Finally have the pics online. If you just want to look at those they also include my trip pics. You can just stop whenever you want. https://picasaweb.google.com/1135980...OKuzp-AmObTcw#
The short story is; My Rovers weren't ready to go so I took my VStrom motorcycle. While harder to camp on the going was faster and funner! I left on Monday the 12th and returned on Thursday the 29th. I went over Sonora Pass and camped outside of Mono Lake then across Nevada via the Extratrestrial Hwy to camp at Caliente, NV. Thru Zion to Page AZ where I camped in Walmart. Down Indian Hwy 20 and 89 to Flagstaff where TeriAnn and I had lunch and chatted at her house. Then off to Mormon Lake to camp.
The Howards showed up later and camp was set up. On Friday the Expo opened and it was off to see the vendors. I test drove a 2014 RRSport on the obstacle course. Amazing what they can do but so much to go wrong. Will they be too expensive to fix in 5 years? Lots of canvas stuff, base camps and tents and roof top tents. Warn had a nice display, as did ARB. There were good event discounts on many items from sellers. I was 6 hours looking at vendor stuff and hadn't even hit the moto area! What stood out?--- I can't say any 1 item caught my fancy enough to place an order. I did buy a flat LED from KClites for $20. What stood out most was the proliferation of off road trailer and roof top tent manufacturers.
Also standing out was the camradre of like minds sharing. Under weird but true, I even had peoples stopping in camp to look at my VStrom and take pictures! Whoda thunk.....It was 1 of only a handful of stroms there. Most bikes were BMW GS's.
The first afternoon I went thru the Moto section. Pretty quick as not much there not GS oriented. Maps and Urals.
On day 2 I went out into the camping parking area to see what peoples are really driving. That took about 4 hours, mostly cause no one was there to talk to. That afternoon I test drove a LR2. A very different vehicle, front wheel drive with a locker to the rear wheels on demand(computer). Most like an open diff car. A woman from Texas, Carmen showed up at camp sometime(It's all a blur). she bought a Series 3 and I guess saw the dormie and parked next to my bike.
Day 3 Sunday vendor served breakfast to public, some had already left though.
Stayed Sunday night and left Monday morning, drove to Flagstaff to try to find an ignitor for my snow peak giga stove. No joy, so I went towards Phoenix via Sedona. I have a friend in Phoenix who was a pen pal 40 years ago and I just reconnected with on the net. I camped at Cave Springs Campground in the Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona.
Tuesday I rode to Cottonwood and bought a new camera as my old one would no longer focus. I visited Tuzigoot (pronounced Tuzihoot) NM and Montazuema's Castle NM and headed back to camp. Passing thru Sedona and bout 5 miles from camp when the police had the road closed and were turning peoples around so I rode back to the edge of town and there they closed the road right after I pulled my helmet off. Seems there was a fire in the canyon. Well it was 40 acres already and windy, started at Slide Rock SP south of my camp site and moving north...
I hung around hoping that the fire would get put out quickly but it was moving along. By dark it was 400 acres. I was interviewed by Phoenix channel 10 and on the night news. I spent the first night (Tuesday) on a 4 foot bench in front of an abandoned building at the road closure in my down jacket and motorcycle suit. It was cold and windy!
In the morning the manager of the Best Western came over and offered free breakfast and use of the bathroom to displaced campers. People had Passports in the fire area and lots of us had clothes and camp gearthere. No one could get in on Wednesday, I bought a rootbeer float in a tourist trap it cost $7.15, but I did get the displaced camper discount which brought it down to $6.80. Sheesh! Pizza was brought to the police and ADOT workers at the road closure who shared with those of us hanging around. The locals were great!
A British couple who were displaced, sans pasports, stayed at the Best Western on Tuesday night. When it looked like we'd be out another night for Wed the manager got them a room at 1/4 the first night rate. Around 5pm I called the county sheriff asking for an escort in for my stuff as 1 couple was able to go in and get thiers before the wind shifted. They took my phone number and said call back at 0800. Meanwhile I got ready for another night on a picnic table just down the hill. Another camper gave me an old sofa cushion to sleep on. Hey I'm 63 I think I was the the oldest there. So about 9pm I go get on the picnic table, which is still too short at about 5 feet. I'm just about asleep and the Brit couple has found me, bringing a burger, chips, onion rings and a soda! Now I'm almost done with it and a local cop I met the first night rousts me he's found me a free room in the local timeshare! So I go get a shower and sleep in a kingbed.
In the morning around 7 I go back to my bike when the sheriff calls. Says they can get me in but don't know when, I should wait for the excorting deputy to call. So I put my roadcrafter on my bike and go to the free breakfast. At the end of the meal the deputy calls and gives me a half hour to get to the hard road closure 6 miles up the canyon. I was there in 25min.
6 officers standing around, 2 went with me to get my stuff. One wondered who I was that I had the pull to get "just camping gear" after all it wasn't a medical emergency like the lady yesterday. I put my stuff in the patrol car and we went back to the road closure where I rolled it up and properly stowed it. I overheard the guy in charge telling them that due to pressure from the Red Cross peoples were being let in to get stuff. One officer said well I guess we'll be busy today..........then 3 cars pulled up and it was on!
For myself I was enjoying the adventure, since I didn't have a timeline other than to be in Phoenix on Friday night, there was no rush. I just wish that I knew wether my stuff was burned or not then I could move on.
I visited Laurie and Wayne for a couple of days and then headed down to Organ Pipe Cactus NP. The roads were straight boring fast and HOT. Was only 2 tents in the campgrounds, maybe 4 RV's. Did I say it was HOT?
First light left to head over to Tombstone but it was a 2 day ride. Went to Kitt Peak where the Observatories are. Got a migrane, I figured it was either dehydration or altitude so I didn't take a tour but medicine and left. Passed thru a small section of Tuscon and headed south visited the Titan missle musuem, the only one left! Memories of the Cold War. Went to Patagonia Lake State Park. That was the worst place I stayed! melted and burned marshmellow on the ground, no shade, the tap water was hot and salty tasting, charcoal on the bench. People doing the nasty loudly at night and at 0445 some jerk woman comes in and lets the dog out and starts yelling at it and her kid. Crap it wasn't even light yet! I got up, cooked and left.
Only and hour and a half from Tombstone got there too early so I wandered around and had second breakfast. Around 1000 the stores opened, some pretty cool stuff. bought gifts for the family. After Tombstone I went southeast thru Bisbee and Douglas with my main objective to be the campgrounds on Mt Graham where James Howard works on telescopes. It was on Hwy 191 which came recommended by AZ motorcyclists and James.
Well that part of 191 was pretty boring and HOT, I visited the Chiricahua NM on scenic Hwy181 then buzzed on up to Mt Graham as it was HOT! 191 is mostly straight and the speed limit is 75 which I stuck pretty close to. On Mt Graham I went up about 4 miles where I spotted a paved pull out so I stopped there. The campgrounds were another 25 miles or so. I checked out the little creek and found some electronic monitoring device. There is a slight trail leading up the creek so I looked and then I found a foot bridge over the creek and some stone steps. A few paces on and there were tables in disarray. I had stumbled on an old Forest Service Camp/picnic site that had been hit by a flash flood! I stayed the night by my bike and left in the morning being eaten alive by mossy's.
That morning was truly awesome on Hwy 191 once I got up off the desert floor. If you ever get the chance................one not to miss! Never saw another car after I passed the giant mine at Morenci. That place is huge! I ended the day at the Petrified Forest NP. Or so I thought. There was no camping, no market, just wood turned to stone and I got another migrane. There was plenty of heat though.
Out of all my options I decided to head home. Figuring I'd go to Flagstaff and camp at Sunset Crater NP. When I got to Flag, Sunset was another 20 miles out of my way if I went home on Hwy 40 and I didn't look forward to doing the Hwy89 bad road section again. So I had dinner and rode on. and on and on. I catnapped at a couple of rest stops in the Mohave but rode pretty much thru the night following the trucks at 80mph. I got home at 1145 on Th having left Mt Graham at 0530 on Wed. 1044miles. Never thought I could do that on a bike! The whole trip was 3457.8mi.
There were times in Nevada and Arizona I hit the ton(100mph) roads were flat straight and MT. The first part of the trip including the Expo were cold followed by too much heat!
Things to know; The Mormon Lodge resturants ran out of food Fri and Sat. The showers are $2 for 5 min and very crappy, they ran out of laundry soap. Next time I go I'll take some classes. Although good event discounts were given things were still expensive.
Still over all glad I went! After all I had an adventure!