I woke up early, got some coffee and decided to jump on the bike and scout the perimeter.     In a couple more hours, we’d head out. I crossed the Colorado, took some pictures and enjoyed the morning sun.       Made me think of one of the times i’d been here, in 1991, with Missus Zip.

Route 66 California Side

Route 66, California.   This sign has been here forever.

Route 66 until 1947

Old Route 66 until 1947

Colorado River - Easy Rider

Colorado River morning. Behind  me is the bridge from the Grapes of Wrath.

Random thought about bridges.     As I sat there that morning  and drank my coffee, I realized that 2 bridges connected 2 Fondas, crossing the same river.    Peter, from Easy Rider, and his father, Henry from the Grapes of Wrath.    They were both about the same age, and their respective movies made both of them famous.    Both bridges are a stones throw from each other.    I don’t know that any of this means anything, but to me it was interesting.

Grapes of Wrath Movie (1940)

Grapes of Wrath Bridge, Route 66,   circa 1940

Time to head back.   Finished my coffee, and back to the fold.  Kickstands up in 20 minutes.

Graham is a stud. she was there.

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and ready to Ride.   Nice Bike.

We headed out.   On to Oatman, one of my favorite places.

Park Moabi

We rode this, on our way out.

Easy Rider Tour colorado river

And  this.   One of my favorite bridges.   Exactly like the movie.  The Red Rock bridge (to the left) was torn down in 1977.

Easy Rider Colorado RIver

I can almost hear the Chorus…..

 

Easy Rider Colorado River

When you get off the exit at Topock, this looks exactly the same. Frontage road to the old Bridge.

Then through Topock, and on our way to Oatman Arizona.   The road started bending more, and the ride was good.     I don’t know how many times I’ve ridden this road, but its always good.    The first time I found it, this road was gravel almost all the way to Oatman.     Then route 66  hit a revival, and it got paved. We rolled into Oatman and bummed around for about 45 minutes.

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Paul and Big D, cooling off.

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The crew, Oatman Arizona

We headed out of Oatman before noon.

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Short break in Cool Springs, Arizona.   Behind us, Arizona’s nipple.

Out of Oatman, to Kingman, where we had lunch at some 50’s diner.   We headed on toward Flagstaff, wound through Seligman, Williams, and on to Bellemont.   More Easy Rider there. We pulled in, late in the day just like in Easy Rider.     It felt pretty cool to show these places in person to other people.

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Hey man, can I get a room?

Hey man, gotta room

Just like in 1969

Easy Rider Pine Breeze Inn

The owner wasn’t there, so he wasn’t able to deny us a room. Wouldn’t have mattered, we had reservations in Flagstaff. Either way, you have to ride off and shout “you asshole!”  Just like in the movie.    I’m sure the owner would understand.

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Our Crew, long day.    Good Picture.

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One last goodbye.   Keeping it Real.

we headed the 10 miles into Flagstaff, fairly spent.

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End of the day, Flagstaff Arizona

I had some work to do that night, so I had a couple of drinks at the bar, back to the room to get them done.     A great day. We had a lot more ahead of us.   Tomorrow we’d hit a few locations for the movie, and head into Monument Valley. Day 4:   205 Miles. View Larger Map

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Labor Day in 1991 was an opportunity for my new bride and I to take a little road trip on the mother road once again, so friday night after we both got off work we headed down to Needles.     I remember listening to Cassette tapes of Roxette most of the way down in our 1986 Mercury Lynx and having a helluva time.

Back then I considered “sleeping in” was waking up at 6 AM, and was able to talk my wife into heading out early and fitting in a trip to Lake Havasu which was not far away.     We woke up, went to the El Garces Harvey House in Kingman, took a few pictures and headed down the Freeway to Lake Havasu.

66 Motel at Dawn

66 Motel at Dawn

After a short visit to Lake Havasu, we headed back north and up to Topock.      The road between Golden Shores and Oatman was gravel back then, but it was just good to be on the mother road again and before long we we’re in Oatman Arizona yet again.    To this day, I’ve never been on Interstate 40 to Kingman.   We always go through oatman because the pull is too strong.

Oatman Arizona

Mrs Zip in Oatman

We spent our Saturday  afternoon in Oatman and then into Kingman to crash for the night and head out again to see more Route 66.   Robyn and I had done this route a year earlier on the Magna, but It never got old.   Besides, we still needed to find our bridge we’d been looking for from the picture.    Maybe this time was our lucky day.

On the way down from Oatman we passed by cool springs, which we’d seen before.   I was surprised to see it had been rebuilt, but not very well:

Cool Springs was being prepped to blow up for a movie

Cool Springs was being prepped to blow up for a movie

I wasn’t sure why.   Old windows we’re put in to look old, and the back of the building wasn’t finished.    I was in construction at the time, and hadn’t seen this kind of a building method before.    Last time we’d seen Cool Springs, it was just a foundation and a couple of stone pillars.   Even so, it was cool to see something happening with this part of the mother road.

We rolled into kingman and got our room at the Quality Inn, which seemed like a really route 66 friendly spot in the road.   In 1991,  so many Arizona route 66 towns still seemed to be figuring out how to rebound from being bypassed.   Kingman didn’t quite have the route 66 pride it has today, so when we saw the Quality Inn Showing Route 66 Signs outside, we figured we’d give it a try.    We also knew by our route 66 newsletters that the owner was part of the state route 66 association.     The quality Inn puts a plaque on the door of the famous people that had stayed there, and our room was Will Rogers Jr.    Good enough for Us.

Mrs Zip and I at the Quality Inn in Kingman

Mrs Zip and I at the Quality Inn in Kingman

The Next morning we woke up early again and headed out to hit the mother road again.    It was a beautiful September Morning as we stopped by a place we didn’t think too much of at the time, and I remember my new wife wondering why we stopped at the Hackberry General Store:

This is what it looked like in 1991:

Hackberry General Store in 1991

Hackberry General Store in 1991

Hackberry General Store in 1991

Hackberry General Store in 1991

This is what it looks like today:

Hackberry General Store 2008

Hackberry General Store 2008

It’s neat to see how someone fixed it up and it’s been a viable business for quite a few years now.   Route 66 is doing good again!

I’ve probably said on this site a million times what got me into Route 66, so forgive me if I say it again.    I was reading a Motorcycle magazine in the late 80’s that had an article on Route 66.   It had a picture of a place the author visited on his bike that had a mature tree growing out of an old bridge that struck me.   I wanted to find that Bridge.   I showed my future wife who is always up for a road trip adventure, so we set out to find that bridge.    We looked for it before we we married and still hadn’t found it.   We only knew it was in Arizona.

Crookton Road East of Seligman

Crookton Road East of Seligman

I’d gotten pretty good at following old abandoned sections of roads while Driving.   I started looking down washes and riverbeds this run to see if I could spot our bridge.   After we got back on 1-40 on Crookton Road I spotted it out of the corner of my eye before we hit Ash Fork.    I told Mrs Zip and we knew we were close.   We got off at the next exit and tried to double back and after a mile of dirt roads and crossing railroad tracks in our little car, we doubled back to the crookton exit and found the cinder alignment of Route 66 that was active from 1920 to 1965.   We pulled up and saw our bridge!

Partridge Creek Bridge Route 66 - 1920-1965

Partridge Creek Bridge Route 66 . This was Route 66 from 1920-1965

Once we basked in the glory of our road finding skills, we got back on the freeway and headed into Ash Fork to find the answer to another more recent mystery:

Ash Fork Arizona Universal Soldier Set

Ash Fork Arizona Universal Soldier Set

In Ash Fork, they were clearly filming a movie.   We’d been this way before and aside from being the Flagstone Capital of the world, its a pretty sleepy town.   When you see massive semi trucks from hollywood and movie sets, you recognize it immediately.    We talked to one of the security guards watching the weekend sets to find out that they were  filming for a Jean Claude Van Damme Movie Called Universal Soldier.     That explained Rebuilding of cool springs!     We took spome pictures and headed on up the road toward Williams.

What it looked like in the movie

What it looked like in the movie

Cool Springs Blowing Up.

So I might as well show Cool Springs blowing up too...

After Williams, I could see what I know know is an old abandoned 1931 section of the National Old Trails Highway, which eventually became route 66.    Because of the rain, we couldn’t get back to it, so we got off at Devil Dog and searched for it on that side of the freeway.    We found it.

Devil Dog Culvert, built in 1922 till 1932

Devil Dog Culvert, built in 1922 till 1932

We drove around as much as we could see here and saw where future alignments and improvements in excavating bypassed Devil Dog in 1952 till I turned into Interstate 40 in 1984.

Old Arizona Route 66 Alignment meets New

Old Arizona Route 66 Alignment from 1952 meets It's Replacement

From there, we drove up to Parks to drive yet again another old alignment of the mother road.    Parks Arizona to this day is still one of my favorite Sections of Route 66.

Parks Arizona 1931 Alignment of Route 66

Parks Arizona 1931 Alignment of Route 66

Parks alignments are interesting.   From the turn of the century to 1984 this section of mountainous route 66 changed many times, sometimes for only several feet.   The general store and post office in Parks between 1931 to 1932 changed the front door of their establishment from the south side to the north side becuase the new road moved to the other side of them.   The pavement there is still in good shape but the forest is slowly taking it over.    Its one of the best sections of the entire road called route 66 I think.

Once we we’re done screwing around in Parks, for some reason we decided to double back.  I don’t remember if we got the motel room for 2 nights, or we wanted so see something we missed, but in any case we headed west again.    We had the added bonus of going through seligman again to have our 2nd hamburger ever at the snow cap if we hurried.

I’m pretty happy that in my 20 years travelling route 66 I’ve been able to meet some of its most colorful and enterprising people.   Angel Delgadillo is regarded as Route 66’s “angel” for his efforts to bring the mother road back into the world’s consciousness.    If Angel is the Angel, then his brother Juan is the clown.     He was truly one of a kind, and regardless of your day he had the ability to put a smile on your face with his antics.   If your heart was somehow made of stone enough to resist that, his hamburgers would certainly do the trick.

Juan Delgadillo in 1991

Juan Delgadillo in 1991

Juan Passed away in 2004 after working all day at the restaurant he built from scrap wood 50 years earlier.   It was a sad day.   Juan made everyone smile, and was a pure nutjob that built his local business in the middle of nowhere into a place that people would travel the globe to come visit, and thats no exaggeration.      I am proud my wife and I got to see the master at work several times, and am proud to say that the beat goes on with his kids.   I’ve taken my daughter there, and she laughed too.

For a good article on Juan Delgadillo, click here.

From the Snow Cap it started raining again, and we drove the whole way to Kingman in the Rain and it was just a nice trip.     I’ll always have the picture in my head of racing the Freight trains down to kingman in the pouring rain.    We stayed the night in Kingman again.   Tomorrow was labor day monday, and we’d need to head home again.

The next morning, we doubled back to Oatman.   On the way there, we passed cool springs again and the Universal Soldier guys must have worked that weekend, because the cool springs movie set had been blown up.     I wished I’d taken a picture of it.   Everything was swept off the road and in piles.

Wild Burros in Oatman Arizona

Wild Burros in Oatman Arizona

We stopped in Oatman again, petted the burro’s and had some food at a cool old restauraunt built out of plywood that I’ve never seen since (it was built around Joshua Trees), then made time to get to Topock,  Needles and then Home.

Colorado River Route 66 Sign near Topock

Colorado River Route 66 Sign near Topock

It was a great route 66 Trip that I’ll always remember.

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I love route 66

Posted in Dunn Brothers, Route 66 by mrzip67

qui-gon-jin1

I had a great ride last weekend with pat.   sometimes it takes me a while to decompress it all when I ride with other people because I had alot going through my mind as we took the trip, and it was all good.

Getting Gas in Overton Nevada

Getting Gas in Overton Nevada

I got my act together by around noon on thursday, and by 1 I met up with my brother and we headed south to overton, which I knew would be our first gas stop on our way to kingman for the night.   Our rooms were booked, so our destination was set.

what kept going through my head as I rode was Qui Gon Jinn, talking to a young Obi Wan Kenobi.   “keep your mind on the here and now, don’t center on your anxieties”.   Its funny how you sometimes recall things.   That quote there, is another reason I like to ride.   The road forces the here and now most times, and the here and now forms your future.    Its mortar in the brick wall of why Riding is such a positive for me.

We hit Lees along the way, which has become a required stop, we talked a bit

Great Stop at Rosies Den

Great Stop at Rosies Den

and I knew this ride was going to be a great one right then and there.   Pat is going through a transition right now, and this ride was for him… showing him my most frequent and common path along route 66 to california, and quite honestly my favorite.   I was only hoping he liked it as much as I do, because some people I show this route to don’t get it:   Its varied, old and full of americana.   If you’re not into those sorts of things, its just sagebrush and old buildings.

we rounded the 60 miles behind lake mead, hit hoover dam and headed into kingman for the night.   It was a great ride.   40 miles before kingman we stopped and had a couple of beers and a place Ive visited a bunch but never stopped into.   Going there with pat first made it perfect.   Another point of view on a route I’d taken before.     That night, we had a round of scotch and rested up for what I was hoping was going to be a great weekend.

DAY TWO

Oatman Road

Oatman Road

The next morning we stopped by the harley shop, and milked a bit of time to make the ride into oatman timely.   Oatman is one of my favorite stops.   Not only for the winding road, but for the town itself.    its a throwback, and ive seen it revive in the 20 years ive been hitting up route 66.   Its doing good.   we stopped into the oatman hotel for a couple beers and a long lunch, then headed out through golden shores, topock, past the colorado river and down through amboy.

Roys in amboy is doing well.   They sound like gas sales are going good, and within a week or so theyll have the reverse osmosis filtering they need to get the restaurant open.   From there, theyll start working on the hotel.   If that happens, Amboy will replace kingman as my friday night stop for weekend rides.   I try and support them as much as I can.   I love the fact that the town of amboy is starting to revive.    It says something about people to me.

from Amboy, we headed south and Pat pointed

Oatman Epitaph

Oatman Epitaph

out something I missed last time.   Just a few miles south of amboy, they process chloride from the natural drainage point of the valley.     We passed through and headed up to twentynine palms, through the town to get gas, and up over  Joshua tree national park.   The sun was in our eyes, so we missed alot, and the ride was winding down and we had 100 miles to go yet.

Just like last time, we took missed our turn and was 60 miles out of our way.  Just like last time, I didnt really care.   the weather was good, and aside from the initial traffic, I was enjoying the ride.  we rode down through the windmill farms and into palm springs for the night, got wasted at applebees and crashed for the night.  As always, I 100% enjoyed the company with my older brother.

DAY THREE

Outside the Patton Museum

Outside the Patton Museum

We debated a few different routes, but decided to double back after going to our loose reason for taking this ride:  The patton museum in Chiriaco Summit.    I have been, and will always be a fan of George S. Patton.  Ive read a couple of biographies on him, as well as several other books about him including his war diaries.   He is a testament to recognizing what he was best at in life, as well as focus, which I believe makes anyone a “natural” born leader if he has the passion.   He did.   I really should invest in helping preserve this museum.   The land around here is what trained men to help us win world war 2.

We stayed for about an hear, then h

Oatman Hotel at Dark

Oatman Hotel at Dark

eaded back up through Joshua Tree and back up through Amboy, where we stopped and took some pictures of the chloride leeching trenches.   Then made time to get back to Kingman.    Oatman dies at dark.   We had dinner and headed back to kingman, hit up a local bar for a couple and then crashed for the night.

DAY FOUR

Sunday morning we were both in the mindset of getting breakfast at the hotel and hitting the road to home.   We had a 4 hour ride, plus pat had another 4 hours ride to get home.    At overton, we parted ways and pat made miles to get home.   I rode home slow, mozying back to be home by 1 to watch the Steeler game with Megan, something we’ve done for the last 4 years together.

The last thing pat said to me was “thanks, you saved my life this weekend”.   I knew what he meant.   He’s saved mine before.    He’s got some tough decisions to make, and letting those decisions come to him and having a good ride, versus sitting around and feeling the weight of his situation is what he meant.   I love my brother.

Something flipped for me this weekend.   Ive always rode by myself and preferred it that way, but I have a feeling if I did it that way now I know I’d wish he was there.    We work well together.

Here is a Link to my Picasa Gallery About this Route 66 Trip, which is sometimes easier to view

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Route 66 with Wendy

Posted in Family Rides by mrzip67

This weekend, it was just nice. All day friday I was kicking around thoughts of heading somewhere to get some ride time in, and around 3 on friday I came home, and asked if Wendy wanted to go. She did. Headed out around 3.

Wendy is a pro. Last year we loaded up and rode to Universal Studios on the bike in the heat of the summer, and she was a blast to take. Doesnt complain, and loves riding. I love the one on one time. I didnt have a ton of one on one trips with my Dad, and the one I did always meant alot to me. Its one of the reasons I bought the bike. I hope its a memory that means something to my girls. Not alot of 11 year olds can say theve ridden thousands of miles on a harley davidson and seeing their world. Thats my delusion anyway. We’ll see.

Wendy, at hoover Dam. Friday, May 16 2008

Made kingman before dark.

Wendy loves Hotels. She played her DS and even talked me into going swimming for a few. We crashed that night, and woke up to get some road behind us.

Kingman is a cool town to me for some reason. Its got alot of route 66 flavor, and its got all the modern conveniences. Plus its a gateway to alot of my favorite roads. to the east is Seligman, and a great old stretch of 66. the west is a great bike road through oatman, and california. I like to ride for kingman and decide which way Im going to go when Im at the intersection, and its usually always a great ride.

for the sake of time we went to oatman. Wendy had never seen it, and I thought she might like it. We headed out, and took the winding road up to oatman. There was a live wedding in the street, which was kind of cool to see. Ive seen a few gunfight shows, but not a wedding.

Oatman is one of the most unique towns, if not the most unique that I’ve ever seen. Around the turn of the century it was a booming mining town, and it still holds that feel. If it had a dirt street, I cant imagine a wild western town being much different. When the mines stopped producing, the miners left their burros and theyve thrived in the desert without any natural predators, and they still roam the streets.

Wendy found a ragged old cat, that apparantly liked to fight. His owner said he would leave for days and would come back all cut up, and would even take on coyotes and whoever crossed his path. Wendy made immediate friends. She has cat mojo. I even liked this cat.

Clark Gable and Carol lombard had their honeymoon at the oatman hotel. The hotel is a museum now, and we checked it out. Ive been to oatman a bunch, but that was the first time I’d been in the hotel. Theres even a tattoo shop there, but I didnt go in. Maybe I should check him out next time.

After about an hour of Oatman, we headed for the colorado river through Topock, then onto Needles. Wendy was beat. I made the mistake of not switching out a touring seat for my bike, and we both had a bad case of TB. We ate at dennys, and called Robyn to tell her we would head home. It was pretty hot, and Robyn and I had a Penguins NHL playoff game at 1pm, so I figured we’d head back. But I REALLY wanted to go to Amboy. Albert Okura had bought the town, and its one of my favorite spots on route 66, and a couple of weeks ago, they finally got the gas station open after a couple of years of work and about 750 grand. At the crossroads, I decided to spend another day, go to Amboy, and spend the night in Barstow.

Luckily, Ive got the best wife in the world. I called her and she got us a room in Barstow. We pulled in through record heat into Amboy and drank about a gallon of water and hung out for about an hour or so, resting our butts and hydrating up.

A tour bus overturned just east of ludlow, and eastbound highway was routed from I 40 down old 66. It was actually pretty cool to see Roy’s get so much business, and I couldnt help but thinking thats how it mustve been before it was bypassed in the early 70s. Even so, the one guy watching shop went out of his way to give Wendy a Roy’s T shirt for no charge, which I thought was really pretty cool. Ill always swing wide for Roys. Albert Okura paid 400k for the town. It’d be nice to have that kind of money, I’d like to own a town one day. Someday…..

We headed over to barstow, and just relaxed. Wendy was beat, and so was I. We woke up in the morning and made time to get back to st George, by 1pm, and made it. All in all, we’d rode 760 miles in less than 48 hours. Wendy is my riding buddy. I hope she had a good time. I know I did.

Ride Totals: 722 Miles, 4 States in 2 1/2 Days

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Robyn at Roys on Route 66

Robyn in 1991 at Roy's in Amboy

Rode 404 miles today.

We left Anaheim about 10, somewhat reluctantly. Disneyland for 2 days was a blast. We rode splash mountain 5 times (one of which I lost my watch on) and if the park wouldnt have closed at 10 instead of 1 AM like we thought, we wouldve probably done every ride twice. We could have spent a week there.

Anyway, we took highway 5 to 405, north on 55 onto 91 and then 1-15 North. We got off on a part of route 66 near Cajon pass. It was only about 8 miles but it already showed a few casualties of the interstate. It was once a two-laner and I think we missed a little of it and couldve found more. Then it was 1-15 through to Barstow. At Dagget, we found old trails highway, ol’ route 66 again. we went through newberry springs, a little town practically under the 1-40 underpass and stopped 30 miles later at ludlow to get a gatorade. 1/2 hour later, we were in Amboys at a place called Roys. Its owned by Buster Burris, who said he’d been there 50 years. He was rad! We ate, bought a T-shirt, talked for a while about route 66 and headed for cadiz or chambless to get gas. Then, we went through goffs, a shmeggy little place buster showed us that was the OLD route 66. Then it was to 1-40 untill we hit Topock. I know we missed alot of it.

We rode through Oatman, and old ghost town that had closed down by the time we got there, but did have a sarsparilla and headed out. Oatman and goldroad was pretty interesting. At one time it had 10,000 people and now it has 100 people…… maybe.

Rode into Kingman for the night to the KOA. Windy day, but a nice ride.

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