After little sleep in a semi-primitive camp site near the Natural Bridges National Park Visitor’s Center, tea for breakfast, and I was on the road at 7:00am. I dodged free range cows and their patties. It was sunny, cold, but I didn’t mind at all. I was really looking forward to seeing my friends Tad and Gaila at the Overland Expo.

Mokee Dugway HWY

I saw 10 cars meeting me on the road–odd for this time of morning. Then I saw it–a tar to gravel warning sign, an elevation drop warning sign, and then a 8-6% decline in the road. I was not happy. I took this video (unable to upload at this time) after I descended from Mokee Dugway section of road on HWY 26, and north of Mexican Hat, AZ. Crazy ride! Elevation 6425, 1100 foot drop within 3 miles of radical twisted canyon roads.

After this, I stopped at a gas station, loaded up on coffee and sweet rolls since that was truly the only thing they had available, and I headed to Flagstaff, AZ.

The winds through the desert were blasting me and my 500lb. bike. At one gas station, I met some gents from Montreal, Canada, who I had passed easily on an earlier stretch of road. Then, the one Canook who was wired with videos kept riding ahead of me and taking my picture as I curled up behind my windshield–3 times! I had to slow to 30-50 MPR to keep control in the winds that threatened to, yet again, whisk my wheels out from under me. Then he passed me again and gave me a good wave. Luckily, there are enough passing lanes so traffic could get by, but I did have to pull over frequently. The expected 5 hour trip took me 8 hours. I took very short breaks, had to refuel often since my gas mileage was diminished with the head and side winds.

The heavy winds didn’t stop there. On the approach to Overland’s camp on Mormon Lake, I was seriously tested when my bike’s wheels barely gripped with the wetland/lake effect winds. There were four lanes, but I couldn’t use the middle lane to try and avoid the wind. I had to stay in the far right in case I was pushed into oncoming traffic. At least four times I thought I would bite the ground hard. I slowed to 30ish MPR to keep enough centrithical force to keep me vertical, and luckily the traffic subsided. Moving south of the lake gave me about 2 minutes to recover and then WHOOSH! Another blast that I anticipated but nearly bit it again. I don’t think I’ve curled up so tight to anything in my life than my motorcycle. Trying to keep my weight low and pressure on the front tire to keep me on the road.

I arrived not knowing the time, date or where I was. A lady at check-in knew where Gaila and Tad were speaking so I followed her directions. I wasn’t late, but an hour early before their presentation. From there, it was surreal seeing them–a blessing.

My lipstick was smudged at this point, but hugs and kisses went around. I was able to move my bike and park her for a few days, and was grateful I could. I needed a long rest after that physical and mental bashing. But! I made it.

Uncurled and proud I had enough skill to keep the rubber side down…way down!