Well, we are back safe and sound from our 9 day, 2800 mile ride through Northern New Mexico and Colorado. After spending 7 of those days riding in 52 - 75 degree weather, it was a bit of a shock to drop down the hill into Phoenix to be greeted with 102 degrees. It was a great ride. Saw lots of beautiful scenery and neat old towns full of history as well as riding on the highest paved road in North America and going through the highest city in the United States. And of course, my index finger was working feverishly as I logged over 8.8 gigabytes and 2700 photos along the way. I will be back next week to start a series of reports with great photos and video of the trip.
But this week I am going to finish up our ride from 3 weeks ago through National Scenic Byway Hwy. 12. If you are new to the newsletter and missed that newsletter, Click Here to catch up and take a look at the photos. As you might remember from the first report we rode through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Hwy. 12 up to Hwy. 24.
As we turned East on Hwy. 24 we were only 4 miles from Capitol Reef National Park. There is no charge to ride Hwy. 24 through the park, but if you are to take one of the loops through the park there is a $5 fee. Capitol Reef is characterized by multi-colored red and white sandstone formations. It was designated a National Monument in 1937 and a National Park in 1971. You will find twisting canyons, massive domes, monoliths and spires of sandstone. As we dropped down the hill into the park we were greeted by giant red sandstone mountains with sheer sides. It is really quite an awesome and beautiful sight to see and hard to keep your eyes on the road. After a few miles viewing the red sheer cliffs you descend into a flat road that meanders alongside a stream with trees and vegetation next to the road and in between red and white shear sandstone walls making it a very impressive ride. In this area you will see the Old Fruita Schoolhouse, Petroglyphs, (carvings in the rock from the ancient Fremont people dating from 700 to 1300 AD.) and rocks with names like Capitol Dome and Hickman Bridge. Going through here in a car just would not be the same.
After you meander your way through 15 miles of Capitol Reef you will most likely be on such a sensory high that you won't even notice the 25 miles of desolate road through Caineville on your way to Hanksville for your next important gas stop. Make sure you fill up with gas and liquids in Hanksville because there are NO SERVICES for the next 126 miles to either Blanding or Mexican Hat, Utah. If you are on a Sportster or Vrod, it might be a stretch (more about that later).
When you leave Hanksville heading South on Hwy. 95 it is pretty much a good place to make up some time you have spent gawking on Hwy. 12 as it is just 35 miles of long straight road till you hit the Glen Canyon Recreation area. Never having been through Glen Canyon this was a nice surprise as you ride through some mild twisties in between the red canyon walls for 12 miles before crossing the bridge over Lake Powell. If you have ever done any boating in Lake Powell, this road is what it would be like to ride through Lake Powell if they drained all of the water out it. Even some of the caverns in the rock walls are exactly what you would see in the Escalante area of the lake. It was really pretty cool and a nice surprise.
About 92 miles South of Hanksville you will come upon the entrance to Natural Bridges National Monument. If you are inclined and have the time, you can take the 19 mile drive around the park. Another 2 miles on 95 you will reach Hwy. 261 which will take you to what is called the Moki Dugway. (pronounced Mokee) The Moki Dugway is located 23 miles South of Hwy. 95 and just 9 miles north of Mexican Hat, UT. on 261. It was constructed in 1958 by Texas Zinc, a mining company, to transport uranium ore from the "Happy Jack" mine in Fry Canyon, UT. to the processing mill in Mexican Hat. The two miles of unpaved, but well graded, switchbacks descend 1200 feet from the top of Cedar Mesa. The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet in length and 10,000 pounds in weight attempt to negotiate this steep (10% grade), narrow and winding road.
When you see this road you will wonder what the heck the guy in the covered wagon must have thought when he had been cruising along on relatively flat ground for several miles, having a good day in pioneerland, and then comes up to Cedar Mesa and looks over the edge to a 1200 foot drop-off. This would definitely ruin a good day in a covered wagon. Well, it is not that much different today when you come riding up there doing 65 miles per hour and see the road turn to gravel, you see this sign and then huge drop-off and a view for about 50 miles of Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods. It is pretty impressive. But after you take that in you will realize that you have a 1200 foot drop and a several switch backs in the next 2 miles of gravel road to negotiate this drop. The good news is the road is well maintained and there is asphalt on the corners. It was easily negotiated by all 4 of us including Mrs. C. and Kathy. In fact, I got such a kick out of it, I turned around and went up and back down again. Imagine that! It will be a part of the ride that you will be sharing with your riding pals when you get home. Keep watch for a couple of rocks I named called "Lizard Rock" and "Gorilla Rock".
After the thrill of the Moki, we still had 29 miles to go to our destination of Bluff, Utah for the night. I think I mentioned to you about that 126 miles of no services and the potential gas issue for Vrods. Well, it is true. We decided to stretch it even further by going to Bluff, and at about mile 129, Mrs. C's Vrod had officially burnt its' last fume. But not to worry, the good news was that Dan was carrying a 22 ounce emergency supply of gas on his bike. The bad news was that would only get her about another 10 miles and we had 20 to go to Bluff. So we had to use a tip from one of my faithful readers about carrying a turkey baster in the saddle bags for emergency gas needs. I pulled the turkey baster out of the bag and Dan proceeded to take gas out of Kathy's tank and into the 22 bottle before pouring into the Vrod. This was enough to coast her into the only gas station in Bluff, Utah. So let this be a tip to all of you. Carry a little $4 turkey baster in your bags, you never know when you might need it.
Saturday evening we enjoyed dinner at the Cottonwood Steakhouse and a great night in Bluff at the Desert Rose Inn & Cabins. After breakfast Sunday morning at the Twin Rocks Cafe we were on our way back to Gooseneck State Park for a brief look into the 1000 foot deep chasm carved through rocks by the San Juan River. The river meanders back and forth, flowing more than 5 miles while progressing only one linear mile toward the Colorado River and Lake Powell. Then it was on to see the Mexican Hat Rock on Hwy. 163 and through Monument Valley on our way to Hwy. 160 to 89 to I-17 and back to Phoenix. I had seen many pictures of Monument Valley over the years. Probably the same ones you have seen like this one. From a purely picturesque point of view, if I had ridden all the way up there just to see Monument Valley, I would have been pretty disappointed. It really isn't that big of deal to view. If not for all of the movies that have been shot there, it would be just another random collection of pointed rocks in the desert. Of the entire trip that I have outlined, it will continue to be the most famous and least remembered part of the trip. The Moki Dugway was way more exciting for me. But at least now I can say that I have seen Monument Valley and it is now in my rear view mirror.
I give this portion of the ride a Cyclerides.com rating of 4 out of 5 Spokes. The only reason I lowered it a point is that there is more idle time in between high points and the ride back from Monument Valley is somewhat tedious. I would encourage anyone to make this trip. It takes 3 long days for the entire approximate 1200 mile round trip to Phoenix, but if you start early in the mornings, it is easily done and very rewarding. You won't be disappointed at all. Check the weather in the different areas of this route as much of it is in the high elevations and it does get snow. I would think you could easily go till mid October. It might be cool in the mornings but would warm up. Overall I give this entire ride a Cyclerides.com rating of 4.5 out of 5 Spokes. You will be more than happy with your experience. My one suggestion would be that if you are going to do this in 3 days to be mindful of your timing because you will want to linger in some areas.
Tips for the ride:
Be sure to gas up in Hanksville. There is 126 miles between gas stops.
If you are going to stretch this to an extra day, the only real lodging in the middle is in Torrey, UT. The Desert Rose Inn in Bluff is a great place to stay if you are going to keep it to 3 days.
If you have time, include the first 12 miles or so of the Burr Trail off of Hwy 12 into your ride.
The Burr Trail Grill in Boulder is a good place to stop for lunch.
Bryce Canyon Country Cabins a good place to stay near Bryce Canyon.
Click Here for 126 Photos.
Click Here for Map.
Click Here for video riding the Moki Dugway.
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef Park Things to See and Do.
Natural Bridges National Monument
Gooseneck State Park
Highlights This Weekend
Western Trails Ranch is open again for the riding season Thursday thru Sunday!
Thursday Bike Night starts at 6PM every Thursday. Bike Rodeo each Thursday Night.
Trophies and Prizes. Horseshoe Tournament, Happy Hour all night.
September 8th and 9th.
Chandler Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House.
Join us as we introduce the NEW 2008 Models, Free Food, Comedy Hypnotist performs.
Saturday, September 8th
Superstition Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House. Superstition Harley-Davidson
is unleashing the THUNDER FROM THE MOUNTAIN and throwing the bash
of the season from 11am-8pm. Metalhead and The Chadwicks perform.
Saturday, September 8th
Hacienda Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction and 35th Anniversary Open House. Roll into our
Full Metal Attraction Open House to see the 2008 motorcycles from Harley-Davidson. Live Music.
Tuesday, September 11th
Chandler HD Two Wheel Tuesday Bike Night. Tuesday, September 11th kicks off the Inaugural
Two Wheel Tuesday Bike Night at the Tilted Kilt at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe at 6pm.
A good nights entertainment with Live Music by Chuck-E Baby & The All-Stars.
Two Wheeled Tuesdays.
Starting this Tuesday night, September 11th at 6pm with a 9-11 Fund Raiser Benefit for Iraq War Veterans.
There will Live Music with Chuck-E-Baby and the All-Stars, Raffles, Vendors, Bike Competition, Portable Dyno Competition. Watch next week for weekly event specials. Bike night hosted at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe located at 660 W. Warner Rd.
Bike Night at Buffalo Wild Wings Mesa-Falcon Field. This is a great new stop for riders on the East Side. Enjoy GREAT FOOD and Live Music every Wednesday night with Soul Catcher, featuring acoustic blues and classic rock from 7pm - 10pm every Wednesday Night at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 4425 E. McKellips Rd. in Mesa, AZ, just across from Falcon Field. Special motorcycle parking in front of the patio. Choose from the extensive new menu including Wings, Chicken Tenders, Huge selection of salads, Wraps, Sandwiches, Ribs & Combos, Burgers, Desserts and Beverages. Click Here for complete menu. Bike Night specials are 50 Cent Legs all day, $2.50 Coronas & Pacificos, $1.75 Bud Light Pints, $1.75 Miller Light Pints. Sit inside and watch your favorite sporting events on over 50 TV's and 5 Giant Screen TV's or sit outside on the huge patio where there are more TV's and enjoy the evening air. Wherever you find to relax, you will be sure to have a good time, good food and good entertainment at the Buffalo Wings Wednesday Bike Night. 480-218-9464. Click Here to take a look at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Thursday Bike Night at Gordon Biersch Brewery at Westgate. Live Music on the patio this week 6:30 - 9:30pm!! You can also sign up for the Gordon Biersch Passport card. Get your GB Passport. Pay $20 for the card, and you will get a $20 gift certificate to redeem for food and drink. On Bike Nights you will receive double rewards to build points for free food and drink. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Glendale features the best Beer Garden you will find in this State, an impressive bar area equipped with TVs and speaker system, great food, and a large outdoor patio seating. Bike night specials include: Extended Happy Hour for Riders to 8:00pm
Happy Hour includes:
$1.00 off Gordon Biersch Lagers
$2.00 off all Wines by the Glass
$4.95 Appetizer Specials: Southwest Egg rolls, Tapas, Chicken Wings, Bruschetta, Crispy Artichoke Hearts, Garlic Fries, Mini Pizza's Cheese or Pepperoni.
Try my favorite, the Gordon Biersch "Golden Export" or a sampler
of all 5 of their beers brewed on site. Plenty of motorcycle only parking. Gordon Biersch is located
at 6915 N. 95th Ave. at Westgate City Center, Loop 101 and Glendale next to the Cardinals Stadium. An easy ride
from anywhere in the Valley. 623-877-4300.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Western Trails Ranch is open again for the riding season Thursday thru Sunday!
Thursday Bike Night starts at 6PM every Thursday. Bike Rodeo each Thursday Night. Trophies and Prizes. Horseshoe Tournament, Happy Hour all night. Drink and Food specials. Foghat Ticket Giveaways, Meet and Greet the MMA Westsiders. 50/50 Drawings.
Friday and Saturday Night live Rock and Roll. This weekend cover band: Blue Tattoo.
Saturday and Sunday Biker Days Open 10am. Drink Specials, Patio Misters, 4 horseshoe pits, Pool Tables, Watch the bikes come and go from the Buzzard Saloon. Western Trails Ranch is located at 37823 Grand Ave. Morristown, AZ Mile Marker 124. From Surprise Just 15 Short Minutes from Bell Rd on left side of GRAND AVE. Look for the Teepees From Wickenburg just 15 short minutes. 3 miles past SR 74 "Carefree Hwy" on the right. More information at 623-922-0450.
Every Saturday and Sunday
Harold's Cave Creek Corral Bike Weekends. This is the patio that we have all been waiting for in Cave Creek. The new 4000 Sq. Ft. patio at Harold's is finally finished complete with misters, TV's and an outdoor bar. There is plenty of room to put some tables together and hang out with your riding group for breakfast, lunch or the cold beverage of your choice. Live Music from Noon to 4pm every Saturday with Bob Bouchard, the man who plays at Greasewood every weekend. Enjoy TV's all around the patio with a walk up bar. Ride out on Sunday's and enjoy the All You Can Eat breakfast buffet for $8.99 on Sundays from 8am - Noon. Or grab one of Harold's fantastic hamburgers and watch the bikes roll by on Cave Creek Rd. from the patio. 50% Off Appetizers and $2.00 Bud/Bud Light bottles. You can also choose from their full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu every day of the week. Plenty of new motorcycle parking right in front of the patio. A great destination patio for your weekend rides. Harold's is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. 480-488-1906. There are still no tickets being given for DB violations. Just continue to keep the noise down as much as possible when riding through Carefree.
Events This Week
This is that time of year for the Harley Dealers 2008 model introductions and open
houses. Keep in mind that each of the dealers will be giving away a 2008 HD Fat Bob. So if you were to go to all
6 dealers during their open house and sign up for the drawing, your chances of winning would be greatly increased.
Saturday and Sunday
September 8th and 9th.
Chandler Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House. Join us as we introduce the NEW 2008 Models, the BRAND NEW Fat Bob and the tow NEW Softail models, the Rocker and Rocker C motorcycles. Enjoy FREE FOOD provided by the Tilted Kilt from 11am - 3pm. Fashion Show with all of the newest Motorclothes and Apparel from Harley-Davidson on Saturday from 1 - 2pm, and LIVE COMEDY with a Hypnotist after the fashion show. Sign up to win a 2008 Fat Bob $10,000 in Motorclothes. Take a spin in the famous Money Machine with purchase and much more! Great Savings All Weekend Long! Chandler Harley is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ. For more information call 480-496-6800.
Saturday, September 8th
Superstition Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House. Superstition Harley-Davidson is unleashing the THUNDER FROM THE MOUNTAIN and throwing the bash of the season from 11am-8pm Saturday, September 8th. Stop by and see the latest in Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Motorclothes. FREE LUNCH from Hooters for the first 500 people. Dyno Shoot-Out with Trophies. MotorClothes Fashion Show. Bike Wash with Hooters Girls. Beer Garden 2-8pm.
LIVE BANDS featuring THE CHADWICKS (2:30-4:30pm) & METALHEAD (6-8pm) . Free Dinner from Joe's Real BBQ for the first 500 people. Mention this ad at the information desk and receive a FREE gift. You won't want to miss this event. Sign up to win a 2008 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob and $10,000 of Motorclothes. You can also sign up to win a free VIP trip to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Superstition Harley-Davidson is located at 2910 W. Apache Trail in Apache Junction, AZ. For more information call 480-346-0600.
Saturday, September 8th
Hacienda Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction and 35th Anniversary Open House. Roll into our Full Metal Attraction Open House to see the 2008 motorcycles from Harley-Davidson. Enjoy Live Music, Raffle's, Food and a Fashion Show to highlight the latest in MotorClothes from the Motor Company. Be sure and sign up for the Full Metal Attraction drawing for the 2008 HD Fat Bob motorcycle. Hacienda Harley-Davidson is located at 15600 N. Hayden Road in Scottsdale, AZ. For more information call 480-905-1903.
Saturday, September 8th
Benefit for Imprisoned Border Agent Nacho Ramos. Join the American Freedom Riders and Friends to raise funds to help Monica Ramos keep her home in El Paso and travel to Phoenix to visit Nacho when she is allowed. Nationally known radio host and former Mayor of San Diego Roger Hedgecock to host the event. $20 admission includes Band, Food, Fun and other nationally known Guest Speakers. Roadrunner Saloon located at the I-17 and the New River Exit. East side of the road. Event time 6pm.
Tuesday, September 11th
Two Wheel Tuesday Bike Night. Tuesday, September 11th kicks off the Inaugural Two Wheel Tuesday Bike Night at the Tilted Kilt at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe at 6pm. A good nights entertainment with Live Music by Chuck-E Baby & The All-Stars, Raffles, Vendors, Bike Competition, Portable Dyno Competition, Great Food with 15% off with Biker Night Card - all helping to raise money for 5013c Charity's FREEDOM IS NOT FREE (aiding wounded service members, their families and the families of the fatally wounded) and The Choir Boys United Fund For Fallen Survivors, (C.U.F.F.S) which aids surviving family members of fallen brothers and sisters of the Law Enforcement Community.
But mark your calendars - every first Tuesday of each month, around 6pm - motorcycle enthusiasts will flock to the Tilted Kilt, parking their bikes several deep. The Tilted Kilt pub is a sports pub with Lovely lasses in naughty but nice mini kilts and hunky male bartenders serving a menu of both traditional "pub grub" and pouring ales and beers from around the world as well as virtually every other libation a customer could want. For more information call 480-496-6800.
VFW Riders Thunder Mountain Chapter Spaghetti Dinner. VFW Riders are hosting a spaghetti dinner to help raise money for our organization to get established so we can help sponsor other fund raising events to help with the Veterans Home, Veterans Day Parade and other programs to help all war vets and their families. Spaghetti Dinner for only $5.00 from 4-7pm. Keg push starts at 5pm. 60% of cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. VFW Post 7968 located at 725 W. Apache Trail in Apache Junction, AZ. For more information: Howie, 480-206-0212.
Saturday, September 15th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House. Head in to Chesterís Harley-Davidsonís Full Metal Attraction Open House. Check out these irresistible attractions:
New 2008 motorcycles, Latest Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories and MotorClothes® apparel, Renowned Female Motorcycle Journalist for American Iron, Dealernews and Midwest Motorcyclist will visit Chesterís Harley-Davidson to give a motivational seminar to encourage enthusiasts to find more time for themselves and their motorcycles. Presentations at 11am and 1pm. Coffee Bar from 8 to 10am and lunch provided by Landmark Restaurant from Noon to 2pm. Live Music from Noon - 3pm with Nick Nicholson. 10% - 30% Scratch-Off discount cards. Giveaways, sweepstakes prizes and more! Enter the Full Metal Attraction Sweepstakes. GRAND PRIZE Ė a new 2008 Fat Bob motorcycle and $10,000 of Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories and MotorClothes® merchandise. FIRST PRIZE Ė a V.I.P. trip for two to the new Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Chester's is located at 922 S. Country Club in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, September 15th
2nd Annual Wheels of Grace Unity Ride. September 15 will be the magical day in which we hope to see 300-400 bikers from various different ministries, clubs and walks of life coming together showing support for the children. The reason we coming together is for a unity ride, good food, music and especially to raise funds and toys for children in need, Angel Tree children. Ride to Begin at: Southwestern College 2625 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix, Arizona. Registration Begins at 7am Event Starts at 8am Fee: $10 + Toy (benefiting Angel Tree kids). First 250 bikers will receive a Unity Ride 2007 Pin & Goody bag! Music provided by: Hillside, Message by KP Westmoreland. National unity prayer call to follow. Ride to End at: Chandler Harley-Davidson 6895 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85226 Phone: (480) 496-6800. Lunch will be provided by Black Sheep Harley Davidson for Christ. Live music from Choir of the Broken. For more information or registration please go to www.wheelsofgrace.com and click on Unity Ride. OR Contact: Tom Anthony at email@example.com or call 602-478-3534.
Sunday, September 16th in Tucson.
5th Annual Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Charity Benefit. Event time 11am - 4pm located at Montgomery's on Vail Road in Tucson. 1 Mile North of I-10 at Vail Exit. Bike Show, Food, Vendors, Kid Events, 50/50, Raffles, Live Band, T-Shirts. Money raised to go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
I would like to announce that the total money raised at the Chopper Memorial Ride
has been increased substantially to over $47,000 as RideNow Powersports wrote a check for $5000 to the George Cortez Memorial Fund to be included in the ride proceeds. Tiffany came to pick
up the additional monies and was absolutely astounded by the support from the motorcycle community. Thanks to RideNow
for the generous contribution. Click Here to see the Chopper Memorial Ride Music Video.
I would also like to send out a get well to my buddy Rusty Childress who is recovering from a motorcycle accident. Last Saturday on his way to Durango, a lady in a car pulled out in front of him on Hwy. 191. He hit her broadside with his Ultra as he and his girlfriend took a 50 foot flight over the car onto the pavement. Both have broken bones and scrapes and are recovering. He said the lady was stopped at the stop sign, and he never dreamed that she would pull out in front of him. But she did, right as he got to her.
Some of these are ones that you have seen before and some new ones mixed in. It is a collection of "cat antics" that are pretty funny. Click Here to view.
This is one that you might have seen before but it is worth playing again to remind all of the Women out there to do an idiot check before you get on the back of a bike. It is called "How to lose a girlfriend". As soon as the road rash wore off she probably really let him have it. Click Here to View.
Here is a funny clip from a recent CSI type show. See if you can figure out the clue. :) Click Here to View.