Tag Archives: Route 66

Wednesday 17th July

We didn’t want to leave the comfort of our tepee reluctantly we headed of into the head wind destination Winslow. So all day I’ve had the eagles song stuck in my head. You can drive your self crazy.

40 miles to do and they weren’t easy and the sound of my wheels were driving me crazy. Gotta love ear worms.

The first small town we went through was Joseph city. We were stopped at a crossroad looking up the Main Street for a refreshment stop. When a guy on a bike pulled up next to us, and asked if we were ok. I replied that we were looking for somewhere to get a drink. He invited us back to his, we followed him to his house where he and his wife supplied us with drinks and well needed shaded rest.

Richard and Linda were so kind, they showed us around their beautiful English cottage style garden. What a surprise for in the middle of the desert it struck me funny that they had a hosepipe running and yet back in England where it rains all the time we have hosepipe bans.

I loved chatting to them in a garden that reminded me of home, I’m not loving the desert but can see it’s beautiful and what a great experience I’m having. I love meeting people that I would never normally meet. Both Mike and I our naturally shy so this is great for us.

It turns out that they have a daughter who lives in flagstaff and is willing to put us up. Hopefully we can make that happen we should be there Friday if all goes to plan. we had to leave and on doing so Richard insisted on giving Mike a amount of money we were blown away so kind.

On to Jack rabbit treading post another famous Route 66 land mark it has a giant fibreglass rabbit outside. We looked around at the normal Route 66 merchandise and other cool stuff, but we can’t buy and carry everything we like. We took two cold drinks from the fridge and went to pay. The lovely lady there asked if that was all we wanted, yes please we just need to cool off. No problem on the house it’s hot out there! Wow. Thank you.

We now have to finish the rest of the miles on the interstate. Problem road works, we can’t go into the lane it’s to dangerous nothing for it we have to get off and push our bikes past.

Any one fancy a walk in the desert although I was treated by a coyote trotting happily next to me for a while maybe he thought I was lunch, but he didn’t look threateningly just skinny and hot.

Finally we made it to the corner yep that corner. Gift shop done, photo done, now where’s my motel zzz.

Tuesday 16th July

Today we were faced with a decision, did we cycle 50 miles on the interstate or did we cycle a extra 30 miles ontop to do the national park which was a lovely route through the petrified forest. It was a hard decision to make but in this desert heat a 80 mile ride was out of the question. It’s a shame but we had to opt for the interstate.

We were still treated to views across the painted desert Called that referring to the different colours of sand you can see in the flat top hills. The interstate wasn’t to busy the truck drivers gave us plenty of room.

It was still a hard tiring long hot day but worth it. We had booked ahead a stay in the wigwam motel. A must for any one traveling Route 66. Ok it’s basic and looking a little run down. I had the best nights sleep in the handmade bed, all the furniture in the room was also handmade by the owner. We stayed in a 28ft concrete tepee surprisingly big inside with a small clean shower room, tv and air conditioned. I loved it. I heard somewhere that Oprah Winfrey was going to stay there and backed out because it was too basic her loss.

On arrival we were chatting to a guy waiting to check in. He is traveling across America staying in 50 different independent motels and writing a book about the experience the book will be out later in the year. Sleeping around in America by Andrew Beattie. He is also a journalist writing for travel magazines.

Time to check in there’s no laundry here so Paul the owner let me use his own machine what a star.

Monday 15th July

Lessons learned. Never underestimate the environment.

Yesterday we studied the map, found a hotel 50 miles away and booked it. There wasn’t anything nearer, but we were happy with that as it looked down hill all day. Also as we cross the state border leaving New Mexico and entering Arizona. We have to put our clocks back. No point getting to the hotel before check in.

So we had a leisurely morning, and breakfast enjoying not to be leaving in the dark a welcome change. Almost straightaway we realised we made a mistake. Arizona is the hottest place in America and even though we have dropped over 1000ft today it wasn’t a nice down hill that we expected. It’s a bit lumpy.

At least we have plenty of services on Route today. We are back following the interstate 40. Most of them are Indian jewellery trading posts.

At one stop we started talking to a lovely man who pulled in the same time as us on his motorcycle. The normal chat. Where did we start, how far are we going, where are we from etc. He’d said that he’d been to England to Goodwood to show his car. Mike recognised the car straight away Hemi under glass. I’m not familiar with drag racing but apparently he is famous, a big deal. Mike was over the moon. He was Bob Riggle. They chatted for ages, Mike got his autograph I wondered off looking at the Indian jewellery.

What with all our stops and chats to lots of people, fighting the heat and terrain we rolled into the hotel car park 10 hours after starting in the morning. Both of us hot and tired. but still loving life.

Sunday 14th July

Forget about 1st light, we left in the early hours it was still dark. We packed away our tent by mikes mobile phone torch, normally we can see by moonlight but there didn’t seem to be any very Erie.

It’s funny when you cycle so early you spend your time trying to outrun the dogs or avoid the snakes that venture out onto the tarmac to warm up.

We started so early today because we had 65 miles to do with a 9 mile climb 40 miles in. There was no way I was going to attempt that in the midday sun.

Not much going on today we passed a town claiming to be the home of the mustang but it’s early Sunday morning nothing was open.

Made it into Gallup just gone midday. Gallup is a big city so we have opted for a motel a afternoon of veggin out tv and aircon. Can’t believe we are starting a new state tomorrow it’s going so fast.

Saturday 13th July

You gotta love the morning light on the early starts, it’s beautiful riding early in the morning. Today we had the choice of riding 65 miles on the interstate nonstop as there was nothing in between and get to Gallup tonight. Or do a 100 mile detour down the ancient way that had camping midway.

The ancient way one, it’s not fun on the interstate just necessary sometimes. We were treated to gorgeous views and long sweeping descents although we had to climb back up again.

We crossed the continental divide a ridge of mountainous ground that runs north to south separating the eastward flowing streams from the westward flowing streams. Not far from crossing the divide lay our campsite and a cafe for our evening meal.

Friday 12th July

Only 26 miles to do today so we were really lazy and made the most of our most expensive hotel to date. Nice easy morning, sleeping in to 9am, breakfast opposite in the travel centre and then check out 10.45 am.

It’s a hot one but we only have to do 15 miles to the 1st refreshments stop. Air conditioned and cold drinks.

Passed this sign unfortunately the trading post was all boarded up. Another casualty of the interstate, all that was left in town was its post office.

On Route we had only been cycling for 45 minutes when a car coming in the opposite direction pulled over and the driver got out waving two bottles of cold water. He and his family are traveling Route 66 in the opposite direction, he was traveling with his wife and 2 grown up children both with different disability’s. Chatted for a while drinking our cold water when a camper van pulled up to join us.

It was run away bill. We’ve been seeing his stickers pretty much every where we have been. Bill has been traveling America solo in his camper for years. It was lovely to meet him.

We are now in a KOA in a Town called Grants a old mining town, it even has a mine open for visitors, nice to see some small towns are still surviving.

Thursday 11th July

Pushed some miles out today after our easy couple of days.

We left before 1st light, neither of us slept very well last night so it felt good to get some fresh air.

We were treated to some stunning scenery and even though the day started with a long climb it was a fairly easy ride. As were finding out a lot there’s long sections of not a lot in between.

After 55 miles of winding through the countryside we arrived to where our map had a campsite marked to find a car park beside a casino. This is where we are supposed to be sleeping. No tent space, no showers and no toilet great.

We talked to a couple of security guards at the casino. They were great guys and said we could use the casinos toilet and restaurant if we decided to stay. Call me spoiled but I looked around and didn’t feel comfortable or safe staying there after the casino closed and security went home.

Seth and Chris said they didn’t blame me and pointed us in the direction of the nearest hotel 6 miles on. Decision made what’s 6 more miles. The hotel is more expensive than we should be paying but at lest it’s clean and comfortable and safe. 6 less miles to do tomorrow so we even get a lay in.

Wednesday 10th July

After our unplanned part day off yesterday, we decided to have a easy day today. Albuquerque is a big city the biggest in New Mexico. Today we would just cycle from the campsite one end to a RV site the other side. 13 miles mostly down hill apart from a small incline right at the end.

We emailed the RV site in advance to make sure that they have showers and space for a tent. We’ve had problems before, darn they replied that they had problems with gofers so we couldn’t stay no other explanation. Oh well cheap motel and hope that it is clean.

Late start even though the sun rudely woke me ridiculously early, hard to shut curtains on a white tent. We didn’t have to be out of our campsite until noon.

Leaving our tent up and bikes safety in the campsite we wondered around the area on the hunt for breakfast and settled on the Waffle House that we had breakfast in yesterday.

Back to site and pack, we start to cycle at just gone 11am and gosh it’s hot. So glad we’re not going far.

Stopping to look around antique shops and the old town, chatting to people interested in our journey we check in to the motel at 3 pm. It’s cheaper than last nights campsite and bonus it’s clean. If I’m being fussy it’s run down and stinks of cigarettes but beggars can’t be choosers it will do.

Tuesday 9th July

After yesterday and thinking we didn’t want to pedal any more. We slept on it and decided that we are made of tougher stuff. Anyway one bad day doesn’t out way all the good. We knew it would not be easy.

So up at 4:30 am. Packed away and on the road for first light. We had 7 miles to do to the nearest supply’s for what would be another 50 miles to do after that with no shops or gas station in between.

7 miles climbing, climbing, climbing, not steep just slow going and yes we had that wind against us. We make it to the gas station only to find that it had very little supplies. We could be in trouble here. A breakfast bar and a drink of water for now. What about the rest of the day! We look around for inspiration there must be something to keep us going for 50 miles of a tough route.

We pay for our breakfast bar and water and go outside to mull over our options. A pickup truck pulled in for gas and we had one of those fuck it moments. Mike asked if he was going to Albuquerque by any chance. This is a town 100 miles from where we were but it is a big city and it was straight down the interstate. Yes he was and we could have a lift if we were quick and didn’t mind sitting in the back.

No time to think about it he was going, we looked at each other, Mike asked if it was legal, he shrugged and said don’t get caught. Just lay down and keep your head down.

We didn’t have time to load the bikes probably just frown them on either side of us, we lay in the middle of them in the pick up bed. And off he drove, he didn’t bother to ask our names and we don’t know he’s but 50 minutes later he stopped told us we were here dumped us and our still loaded bikes on the side of the road and drove off.

So here we are in Albuquerque stunned that we did that, it all happened to quick to think about it. Laying in the bed of a pickup truck of a stranger in a foreign country. Traveling on a interstate 100 miles a hour. Mmm not sure on that. But we are safe and as it was in a direct line we have saved ourselves at least 5 days because our cycle route would of took us further north and over 200 miles more.

It’s early we have all day. Can’t check into a motel until 3 so we do a online search for a campsite with a pool and call it a rest day. As luck has it he unwittingly dropped us off less than a mile from a KOA.

On the way we go to a Waffle House for breakfast. That nutra grain bar really wasn’t enough. Check in to the campsite at 10 am and spent the morning swimming/ relaxing and doing washing. In the afternoon we went to the cinema to see the new spider man film and had dinner at Taco Bell. We really can’t complain about today.

Monday 8th July

Today is the first day that I’m having serious doubts. What the heck am I doing. We got up our normal time of 5:30am. It was already day light and warm. Yep the time zone change, tomorrow if we go anywhere we will have to get up at 4 am. I say if we go anywhere because today was hard and I struggled and even after my shower and food I still feel totally warn out.

Cycling from Tucumcari to Santa Rosa about 60 miles just over. We knew that there was nothing in between so was carrying snacks and 6 litres of water each, heavy as.

So off we go into the heat. Great a head wind and it’s a furious one at that. When I say hills we are now in the start of mountains. All day slowly making our way up. Not a mountain with switchbacks, so I can’t be a hero and show a nice smiley selfie on the summit. Just a long climb against the 20 mile a hour wind.

We stopped in abandoned towns for our snacks. And rested anywhere we could find shade. Not much of that about

Nothing for it we will have to keep going. Both of us are running out of energy and water, it’s really slow going we can only manage 4-6 miles per hour and our starting to get knee pain pushing so hard against the wind. We look around for respite or inspiration, it’s dead out here small town America is more like ghost town America.

8 miles from the campsite we are stood on the side of the road seriously worried that we will never make it when a pick up truck pulled up not far away from us. Ok let’s be brave and ask for a lift. Dave what a star gave us a lift to the door of the campsite brill.