Sam Roe's Arizona Ride

October 2016

Click here to see a video of Sam's ride

I left Tucson at about 8:30 am on a Monday (Oct. 17, 2016), fueling up in Ajo, then on to Gila Bend where I was wanting to get onto Old US Hwy 80 to go north to connect to I-10. I missed the turn and would up going on US 85 which was just another slab with lots of traffic. Fortunately was able to use some speed to make short work of that segment. Then headed west on I-10 for a few miles until exit 103 for 339th Ave. A zig-zag over to Wickenburg Road for awhile and then connecting to Vulture Mine Road, which was a pleasant little surprise of a route. Fuel up in Wickenburg and a quick lunch at El Ranchero Mexican Restaurant. I wasn’t impressed with the food and would pass on another opportunity to eat there. The it was north on US 93 to Kingman. I usually stay at the tacky El Trovatore which is definitely nothing special. Getting hot water for a shower is always a challenge but I found the trick the last time was to let the water run for a disgustingly long time. Dinner later on at Mr. D’z Rt. 66 Diner. Good burgers there.

Day 2 fuel up in Kingman and then a sunrise ride over to Oatman via Oatman Highway. Lots of twists but the pavement is a little on the crude side so doing anything at speed was a little nerve wracking. Then back to Kingman to top off the tank and headed back to US 93 for a stop at Hoover Dam. The water level was a good 15 feet lower then when I was there last year. From Hoover Dam I made my way to Northshore Rd (Rt 167). I love riding on that road. Lots of fantastic scenery and some nice curvy sections that can be taken at decent speed. First ride through Valley of Fire State Park around noon and was disappointed with all of the tourist traffic. I figured the place would be relatively deserted on a Tuesday but was proven wrong. Did my usual ride out to White Domes and then headed out to Overton. I had lunch at La Fonda which is always tasty and then when across the road to the Northshore Inn. I’ve stayed there several times before and, while the accommodations aren’t anything special, the rooms are clean. I do another ride to Valley of Fire during sunset and find I have the place just about all to myself.

Day 3 I fuel up and do a sunrise ride out to Valley of Fire. I get a little adrenaline rush as 4 big horn sheep dart out in front of me on the way over to the park. I packed some hiking boots and a small camera and when for a 3 hour hike out north of White Domes. Beautiful country. I leave Valley of Fire and had back down south on Rt 167 to have lunch at the Boulder Dam Brewery in Boulder City. Another good burger and a fresh beer. Back onto Rt 167 to Overton and another ride through Valley of Fire, this time going out to the west entrance.

Day 4 starts with an early morning fuel up and then hitting I-15 to Mesquite, NV and then onto St. George, Utah via the Virgin River Gorge. The wind was howling on the trip up I-15 and really got interesting going through the gorge. Definitely a white knuckle ride with the bike and big rigs being pushed around by the wind. I got off I-15 to go to Hurricane, UT and then Hwy 59 down through Colorado City, AZ. I stopped in Fredonia, AZ for fuel and then headed to the North Rim. Beautiful ride but pretty cold (40F) for most of the trip. It felt good to sit in the sun and warm up once I got to the Lodge area. I took a few pics as I hiked around for a bit then back out. Fueled-up again at Jacob Lake and then took Rt 89A to Vermillion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, and then up to Page. Did a sunset ride north of page (towards Kanab) and then another burger and beer at Dam Bar.

Day 5 starts early and cold with a quick fill-up and then down to Flagstaff. Lowest temp recorded by the bike was 31.7F but was up to 50F by the time I got to Flagstaff. Fill-up in Flag and then onto to Rt. 89A through Oak Creek and Sedona. Then over to Cottonwood and on to Payson. Fuel-up in Payson, as well as lunch at the Pinon Cafe (which was not one of the better meals I had on the trip). Took Beeline Hwy to RT. 188 past Roosevelt Lake to Globe. Fuel up in Globe and then down to Tucson via Winkelman. Temp gauge read 96F as I passed through Winkelman. That made for a 62F temperature swing for the day’s ride. I hit rush hour travel going through Oro Valley which was the least enjoyable segment of the entire trip. 1,739 miles in total for the trip. I was shooting video along the way with two GoPro cameras, one on my helmet facing forward and the other on my top case facing towards the rear.

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