Route 66 Day 4
July 12, 2008
I only feel the pain, in the sunshine and the rain
What a day! First route 66 is so easy in Arizona. It is either a far piece from Interstate 40 or it IS interstate 40. Either way it is very easy to navigate. I spent very little time naviguessing today and all the time enjoying Rt 66.
So I left Kingman and headed up to Hackberry, home of the famous general store. It lived up to its billing. What a really cool place pretty much like it was a long time ago. As a bonus I drove up and parked among a bunch of Harley Davidson obsolete two wheel designs. I met the neatest people that were on them. They were from Germany, South Africa, and New Zealand and they all were enthralled by the Recluse Spyder. I had a good time visiting with them and trading stories about the weather.
Hackberry General Store
This use to work when gas was affordable
That should buff right out
They had come over from their homes to ride Route 66 from Chicago to LA. When I asked them how long it would take they all replied. “Two Weeks” Everyone says “Two Weeks” they are beginning to sound like a bunch of birds, “twoweeks, twoweeks”
It was threatening rain all day but I managed to stay out of it. It was close enough that I put my rain covers on my Cortec saddlebags just in case. Having never ridden in the rain I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
I got to Segilman which is one of those towns that just melds very well with Rt 66. The Road Kill Café was a nice touch as were most of the shops in Segilman. It is all high desert and forests in Arizona so the temperatures were mild. At Segilman, Rt 66 rejoins I-40. What a great highway. It is silky smooth and the speed limit is 75 mph for everyone, including trucks, so the traffic flows very nicely.
I did not eat here. There are limits
I got up to Branningan Park, which is the highest point on Route 66. There I received an e mail from my good buddy Jerry Stiles. Jerry told me tales of how he had made the same trip some thirty years earlier and how he had been rained on every step of the way. As if on cue the skies opened up and let it rip. Big Drops! Cold Drops! So I zipped up my weather proof BRP riding suit and away I went. Thanks Jerry.
I got hammered by the rain. I felt especially lousy since I had just spent $1500 on a fairing to keep the rain off of me in these situations. Through a series of design flaws and screw ups by Corbin, I had basically nothing to stop the rain. I rode along thinking pleasant thoughts for all the nice people at Corbin. Jesus loves them. I think they are horse’s patuits.
The Burma Shave signs of old are still out there. They have been refurbished and are every where in Arizona. I have heard of them but had never seen them.
“Who Protect you”
“While you Drive”
“ Retire at”
Also the old time bill boards are big in this part of the country. How do we get along without them in California?
At Flagstaff I gassed up in the rain and just got back on the freeway. Flagstaff was suffering from the torrential rain and traffic snarls. I was safer on the highway. The rain stopped as I lost some altitude and the day turned pleasant again.
I made stops at Two Arrows, Two Guns, Meteor City and Jack Rabbit. Now that is four towns with a total of two useable buildings between the four of them. Only one of those two buildings was actually being used. It gives you some idea of how things along 66 have deteriorated over time.
This is Two Guns
Jack Rabbit. Possibly world’s worse sign
I stopped in Winslow Arizona and stood on the corner but no one took a look at me. (It’s an old song) At Holbrook I ran into another Wigwam Motel. Yes, they are a chain that at one time was all over the west. This one had a vintage car parked in front of each wigwam. I thought about stopping but it was too early.
My Spyder turned 10,000 mile just east of Holbrook. It is still running like a wild Arabian stallion. Ten gallons of gas a day gives me as much range as I want.
I stopped and chatted with the VW King
I should have stopped at the teepees. The rain returned. So I pushed on to Gallup, New Mexico and stopped at the first place that offered cover, food and drink. It was a Best Western. It cost twice as much as last night’s room but there are no obvious signs of homicide.
As soon as I arrived I was immediately swarmed on by people wanting to know everything about the Spyder. The lady at the desk insisted that I park it out of the rain, darn near inside the lobby. I told her it could not stay there since I was going to get dressed as a giant spider and go out and fight crime later on. I think she may have believed me.
I went into the bar and found a group of Air Force reservist who were here building habitats for the Indians as part of their active duty. A couple of questions that remain unanswered; 1) wouldn’t it be easier to put the Indians up at the Wigwam Motel? And 2) Don’t we have a war going on that might need the Air Force’s attention?
Either way I had some beers with them before having a wonderful steak dinner. With everything else going on I had not taking much time to eat today. I would hate to waste away to nothing and blow off the bike.
A good day. The rain looks like it will be an issue. My waterproof BRP suit isn’t. The trunk on my Spyder leaks. The Cortec bags and the Throttlemeister remain the best. But as long as it is warm I don’t mind being a little damp.
350 miles today. Tomorrow New Mexico.