did put new tires on today. They are Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart. I got 14,000 out of the rear and could've gotten more than the 12,000 that was on the front but I chose to replace them as a pair.


Day 5 mileage- 0

Tomorrow- Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and Gallup New Mexico!
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:57 PM   #9
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Great trip! Can't wait for the rest of it
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Wow, what an adventure. You're hitting some of my places. Including the Grand Canyon's North Rim - a rare treat.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:47 PM   #11
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

I had that same bike in the same color, awesome ride and pics, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:59 PM   #12
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Awesome report! What tent is that?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:28 AM   #13
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Good on you dad!

Do your sons ride? If so, are they on Southwest Rides? ( www.swrides.com )
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:51 AM   #14
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Priceless. This one is a keeper. Fix, print, frame.

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Old 06-30-2011, 12:21 PM   #15
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texason View Post
Awesome report! What tent is that?
Hi James!

It's a Peak One Aries by Coleman. They stopped making this tent several years ago but they can still be found on ebay. They pack light and small but are quite roomy for two people and awesome for one person.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:24 PM   #16
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas T View Post
Good on you dad!

Do your sons ride? If so, are they on Southwest Rides? ( www.swrides.com )
Thank you!

All my kids have ridden since they were 5 or 6, but they are all currently between bikes, as it were.
But me showing up in the middle of a big trip with their little sister has sparked a fire under them, so hopefully soon we'll all be riding together again
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #17
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Nice trip. Be careful visiting parks in NM at the moment. They have closed a few because of the wild fires.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:01 PM   #18
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Awesome report!! Love the canyon shots of course, but the pic of the invisible tires was freakin' me out, haha. I'm itchin' for another road trip soon!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:16 PM   #19
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Ok...Day 6 Saturday June 25

Somehow Rachael and I got up and were on the road at 8 am. Wanted to leave earlier to beat the heat, but it was hard saying goodbye to my boys. I was born and raised in Arizona; 22 years in the Phoenix valley, then 22 years near Seattle, now the last 4 years in Montana. All 4 of my kids were born in Washington; my boys were established there when I moved to Missoula with my wife and Rachael. It had been a while since all four of them had been together and it was hard to head out.

We worked our way toward the Petrified Forest/Painted desert via Globe, Miami, and into Show Low. I had originally wanted to go thru Payson and Heber, but as half the state was on fire, Hwy 60 east was about our only choice.

The last several miles prior to the Petrified forest were especially difficult; it was incredibly hot, and the crosswind from the west was amazing. A huge gust of wind caught us just as we came over a rise and the bike got real light. I had been trying to stay near the center of my lane, practically dragging my left knee to stay straight, and this gust lifted us and moved us over to the white line on the right shoulder. I just held my breath and let Jamie find her way, but I was searching the side of the road for a place to crash. We did a bit of tightrope walking but somehow we kept it together and got back on the road. I've been riding for over 35 years and it's no hyperbole whatsoever to state that those few seconds were the scariest ride I've ever had.

Time for pics-





Looking south the opposite of the way we just came. The wind was howling!




Fortunately I have Rachael to lead the way!






The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert are pretty much one park...




This was the only time on the entire trip we took our jackets off. We were only doing 35-40 mph and there was no traffic so I felt it was ok. People often ask us if wearing all the gear is uncomfortable, especially in the heat. I say of course it is! But IV needles and road rash and broken bones and scars and stuff would be worse.




















Near the north end of the park, there is a small memorial to those folk who traveled Route 66 to California back in the '30s.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl




John Steinbeck is my favorite author and The Grapes of Wrath is my favorite book of his. I talked to Rachael a bit before the trip about the significance of Route 66, and having a physical piece of that American history before us moved her.


I've seen lots of photos of vehicles and personal effects abandoned along the highway, and while riding it I tried to imagine how it was for those poor folks- maybe some of our kin -out there on that road, fighting the crappy heat and the crappy wind and the crappy conditions in their crappy cars while dreaming of a better life out west, while here we were, happily zipping along at a mile a minute. Kinda humbling.

Painted Desert Inn


Heading toward Gallup New Mexico




I love these things. Don't know what they are, but I love 'em!








We rolled in to Gallup and the temp had dropped to a manageable 197 degrees, and we found the KOA we had a cabin reserved at and we collapsed in front of the A/C.




We hung out 'til the sun dropped, and it actually became quite pleasant. In fact we turned the A/C off and slept with the windows open. But before we went to bed we cruised into town and ended up at a not-very-good Mexican place called 'El Sombrero' or something. We then cruised the main drag once more and called it a night.

Day 6 mileage- 346

Tomorrow- Four Corners and my new favorite state- COLORADO!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:23 PM   #20
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Re: 7 States, 3100 miles, two-up with my daughter!

Do tell about your XM radio. I have a small unit I bought off ebay and wondered about ease of M/C installation and usage.

You are a lucky man to have such a great daughter.

Larry
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