Day 19 – 4742 Miles

GALLUP, NM to SELIGMAN, AZ – 281 Miles

I woke up bummed. Vacation was coming to an end and our final time on the road would be spent doing the familiar. The thrill of discovery would be gone. Boy! If only I’d known what lay ahead!

We began the day sharing road stories with two couples from Nottingham who are riding Route 66 from East to West.

The morning air felt brisk, like the first days of fall as we cruised the Route, the sun to our backs, the black-eyed-Susans all opening themselves toward the light, a bunch of little yellow and black faces smiling my way.

How could I continue being bummed with a morning like that? And with a fantastic Joe and Aggies breakfast in Holbrook, life only got better.

And then we stopped to visit the reason for it all. Here it is…

No, not the Jackrabbit Trading Post. The Motor Palace!!

Our passion for preserving the Mother Road accelerated after buying this building in Winslow. If you’re not familiar with what we’re doing, check out the website. Phase one is to complete a “hotel room” so we can stay in the building when we visit or come to work on the restoration, and we were hoping it would be done by the time this trip rolled around, but sadly, it wasn’t. It’s getting close, though!

Since we planned to get to Kingman by nightfall and needed to get moving, we didn’t stay long. After Brian made some work calls and I tried “nappin’ on a sidewalk in Winslow Arizona…”

We jumped on the bikes and got back on the road. Flagstaff of course dumped rain on us, but that’s to be expected. We cut off at Crookton Road after Ash Fork to our favorite stretch of Route 66 in the West.

And here’s where the fun really kicks in.

We rolled into Seligman and stopped for tacos at the Snow Cap as we always do (as evidenced by our sticker still there!).

Seligman is our favorite Route 66 town. They do the tourist experience right, as they should, since the DelGadillos are the folks responsible for kick starting the whole Route 66 revival. Here’s a link if you’d like to read more about that.

Anyway, for the last couple years, we’ve watched John take people on a parade lap in the Snow Cap car…

This time he asked if we wanted a ride! Even though we needed to get going, we of course said yes.

After our few minutes of fun in the wolf-whistle blowing, rumbly ’36 Chevy, we climbed on the bikes and prepped to leave. But I really didn’t want to go. Once we left Seligman, vacation would truly be over. We’d stay in Kingman at the Hilltop where we always stay en route to Winslow, then cruise into SoCal hell the next day. Then it hit me. Why not stay the night in Seligman, something we’d always wanted to do? It was after four, and yeah, it would make for a longer ride home the next day, but at least our last night would be adventuresome. Brian agreed. So we cruised the street and picked the Canyon Lodge, solely based on the curb appeal.

Turns out they have theme rooms, which usually are pretty lame, but hey, could be fun, right? Reinhardt gave us a choice between Marilyn or 50s, and when I asked which he preferred, he said the Marilyn room was very pink and Brian said, “That sounds fun!” and he was right!

The guys who run the place did a fabulous job (Reinhardt gave us a tour of the other rooms). Not only are the themes well-executed, the place is spotlessly clean. The PERFECT last stay on the road.

But it got better.

We started chatting with the couple next door who rode here from Missouri (our favorite Route 66 state) on a new Harley-Davidson Ultra. John mentioned they were going to play live music at the Snow Cap and asked if we wanted to join them. Sure! What we didn’t know, is that they’d be playing on the ROOF! And shooting a music video on cell phones!

And that people would be standing in the street to watch! Even the Sheriff simply veered around the spectators.

We watched with John and Wendy for quite a while…

And then THIS came rolling by…

Yes, that’s a dog-drawn carriage. As Wendy put it, “When are the aliens dropping in?” The whole evening had a surreal edge… And we loved every minute.

After a delicious slice of pie from Westside Lilos with our new pals John and Wendy, we headed back to our pink paradise. Route 66 is heavy on kitsch and we got a perfect heavy dose for our last night on the Mother Road, and we thank her for that.

Well Maw and Paw, that’s it for my adventures. Thanks to all for reading and sharing the last (amazing) three weeks with me. I’ll have one more post with a wrap up of my favorite things and tips for cruisin’ Route 66.

Until then,

Later Gators!

Check out Brian’s perspective on his blog!

3 thoughts on “Route 66: Gallup, NM to Seligman, AZ”

  1. I rode those roads in the late 50’s a few times from Wisconsin to Santa Monica. I live in So Cal now. It’s sad what American’s do to America in the name of progress. The Beauty they’ve torn down instead of rebuilding and preserving. Well done you, a bit of history preserved for those that travel after us. A repainted Route 66 sign in a Rock Club seems as sacrilegious as putting a McDonald’s in the White House. Ride to Live…

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