This morning I packed up to leave Williams. As I rolled out, the almost-full morning moon was setting behind the desert mountains and the sun was warming my back as I headed west. I waved goodbye to beautiful Williams and promised I would be back.
I headed down the interstate, only about 40 miles, then exited in Seligman to pick up little Route 66. I stashed away my jacket liner in exchange for my cooling vest. My clear helmet visor was replaced with my tinted one, as the heat was already starting to rise. My plan was to go through Oatman again and ride the twisty road into town. I checked this place out on the internet (where I found the car photos below) and this little road was listed as one of America’s most dangerous roads (sorry mom). It was also nicknamed “Bloody 66” because of how treacherous this section is between Oatman and Kingman. I guess if you’re not careful…
Riding this road on the way in was fun, but on the way back I found it a bit more difficult after the rains. Water had left sand, silt and gravel in all the switch back turns and the morbid thoughts of Bloody 66 were starting to flash in my mind. But, I took my time and did just fine. The scenery was amazing but, the road did not afford me the luxury of stopping for a photo. Here are a few before and after the climb. Also a little gas station that is just before the winding road up.
Once I made it into town, the burros were back! I noticed the babies lay on the ground like this near their mama. I’m not sure why, but many of them were laying down (the ground was cooler?) . Adorable.
After Oatman, the heat was already getting to me. I stopped off in Needles to soak my cooling vest, re-fill my camelback, gas up and get ready for my stint through the Mojave desert. At this point, there were no more back roads worth sizzling for so I hit the interstate for my last 140 miles to Barstow.
On the way I stopped three times to soak my cooling vest and refill water. From beginning to end I went through almost 210 oz of water which I guess is like….1 3/4 gallons? It’s like riding with a hair dryer in your face. To be expected this time of year, but I was happy to arrive to my hotel, park Gypsy in the shade and hop in the cold pool. Tomorrow I head home to Oakland! My final mileage should be around 3,400.
A few things I learned on my two week solo moto journey: No need to pack 6 t-shirts, do pack a razor, beef jerky is good for sweat loss, bring something to trade with a stranger, get lost, when you’re not sure, do it anyway–you’ll be glad you did, always look for an alternate route, and soak in every single moment because who knows when you’ll see it again.
Stay tuned for the next adventure…..