Day 2 started out at 5 am. I slept so hard which was good, but knowing I still had a good 3 hours of desert to cross and it was already 79 degrees I figured I should get going. After getting a bite to eat, having my coffee and re-packing the bike I finally was ready to roll at 6:30 am. I think once I pack and unpack the bike a few more times I’ll be more proficient at it. But for now I just take my time–I’d rather not have my stuff flying off on Route 66. When I woke up I realized Gypsy got some company overnight.
Gypsy and Friends
I headed out and I must say, I was happy to leave Barstow. I hopped on I-40 to Needles. The ride was pretty with the sun coming up silouetting the desert mountains. The air was warm but not uncomfortable. I quickly arrived in Needles, my turn off point for the old “old” Route 66. I stopped first for more water. The clerk was so hung over I truly believed she might pass out. She rang me up with her eyes closed. Seriously.
I headed out and found my way up some tiny roads that led to the old Route 66. Most people either don’t know of this portion or don’t care to travel on it due to the twisty turns and the narrowness of it. I thought it would be perfect. It first led to a little ghost town called Oatman. I arrived just in time to see wild burros come into town. One walked right up to me, they were so cute. I later learned the pioneers who came here to mine gold, eventully abandon the town and let their mules run out to the wild. They still live on and come to town every day. The locals put water out for them and you can buy some alfalfa and feed them. One of the locals I talked to said they can smell water up to 20 miles away.
Old mine sign
After hanging out with the burros and getting a small bite to eat, I re-filled my camelback and got back on the bike to now do the fun part of the ride. This old “old” Route 66 climbs up around 2,500 feet within just a few miles and there are quite a few 180 degree turns. Back in the day the pioneers who were moving here from the east would hire locals to drive their cars over this portion because of the steepness and tight turns. I found an old photo of it. Can you imagine driving a model T down this road? It was a ton of fun to ride.
After my fun here, I continued on and rode more of Route 66 to Kingman. I stopped for water and met some fellow motorcyclists and chatted for a bit. It was funny, they were Europeans riding Harleys and my American self is riding a Triumph. They were renting them–riding from Santa Fe to Las Vegas. Nice guys. I then continued on through Williams where I climbed up in elevation to about 7,000 feet. The cool air was heavenly as was the smell of pine trees. It was actually almost chilly. That lasted for a good hour and then I made my descent into beautiful Sedona, my destination for tonight. What a treat!
Now enjoyed dinner and ready to soak in the hot tub. To my surprise I have my own hot tub complete with bath salts in my room. I didn’t pick that but hey, I will take it!
Stay tuned for day 3, I’ll be going all back roads through a few National forests and the Apache trail.