A Travellerspoint blog

Williams to Laughlin via the Mohave desert

We rode 145 miles in extrem heat

sunny 39 °C

We are writing this a day late as we couldn't get internet access yesterday evening when we finished in Laughlin.

We left Williams at 0810 this morning which is the earliest we have managed to leave in the morning. Our first stop was Seligman. A real quirky town on Route 66 the pictures speak for themselves. We ate our breakfast in the Roadrunner café and gift shop spending and hour wandering the streets and shops before continuing our journey to the Grand Canyon caverns.

The caverns were really good and were 21 stories blow ground. They are called the Grand Canyon caverns as, in the 50’s they wanted to know where the fresh air came from so they set off smoke bombs in the air chamber expecting them to raise in the grounds above. After 72 hours with no smoke rising they aborted the test. 18 days later they were contacted as pink smoke was emitting from a hole in the bottom of the Grand Canyon which is 2 ½ hours away! So the air we were breathing was over 2 weeks old but it is filtered through the lime stone and is pure.

The caverns are used as a bomb shelter that can hold 2000 people for several weeks and is stocked with water, medicines and provisions.

We continued our journey to Laughlin through Kingsman. Laughlin is in Nevada and we rode approximately 20 miles through a corner of the Mohave Desert. We have never experienced such hot temperatures. In Laughlin it registered 104 degrees F (approx. 38 degrees) and in the desert it was a lot hotter. But due to our spf 50 we still rode in T shirts all day.

We are in a casino resort tonight which has an Outback steak house restaurant, one of our favourites.

Laughlin is on the Colorado river in Nevada but near the borders with California and Arizona and is a gambling mecca in the desert. It attracts several million visitors every year, but alas, not us, we are very boring.

Ash Fork

Ash Fork

Seligman Route 66 shops

Seligman Route 66 shops

Seligman Route 66 shops

Seligman Route 66 shops

Grand Canyon Caverns, you can stay there for a night at $800

Grand Canyon Caverns, you can stay there for a night at $800

Grand Canyon Caverns provisions stock

Grand Canyon Caverns provisions stock

More stunning road views

More stunning road views

Posted by RickAdderley 16:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 11 Flagstaff to Williams via the Grand Canyon

Our route stated 165 miles but we did 211

sunny 29 °C

We started our day at about 0830 riding to Cameron where we visited the Cameron Trading Post. It is one of the oldest and is quite good really.

From there we rode to the Grand Canyon National Park at the South Rim. The views were spectacular and the pictures don't do it any justice. You have to be here to see it. We were here in the late 90's where we parked on a dirt track and walked on tarmacadam foot ways. Now there are about 6 large car parks, shuttle buses taking people to the various points and trails. We walked to the rim via the visitors centre and it was like walking up a high street on a Saturday. We were jostled and shuffled along. It's worth a visit but I think if we had more time we would investigate a quieter area to view and walk. It's not to be missed.

We arrived at Williams and checked into our hotel at 1500. A shorter day today but it was very hot again and still 211 miles. After checking in we had a cold beer (or 2) in the Kicks restaurant next door where we will eat our evening meal later.

Cameron Trading Post

Cameron Trading Post

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

DSCN0685

DSCN0685

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Posted by RickAdderley 17:09 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Gallup to Flagstaff, New Mexico to Arizona

306 miles this day!!!

sunny 31 °C

It's 0630 this morning and we're writing yesterday's blog. We were supposed to travel 185 miles but we ended up in the saddle for nearly 11 hours and rode for 306 miles!!!

Instead of stopping at visitor centers we went off of Route 66 and took National State Park roads.

We left Gallup as 0825 and our first stop was the Petrified Forrest National Park. This was once a flood plain in the Triassic period leaving petrified trees and logs. The rock formations were spectacular. We took nearly 3 hours driving just 31 miles as we stopped, looked, photographed and videoed the scenery in 30/31 degrees of sunshine.

From there we rode to Holbrook for lunch. This is where the Wig Wam motet is located. These are cement hotel rooms with air conditioning. They became a National historical point in 2003 so they are not in use now.

From there we stopped for a rest at the Jack Rabbit trading post. As you can see from the photographs we swapped one Harley for another Harley (Rachel take note; Harley is now in training!).

Our last stop was the Sunset Crater & Wupatki National Monuments. This was a volcano with lava beads and Pueblo ruins which were occupied between 1100 and 1250 AD. This as a 35 mile route which again took us 2 hours to navigate.

We finally checked into our hotel in Flagstaff at 1845 hours, a real long day and the state park roads took us well off of our original Route 66. One benefit was that the clocks went back an hour so we are now 8 hours behind UK time.

Feeling quite tired we spent the evening in the Outback restaurant about 10 minutes walk from the hotel where we replenished our food and medicine.

Today our only stop is the Grand Canyon so we should be able to have a longer rest.

Daily rations for the bike, this starts our hydration every day

Daily rations for the bike, this starts our hydration every day

Petrified Forrest National Park

Petrified Forrest National Park

Petrified Forrest National Park rock formation

Petrified Forrest National Park rock formation

Wig Wam Motel Holbrook

Wig Wam Motel Holbrook

Jack Rabbit trading post

Jack Rabbit trading post

Jack Rabbit trading post

Jack Rabbit trading post

Sunset Crater state park

Sunset Crater state park

Pueblo adobe ruin c1100 AD at the Sunset Crater

Pueblo adobe ruin c1100 AD at the Sunset Crater

Posted by RickAdderley 06:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 9 Santa Fe to Gallup still in New Mexico

We traveled approximately 200 miles

sunny 33 °C

After refueling in Santa Fe we left shortly after 0900. Nine miles outside of Sanat Fe is Nine Mile hill which was a Comanche look out post. Between Santa Fe and Grants are the Pueblos, there are reservations which have their own laws, they do not live by State or Federal law. As you can see by the sign we gave them a wide berth and continued onto Grants.

We had lunch here and then payed a visit to the New Mexico museum of mining. It contains exhibits of the discovery of uranium in 1950. Beneath the museum is a full scale replica of the mine. At the time of our visit we were on our own which was very good as we could wander at our leisure.

From there we continued onto our hotel in Gallup. We checked in, unloaded our luggage and went to the El Ranch hotel in Gallup. This has been the backdrop for many Western films. John Wayne once crossed the lobby on horse back and rode straight to the bar, where he ordered 2 beers - one for him self and one for his horse! We will return there later this evening for our meal, I don't think I will ride the Harley into the bat though......

Another day of blue skies and sunshine riding in T shirts and drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated on our journey.

9 mile hill, 9 miles from Gallup an old Comanche look out post

9 mile hill, 9 miles from Gallup an old Comanche look out post

Route 66 views

Route 66 views

Route 66 views

Route 66 views

Pueblo signage - that's why we decided not to visit - too many restrictions

Pueblo signage - that's why we decided not to visit - too many restrictions

Uranium Mine in Grants

Uranium Mine in Grants

El Rancho Hotel made famous by John Wayne

El Rancho Hotel made famous by John Wayne

Posted by RickAdderley 15:41 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 8 in Santa Fe

Free day no motor cycling

sunny 28 °C

We took the 1000 shuttle bus from the hotel into Santa Fe the State Capitol of New Mexico which is about 5 miles away. The city is a mixture of Indian, Mexican and Anglo American influences and the shops & restaurants reflect this. It has a unique atmosphere, it's quiet and relaxed, you feel at home. It does have its noisy times with traditional festivals. It has an elevation of 6500 feet (over twice the height of Snowdon) and 300 days of sunshine every year.

We walked around the city, the centre is small and compact. We had an enjoyable lunch at the La Fonda hotel in one of its many bistros after which we continued our sight seeing.

We visited the Loretto chapel which has an impressive winging staircase not held together by any nails and defies engineering principles. The builder remains unknown. Whilst there Sand lit a candle for her mum.

We continued onto the state capital building where we were very surprised about their lack of security. We freely wandered around and even went into the Senate room.

Then back to our hotel for more R&R.

It was hot and sunny for dost of the day but towards the end of the afternoon it became cloudy and the temperature dropped to the low 20's. The storm is due later tonight but that's what they said yesterday and it didn't happen. Blue skies and sunshine are due tomorrow.

Typical adobe buildings in Sant Fe

Typical adobe buildings in Sant Fe

Loretto chapel stairs that is not held together by nails, they defy engineering principles. The builder is unknown

Loretto chapel stairs that is not held together by nails, they defy engineering principles. The builder is unknown

Loretto Chapel, Sand lit a candle for her mum

Loretto Chapel, Sand lit a candle for her mum

Santa Fe State Capital Building

Santa Fe State Capital Building

Iconic Route 66 sign, Santa Fe

Iconic Route 66 sign, Santa Fe

Posted by RickAdderley 15:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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