Sunday, January 27, 2008

Route 66 and a Snow Storm

We had a good steak dinner after arriving at our friend's house, slept in a comfy bed, and took a long hot shower. There was a little blue peaking out from the clouds when we looked outside. Let’s ride!

We decided to double back and pick up the rest of route 66 that we missed yesterday because of the time crunch and taking the Interstate. State route 180 is just out of the subdivision so we were off and on our way. It was a nice morning, cold, but mostly sunny. The pine forest was pretty, and there was almost no wind. At the junction with 64, we turned west. This is marked as a scenic route, but really 180 had a lot more to look at. We stopped at a roadside tourist stop complete with teepees and took pictures. We talked to the people there for a few minutes about a motorcycle trip the man almost took as a college student, backed out of, and has regretted missing ever since. We told him it isn't too late to live that dream, but I think life has drained his spirit of adventure. It's too bad because it could be regained if he would just get started on a trip.

So, back on the road. First it got a bit windy. Hmmm. Then it started to snow. HMMM. Then the snow started to fall so heavily I had to wipe it off my visor every few seconds. It completely covered the motorcycle windshield. Fortunately, we turned another corner and the snow turned back to rain, then stopped and the sun came out. After a gas stop and food we finally made it back to route 66 in the early afternoon. And everything came together. The wind died down to almost nothing, the sun came out bright, and we were riding route 66 with all its history. We went all the way back to Kingman before turning around and coming back. At Seligman we turned back toward the interstate. We figured if we did 75 or 80 we could be back in time to do a little shopping, and maybe explore Flagstaff before it got dark.

On the pass just outside Williams, AZ my husband pulled me over and commented that the clouds looked pretty threatening, and asked if I wanted to put on my waterproof gear. I decided not to, I figured if we just rode hard we may get a little cold and wet, but nothing we couldn't handle. Then the snow started again. This time for real. We’d ridden in snow a few times on the trip, but this was different. This was blinding snow. This was snow that had trucks and cars pulling of the road. Snow that stuck to the road. Snow that caused a cop car to slide into the ditch. I slowed down to 55 and just focused on staying in the tracks of the truck in front of me.

In retrospect, had I had winter gloves with me and had I agreed to stop and put on Frog Togs, it wouldn’t have been as bad. As it was, my left hand got soaked through from scraping snow from my visor, and one of the few cars going faster than we were, passed me flinging slush everywhere and soaked my crotch. Getting hit there with ice water gives you a shock you won’t soon forget! YIKES! But, all is well that ends well. We made it home safe, with 340 odd miles on the day and some great memories and stories.

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