I heard nothing but great things about Sedona. Riders and non-riders talk about how beautiful it is, and apparently it is one of the most photographed places in the world. I decided to take a ride and find out for myself.
I was getting hungry in the middle of my first tank, so I decided to get rid of this annoyance while passing through Wickenburg. The Twin Wheels Old West Cafe caught my eye. Originally I read it as “two wheels” and assumed it was a biker joint. It had good food and crazy crap on the walls…and counters!
The road to Yarnell had fast sweepers steep altitude changes. This is where I discovered the Knights of Cydonia, my new favorite riding song by Muse. The song’s rising action matched the mountain and the fast beats seemed to sync with the passing lane lines. Two riders appeared in the distance and I passed them in the corners. They passed me on the straightaways and again I would pass them in the corners grinning.
Jerome is a quaint town built on a cliff with a view that stretched for miles. The town was established in in the midsts of copper mines that were running for 70 years. They haven’t been in operation for more than 50 years and the population has shrunk to about 350 so it is pretty touristy at this point. The red rock of Sedona was peaking out in the distance, but I had to make a stop in Page Springs.
Maynard James Keenan operates Merkin Vineyards and his wines are available for tasting and purchase at the Page Spring Vineyards. After narrowly averting a drop on the gravel parking lot I went in for a taste (just one!) and bought a bottle.
So, onto the WHOLE reason for this trip right? Sedona. Eh, overrated. Its yuppified, crowded and touristy. I’ll feel guilty if I don’t post at least one picture, so here ya go.
I worried about the wine getting too warm while I was lugging them back to Phoenix in my tail bag, so I started to head back home. Traffic was backup through Sedona so I decided to travel out of my way to jump on the interstate. I headed north through Oak Creek Canyon. “Oak Creek Canyon?” I kept wondering why that sounded so familiar.
Ah ha! I realized that this was the road a guy told me about in Colorado while I was on my cross country trip last year. I had pulled off the road to take in the view somewhere in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Another motorcyclist pulled up next to me and conversation started quick as it typically does when two riders meeting in remote locations. We swapped stories and travel destinations and he told me that I have to go through Oak Creek Canyon when I get to Arizona. Now I was curious to see what the fuss was all about.
The curves were excellent, but the road conditions were too bad to have any fun on them. Every curve was teasing me, “Switchback, sweet! aw crap gravel.” “Sweeper, sweet! aw crap severe road ramage.” Despite the road conditions it was a very fun ride. This picture says it all:
A great day of riding even though the Sedona was lacking. Another example of how the journey is better than the destination.