Sunday, October 28, 2012

Return to Mexico Day 06 – Oct 16 Flagstaff, AZ

Kind of a lazy day today, I rode north all day occasionally stopping to mess with the bike and for pics. Breakfast was early at Dag's Cafe where I got another hamburger fix, this time in the form of a breakfast patty with eggs, spuds, toast, etc. They seem to have the best burger material going which keeps calling out to me. I discovered this place on my last trip and they're still great. That’s probably why the locals eat there. I'm really sharp in the morning.

Before getting back on the road I had to take care of my ScottOiler automatic chain oiler system. I'd left the factory oil and refilling tool at home so it was time to get creative. The oiler has a small reservoir bottle that hangs on the side of the bike and the filler hole for it is tiny. After looking at all sorts of little plastic bottles and funnels I happened on a small bulbous gizmo used for flushing ears. It turned out to have just the right size tip and it was easy to refill the oiler's supply bottle. Walgreen's - ya can't beat 'em.

There were a couple of Harley guys watching me work. Their bikes were really shiny and clean. They smoked and watched and watched and smoked. I don't think they had a clue what it was that I was doing. I nodded at them and said "Clean bikes." They stared.

Once the maintenance was done I headed north towards Flagstaff where I figured to spend the night. I'd never been there and the ride through the mountains looked interesting.

The little towns of Florence and Superior passed quickly as did Globe and Claypool where I paused to take pics of their mining operations. None of them looked very pretty and judging from the ravaged look of the hillsides not much had been done to restore them. I guess a lot of the really nasty damage was done before the laws were passed requiring a less invasive method of mining.

The Tonto National Park system starts around Globe and there are tons of places to visit. I managed to stop at a few and shoot some pics but it would take days to visit all of them. The cliff dwellings would be of particular interest and there are lots of campgrounds to stay at while you explored.

The road north takes you through the main park and into the Apache Mountains. In the beginning it's not a pretty road but soon takes on a new look. I stuck with it. Didn't see a single Apache but I knew they were out there...watching me....

The morning passed quickly, my stomach started to grumble so I stopped for another nutritious manly lunch. Yum yum. A bag of Snickers, the perfect well balanced meal for manly men.

After lunch I pulled into one of the park’s observation points for a long distant view of the cliff dwellings. This is one place I’d like to come back to for the hike up to the dwellings. Maybe have another one of those manly lunches.

Lunch seems to have made me a bit shaky so even the image stabilization feature of the camera is overwhelmed. Anyway this is the best I could do to shoot the upper cliff dwellings. So squint, they're in the picture mid-way down on the right side.

Roosevelt Lake and Dam are alongside the park road so campers are everywhere. The lake  is the little blue thing way off in the distance surrounded by tourists. The tourists are hard to see even if you squint so you'll just have to take my word for it, they're there.

I liked the bridge next to the dam, it looks pretty in its blue livery. Who the heck decided to paint it blue anyway? Great choice no matter what.

After leaving the cliff dweller area I rode north again, and encountered 20 miles of road construction. Ordinary stops are easy but this one would compete with the ones I ran into in Alaska, long stretches of dirt surfaces coupled with occasional tiny gravel. I spent a lot of time standing up on the pegs ala` real adventure bike riding. The three trucks in front of me kicked up all sorts of debris and dust clouds which quickly coated everything on the bike, me included.

Eventually it ended and I was back on a regular blacktop road which took me past Mormon Lake. No one was stopped at the unmarked viewing area so it was an opportune time to tinkle. Maybe they should install a facility? Hey I'm OK with bushes...

That’s about it for today’s picture taking; I arrived in Flagstaff late afternoon and checked into the local Motel 6, my home away from home. Time now to go to dinner; there’s an Indian restaurant right across the street I ‘m going to try; maybe get my curry fix. May even get my beer fix.

See ya,


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