Route 66: 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Route 66: 2010 Day 12

Today is 6/23/10

I will attempt to get back on track, get it together and  remember the details of the rest of the trip.

We leave Santa Rosa fairly early and can't say I'm sad about it.  The manager was "breathing" and that was pretty much it.  Overall, a note to self, don't stay at the Best Western in Santa Rosa.  Oh yeah, did I tell you that they didn't have soap in the room/shower.  I had the pleasure of walking my happy butt down to the front desk where she didn't so much as say sorry and just gave me a bar of Ivory.  Pretty weird.

OK, now we're on the road again.  That, my friends was another song running through my head. "On the Road Again", but not the Willie Nelson version.  He does write some pretty good songs, but PLEASE don't let him sing 'em.  The one that was going through my head was by Donkey from Shrek.  What a dork I am.

Today was a very packed day.  We were lucky enough to miss some rain this time out.  Actually, we could see the trucks throwing up huge rooster tails in the oncoming lane, but we stayed dry.

One of our first stops outside Santa Rosa was Tucumcari, New Mexico.  Tucumcari is a very "colorful" town.  There is neon Everywhere and if we would have been here at night it would have been amazing.  It was still very cool.  Tucumcari has an Awesome statue(?) on the West side of the town and there's a museum, too.  We didn't take that one in because it was still early.  Next stop was the Blue Swallow Motel.  This place is great!  They've got "100% Refrigerated Air" and even better, murals all over the property.  We hung out with James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, The Easy Rider guys and Tow Mater & the rest of the Cars, (movie) gang.

After riding out of Tucumcari, we saw the Biggest Cross Ever, lots of little cool shops and then we stopped in Adrian, TX.  Adrian is the home of Midpoint Cafe.  Guess what??  It's the midpoint on Route 66.  This is only 1139 miles from LA and the same from Chicago; I know, go figure!

Adrian and the Midpoint Cafe were pretty cool and they had a ton of cool souvenirs.  Really nice folks here.  As nice as that was, the day was getting ready to take a turn for the worse.  Not far outside of Adrian, we had an accident.  Unfortunately, things seemed to happen pretty quickly.  One bike hit another a bit, over-corrected and was hit by another bike; or so that part of the story goes.  Upon arriving, (we were in the back), we saw 2 bikes mangled on the road, but more importantly, there were 4 riders down.  It was fairly unnerving, but the whole group did a good job keeping it together.

It was unfortunate; 3 people ended up with broken/cracked collar bones and the fourth had shredded hands.  All four also had some pretty bad road rash.  Thankfully all 4 were wearing helmets.  Things could have certainly been worse.  2 of the riders went home to Norway and the other 2 spent the rest of the trip in one of the cars.

I have to voice an opinion here.  I absolutely, 100% support my fellow riders right to choose to wear a helmet or not.  I also completely disagree with helmet laws.  I do not think the government should tell a biker that they must wear a helmet.  ALL of that being said, I Do Not like riding without a helmet, gloves, long pants, eye protection and good boots.  I absolutely don't feel comfortable without my "gear".  It just doesn't feel right without a helmet, for me.

OK, off the rant.  Whatever you do, please be safe.

After the accident was cleaned up, a couple hours later, (the folks were nice, but the EMT folks looked liked Grandma & Grandpa Smith...), we decided to continue on.  The next stop was the Cadillac Ranch.  The Cadillac Ranch is a field out in the middle of nowhere.  This is where someone decided to plant several cars, nose first, in the middle of a field.  Kinda odd, but then again, "Only in America".

Our last stop for this day was Amarillo, TX.  Yep, we finally, dun made it to Tejas!  You know you're in Texas when the limo that picks you up to go to the steak house has "big ol horns" on the hood.  Of course, another telling sign is when the limo driver smiles and has big ol brown teef...yuck.

Dinner tonight was at the Big Texan.  If you haven't heard of this place, you are probably missing out.  Food and service were pretty good, but the really big draw is the 72 ounce steak challenge.  If a person can eat the steak, all the sides and bread within one hour, they get a 4 1/2 pound steak for free.  If they don't make it, they get to buy the steak.  One of our group took the challenge.  John gave it a shot, but just couldn't make it.  As he said later, it was a Very expensive steak.  Think about $1.00 per ounce.

After we got back to the hotel, the heavens opened up!  It rained for hours and hard, too.  Luckily for us, we weren't riding.  It actually made for a nice night's sleep.

And another day put to rest.

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