We had intended to leave on Tuesday the 22 but were delayed to Wednesday, so we decided to go all the way to Laughlin in one day. That's a long ride, 700 miles, and if Hwy 50 is the loneliest highway in America, Hwy 5 may be the dullest. We left home in a slight rain and the ride was quite cool to Bakersfield.
My parents grew up in Bakersfield so I feel an attachment to the place, besides there's a real hot rod and motorcycle culture in the town. We cut through Bakersfield and up over the Tehachapi Grade, where we picked up a tailwind. Maybe it's just the pessimest in me but how often do you get a real tailwind? We did 85 mph and still got 50 miles to the gallon.
When we got to Ludlow, even though we were getting tired, we took the old Route 66 road. It turned out to be the best choice we could have made. The road goes through the towns of Siberia, Bagdad, Amboy, Chambless, Summit and Essex. They are all gone except Amboy where there is a gas station.
While riding down the old highway my mind wandered back to my childhood, my Dad had a '55 Olds, Rocket 88 and we were heading to Needles on the old Route 66, he passed the last chance gas and ran out of gas about 8 miles out. We were traveling at night to avoid the heat. My mother was mad at him for passing the last gas station, but probably madder when he put the car in neutral and coasted all the way into town. Then cool as could be, he coasted past the first gas station. My mom, watching the gas station going by, got excited all over again but my Dad said, "I'm going for stamps." He coasted up to a pump in a station that gave S&H Green Stamps. Cool as it gets.
Marie and I got into Laughlin just after 10pm and stayed just across the river with our friends Sherrie and Gary.
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllkkkkkkkkSpeed nine zero!