Randy Beckstrand is a great friend, and has been for a long time. I really owe him a lot, he got me into riding. The stories that Randy has about riding are plentiful, and quite frankly with the exception of my brother Pat, theres noone I love riding with more. It doesnt matter how many miles, or what bike he has, randy is up for a ride. Before he got married, and I got married, we had plans to ride from the 4 corners of the USA, so its rides like this I really enjoy.
Dave Grisham I’ve known since high school. He’s an intense guy, and always has something interesting to talk about. Plus he is down to ride long rides.
Randy Lives in Kanab, so Dave and I headed out about 3 from St George to meet randy. We hooked up with him in Kanab about 5 or so, and started out across the desert.
You could feel the electricity in the air, and almost taste the storm that was just miles away. I wasnt sure if we would hit it, because it looked pretty heavy. Just a few miles away from the gas station outside of Glen Canyon dam, it hit. It hit HARD. Im not exaggerating when I say it was one of the hardest cloudbursts Ive ever seen, let alone rode a 700 pound motorcycle through. Cars were pulling over it was so hard, but we kept going untill finally we couldnt see anything anymore, so we just stood by our bikes and just enjoyed the moment, because all we could do is laugh.
We were all soaked. My leathers were saturated and heavy. It was great. The nice thing about rain in an August Desert is once the rain stops, you’re air conditioned for quite a while, depending on how long the sun is out. Since it was evening, I was pretty sure it was going to be a cooler ride till we hit flag.
The rain finally broke as we waited at the Gas Station, and we headed out. It was good weather the rest of the way, and by the time we started to climb the mountain heading into flagstaff, the sun had long set and it was dark. We rode through town, and checked into our room about 9 or 10 O clock. We then got a cab, and headed out to get a beer and dinner. Really, a perfect day.
Dave noticed a noise in his bike, a bit of a grinding sound. Sounded like it was down by his primary. The next morning, we headed to the harley dealership in Bellemont to have them take a look. We hit the highway down to bellemont, which was about 15 miles away or so. We went through route 66 near parks, and stopped at the dealership. Dave took it all in stride. He rented a full dresser Ultra, and they told us theyd call us.
So we headed out, down I-40 to Williams. We stopped and ate at a outside restaurant in williams, and the town was pretty packed. Williams, everytime I go there has either some route 66 celibration, a classic car run, or a ton of motorcycles. Being the last town to be officially called Route 66 makes williams a pretty proud route 66 town. You always have to stop there.
We rode west out of williams, down 1-40 to Ash Fork. Ash fork claims to be the flagstone capital of the world, but to be honest theres not alot there. Its a tiny little town, that usually doesnt show much of a pulse to me as route 66 towns go, but Ash fork is another town that has history for me. Just outside of Ash fork is an old section of route 66 thats long been bypassed, that Robyn and I spent 2 years finding, from a picture in a magazine in 1990 that showed a bridge with a mature tree growing out of it. Everytime Im in the area, I head down and see that bridge.
At Ash fork we headed south, down Arizona Highway 89, and got gas in Chino Valley, then west to Jerome. I’d been to Jerome before, but never on a motorcycle.
Jerome is another really unique town. Its an old mining town built on a hillside, and the winding roads leading up to Jerome are great to ride. We pulled into Jerome and caught a really good, live band playing at a biker bar there. There were alot of bikers there, and it seemed like everyone was really friendly. Jerome is another ride I’d like to do again. Its worth the wide swing to hit it.
While we were in Jerome, Dave got a call from the dealership about his bike. They fixed it! It was a loose bolt in the primary drive, and was really close to coming off. If it had come off, it would have been a big deal. Like Complete rebuilt, expensive big deal. Instead, it was just 150 bucks deal. The riding god’s were with us. With that news, we needed to head back and get Daves bike. We had 3 or 4 hours.
So we mounted up, headed through sedona and north up through cottonwood canyon to get home. By this time, it had started raining again. It wasnt bad, but it was steady. The kind of rain that doesnt even bug you, because it just makes a cool ride interesting. Once you’re wet, you’re wet. Slow down, and enjoy the ride. It rained all the way back to Flagstaff, then broke and we headed west again into Bellemont to get Dave’s bike.
The dealership in Bellemont is great. One of the better dealerships, they worked hard and were extremely helpful in getting us back on the road from everyone we dealt with. MUCH better than Zion or Las vegas harley davidson, who I’d rather not give money to. Bellemont HD, you rock.
We spent the night in Flag again and crashed early. In the morning we headed back to williams on the freeway, and headed up to the air museum. Spent about an hour there, and then blew through the park, took a picture, and made time to head home.
Once the grand Canyon was out of sight, the vacation was over and we just made time to get home.
This will always be one of my favorite rides. 2 great friends, the rain, and the whole experience just made it nearly perfect. “effortless” as randy would say. I hope we can do it again.
It was a great ride