Day 9 and 10 – One Day Hanging – Flagstaff, AZ to Palm Springs, CA

Day 9 – Bike Repair Day – Flagstaff, AZ

Well, day 9 was spent much like the previous one. Sleep in, have a run, get some lunch, read and finally my bike will be done.

The parts arrived today in the afternoon and the dealer was quick about getting the bike ready to go. New stator and power – yeah. New battery because the one in the bike was now ruined from being completely discharged. New front brake pads as mine were nearly done. Northland Motorsports did fantastic work and the parts and labour were much cheaper than if I had it done in Canada (always a bright side). Plus they were very nice and helpful. With a five day backlog of work they could have made me wait – but they got me up and running in a few hours. One of my beat motorcycle dealer experiences.

All told the repairs are close to 1000 USD. Ouch! My extended warranty had better cover the defective parts.

Day 10 – Flagstaff, AZ to Palm Springs, CA

Distance – 441 miles (710 kilometers)
Low temp. – 10 celcius
High Temp. – 43 celcius (Palm Desert)
Traveling time – 6:30am – 4:00pm

It was great to get back out and ride today. I was a bit nervous starting out again after my recent lack of luck. The bike started up great. Seems to be charging okay. Might as well give’r!

It was a nice cool morning and blue clear skies to start the day. Out on the 89a to Sedona. I watch a show on TSN called Motorcycle Experience and the host and his guest raved about the route from Sedona to Congress – “a can’t-miss ride!” Well, they were right. It is a great mix of really twisty roads and beautiful scenery. Some really challenging twisty low speed turns and some fun longer higher speed sweeping corners. One of the best roads I’ve ridden. Definitely in my top 10 of all time.

Sedona is a canyon so you drop from 7000 plus feet in Flagstaff to under 3000 and back up again to over 7000 by Jerome. By Congress the ride is at an altitude of 2000 feet. The temperature change dramatically as you rise and fall through the valleys.

Hardly any traffic since it was early in the morning and midweek. I also got a few hours of riding in and avoided some of the heat during the day.

I wasn’t entirely sure which way I’d go once I got to the border between Arizona and California. I stopped in Blythe and had a bite to ea and got gas. I decided rather than blazing right through and being early at Palm Springs I’d take a route a bit farther south and work my way back. It added about 120 miles but was an enjoyable ride.

I’m glad I did. The scenery towards Palo Verde and skirting the Mexican border was very beautiful. A mix of warn rocky mountains, desert, farm land, and a huge sand dune. The mountains skirt the Colorado river before it turns south into Mexico. The Imperial Dunes/Algodones dunes are remarkable. A huge sand dune in the middle of nowhere (see pics). Perfectly swooped and swirled by the dry and hot desert winds.

At every potential crossing or highway intersection there are border and agricultural control checkpoints. I got waved right through. I can’t imagine trying to cross from Mexico illegally by foot(too fricking hot) and with the number of border patrols you’d be caught in a vehicle. Plus, call me paranoid, but every five minutes or so on the highway a nondescript white vehicle with a government type look to it would be traveling along the highways. They are serious about their security along the border.

Had I not had the electrical issues I’d have easily made it into Mexico on the fourth day. Now I’ve scouted the route for future journeys.

I zipped back north along the Salton Sea which was cool simply for the fact that I believe it is the lowest road in north America. It was weird to watch the GPS today go from 7000 feet into negative numbers. It showed a low of 185 feet below sea level. So I have now been on the highest American road (Mt Evans at 14,000 feet) and the lowest.

The last few miles were very warm and a bit of traffic. 40 celcius and sitting in traffic is torture.

Not sure if it is because it is midweek but Palm Springs is a ghost town. Not a soul on the streets and no one in the restaurants. I had food at the Wang Chinese restaurant (tragic name) and was the only one in the restaurant. Quite an odd place (Palm Springs) actually. It really doesn’t seem to fit into the desert surroundings. Not to mention that everything is watered to the hilt. Environmentally these desert resorts just don’t make whole lot of sense.

I’ve had really good luck with the hotels on the planned stops. Motel 6 has been available and cheap. Today’s hotel has been no exception. – 44 bucks, clean, pool, air conditioned.

I’m just glad that everything seems to be working again. Haven’t planned my route for tomorrow but I might pick a place with a beach and coastline and spend a couples of days in one place. I hope the repairs fix things once and for all.

 


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