December 7, 2012
What a day! I think maybe I was meant to be out on the road. For those of you who keep track, I generally have a good time, but today was just special.
I awoke to a cloudless 50 degree morning. My first order of business was to go score my free breakfast at the Famous Juicy River Café. I had had dinner there the night before and promised the waitress I would come back for my free breakfast. My breakfast was cooked by a guy, about my age, with a tattoo on his neck, about three teeth in his mouth, and while he was as bald as I am, he had a pigtail. It was like someone had played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with a toothless ax murderer. In spite of all of that the breakfast was delicious.
My first order of business was getting all of the California road mud off of my car. Through the use of my $75 GPS I found a drive through car wash a half mile down the road. A half hour and 10 dollars later I was riding to Oatman in a slightly demucked car.
The Oatman road
Now there are any number of odd things along the road in America. But on the way to Oatman I found something that was rather unique. You must recognize that Oatman is a long ways out into the desert and there are not many people that live out there. But along the Oatman Road, at about 200 yard intervals, there were desert scrub brushes decorated as Christmas Trees. Some of them were better than I would do with a tree in my house.
One of the few houses I ran across on this segment of the road was actually a kennel. It was called the ARFanage. Orphanage-get it. Well if you don’t I have at least one sister that will. I should move onto Route 66 because it is populated with goofy people and I should be among my own kind.
Oatman was pretty much like I remember it. There were people riding horses in the street, ATV’s wandering about, and guys on roof tops putting up Christmas trees. The burros had not showed up yet because I was there early and apparently they have a union. But Oatman is probably the last town out west that still looks pretty much like an old western town and I like that.
Oatman now has laws-such as they are.
I went through Kingman, AZ and Kingman and Route 66 go together like peas and carrots. I am not sure much has changed here since Route 66 was a viable highway. They are more vintage cars on this stretch of the roads then one would expect. I guess if you have an old car it is just natural to want to drive it on an old section of American highway.
My next stop was the Hackberry General Store which is an icon on Route 66. This place has old cars, old fuel pumps, and old buildings dating back to the Route 66 period.
This one has been here a while.
I went through Seligman which, once again, fits Route 66 to a tee. I passed by the famous to me ‘Road Kill Café’ and chose once again not to partake of the food. I think that if you wanted to visit one town on Route 66, Seligman would be the one. If you don’t like that, then you don’t like Route 66.
As I pushed further east I became more and more delighted with my plan to take two days to drive to Sedona. The weather was brilliant as I puttered along unhurriedly on my way to Sedona. And the scenery just kept getting better and better.
If you don’t know
You haven’t driven
Yeah the Burma shave signs are along this section of the road. I understand at one time they were just about every where but now the only place I have ever seen them is on Route 66.
And the Speeding offender
I left Route 66 in Ash Fork and started climbing up into the mountains near Flagstaff. Trees started to appear. Who knew Arizona had trees? And the passes were at 7,000 feet plus? I headed south to Sedona on Hwy 89 and the road began to wind and the trees got so thick that my XM radio cut out. Now I felt like I was roughing it.
I got to Sedona and checked into my room at the very upscale Super 8 Motel. Did I tell you that I am traveling with an Elder Hostel group? Elder=old, Hostel=cheap. That puts it right up my alley. I checked in and got settled and then joined my group of 21 for a really nice dinner at the Golden Goose restaurant next door. We all got busy meeting one another as we will pretty much be living the same life for the next few days.
After dinner we met for a briefing by Garrett Roberts who will be our shepherd for the next few days. It sounds like we have a really busy schedule so it may be hard for me to keep up with this blog but we shall see.