Saturday, June 12, 2021

Last day of our 2-week, 2800 mile motorcycle trip through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming

 The last day of a long motorcycle trip is bittersweet. The days fall into a rhythm: wake up, go for a walk or run, eat breakfast, pack up the bike, ride, unpack, eat, sleep. Repeat. With a small amount of baggage space on the BMW, and needing to carry raingear and cold weather gear, we're limited to just the essentials and basically one or two changes of clothing. Life is simple and we get to either explore new parts of the country or revisit favorite roads. Yet home beckons, even though the first couple of days home are filled with laundry, running errands, and catching up on work.

We started our day in Flagstaff, about 100 miles from our home in Prescott, AZ. We've ridden these roads more times than we remember, yet I'm still taken by the high desert beauty. Flagstaff is at about 7000' elevation with tall, green pine trees and tall mountains. We drop down to about 5500' elevation in Prescott, riding through dry grassland and desert scrub bushes. We watched a couple of trains heading to or from Flagstaff as we rode west along I-40, reminding us of the trains we saw in Wyoming earlier on this trip.

When we turned south on US 89 outside Ash Fork, we knew we were about 1 hour from home.

This is the driest time of year in a part of the country that typically gets only about 16" of rain per year. However, we're in the midst of a deep drought, with only .5 inches of precipitation since October 2020; normal would be 3.6". We left Flagstaff at 8am to beat the heat, and met our goal by arriving home just about 10am to 83 degree temperatures.

Riding 2800 miles over 2 weeks seems like a lot, but break it down into daily rides typically averaging around 5-6 hours and it seems like we could almost continue riding without a break. Home and work calls, but we're already dreaming about our next trip on the BMW.

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