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Old 04-15-2007, 12:21 PM   #1
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Cool Gsxrgirrl Does The Southwest

Gsxrgirrl Does The Southwest - National Parks and Monument Tour 2007
Late last year the BF and I started planning a trip to the southwest. I had always wanted to see that part of the country as the photos I had scene in magazines and writeups looked brilliant. Unfortunetly due to time constraints with his job he was unable to get away. So I asked a riding mate to accompany me. She was just as excited as I was. So armed with my route, maps, quickstand, chain lube and WD40, and tire repair kit, plus personal bits and pieces, off we went. The trip was to be 12 days through 6 states. We ended up doing about 3,400+ miles. All I can say is WOW! the scenery is simply spectacular, and some of the roads are not bad either! Hope you enjoy!
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Day 1
We started out in our own backyard. Look familiar?


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Old 04-15-2007, 12:27 PM   #2
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Day 2
We got underway at 6:00 so we could have a 7:00 am departure for Death Valley. I had read so much about it I could not wait to get there. There is stark beautiful quality about the place. And as the road winds down into the valley you are rewarded with stunning views. The road also rewards you with lots of mini whoops and dips :-)


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Old 04-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #3
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Day 3
We started out this day from Kingman, Arizona. We had initially planned on staying in Sedona but because we had dithered around in Death Valley to long we settled on reaching Kingman, via a brisk little clip down 95 through Laughlin as the traffic and construction outside the Hoover Dam was not very appealing. We headed out of Kingman early morning to continue down Route 66.


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The perfect curve on Mingus mountain en route to Sedona...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #4
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The granddaddy of canyons - simply bloody awesome!

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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Day 4
We had arrived in Tuba City late in the evening the previous day. We had taken 64 East out of the canyon in dusk time and were subsequently rewarded with the birth of a full moon on the way down. Leaving Tuba City today on the way to Monument Valley we stumbled across some 'Elephants Feet'. That is what the Navajo call them.


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We encountered 3 guys from Mexico who were on a Grand Canyon tour. They could not believe their eyes to see 2 women on sport bikes bumbling around the desert..

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On our way through Monument...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:37 PM   #6
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Pressing on toward Farmington we visited 4 Corners...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:40 PM   #7
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Day 5
We departed Farmington on our way up to Cortez to visit Mesa Verde. We wound up through 170 north through New Mexico and 140 North into Colorado. We decided to find a place to have lunch when I spotted this 'diner' outside Hesperus.


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What we ended up with was this..it like something out of southern italy...

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The Colorado Rockies from the top of Mesa Verde...

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One of the Anastazi villages...

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On the way down from the park..after I was presented with a $50.00 'donation' to one of the National Park services` charities for going 'excessively' fast -- 50 in a 45 mph zone...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:43 PM   #8
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Day 6
We departed Cortez on our way to Monticello where we would visit Moab and the surrounding parks. Whilst staying at the Super 8 we not only got to do laundry, but they supplied cleaning gear for our bikes...


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We visited the Canyons of the Ancients, a very old Peublo settlement. We took advantage of some time off the bikes to have a walkabout the ruins...

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Since it was jeep week in Moab we decided to do Natural Bridges Monument for the remains of the day and visit Moab the following day. There are 3 natural bridges that make up this monument, Sipapu, Katchina, and Owatchamo. We determined to hike down into at least one of them...oh my...they are indeed spectacular. On the way down into Sipapu...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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Sipapu..the largest of the three...

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Looking up at the arch from the valley floor...

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Her sister bridge, Katchina...

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On US 95 heading back to Monticello...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
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Day 7
Today Arches and Canyonlands. I had heard so much about these places...I had no idea what waited for me...


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Canyonlands is truly marvelous...although it is only 10 kilometers or so from Arches, it is another world alltogether...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:47 PM   #11
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A simply delightful road through the park...

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On the way back to Monticello...
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:49 PM   #12
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Day 8
This day would find us out in the wasteland, through some twisties, over a short but very sweet scoot on some luscious blacktop, a short ferry ride, through the gravel, and onward to Hanksville and Capitol Reef to arrive at our next destination, Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument.


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What I call 'The Fortress'...it popped up out of nowhere on the way to Capitol Reef...

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Valley in Capitol Reef...

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On the way into Escalante you take SR 12..which is just brilliant...about 70 miles or so of non-stop curves..and the view from 9000 feet is quite stunning...

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We were to pass even more spectacular scenery and sheer drops...but it was getting late in the day and there was a storm on the horizon...so with 15 mph and 25 mph curves, drops, and hairpins, I decided to watch where the hell I was going and get us safely into the town.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:52 PM   #13
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Day 9
I had booked us into a delightful place called Escalante Bed and Breakfast and coupled with the room was a slot canyon tour. I had read about these canyons, also talked to a colleague about them, and had also seen them on National Geographic. Simply amazing what flash floods can do. Our guide was called Mark and he owns a business called Adventure Outback Tours. He was to lead us through three slot canyons: Narrows, Spooky, and Peak-A-Boo.

Narrows...

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Spooky...

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Peak-A-Boo...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:55 PM   #14
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Day 10
We headed out of Escalante on the way to Zion. I had initially wanted to do a loop up through Panquitch and down 143 across 14 to intersect with 89 and Kodachrome, Bryce and Red Canyon but the day before it had rained which meant that up in the higher elevations of Panquitch it would have snowed and been rather chilly. So we headed down 89.

Kodacrome is a tiny little park tucked in amongst the 'biggies' but just as visit worthy...

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Bryce, home of the goblins and hoodoos...

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:56 PM   #15
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Red Canyon is a really nice little park outside Bryce. To many people just blow past it after the eye popping beauty of Bryce, but it turned out to be one of my favorites...

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