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Thread: Motocamping Trip with Daughter, Sept 2016

  1. #1
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    Motocamping Trip with Daughter, Sept 2016

    Each year, I take off for a long motorcycling trip and leave the fam at home, typically. Started with the Durango rallies years ago and has since morphed into a fall ride, it seems. Over the last 3 years, I have turned it into a motocamping experience, with the last 2 years have been with my friend, Paula. She is a very experienced motocamper so it’s been great learning from mistakes...and easier learning from her.

    The hardest thing about the trips is leaving my family behind and not having the experiences with them. Being in the tent by myself at night is very lonely and there’s something about being able to just share certain experiences and moments with them that is always missing, as much as I enjoy the trips. Because of that, I asked hubby if he wanted to tag along in the truck. He didn’t answer for awhile, so I made a comment that he didn’t have to go and with that “permission to say no”, his response was a very quick no. haha But somewhere along the conversation, daughter had heard and said, “I wanna go!!”

    The plan was borne.

    Cue “set fire to debit card” mode. I was a bit apprehensive about having enough room on my Wee Strom for the both of us, so I literally spent days on ebay, buying lightweight camping stuff and a nice, new tent for 3 people vs our 2 person tent we had. I must add that the MSR Elixir 3 that I ended up buying kicks butt. It’s great. I also picked up 2 mummy bags for 20 degree weather that worked really well, too. Those three items totalled about 11 lbs, which was awesome. I also picked up another Exped Synmat 7 for daughter. My Exped is the only thing that allows me to tent camp. It’s crazy comfy.

    The new tent arrived and if daughter hadn’t been there to help, I’m pretty sure I’d be wearing an eye patch by now. The poles are all one unit, which basically means there’s pole everywhere to maim me.

    Tent set up at home:


    Without rainfly:


    We spent the next couple of days packing up what we could and making sure daughter would be comfortable on the passenger seat with luggage on top of luggage.

    The next challenge came in the form of Hurricane Newton. We were experiencing some remnants of the hurricane and we live on a dirt road.



    I was a bit nervous that we were going to be in trouble getting out of the driveway in the morning, but all worked out well. There was a big mud hole at the end of the driveway but once I was past that, I had daughter hop on and we rode the rest of the dirt road to pavement with zero issues. Whew! So, Thursday, Sept 8th, we were off to meet my friend about 35 mins from our house and we headed toward the Grand Canyon.

    We had some clouds in the morning so the normal hot wasn’t as hot. The cloud cover was perfect. It takes about an hour to get out of town and hit some open road. The bike was performing well with the two of us and loaded down. It was a bit heavy but the easy preload settings on the Strom made it easy to adjust.

    PINES!!!


    Lake Mary, which is very close to Flagstaff:



    We had a 400+ mile day and unfortunately, didn’t get a first come, first served spot at the Desert View Campground in the Grand Canyon NP, but Plan B worked out awesomely. We backtracked about 5 miles and found an awesome national forest campsite for the night.

    Our humble abode for 3 nights. Plenty of room for both of us and a lot of gear:



    Night one campsite:


    Never know where you might find a Ducati lurking behind a tree!



    I lumbered my way through some rocks and such to get the bike close to our tents. There’s something satisfying about taking the Strom where others might not ride.



    After a great first night of sleep, the next morning (Friday), we were to meet up with some fellow BBO’ers at the Sand Island Campground in Bluff, UT. We had a 200+ mile day planned, so that left time to explore the Grand Canyon National Park a bit.

    First, my fashion for the 5 days. I really wish I had brought my sneakers because these boots were not very comfortable for most of the 5 days. Versatile...but I was very tired of wearing them when I arrived home.

    Last edited by Missy B; 09-18-2016 at 11:53 PM.
    CURRENT BIKES: 2014 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2016 Honda CBR500R
    PREVIOUS BIKES: 2002 Ninja 500, 2002 Kawi ZR-7S, 2002 Kawi Concours, 2003 Yamaha XT225, 2006 Yamaha FZ6, 2005 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2004 Honda CRF250R, Yamaha TTR250
    Test riding bikes since 2004.
    If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to RIDE that thing will do!

  2. #2
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    OK...Grand Canyon.

    Three ladies and a hole in the ground.



    Pictures never do the Canyon justice but here you are, anyway….







    To Be Continued…..
    CURRENT BIKES: 2014 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2016 Honda CBR500R
    PREVIOUS BIKES: 2002 Ninja 500, 2002 Kawi ZR-7S, 2002 Kawi Concours, 2003 Yamaha XT225, 2006 Yamaha FZ6, 2005 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2004 Honda CRF250R, Yamaha TTR250
    Test riding bikes since 2004.
    If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to RIDE that thing will do!

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missy B View Post
    ....
    Pictures never do the Canyon justice but here you are, anyway….
    …..
    This is so true! They can't capture that first view from the edge of the canyon that literally takes your breath away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lezbert View Post
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Wow, sounds like a great trip!!

    Planning some much shorter adventures with my boys this fall. Maybe longer trips when we get some more miles behind us.

  5. #5
    Great stuff Missy ... perhaps you will encourage some of our "armchair experts" to do more than talk about moto adventures.

    Yes the secret to 2-up moto-camping is think like a backpacker and it looks like you got the right gear. I don't have that particular model but I do have an MSR (and a REI and a Sierra and a Kelty) and I totally agree on a 3-person for 2-up moto. It also allows spacious luxury 1-up especially if you have to wait out a rainy day.

    My friend Paul who is still moto-camping in his late 70s says the secret is a good air mattress. And I would add being warm/cool enough. I would prefer the night be coolish and the gear warmish which you certainly had with that tent/pad/bag combination. I frequently will ride a little further to get a good elevation increase for coolness in the summer.

    The Grand Canyon must be experienced ... I think the term if "ineffable" ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    .....
    The Grand Canyon must be experienced ... I think the term if "ineffable" ...
    YES!! Had to look it up but that's it EXACTLY.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lezbert View Post
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
    -2000 Road King Classic with lots of sentimental value
    -M.I.T.G.C. #72

  7. #7
    Moderator/RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! Clair's Avatar
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    Tent rule ... at least for motorcycle camping.

    1 person = 2-person Tent
    2 people = 3-person tent

    Actually, most the time I use my 3-person tent while moto-camping just as I like all the space inside as I prefer to keep ALL my gaer in the tent with me. This trip I took my smaller 2-person tent and it worked fine but I do prefer a bit more interior space.

    Also, Kacie ROCKS!
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  8. #8
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    After spending a little bit of time (hit 3 or 4 scenic overlooks), we decided to start heading toward Bluff, UT to meet up with Clair and Charlie, who were already there. Sand Island Campground near Bluff is a first come, first serve campground, so having someone there on Thursday seemed like a good idea.

    Heading into Monument Valley:



    Because I am like a 12 year old, this made me chuckle. Looks like a hand giving the middle finger. But mebbe that’s just me.







    We made it to Sand Island uneventfully and as luck would have it, the boys pulled in right behind us, so we all used our dirt skills to get to our campsite. Clair picked a great spot where all 4 of us could hunker down in one site. The site was steps to the San Juan River.

    (Photo stolen from Clair…)



    It was unseasonably warm so we were sweating our butts off getting camp set up but as the sun dropped, it cooled off, thankfully. We took a nice stroll to fill up our water bottles and also walked near the petroglyphs located near the campground. Pretty neat to wonder what they all meant back in the day, despite modern day idiots adding their .02.

    So far the nighttime sleeping weather was perfect. Not too cold, thankfully. The past 2 years I had had an issue with keeping warm at night but it was perfect this trip, thanks to the mummy bag, I think.

    We stopped for breakfast the next morning and mostly made fun of Clair. Then we made our way toward El Morro Campground in New Mexico.

    Didn’t really see much of Charlie, except at turns. LOL So here’s Clair, Paula and me.



    Clair and his glowing self.



    This lake surprised us. Very pretty.



    We exited and entered El Malpais a few times on this day, so it was just very pretty scenery. I tried to take in as much as I could and therefore I didn’t do very well at keeping up with the other speed demons. And that was just fine by me. I had precious cargo on board, as well, so I was in no hurry.

    The yellow wildflowers were gorgeous.



    We made it to El Morro. It is also a first come, first serve campground and thankfully, we were able to get 1 of 2 sites left. The site was great for all of us. (Strom not pictured, as I didn't like the lack of level in available parking near theirs.)



    My friend’s boyfriend was going to meet us there with his private plane (and rental car) but his plane failed precheck, so what to do? He drove the 6 hours or so to hang out with us overnight...and he arrived with steaks and all sorts of goodies. Whatta guy!

    I got up somewhat early Sunday morning before others had started moving, so I took a stroll around the campground to snap some photos from my cell phone. The Samsung S6 takes some decent photos.





    Not a bad way to wake up!

    The boys were looking to hit 191 south, so we all got a move on. Us girls were heading toward Springerville to hotel it on our last night and met the boys there later on. It was so great to have a hotel room after 3 nights of camping. Some people live on coffee; I live on showers. And it turned out to be a great choice to hotel because it hailed in Springerville!

    Poor motorsickles:



    While the boys were out riding 191, we figured out Springerville pretty much closes on Sunday late afternoons, so we walked over to the SAfeway deli and brought our dinner from there back to our room. We girls sat and had a great dinner along with good conversation. The boys returned by the time we returned and went off to get their dinner. We had more fun conversation when they returned til we all retired for the night due to our 6 am breakfast meet up.

    To Be Continued...
    CURRENT BIKES: 2014 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2016 Honda CBR500R
    PREVIOUS BIKES: 2002 Ninja 500, 2002 Kawi ZR-7S, 2002 Kawi Concours, 2003 Yamaha XT225, 2006 Yamaha FZ6, 2005 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2004 Honda CRF250R, Yamaha TTR250
    Test riding bikes since 2004.
    If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to RIDE that thing will do!

  9. #9
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    We met up at 6 am at the free hotel breakfast. A fellow Tiger rider was there and we had fun biker conversation before we all went our separate ways. It’s always a little sad to say “see ya” but we know there will be a next time, too, so we hold on to that. Clair and Charlie headed out and we weren’t too far behind them.

    Our first stop was in Alpine, AZ to fuel up. And get horse and burro pictures.



    From Alpine, we hit 191 South. It is about 65 miles of technical twisties between Alpine and Morenci. I will admit that by this day, Day 5, I was tired. It was a lot of fun but it required a lot of concentration, esp with a passenger. So it was really tiring, too.



    I am glad I bought the point and shoot before we left so daughter could take pics as a passenger. I was too busy trying to NOT plummet off the mountain to check out the scenery.



    I love this photo. It depicts it all very well. Drop offs, curvy mountain grades…



    We stopped for lunch in Safford and happened upon a cafe where they employ special needs folks. It was neat to see a business willing to do so. The food was great and the service was heartfelt.

    From there, we went for Morenci, made a butt and gas stop then we all bolted for home. We hit some good rain on our last 100 miles but my friend had it worse than we did, as she had about another 40 miles to go than we did. The rain and winds were worse in Tucson than our house that is SE of Tucson.

    Five days of riding, three states and 1407 miles. And lots of pride that my daughter did awesomely. She is 18 now and I’m just so darn proud of the young lady she has become.
    CURRENT BIKES: 2014 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2016 Honda CBR500R
    PREVIOUS BIKES: 2002 Ninja 500, 2002 Kawi ZR-7S, 2002 Kawi Concours, 2003 Yamaha XT225, 2006 Yamaha FZ6, 2005 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2004 Honda CRF250R, Yamaha TTR250
    Test riding bikes since 2004.
    If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to RIDE that thing will do!

  10. #10
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missy B View Post
    I am glad I bought the point and shoot before we left so daughter could take pics as a passenger. I was too busy trying to NOT plummet off the mountain to check out the scenery.
    That's why I elected to equip 3 cameras on Sunday, although I'm really looking at building something like the Google street view system, to record 360 degrees continuously, so I can enjoy the ride and some scenery "in the moment", and then go back and watch "just" the scenery when it's safer.
    Jeff

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

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