As I was slogging my way to Seligman I was trying to count the number of “century” rides I’ve had. ?I think I’ve got four under my belt. ?A century being a 100 mile or more in a single ride.
On none of those did I intentionally set out to make it 100 miles. ?In each case, it just happened. ?I didn’t get to a hundred miles riding to Seligman, but I came pretty close . . . and my body is feeling the effects of it, too.
While I was in Kingman, I asked three different people which route would?they?take to Seligman. ?According to Google, via Interstate 40, it was 73 miles. ?If you went via Route 66, it was?83?miles. ?The common consensus was that 66 had?less severe?hills to climb and the “nostalgia” of riding along “Historic Route 66” would make up for that extra 10 miles.
The weather was more temperate than the last few days. ?Temps were in the low 80s versus the low 100s of Laughlin and surrounding areas. ?I figured I could do with some “nostalgia” and bragging rights about riding on US 66, even if it cost me 10 more miles.
Right off the bat in leaving Kingman, I missed a turn. ?I was?three miles?out –?three fucking 5% uphill miles — before I saw a sign for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon being 180 something miles ahead. ?”Wait a minute. ?I know where the North Rim is and I don’t want to be anywhere near?there.” ?I stopped, checked the map, saw where I’d missed the turn, and headed back. ?At least it was?down hill?to correct the error, but it was still a waste of nearly an hour . . . and I just lengthened the trip from 83 to 89 miles.
In hindsight every single dog I passed in getting out of Kingman was trying to tell me not to go Route 66. ?I just wasn’t listening to them.
The ride yesterday wound up being over 97 miles. ?I played that one in my head all day long. ?How did 89 miles go to 97 miles? ?Where did that extra 8 miles come from? ?I didn’t go off route a single time.
In summary, taking Route 66 was?not?worth 24 extra miles. ?The scenery was a hundred miles of this:
There was some man-made stuff that was slightly interesting (and which I’ll get to in a bit), but the scenery was?meh?at best.
I remember driving in from Ohio where I noticed there were some?very?severe hills about 30 miles east of Kingman on Interstate 40. ?I did not encounter anything that severe on Route 66. ?There was plenty of climbing, granted. ?(One 1200 foot climb in particular stands out.) ?But for the most part, 66 was very flat and accommodating. ?Still not worth an addition 24 miles, though.
Some things I saw:
I’m betting this was set up by one damned lazy postman:
Right across the street from the mailboxes was this place, complete with giant green tiki head:
On the other side of the building was the joke. ?The sign on the side of the trailer says, “Stop here for a little free head.”
Hackberry General Store:
I turned around and saw this very cute lady taking pictures:
I offered to take her picture in front of the store with her camera. ?She declined very politely . . . with the most beautiful Australian accent you can imagine.
It was her third trip to the United States. ?She’d been visiting her sister in Chicago. ?They’d decided (on a whim? ?Not sure) to drive Route 66 to its conclusion in Santa Monica, California. ?I gotta tell you, I could have listened to the woman for hours. ?Hell, she could have read me the phone book with that Aussie accent and I would’ve been in heaven.
In Peach Springs, AZ I encountered . . .?Radiator Springs from the movie Cars?
Normally cows make up my fan club. ?They all stare when I ride by playing tunes.
Not today, though. ?On three separate occasions, the herds took off on a stampede after getting a look at me.
The fourth time I encountered a herd, I was playing Carly Simon’s, “That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be.” ?The walking hamburgers seemed to like that tune.
When I rode into Seligman (pronounced Suh-Lig-Man, not Selig-Man as I’ve been corrected) I was famished. ?I stopped here.
Worst?service I’ve received in memory. ?I was told to take any seat so I went over to the counter. ?First seat I sat in I was told I couldn’t sit?there. ?The only other seat to sit in had dirty dishes sitting in front of the seat. ?There were no clean tables. ?The waitress told me to go ahead and sit there at the seat with the dirty dishes, but didn’t bother moving them. ?I had to eventually move them.
She asked if I’d like something to drink. ?I asked for a Diet Pepsi. ?Took her five minutes to finish writing up a ticket to fetch the Pepsi. ?By the time she’d gotten back around to asking me if I was ready to order, I had drained that Pepsi. ?Since my waitress was nowhere to be found, I asked another waitress if she’d fill it back up. ?She said, “Give me just a second. ?I’ve got to take a coffee over to this other guy.” ?She poured a coffee, delivered it, came back, didn’t even look at me. ?(Or my empty glass.) ?I was right there in front of her. ?She started working on other orders and toddled off. ?My waitress still?hadn’t shown up again, so after about 10 minutes I said, “Fuck this,” walked behind the counter and filled it up myself.
It was yet another?five minutes before my waitress asked me what I’d like. ?I had literally picked up my stuff and was going to head out the door. ?I’d have just gone hungry.
Every waitress seemed to be so new that none of them knew any prices. ?Every single time they wrote up a ticket, they had to refer back to the menu to write in a price. ?At one point the waitress I’d asked to fill up the glass said, “I never can remember what [this menu item] costs. ?Have to look it up all the time.” ?My waitress shot back, “Just charge them whatever! ?They won’t know!” ?I think?she was joking, but I was tired, hungry, and pissed off at being ignored at that point, so they don’t get the benefit of the doubt.
Nearly an hour after I walked into the place, I got my check. ?I was looking over the total as I was standing in front of the cashier. ?”What’s this $3.25 charge?” ?”Did you have a drink?” ?”Yeah, I had a Diet Pepsi.” ?”That’s what the charge is for.” ?”$3.25 for a soft drink? I could buy a case of them for $3.25!”
When I checked into the hotel, the hosts had asked if I’d gotten something to eat. ?I told them where I’d gone and told them it was the worst service I’d ever received in a restaurant. ?They were surprised. ?”They’re normally very good!” ?Told ’em while that may be true, they’d not get a dime more from me.
Yeah yeah yeah. ?I was grumpy and tired at that point. ?I just wanted to go to bed.
The only picture I took of me today that I kind of liked: