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 Trip Reports
 66 @ 66
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Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
762 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 06/23/2022 :  2:58 PM                       Like
Here we go... I started to write a play by play and describe all the events and experiences we had, then I realized that 1) it was too extensive, and 2) this ride was more than about the diners, gas stations and old motels that we saw. As I went through all the pictures we took I realized that Route 66, as a road, is not much different than many of the country/back roads that I ride all the time. Had I not had the label of Route 66, this road was just more of the same scenery I ride for.

But there is one difference. As soon as you get on it - not I-40 but the real Mother Road - there is a feeling that comes over you. It's so hard to explain, but it was almost overwhelming. Somehow the road felt different. There was a history, a story you could feel - not all of it good, but it was the real deal.

On the actual Route itself we rode through the following towns: El Reno, Bridgeport, Hydro, Weatherford, Clinton, Foss, Canute, Elk City, Sayre, Hext, Erick, Texola, Shamrock, Long Dry Creek, McLean, Alanreed, Groom, Panhandle, Amarillo, Bushland, Wildorado, Vega, Adrian, Glen Rio, San Jon, Cedar Hill, Quay and Tucumcari.

A lot of these towns are bypassed by the interstate, so they are remnants. 50-80% boarded up and closed businesses. But there are people still living there - and they are the nicest folks I've come across in a long time. We met one guy - he said he was 95 years old - who said he lived there his entire life. We stood there and talked for a good 20 minutes. He survived the Dust Bowl, and the Great California Migration. He said they farm. That's all - just farm. Farm for food and now wind farms.

Some of these towns are just ghost towns. There's nobody there - just collapsing old buildings, and sign remnants where you could sort of make out this cafe or that gas station. And many old abandoned homes. And an old, tired and worn Route. I couldn't help but wonder if these people left because of the dust, or the Interstate.

On the route we followed I tried to keep us on the old original Route, where it still existed. There's a lot of it still there - and even some areas with the original pavement. Most of the original pavement parts were chopped off by the Interstate crossing it, and it just stopped on one side and continued on the other side. It was challenging to map it and challenging to stay on the old road, but we did it.

Edited by - Mikeydude on 06/24/2022 11:14 AM

Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
762 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 06/24/2022 :  11:44 AM
Now- as for the report... We left Ft Worth and it was expected to be HOT. Mid to upper 90s. That was my main concern. We managed to stay just ahead of the heat. It was hot, but not as hot as it was to our south. I made it a point to make lots of stops, and the Camelbaks were a huge benefit. I drank at least 4 liters on the way up. We filled them with ice and they kept a cold spot in the middle of our backs. Not super cooling, but it all helps, right? I was concerned that heat and fatigue would be an issue for me at my age and medical status, but I felt great!

When I mapped out this route I called the gas stations at the planned refueling points to make sure they had Premium gas. I have come across some that only sell regular (83) or mid-grade (89). My scoot calls for at least 92. The word Premium means different things to those people in Oklahoma. They sell non-ethanol gas, and they call that premium. So there were a few times where I had to go hunting for "high octane" gas. Something I didn't think much about til then.

The weather forecasts called for hot and dry along the entire route, but James advised me that he has always gotten rained on, even when it wasn't supposed to. Well it rained over night. A real gully washer. We didn't get a drop on us during the ride, but it rained--- a lot.

As I mentioned, we were riding the Old Road, not the Interstate, and it follows the terrain. It curves and moves with the land where the Interstate just cuts straight through. By the time we left El Reno the 2nd morning - after the massive storm that rained, hailed and even had a tornado - the roads were dry, and it was very cool. Extra shirt cool. As we were tooling along, one long section of the road was over rolling hills. And at the bottom of every one of these hills was a low water crossing. There was so much rain that these crossings had flooded during the night. They were dry enough now except for a layer of that slick gooey red mud. Dangerous stuff. Extremely slippery. So we had to slow way down and be extra careful. It was a non-issue, because of the tactics I've learned here, but it could have been a real disaster. We eventually made it through to more stable terrain and it was all good.

Point is - expect the unexpected.

Edited by - Mikeydude on 06/28/2022 1:10 PM
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Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
762 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 06/28/2022 :  1:09 PM
Almost every town we went through had some old attraction. Canute has a giant suit of armor holding it's Route 66 sign. Mclean has the first Philips 66 in Texas, and the remnants of the Graham Hotel. There were tons of old, restored or partially restored filling stations. There were also a lot of old dead filling stations. You can tell from the shape of the buildings what they were. Same with some old diners, and the many motels. It would have been really neat to see it when it was still alive.

A couple of the towns had made a decision to embrace the Route 66 legacy... Like Shamrock, Texas. They had a few old motels that were still operating, and they have the U-Drop Inn, which used to be The Tower Inn and Gas (Elvis ate here - lol). This is extremely cool. It was used in the movie Cars as Ramones. At night it's all lit up with neon, just like the old days. Quite a sight. And the people are so nice. The owner saw we were taking pictures of all the lights and he turned on the interior lights for a better view.

And Tucumcari, New Mexico. They have many motels and restaraunts from the old days, and they light up the night with all the neon.

When we got up the morning when we stayed in Shamrock there were severe storms on the way again. 35 miles north of town was the crossroads that were in the movie Castaway, with Tom Hanks. It was on my agenda to go there and take some pics. I mean, we're that close - we have to, right? It was a gamble, but I took it anyway. We were headed straight into the storms so it was a race to see if we could get there and get back before we got hit. Turns out the storms were headed diagonally towards the area and only grazed the eastern part of town. We made it and didn't get a single drop.

The toughest part of this entire trip was remaining flexible. There were things we wanted to experience, but situations didn't allow it simply because we were on the bike. But we still accomplished most of what we wanted without compromising our safety. Another James wisdom.

Edited by - Mikeydude on 06/30/2022 11:01 AM
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Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
762 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 06/30/2022 :  10:51 AM
Well - here's the big take away... At my age and condition, as long as I take care of myself along the ride, and prepare myself for the ride, it's do-able. This ride was everything I hoped it would be. Except that it ended way too soon.

James warned me there would be rain, and there was rain - even though we never felt a drop... lol, it sure messed with the roads. And even though we made direction maps it was still important to have GPS with us... just in case.

There was a single bad experience on the entire trip. It was with a motel owner that had a problem with bikers. He ultimately asked us to leave and escorted us off of the property. This was all over a parking spot of all things. We stayed at a different motel and saved $40 in the process.

But we met so many really cool people from all over the world. There was a guy from Sweden riding with a guy from Dallas. We met a couple that were traveling the entire route... She was from Dallas, he was from England. We kept bumping into them in different towns. Very memorable people. And there was the guy traveling with his daughter. He rides 66 every year - with a different daughter. They are from Los Angeles. Then the old farmer, the old rancher in the steak-house, the Native-American woman that owned the tiny gas station... They were all great.

We left a gas station and rode about 100 miles, and Pam realized she left her wallet at that stop. We called them and a sweet lady named Saraih found it, boxed it up and mailed it to us. She went out of her way to do something that nice. And there was the biker club that was stopped at a gas station in the heat... They invited us to hang out in the beer cooler with them. Great idea!!! So was putting our helmets in the ice coolers when we stopped. Whoever came up with that in the tips needs a raise!

The Camelbaks were so important, especially on the way home. We hit the extreme temperatures then. We went through Crowell - the Evening News said it was 110 degrees there that day. Whoa - I was willing to cancel if the temps were going to be over 93? The Texas roads were flat and miles and miles of nothing. No trees anywhere to even stop and grab some shade. But it really wasn't that terrible with the ice bags on our backs.

We accomplished everything we set out to do with the exception of 17 miles of original roadway. On Google Maps the Street View did not map that section, so the only view we had of the roadway was from satellite, and it looked like a lot of dirt. It had rained the night before and I was concerned about getting several miles into the road and hitting impassible mud and having to turn around. This was in Glen Rio... a Ghost Town. We elected to follow I-40 for that section. Better safe than sorry.

The only "break down" was when I lost a turn signal lens somewhere. I think it wanted to stay in New Mexico more than come back to Texas.

I hope you can get some insight to the things we had to overcome and find a lesson from our travels. If it were not for this site and the wisdom of the people here there could have been issues. I give my thanks for all I've learned here.

Now - Please stand by for the next adventure. We are planning a shorter expedition - this time to San Antonio... The plan is to visit China Grove (Doobie Bros) and La Grange (ZZ Top)... I found the location of the original Chicken Ranch too - PHOTO OP!!! Then we plan to stop by the gas station from the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre and have some BBQ. They have cabins there now so it would be cool to stay over one night.

Thanks you guy!!!

Edited by - Mikeydude on 06/30/2022 10:58 AM
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Eagle Six
Junior Member
52 Posts


Snowflake, Arizona
USA

Kawasaki

ZX14R

Posted - 07/01/2022 :  9:59 AM
Thank You for the ride report Mikey, it was enjoyable to read and good to hear your adventure was safe and you returned with a bunch of great memories.

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