By noon on the 29th, we had reached ‘Orick’ California overwhelmed by the magnificent Pacific Coast Highway beaches, small ocean communities and redwood forests. We fuelled up in Arcata and headed East on Route 299 to Redding. The Harley Davidson Owners Touring Handbook really knows the roads and routes for comfort and spectacular geography. Darkness falls early South of 60 and we were warned about wildlife on the highway but our choices for accommodation were a half hour back or an hour and a half ahead to Susanville Route 56, so no choice there and we arrived at 10:30 pm to a welcoming accommodation and covered parking for our bikes.
On the 30th out of Susanville, we would miss Truckee, run the Reno Bypass and take the Alt 95 to Hawthorne, Nevada where we definitely found the open dessert. Tonopah took us on to our Mount Charleston Lodge destination by dinner and we decided to stay two nights on the Mountain, as our Las Vegas home. The riding on the Mountain was a delight and the Lodge at the top a great dining experience. 30 degrees Celsius and expansive open roads feel pretty good! Enough said about Las Vegas and yes, we left up $100 bucks, compliments of The Mint in Old Town.
At noon on May 3rd we were in Kingman Arizona and had already managed a bike service in Henderson. The service was out of this world and the ‘T’ Shirts are stacking up. By 5:00 pm we were approaching William Arizona and pulled off to the Best Western for the night. We could tell that we were in Cowboy Country and with two different day plans, we stayed in William 2 nights.
The 4th was spent roughing 40-60 km/hr winds to and from the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful and the Parks facilities, arts & crafts were definitely a must see in Arizona.
May 5th, I decided to walk the mile and a half to Williams in the morning and spent an amazing day with the very friendly locals. Had a fabulous lunch at the ‘Red Raven’ and met ‘Trucker’ Norm who introduced me to the area, relived his history with truck and car engine customizing, took and introduced me to Jay Red Feather a holster and chaps craftsman and generally made me feel like a royal guest. I picked up a gorgeous western leather jacket and a Navaho Silver & Turquoise Buckle.
The other five drove back 3 hours to the Glass Walk on the Grand Canyon. They suffered the dirt road off Route 40 and spent a delightful and exciting few hours. They raved about the spectacular geography, colours and dramatic canyons and said they wouldn’t have missed it, if it had been days back. William exemplifies a combination of Old Western Town and Route 66 memorabilia. What a hoot seeing the original neon stations, Coca Cola Soda Shops, ‘vintage’ 60’s vehicles, Wild West bar, shops and movie set style architecture. No traffic, easy parking and quality locally made finds. Williams was a highlight for all of us and don’t forget to say hello to Highway Cowboy Norm, if you see him. He will welcome you and give you a piece of the past.
The 6th of May took us to the ever growing megopolis of Sedona and we encountered bumper to bumper traffic, not even a parking spot for a motorbike and no room at the Western Bar Diner. After being directed to underground public parking, we found one space for all four bikes. When we left, I had my first experience with a steep exit ramp to blocked traffic no access and learned more about not backing into the vehicle behind and jack rabbiting into a traffic opening on the Main Street. Not our favourite biker ride for sure.
Soooooo, where to go? Jerome, about a half hour on Route 89 SW of Sedona. This old mining town turned hippi/artisan/biker haven welcomed us with a winding mountain access (25km/hr) to shops, ice cream, bar/music and dancing. If you go, take a look at the shop with kaleidoscopes!!! Yes, we found a chopper (photo attached). The 6th of May proved another winner!
The 7th is Homeward Bound Day from our Best Western lodging in Sedona. By noon, we were in Page and leaving Nevada for Utah on Harley Tour Route 89 to Nephi. Route 15 through Salt Lake City is a cosmopolitan freeway and we were proud of ourselves for arriving in Ogden by 10:30 pm. Yes, another Harley Dealership to peruse.
May 8th, we are already on Idaho Route 15 at Logan by Noon and stopped for the night in Dillon Montana. We arrived around 7 pm and were advised to have dinner at the Klondike Restaurant Casino in Town. The Klondike? How appropriate! The owners Art & Kim Adams welcomed us like long lost friends. They were delighted to have their first ‘Real’ Klondike guests for supper. Luckily I had some Yukon Klondike Pins & Maps and they were ecstatic. A round on the house, group photos and they will send us hats with ‘Klondike Bar, Casino and Restaurant’ Dillon Montana to sport in the Yukon . What a hoot! It was another jewel in our Tour Necklace.
The 9th already and we are heading for Butte, Helena and Route 287 to 89 into Alberta Canada. We stopped in Lethbridge to service one of the newer bikes, then our group split. Again, the service of champions including a AAA scratch repair. No one would know.
Our friends took the spectacular National Park Route 93 through Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper Route 16 to Prince George and 97 to Dawson Creek Mile 0 on the Alaska Highway arriving home on the 13th. We left Lethbridge Route 2 to Edmonton direct, West on 16 to Dawson Creek and arrived home noon on the 12th May, 2007
Unbelievable and indescribable 10,000 kms.
Provided by Sue Greetham, 867 660-4106