Tag Archives: Amarillo

Santa Rosa to Amarillo, Monday, 13 August 2012, Day 70

Route 66 or whats left of it

I am not sure what time I got up as I am still a bit confused on the time zones and for me currently it does not really matter. Well actually it does I missed McDonald’s Egg McMuffin by 10 minutes so not a great start to the day. I am desperately looking for inspirations or something to get excited about so after failing at breakfast I decided to go and look for the lakes I saw on the bill board that I saw yesterday so I headed of to Santa Rosa Lakes State Park. Well considering I am in the middle of desert and it has been 30 plus centigrade for the last few weeks I was not sure what I was expecting. (It was raining last night I know this because the owner of the motel was banging on my door late last night telling me if I wanted I could move my bike under cover so that it did not get wet which was nice however in the the fleapits I am staying when there someone banging on your door late at night ones does tend to crap one pants!) So here I was heading for the lakes in a desert well you guessed it was just a dried out small puddle oh well very little inspiration there or in Santa Rosa so decided to treat myself to a Denny breakfast. On the way in there was a French guy and a whole load of Harley Rider’s. He asked me about my trip and bike and I told him briefly and said goodbye as it was very hot and as I had come so far today I needed some breakfast and walked into Denny’s I could hear him recanting my story in French to all his Harley’s pals excitedly which made me feel quite cool and nonchalant all at the same time. I have been complaining about not talking or engaging with anybody and I just walked away from an audience but in my defence I needed a coffee 🙂

I finally got out of Santa Rosa at about 12am and continued to play hide and seek with Route 66. Well I was looking for excitement and today I found it I am not sure I need it in this kind of dosage but certainly got the old ticker working and it cost me a pair of underpants.

Route 66 New Mexico

I had turned of the freeway trying to find the illusive route 66. On my GPS is said you are now travelling on historical route 66 no road showing however but heading east so I just kept rolling. All of sudden the road turned from tarmac to dirt track. Hammered on the brakes as soon as I spotted this to wash of as much speed off before I hit the dirt the ABS was going into overtime. So down to a slower pace the road is dirt but hard and compact with the odd sharp rocks so decide to continue my pace picking up as you know this fella has done the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle so this bit of dirt no problem. Getting braver and getting faster and faster when all of a sudden it all goes pear shape and the bike goes all wobbly and loose under me front wheel digs in I am flying all over the place. Now in the manual it states the best way to handle a situation like this is to accelerate through it well bollocks to that I was off the throttle in no time which did not help the situation and I managed to wrestle the bike to a standstill which seem to take a long time and I was all over the road but least when it was stopped I may be in control of the bucking beast. I finally stopped and remembered to breath and then I looked down to see which of tyres was flat as I presumed I had just a big tyre blow out nope both looked fine except they where both buried in 2 to 3 inches of sand. So the hard dirt track I was following just turned into a sand road with no warning except the bike wanting to throw me off and by then it was too late. Shaking like a leaf I pulled forward and it was hard going in the soft sand every time I picked up a little speed the front wheel dug in and decided it no longer wanted to cooperated with the instructions it was getting from me so I was down to a snail’s pace confidence totally shot in the middle of who knows where no one around for miles around and this went on for a couple more miles it felt like longer then eventually the road turned back to Tarmac much to my relief. I pulled over had a pee and and just started to giggle. That was a close call to close. I keep getting let down by my off-road skills I was looking for excitement well I just got it in spades can we go back to dull ville please.

I was just 1 mile short of the Texas State line so another State to add to my ever-growing list and back on the boring I40 where I kept seeing signs for a cheap motel in Amarillo with a swimming pool which seem very tempting considering the temperature and my motocross exertions. It was early but I had lost another hour as I crossed into Texas and I had had enough for one day. One final stop before I hit Amarillo the famous Cadillac Ranch a public art installations of about 10 Cadillac half buried in a field. I had a wonder round here which was nice except for all the empty aerosols canister lying all over the field there where thousands of them. Not sure if was the original intention that they all get covered with graffiti and if was there is no need to leave the empty canister lying around spoilt it a wee bit in my view but maybe the graffiti has added something to the piece.

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo

      

      

Swimming pool here I come as it now about 40 centigrade I find the place and yes the sign says 29.95 per night but guess what when I go in and ask that rate is only if I have a sick relative staying in the hospital down the road! What a load of bollocks I had seen about 10 signs since New Mexico for this place and then they pull this kind of Bollocks so to the Executive Inn Amarillo you can eat my shorts the ones I was wearing today which you can imagine are not very pleasant. Final rant I am getting sick of huge signs saying one thing only to found out they are totally meaningless should not be allowed. So I found a place round the corner where they did honour the huge sign outside and they had a pool as well but it was tiny more like a large bath so I gave that a miss. So again I am in cheap motel on the outskirts of town tonight walked to a huge shopping mall for the Food Court for me dinner but have not seen much of Amarillo as I do want to get on the bike after a long day in the saddle but guess I will have to start doing this or it is going to be very boring through the rest of the States. I need to get some kind of plan together on what I am going to do as what I am doing it not that exciting and the only buzz I get is when I nearly hurt or kill myself so it is back to the drawing board me thinks! Good news is this blog is now up to date all I need to do is publish it.

Amarillo to Elk City, Tuesday, 14 August 2012, Day 71

Only in Texas

Todays highlight was a huge cross in a place called Groom. Well I am in Texas so I guess they had to have the biggest one! I have no idea why it’s there as I am in the middle of nowhere there where a whole load of other religious sculptures at the place to all in all very strange. It was the signage that amused me the most which said “Keep off not responsible for accidents” We know that allegedly it is the fella who’s sculpture you trying to keep folk of who is responsible for the accidents or am I missing something 🙂 Made me giggle.

Bloody Big Cross

Slow hot day I did not get out of Amarillo till after 12am as I needed to find a Suzuki dealer to replace the bolt that was missing that held me petrol tank in place. No problems easy fix but it took time to find the place and get the right bolt and you do not move to fast in this kind of heat.

Afterwards I had breakfast at a Donut place and I got chatting to an ex retired air force guy who had been stationed in the UK. It was cool in the Café and I was reluctant and get out into the heat outside and they had donuts. So I finally got going trying to track the elusive 66, which kept appearing then disappearing. Just grinding out the miles trying to find something interesting to see but not being that successful a all as all I got today was a bloody huge cross.

Route 66 Texas

The heat sucks the life out of you and it has been very windy for the last couple of days so it is like riding with someone pointing a huge hairdryer at you yes even the winds are a hot ones. So at about 5.30pm I started to look for a Motel. The first one that looked affordable was an Ex Motel 6 well I thought it was but the owner a nice catholic Indian chap  (Not sure why his religion is relevant but he wanted to be sure that I knew and there where pictures of the last supper in the reception and lots of useful quotations from the good book all over the place) he claimed it was a Motel 6 but I am not sure as the signage was decrepit and all Motel 6 logos been eliminated so it may had been in the past but I doubt if it is now. Good thing about Indian Motel owners is that they are always ready to haggle. It did not go so well but I managed to get a reduced rate but as it was just starting to rain outside I think he had me over a barrel as I was hot sweaty and tired and I did not fancy getting an external warm shower. As usual motel on the outskirts of town next to the freeway but fortunately there was a nice little Italian restaurant just across the road so spaghetti sausage and meatballs for dinner and back to the motel room for the rest of the evening who said travelling was glamorous and exciting?