Highlights of 2 ladies riding 1600 miles on 250 cc motorbikes
Sometime in the spring Carla mentioned that she would like to go visit family in Utah and that she would like to ride a motorcycle. I thought nothing of the conversation since she and Parrish spend endless hours riding two up on one of his many bikes. A few weeks had passed since the initial conversation when Carla called and said, “Hey I got the bike for the trip”. When I went to look at the bike, I questioned how is she going to do a trip to Utah on a Kawasaki KLX250, a smaller dirt dual sport bike. Parrish, Tom, and Joe had just returned from their own bike trip to Las Vegas where they attended the Mecum Motorcycle auction. Parrish wanted to take the guys on a backroad trip to Benson, this would be Carla’s first journey type adventure on the KLX. The trip was a success with one minor “bee” incident. After the Benson trip Parrish suggested that I should go on the Utah journey with Carla. I did not have to think twice as I’ve wanted a long trip on a bike for as far back as I can remember. I have several bikes that would have worked for the trip but to be in sync with the cc’s I decided the 2018 Honda Rally 250 would be the bike. So begins the bike and trip preparations. My husband installed a USB charger purchased from SRC USA for $75.00 with a personal handwritten thank you message from Scott on the invoice. I ended up not using the charger with being on the bike most of the day my phone stayed fully charged on its own. I am however grateful that I had the option. The next thing I did was order from Amazon a Precision Motorcycle Rack $98.99. Next up to find luggage that would work with the rack. Being in the COVID Pandemic shopping has not been the easiest. I would find something that I like only to find supply chain backorders over and over. Finally with frustration Mikeal and I drove to Phoenix, and I was determined to come home with something that would work. I found one 20L Kriega bag for $159.00. After a few trips out testing the bag capacity I realized that I would need some additional luggage space. Mikeal had ordered the 5L Kriega bag for himself which easily attached on top of the 20L bag. Now the hunt for tank bag. In the early mornings I watch YouTube reviews while riding my stationary bike. I found that the Mosko Moto Nomax tank bag appealed to most of my needs. So, I went online to place my order to a SOLD OUT status. I sent an email to Mosko Moto and they replied within a day that a shipment was due in the second week of June. I visited the website weekly and then one day in early June the SOLD OUT was gone and I placed my order. Mosko Moto Nomax $199.00. When the bag didn’t arrive for several weeks, I became concerned. After contacting Mosko Moto I was assured the bag would arrive before my trip which it did. The next thing to do was to change the stock IRC Trails GT tires to a more road worthy tire. Mikeal selected the Shinko 705 80/20 tires $132.81 which would provide a smoother ride on paved roads. Now the bike was ready to go, and my boss says the vacation cannot happen on the dates I requested due to “Big Corporate budget meetings” that I must move my vacation by a week. I do not often cry but this day I did. I had to break the news to Carla who already had an approved vacation that wasn't easy to change. She was calm and said she would ask if her vacation could be moved by a week. In the end it worked out for the best as the week before the heat in the desert was extremely intense. Now we are set to roll out……but wait a riders meeting was called by my brother! He talked to us about setting pace, signaling, etc…..etc…etc…all important stuff. His final rule No Whining Allowed and so the journey begins!
4:45 AM leave San Manuel first fuel stop Globe. No problems just a little concern for falling rocks after the recent monsoon storms! No whining
Globe to Payson – fuel and a lovely breakfast at the Crosswinds Restaurant, Payson Airport
Wonderful Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy
Payson to Flagstaff – nice cool rain, wonderful smells! Incredible journey
Flagstaff to Cameron stop for fuel – mental note cool looking abandoned hotel
From Cameron next stop is a lovely mountain community on the Kaibab Plateau we fueled the bikes and enjoyed a lovely lunch of Indian Fry Bread and refreshing temperatures in the 70’s
Onward now to Kanab checked into the Quality Inn with the check in experience being a little out of a horror movie...... the rooms albeit clean were slanting to one side and there was no pink champagne on ice and I was waiting to be stabbed with their steely knives. I certainly do not recommend this hotel. Now with our appetite being large and wanting the best steak restaurant in Kanab I Googled and found the Iron Horse had a four-star rating. So, we hopped on the bikes and headed for a very disappointing experience. The appetizers were limited, there was no bread or butter available the steaks tender and juicy and pricey left little desire to return. www.ironhorsekanab.com
After a somewhat restful night in the slanted Quality Inn we headed out with a stop to Jakey Leigh’s Coffee shop. Now this was a delight. Simple menu with great coffee and tea. Cannot find a website to attach a link.
Back on the road destination today Spring City, Utah. We had a lovey journey encountering both rain and hail. Beautiful scenery with a mental note to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary on our return trip.
South of Salina Utah we had to leave Highway 89 and get on I-70 for about 34 miles. The speed limit on I-70 is 80 MPH, we were struggling to keep our little 250’s at 70 MPH. We certainly hung out in the right lane and were incredibly happy when it was time to exit the freeway and once again be on Hwy 89. Near the freeway exit we found El Mexicano Restaurant, what a treat with caring service. www.elmexicanosalina.com
Now onward to Spring City, Utah where we arrived at the Hollyhock House.
We dropped off our bags, explored the house then headed out to Moroni to drop off Carla with her daughter, son in law and two adorable grandchildren.
Parrish and I headed back to Spring City and had a casual dinner at Roots 89 Grill. Great burgers and milkshakes. I caused a scene when I leaned back in my chair and tumbled backwards off the sidewalk into a small garden area. Never whined once, only giggled.
The next morning Carla and her family meet us at Das Café for a delightful German breakfast. After breakfast and spending time at the Hollyhock house, Parrish, Carla’s son in law and myself headed to Mt. Nebo the scenic loop drive. The drive was incredible although I did feel a little ill with curves, valleys, and no guard rails. We ended the loop trail in Payson, Utah where we were able to visit Rocky Mountain Headquarters. That evening we joined Carla and her family at Rodger and Jennie’s Dairy Freeze where I felt I took a step back into time.
The next morning Sunday in Utah! Finding food for Parrish and I was the “biggie” of the day. Most places in Utah close on Sunday for family day. We did however have a delightful breakfast at the remarkably busy Coffee Depot in Mount Pleasant. Then we headed out and explored, Ephraim, Manti, Gunnison and Sterling. We ate lunch at Shellies Café in Gunnison. The food was good and basic. While dining we met some local dirt bike riders and had a pleasant conversation. Back to the Hollyhock house for a late afternoon of relaxation before heading out for Monday mornings destination of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Monday morning, we picked up Carla and headed on our reverse journey home. We stopped at Mom’s Café in Salina, Utah. What a wonderful breakfast and a lovely experience chatting with “Mom” Shawnee Frischknecht who bought the café when she was 29 years old. She worked for the former owner for 10 years and it was her first job as a teenager. https://famousmomscafe.business.site/
Onward now to Kanab where we stopped at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary a No-kill shelter for rescued pets and farm animals. Note for future trips you need an appointment to take a tour. https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary
Now on to Jacobs Lake Inn Restaurant for lunch. We opted to eat in the Inn as the sky was dark and threatening a large storm. I had the chicken, feta, sun dried tomato sandwich which was perfect. There is a bakery and all types of ice cream and milkshakes.
Now on to Flagstaff with a photo stop at the abandoned motel that I have now found is part of the Painted Desert Project. It is the Whiting Brothers motel which has been abandoned since 2005. Artist and Navajo Nation Physician Chip Thomas began the painting project with collaboration of Phoenix based Tohano O’dham artist Thomas Breeze March and LA Based Zuni Raramuri and Chicano artist Jaime “Vyal One” Reyes, Dine’ painter Jerrel Singer, Apache artist Douglas Miles and Dine’ artist LivA’ndrea Knoki.
Next stop Flagstaff Super 8 Flagstaff off Kasper Ave near Hwy 89. The hotel is basic, clean and near food. We took an easy Uber Ride to Texas Roadhouse then called it a day.
Next morning last day on bikes decided to eat breakfast at the quirky Crown Railroad Café. Funky place with great breakfast enchiladas and eggs. www.thecrownrailroadcafes.com
After leaving the Payson area the day started heating up. Parrish lost a bolt on his right-side plastics covering the radiator. Fortunately, his older sister had a zip tie in her Mosko Moto Tank bag. We stopped at Roosevelt lake where Parrish went for a swim. Next stop would be Globe for one final fuel stop and lunch.
Arrived back in San Manual a little after 4 PM. The best experience for me was feeling the vacation, being in the moment, every single moment, feeling the air, smelling the forest and desert in the same day. Did I whine about being sore, no. Did I whine about my legs, back and feet hurting, no. Did I whine about mounting and dismounting my bike, no. Did I whine about helmet hair, no. If I were to whine it would be whining that the trip came to an end much too soon. Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called “whining” and that would have ruined the trip! So, the solution to my one little whine is to plan the next trip! I love every pain I am feeling because I knew this was truly an experience and to feel the pain is to remember the journey. Thank you to my brother for being our sweep rider, introducing me to 3 meals a day he loves to eat (if you know me well you know I eat like a bird, little meals all day long) and encouraging us along the route.
Thank you all for being a part of our adventure.
Jacque Traweek Cruce