2013 Ride -Day 1-Orange to Winslow
Orange California – Winslow Arizona – 554 miles
In August of 2009, I took my first “big ride,” two weeks on a motorcycle, 2400 miles, the scariest road I’ve been on even to this day, and by far, the most intense storm. It was… amazing. If you’re bored sometime, check it out. Every now and then, when I need to relive it, I go back and read the entire trip, or read the Milwaukee trip from last year, and I’m transported to the road. So even though it’s sometimes a pain getting the blog up, I’m glad I did it, and even though I’m not yet inspired, I’ll continue the tradition with this trip. Where are we heading? Yep. Denver again, for another Harley Dealer Meeting. Although this time, we’re going a different route.
Brian wanted to be up at three am and hit the road by four to beat the heat through the desert, but of course, that didn’t quite happen. Up at five, and on the road by seven-ish… although we had to turn back after we got gas. Brian’s ridiculous tower of luggage started to lean. You ought to read some of the Facebook comments on his pack job. We have some pretty funny friends.
At an on-ramp in Ludlow after a gas stop, I let Brian get a little bit ahead because I wanted to nail it and feel the speed my pal Kat felt out at Bonneville. Just this week, she set a speed record riding a Honda Goldwing GL 1800 with custom built sidecar!! How cool is that??
I didn’t quite hit her 115. By the time I got to 95, I had caught up to Brian, and had to slow down. Wouldn’t want him to think I was being a hooligan. (Sorry mom). BIG congrats to Kat and Kubo of the Hell’s Belles Car Club for their records!!
The only stops we made en route to Winslow were gas stops, so no great photo ops there. If you’re ever making the trek east on the 40, pull off at Goffs road for gas, just past Needles. It’s the quirkiest, oddest little gas station, with some great signage, like a giant GAS sign. And flamingos. Yep. Flamingos.
Of course we stopped in Seligman for tacos at the Snow Cap. In fact, we survived on Cliff Bars and milk all day just to get there for the tacos!
Part of why we love the Snow Cap is the sense of humor. Everything’s a gag, and it never gets old. The bathroom is an outhouse looking thing with reversed handles and all kinds of goofy stuff, like this TV. And the camera pointed at the toilet.
And hey look! Our sticker is still on the front window! Woo hoo!!
The weather was extraordinary. We were riding behind a storm so got all of the benefits without getting soaked. The dramatic skies and still wet landscape made for a breath taking ride the rest of the way into Winslow. There’s a section of Route 66 east of Seligman that always brings me such joy. It’s just so… peaceful. As we crested a hill under darkened skies, the sun broke through on the road ahead, spotlighting the two-lanes, and my heart pulled with the beauty of it all.
For once, Flagstaff weather cooperated! No rain. Perfect temp.
I think my favorite part of the ride was the last fifty miles between Flagstaff and Winslow. Golden hour. The sun to my back, casting a long shadow of my motorcycle and me down the road ahead , the dark asphalt, and white lines whizzing past, the damp sage a rich hue, the skies ahead moody, the red rock vibrant, and in my rearview mirror, a glorious blue sky with the sun just setting, mimicking the Arizona flag, with columns of light beaming down to the ground. Absolutely stunning.
And then there was this. The Motor Palace.
Brian pulled the bikes inside…
We at last got to stay in the Motor Palace. And now I’m lying in bed, drinking coffee from our Harvey House cups, and writing about the day yesterday, realizing what a great day it was. So yeah… I’m glad I decided to once again, write it all down.
Next stop? Las Vegas New Mexico. Yep. I said New Mexico, not Nevada. It’s a charming little town up by Santa Fe we found last year on our trip back.
Although… we just might hang at the Motor Palace another night.
Until next time,
Be sure to check out the day from Brian’s Perspective on the 66 Motor Palace blog!