Monday, July 20, 2009


My boots were worn out so i bought a new pair at Cowboy Boots, a discount boot place in Scottsdale I always wanted to buy boots from when in college but couldn't afford it. I bought Ostrich. My old boots were lizard I bought on a business trip in Mexico.

Then i toured the ASU campus and rode out to the Superstition mountains today, east of Phoenix.

The Superstition Mountains

These mountains were my favorite place to ride my Honda 250 street/dirt bike in the dessert in college. I love these mountains. Look them up, they are interesting. Dave Butts, Randy Storm, Cecilia Smith and I made a "silent" movie out here in college. That was fun!

When i was up there the storm hit suddenly with dust and rain and i had to get down the hill fast. The rain soaked me immediately but I didn't care it was the lightning i was concerned about.

I am planning to ride to Las Vegas again tomorrow but I'm not sure i can make it in this heat and these storms. I blogged the pic of the dust storm rolling into Phoenix a couple days ago. Here's the kind of warning they put on TV for these things, some pictures and a video of the storm and lightning.

Arizona State University

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I rode from the Grand Canyon to Phoenix yesterday.

The Arizona mountains are so different from the northwest's. Its amazing how the smells of the dessert take me back ... have you ever smelled the dessert after a rain? Just like music can take you back, smells can do the same.

All the way i was watching the clouds and the rain and dark clouds surrounding my path. I was thinking about the old Navajo woman who told me, "go where yo want those clouds don't cool." I had decided to ride into the rain as is, no rain gear, no coat, skull helmet, just ride in and take it. Now i lived in Arizona for 8 years so i know the rain is like here. It is NOT like Seattle rain. It pounds you and drenches you in seconds. The whole point was being soaked does not matter here because the rain is warm. I used to love running in the rain in college at ASU. I was only worried about visibility. I traipsed through the mountains between cloud bursts and never got rained on.

So, next adventure; as i was nearing Phoenix, in construction with concrete blockades on both sides of the freeway lane i was in, a car came by and told me my headlight was out. It was dusk, i had just spent half an our watching the sunset. Also there was a dessert dust storm blowing into Phoenix. (see pic) You can see it? Moving left to right on the ground sorta pinkish in the sunset. I have seen these before and they are deadly dangerous in a car. On a Harley I was not planning on riding into it. It was dark. Riding a Harley at night with no headlight was not in my plans so I got off at the next exit and found a hotel and got a room. For those of you who know Phoenix, I am near Pinnacle Peak road. That used to be this place way out in the dessert where they had a cowboy steak place that would cut your tie off and nail it to the wall if you wore one. We'd always get an old tie and let them cut it off just for fun. Anyways, now its on the edge of the city. Amazing!
So today i must get my headlight fixed first, then the Superstition Mountains if i can fit it in.

Oh yes, its 114 today in Phoenix. I need to be laying by the pool.

Here are some pics of the Arizona Sunset.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hello everybody ... how are you this fine day ...

I wanted t go back to the Grand Canyon so ... i DID go back to the grand Canyon. After all i am in charge here amn't I?

If you come here and plan ahead stay in the Village. Bright Angel lodge or one of the ones right on the rim. You can see into the canyon from your room. And there are restaurants with canyon views and a bar, no view but 20 yards from the rim. And a long walkway with a zillion perfect spots to see the canyon. Many places if you fall you're dead so its right on the edge. There is one cabin hanging over the rim, that i saw, may be more. This is the way to see it.

I sat in one of these places a little away from the crowds and watched the sun set over the Canyon, and waited for the stars. Like Monument Valley they soon overtook the canyon view. Especially since after dark you cannot see a thing down in the canyon. At monument valley I could see the silhouettes of the monuments against the star lite sky. Here, at the Grand Canyon, after dark the canyon is completely dark and you cannot see a thing.

Some songs fit this o perfectly. The greatest and the song of the day (Sander's called it) is "Compfortably Numb", Pink Floyd. Also great were; Rodrigo y Gabriella - "Diablo Rojo (Red Devil), "Guitar Town" - Once Upon A Time In Mexico sound track, Mark Knoffler - "Back To Tupelo"

Not sure where I'm going today?, towards Phoenix through Sedona, I'd like to make the Superstition Mountains but we'll see.

Here's one good picture ... you've seen eough by now ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All y'all,

My Louisiana friend said y'all when speaking directly to me alone one day about 25 years ago and i stopped him. "If I alone, one person, am "y'all. Then how do you address a group of people", i asked? "All y'all" he smiled and replied. That's for free ...

Monument Valley is wonderful. You have to go here. I hiked up the side of one of those giant 'monuments' and watched the sun set. Then i sat outside on the deck of the hotel for two hours and watched the stars overtake the valley below. Unbelievable. Total relaxation. Out on the deck, in the dark after the sun set, which i watched from the side of the mountain, bats buzzing around, Navajo whistle music playing in the background, moonless night but the stars and the Milky Way Galaxy are so bright you can still see the valley and the shadows of the monuments, just sweet. The lights from the hotel attracted bugs, lots of bugs, which brought the bats. At first they made me nervous a bit but after a while they were cool. Swooping through blind as a bat, eating bugs, i appreciated the excellence with which these blind creatures can swoop through the sky and eat a bug right out of the air just like that? Amazing. It was a feast for the bats, a massacre for the bugs. Then i remembered that there are no mosquito's in the dessert. It was so sweet watching them and the sky and the stars and the valley. Monument Valley was so captivating all day just amazing but after the sun set and the stars came they were brilliant! I've never seen so many. It was a moonless night so the sky was dark. Unbelievable.
Early, just after sunset the deck was full. Then people left. Then people would come and go. Most of the night i was alone out there. I sat there until about 1. Loved it. That's when i decided i was relaxed. I'd see some people come out and sit down and look and then go after about 5 minutes. I thought, amazing sight you may never see again, wonderful place set up for looking at it once in a lifetime opportunity and you only have 5 minutes for it? Then i thought, i must be relaxed, this must be what its like.
Here are pics of the hike up the side of this 'monument' next to he hotel.
I sat behind this little wall and smoked a cigar and watched the sun set. These are pics from the top. You can see the hotel down below in one of them.

Here are some pictures of Monument Valley.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The sunset picture was taken when i rode into the Grnd Canyon late Monday night. The daytime picture was taken the next day from almost the same spot. I knew when i was taking the sunset picture that the Grand Canyon was below in the dark ... i just could not see ...

Hello from the glorious road my friends ...
I am sitting in a restaurant that has wireless in Kayenta, Arizona a few miles out of Monument Valley eating Indian Fry Bread. This was always the big treat in Arizona at the county fair. I can't tell you what its like its not like anything. So good.

I was trying to figure out which way to go by and it said northwest (Monument Valley my plan) was clear and sunny but south Phoenix was isolated thunderstorms. Now looking south was clear blue sky and looking where i planned to go was dark clouds and rain. You can see the whole horizon from the grand Canyon. I stopped at one of those Indian turquoise stands and asked an old Indian lady (not kidding) which way she would go. She kicked her son sleeping beneath the plywood counter and told him to tell me which way was best. He laughed a bit annoyed and pointed towards the clear blue sky. Then the old Indian lady said, "it doesn't matter, go which ever way you want, that rain doesn't cool, its by in 5 minutes and then you're hot again." So i went as planned to Monument Valley which I am about to see and did not get rained on at all. Today its clear and sunny.

I wanted to camp at the Grand Canyon and watch the sun set and moon set over the canyon. But rain and lightning are not appealing to camping so i left. I may go back to day and camp tonight if its clear? or not?

Here are some shots of the road to Monument Valley ...

Yesterday at the Grad Canyon was what you may expect. You can't take enough pictures but you take far too many. There are not words or pictures that work. I will upload them all to facebook later. Here are a few ...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hello all,

Dennis Peacock said it takes three weeks to relax. I am out three weeks and 3 days now. I'm still in need of much more practice. Much much more.

Song of the day: "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
I wonder, can you have the same song twice? (Who is asking?)
Honorable mention song: "Tuxedo Junction" Manhatten Transfer (the boop Bop song Gina)
Thought of the day: The old Boy Scout Motto; "Be Prepared" isn't hoaky at all ... do it!

This ride ... from Bryce Canyon in Utah to the Grand Canyon in Arizona is stunning.

It was not as hot as the low dessert around La Vegas, instead of 110 it was probably 95, which felt hot but not bad out on the road. When i dunk my shirt to cool off it stayed wet longer.

But the scenery was awesome.

The route takes you from directly north of the canyon to the south rim entrance, so i road around the Grand Canyon. You can see hillsides and canyons that you know are what the canyon is like all along the way from afar.

The ground is red and the rocks are red and the dirt is red its amazing. Then you come around a comer and everything is black, or grey or sand. Its a barren wasteland that looks like Star Wars was filmed there.

All along the way there are these shelters the Indians use to sell jewelry in. Shacks that have been there forever.

This blogger interface is so pathetic ... but this pass you see here ... its next to this as i am writing but who knows where the pic will be when posted?

This was so fun to ride through. Deep red walls of rock towering above your head ... the ride through there was intense ... the sight of the horizon ahead ... the heat blowing in your face, you can feel the hot air from the valley below hit you as you go through this.
What a great ride.

These next two pictures are just on the other side of the pass. The first is looking back at the exit and then down along the road. You travel through the v-shaped pass and then along a red ridge of rocks like this for about 100 miles. All along the bottom Indians live. I can't imagine living there? Neither can you.

Then after a while you start seeing these little beginnings of the Grand Canyon.
I wanted to stop every 5 minutes and take pictures but you can't.

Finally, i arrive at sunset over the Grad Canyon.

Now the "funny" story ...
I miss-judged the distance to my hotel inside the canyon park from the turn off hwy 89, which is easy to do. I arrived at sunset so i was then riding along the canyon rim. It was so beautiful at sunset, you can see into it around every other bend. But its dusk and every rider knows that is dangerous because of deer jumping in front of you. I went forever and ever and started thinking i was lost. Trying to remember how far the road was from he turn off to the lodges? Its hard to judge distance on winding curving roads through mountains and i was basically lost. But there is only one road so i just kept going thinking i must run into the lodges soon. I probably saw 10 elk cross the road. None were dangerous they were all well ahead of me. But the next thing i saw was one of those warning signs that you see for deer jumping. Only this one had a mountain lion on it. I thought o great, lost in the middle of no-where. I decided to check and make sure i was good on gas. That's when the horror hit ... i was on my reserve tanks. Then i tried to remember turning on the reserve tank and exactly where i did? Running out of gas on the lonely road of the south rim late at night in mountain lion country was not my idea of a good time. I started thinking abut how i would fight a lion? What strategy? UFC knee to head? Could i get inside a mountain lion's arms to grab the heck and pull the head down to my knee? Yes i thought but i'd have to take claws on my shoulders and pain. Or the Master Chief eye gouge? And hope it runs off? Or how fast could i get to my knife? I figured that would take too long.
Anyway, I saw the reflection of a park ranger jeep on the side of the road and follow him to the gas station. I did not make it. Had he not been there i would have ran out of gas. The ranger gave me a ride and loaned me a gas can and i was back on the road. He also told me directions to my hotel, which i was about 15 miles short of.
So then i just had to ride through elk and mountain lions infested mountains to get to civilization. The ranger told me there had only been one sighting of a lion in the last 9 months. So i had tat going for me, which is nice.