Bicycle Apocolypse

I decided to attempt to use Google Maps to create a path to Colorado. I’m going to visit my dad in Clifton. I thought it might be a chance to scout some routes, in case I want to ride this way by bicycle. I got a little, well maybe a lot, off track North and East of Brawley in California.

Now I know what they mean when they say “beta”.

First  Warning

First Warning

I ought have know when the track goes from paved to graded, that I should be consulting another source. But, I have misplaced faith, and I soldier on.

End of the Road?

End of the Road?

I’m still following the Google path and I expect this will lead to another paved road. When I’m wrong, I’m really wrong.

Slab City

Slab City

I find myself in Slab City. This is a haven for squatters and looks like some post-apocalyptic landscape. I see cars that look like something from Mad Max and shelters built underground.  No rules, no rent, no water, no electricity, no sewers. Lot’s of freedom but not much else.

Shoes for Industry

Shoes for Industry

I don’t think I’ve seen a place more destitute. So what do you do for entertainment? Make a shoe tree of course!

Jesus would cover this mountain in concrete if he were here.

Jesus would cover this mountain in concrete if he were here.

Or you could cover a hillside with concrete and and pay homage to your god. Seems like such an odd creation to me.

Is this the end of the world?

Is this the end of the world?

I drive on this dirt road expecting to turn right onto the pavement at any moment, just over the next rise. Then, on this dirt road and I find this sign. Hardly a trace of Burley Circle on the landscape, but the sign is here.

Maybe I should turn back !

Maybe I should turn back !

About now I start looking for a route out. I know generally where I am, but it’s not where I want to be. It must be an adventure, I’m wishing I was somewhere else about now.

Eventually I made my way out to Indio and got onto Interstate 10 going east. I headed North in Arizona at Ehrenberg. I followed Arizona 1 north to meet Interstate 40 just north of Lake Havasu, I continued on Old Route 66 until I noticed I was getting low on gas.

The next place I tried to turn into, just closed up. Fate would bring me back. I decided to keep driving a few more miles. I ended up on the Hualapai Indian Reservation at Peach Springs.

I thought I would try to get a room. I saw no one in the lobby and decided that the place was probably closed for the night. So I drove across the street to the Park and slept as best I could in the car.

About 5:00 AM, I noticed people coming to the Hotel. I drove across and asked the desk attendant about getting gas. She directed me back toward Kingman about 5 miles and added that the store didn’t open until 7:00, almost two hours.   I decided to drive down and wait at the gate. It turned out to be a good move.

It was the same store I tried to stop at the night before. It opened at 6:00 and I was on my way by 6:15.

Sunrise East of Peach Springs

Sunrise East of Peach Springs

I’m now driving east on Old Route 66. I’m imagining myself riding my bike. I hardly ever see another vehicle for miles at a time. I keep looking for route 66 once I get thorough Seligman and have some success and lose it a few times. Parts of the old rode seem to have been disappeared. I’m beginning to appreciate what it takes to write a guide and to map an area.

Williams Arizona

Williams Arizona

I’m still trying to get back on track with the Google Map when I can. It’s kind of a lost cause. I look for signs pointing to Old Route 66. Eventually I end up in Flagstaff.

Absolute Bikes Flagstaff

Absolute Bikes Flagstaff

Sometime during the day I realize that I’m missing my bike mirror. I only have three, but I forgot to bring even one. So now I have an excuse to go into bike shops like Absolute Bikes in Flagstaff. Like I really need a reason to visit a bike shop.

 

Locomotive
Locomotive

When I leave the store I look across the road, and there’s a Locomotive and small museum. I decide to keep moving and drive north toward Cameron.

 

North from Flagstaff

North from Flagstaff

From  near Cameron I turned east across the massive Navajo reservation.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

I cross Monument Valley, though Tuba City and then to Kayenta. In Kayenta I headed north toward Mexican Hat.

Red Rocks near Moab

Red Rocks near Moab

Then north through Eastern Utah to I-70 just east of the Colorado border I shot this double rainbow. I didn’t expect it to show at all.

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow

Then I drove on to Grand Junction and  then Clifton. I definitely had an adventure getting here.

Next … real bicycle adventures. 🙂

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