Motorcycle Endurance Rally           August 11th-16th, 2006


Day 0  •  Day 1  •  Day 2  •  Day 3  •  Day 4  •  Day 5  •  Finish  •  Epilog

Day 4

Today's example bonuses

First, one of my favorite indian ruins: Walnut Canyon. The Sinagua (Spanish for "without water") people moved into the area around 1100 after the Sunset Crater volcanic eruptions. Archaeologists believe that it was the women who built the cliff dwellings. They site was only occupied for about for 100-150 years before it was abandoned. The Sinagua probably assimilated into the Hopi culture. The bonus reads:

Flagstaff, AZ area
Walnut Canyon Nat'l Monument
1,927 points 0800 to 1630
Heading east from the Visitors Center, walk along the Rim Trail to its end, approx. 1/3rd mile. From the overlook at the trail's end, take a picture facing roughly west with the visitors center in the upper right of the picture. With a pen or similar, circle as many of the cliff dwellings as you can on your polaroid. You must circle at least three ruins.

10 miles east of downtown Flagstaff take exit 204 south 3 miles to the monument.

Time: _____   Odometer: _____ Code: WAL Approved: _____

My photo:

A unacceptable Walnut Canyon bonus photo. Know why?

The next example bonus is just north of Sunset Crater at a site called Wupatki. Most homes near Sunset Crater Volcano in the 1200's were single-family structures. Wupatki, however, was a multi-level, high-rise structure with about 100 rooms.

The actual bonus reads:

Flagstaff, AZ area 3,163 points — Aug-13
5,681 points — Aug-14
7,607 points — Aug-15
13,107 points — Aug-16
0800 to 1700
Obtain a dated receipt from the Visitors Center for any purchase, keep the receipt. Behind the Visitors Center take the trail down to Wupatki Pueblo to near its end. Find the Blow Hole. The free trail guide may be useful in finding it.

Take a picture of the blowhole. If air is blowing out of the hole, tie your green streamer to the grate and get that in the picture. If air is sucking in, don't lose your flag! Showing air direction is not mandatory to document this bonus.

Approx 10-15 miles north of Flagstaff on Hwy 89 take forest road 545 east following signs for Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument / Wupatki. Proceed east then north on 545 to the Visitors Center.

Time: _____
Odometer: _____
Code: BLO13 to BLO16 Approved: _____

This photo and the dated receipt would be worth 5,681 points today when I got it:

This photo has a rally flag (required in all photos).

The blowhole was sucking in when I took the shot. The reason for the wind (in or out the blowhole) is because the blowhole is a vent to a very large underground cavern. Differences in air pressure above ground cause the air to move in or out of the hidden cavern.

First leg "Official" Results

An extensive audit of the results posted the other day resulted in a few changes. These results are official:

A humorous anecdote

Mike Berlien wears one of those "hi-viz" Aerostiches. You know, the one that's bright yellow with a greenish cast -- almost exactly the color of canola flowers. Anyway, on the first leg of the rally, he encountered a roadblock due to a forest fire ahead. Several other riders came upon the same roadblock, and were turned back.

Mike, however, was apparently assumed to be a fireman (due to the color and construction of his Aerostich) and was waved through. Several times. He got the bonus, and the authorities were none the wiser.

Today's news

While headed north to the Chaco Cultural Center bonus Tom Sperry was confronted with "way beyond biblical" thunderstorms and reported lightning strikes hitting all around him with great frequency. Tom has ridden through tropical rainstorms in the south that dumped an inch an hour, but the rain he saw today stopped him in his tracks.

Various photos

Since there isn't much other news from or about the riders (they are a silent bunch, preferring to stay off the radar, both literally and figuratively), here are some photos to make up for the lack of news...

Mike Berlien heading out on the odometer check in Gerlach, NV.

An immature shoe tree (arboras adidas) near Amboy, CA on Route 66.

Five of the six women in the rally, left to right: Lisa Stevens,
Heidi Still, Coni Fitch, Silvie Torter, and Lynda Lahman
(Maura Gatensby not shown) at Guru Lane, near Gerlach, NV.

FR-545 to Sunset Crater and the Wupatki National Monument.
A 5-star motorcycle road!

The view nobody shoots of Four Corners.
The 4-State intersection is shown in the middle of this shot.
(see the tiny row of light-colored vehicles?)

H. Marc Lewis
Durango, CO

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