5th July 2018
I don’t sleep at all and am wide awake at 5am thinking I wonder if there are any coffee shops open. I check out Google and there is one nearby that has just opened and gets very good reviews so I decide to get myself ready, pack up and take myself there, and very nice it is too. They have a great wifi connection and I’ve got lots of blogging to catch up on so I make myself comfortable. It’s 7.30am so the morning coffee crowd are streaming in getting their caffeine fix on the way to work. I keep my head down busy typing and trying to get the photos and videos to load up.
Around 10am I think it’s time to be making a move and as I look out of the window I am astonished to see it is absolutely throwing it down… I mean torrential. Oh shit, the bags aren’t covered and my leather jacket and chaps are getting wet… bugger! Well, now it’s really a Pogs Hogs Tour…. business as usual folks!
Deep, deep, joy….
Ok must be time for another coffee… buzzzzzzz
At around 12 it is still honking it down… the Arizonians are wandering about as if nothing is happening, not a raincoat or umbrella in sight!! Then it slows right down and kinda stops. I get my stuff together and by the time I get outside it is already drying out. I mean there are flash flood warnings popping up on my iPhone, but the heat just dries it right up… amazing… if only Eire was the same.
Now, you know I said I wasn’t going to mention the wind again…. well….. I join Route 66 leaving Gallup and of course it promptly turns into the i40… and the wind… tornado, I mean I just absolutely give up. I spend all my time trying to stay alive!! I am actually being serious, its been quite a long time since I was last scared on a motorcycle, but today I was shitting myself, I really thought, on more than one occasion, that I was going to come off, especially when the juggernauts were passing… the bike was just swaying from side to side. I try to get off of the interstate as quickly as possible. I am on my way to Albuquerque with a plan to stay 2 nights and get some rest. On my 2016 tour I rode through there but didn’t stop, except for a harley shop or two naturally, and wished I had stayed over so am definitely stopping this time. I do try and escape onto 66 here at Laguna,
where there is a burger bar run by the Navajo, I stopped here for something to eat in 2016.
The road runs out again and so I make the decision to stop trying to find 66 and just stay on the interstate all the way, let’s just get this journey over with ffs.
Well, obviously I made it in one piece… and just as I arrive it starts to rain, luckily I am under shelter filling up with petrol at the time so I grab a coffee and some food and watch the rain through the window of the petrol station. Yet again I am absolutely exhausted. I check out accommodation and for some unknown karmic reason I decide to try a hostel! This one is called the Mother Road Hostel and it has private rooms so I book one. It’s amazingly cheap, just $68 for 2 nights… but once I arrive I almost instantly regret it.
I am greeted by a request for a $10 damage deposit, which in itself is not a problem, I’ll get it back when I leave; however, when I am shown around the place I wonder what on earth they think is worth $10!! Sounds a bit harsh I know but wait and see..
There is a kitchen with a fridge freezer for clients use, you have to write your name on your stuff or it will go missing… oh ok. There is a 1940’s style gas cooker, a microwave and some shelving that looks as though it was put up in the depression by a drunk and are filthy. The floor leaves everything to be desired:
There is a guest lounge area that’s not too bad… very dated, it has a huge flat screen TV and loads of books.
My room is up a twisty flight of rather narrow stairs, the door doesn’t fit properly,
the windows don’t fit properly and are secured with slot bolts, or hooks
the room is small and the bed narrow, hard and the mattress is covered in a plastic protector,
I will discover that this makes me sweat like a pig in this heat.
The best is yet to come:
The facilities are shared, which is to be expected in a hostel especially at this price, but….
see what I mean!!
The shower room is a little bit better, again old and need of updating, but the water is hot.
But, they do have a huge flat screen TV… sorry but I don’t understand the mentality that says lets spend 100’s of dollars on a TV no-one is probably going to watch and still hang our toilet roll off an old bit of bent coat hanger when you can probably buy a decent one of $1…. I mean, it makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
However, the main reason I do decide to stay is the staff. Apparently they are mostly volunteers and I have to say they could not be more helpful. I was very concerned that I would not be able to get the big tail bag up the stairs or into the room, they said they would work something out, maybe a change of room although it might be the dorm… well I most definitely don’t want that!
While they are dealing with another guest I decide to make a start at unpacking the bike… as soon as I get the main bag off one of the guys, with another male guest take it straight up the stairs no problem and drop it outside my room, so that’s settled then, I’m staying.
The place does have a certain hippy dippy charm, but needs some serious investment.
I take a quick ride a few streets over to the nearest shop and purchase a few bits and bobs, especially water… it is so wonderful to ride in the evening time in just a tee shirt, no helmet enjoying the warm air.
I unpack and try to catch up some blog… of course the internet speed is crap, but what’s new! Zzzzz