21st September –
We are rested up thanks to our very comfortable Airbnb in Boulder and ready to head off to Flagstaff Arizona where we will meet up with my eldest brother and sister-in-law.
Our route is along the longest remaining original stretch of the ‘Mother Road’ – Route 66 and it is fair to say we are just a bit excited at the prospect.
We are soon over Hoover Dam and on a fast section of Interstate 93 that has been cut through the scrub and desert. At Kingman we turn onto the longest remaining section of the original Route 66. We pass through what must have been a film set for so many westerns and hip road films of the 60’s and 70’s.
Packs of motorcyclists surge past on their Harleys, leather clad and often with a young blond hanging on the pillion. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the fellas apart under their trendy helmets. They all seem to sport grey beards of varying lengths and bedraglement and the leathers often sport the icon and name of their chapter. They mostly seem to be of a certain age and many are carrying a bit of extra baggage. The female pillion is often much younger and glamorous. I wonder what the attraction can be for them? I have had conversations with a few of these ‘Angels’ and, without fail, they are puppy dogs and love their bikes and the freedom of the road as they relive ‘Easy Rider’ that I believe was shot along this very section of road.
The scenery takes me back to early childhood as I imagine the bandits hiding up in the rocks ready for an ambush. I expect to see smoke signals rising from the bluffs or a wagon hurtling towards me being chased by hollering natives or masked bandits.
We pass through little towns that retain the original feel of the road and seem caught in a time warp. Some however have decayed as have many of the little homesteads along the way. We pass through Hackberry, Peach Springs and take a stop in Seligman to enjoy a pioneer museum before getting on to the new road and climbing through the ponderosa pine forests that take over from the desert. As we continue to climb the California Peaks it gets cooler and the air is crisper and scented with pine.
Soon we pull into our second lovely Airbnb that is nestled at the foot of a mountain on the outskirts of Flagstaff. The welcome is warm and soon we are watching the humming birds feeding on the verandah as our host prepares us some refreshment.
We are meeting up with my eldest brother Tony and his wife De who are at the end of their little jaunt.
A meal in Flagstaff follows at the ‘Tinderbox’ and we share stories over the scrummy food.
And then sleep and weird dreams of being Peter Fonda and then Denis Hopper which is strange as I can’t ride a motorcycle and they are both very old.