Sunday, 3 October 2010

Get Your Kicks.....

Yesterday we rode from Prescott to Kingman, on a route that took in part of Route 66, the Mother Road.


















Early in our journey we saw this car, that made us laugh!....




















I don’t really know what to make of Route 66. Part of me was excited to ride on this road and like many things that you haven’t yet experienced, I had built an image in my mind of what it must be like. I recalled the different versions of the famous song about this road, by Nat King Cole, the Rolling Stones and others as we got nearer and when we actually turned onto Route 66 and saw the first of many 66 road signs, it felt really good.

I imagined long journeys that people have taken from Chicago to LA along its 2,451 miles over the years since 1926 when Route 66 was first established. Just 3 years after it opened, the Great Depression started in America and the road must have been quiet during its early years. I tried to imagine what the road was like during the Second World War and what sort of cars used in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. It didn’t strike me as odd until I was typing this that I didn’t care about the cars in the 80’s and 90’s that used the road!

Today, little remains of the original road as much has been replaced by faster and safer roads, including the Interstate system that was introduced to the US in 1956. We joined Route 66 near Ash Fork and rode to Kingman, both in Arizona.

This section of road is kept in good condition, but there was little traffic on it. It runs roughly parallel to Interstate 40, so vehicles needing to get somewhere quickly don’t use this section of road. Whilst the road surface is kept in good condition, the buildings alongside the road are tired and many derelict, indicating the road no longer has the business that undoubtedly once kept it thriving.

There are a few restaurants and shops that sell 66 memorabilia to the passing tourists, including Jackie and myself. We stopped in Seligman at Angel and Vilma Delgadillo’s Route 66 Gift Shop and bought fridge magnets and key chains....


















The shop is full of stuff you don’t need, but have to buy, because it is pretty cool. Of course, we did the other things that tourists do, like take pictures of Marilyn Monroe outside the front door.... this is the picture I took....


























.... and this is the one that Jackie took....


























Part of the shop used to be a barbers, which is like no other I have ever seen....


















Along the road is another similar shop that has a lot of mannequins. I liked this one....


























Before we left Seligman to continue our journey west, the heavens opened and we could see the rain falling and coming in our direction for a long way. We risked the lightning, out on our wet gear and carried on, not realising the fridge magnets and key chains had been left behind where we got into our wet gear!

I had heard about and seen photos of the General Store in Hackberry, so calling in to see what was there was a must for us. They keep a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette parked outside, which must be one of the most photographed cars in the world....


























Of course, probably like thousands before us, we had to pose next to the car....




















The store is very cool. Very cool indeed. It has many interesting things, mainly relating to cars, bikes and Route 66....


























Stickers on the window of the store....


























When we went back outside, it was pouring down.....





































An interesting old car.....


















An old 66 gas pump....


























A cattle skull that is not quite yet free of flesh....


























You just know how I love old cars....


















Jackie spent time talking with the owner of the store and leant that he and his wife keep dogs and donkeys that people don’t want – a sort of Route 66 pet rescue service. Just as we were leaving, the owner asked if I had seen the men’s room. I hadn’t so went to take a look. It is covered on all 4 walls and the ceiling with pictures of scantily-clad women, so in the interest of showing my readers all aspects of the store....


















I took this picture because I like the bike.....


















Jackie then suggested I look in the ladies room, which had a couple of mannequins in there..... no I don’t know why either.....



















































I think I preferred the men’s room!

Jackie, complete with bottle and helmet hair.....LOL.....


























Despite the rain, we did get our kicks on Route 66!

10 comments:

Conchscooter said...

Hollywood- America's biggest export. Bewareof looking behind the facade.

Eve said...

hahahaha this was an all together fun post Gary! I think that girl on the red bench was jealous she didn't get the attention Marilyn did. The girls in the women's bathroom freak me out so I'm with you on that one! Sorry you left your trinkets at the other shop!
Great photo of Jackie with her 66 and helmet hair....I know what it's like sista!!!

motoroz said...

Very interesting. I have traveled a little bit of route 66. It is a shame that so much along the route is in disrepair. Stay dry.

Geoff James said...

Cool bathroom Gary, thanks for sharing! I've given the link to your site to a senior public servant in NZ who intends to tour America next year on a big trail bike. Thought he'd learn an awful lot from your great blog.

bluekat said...

lol - Jackie took the best picture of you and Marilyn.

So unfair...the mens room has pin up gals & the ladies room just has some mannequins!

Awesome ride despite the rain. It's sad that so much of route 66 is disappearing.

iansolley said...

I am sure our paths are going to coincide! - we are leaving Vegas this morning heading to Laughlin via Oatman - which is on your list for today!! watch out for me and if you can check out my road trip blog http://www.7agesroadtrips.blogspot.com - I am sticking to my basics style but in emulation of you my Yoda I may up the content a bit.
Safe riding buddy.

IAN

Webster World said...

I've been on 66. I could feel the history.

Charlie6 said...

Gary, you and Jackie would look quite sporty in that corvette....just saying.

As to that bathroom, very kind of you to think of us readers. : )

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Gary France said...

Conchscooter – Thanks, I will peel back the facade only occasionally!

Eve – Despite the rain, we had a fun time on R66 playing at being tourists. The mannequins in the women’s restroom were a little odd. We went back via R66 yesterday and bought new trinkets. Jackie laughed at your helmet hair comment!

Oz – Route 66 was still fun to do. When we rode back along it yesterday, I think the rain gods caught up with the lack of rain on my tour and dumped a lot of the wet stuff on us!

Geoff – I hope he does get some ideas for his own trip. He can always e-mail me if he has any specific questions.

Gary France said...

bluekat – It was great fun even with the rain. I would have a word with the owners about the lack of balance in the restroom decor, but it just wouldn’t have sounded right coming from a man!

Ian – We were close yesterday! I am guessing you went through Kingman to get onto the Oatman Highway just a hour or so after Jackie and I left there. May the Force be with you in writing your trip blog....

WW – I could feel it too.

Charlie6 – Shhhh. Don’t tempt Jackie about the car!