I Been Riding the Range All Day

Route 66

Day 6 July 14, 2008

I been riding the range all day

Well I got up this morning, late, still not adjusted to the time change. I went up and had a Winchester Breakfast Burrito at the Santa Fe Trail hotel. I call it a Winchester Burrito because it repeated on me all day. And it set my mouth on fire. I need to be more careful about what I eat.

I checked and still had both kidneys so I was good to go. I found out that I had burned a hole in my rain covers for my Cortec saddlebags by letting them hit the exhaust pipe last night when I was unloading. Oh well. We live and learn. Sometimes we just live.

I got on the Santa Fe Trail which is the pre 1937 alignment of Route 66 and headed southeast. It was a great day for a ride. There were lots of clouds, but none of them seriously threatening rain. Route 66 was a bit rough as I left Las Vegas but I pushed on and made it to through Dilia, Santa Rosa, Cuervo and on to Tucumcari. What a great Route 66 town Tucumcari is. (I wish it were easier to spell. I have a sister on my back about my spelling.) I stopped at the Blue Swallow Motel which is famous for some reason or other. It looks pretty much like a 100 other Route 66 motels that are hanging on by a fingernail.


The Blue Swallow Motel

I entered Glenrio, Texas and switched to Central time. Cheez. I am never going to get caught up with this time thing. I stopped at a road side picnic ground, which seems to be an alternative to a normal rest stop. You just get to picnic here. You’re not suppose to pee there. I am a wild hawg. The world is my urinal!

In any case I had some Chex mix that I had been carrying around since the Fourth of July and that seemed like a biker kind of lunch.

I pushed on to Adrian, Texas. One half way. 1139 miles to Santa Monica. 1139 miles to Chicago. I am on the downhill run. The best part of this is the Midway Café. Timing is everything. I stopped to take pictures and thought what the heck; I’ll have a piece of pie. I went in and ordered up the last piece on chocolate and peanut butter pie and the waitress turned the open/closed sign to ‘Closed”. It seems the cook had a personal problem and Sandy had to go to the vet so a three o’clock closing it was.

I ate my pie and chatted with the only other patrons in the place, Red and wife with no name from Albuquerque. He was a biker guy and so he was interested in the Spyder.

As we were looking over my bike Faye and Sandy came up arrived to talk to us. Faye owns the place and Sandy owns Faye. Sandy is a dog. Sandy was doing fine after her vet visit. Great Pie. Great people. This stop made the entire trip worthwhile.


Bob at Midpoint Cafe


Half way in 6 days

I pushed on into Texas following Route 66 where I could. It seemed a lot easier here but one can never really be sure one is on Route 66. It is not that well marked. But I followed my map and my GPMS, Tom Tom. Tom Tom has been a bitch the last couple of days. When I tell it to avoid freeways, it has it in its little Dutch brain that route 66 is a freeway. It took me 6 days to figure this out.

In any case I went where my map and instincts told me to go. I have developed a sense for what is route 66 and what isn’t. The motels, gas stations, tourist attractions all have a certain look on Route 66.

I made it to Groom, Texas which has the largest cross in the Western hemisphere. While this is not the same as Big Butter Jesus, it is pretty awe inspiring. It is one of those things that you have to see to get a real perspective. Groom also has a leaning tower which just proves that there are idiots everywhere.


Giant cross

So I am holed up in the Western Motel in Shamrock, Texas across the street from a fully renovated Conoco Station. The Western Motel is known for its soap. It has the thinnest piece of soap I have ever seen in a wrapper. It has the ability when mixed with warm water to produce one bubble- no more, no less. An amazing engineering feat in its own right.


Restored Conoco Station

It has been another long day but I could have ridden forever today. After 6 days in the saddle my buttocks are hard enough to crack walnuts.

The bike is good but I have noticed that the wear indicator is coming up on the rear tire. On obsolete 2 wheel motorbikes a tire is good for about 6,000 miles. On the Spyder no one knows, but looking at it I would guess that it is good for 30,000 miles. I will have to watch this as it is not a trivial thing to get the tire changed, especially on a trip like this.

It has gotten warmer again as I came out of the high desert. I am treating this with a lot of beer at days end. All is good.


Rout 66 Truck


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