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Author Topic: Searles Southwest Tour 2012  (Read 1040 times)

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:40:19 PM »

Well this ride report is long overdue, considering that it was at the end of July back in 2012. This gets quite lengthy, my apologies. Wish I could do justice to this trip.

A family adventure: The Searles Southwest Tour 2012!

The attendance list:

Barry - My dad, rides a 1999 Goldwing SE
Tim - Me, riding the 2006 FJR1300
Brad - My brother, riding my old 2002 Nighthawk 720
Steve - My uncle from Marshall, MI, riding a 1995? Goldwing SS (his own custom creation)
Nick - College roommate coming from Commerce Township, MI and had the trailer we needed. He's riding a 2008 Triumph Sprint ST
Keith - My other uncle, flying in from Seattle, WA riding a rented 2012 HD Heritage Softail
Tyler - My cousin, Keith's son, also riding a rented 2012 HD Heritage Softail
The plan was to trailer to Grand Junction, CO to meet Keith and Tyler. Then we ride from there on out.

Here's the rig that took us there. Drove straight through, just alternating drivers

A look inside the trailer.

The stats of the trip to Grand Junction.

In the cab:
5 guys x Avg Weight of 275 lbs each.

In the bed:
1 Nighthawk 750 at 500 lbs

In the Trailer:
2 Goldwings at 900 lbs each
1 FJR at 650 lbs
1 Sprint ST at 530 lbs

Total Weight in passengers and bikes: 4,885 Lbs

24 Hours inside a 2009 GMC Sierra 1500

320 gallons of fuel, averaging 7.88 MPG at an average price of $3.58/gallon

Trip of a lifetime: Priceless!

One small miscalculation about remaining distance once the low fuel light comes on (and exits are hard to come by going out west):

We got an early start, which was the plan for the entire trip. Didn't want to push the limits for heat or distance. Our first stop was Arches National Park.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 08:53:34 PM »
 The goal for the day was to make it to Monticello, UT. But seeing how we got an early start and the heat was already getting to us, Steve decided to treat us with a rafting trip down the Colorado River. Was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Once that was done, we figured we still had time to hit Canyonlands National Park before we turned in for the night.

It was a fun road into the park, but the park wasn't that interesting. Nice scenery though.

The route back to Monticello was a bit more interesting. Our calculation for time was a little off. By the time we reached the park, it was dusk. Since the road in was a dead end, we had to go back the way we came. We opted to take a shortcut on a no-name road. Thought it would save us time. The first little bit was nice, but then the attack began. On the CB, I hear "CRITTERS IN THE ROAD! CRITTERS IN THE ROAD!". Now when most people say critter, you think of squirrels, rabbits, maybea  skunk or possum. Nick and I were riding in the back and come around the corner to see a cow in the road. Some critter. But this was no ordinary cow, it was a Utah Darting Cow! It proceeded to charge at us with the rest of the heard not far behind. AT that point it was dark and we are all white knuckled on the bars. Then we came across either a moose or an elk (too dark to tell), more cows, and a bear all in the span of a couple miles.

The light at the end of the tunnel, finally we see street lights for Monticello. Breathe, relax. Then another alarm on the CB. "I JUST HIT A DEER! I JUST HIT A DEER!" What Dad meant to say is a deer just hit him. Ran right into the side of the Goldwing, which managed to stay upright. The deer buckled and slip between Steve and Brad. Tyler and Keith managed to swerve around him and Nick and I watched it limp off into the woods. Hopefully it died.

After 7 new pairs of underwear and a couple cocktails, we turned in for the night.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 08:56:12 PM »
We made our way to our destination, Escalante, UT. The closer we got, the more it looked like rain. We managed to pull under the eve of the Prospector Inn when the skies let loose. Just in time.

Next morning, we continued through Capitol Reef on the way to Bryce Canyon. This was my favorite stopping point during the trip. A fantastic viewpoint. Its a dead end road all the way up. You make the trip to the top so that all the pull off spots are on the right during the trip down.

This was the viewpoint from our first stop. If you look at the top of the rocks, there are 5 dots. Only Steve and Keith elected to not climb up there.

Got Nick out of his comfort zone a bit. Even got a smile out of him. Maybe it was just gas.

Papa Bear and his two cubs.

Standing on top of the world, 9,105 feet in the air.

Looking down at the chickens who opted not to come.

All 6 Searles in a row.

Hard not to be in awe.

A lot of climbing out to places we probably weren't supposed to be.

These rock formations at the bottom are called hoodoos.

Notice in the picture above that the skies are looking a little dark. These mountain storms can sneak up in no time. Once we realized it was coming, we headed out. The problem is so did everyone else. With one way out, we coasted down in a large traffic jam.

In our haste, nobody put rain gear on. We all thought we'd make it. We were wrong.

Kanab was our resting point for the night. A neat little town, known as Little Hollywood. A popular filming locations for westerns.

This is the old barn, where horses were stored during filming. Silver stayed here on numerous occasions. Now it is a make-shift movie theater where they play a movie filmed in Kanab every night. We watched a John Wayne flick, In Old Oklahoma.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 08:56:52 PM »
On to Wednesday. The Grand Canyon is our destination for the morning.

Quite a view, I had never been here before.

Brad already finds his way out on to the edge.

Hard to take a bad picture out here.

Can't let my brother show us up, so Dad and I wandered out to the edge.

Leaving there, we made our way to Page, AZ. We crossed over the Navajo Bridge near Marble Canyon. There are actually 2 bridges here. The original bridge has been turned into a pedestrian walkway after the bridge was deemed to be unfit for traffic load. The new one was constructed in the 1990's and the site has turned into a small touristy stop.

Page, AZ was a town created to house workers constructing the Glen Canyon Dam. This is where we stayed the night. Quite a short day as far as riding was concerned so we toured the Glen Canyon Dam. Very similar to the Hoover Dam and is actually larger is some respects. Not quite as high, but it is wider than the Hoover.

Couple of spots to get some good shots of the Colorado River and the dam. More climbing out on places we probably shouldn't have been.

Like a postcard, right?

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 08:57:15 PM »
The next morning, before we hit the road, we took a tour through Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is a rock formation that is created by water working its way through a cavern. The sun shines through there, creating all kinds of colors through the rocks. I wish I had a better camera when I was there and knew how to use it.

The motley crew after exiting the canyon.

After the canyon, we worked our way up toward Colorado. But we had to stop at the 4 corners.

Crashed for the night in Durango, CO. There was some sort of festival going on in the town. Made it a nice place to hangout, listening to some music and enjoy the festivities.

The next morning begins our last day of riding, heading up the Million Dollar Highway back to Grand Junction.

Brad, showing some Nighthawk love.

Quite a view down the highway. A great road if you ever get a chance.

Made it back to Grand Junction later that evening. We left the truck and trailer at the HD dealer that Keith and Tyler rented their bikes. Worked out well as they also had the means to get Brad's Nighthawk in and out of the truck bed.

Evidently, Brad wasn't ready to be done riding.

Spent one last night with Keith and Tyler. It was nice to see them and it doesn't happen that often. Actually as soon as they got back home, they flew out to Paris with the rest of the family the next day. They went to visit their daughter that lives there. The Michigan 5 headed back Saturday morning, but we ended up breaking the trip up a little. Rested for the night somewhere in Nebraska or Iowa. Can't recall where. Rolled in on Sunday evening. Everybody made it home, safe and sound. I can't wait to do another trip like this!

Offline Falban

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Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 05:53:54 AM »
Trip of a lifetime, DF - thanks for sharing!

Offline OJ Buyer

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Re: Searles Southwest Tour 2012
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 11:51:41 AM »
Great post. Thanks for posting.

Ride safe!


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