Thursday April 23, 2009

Decided to bypass famous motorcycle ride from Durango up to Silverton and back and carry on towards Grand Canyon. After entering Arizona, the ride was a little tougher. Rougher roads, wind blown sand, construction, and much higher temps (high 80's).  Stopped in a town called Mexican Water to have lunch , remove liners from our jacket and pants, rest and cool off. Well we got most of that done except for cooling off.  No air conditioning in restaurant. All the waitstaff and cooks were Native American so I'm sure they weren't affected by heat.  Our waitress was in fact wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans and wasn't sweating at all. Made it to Monument Valley at about 2pm. Breathtaking views! From their overlooking visitors center I saw a small unpaved road that you can drive and go through park at ground level. Hadn't done much off-road with this bike, and with a passenger and loaded to the max would be even tougher but I had to try. I knew if I didn't I would regret it and even if I did drop the bike it was at a slow speed and in mostly soft red sand/dust. No problem except for one spot where it was soft and deep on a downhill. Handlebars became a bit wobbly so I throttled trough it and we stayed up. Parked, took some awesome photos, and Kim walked up a bit while I tried the same drive uphill alone. Same thing, a bit wobbly in deep sand but I stayed up. She hopped on and we left park. Hit a Hampton Inn in Kayenta (nearest town) and done for the day. Grand Canyon tomorrow no problem, about 150 miles away.

Today's driving time 4 hours 55 minutes and 273 miles.
Total driving time 25 hours 47 minutes and 1628 miles.