What a trip. 48 hours total and about 850 miles later, its a branded memory. I had been planning to do the Smoke Out for the past three months or so. I was going with or without my friends. As with any trip that involves bare bones traveling, you don't really know who is in for sure until the day of departure. I had gotten a ton of "Count me in"s from a lot of people. As the countdown neared ground zero those "I'm in"s became "I can't make it because......". The remaining three people on my list were Dustin(AKA Justin), Matt(AKA Landman), and Aaron(AKA No-Show). These were the three deciding factors on if I was traveling in a pack, or alone. All hailing from San Diego county, they had a trip ahead of them just to get to my house. That is if they decided to come.
Ground Zero. It was Thursday evening and the plan was to leave Friday morning at 9. I still hadn't gotten an answer from the SD crew. At 8:02 AM I got a text from Landman that read "200 Miles to Phoenix". With that text I was only left to assume that they should be here around 11AM and we can leave from there. A little behind but no big deal, at least they were coming. They rolled in around 2PM, and by they I mean the TWO of them. Aaron decided to back out at the last minute for one excuse or another. Alright, so they are here, I am so fired up at this point. We were making this talk a reality. They rested for about an hour and we headed out for the start of a new Chapter in our lives.
I just want to stress to the people that don't own motorcycles how intense, involved, and exhausting a trip can be. When you are on the bike you are 100% encompassed and focused on what you are doing at that instant. There are so many variables involved that could determine life or death(not exaggerating) at an instant. This is the one and only reason that I was trying to be on somewhat of a schedule. This schedule was to avoid riding at night. Due to a few setbacks throughout the trip, 75% of our riding was done at night. Pitch black, and cold as fuck.
Dustin, Myself, and Landman. Leaving my house. I am fresh and they were already 350 miles deep.
Yes, it is sketchy taking pictures while you are riding.
We got to Cottonwood around 5:30, just as the sun was going down. Went to the Fair Grounds to check the Smoke Out. We cruised around for a bit and decided that we would come back to check it out in more depth tomorrow morning. All of the hotels were sold out in Cottonwood. I was originally thinking we would just rough it and sleep on the ground somewhere in the forest. Dustin and Landman were exhausted from riding so much that they were stoked on the idea of getting a hotel. So we headed up to Sedona. This is a super small tourist town that is so beautiful. Its surrounded by red rock peaks. Perfect place for a morning ride.
Got to the hotel and I decided that I wanted to nerd out on the camera. I took some over exposed long shutter shots and came out with these two gems. I was extremely stoked on how they turned out.
We asked the guy at the front desk where we could walk to eat and he suggested a place around the corner called the hideaway. I really wish I could go slap that guy a high five cause it was epic! The only thing I had eaten all day was two taquitos from QT(best gas station on earth) so I was in need of a refuel. We made a collective decision to eat and drink as much as we could. We proved to be successful in carrying out our promise.
Leaving the Hideaway we came across this fine piece of machinery. Here Landman and Dustin show everyone that a designated driver is a great investment.
There was a ripping band that came on at the Hideaway about 30 minutes into my set list on the Jukebox. They were seriously so fucking good. They asked if anyone would play the tambourine on a song. Dustin persuaded Matt to demonstrate his skillz. And they could pay the billz. The video is dark, but the sound is more than enough.
We then proceeded to pass out for some much needed rest.