Sunday, March 31, 2013

Prelude to Alaska - Spring Break: Day 2

Got a late start to the day's riding, I left Durango and the motel at 8:45 AM, after the X5 group had already departed some time earlier!  I kept re-arranging things in the sidecar from its being unloaded last night, and couldn't quite get the arrangement to my satisfaction!

The side driving light on the hack is also out, and while troubleshooting it this morning, realized the multimeter I carry with my tools wasn't working right.  Sigh.  It'll have to wait till tomorrow when I can purchase another meter and a soldering iron.

I hit the road and was to stay on US160 westbound most of the day.  The major spots along the way were Four Corners (which I skipped), Kayenta, Tuba City and finally Flagstaff, Arizona.  There were some interesting rock formations along the way but for the most part it was dull slab riding through desert country.

Just west of the town of Mancos, CO, the big arrows attract a driver's 
eye to the Hogan Trading Post.
The above is near the entrance to the Mesa Verde Park

 At the junction where US160 turns West and US491 continues South
there was this interesting rock formation visible from the highway.
Naturally I turned off and got a bit closer to it.
I found what appears to be an old jail ... curious.

 The above Mesa brought back memories of my first overnight road trip
on a motorcycle back in October of 2007,  this same rock formation got me published for the first
time on the BMW Owners Association Magazine: LINK 

 Just to the East of Kayenta which is the gateway town to Monument Valley
is this group of strange looking rock formations.  To me they looked like
tight queues of people exiting the main rock formation.

Church Rock, to the west of Kayenta on US160.

From this point on, it was straightforward riding into strong headwinds and rolling desert terrain.  I was truly the slowest vehicle on the road due to the headwinds.  Still,  I was doing pretty good apparently, as the ladies and my sons didn't catch up to me until after I had transited through Tuba City, AZ!  

I got to the rental place about 30 minutes after they did, quite a nice vacation rental place if I do say so myself.  We'll use this as a base for the next four days to explore the area around Flagstaff.  

I covered 494 kilometers today in 7 hours of riding and shooting photos, for a total on the odometer of 21,974.  It'll be soon time to do Valencia's 22500 Km service.  Valencia once again did great, nothing fell off the sidecar but Murph is right, I need to get better straps.  My father-in-law comes to join us tomorrow and we'll come up with a plan by then I am sure.

Today's travels: LINK

Previously: Prelude to Alaska - Spring Break: Day 1


Unknown said...

This is one the nicest areas of the US. I loved Monument valley, the entire Navajo Nation area, flagstaff, the 4 corners, just beautiful. I have to go back on the bike. Beautiful pictures.

SonjaM said...

No snow and spectacular vistas for a change. Love the shot of church rock. I have just a crappy pic of it against the sun.

As for the strapping... don't you use Rok's? I thought that's a mandatory item for long distance travelers.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks George.

RichardM said...

Beautiful photos. Like George, this area is one of my favorite as well. Assuming you are there at the right time of the year. Looking forward to your posts and visit. It looks like you have a large bag on the rear rack now.

Unknown said...


I just love those rock formations. You've captured them beautifully. It has been a few years since we were there but I would like to go back on my bike

Riding the Wet Coast

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, sadly I left my ROK straps on Brigitta....must get more soon. I'll try to get you some spectacular scenery soonest! Thanks for your kind words re Church Rock.

RichardM, yep, your allowing me to ship a tire to your home lessened the overloaded look of the rig. Thanks to you as we'll for your comments.

Bobskoot, thanks to you as well, I lucked out with the pics.

Schlotskey said...

What looks like an old jail is actually an old visitor center. Used from about 1971 to 1981. Not certain of the exact land designation behind it these days (state/fed park, wilderness, etc). The prominent Chimney Rock looms overhead. (Not to be confused with the other Chimney Rock on the other side of Durango.) Great pics and a great trip! Many thanks!

redlegsrides said...

Schlotskey....thanks for the info! It didn't make sense to have a jail there....thanks for the visit.