In August of 2011 we took a three day trip to the Grand Canyon via the back roads of Arizona on the GS 1200 Adventure. What a GREAT Ride! The total trip was just over 450 miles and took us the better part of the day. Taking 77 to 87 to 180 up to Flagstaff from Sierra Vista kept us out of the low desert and out of Phoenix traffic. The route provided excellent scenery, great places to stop for photo ops, and a good number of twisties and hills to enjoy.
I managed to get the bike packed and ready to go the night before and plugged in way points for Globe, Roosevelt Lake, Mormon Lake, Williams, and Mather Campground into the Zumo. All the gear, food, and clothing came in at just under 100 lbs which was hardly noticeable after getting the bike off the stand. Small 2-man tent, a couple of sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and clothing took up most of the space. We purchased most of our food at the campground grocery store (which was painfully expensive), carrying only a small cooler in the left case willed with water, Gatorade, granola bars, and fruit. Strapping the bag liners to the top of the cases made great armrests for Melissa. She actually fell asleep half way to Roosevelt Lake and I had to wake her up because she was sliding her weight forward with every bump in the road into my hips and I couldn’t lean into curves anymore.
By 0730 we were ready to hit the road. I planned on laving at 0700, but Mel took a little longer to get ready than expected- as usual, but I was quite pleased with hitting the road 30 minutes latter than planned. Melissa generally complains about the low seat height and how the cheesy BMW back rest pokes her in the back so I added a foam pad to using a small tie down strap. Worked like a champ. I’m hoping to get Russell to build me a seat for our next long trip. Donations for this purchase are GREATLY appreciated.
Our first stop was El Capitan Pass near Globe. El Capitan pass was used by the early Salado Indian culture, as well as the Spanish and Mexicans. It was much used byAmerican fur trappers, such as Kit Carson, Ewing Young, James “Ohio” Pattie, Antoine Leroux and others. It was also crossed by the General Stephen Watts Kearny expedition during the Mexican War in 1846. The site retains much of its rugged character to this day.
After a quick granola bar and some Gatorade we were on our way to our next way-point, Roosevelt Lake. As we came down the mountain from Globe and saw the bright blue water, the temperature rose almost 20°. We couldn’t get there fast enough!
When we finally reached the water, we were ready to strip down and jump in the lake! This was my first experience at Roosevelt Lake and, not that I was overly impressed, but it did seem like a nice place for a day of water play. There were a number of boaters and jet skiers and the water seemed clean and odor free (compared to our local Patagonia Lake). The local area was void of any ‘downtown’ or eateries. There’s a restaurant at the marina bu I don’t think it was open when we showed up.
After a quick splash in the lake- we continued on over The Roosevelt Dam and on to Payson where we were able to pull into the local Sonic just moments before a very heavy Monsoon rain drenched the entire area.
After a few Chicago Dogs and some fresh fruit from the local Native American Vendor (Payson is reservation land and there was a huge casino and a fresh fruit stand next to the Sonic), we were back on the road.
Our next stop was Mormon Lake. Not near as exciting as Roosevelt Lake- this lake seemed more geared towards fishing rather than recreational activities. There were a large number of bass boats and fishermen lining the swampy shores of the lake so I can only guess it is a fantastic sport fishing location. It was still overcast and a slight drizzle. Nothing compared to what we ran into in Payson, but the drizzle made the air a bit chilly and as we rose in elevation- the air got colder and damper. After Mormon Lake we made our way to The South Rim. At this point we were rushing against sunset- so our we didn’t stop for any additional photo ops.
We enjoyed a beautiful night under the stars at the campground. W shared a six pack of Samuel Adams and cooked Brats over an open camp fire. The next morning we hiked around the South Rim and took in the sights. This was Melissa’s first trip to The Canyon and she was over whelmed by the vast beauty that these pictures can’t begin to describe. Our next Adventure to The Canyon will include a camera upgrade.
Grand Canyon 2011 Pictures
We met my parents and my sister/bro-in-law for the second night at a B&B in Williams called the Grand Canyon B&B. It was a great stay! Excellent food and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. We spent the afternoon walking around Williams, which is a main stop on the Route 66 tour. Mostly souvenirs and 50’s diners. We did get the chance to see the standard AZ end-to-end rainbow. My sister was in awe (being from the East Coast- she’s not use to seeing an whole bow from end to end). We also had the chance to visit Barizona– which was awesome! If you go to Barizon- splurge for the ‘Birds of Prey’ show (just don’t volunteer to go up on stage- you’ll end up blind folded wearing a Mickey Mouse hat with a huge Owl standing over your head.)
Melissa complained that she needs to be taller because this is what she get to look at most of the time… I told her she should ride HER bike and that wouldn’t be an issue.