Motorcycle Trip Across America 2014 – Day 18: Bike maintenance, Petrified Forest, and camping in Grands, NM

Today is going to be less eventful than most. I’m tired from the drive yesterday, so I’m not doing much. I need to stop by Walmart to grab two adjustable wrenches to tighten the chain(it FINALLY stretched out), and then I’m camping in Grands, NM. Should be a nice drive if I can get the maintenance done quickly. I barely slept last night. I kept thinking about the Grand Canyon and couldn’t stop looking through my photos. I’ve truly accomplished something great. Now I just need to head home.

Adjusting the chain on the bike was really easy. I didn’t need to consult the manual. I did have to do it a second time at the hotel parking lot because the chain was a little too tight. Simple stuff though!

Turns out the National Petrified Forest is on the way to my campground. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for somewhere to take a pit stop and see some cool stuff. I adjusted the chain on the bike a third time at the hotel parking lot after a quick test run. It took 3 tries to get it perfect, but now I feel much better about driving it. I also cleaned and thoroughly oiled the chain. Bike looks good! I’m back at the Galaxy Diner in Flagstaff. I loved the meal last night, might as well get some delicious breakfast. I could also use some coffee. Turns out they have 100 flavors of milkshakes. I got chocolate Butterfinger. Unbelievable!



After hitting the road, I saw a sign for Meteor Crater. I figured I was in no rush, so I checked it out. Apparently it is a privately owned crater that was preserved by the family of a man who wanted to harvest the meteor for profit. I learned some cool stuff about geology while hearing a lecture. Awesome story behind how this crater was found and the history behind it. Definitely worth checking out. IMG_2014080239560

After some more driving, I arrived at the Petrified Wood National Park. This place was quite a ways into the desert, but opened up to a major road, so I was fine with that. The guy at the gate was impressed with how far I had come on motorcycle. He also gave me kudos on having spare gas. They have someone arrive with an empty tank at least once a week. It was amazing to see what nature can do to organic material. You could see the rings in the petrified trees, and the entire park was gorgeous. Here are a few snaps from the park: IMG_2014080230666 IMG_201408024588





The park was definitely worth seeing. Such an amazing experience. Leaving the park, I started getting some weird feedback from the bike. Apparently the chain tightened up after the trip through the desert/park. Had to readjust it. A fellow biker stopped and asked if I needed help. I love the kindness among bikers. After 20 minutes of work, the chain seemed good. I checked again in 50 miles, no issues.

After the park, it was a straight route to my campsite in Grants, NM. The trip was somewhat frightening, there was another huge storm approaching, except from the north, and I was heading east. I could feel the winds and it felt dangerous. I had to go a little faster than I should have to avoid it, but I had to make a decision. I think I made the right one. Once I cleared the storm, I looked back, filled with a sense of a good decision made. It looked pretty brutal.

I stayed at the KOA in Grants, NM. If you want a campsite with amazing hosts and a gorgeous campsite, you should stay here. They also gave me a cookie. Unfortunately the town has limited attractions. Great for a day of recharging!

Camp is set up and I’m tired at 8pm. I did quite a bit today. Gonna end tonight with some Reddit.