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-   -   traveling the west side of the us (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/traveling-the-west-side-us-21329)

goneforjune 3 May 2006 13:17

traveling the west side of the us
 
We are planning a long motorcycle trip the end of May and most of June. We will do the great Iron butt the first day ending around Oklahoma (1000 miles in less than 24 hours) and then will see the west coast from their. I would love to one have your mental support and the other as many travel suggestions of what you must see as you can give us. We are taking this time as a great adventure and a great discovery time in our life. We are both very excited and open the greatness this country offers as well as the great sights and things we have done in this country. So far we know Grand canyon and Las Vagas is for sure and are starting the planning now.

Thanks

Art

David and Cheryl Laing 9 May 2006 19:59

we will be at the Grand canyon, Las Vegas and Route 66 areas end May and some of June if we can meet up.
Our phone number is 786 683 7988 if you want to SMS us. We have an American pay as you go Sim card in our phone at the moment

jkrijt 9 May 2006 21:07

I have been touring in the South West USA in 2002 and my trip report is on my website. http://www.xs4all.nl/~jkrijt/trips/usa2002/index.shtml
Maybe it has some usefull information for you.

yuma simon 12 May 2006 05:29

For both Goneforjune and David and Cheryl Laing--Since you will be most likely on Interstate 40 (which parallels the old Route 66), when you get to Gallup New Mexico, start heading into the Navajo Indian Reservation. Make your way to Canyon de Chelly (Chelly is pronounced "shay") which is on two lane highways from I 40. I used to live near there when I was teaching on the Navajo reservation for 2 years. My family and I would go there on Sunday drives. It is, in my humble opinion, a much more spectacular and intimate place than the Grand Canyon (You will see what I mean when you get there). Then if you have the time, make your way another hour northwest to Monument Valley to see all the old cowboy movies backdrop. It is a site to behold. Then, continue the back way to the Grand Canyon...you might just feel let down, as I was when I had finally visited the Grand Canyon for the first time after having visited Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley numerous times prior.

Now that I am thinking of it, if you are heading to Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon, map out the Navajo Reservation, see Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, then head to the lakeside town of Page which is on Lake Powell. There is a road out of Page that takes you to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is supposed to be the better side to see it on. From there, you can follow the highway westward to Las Vegas. Should be easy riding, but, like most places, don't ride on the two lanes after dark due to wild animals and domesticated animals (sheep and cows) which wander onto the highways at night.

Most of the Arizona state run two-lane highways that crisscross the reservation are 65 MPH roads. Any of the roads that are considered Indian Routes are 55 miles per hour. A few years ago, the Navajo Nation Police and the Arizona Highway Patrol started cracking down on speeding, so watch your speed!

yuma simon 12 May 2006 05:39

Reading through jkrijt's recap of his trip, the roads that head to Vegas out of Page (and after the side trip to the north rim side of the Grand Canyon)are the same ones that go through Zion and Bryce National Parks, so this would be essentially the same route from the Grand Canyon he took.

I live in the very southern region of Arizona, and like I had posted on the traveller's advisories forum, it has already started to get hot here. It was 102 F (Around 37 C (?)) today, and will only get hotter through the summer and into September. It stays hot all day and night, although now it is reasonable in the middle of the night. I would highly recommend not to visit this area when you are here due to the intense heat. (Read jkrijt's water drinking recommendation for the places you plan to visit, as they can be fairly hot, too. Vegas is hot this time of year).

David and Cheryl Laing 6 Jun 2006 23:40

we are at the moment camped at the Circus Circus casino campsite in Vegas.
We rode the loop at Monument valley. A real highlight of out of the 3 and a half years we have spent on the road since 2000.
Did meet some bikers who told us to turn back. they were on big BMW's and were having trouble with the bad sand on the loop road. Not a real good road but we ventured on and managed the loop without a fall. It is 16 miles and it costs $5 US a person to enter the park. We were riding Honda Shadow 600's. There were a few hairy moments but it was still wonderful. Have more photos of our bikes with the senic monument valley as a backdrop that a new mother has of her first babt!!!!!!!!!!!
Reccomend the ride to all.

yuma simon 7 Jun 2006 02:56

I am glad you did it. I used to live 2 hours from there when I was teaching on the Navajo Reservation. I have never ridden it on a bike (although I plan to), but did drive the loop in a '96 Buick with my wife, 3 year old son, and mother-in-law. I lived for two years in some of the most scenic parts of Arizona, if not the U.S., so I know that anyone planning on traveling here, especially by bike, will not be disappointed. (The Grand Canyon is nearby, too) Did you make it to Canyon de Chelly?

David and Cheryl Laing 7 Jun 2006 04:48

we didnt make it to Chelly....impossible to do everything. We did the 4 corners area , Painted desert and Petrified Forest national Parks and the loop in the corner of Colorado that goes through Dolores and Silverton...forgotton the name...something like the san juan loop...that was wonderful....and tomorrow we go to death valley....that will be interesting.
We are really inpressed with the scenery in this part of the world and really suggest that visitors buy a $50 National Parks pass...you will soon get back your $50 and be in front!
loving every minute of our journey....even las Vegas!!!!!!!!

brclarke 7 Jun 2006 14:02

Back in about 1995 I rented a Suzuki 800 and spent a week touring around northern Arizona (and into Utah). Along the way I stopped at Canyon de Chelly to camp for a night. I agree with you Yuma: that place is absolutely spectacular and easily gives the Grand Canyon "a run for the money".

yuma simon 7 Jun 2006 16:43

Hi Bruce,

Perhaps I shouldn't be spreading the word about Canyon de Chelly. It will become too popular, lol. A nice time to go is in the fall or winter as it is quite secluded, but it does snow (ice) so one would have to watch out in the off season.

David and Cheryl,

I am glad you made it to that area. Vegas is also a blast, as long as you don't over-indulge, lol. Death Valley now? It seems nearly impossible by bike. You two are brave souls!!

Simon


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