Because of the forecast cold weather, Pat decided to put the start back to 7am. When we awoke, there was still frost on the bikes. Again, we decided to ride with Theo and Dirk. We set off following the map, in search of a stretch of original road. However, after a couple of wrong turns, we ended up on a dirt track on the road to nowhere, and decided to catch up with the group after all. After around 60 miles on I-40, Brigid indicated that she wanted to pull over. We were both freezing cold and in need of extra clothing, so we stopped on a slip road and donned some extra layers. The linings of Brigid’s Furygan gloves had long since given up the ghost, and Theo kindly lent her some Thinsulate-lined gloves, which proved excellent (must find some of my own …).
We caught up with the main group at the Petrified Forest, and stayed with them until the afternoon.
At Winslow, AZ (although on the itinerary, Pat was not intending to stop there, until an outcry from the Eagles fans in the group), a splinter group left for a side-trip to the Grand Canyon: just a short excursion, they said … but they didn’t make it back to the motel until about 10pm!
Due to the Canyon trip, Pat’s party had dwindled to eight. According to the itinerary, we should have stopped for lunch at the Museum Club in Flagstaff. Unfortunately, they had stopped serving food. Instead, we enjoyed a burger at Crazy Bob’s, a few yards down the road, with Pat, Theo, Dirk, Sandra, Roger, Rick, and Bob.
In Williams, AZ, we stopped to enjoy the delights of Twisters, a 50’s style soda-fountain. Then we headed on to Seligman, where Angelo Delgadillo is credited with starting the re-generation of Route 66, from his barber’s shop, about 10 years ago. We took our photos, Theo had his beard trimmed by Angelo, then five of us headed for the nearest bar for a much needed cold beer. Pat left with just two other riders.
When we felt fit enough to return to the furnace outside, we followed the old road. After a few miles, Brigid suddenly pulled over. By the time John returned to see what the problem was, Brigid was busy sticking duct tape over her visor. Heading due West, the glare from the setting sun was blinding her, and having ridden for several miles screening the sun with her left hand, she had thought of a more practical solution. We were unable to raise Theo and Dirk on CB, and by the time we were done, they were on their way back to find us.
We caught Sandra up at Pritchett’s Hackberry Visitors Centre. The Centre is a disused gas station, complete with 50’s style pumps and a number of cars from that era on the forecourt. Around the back was a red Corvette (of the same model that was in the series ‘Route 66’). We bought ourselves Route 66 doo-rags at the gift shop, and carried on.
The route into Kingman was majestic: dead straight, newly surfaced, road with mountains either side, away from the heavy traffic on the Interstate. We couldn’t have passed more than half-a-dozen cars in the 20 or so miles into Kingman.
Quote of the week: Brad Dunkin: “Pete, we’re supposed to be heading west. The sun should be in front of us. We’ve been going south for over an hour.”
Peter Hanke: “Yeah, I know, but it’s a great road ..!”