The Pine Breeze Inn is the first famous Icon from the movie Easy Rider. This is where after leaving Ballarat California, Wyatt and Billy Rode till dark, almost to flagstaff where they asked for room at the pine breeze, and the proprietor immediately walked back in and turned on the no vacancy sign. They left, and billy shouted “you asshole!”, to head down route 66 a little further and camp by the road at some old ruined shacks. The pine breeze inn is still somewhat famous. For years bikers we’re still allowed to camp there, where the hero’s of easy rider we’re denied. It’s still alive, and in Bellemont Arizona. The famous NO VACANCY Sign has been altered somewhat since 1969 when Easy Rider was made, and it’s hanging at the entrance of the bar just a short distance down the street, still flashing no more rooms for hippies.
Put my new unbusted grips on today. Had no clue that harley grips came in different diameters. I bought small. Not sure if I’ll like em or not. Huh… who knew.
Been watching some old route 66 travel videos I bought years ago. Getting ready to head to amarillo and back on a 4 day trip. Can’t wait. I’m gonna mozy, trip on every abandoned ghost town gas station and curio shop, eat at greasy spoons, and camp where I want to, when I want to. Hell, I might lie in the middle of the road, take some pictures just to get a new point of view.
I’ve missed riding. Man, its the only freedom I really know. Winter, eat a bag of hell.
these are pictures I should probably post.
I ride route 66 at least several times a year, but theres a lot of alignments of the old road. One I’ve always wanted to see was Yucca Arizona, which was route 66 from 1952-1978 or so when interstate 40 opened.
Ghost town feel here. I took these with my brother on december 29 and never put them on the blog.
Ill probably never go back here. Oatman is too irresistible to pass up and that whole road between topock and Kingman. Even so, glad I finally got to see Yucca.
My blog has Veered way off course. this is a road blog. Time to get her back on track.
My bike will soon be back. After a lunch trip to mesquite at a reasonable speed, I’m gonna change her oil at around 100 miles. Then I’m gonna take her to vegas and back around the lake, put around the towns and freeways, then drop her oil again.
Then gentlemen, It’s on. I’m a free man. Every day, if not every hour I’ve been thinking about taking a solo ride to texas. This is just gonna be me, my bike, my wits and my random thoughts getting scattered along route 66. It’s getting filled back up with life in a big way. Its gonna be sleeping in a tent at night, riding all day, and looking forward to tomorrow for 4 days. Then looking forward to work on day 5. It’s like a full battery charge for me, and for my bike.
Thursday Morning: Day 1. I’ll leave in the AM and head to holbrook. A decent 500 mile day.
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I play on staying in a tent in the KOA there. If my brother Guy is around, I’d love to buy him a beer or two and shoot the shit. He’s the founder of Arizona B.A.C.A. and a a person that when I met him, I instantly liked. Holbrook I’ve always liked anyway, so if it doesn’t work out then I’ll be happier than a pig in shit there, staring up at the arizona stars.
Friday, Day 2. I’m gonna be up early and start heading to amarillo. Never been to texas, and thats a damn shame.
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All new territory for me after Gallup. Never ridden that far east on a bike. My eyes will be open for things I’ll want to come check out on the way back. It’ll probably haunt me for months if I miss em. Thats the beauty of riding: the ride is always perfect. What you miss is what you want to go back and see. I don’t know of another activity in the world that is that way. It truly is the journey. The destination is a huge bonus, so there is never a let down.
I may stop at the big texan steak house. I may go see my friend brian lovato who lives there. I may just pull in at midnight exhausted from exploring all day. Either way, I’m riding.
Saturday, Day 3: Gonna wake up early again, get some coffee in, and head west again towards new mexico and see an old alignment of route 66, and shit that I’ve probably missed on the way to amarillo. Explore a bit. If I am not on schedule I’m not gonna worry about it too much.
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Santa fe is an old alignment of route 66, and there’s some easy rider destinations in there as well. the parade scene, and a little north of there is the jail scene. I may do both, I may do neither. I’m not going to plan it, its a decision at the intersection. It’s all new to me, so I don’t care.
Sunday, Day 4: Grants New Mexico to St George Utah.
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617 miles my last day. Beautiful. god, I can’t wait.
It all starts next week when I get my bike back. Break her in, then she breaks me in. I’m counting the minutes in my head….
Man, it’s snowing outside. These are the worst times for a guy who rides. I’m going to power it out and ride my bike to work in the morning very carefully, and by the afternoon I’m hoping the snow melts because I can’t take not riding for another day. I pussed out this morning and Robyn took me to work in the rain. I shoulda rode.
I’m planning my spring run. Next spring, like I did last year, I’m going to take a run to glenrio texas and sleep amidst the abandoned gas stations, hotels with the freeway an 1/8 of a mile away. Ill pull up tired, take the bungee chords off of my tour pak that hold my bed roll, get situated, have a nip of 12 year old scotch, and stare at the stars. I’ll think about the day before, my life ahead, and wonder what my wife and kids are doing. I’ll find my place in the universe, and it’ll be rock solid, yet again. I’ll sleep in my sleeping bag, with a loaded gun under my pillow, because I won’t risk my place in the universe and getting home to my family. In the morning, ill stir a bit, wonder where I’m going to get a cup of coffee and see what I hadn’t seen the night before because of the cover of night. I’ll walk around, fully realizing that Ive got to make 500 miles that day to make it home in 2 days. I’ll take a bunch of pictures, wishing I’d had made it closer to adrian texas, and miss things that 10 miles down the road will make me realize I’ll have to come this way again.
I’ll head the 41 miles into Tucumcari, knowing I’ve got a full day to make 500 miles, and eat breakfast. I’ll check out the blue swallow motel, stop and take some pictures and maybe even say hello to the proprietors, and shoot the bull about route 66 and try and get a feeling how hard it is to turn a dollar on a historic route, and wishing I was them. I won’t care so much, how many miles I’ll make that day. After all, it will be saturday, and I’ll know that push comes to shove I can Iron butt it back to utah. I won’t let anything get in the way of this perfect saturday. It Will be perfect.
I’ll ride through santa Rosa NM, looking for the places I’ve seen in books a hundred times before. Clines Corners. Moriarty, looking for a gem, because I’d crammed for this test days before. I’ll more than likely bypass Albuqurque to make time, and yet again take alternate routes through Grants and Thoreau, looking for places that have been ignored, and wondering about how they relate to me. Ill love this section of route. It’ll be colder that I want, and I won’t care. I’m seeing places that I’m passionate about and that I know only a few care about.
Ill spend the night in Holbrook KOA because its familar, and because I know that I can be home by 3PM sunday.
I can’t wait to go.
I just checked, its still snowing outside. WTF, I don’t want to wait that long
My father was a busy man, and I’ll always remember the time he took time out to go one on one with me and took me to yellowstone. We shot from the hip, slept in the truck and It’s a memory I’ll always remember. Not because it was the best trip I’ve ever done, or even that it was yellowstone. It’s because my old man chose me to spend his weekend with. I’ll always remember that. I was about 13, and it was a pretty special trip for me.
My daughter wendy has struggled a bit since she moved from her old school to her new. She’s a fighter, and she may never know how proud I am of her, but I am. I called her wednesday from work and asked her if she was up for a motorcycle adventure. her answer was yes.
So friday at noon we headed out East. My loose plan was to hit page, then either stay in Kayenta Arizona, or somewhere outside monument valley at dusk. To be honest, Just like 35 years earlier with my dad, we were shooting from the hip. I hadn’t booked a thing. Thats how I like to ride, lets see what wendy thinks about that. My gut feeling was she’d roll with the punches.
We stopped in page to get some stuff we’d forgotten and stopped at the subway to eat. Immediately inside, a lady saw my B.A.C.A. patch and told me how much B.A.C.A. had helped her kid in idaho. She was nearly in tears and you could see how grateful she was. I told her that once a B.A.C.A. Kid, always a B.A.C.A. kid and she’s got an army of bikers across the nation committed to keeping her safe. It’s nice to be able to say that and mean it.
After page, we had to stop for an accident on the way out of town, then headed toward Kayenta Arizona. From there, we pressed on to Kayenta arizona to stay the night. My thinking was, that wendy is 13 years old, and I didn’t want to burn her out on long rides by pushing too hard. I can make miles, but after all, she is young. I had to keep reminding myself, and being on a bike for 8-10 hours at a time my be my idea of fun, but this trip was for her as well. By the time we got to Kayenta, she was a bit cold, a bit tired and wanted to crash. we called robyn to see if we could find a place to pitch a tent or get a room, but there were no real options. I told wendy we’d have to push another 50 miles to Bluff Utah, where I had called ahead and knew we could stay, and her answer was “lets just do it”. I knew then, wendy was my riding buddy. She had a bit of her old man in her.
We hit monument valley right as the sun was going down, and it was gorgeous for the few views we had of it. She was cold, but we dropped 1500 feet in elevation and in 50 miles, we hit Bluff Utah, pitched our tent in the dark, and went and ate ribs at the local stakehouse.
My intent on this trip was to talk, and relate to my daughter. Reconnect. I don’t really remember what it’s like to be 13 years old, but I know she struggles with the things that are important to a 13 year old. Boys, school, and wondering where you fit in. We didn’t talk too much in depth, but I knew tonight was not our night. We went back to the tent where my daughter immediately crashed out, and I made some phone calls to my business partner, a few BACA friends and caught up on what happened at work. What happened during the day both encouraged and discouraged me: I knew that I was going back to work monday to face problems. I knew this was going to effect my ride. I was also clear on what my objective was this trip: Ride my bike, and connect with wendy and help her out.
We woke up early that morning and I knew it was cold. Cold that I would normally deal with, but I had my daughter with me. We got going around 10, broke camp and got some conveneince store breakfasts in Bluff. We had 50 miles to get to 4 corners. I’d never been there, but 50 miles is an easy ride.
4 corners to me, was anti climactic. First off, its not that actual 4 corners, its 3 miles off. Second, It kind of pissed me off that I had to pay 3 bucks a head to see it. It was cold and windy, and not all that cool. Yes, wendy and I can say that we’ve stood in 4 states at the same time, but then again who really cares that we can say that.
we paid our 6 bucks at 4 corners, and headed on toward gallup new mexico. New mexico is gorgeous and I want to explore it more. We got gas in gallup, and headed south. I knew we’d stay the night in holbrook by this point. We could press on to flagstaff, but the weather in Holbrook was the best and I wanted to have some discussion time with wendy. Sunday, I knew we’d make miles and head home. I wanted some quality time with my daughter. It’s half the reason we made this trip. My mindset from 4 corners to holbrook was anything but right. I knew I was going back to work monday with a lot of problems that had to be solved, that depended on me. I struggled to get my mind right and into the ride. The 90 miles from 4 corners to Gallup New Mexico had me struggling with indecision of if I was doing the right thing by riding so far from home, and what I had to get done monday. Long rides sort that out. Eventually, I got back into the moment and realized that anything I do with my daughter and family is much more important and worthwhile and that I needed to focus on her. By the time we hit Gallup, I was looking forward to having some quality time with my daughter. I was 24 hours into the ride. I knew it had to be tonight.
We stopped at Denny’s, got our bearings and I knew we’d hit the point where the bike was going to be pointing closer to home. I also know theres something really familiar about route 66 that I’ve always loved. Maybe wendy would pick up on my vibe and I could share that with her.
We pulled into holbrook around 4 pm, and pitched our tent at the KOA. I decided I was going to show wendy some route 66, and she was excited about that. We had ice cream at a local route 66 food spot, and rode through the town. As we headed back toward the KOA, I was thinking that maybe a campfire and a discussion would be a perfect chance to talk with Wendy and we could have a moment that would nail the reason I took her on this trip. We bought some firewood, and sat and talked for a couple hours. Honestly, it will be moment I’ll always remember. I hope she remembers it. I babbled about her future, remembered what it’s like to be 13, and as long as it takes to burn a bundle of wood, we got that much closer. She’s a great kid. I’m so proud of her. In those 2 hours, I think she got that message in a way that 25 years earlier my father maybe even didn’t get across to me. I knew I’d nailed the moment.
The next morning, we woke up early, broke camp and headed toward home. As the sun came up, the eagles “tequila sunrise” was in my head, and so I queued that up in the ipod and listened to the eagles as we headed toward flagstaff. We got off at winona, headed into flag, got some hot chocolate and coffee and both talked about how good the morning ride was, even tho it wasn’t all that warm.
I find it funny how “vibes” for lack of a better term, work. I woke up in a great mood, with the right music and the first thing wendy said when we piled off the bike in flagstaff was how much she enjoyed listening to the Eagles greatest hits. It was the right vibe. I think about that alot to be honest.
From flag we dropped off the mountain, and headed the 5 hours toward home. If wendy had her way, we’d have ridden another week. She’s my riding buddy and long rides and big mileage isn’t too big for her. We’ll do this again. Hopefully for years to come.
948 Miles, 4 States, 2 1/2 Days.
Parenting is a bitch sometimes. My 2nd oldest daughter has been going through some rough times the last few weeks with moving into a new house, and going to a new school. It’s hard to tell her in so many ways that this is life, and you’ll come through it and become a better person for it if you hang tough. Last night, i Ran out of answers.
This morning I realized that I could change her mindset maybe by taking her riding and seeing some new places. She’s 13, and such a good kid. A fighter. She’s overcome some problems she’s had by hanging tough, but it’s a battle for her. She’ll never know how truly proud I am of her. She’s a lot like her old man: No real natural ability, but determination and vision will lead a person through tough times. Only fighters learn that. I know lots of people with natural ability who end up slugs. She’s got what it takes. She will end up where she wants to be eventually.
So I’m going to take her riding. If my plan works, we’ll hit monument valley by dusk and camp just outside. Then saturday morning we’ll head to 4 corners, Gallup New Mexico and spend the day riding route 66, my favorite place on earth. Sunday we’ll either wake up in flagstaff, seligman or kingman, and ride home. Hell, maybe needles or barstow depending how she feels.
I hope it helps. she’s excited to go, and I’m excited to take her. At the very least, I hope its a memory she’ll always remember.
I’ve had the flu all week. I’ve felt like shit. Was originally planning to go with my brother Pat through Nevada to test our our tents and do some riding, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m still not anywhere near 100% and it was raining in Salt Lake we blew that off and made big plans to hit route 66 up next week.
4th of july weekend. Pat will come down thursday night to St George, then friday morning the 4th we’ll blitz to kingman and show him some of my favorite places on route 66 toward Albuqerque. I’m pretty stoked. Pat is my brother, he’s blood, and he’s a damn good friend. We get each other, and we ride like banshees.
More to come….
My riding buddy can’t find his green card, so theres a good chance I might not head to Canada. I’d really like to make that run, but if not, I’ll head to either Oklahoma City by myself, or Amarillo with my brother Pat. We may end up getting our Iron Butt 1500, which is 1500 miles in 36 hours. Hell, we may do it in 24. More details forthcoming.
Either way I’m going to do it. I’m ready. I’d love to do it with Clint to Canada, but if I can’t my goal is to hit new parts of route 66 with my good friend and brother Pat, who is an Iron butt and hardcore rider in every sense of the word. He’s #1 on my list of people to ride with. We both do alot of miles, both love the road, and both will do whatever it takes. At the end of the long days, we both love a good glass or two of scotch and a fine cigar, and this route will warrant all of those.
To see things I’ve never seen on the mother road will make it a perfect trip I’ll think about for a lifetime.
I’ve always been fascinated with Amboy California. Roy’s may very well be my favorite place on Route 66. I once met its owner Buster Burris, and he was nice enough to sit and talk to my wife and I and talk about route 66.
Just East of Amboy and before Chambless is Roadrunner Retreat. It’s a ruin of a place that begs questions of it’s story. It does to me.
I can’t find alot of information on the Roadrunner Retreat. Today I found some clues.
This section of route 66 was bypassed in 1972, and not much later it began to dry up. I’m sure RR could tell us some stories. Do you have any? I’d love to have pictures and info on this place. there’s just not a lot on the internet.
Today I contacted the Northern Arizona University Library and they gave me a picture of this awesome area:
Amboy survived for years. Even though Buster Burris bulldozed much of the town to avoid having to pay taxes on it after the 1-40 bypass, Roy’s stayed open for almost 25 years. Buster was tougher than boiled owl.
I don’t know how much longer Roadrunner Retreat lasted. I’d love to know it’s story. I’ve been here probably 8-10 times, and I don’t know anything about it. If you know ANYTHING about this cool place, stories or history, please post or email me at MrZip66@gmail.com .