|Distance||117.66 kms||73.32 miles|
|Climbed||1,535 meters||5,036 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||7.48||-|
|Avg speed||9.7 kph||-|
|Distance||24,756.68 kms||15,383.28 miles|
|Climbed||261,121 meters||856,696 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,757.56||-|
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
My zealous consumption of water leads to many trips to the p'tit coin (or "the bathroom" as it were...) during the night. I'm feeling a bit tired after all this desert irrigation work.
When I get out of the tent I walk up the hill to see the sunrise but the place where I set up last night doesn't give me a good angle so I head back and break down camp. After the up and down of the gravel road to get out of my camping spot it's all downhill to the I-40 junction. I stop for water and coffee at a rest stop where I chat with a guy who takes an interest in what I'm doing. I head east on I-40 (against the wind) for a short 10 miles or so before I hit the turnoff for Route 66. This also happens to be the junction with the Colorado River, the first 5 miles of 66 are through a wildlife refuge with lakes and marshes.
I stop in a diner at some town that comes after the refuge. The diner/bar is classic Americana: food and drinks are served by a buxom barmaid with bad teeth who looks like she is knocking on middle age but is probably only 28, there's a retiree drinking whiskey (it's only 10 am mate!), a few long, grey-bearded Harley riders drinking beer, two young women in their 20's having breakfast before work, and a couple eating quietly off at a table in the corner.
I rap with the barmaid and the retiree while I scarf down my corned beef hash with eggs and homefries. The subject is Obamacare. Everyone in the joint seems to be against it but they've all signed up for it...
After breakfast it's time to discover Route 66. I ride against the wind towards the Black Mountains in the distance. The scenery is fantastic... I get a good look at a coyote while I'm coming down a hill but I can't get the camera out fast enough to get off a shot before he bounds into the bushes. A fair number of motorcyclists pass me in both directions, this must be a classic ride for them.
It gets chilly when I get into the mountains. There is some decent climbing on stiff grades. The little town of Oatman appears, an American tourist trap made to look faux old West. The tourists are feeding the "wild" burros and buying junk at the gift shops. The burros remind me of the Barbery Apes at Gibraltar and the monkeys at the resorts in Costa rica - they are living the good life at the hands of a never-ending supply of tourists only too eager to feed them. They are about to stage a "gunfight" on the main street but I'm not up for it so I keep riding.
The road really starts to climb, some good stretches with 12% percent grades into the wind. It gets downright cold when the sun goes behind the clouds. I stop to eat a jícame and drink water. Over the top and down into another big valley full of creosote, followed by a long, slow ascent into Kingman, now the wind has turned around to propel me along (much obliged). I want to bush camp but I see a sign for camping which I follow, only to discover the place is no longer there. It's cold, windy, and I'm out of daylight so I'm stuck getting a motel.
When I check into my room I chat with my neighbor who has also just arrived. He has a place in Cambodia and loves it there, I'll have to check that out someday. I go to a restaurant down the street and eat myself into a stupor. My dinner comes with an all you can eat salad and soup bar. I do some serious damage to that thing.
I think I'm in for a run of cold weather...