Sedona, AZ '11

Total: 44 miles
Est time: 3 hours

[ Saturday - October 8, 2011 ]

Today is a light day because we made the big push with yesterday's ride.  We get to play tourist.

The motel lot was full.  We ended up squeezing into a spot under a tree.

At last, throughout all of the Sedona rides, we finally get to see Sedona for what it really is.  Even from a simple Super 8 motel, the scenery is quite spectacular.

By almost 10AM, we're ready to go look around.

So we endup heading back up (North) the 89A Hwy to get to higher ground.  Minh mentioned going to the Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon, but I disagreed.  This trip was for Sedona so we should hang around and check out the nearby surroundings and the town.  We could make it to the Petrified Forest (East end of Arizona State), but we need to go now if we are to get back before dark.  I myself entertained the idea of going to the Grand Canyon South Rim, but eventually gave up on the idea.  We have to save something for next year.

This is a quaint little Visitor Center.  It looks quite mobile and is very functional.

The switchbacks down to Sedona.  A most beautiful road.

With the information from the Coconino National Forest visitor center, we both headed back down to have lunch at the Sedona's airport.  This promisses to be a great view of the entire city.  With a bit of assistance from the navigator, we end up at the Mesa Grill.  Hey!  This looks modern and contemporary.  Cool!  I'm looking forward to a good lunch.  On my way into the restaurant a gentleman exiting notices the rondel on the Rally 3 suit and asked whether I was riding a GS, "Yeah, I ride the GS."  "Is it an 8 or a 12?"  "It's an 8.  I use to have a 12, but gave it up because it was too much bike for me."  "Can I take a look?"  "Have yourself a ball."

Two buffalo burgers with BBQ chipotle sauce and a side of seasoned green chili peppers fries.  Yum!  It's the first good restaurant meal since we started this trip.  The burger was just right at medium, and the fries were a kicker.  As usual, the people in Arizona are so much more pleasant than CA.  The folks here look at you and smile.  You can't help but smile back.

Do I look sleepy?  I think I'm sleepy.  Can't I just nap here?

He's always promoting crap...

I forgot to mention that this morning had the Captain showing me brochures for plane or helicopter tours in the area.  Ugh... no.  I rather be flying on two wheels.  So when he saw this Sky Safari Air Tours, he had to bring up this topic again.  I said, "I'll buy you a ticket if you want to go.  I'll stay down here.  You know... these things crash."  He went in to check the prices anyway, but came out empty handed.  I was half expecting him holding a flight tour ticket in hand.  I think I would have laugh my head off if he did that, but it didn't happen.  Darn.  I guess the price wasn't cheap enough to make him commit.

In the end we didn't visit the other recommended tourist locations.  Instead we headed back to the motel for a much needed nap.  Perhaps it was lunch that put us in this mood.  It's a good mood to have while on vacation.  It's not often that we get to nap whem on a motorcycle trip.  Most of the time it's a matter of drinking even more coffee.

For this trip I bought a brand new pair of Alpinestar Tech 7 Supermoto boots.

Why did I go and do something like that when I have a perfectly good pair of Sidi Vertigo Tepor?  Simple, it turns out the Vertigo Tepors don't have a whole lot of ankle protection.  Grabbing the boots and twisting them in all manner of direction has them doing some very strange angles.  My toes should not be able to touch my shin. The Vertigo Tepors are comfortable, but they only provide minimal protection.  Who would have thought even with the Sidi name.  Being as safety conscious as I am, I got the supermoto boots.  I figure it's a good blend of road and off-road.  How can you beat off-road boot protection?  You can't.

There wasn'tenough time to breakin the boots because I received them from Motorcycle-Superstore just this last Wednesday.  So this trip serves as dual purpose.  After just 4 hours, with some forced stretching, while wearing the boots in the house, the Tech 7's are relaxed enough for me to shift gears.  Yes it's still a little clunky and I do make shifting mistakes, but it has to do for now.

Well, by the this time, the lack of internal support (the standard shoe inserts that came with the boots) has my feet feeling mighty raw.  While on our way back to the motel from the Mesa Grill, I spotted a Wallgreens.  My first thought was, Dr Sholl's.  They've worked well in the Vertigo Tepors.  I'm sure they will help tremedously when they're in the Tech 7's.  So while the Captain (now promoted to Major by the Sgt... Major Pain in the Ass) was still snoring away, I decide to take a little walk down to the store and pickup a pair of shoe inserts.

Once out the motel door, this skyward vision enveloped me.  Gorgeous!  I had to snap some photos.

Trimmed to size 9 shoes... now "I'm gellin' like a felon!".  In the standard configuration these shoes are comfortable when riding, but they're not good to hike in.  With the amount of yardage that I've traversed today, I'm surprised I don't have blisters.  Then again I am wearing two layers of socks.  I'm sure this has something to do with blister protection.  Yes!  Way to go silk inner socks!  However, now that Dr. Sholl's is in place, I'm sure I'll be able to walk around with much more comfort.

At around 7:30pm, we head out to main street to find some dinner.  My feet are still raw, but the inserts are helping.  We park the bikes and go hunting for a restaurant.  A couple of steps here and there reveals... there aren't a whole lot of restaurants around.  That's not right!  This is main street and as yet these are all shops.  Not to mention that most of the shops look deserted and on the verge of closing.  What kind of tourist town is this.  Apparently Sedona believes in family time.  I can hardly blame them but for tourists, this blows.  Perhaps I'm use to the L.A. life style (you can find almost anything even at 2:00 AM in the morning).  To say the least, I'm a slight bit disappointed.  While strolling the almost desolate street, a guy approached us asking if we needed assistance.  At first we weren't sure what he wanted but quickly realize he's the tourist info guy.  "What restaurants are around here?"  "Well, there is a BBQ place over there, and there is Thai restaurant in the back."  "Thai sounds good."  "Just take the door back over there and the the restaurant is right outside."  Now that's an obscure place to have a restaurant.  Maybe this is a good sign.  It might be a good restaurant.

We get to the "Thai Palace" restaurant and I quickly realize something odd.  All the servers don't look Thai.  They look remarkably Caucasian.  Uh oh... this can't be good.  There is a distinct possibility that we're the only two Asian in this restaurant.  Oh well.   It's too late now.  We're already seated and I'm drinking a Thai ice tea, which is actually pretty good.  We both order the chicken red curry and I can only guess as to how it's going to turn out.  We are present with our meals.  This is the first time in my life where I have broccoli and cucumber in my red curry.  Most of the Thai restaurants (the authentic ones) I've been at have bamboo shoots and peas.  Actually, I'm not really sure we got red curry because we're seated outside and it's dark.  Fortunately the curry taste plenty good.  It's just the broccoli that I'm uncertain about.  Perhaps they don't know about bamboo shoots, and they also need to ditch the onion slices.  By far that was the oddest chicken red curry I've ever had.

We get back to main street and all the shops are closed.  Oh yeah... this is a bedroom community alright.

We head back to the motel.  The Major reads his Kindle while I check on the day's helmet cam raw footage.  Next thing we know it's midnight and it's time to stow the stuff for another day.

Day 1 - The marathon.
Day 3 - Staying out of Prescott.
Day 4 - Still windy as heck.

Written on: October 15, 2011
Last modified: October 23, 2011