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06 - USA

Vegas to Monument Valley  -  27/09/03 - 29/09/03

Getting our kicks!

We left Vegas in boiling hot weather, over the Hoover Dam where we just stopped quickly to take pics as it was heaving with people and down the 95 to find route 66. We got to Kingman and found our first evidence. An original route 66 diner. It was great. It had big slide in booths, counter seats, loads of pics of celebs from the fifties and everything was bright blue and candy pink. They had the lovely old red plastic Coca Cola beakers and a miniature steam whistle, like in a train, that the chef tooted when the food was ready. I had eggs and hash browns again and R decided he had to go for a burger and milkshake. On our way out we met a real old-timer. He had a floppy old hat and bright red braces which he needed help with reattaching to his jeans. He was really sweet and wanted to know where we were from and if we were having fun.

We left Kingman and went south. From there through to Topcock the 66 is amazing. A bit rough and very twisty, but fabulous scenery.

Half way along is the town of Oatman. It has been kept as a western town and they have gunfights and stage coach tours. Clarke Gable & Carole Lombard had their honeymoon there in the Oatman Hotel. It still has all the boardwalks and saloon bars. We parked up next to a bunch of Harleys and got chatting. Next thing we knew the mules who just mooch around the town went mad. A male was chasing a female down the

Oatman

street at great speed. All the bikers leapt to the defence of their bikes as they came dangerously close, then ran up the steps and all along the boardwalk. An old guy stuck his head out of the saloon and yelled ďget out of the way they'll knock you down" as the mules sent tourists scattering in every direction. We were all laughing with relief when back they came, even faster now as it was down hill. R grabbed the bike to steady it again. We were on the end and had visions of our very heavy bike falling on the Harleys and knocking them down like dominoes. The stupid things ran straight into a parked car and then headed off back up the boardwalk. It was totally insane. The Harleys headed off before they had a chance to come back, which they did! By the time we got ourselves together to get the video out they had calmed down. We decided to leave too, it was boiling hot so we stopped quite early in Lake Havasu and decided on another early start. London Bridge is in Lake Havasu, very weird. They have a little English Village and everyone wears frilly shirts and olde England clothes. It was about 45 degrees there. We were supposed to be having an early night but there was an old guy with a guitar in the hotel bar strumming Country & Western. Seeing as we're going nowhere near Nashville this was as close as R was going to get. We had a few beers and hummed along.

London Bridge

Next day we left at six and headed back up to Kingman and found the 66 going east. There's quite a long stretch here but is pretty dull compared to the road through Oatman. We stopped in Seligman for a huge breakfast. We could have shared one between us. We arrived at the Grand Canyon at noon. It really is very grand. Difficult to take in really. We met lots of bikers along the way, in & out of view points. A mad southern gal and her man on Harleys of course, who wanted us to visit them in Phoenix. Mike, the first English biker we've met and dirt bike Don and his mate Joe who made quite a picture. They had ridden up from Phoenix on trails, working out a route as they went. They are finding routes all over Arizona and plan to take groups riding. I think R may be back one day to join them. Don wanted us to call in on him in Phoenix too but we are just out of days to add extra things now. We finally left the Grand Canyon area about 3 hours later having spent most of the time gassing. We decided to keep going and had a very long day, arriving at Chinle, deep in the Navajo Nation just as it was going dark. Tomorrow Monument Valley.

Grand Canyon

Dirt bike Don, Jane, Joe and Mike

We spent the morning at the Canyon de Chelly. Anasazi people lived here thousands of years ago and you can still see their homes built in the cliffs. Itís amazing how they got up there. Itís also where the Navajo were chased and starved out of at the end of the Indian Wars.

We were in & out of view points and going very slowly so decided to do the Arizona thing and leave our helmets off. What bliss!! Felt very naughty though.

Monument Valley

Bike.....

Monument Valley. You've seen the view so many times its weird to think you're really there. But there we were. The dirt road through the valley looked OK so we decided to give it a go. I was hopeless, grabbing R every time the bike moved. I decided not to look at the road on the way back so I couldn't see what was coming, it was much better. There were lots of cars on the way back as it was nearly sunset. One came to a virtual stop on a hill in front of us, just when we needed to go for it. We ended up stuck in deep sand so I had to get off and let R do his thing. A bit of wheel spinning and lots of dust and he was out. We made it out just in time for the sunset.

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