Friday, 1 October 2010

Day 100

Wow, it is now 100 days since I collected my bike from the cargo facilities in New York City and rode the first 14 miles to start my tour. A lot has happened in that time and 14 miles has turned into 14,000 miles. I certainly am pleased about what I have seen so far and very thankful that I was fortunate enough to be able to make this tour.

Today we left Flagstaff and headed south west on US 89A. I had been looking forward to this road for a long time as I had read good things about it.

It didn’t take long before we hit our first piece of scenic twisty road and that was called Oak Creek Canyon. This lies between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona. I understand that after the Grand Canyon this is the second-most visited area in Arizona and it was easy to see why. The road falls steeply through a number of hairpin bends and it is great fun to ride.

Near the northern end of the canyon, there is an overlook with a terrific view....
























































Travelling south along 89A we made the most of stopping and looking at these views which was a good thing, as stopping places are few and far between. Sadly the state has decided to put State Parks in the only places where stopping for photos is possible, but charges $10per vehicle to enter two of these and $6 for the third place. I wasn’t about the pay $26 for the chance to be able to take a few photos, so we carried on riding. A point to consider is it costs $10 per vehicle to enter these State Parks irrespective of if you are two people on a motorbike or 5 people in a car. That somehow doesn’t feel fair, so it was another reason we carried on riding!

We did stop on the road for a couple of shots with the point and shoot camera....




















This is Slide Rock State Park which if yu have a family, looks like a great place to spend the day....


























As we neared Sedona, the scenery became even more stunning....




















I liked the way the building in Sedona are all low and painted in subtle reds or browns to blend in as much as possible to match the colours of the scenery. Very clever. The building s in this next photo are even difficult to spot....





































We turned off 89A and found a great spot....





































We planned to have lunch in Jerome, which is a tiny but quaint town set on the side of a hill. We ate in the Jerome Palace which is nowhere near as grand as it sounds, but it is claimed to be the home of the Haunted Hamburger. I never did find out more about this claim, but I did have perhaps the tastiest lunch I have had on my entire trip there. Their artichoke dip is delicious!




















Realising that some bloggers like pictures of the food they are eating, I did remember to take my camera into the restaurant, but didn’t take any pictures! I did however see an enormous chocolate cake in a display cupboard on the way out, so I snapped that....


























As we left Jerome and continued south, the road climbs steeply up the mountain and the view from the top is pretty good....




















I have been disappointed with the quality of the pictures I am getting from my point and shoot camera recently. It is really struggling to deal with the harsh sunlight I am seeing as I head further south. It is a few years old now, so I did some research and ordered a new Panasonic Lumix TZ10 Digital Camera. Due to the voltage differences, I had to order this to cope with the European 220 volt system, so hopefully this will arrive soon enough at the hotel Jackie and I are using as a base to travel around Arizona. Many thanks to Paul for arranging to forward the camera on to me!

We arrived in Prescott and checked into a historic hotel. I will write more about that and the school parade I saw, tomorrow.

I enjoyed day 100.

6 comments:

Doug said...

Gary, sorry I missed you while you were down Phoenix way. It's fun to read your descriptions of the places and roads I know well. 89A out of Jerome is one of the best bike roads in AZ except on weekends when it has just enough tourists on it to spoil the fun.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

I have the prev model (ZS3) of the Lumix TZ10/ZS7 without the GPS. It is prone to blowing out the highlights, but I do use the 720HD video mode a lot. If you purchased the US model you would not have had crippled video mode as they disable it for the UK market so it is not taxed as a camcorder.

We did not make it as far south as Sedona. We went north to Moab (Arches & Canyonlands) as we only had limited time and had to get back to LV to meet our plane.

Looks like you both are having a very relaxing week together.

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

motoroz said...

I have not ridden in Arizona yet, but you are sure making me want to. Hope the new camera is satisfactory.

Charlie6 said...

Gary, those last few shots made the place look like a young version of Monument Valley....very nice.

dom

Redleg's Rides

Eve said...

Great views Gary. You know I've noticed living where I do now the sun is MUCH brighter than it was up north...but I think it's a little both being south and altitude. My house is at 1,200 feet, nothing too lofty but it's BRIGHT up here!! Glad you liked the artichoke dip...it's one of my favs!

Gary France said...

Doug – I am sorry as well. 89A was a terrific road, both for riding and for the views. Luckily, it wasn’t too busy when we rode it.

Bob – I saw that you had the previous model and that helped me in my choice, because I knew you would have researched it well before buying one! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I think it will have the video on the version I bought from the UK. I will let you know how I get on with it.

Oz – Arizona is completely different from the other states I have ridden in so far. Hot in the south and cold in the north. The temp variations are pretty big.

Charlie6 – I thought the same. The Monument Valley lookalike was completely unexpected!

Eve – The sun is also much more overhead down south. It makes taking photos much more challenging!