Friday, August 2, 2013

Last day of the Vermont to Arizona adventure

We had a short ride planned today from Flagstaff to Prescott via way of Sedona. We drove this route in early July when we were in Prescott to buy a house, and knew it would be a fantastic motorcycle road with hairpin turns, lots of climbing, and gorgeous scenery.

Sometimes our plans take a wrong turn.

We left Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road, a beautiful drive along Lower and Upper Lake Mary. These lakes almost disappear during the dry season, but today both had enough water for people to be out in kayaks.

Mike set the GPS for Sedona, and when it pointed us off the paved highway onto a dirt forest road, we decided to see where the GPS took us. After a mile of rutted, rocky, and sometimes muddy forest road better suited to ATVs then motorcycles, the GPS indicated we had 148 miles to go to Prescott. We knew that Prescott was only about 50 miles away - by highway. At that point we followed the signs to I-17, a 12 mile ride that took us over an hour to complete. It's a good thing the BMW is a GS, built for off-road riding although probably not with full bags and an extra duffle. We saw no other people the entire trip, but did encounter one cow.


After the technical riding in the quiet Coconino National Forest it was jarring to turn onto I-17 with a 75mph speed limit. I-17 drops 3000' elevation in a few short miles before we started climbing again on our way to Prescott.

We planned this 3200 mile trip as a way to see new parts of the country, have some adventures along the way, and transition from living in Vermont to Arizona. We experienced many 'lasts' over the past two weeks:  the last time we saw many friends, the last time we lived in Vermont, and tonight the last night in a hotel before we move into our new home tomorrow. We've also enjoyed many 'firsts':  the first time we rode a motorcycle in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Arizona; the first time we stayed in a motel that also had a drive-in movie theater, the first time we walked into our new home.

There are more changes in store over the next few weeks as we move into our new home and get settled in Arizona. We kept reminding each other over the past 9 days that the trip was about the journey, not just the destination. Now that we're in Prescott, AZ, it's time to plan more motorcycle trips. Stay tuned.


  1. Congrats on your ride to your new home. Does it feel like someone turned up the heat on you?

    Good thing you are on the GS. That forestry road looks fun, but bumpy.

    1. It's actually no warmer here in north central Arizona than it is in Vermont, and the humidity is far less so it feels more comfortable. The GS handled the bumps, ruts, and mud holes with flair!

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