May 27, 2012

Overland Expo 2012

Here is a photo of us crossing the pond on our home built raft that Sharon and Jay took. I'm the one in the cowboy hat. Check out their blog report here: Service Driven Blog
What have I been up to? I've been doing some side jobs recently. I was fortunate enough to explore some remote areas of Arizona. Last weekend I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to once again be a driving instructor at the Overland Expo 2012. Check it out here: Or you can check out all of the photos people are posting on their Facebook page here: Overland Expo Facebook I wasn't able to take very many photos and the ones I did were with my cell phone as I worked away. I won't subject you to those since the entire event was filled with professional travelers and photogs snapping away! I spent several extra days before the even helping to work on the driving course and other items to get prepared for the over 7,000 people! During the event my schedule was pretty packed with classes and in between those classes there was always somewhere to help out and keep the EXPO going smoothly. I worked hard and had a lot of fun. I worked with many members of the Camel Trophy. I grew up reading about these insane adventures that were put on by Land Rover. Check out the Camel Trophy here: Wiki Camel Trophy or here: We built a bridge by lashing logs together and drove a very heavy Camel Trophy Land Rover 110 over it. Then on Sunday we lashed 30, 55 gallon barrels together and floated another Camel Trophy Discovery over a pond. At night I hung out with old friends and made new ones. I sat in cabin drinking beer and singing songs with Ted Simon. (Jupiter's Travels All in all it was a trip, a departure from reality which can't always be so much fun. I feel lucky to have been a part of it. Enjoy plenty of photos by searching for "Overland Expo 2012" in quotes just like that or click here: Overland Expo Highlights Or for video here: Or tons more in this thread on Expedition Portal: Expedition Portal: Overland EXPO Thread

May 9, 2012

Route 66 Moto ride.

Press play and enjoy while you read and browse. Photobucket So, a buddy and I have been talking about hitting up the section of Route 66 here in Arizona. I've been on parts of it, but there is a long section I've never seen. It also happens to be the longest continuous stretch of Route 66 left in the country.

We decided to take the long way to it by heading from Phoenix, to Payson, Strawberry, Flagstaff and on to Williams on day one.

Along the way I've always wanted to stop and check out this spot. If you want an obscure bike or even bicycle, I think he's got it.
PhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket While we were there the owner was just opening up and pulled out this nice little hard tail Triumph. Great looking bike. Photobucket Mmmm, breakfast burritos! Photobucket The ride from Payson to Flagstaff on this back road is just amazing. Photobucket We hit up the Lumberyard Brewery in Flagstaff. While I lived in Flagstaff this spot really was an old run down lumberyard. Now it's got great food and killer beer. Sounds good to me. I thought we might just stay here for the night. Photobucket Photobucket We decided to avoid the super slab of the I-40 and take the back road towards the Grand Canyon on the way to Williams. This road was great too. Photobucket Photobucket Williams is a really historic town. Sure, it's a mix of kitsch and real history, but if you look hard enough you can find the old places that have barely changed in over 100 years. Photobucket Photobucket There are a couple of old fueling stations that have been turned into 50's museums by their owners. Photobucket Photobucket We looked around town for a place that might not have too many tourists. I think we found it. Photobucket Yep. All locals. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket This place was a trip. Besides becoming instant friends with everyone in the bar, the drinks were strong and cheap. There was even a trap door behind the bar that led down to the old tunnels that were used when the railroad was built. The chinese laborers were forced to stay underground when they weren't working so these tunnels were home to thousands of people. They were also Opium dens. Some have caved in, but others lead to the train tracks or to other bars in town. Plus, this place has Jackie. Jackie was a cussing like a sailor and telling us all the best places in town. Every place she told us about she'd follow up with "Tell them that ol Jackie sent ya!!!" Here she is taking a break from work to sing a Karaoke song. Photobucket We went to go and find a hotel/motel. We decided that the cheapo old place across the street would work and best of all it was right by down town. "Hello, Jackie told us to come by here." "OH!!! Jackie!! I always give her a deal! How about $49?" Okey dokey. We were in. Photobucket We hung out for a bit and were glad that we'd wussed out on camping. At this elevation the temps would be down in the 30's that night. Photobucket One clean old uncut Bronco. Photobucket Photobucket With all of the neon and absence of tourists Williams is cooler at night. Photobucket Photobucket Well, still some tourists around. Haha. Photobucket Well, how do you not go here. It was actually really good. I have to admit I was surprised since the interior looked like it hadn't been cleaned or updated since 1960. Seeing each beer I ordered come up on a little dumb waiter from the basement bar below was entertainment enough!! Photobucket We went back to the Canyon Club to hang out for a bit and soak in the locals. You could tell that every part of the community came here. The cowboys, jeep tour drivers, Grand Canyon Helicopter Pilots, crack heads, cowboys and even a few folks who just ran out of gas in Williams. A few years ago. The next morning... Now we were on Route 66 until Oatman. Let's go! Photobucket After coffee that is... How can you not go to a place that advertises Coffee, food and bike repair. I dig the awning that is held up by bike frames. Photobucket One last stop in Williams. Motorcycle and Skateboard repair... Awesome. Photobucket Ash Fork is on a cutoff portion of 66. The Freeway directs you to exit to stay on 66, but you soon realize it's about a half mile of it and you need to move on to Seligman to really get onto 66. You can tell this section see's a lot less tourists. Photobucket Photobucket No shortage of hot rods new and old along 66 this time of year. Photobucket Photobucket These recreated old Burmashave advertisements were all along 66. They break up the monotony and they work! By the end I was looking for Burmashave on the gas station shelves!!! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Seligman must be the peak of Route 66 Kitsch. It was okay because that means tons of legit old cars to look at. Still, not enough for us to stop. Photobucket Photobucket Although this place looked like fun, I think we were too early. Photobucket I love the Triumph, but in straight sections like this Mikes bike with a real windscreen and ability to "cruise" at 130MPH would have been nice! Photobucket We stopped on the reservation to see about permits for a future trip to explore in the 4x4's. Photobucket As we neared Hackberry I was excited to stop and check out the old general store that a friend had told me about. He owns some land out here and I wanted to stop after all of that straight long road anyway. Photobucket As we pulled in I remembered what someone in Williams said. "Have fun down there, it's the big Laughlin run weekend!" Crap. I have a policy. If there is a trike, keep on riding. Nothing against death trap old chopper trikes. I mean ones like this Boss Hoss V8 trike. Yikes. Photobucket I took this as only a sample of what was to come. Brand new Harley's with their riders clad in all of the Chinese made leather with HD stamps on it chatting away on headsets to one another over the roar of Yacht Rock on their stereos! Photobucket Well, another time I look forward to drinking a beer in Hackberry when it's nice and quiet. Photobucket Kingman was even more packed. Every gas station had 5-10 Harley riders at it. Super sweet dew rags with flames on them everywhere. Not a helmet in sight. Rad dude. We decided that a little side trip up to the Hualapai Mountains was in order. I guess it wasn't an original idea. Photobucket The food was pretty good, but waiting a half hour to get a beer was a bit too much. People watching was great with some wannabe MC gang hanging out and looking tough. As more and more Red and White started showing up I thought it might be best to head out before anyone decided to start livening up the party. Oh yah, there was ONE bike I liked up there. Photobucket Photobucket This section just outside of Kingman was great. Really unexpected, but pretty. Photobucket We were headed to Oatman. there were long strings of 10-20 Harley riders chugging along at 35-45MPH. (In the straights) Thankfully we were able to pass a few groups in the straights before the winding sections of road. Photobucket Photobucket Mmmm, looks like a good place to stop, but too many people. Photobucket This road was really fun. It was sort of hairy because one turn would be nice and the next may have a 8 inch deep pothole so LOOKOUT MANG! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Hmmm, maybe it won't be too busy up here! Photobucket Damn. Photobucket The sad part is that on any other weekend of the year I bet Oatman would be cool. Photobucket Not so much this weekend. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket This place did have wild burro's so that makes up for a lot. The grandparents of these donkey's were brought here by miners to help carry gear. Now they are like the pets of the town. Photobucket Just waiting for something.
Photobucket When I saw a guy showing others how he had his Ipad setup to control the stereo on his new Harley I got a panicky feeling. Get me outta here! Photobucket I felt better seeing these. Just about the only 2 bikes that didn't have a warranty in the whole place! Photobucket Photobucket Okay, that's enough. Bye bye Oatman! Photobucket Great road! Until we caught up to a group that would slow down to 10MPH in each corner. I mean EVERY corner. Photobucket At least it was pretty. Photobucket Photobucket In the end we escaped the crowds by hitting some dirt. Photobucket On the way home we decided to take a side trip onto one of the best motorcycle roads I've ever ridden. It's only about 15 miles, but the road is in nice condition and the turns are tight. The road to Bagdad, AZ. That road then leads to Kirkland. This place was built in the late 1800's, but rebuilt after a fire in 1923. Photobucket Photobucket This old place was a whorehouse, restaurant, hotel, bar and bank. It's still a hotel, bar and restaurant. You can even rent the whole place out for a group. Wheels are turning for next years big AZ moto ride. Photobucket As the owner told us about the many ghosts that live here we were digging the idea of staying here for a while. Too bad it was the last day of the trip! Photobucket Yah, I could live here. Photobucket Photobucket BBQ right next to the bar inside! Photobucket The safe room was built and then the rest of the place was built around that. Check out the thickness of those walls. Photobucket The safe within the safe. Photobucket Photobucket So, the story goes that one of the ghosts was caught in the wood and she didn't appear until a few months after the place was built. Muahahaha. Stare into it's eyes. Photobucket The cat is always watching. Just waiting to pounce! Photobucket It was still sort of morning so we hit up the best food within a 100 miles. The Skull Valley diner. Photobucket This couple had an amazing setup. I'd love to do a road trip with this setup!!!! Photobucket Wow. Photobucket Photobucket It's not open very often, but it's always ready for a picture or two. Photobucket Well, after breakfast we headed down to Wickenburg and on to Phoenix. This trip was far too short. Photobucket Till next time. Photobucket