This road trip was done on Harley Davidson motorbikes, at the beginning of April, so cold weather gear was a good thing while on the high desert plateau around Grand Canyon. The trip is a good combination of great riding roads, scenery and some of the most popular sights in western USA. We landed in Phoenix in the later afternoon, and after the longest wait in line for immigration ever (over 3 hours in line) we took a taxi to a motel we had booked, not far from Eagleriders location in Phoenix.
Day 1: Phoenix-Sedona
As usual the checkout of the bikes and paperwork was seamless, so little time was needed to get our nice brand spanking new Ultras. We packed the bikes and set off in warm weather from Phoenix and headed north on Hwy 60 towards Wittman, Morristown and Wickenburg. From Wickenburg still going north on Hwy 93 until this splits off to the right and becomes the 89 towards Congress. In Congress you need to head east and continue on the 89 and head into the mountains. Just before you get to Yarnell there is a great place to stop for some lunch, at the Ranch House on the right side of the road. It’s hard to miss, a very colourful building, and a favourite stop for bikers and weekend people getting out of Phoenix. Mum got served the world’s most gigantic portion of chef’s salad – incredibly tasty, but it could easily have fed all four of us. Continue on great roads towards Prescott. In Prescott it gets a bit complicated with many roads splitting into different directions, but head for the 89a to Jerome. From the valley you climb into sublime roads, going into canyons, around bends and giving you breath-taking vistas around every corner. Jerome is a very cool stop on the route. Also called “the wickedest town in the west” Jerome is an old copper mining town. Founded in 1876, it was once the fourth largest city in Arizona. After the last copper mine closed in 1953, the remaining inhabitants of the city (between 50-100 people, in its heyday there were around 15 000 living in town) promoted the town as a living ghost town. It is since 1967 a designated National Historic District. It is considered the largest ghost town in America, even though around 450 people call Jerome home. The town has a great many old houses, saloons, hotels and of course souvenir shops since Jerome now is a major destination. We found the town very cool, lots of colourful buildings, people and animals roaming the streets.