A-a-a-a-and, He’s Off!
Yes, Faithful Followers, I have ventured out into the wild world again – this time on my trusty Honda motorcycle, on a quest to follow as much of Historic Route 66 as possible between Holbrook, AZ, and Chicago. There’s more to the overall adventure than just that, of course – I’m going to visit my daughter, Eve, and her husband, Rick; the three of us will be going to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh, WI; we might take a motorcycle ride or two together (Rick bought a V–Star not too long ago); and then I’ll mosey west through various states to get to Sturgis, SD for the 75th Motorcycle Rally. After a week of nonstop motorcycles (it’s from Aug 3 to the tenth, and they’re expecting as many as a MILLION people), I’ll head home through the Rocky Mountain States and get home around August 16.
So, what did I do today? Well, I packed and stacked:
I visited R&W Custom Sliders and Offroad and dropped off the JeepMonster’s new Pitman arm (that’s the piece that connects the steering box to the drag link, which is connected at its other end to the axle).
And then I rode north on AZ 77 from the town of Oro Valley to the city (?) of Holbrook. Along the way, I rode through a rain shower (several times – I’d ride through it and then stop to take a picture, and it would move over me, and then I’d ride through it again). I took several pictures. I got a sore butt. And I saw some BEAUTIFUL country!
The first place I stopped was at a roadside area in Mammoth for lunch. I already knew where it was, and that there were tables and benches, and that there was a water fountain where I could resoak my “hydration vest.” What I didn’t know was that it was also a commemorative spot along the Ore Cart Trail – a series of spots along AZ 77 and some other roads that commemorate the Arizona mining industry and the miners that made it happen. When I saw the display, well, I just had to take pictures. This is the centerpiece of the whole display and represents the miners as they drilled the holes for blasting.
This one rather whimsically represents both “skeleton crews” and the “graveyard shift” on the job:
This map shows the Ore Cart Trail in Pinal County (and also misspells Tucson and San Manuel):
I’ve always been fascinated by the geologic features that are exposed in highway or railroad cuts. Here’s one that shows two (volcanic?) intrusions into the sedimentary layers, followed by a photo of a severe bend in the rocks themselves. I cannot begin to imagine the forces that can do this!
I rode down to, across, and then up from the Salt River in its canyon. The Salt is one of the main sources of water for Phoenix – there are several reservoirs between where I crossed and where it (sometimes) flows into the city.
And when I finally got to Holbrook, I found THIS! YAY!
So tonight I’m staying in a KOA (Kampgrounds of America) campground, literally in between Historic 66 and I-40. The weather is cool, clear and calm, and I’m probably going to go to bed shortly after I post this. I discovered that my “hydration vest” works excellently to keep me cool – as long as I don’t mind being wet, too. The vest is made of *very* absorbent material, and what you do is soak it and then put it on. As the water evaporates, it cools you. But if you oversoak it, it will soak you right back. So while it works great, it’s not very controllable. I ended up taking it off after dinner because it was doing its job too well.
I rode just over 300 miles today (303, to be exact). I think that’s about all I want to do in one day, even when it’s broken up by fuel stops, pit stops, photo ops, and whatnot. Tomorrow I’ll ride through the Petrified Forest and then see how much of US 66 I can find. – and what I can discover along the way.