Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Day Five: Christmas Eve Traffic on Historic Route 66
After gassing up in Quartzite, AZ (weirdest and largest RV community I’ve ever seen) we found ourselves passing by Parker Dam (deepest dam in the world), Davis Dam, and the many state parks that surround them.  From these sections of AZ 95 you can wave across the Colorado River to California.  I regret missing a photo opportunity of the area’s wet land scenes that are so foreign to Arizona eyes.   It’s hard sometimes to decide when to stop for a photo (which, when on motorcycle, takes longer than you’d think) and when to actually cover some distance.  That only gives me a good excuse to go back.

What next?  We happened upon a stretch of the original Route 66 (which has since been rerouted to avoid Sitgreaves Pass in the Black Hills).  This “Back Country Byway” turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.  It featured not just more stunning AZ moonscapes, but a Santa Hat wearing Ducati  Moto Strada rider (?!) and some decorated creosote bushes.

Christmas in the desert.

Half way between Topock and Kingman we ran into this traffic jam in Oatman, AZ.  What a mess!

A closer look at this town's inhabitants.

It was easy to see why Route 66 was realigned to avoid Sitgreaves Pass in the Black Hills.  This road, rightly feared in earlier days, is as steep, narrow and twisty as you could hope for, and, on the day we traversed it, covered in generous heaps of treacherous gravel thanks to those recent news making rains that we had avoided earlier.  We were shamefully schooled by a FedEx delivery van hurrying through its Christmas Eve day deliveries.  Ouch.  That hurts the ego.

Tired, hungry and very, very cold, we reached Vegas Bay Campground at Lake Mead National Recreation Area well after dark.  Dining options?  It’s true, Chinese restaurants are open (and crowded) on Christmas Eve!


Ken said...

Nice RR!
Sitgreaves Pass is one I haven't heard of....I need to put it on my list!

Eating On Two Wheels said...

"The list" never gets any shorter, does it? It's like dragons teeth, only better.