We rose with the sun and were ready to hit the road again. Today we would be riding Historic Route 66 into California and getting close to the conclusion of this epic journey.
Since a good majority of Route 66 is unpaved prior to exit 165 and we were not riding dirt bikes, we jumped back on the I 40.
Shortly after departing Flagstaff we came across what appeared to be an old abandoned camp. It was rather interesting to walk around this place wondering how many people had countless hours of fun here and when it last had campers.
Knowing that we had about 450 miles to cover on this leg, we mounted back up and headed back to the highway, next (scheduled) stop, Williams Arizona!
A short 25 miles down the road we hit Williams and pulled in so that we could check out the train cars and get some more pictures. There are a lot of things to see and do both on the approach to Williams and once you get into this little town.
We swung into Pete’s gas station museum to check out the displays and learn a little more about the history of this area. When we were done there we decided to stop at the Twister’s 50’s soda fountain for a little retro service and a burger and then, back on the road.
Into Ash Fork Arizona to grab some gas and take a quick picture of the 1958 DeSoto on top of the roof.
With a full tank of gas we head out “Crookton Road” towards Seligman. Once in Seligman, we took a look around we could see the incredible history of this little town and how Interstate 40 changed the lives of it’s citizens forever.
We stopped at the Seligman Sundries to look at all of the cool things that they had. When we were done there, since we had heard so much about it, we made our way to Snow Cap Burgers to see what all the fuss was about.
It did not disappoint. If you enjoy the whole Route 66 “Americana” thing, this is a must stop…if you don’t enjoy Route 66 “Americana”, then you would probably just stay on I 40 and continue on with your boring trip.
Back on the road towards Peach Springs. This is where you get to truly feel the lure of the “Mother Road”. Route 66 separates from I 40 by about 150 miles. The towns between here and Kingman have all but withered away to nothing.
We continued through Peach Springs, then Truxton, followed by Valentine and finally arrived in Hackberry. While this town doesn’t have much to offer, we did stop at a very old gas station to look around. The gas pumps were set at .15 per gallon…To bad they didn’t pump gas…
Enough of that, let’s get to Kingman
Back on the bikes and we were roaring off to Kingman Arizona. Once we made it into Kingman, we stopped at the Locomotive Park. My brother-in-laws grandson was fascinated by trains so it was a must that we get some Sock Monkey pictures here. Like any good tourist, we grabbed some pictures on the train cars and then took the quick run over to the city water tower for, you guessed it, more pictures!
Trouble we didn’t see coming…
Once we completed our tourist moments, we jumped back on Route 66 and soon had to decide if we would continue to stay off of I 40 and not get to San Bernardino until well after dark, or if we took the fast track to San Bernardino. We decided to run I 40 for a bit to save some time…and it was a good thing we did because our plans were about to change.
We had two issues that caused us to change course and head to family’s house in Palmdale, CA. My brother-in-laws bike began to develop a loud “clicking” noise and my son had been living on energy drinks for the entire ride and was now dehydrated and not feeling well.
Looks like we will need to do this again…
We slowed down our pace and eventually pulled into Palmdale. When we got to the house, we were able to let my son rest and drink some water while we looked at the bike to see what the issue was.
The prognosis on Fletcher was good, some sleep and some water and he was good to go, the bike was not so lucky. The cam chain had stretched and was slapping against the cover causing the “clicking” that we were hearing.
The shortest route home from Palmdale was still 1100 miles…our options were limited; fix it, baby it home, or abandon it and have him fly home. After some discussion, he decided that he would attempt to ride it home and if it completely quit along the way, we would reassess the situation then.
This was the not so fun part of the trip. We headed back up I 5 at a breakneck pace of 55 MPH waiting to see what would happen. Each time we stopped for fuel we would listen closely to his engine to see if it was getting worse, yet each time it sounded exactly the same.
It took us two days to get it home, but that bike limped the 1100 miles like a champ…and although it hasn’t been ridden since, it is still in the garage as a reminder of this great and epic journey.
We were a little sun burned, a little wind burned, and a little bit dirty…but it was well worth it. And, although we didn’t finish the ride, we will do it again someday, and next time, we will get all the way to Santa Monica!
Until then, keep the shiny side up.