Route 66

All posts tagged Route 66

Journey’s End!

It was with a degree of sadness that we set out for our last day in the saddle leaving Barstow and heading for Santa Monica.

On one section of Route 66 which, as was often the case, rang alongside a railway, we came upon one of those massive freight trains with 2 or 3 tractor units pulling many, many containers. There was a wonderful childlike joy when things like this happened as we’d wave at the train driver who’d wave back and give a long pull on the train’s horn. Boy’s Own Paper stuff!

We came into Los Angeles and went via Beverley Hills and roads with names from folklore and popular culture like the Santa Monica Boulevard and Vine, etc. We stopped briefly at the junction of Olympic Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard which was the endpoint of Route 66 to take photos before heading to the Harley dealership to drop the bikes off. They kindly drove us to our hotel in Marina Del Rey where we showered and changed before heading out for a lovely shrimp dinner and some final parting words on Santa Monica Pier and photos at the tourist marker for the end of Route 66.

End of the Trail Heading Out California or Bust Freight Train Journey's End

Our plans changed again in the morning: we decided that as both the more direct roads to Barstow and the Route 66 route would be equally hot, especially in the Mojave Desert, we would go the ‘proper’ way.

First stop was at Las Vegas Harley Davidson for more shopping. They have a bunch of amusing dummies dressed in Harley gear in the showroom which was fun. Then it was a case of wrapping up in long sleeves and SWAT-style face covering before heading off.

Our next stop was at a roadside café in Fenner, California which thoughtfully provided a sprinkler hose outside the entrance which meant a cooling shower; very refreshing as it was baking hot.

Then on into the Mojave stopping at Roy’s Motel and Café in Amboy, California for more photos. There was a weather station monitor there showing the temperature as 115.5°F/46.4°C.

As the sun began to set, we approached Barstow, stopping for Dinner at the Bagdad Café in Newberry Springs. Having closed for the night shortly before we arrived, they reopened especially for us and we enjoyed Buffalo Burgers and beers before heading off to our hotel on the outskirts of Barstow.

Bikers at the Bagdad Café My New Girlfriend Wrap Up! California Sunset Bagdad Café Roy's Motel and Café Middle of the Road

 

After a light breakfast {cough} at Mr D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona we set off towards Las Vegas.

Due to the heat, I’d earlier developed heat rashes on my arms and chest and found it better when it was really hot to wear long sleeved T-shirts and to pull the buff up to cover my face – very SWAT-ish! More of this tomorrow…

First stop was Oatman, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned. Wild mules, “burros”, roam the streets asking to be fed by visitors and the whole town has a real Wild West feel to it. Then on to Las Vegas, stopping for lunch in “the middle of F-ing nowhere” as my check-in on Facebook suggested; also known as Searchlight, Nevada.

Reaching Las Vegas, we headed to our stop for the night, the New York, New York which, included its own rollercoaster. Not just a hotel, but a resort with shops and themed restaurants throughout the main reception area.

American Excess.

Las Vegas I found to be incredibly tacky – like Blackpool but without the charm – and I can see why it’s popular for stag weekends and themed weddings. What was very sad was the number of people still playing the slot machines at 1am…

Dinner was at the impressive Harley Davidson Café: you really have to admire the branding/lifestyle efforts at Harley Davidson – you don’t just buy a motorbike, you buy a lifestyle.

Off to bed and the promise of a lie-in due to the expected heat of the Mojave Desert and a suggestion we might simply hit the Interstate to Barstow.

Burros in Oatman Nevada Wrapped Up A Light Breakfast Understated... Hanging Harleys Oatman, AZ

The day started off with a second visit to the Grand Canyon and a different viewpoint. The fact that you could – as I did – scramble down to the edge of the Canyon itself and look over the edge of a precariously balanced boulder added to the sense of wonder at the whole shebang. Photos followed!

Off we went towards Kingman, stopping off for a leisurely lunch in Williams before hitting the road via Hackberry and Seligman where I was introduced to Angel Delgadillo, the “Angel of Route 66″ at his barber’s shop. Angel is a famous character and one of the leading lights in trying to have Route 66 recognised as a national historic byway and tourist attraction to try to reinvigorate local businesses that effectively died when the twons en route were bypassed.

Then on to Kingman and a fab little bar and restaurant where we were served by a really friendly waitress who looked like Sandra Bullock!

Arizona Hackberry 2500hrs Renovation So Far Elvis Lives! Lunchtime Route66-RHM-2577 With Angel Delgadillo Hackberry Hackberry "Back a bit more..." The Road Goes On Forever

The day started pretty badly: the Wigwam Motel doesn’t have a restaurant so it had been suggested we go to Joe & Aggie’s Café for breakfast instead as that was a real treat. Sadly, they were shut that Sunday morning, so I had to settle for a coffee and doughnut at the nearby Safeway!

Anyway, our destination was the Grand Canyon so off we went, stopping by in Winslow, Arizona to go and stand on a corner – as per the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy” – and Bellemont where there is a Harley Davidson dealership which features its own cafe where visitors cook their own burgers and sit around the pool tables. Out the back, there’s a garage specialising in doing up old muscle cars with some cracking cars for sale. What an excellent idea!

Then on to the Grand Canyon itself. Which was a bit of a disappointment from the vantage point we visited. I’m not sure what it was but I was underwhelmed by it. Maybe the visit planned for the next morning might be better?

Electra Glide at Joe & Aggie's The Corner at Winslow, Arizona The Grand Canyon Chevelle For Sale Grand Canyon Harley Davidson Crouchin' on a Corner

 

More thunderstorms were forecast for the day, but we somehow managed to avoid them and spent the day basking in sunlight and heat as we travelled out of New Mexico via Madrid, used in the film “Wild Hogs”, and Albuquerque.

Into Arizona and a bit of a treat: the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona as sunset started to fall. Very impressive it was too.

As sunset fell, we got into Holbrook where we were staying at the Wigwam Motel, which was interesting!

Chevy Bel Air in Madrid, NM Past Albuquerque New Mexico Sky