Day Sixty-Two

Seligman, AZ to Truxton, AZ

I had a hard time getting out of bed today. The heat didn't work in my room, so I wanted to stay under the covers. When I finally got up, I tried to heat the room by turning on the shower. It helped, until the steam set off the smoke alarm. At least the ceiling was low enough that I could easily pull out the battery while standing on a chair.

On the way out of Seligman, I stopped to take a few pictures. I waved to a couple of touring cyclists who were riding a block north of Route 66. It was amazing that I had seen three cyclotourists in just 20 miles of Route 66. I got off to a good start heading out of Seligman, even though I had to climb a bit to 5,400 feet west of town. Just as I remembered, the road was wide and fairly smooth. At this rate, I could ride all the way to Kingman in one day. There was only one thing stopping me. Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman was shaped like an arch, heading northwest to Peach Springs, then southwest to Kingman. That wouldn't be a big deal, except that the afternoon winds were predicted to gust to 45 mph... from the southwest. However, I did have an alternate plan, especially since it was a longish 85 miles to Kingman. There was supposed to be a motel in Truxton, 45 miles down the road on the downside of the arch.

Anyway, I was moving along at 16-18 mph for the first hour. As I was sort of lazily " dogging it" up a hill, I heard bicycles behind me. Sure enough, it was the two guys I had seen in Seligman. John and Erick were from around San Bernardino. They were riding Route 66 from Flagstaff to San Bernardino on a weeklong trip. Meeting them invigorated me, and I picked up my pace. We rode together for several miles, and John recommended a good route for me from Barstow to the Pacific coast. It was fun riding with someone for a change--these were the first people I rode with on my entire trip.  We rode past Grand Canyon Caverns together, but a couple hills later, I started to lag behind. After all, they were traveling much lighter than I was (they had clamp-on seatpost racks with small panniers).

After a few more hills, I came to a 6% downhill and plunged down into Peach Springs, home of the tribal offices of the Hualapai Indian Reservation. The relatively new Hualapai Lodge was right on Route 66. I stopped to call ahead and make sure the Frontier Motel & Cafe in Truxton was still open and had a room available. I dialed, the phone rang a few times, then picked up... it was  a fax machine. I had a bad feeling that this meant that the motel had closed and the number had been reassigned. It was decision time. I could ask if the Hualapai Lodge had a vacancy, or I could continue 45 miles to Kingman. I chose Kingman.

It was seven miles to Truxton. I headed southwest into the wind, but it was mostly downhill. I passed a new Indian  school, then I left the reservation. Truxton was visible at the bottom of another hill. As I came into town, I saw that the Frontier Cafe was open. In fact, I saw the familiar bicycles of John and Erick leaned against the wall! As I walked in, they were just getting up from their table after  lunch. John mumbled to me that he had eaten several good meals on this trip, but the one he had just had was not one of them. However, it was the only restaurant in town. Erick said that I had made good time, and we discussed whether I would continue to Kingman or stay in Truxton. I noted that it was 1:30, meaning there were 5-1/2 hours of daylight left. John said he figured four hours in the worst case to cover the remaining forty miles to Kingman. I wished I could agree, but experience told me that with strong headwinds I was unlikely to do better than 8 mph. My panniers would catch too much wind. I wasn't sure if I could make it before sunset or not, especially if I stopped to eat lunch. The woman running the place didn't seem to be in any hurry, but that was understandable since she had been trying to sell the place for several years. When she finally came out, John and Erick paid her and said goodbye to me.

I found out that a room was available, and it was only $25, tax included. I decided that I'd much rather face 40 windy miles tomorrow, especially since the wind was usually lighter in the morning. I made up my mind to stay in Truxton. After I ordered a grilled ham & cheese sandwich, I decided to go out and move my bike into the spot that John and Erick had occupied. It was really just an excuse to go get a book to read while I waited for my lunch.

Erick said that he had tried to lift my bike just to see how heavy it was, and that he was surprised that he could barely budge it. I laughed and explained that the " lift test" was how I gauged my strength at the end of the  day. Some days I can just grab onto the rear rack and the handlebars and lift the whole thing  up over a curb. On the not-so-good days, I lift the front and back separately. Erick showed me his 1990 Colnago with its downtube shifters.

It was good that I got a book because I waited a long time for my food. I looked up to see a plate waiting for me at the kitchen pass-through, but it didn't look right. Sure enough, the waitress said, " I gave away your sandwich, so you can have this." There was a bacon cheeseburger on the plate, so I accepted (from her tone, I'm not sure if I had a choice). It was a pretty good burger, not as good as the one I ate last night at the Copper Cart, but it had lots of bacon. She only charged me for the sandwich, so I got a deal, too.

When I registered for my room, I asked how late the restaurant was open. " Actually, it's closing right now," she said. She added that there was a grocery down the street and a lounge across the road. I rolled my bike across the parking lot to my room. The room was pretty nice overall. The furnishings were dated and amenities sparse, but it was clean. There was no phone so I couldn't go online, and the TV had only a few UHF channels. Amazingly, the room had two twin beds. I couldn't remember the last time I saw a room with anything less than a full bed. When I sat on the bed, I sank into a hole as the ends curved up around me. But at least the heater worked!

I'm ashamed to say it, but I watched a  few minutes of the Jerry Springer show (no, I did not end my day early just to watch Jerry Springer). The most shocking thing I saw was on the credits--the first name listed under " Security" was " Dave Johnsen." Yes, it was spelled just like my name.

For dinner, I walked down to the mini-mart. The clerk was friendly and entertaining. I microwaved a small  pepperoni pizza for dinner. Predictably, it wasn't too good, but I wasn't expecting haute cuisine. The best thing I saw was Schwann's ice cream sandwiches. I had been seeing Schwann's trucks for weeks, but this was the first store I found that sold their ice cream.

Totals for the day: 46.88 miles in 3:37:50 for a 12.9 mph average.

Click here to see today's photos.

Copyright 2002-2013 David Johnsen. All rights reserved.