May Winner: Mr.Patrick
"Lets go for an 'big' adventure ride!" Thats what my brother and I said after we both found ourselves owning BMW R1200 GS's. Weeks later we had convinced another set of brothers we've known since childhood and a neighbor of mine to go as well. In all we had 6 (one spouse) planning an adventure, in six months time, to northern Arizona and southern Utah.
We took the trip in late May leaving California on a southern route through Las Vegas. Once at our destination the plan was to ride off road as much as possible. During our first day of off-road adventure we mapped out a route through Navajo Nation land to the rim of the Grand Canyon where we planned to camp. To do this you need a permit (for travel and camping), a good GPS, and some homemade satellite maps of the area (The Navajo's don't print maps or put road signs on this land). It also helps to have a little guts because if you are successful in finding a road that makes it to the rim, it will take you right to the edge with little warning of the approaching 4000 ft cliff.
But the reward is beyond words. We spent almost 2 hours navigating the dirt roads, meeting local Indians (who warned us of the other local Indians..), helping a sheepherder find her sheep, riding alongside a group of wild horses, and passing by rocky remnants of an ancient native american home. Eventually what was an otherwise flat prairie, broke wide open, literally in front of our eyes and tires, into a several mile wide and mile deep canyon...the Grand Canyon. The six of us were speechless. The view was awe inspiring.
We set up camp right there, in front of the most majestic view any of us had ever seen. Photos can only begin to capture what we all felt. Our trip had only begun, but if it were to end that day, it would have already been the "Big Adventure" my brother and I had hoped for 6 months earlier.