And the trip begins: Fort Collins to Phoenix

Day 1: Fort Collins-Steamboat-Craig-Fruita (330 miles)

The trip started on Monday, September 4th, only two days later than our planned departure date.  We were exited to begin the trip over Cameron Pass, a place we spent countless ski and mountain days. It was awesome to see the early signs of fall among the higher altitude aspen trees, which were changing various shades of fiery yellow/ orange.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
All packed up and leaving Fort Collins
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And the trip begins
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Enjoying the beauty of Cameron Pass
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fall is coming!

Although the majority of our first day was on pavement, we were able to find an awesome dirt road outside of Fruita to camp off of.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Heading to camp our first night

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 2: Fruita-Moab-Monument Valley- Flagstaff (430 miles)

In an effort to make our way south relatively quickly, we spent most of the second day on pavement as well.  Passing thru Moab and Monument Valley brought us incredible views, which were followed by a couple hundred miles of pretty bleak terrain.  It was surely windy and loud on the highway, but we found an awesome campsite just a few miles outside of Flagstaff, AZ hidden away in the woods.  It felt just like Colorado!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lovely Colorado!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Monument Valley
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Near our campsite outside of Flagstaff

Day 3: Humphrey’s Peak

We took our third day off, and climbed Humphrey’s Peak, Arizona’s highest point at 12,637 feet.  It was awfully chilly on the summit- I wished I had brought more than my Melanzana fleece and a raincoat!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Hiking Humphrey’s Peak

Months prior to leaving on the trip, we had a to do list that was miles long. Although we were continuously checking things off of the list, we were also constantly adding more “to-dos.”  We could not believe how much work it was to get everything situated to depart on this adventure.  Anyway, one of the things on the list that never got checked off was to test our new trip stove.  The MSR Dragonfly stove runs off of gasoline, diesel, white gas, or airplane fuel, which makes it a great international stove.  It definitely involves a few extra steps than the Jetboils we own, but we got it figured out after a couple tries!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Figuring out our MSR Dragonfly

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Camping outside of Flagstaff

Day 4: Flagstaff to Phoenix (~220 miles)

This day should have been a quick and easy one, but we decided to ride predominately dirt roads instead of sticking to the highway.  We were blown away by the beauty of Arizona- the forest, the desert, and the foothills.  Most of the day was spent on glorious smooth dirt roads with awesome twisties winding up and down, with a few enjoyable rocky sections.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Stopping for lunch on our way to Phoenix- naan with pesto and hummus! 🙂
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cruiser dirt roads on our way to Phoenix

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We were almost to Phoenix when we ended up making a turn on a more difficult road, which consumed way more time than we had initially planned.  We were headed to Phoenix to stay at Tom and Diane’s house, good friends of my parents, so we pushed through instead of camping mid way. After the initial rough climb it descended steeply on a narrow road into a canyon.  Slow progress brought on darkness and more hours of rough steep descending mixed in with short punchy climbs, leading to a few dropped bikes.  The road finally got better only to get worse again for about a mile of steep climbs and descents.  Due to our strong desire to continue moving, we failed to take pictures of this section. Eventually we reached a graded dirt road and rode on for another hour to a shower, warm eggplant parmesan, and a comfortable bed- thanks to Tom and Diane!

In Phoenix, we spent the next couple days relaxing at Tom and Diane’s house: pool time, margaritas, desert walks and dirty martinis!

We plan on heading out early tomorrow morning to Bahia Kino, Mexico!

 

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “And the trip begins: Fort Collins to Phoenix

  1. I’ll quote my pops in saying “Thanks for the vicarious thrills.” Now that the school year has started, I’ll follow you guys’ trip with interest (and a tad bit of jealousy!) from the couch in Colorado. Have a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey guys. A quick tip about the stove that I learned the hard way… since I have pretty much the same thing. As soon as you cross the boarder there is a chance that white gas may become non existent. In Chile I still haven’t found any. If you decide to use kerosene which is amazingly cheap and available everywhere, you need to change the jet, otherwise you are going to burn way more fuel than needed and your pots are come our covered in soot, which is no fun and your hands will take two days to get all the black off of them. The good thing is that your stove comes with the tool and the filter. Once you get to a good internet connections MSR has some great tutorials made by the most boring narrator in the world, but its definitely worth taking a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=207&v=58Z2PAZg1Lg.

    Like

  3. Good for you guys. I am a friend of Chris. We sing in choir in Carol Stream together. He told me about your trip because I ride a KTM off road and I also have a BMW F800GS. This type of trip is on my horizon on the GS in a few years. I look forward to reading as you progress further south. Good luck.

    Like

  4. Go Michelle and Evan! I love that you’re posing so MANY pics, please keep it up. Excellent writing, too. Safe travels, thinking of you. Love you guys!

    Like

  5. At first I was a little hesitant on hearing about this endeavor – but I’ve changed my mind and realize that it will be an adventure of a lifetime.

    Keep us informed through the blog – it looks great.

    Like

  6. Loving the blog Shell! The pictures are amazing! Gautam wants to know what camera you guys are using? Hope Mexico is going well! Ride safe!

    Love M&G

    Like

    1. Thanks M&G!
      We have just been using the Olympus Tough point and shoot camera. Evan does have a Nikon D3300, but we haven’t been using it yet. Hopefully for future posts :).

      Like

  7. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i’m happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to don’t forget this site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s