Two thousand seven hundred and eighty seven miles from the start in Chicago thirteen days ago, I today reached the end of Route 66. It has been an amazing journey, not only for the people I’ve met and the places, and sights, I’ve seen, but also emotionally. Simone and I had planned to do this journey together, and now I’ve finished it alone for both of us. Tomorrow (probably today now in the UK) would have been our thirtieth wedding anniversary and I have to confess to having tears running down my cheeks as I write this. I wouldn’t have missed this journey for the world , but I wish we could have done it together. As it is Simone has been with me in spirit all the way. I’m very sad in a way that this part of my journey is over.
It’s been a day of long miles across arid and featureless desert (made more so by the mist!). I made an early start in an effort to get ahead of the heat. As I got on the bike shortly before 7 am the temperature was already around 90F (32C). once out of Needles and heading into the desert I noticed that it was misty, and as I rode into the mist the temperature dropped to below 80F (27C)
This will be a short blog today as there’s not too much I can say in words about my day. I visited the Grand Canyon as a side trip from Route 66. About all I can say about it is it’s big, really big, I mean bigger than the next big hole in the ground. Really! Also it’s visually stunning and deep, very very deep. I’ll let the pictures tell the story on this one I think (by the way, no captions as I can’t think of that many ways of saying “A view of the Grand Canyon”!)
I had a late start from Holbrook and did a quick tour of the town first to take some pics. My route today is mostly on the Interstate with a few quick trips off for short stretches. On one of them I did a trip up a dead end spur of the old road. It was quite depressing seeing all the closed businesses and then come to the end of the tarmac and see the old road become a dirt track
Route 66 is famous for its neon signs, I’ve not really been in a position to capture them in all their glory until tonight, so here’s a few pictures to show you an example of what neon is like on Route 66.
Today has been a little different from the rest as I took some time out of my riding schedule to visit the Santo Domingo Pueblo. I’m so glad I did so. I had such a warm and friendly welcome from everyone. Everyone I passed in the street asked how I was and most asked if they could help me. Drivers of passing cars waved and when I found the library I met Cindy, (if it’s Sindy I apologise, I only heard her name, so am not sure of the spelling, but I’ll use Cindy here) she is the the Tribal librarian. I spent about 40 minutes talking to her about the tribe; their history, current activities, way of life and hopes for the future. I don’t have any pictures of my visit because the taking of pictures (or even sketching) is against the tribe’s beliefs and I respected that. I hope I can therefore paint a picture in words for you.
As I have a little free time this morning I thought I’d upload some of the car pics from the museum I visited yesterday for any car fans reading. Skip this if cars leave you cold!
It’s been a very pleasant day on the road. I’d initially planned to get to Santa Rosa (about 140 miles), but as the road was running across desert and there were many miles be3tween stops I covered ground quickly and pressed on. At Santa Rosa I had to make a decision – Should I follow the later alignment, or take the, older, Santa Fe loop? The later alignment mostly follows, or is on I40 and I have been longing to visit the Santa Domingo Pueblo (http://www.indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/santodomingo.html) which is off the older alignment between Santa Fe and Albaquerque. As I’m ahead of schedule it’s a foregone conclusion and so now, after around 260 miles of riding I’m in Santa Fe, New Mexico on the pre 1937 alignment.
Not a lot of words to say here. Just how sad it is to see these monuments to the Mother Road brought to their knees. These are the pics of the abandoned businesses that I said I would post in the ‘Half Way!’ post. No captions, the pics say it all. You don;t need to know where that all are, however many are from one place: Conway.