The way to Flagstaff

Day: 42
Date: 13/05
City: Blanding, Utah
Miles ridden: 197
Cumulative miles: 3805

We started to make our way toward Flagstaff and the Overland Expo. Our first stop was at the four state corners, where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet. It’s on a road but in the middle of nowhere. We took a picture with each of us being in a different State.  Looks like the weather is the same in all four states today! 🙂

From here we stared to discuss our next target. One option was to go all the way up to Arches NP, but Sigrid and Val felt a bit tired and I could use some time for sorting things out as well, so we decided against it. Instead we opted for a rest day in Flagstaff. So the shorter route it was. This route went to the ‘Natural Bridges National Park’ and the it was breathtaking. Unfortunately the pictures don’t do it any justice, the road was much steeper and the cliff face was much higher.

After a short stop at the visitor centre, we started to do the round trip on our bikes. The natural bridges were created by ancient rivers which created shortcuts for themselves. The bridges were so old that the river doesn’t exist anymore. Below is one of the smaller bridges


And below the Sipapu Bridge

Panorama shot at the Sipapu Bridge, the bridge itself is on the right hand bottom part, a bit hard to see.

This is the oldest and the largest bridge in the park, the Owachomo Bridge.

We thought we would go to Flagstaff that evening, but we realised that the way to Flagstaff would lead us over the ‘Moki Dug way’, which is a step gravel road going down a cliff. Sigrid and Val were not very happy to ride dirt today, so we backtracked to Blending. At our accommodation another motorcyclist was asking if we were carrying a tube, he was trying to source one for his buddy who had a flat tyre. His buddy fixed it twice with a patch, but each time the patch came loose. So we spent some time fiddling around and my back tyre tube seemed to fit. We gave him our room number so he could tell his buddy to pick it up from our room. On our way to dinner we saw this sunset. Again, the picture doesn’t do it justice; the clouds were much redder J

We found a restaurant that had a mother’s day special, the meal for a mother would be half price. When we ordered, we discovered that Blending was a dry town, no alcohol at all. Now that was a bit of a surprise for us, since we were looking forward for a nice cold beer…. 🙁  After dinner we met a couple from Flagstaff, Scott and his wife who were just finishing a round trip through all the national parks in this area on their FJR1300 motorbike. Scott told us that he knew a couple of nice roads around here and could suggest some for us. So we got Wombat and Val over into our room as well and Scott started to tell us all about the roads the he would suggest. It was incredible, he was full of information and we found out that he had ridden nearly all roads on the west coast. So we picked his brain heavily. In addition Mike arrived; he was the guy with the flat tyre. He had a look at the tube, but it wasn’t fitting exact enough, so he would have a look if he can find a better one the next morning. If not, he would like to get mine. We found out the he travelled in Alaska quite a bit, so we picked his brain as well. The evening ended rather late, but we were very excited about the trip on the western side of the USA and we had plenty of information to digest while we dreamed.

Day: 43
Date: 14/05
City: Flagstaff, Arizona
Miles ridden: 199
Cumulative miles: 4004

Mike contacted us in the morning to get the tube. After breakfast we talked to Scott and his wife for a while before we departed. We went back to Bluff, had a look at the two rocks.

Sigrid and Val went into the shop to browse. I had a nice talk with a guy from Indiana about motorcycle riding, he envied us. Then we took off towards the Moki Dug way. We arrived around 1PM.

Sigrid and Val waited for us at the bottom and Wombat and I drove to the top and down again. Wombat used Val’s bike, it had the lighter panniers. The road started with bitumen, and then turned into gravel. Some corners had hardly any gravel, some a lot, and some had bitumen. We were lucky that nobody was coming the opposite way, so we had the gravel road for ourselves. There was no guardrails, the side of the road ended in a step drop. I was happy when I arrived at the top without dropping the bike. We took a couple of pictures and videos at the top and then made our way down.

This is the view from the top; the girls were waiting at the fork.

Getting down was a bit more difficult, but it seemed to be shorter. I was happy to arrive at ground level again. During the time Wombat and I were on that track the girls meet two guys; they were surprised to see two lonely girlswith dual sport bikes in the middle of nowhere ;). They made some small talk and suggested that we have a look at a off-road website. After a short break all of us set off to the Mexican Head where we had lunch.

The rock was not far away from the shop where we had lunch, so we used the zoom to take a picture.

And off we went on to ‘Monument Valley’, the view from the road was great – I particularly like how the road disappears into the distance.

We stopped a couple of times to take pictures of the monuments. While moving on the road the scenery kept changing.

At one place we stopped at an Indian art stall, walked up the hill and took some pictures from there.

Wombat and Val bought two necklaces from the kid running the stall.

A bit later we stopped, you guessed it, to take pictures!

When we departed, Sigrid dropped the bike the first time. Picture just before Sigrid dropped the bike; I didn’t dare to take one when it was happening. J

It all occurred while she practiced a new way to get onto the bike. This time,however, the bike was not leaning enough and the ground on the right side was just a bit lower. When Sigrid sat on the bike, it fell to the other side and Sigrid couldn’t hold it and had to let it go.
Luckily, she didn’t hurt herself. The bike was picked up in no time and there was only ego and cosmetic damage.

We progressed to Flagstaff. The weather so far was quite warm, but 20 minutes from Flagstaff it started to get freezing. When we arrived, we booked a family room (2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom) in the ‘Days inn’ for 65US$/couple/day. We met a guy from Germany, Christian, who was riding a Harley for 5 days before he exchanges it for a car and drives to his friend. We had dinner at the restaurant opposite the motel, we invited Christian as well so we had a nice evening talking about his travels so far and our plans.


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