“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – The “Four Corners” Run

The “Four Corners” Run

This is the ride I have been wanting to take for many years. It is a long way from Seattle to the: FOUR CORNERS” and you can only ride there in comfort a few months out of the year. It seems like the summers in Seattle are taken up riding to Sturgis, California and other beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest.

A good friend of mine, Tom Lea, flew down from Seattle to our home in Apache Junction, Arizona. We had planned on going for a good ride in the Southwest. We have ridden to Sturgis many times, but had never toured the Southwest other than the Valley of the Sun.

Tom Lee and myself at Four Corners in May of 2002. It was real cold out, next morning it was 28 above. We rode sourth fast into New Mexico then west into Arizona. When we got home it was 87 above. It felt real good! Tom and I tried to rent big Harleys, but one must reserve these months in advance. We ended up renting two big VTX 1800cc Hondas (V-twin). We left our home in Apache Junction at seven in the morning. Road on Hwy 60 up through Globe, Az. It is over 5,000 ft. high. It was only 58 Above when we got there. We figured we were in for some cool riding. The big Hondas ran beautifully; what power. They will shoot up to 100 miles per hour — NOW. Will cruise all day long at 90 MPH, if one wants to go that fast on two lane mountain roads. 60 is fast enough. We kept on Hwy 60 to Sholow, Az. Over 7000 ft. high. It was really getting cold. The roads are beautiful. Arizona has some of the best roads in the nation. We took a road to St. Johns, Az. where we picked up Hwy 191. This is a very lonely road. We stopped Ganado. It is just an old tavern out in the middle of nowhere. They have no electricity. They use an old diesel generator. And they have two deep wells for water.

A young Indian girl ran the place. She was very nice to us. The place looked so gruesome to us to eat or drink anything, so we had some orange juice in the can. We rode thru Chinie, thru Canyon Valley. This reminds me of parts of Wyoming. Like around Devils Tower; only everything is red; the rocks, the ground, big towers, all red stone. Rode on thru Monumental Valley, a very beautiful place. Reminds one of being on the moon. We rode to the end of Hwy 191; took 160 to Four Corners. Not much there. Took a few pictures. It was getting late and cooler, so we rode until we found a nice motel in Cortez, Colorado. Parts of Colorado and New Mexico consist mostly of Indians. One gets the feeling that we were the minority.

We got up fairly early the following morning. Boy, it was cold. 38 above. We put on all the clothes we had. I put my rain gear on to keep out the cold. Before we left we had to buy some heavy farmer gloves. The leather ones were cold. We had wanted to go further into Colorado, but not in this cold. We took Hwy 666 out of town. Could not ride over 50 MPH; we finally got to Shiprock. A nice town and it was a little warmer. The road to Gallup, New Mexico was in very good condition; straight as an arrow. We arrived in Gallup; about 100 miles away.

While filling the Honda with Premium, I talked to a nice man who had rode to Laughlin, Nevada for the big River Run. He said he would not be going back next year after all the problems they had this year. There are so many other places to go where there are no gangs, etc. It was 27 above that morning. We took the Freeway #40 going West. Stopped at a big truck stop in Holbrook, Az. They had a Burger King so we both ate chicken sandwiches. We took #377 out of Holbrook. Stopped at Hebon, shedding clothes. We took Hwy 87 out of Payson; four lane highway all the way to Phoenix. We took a cut-off near Lake Saquaro. It’s called the Bush Highway. I have ridden on this road for many years. We had to stop on the side of the road and shed more cloths, now down to pants and t-shirt. Rode on to Apache Junction, and we were home before we knew it. 3:45 P.M. and it was 88 above.

We had a beautiful ride. Had the big Hondas for three days. Cost was $501.00. Put over 1100 miles on the bike. The cost was well worth it. I would rather have been riding on my Road King, but no complaints with the Hondas. Tom kept his bike for the rest of the week. I have a smaller bike in Arizona, a 600cc Honda, which is ideal for down there.

So, until our next trip, GOD SPEED,

Carmen Tom
May 2, 3, and 4, 2002

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