Monday, August 26, 2013

Safe in Seligman...it's a Wrap!


Excuse last night 8/23/13
I'm having trouble with my Eye Fi card again, it may or may not transfer pictures to my phone.
Update this morning 8/24/13
It's not transferring most most of my pictures. They're on the card, it's just not transmitting a signal.

Here's a couple shots at the San Juan Inn I would have posted the 23rd.



Finished from home 8/25/13
The good news is you won't miss much from the glorious morning ride because it was too glorious to stop for pictures in the beginning and too wet to stop in the back half.

After careful consideration and planning we picked perennial favorite Seligman. Since it's an easy ride over familiar roads we didn't get on the bikes 'til after 11:00am. It was already in the 90s but the air felt cool when we started across the bridge towards Monument Valley. (Sorry Brian Jr. She made me!) The wind was gusty and we could see squalls ahead. The road through Monument Valley is smooth with plenty of pullouts at permanent stands set up where Indians sell jewelry and other things they make.

Here's the catch and this isn't a cop out or judgement call. On a motorcycle the primary sensation is motion, not isolation. whether it be in city traffic, a race track, or the open road the thing that makes it different is you are connected to the motion. When you're riding a motorcycle you are immersed in the scene. You're committed 100% to the moment. The weather, good or bad, the smell and feel of blowing dust, or the road after the rain, and skunks. Whatever it is, it's you and your imagination... and that's the problem. Sometimes stopping to take a picture is like a commercial in the middle of your favorite movie.

The places we ride through and write about will be equally interesting but different in an auto. You'll have more interaction with your companions, can pack a picnic, lock your belongings in the trunk and go for a hike. Spend more time looking at things... we plan to revisit many of these places in a truck too.

Monsoons
Anyway, the ride was great. Monument Valley is beautiful (you have to go on your way to Glen Canyon) and we stayed dry until after our first gas stop in Tuba City.
About 10 miles out of Tuba City you turn left on Highway 89--on this trip towards the monsoons we'd been warned of all morning. Desert storms are pretty cool, you can see them for miles. The sky can be sunny with clouds or gray with clouds. The darker clouds that touch the ground are raining. You can follow them, be chased, and sometimes just miss them. Like a gray rainbow, as you approach them, they disappear. The wind will gust, the temperature will drop and you might see some lightning. Then the rain cuts loose and if you look in the mirror when Lori's behind you, you'll see her bouncing in her seat clapping like a wind-up monkey. This went on 'til well past the Cameron Trading post where the smart guys were hunkered down (Lori didn't want to stop and I agreed). We kept a close eye on the water flowing beside the road and were careful of washes. About 20 miles from Flagstaff the clouds broke and all was bright and sunny. Then it began pouring harder than ever, apparently we were being stalked by a second storm. It cleared up just out of Flagstaff and the ride on to Seligman was perfect.

Seligman
Reinhardt checked us in to the Elvis room at the Canyon Lodge and then we headed straight to the Snow Cap. John was working hard and cracking jokes as usual. Their 60th Anniversary party went off well and the tacos were epic. We stopped at Angel's Barber Shop to see Mo. A year or so ago Mo and I were talking about Made in USA stuff and at the time he was making an effort to stock more. He's done well! About 80% of their merchandise is now Made in USA. They put Made in USA stickers on things so the good stuff's easier to find... and the customers buy it!!!
The Canyon Lodge...could be the cleanest rooms in the world!

Order window at Snow Cap

Zen Garden?

A storm looking for us.

She loves these tacos

Storm found us
After dinner we rode to Lilo's for some Fruit of the Forest pie then walked around town a little before going to bed.



Saturday and Sunday
We left the comfort and hospitality of Seligman for mild temperatures and steady rain. The pace is easy on Route 66 and traffic was light so we rode through Oatman and didn't touch the 40 until the California border. We met Barry (link) and Valentina at the Wagon Wheel in Needles for lunch. They're on the way to Colorado for a couple weeks to visit family.

We didn't have a plan other than getting off the 40 and stopping by Roy's. We messed around so long we ran out of options. 29 Palms Highway to Joshua Tree. We stayed at the Safari Motor Lodge and walked to the Joshua Tree Saloon for dinner and entertainment. The Safari is a clean, simple motel run by one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and the food at the Joshua Tree Saloon is great! I had grass fed rib-eye, steamed vegetables, and fresh mixed green salad. All prepared perfectly. Good food with bar food prices. The Ghostlight Trio provided a perfect soundtrack for our last night on the road...sadly I haven't had much luck with audio on my iPhone videos so you'll have to go HERE to see them.





Home for Now
We slow roasted then froze some pork & beef before we left so we could have a nice meal when we returned...hatch green chile and shredded beef tacos on fresh tortillas.


Favorite Summer Jacket
Did I mention I love this Jacket? I wore it because the button front allows air flow but the amazing thing is it kept me dry during long periods of rain...doesn't make sense to me but it worked this trip. It's lined and has 6 functional pockets. BUY YOURS HERE!
Bugs washed off 'cause the picture taken after monsoons.


Now I'm back at the shop packing orders and ordering new stuff. I'll get the fresh crop of t-shirts to Mike for printing this week!  
That Buell cup on the right corner is full of our "The Drip Stop" secret blend...a very good reason to be home. Now we have to make it to Saturday without Grampy Pat's Bread!

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