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Hi Everyone

My father and I (DL 1000 & DL 650) will be doing a 3 week trip from Toronto Canada to Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in Sept/04. I wouldn't mind hearing from anyone in those States that could help with info on what is worth seeing and where the "good roads" are. Because of the distance involved we won't be doing gravel roads unless they are short distances just for sightseeing purposes. Any help or links that would be of interest would be appreciated.

Rich
 

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I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona for 8 years and there are some beautiful roads throughout.

The primary highlights I suggest:
Take highway 89a from Jerome to Sedona to Flagstaff to Cameron and then cut over to the north side of the Grand Canyon. Jerome: a small, old mining town on the side of a mountain with a strong art community, many bikers (and tourists)... if you're thirsty and want live music, check out a bar called The Spirit Room. Sedona: famous, beautiful red rocks, spiritual / artistic hub of the Southwest. Flagstaff: the world's largest Ponderosa Pine forest, college town, population of 55k.

Note: Interstate I-40 also takes you between Sedona and Flagstaff, but you'll miss too much.

That trip on 89 will take you from that cool little mountain town (maybe 5,000 ft?) down into the desert-ish landscape of Cottonwood (a town that sits at the base of the mountain), into the red rocks of Sedona, through Oak Creek Canyon, up a couple thousand feet via the switchbacks into the forests of the greater-Flagstaff area, on toward Cameron through the open lands of a couple Native American reservations, and on to the Grandios Canyon.

Notes about Flagstaff: highway 89 takes you through the west and east sides of town via Historic Route 66. Also, to take a short detour, Flag sits (at an elevation of 7,000 ft.) at the base of a dormant volcano with a peak of 12,000 feet, a ski resort called Arizona Snowbowl, and twisty road to the top. The road starts about 10 minutes north of town off of Fort Valley Road and you can make it to the top (of the road, not the peak) in about another 20 minutes. But the ski lifts may be operable in the summer, so if you can ride up and then hike the rest of the way to the actual crest of the mountain, it offers a spectacular view. On a clear day, you can see the rim of the Grand Canyon. Also, all around Flagstaff there are Indian ruins (such as Wapatki National Monument, which also features ancient lava flows), meteor crater (one mile across... also, the astronauts from the Apollo missions trained out there because the landscape most-closely resembled the moon), plus, the road down to Wapatki takes you to the edge of the Painted Desert... fabulous!

There's quite a bit to see and do in the area, so that right there should be plenty to start with. Let me know if you want more information or have any questions.

ENJOY!!
~Geoff
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Oddly enough I also will be out that way then.

I think I leave the last week of August. I'm thinking touring the west, out to CA then back to NJ for a rally
 
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If you come down into the desert, be ready for some hot temps :shock: It can still be well into the 100's. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate 8)

For a great twisty remote highway try route 191 between Alpine and Clifton AZ. Some good camping areas around Alpine if thats your plan.
 
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I actually stay with a friend in Santa Fe. What surprises me most is not the dry heat, I expect that.

It's the temps of 90, bruning sun, and dehyration followed by the cool temps and occasional hail when in the mountains.

It seems like you have to undress or redress 4 or 5 times a day to deal with the changes
 
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Layers, plenty of layers. :)

Santa Fe is at approx. 7000 ft above sea level so it will cool down during the nights. Flagstaff is also about 7000 ft. Down where I'm at it is only around 2000 ft and gets much hotter. :twisted: Some nights it only cools into the mid 80's. I get off of work at 11:00pm and it is often still above 95.
 

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Man... nothing disintegrates a tire like southern Arizona desert asphalt (or any desert for that matter). I made the "near" mistake of riding from San Diego to Flagstaff via Phoenix in July of '00... outside air was about 90-95 degrees, asphalt temp. was probably 100-105, and I was trying to do my 3-day weekend trip as quickly as possible with about a 90 mph average the whole way on my Ducati Monster. When I left San Diego I estimated about 3k miles remaining on my rear tire (a mild-to-moderately sticky Metzler) and the trip is only about 450 miles one way... but by the time I reached Phoenix at about 5:00 p.m., a 4-inch strip of metal framework was visible in the middle of the tire. :shock:

I’d definitely say I was fortunate (especially considering I continued the extra 120 miles to Flagstaff with the help of slower speeds, cooler temps at higher elevation, and of course that well-built Metzler).

For tire integrity, I’m very fond of that Metzler. For smarts, I pay much closer attention to the heat index and tire life. It’s damned hot in that thar desert!
 
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phlooburoo,
It sounds like you got through Phoenix on a rather cool day "90-95". Could you imagine going through now with it as 107 or on a really hot day like 115? :shock: :lol:

I can say that I have not seen too much of a tire wear problem though. I only have 4000+ on my strom but other bikes I and friends have shown normal life. For example, I just helped a friend change his FJR's front tire with 13500 on it and his rear had 8500 on it when we changed it. He makes that run back and forth to San Diego on the FJR all the time to visit family.

The thing I do want to stress about tires and the desert heat is to keep them properly inflated. We see a lot of car and truck tire carcusus on the side of the road and hear of accidents all the time because of blow outs. Tire failures like these are typically due to over heating. The combination of underinflated and hot surface temporatures are a deadly combination.
 
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Ya, the Arizona desert, how I miss it. But only for 4 more month and then back to sunny Tucson. At least the roads are not perfectly straight there and I can cool off in the mountains, unlike [email protected]#$&^@homa. Sometimes I wonder what the road engineers were thinking when they designed the roads here (particular in OKC) I know, the fastest way is a straight line--out of the State. For some decent riding here it takes 3 to 4 hours just to get a few twisties in.
 
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