Am late up this morning and by the time I’ve packed the bike I feel I’ve had enough.. Vegas was really worth the visit and I’m very glad I stayed the extra day… However it is just rampant consumerism and totally money driven. The only ‘cultural’ venue I’ve seen is the Mob Museum, I’m sure there are more but I haven’t really looked into it. I decide to get on the road so miss out the Venetian casino.
I do take a couple of photos of other landmarks, such as the Palms and Flamingo Casinos that are on the new strip but have been there for many, many years
But, then it’s back on the road, interstate to join Route 66, again at Barstow, California by way of the dreaded ‘Death Valley’. It is already into the late 90’s on the roads so even at 75-80mph the wind is roasting. As I get nearer to Death Valley the temperature is increasing so am stopping regularly to take on water. I pull off the interstate to get petrol and there is an enormous casino right next door. I have quite a long stop here for refreshment too, luckily I manage to get the bike under some shade.
I cross the state line into Californyiay… No chance for a phottie as it’s a bridge crossing the Colorado river, so its No No Nevada, Hi there California.
Eventually I ride into Baker, gateway to Death Valley… apparently…
I am riding through when suddenly there is a very loud whoop whoop behind me… Yep it’s the California Highway Patrol… Shit I’m being stopped by a copper… Bloody hell!!
I pull over and the loud speaker rasps at me… ‘Move forward’- I’m a bit confused, (in the UK cops don’t bark at you through a loud speaker on their car, they bark in your face), he repeats louder… ‘Move forward’.. So I pull the bike further up the road. I get off the bike pretty sharpish, he says
“Did you not see the flashing red light you just blew through?”
“Oh, I thought if it was flashing and nothing else was coming it was ok to go through”
“No, it’s red, you have to come to a stop then go through… Drivers license and vehikal documents”
I get the paperwork and he asks me several questions about what I am doing in the States.. He then says…
“Wait by your bike, I’m just going to deal with the other vehicle that followed you through the light”
Oh I didn’t see the large car parked behind his, there is a woman driver who is waiting patiently for the cop to see her… I mean they shoot you here if you’re not careful.
I am standing dutifully in the blazing sun waiting for him to come back… He talks to the woman and then gets in his car and is working on his computer. I take a chance and move a few feet away from the spot I have been rooted to into some shade… Ahhh that’s better. After about 10 minutes he comes back to me and gives me my citation, (ticket), just when I thought I might get away with it. I have to ring the court on the ticket a few days before I return to the UK to find out how much fine I have to pay… 😝
Now I know this is weird, but I’m quite pleased it happened as it feels a bit like if you’re gonna get pulled over by a copper best one is a CHiP..even if he wasn’t on a motorcycle, and all part of the adventure.
Next is Death Valley and it looks like it’s about 111 degrees… gulp! 🔥🔥🔥
I’m riding waiting for Death Valley to come along…. I expect there is a big sign saying Danger – Death here!! or something, but nothing, so I’m not entirely sure if I am actually in it or not; it’s certainly hot enough though. I have to stop several times to drink water and just have a short break. I guess this must be it…
You can also see how windy it is…. very tiring all round.
I stop for petrol and spot a sign for Calico Ghost Town… mmmm worth a look…
It closes in 15 minutes so I don’t bother as there is a fee to go in.
I rejoin 66 at Barstow, nothing much of note here… surprisingly, but soon I come upon the ‘world’ famous Elmers Bottle Tree Ranch. I almost miss it, but do stop and take a look around.
Another example of the 66 spirit, just like the cadillac ranch, someone, obviously Elmer, decided to collect bottles, as you do. There was no sign of Elmer so I just took a look around and some photos.
Next stop is at a shop to get more water and, yet again, very friendly people. The woman behind the counter tells me I’m lucky not to have ridden through last month when it was in the 130’s. She also tells me that once I get down the bottom of the ‘hill’ I will notice a remarkable difference in the temperature, it should drop to around 80 degrees all the way into LA… sounds good to me.
She was right, the difference is quite remarkable and so much more pleasant to ride in. Now I am almost at the end of Route 66 and enter San Bernadino where the route takes a sharp right. It is now dark and I am exhausted again. I also want to enjoy riding the final miles along CA66 into LA, on to Santa Monica Boulevard until it ends at the pacific. I decide to stop at Rialto and get a bed for the night.