Featured Touring Rally Or Not, Here We Come, Las Vegas!

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by Sandi T, Oct 7, 2021.

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  1. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    This hitchhiker may be waiting quite awhile for a ride since the Las Vegas Bike Fest that was to be held this fall didn't happen. :( Mr. Sandi and I and our friend, RT, had planned on attending the rally and had reservations all set up. When we learned that the event is in the process of being sold to another promotion company and the date it will next happen is up in the air, we decided to hit the road anyway. It's not like there aren't lots of things to do and see in Vegas! So we packed up and headed north last Thursday for a four day--three night adventure. :grinning:
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    Those of you who have been forum members for awhile may remember this booted babe from my Las Vegas Bike Fest 2019 rally report. Looks like she didn't update her wardrobe during Covid. Well, whatever works......;)

    Our long weekend adventure was about 1,000 miles total and took us through lots of beautiful country through Arizona and Nevada. I'll post reports of each day of our trip in this thread so stay tuned for our adventures from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Today...Tucson to Prescott, AZ. Tomorrow, Prescott to Las Vegas.
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    Day #1: Thursday Tucson to Prescott, AZ (235 miles)
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    We departed Thursday morning after getting Ellie the Boxer all settled in with her new dog sitter. The weather was picture perfect with the temperature a balmy 70ºF and minimal wind. Our dog sitter took this photo before we headed up to the QT gas station to meet our friend, RT. Looks like I didn't get quite enough sleep last night and was trying to get in a few last winks. :joy:
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    Our destination the first day was Prescott, AZ where we've overnighted multiple times before. But the trip started off with a bang....literally! About 20 miles up the road, the first section of the route to Phoenix was being chip-sealed. We spent about 15 minutes sitting with bikes off waiting for a pilot car to lead us through. The chip-sealing was fresh--fresh enough to put a big chip right in my front fender. :mad: I managed to get packed in the legs a few times, too. We thought the road work would only last several miles but nope, it lasted all the way to Florence--about 45 miles.:p And we saw these two signs that are always favorites of motorcyclists everywhere about every 2-3 miles the entire way. Ah, the "adventures" of motorcycling. ;)
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    After stopping for gas on the outskirts of Phoenix, we steeled ourselves for the ride through this massive city. The Phoenix metro area is currently the 11th most populous in the U.S. at 4,8000,000. The square mileage is 14,600 square miles. From the gas station where we always gas up in Apache Junction to the point where we finally exit the metro area on the north side is about 60 miles and takes about an hour. And it's definitely an "exciting" hour. We can be going 80-85mph (the posted speed limit is 65mph) and most of the vehicles that pass us are going well over our speed. Today we actually saw two cops which is way up from the zero cops that we normally see through Phoenix.
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    We stopped for lunch at a kitchy but fun place called the Rock Springs Cafe which is about 20 miles north of the outskirts of Phoenix. The place was packed and we had to wait a bit for a table but there was lots to see while we waited.
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    I guess they don't just make beef jerky out of the cows.
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    I didn't see any signs for venison jerky, though.
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    This was in a "window" between two rooms in the restaurant dining room. There seems to be a dead animal theme going on here.
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    CONTINUED....
     
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  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Day #1 continued

    We arrived in Prescott right about check-in time which was our plan. Whenever we stay in Prescott, Mr. Sandi and I always opt to stay at the Hassayampa Hotel, a beautiful old (again, by U.S. standards) historic hotel that officially opened on November 20, 1927. Hotel construction was completed in 10 months at the cost of $200,000 plus $75,000 for furnishings. I can't imagine what it would cost today. The Hassayampa was the setting for Steve McQueen's 1972 rodeo comedy, Junior Bonner. Very appropriate as Prescott lays claim to The World's Oldest Rodeo.
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    After checking in and getting our gear up to our rooms, Mr. Sandi and I set off to stroll through the town. We had two destinations we wanted to check out, Grey Dog Guitars (for Mr. Sandi) and the local motorcycle shops, Powersports Outlet (for me--mostly ;) ). The shop windows in Prescott always hold something fun, unique, and quite funny to see. We commented that Prescott must be big on Halloween as many shops had already decorated for the holiday.
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    And in the window of a local brewery.... The place is never very busy and Mr. Sandi speculated that the owners must be trust funders. :joy:
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    Grey Dog Guitars
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    I can't remember what Mr. Sandi told me this type of guitar is called but I do remember that he said this is how Mark Knoffler produces his unique sound (which I love). I know the guitar players on the forum will know what this is called!
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    Powersports Outlet
    These are the two shop dogs, Dixie and Buster. Buster is an old guy at 13-years and has been a fixture at the dealership for years. We learned that Dixie, however, was "a dog pound reject" :( but has done very well being a motorcycle shop dog. Both were very friendly--especially Dixie. :grinning:
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    CONTINUED...
     
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  3. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Day 1 continued

    I asked the gentleman running the shop about this Triumph Sprint. He said it's a 2006 and they have it for sale for $4,500 and it has about 20,000 miles on the clock. It looked to be in perfect condition.
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    Powersports Outlet had a number of interesting bikes including the Sprint, an older Ducati next to that, the older silver Moto Guzzi in a previous photo as well as a few other Moto Guzzis, a number of scooters, and this MV Augusta. This was my personal fave. It's like "motorcycle jewelry" in my eyes. :heart_eyes: Even the sunbeams coming in the window seemed to agree. :)
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    Buster settling into his shop dog bed as we made our way back out to the street. :heart: We were the only customers in the place and I think all the excitement wore him out! ;)
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    After checking Grey Dogs and Powersports Outlet off our list, we met up with RT and wandered down to the little Harley-Davidson store that is on the main square to see if there was a tee-shirt we (well, I) couldn't live without. :joy: It's always fun to stroll the square and the historic portion of the square that's known as "Whiskey Row". I always see something--or someone--new each time we've visited Prescott. And I always learn something new about the place, too.
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    That's the County Courthouse and town Bandstand sitting in the middle of the square behind the sign.
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    A better view of the Courthouse
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    After cruising the square and a few side streets we returned to the Hassayampa, got drinks from the hotel bar, and sat out on the hotel patio enjoying the beautiful crisp weather and recounting our day.
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    Mr. Sandi had made dinner reservations at our favorite Prescott restaurant, Murphy's. Murphy's doesn't have outdoor seating which until Covid has never been a even a thought in our minds. Mr. Sandi and RT were unconcerned about that and though I was a little apprehensive, I wound up not fretting about it once we settled in and our food and beverages arrived. Thank you, Martini. ;):joy:
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    I've hit my 10- photo limit on this post and was going to share a photo of my slab of baby back ribs. But thought that most of you would prefer to enjoy this photo of our server and my martini. :blush:
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    To be continued tomorrow: Prescott to Las Vegas
     
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  4. Cyborgbot

    Cyborgbot Elite Member

    Jul 5, 2017
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    Tell her to hold on, I’m on my way and will pick her up as soon as possible.

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  5. Markus

    Markus Noble Member
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    Thanks for sharing your impressions and great photos.
     
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  6. DCS900

    DCS900 Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!
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    The guitar make is a Gretch, an American company that started out around 1880… so some historical value. The type of guitar is a resonator, an acoustic guitar design which uses metal discs shaped into cones as the sounding board, rather than the normal flat front of an acoustic guitar. This was to try and make them louder in a band situation (before electric amplification) and not get drowned out.
    Knopfler made these guitars have something of a resurgence after his metal bodied 1937 14-fret National Style "O" Resonator featured on the album cover of Brothers in Arms… oh, and some pretty good playing too! Check out the tone on this well known number.

     
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  7. beerkat

    beerkat Senior Member

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    Great story so far Sandi, makes me want to make the trip, especially when I look at the maps (I love maps, who needs a satnav?) and see those names of places we've heard about. Flagstaff (Route 66), Yuma ('Three-ten to Yuma' and the Neil Young album), Winslow (Eagles) and many other cowboy film settings. These places actually exist :)
    I was in that area many years ago. Spent time in San Francisco (Mamas & the Papas..I'll stop now), then flew out to Las Vegas, which I'm afraid I didn't much like. The architecture was amazing and the free shows were spectacular but the place wasn't for me. After 2 days I hired a 4-W drive and headed out for a 2 week trip. Saw some incredible sights. The word 'awesome' has lost some of it's meaning through overuse (yesterday a waitress asked how my meal was, I said it was fine thanks, she replied 'awesome'..er, what?) but Grand Canyon took my breath away, a truly awesome sight and in some ways quite humbling.
    I'm envious but I'll get back there one day.
     
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  8. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member
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    Great write-up, as usual @Sandi T . Looking forward to the next installment!
     
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  9. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning!
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    Perfect report !! A resonator guitar, a stunning Guzzi, the same bike as mine, and scenery far from the one we use to have around.

    As DCS says, the resonator is an happy fail.
    Initially it was an attempt to raise the guitar level in orchestra, to get noticed among naturally louder instruments (violin, horns).
    It never worked, one big cone, tri cones, not louder, just a different sound.
    Only electric amps solved the volume issue.
    Bluesmen started to like the sound of resonators, mainly using a bottleneck to slide the strings.
    Cie, like National or Dopera Brothers (Dobro) made some deviated instruments with some square necks intended to be held on shoulders and played with a slide bar.
    I have around 20 guitars and still expect one day to bump on a resonator I like, full tin one, like Knopfler on Brother in arms.
     
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  10. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

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    #10 Wessa, Oct 8, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
    Yet another trip for us to enjoy @Sandi T . Brilliant storyline and pictures. More to come :):)
     
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  11. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
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    Another corker of a ride and story. y45.gif
     
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  12. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Thanks for YOUR mini-report about your experiences in my neck of the woods, @beerkat! Mr. Sandi and I agree with you about maps. We've had more issues when using sat nav that we've ever had with "real" maps. :joy: Yes, the places you've mentioned actually do exist--and most are quite "amazing". ;) In fact, Mr. Sandi and I along with RT plus one other riding buddy are riding to Winslow, AZ the last weekend of this month so I'll report on that little adventure here, too. We'll definitely be "standing on the corner". :) We probably won't be doing a ride to Yuma on purpose, however. Not my favorite place in Arizona and I'll let that comment suffice. We just pass through there on our way to San Diego. :rolleyes:

    Las Vegas is definitely an acquired taste. Mr. Sandi and I have found that our limit is two nights. Neither of us gamble, preferring instead to spend our money on sure bets--great food, terrific cocktails, and gas money for motorcycle rides, We do shop once in awhile and have found that shops are more than happy to ship items back home for us so they don't need to be wedged into our saddlebags. The areas around Las Vegas have some wonderful riding as you'll see when I report on Day #3 tomorrow. I'll report on Day #2 later today--gotta work today. W-o-r-k is definitely a four letter word. :(

    And yes, the Grand Canyon is definitely GRAND!!! :grinning::heart_eyes:
     
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  13. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème
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    taco's?
    ;);):):)
     
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  14. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member
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    Yep, two nights is enough for Vegas - I did gamble a bit once, allowed myself $100 to pi$$ away... (the mrs at the time was feeling off, so I had the night to myself) I played blackjack all night (into the wee hours), and actually got away with a slight profit AND got hammered courtesy of the Imperial... :joy:. I've been twice, and reckon that's enough though...
     
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  15. joe mc donald

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    Outstanding another fantastic story and terrific pictures. You really are a star.
    Joe.
     
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  16. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Beautifully done as always, Sandi. Impatient for more, though!
     
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  17. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Just now got home from work and am starting to do today's installment, @learningtofly. :) Hopefully I'll finish before it's Friday Cocktail Hour for Mr. Sandi and me. ;) If not I'll finish up before going to bed later this evening.
     
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  18. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Actually there weren't any on this trip, @Ducatitotriumph! But we did get fish tacos and beans for dinner the evening after we got home. :yum Funny how any time I'm away from Tucson for any length of time at all, I am always craving Mexican food (unless my time away from home was actually in Mexico!). :joy:
     
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  19. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème
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    I’ll let you off this time but it’s a crime! :):););)
     
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  20. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    #20 Sandi T, Oct 9, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
    Day #2: Friday Prescott, AZ to Las Vegas, NV (275 miles)

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    We awakened to another beautiful sunny day in Prescott with the temperatures hovering around 60ºF. Since we were in no particular rush to get on the road, we meandered up the street a few blocks to a breakfast joint that none of us had ever been to but about which we'd read rave reviews. On our way out the door we saw this great old pickup parked on the street next to our hotel right by an informational sign about the Hassayampa.
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    The restaurant we decided on was situated on the banks of a small creek that runs through Prescott. We chose to sit on a covered outdoor patio and had it all to ourselves! This was my breakfast. And, yes, I ate the whole thing. :blush: Our buddy, RT, sort of dared me to when it arrived at the table. I couldn't resist the cinnamon roll as it was advertised on the menu as "World Famous". :yum And in addition to being huge, it was truly delicious. Yes, I know the bacon is a sorry excuse for bacon to some members here (@Dawsy, I think?), but I thought it tasted great. ;):joy:
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    Our first stop was Seligman, Arizona which is on old Route 66 and about 80 miles from Prescott. The route up U.S. 89 is beautiful and links up to Interstate 40. While we're no fans of riding on American interstates, the section between Ash Fork where 89 intersects with I-40 and Seligman has some beautiful views. Seligman is only a couple of miles north of I-40. Much of I-40 is now considered Route 66 (erroneously in my opinion). The stretch of Route 66 that we had on our itinerary for this day of riding is part of the longest remaining section of the "real" Route 66 that remains today. Route 66 was designated a historic highway by the state of Arizona in 1978.


    Seligman's population was a mere 456 at the 2000 census. And I don't think it has increased since then based on observations. :rolleyes::joy: Originally, Seligman was named "Prescott Junction" because it was the railroad stop on the Santa Fe mainline junction with the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Company feeder line running to Prescott, in the Arizona Territory. The Seligman Commercial Historic District is a historic district in central Seligman and is along historic Route 66. This historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. (sourced from Wikipedia)
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    We parked the bikes at the north end of the historic district and headed to Westside Lilo's for a bite to eat. We went to Lilo's the last time we rode through Seligman a couple of years ago and it's definitely a popular place with a lot of, shall we say, "charm"? That and dead animal heads. The theme continues..... Hmmm, the restaurant directly across the street from Lilo's is called The Roadkill Cafe. Maybe Lilo's get the heads and Roadkill gets the rest?
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    There's lots of fun kitchy-ness and memorabilia along with history in Seligman and the town has primary become a tourist destination for those traversing Route 66. We didn't spend as much time today as last time because last time we hopped back on I-40 enroute to Vegas whereas this time we were taking the slower route along Route 66. Though we weren't in a huge hurry as I mentioned, we didn't want to hit the Vegas freeways at the height of rush hour on a Friday afternoon! :eek:
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    We inquired with our waitress about the road quality of Route 66 and whether there were any turns or things we needed to be aware of. She said the roads were in good shape and that all we had to do was stay on the same road we were parked on, head west, and ride on to Kingman where we'd connect with I-40 again. So off we went to ride one of the most iconic roads in America. :heart_eyes:

    U.S. Highway 66 was designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Arizona. The section that we were on was just shy of 90 miles in length and took us through the tiny towns (and mostly nearly ghost towns) of Peach Springs, Truxton, Valentine, and Hackberry and through the Hualapai Indian Reservation. We saw very few cars and even fewer (surprisingly) motorcycles. As we rode out of Seligman, there was a train off to one side chugging along at about the same speed we were going and there were beautiful mesas off to our other side. The skies were blue with big puffy clouds and I was listening to Tom Petty on my Sena. I could feel the "vibe" of the road, the West, and the history of the area. It was one of those rare moments in life where I thought, "Time could just stand still right now". :cool::sun::heart::heart::heart:

    These next three photos are compliments of "Google Images" as I (still) don't have an on-bike camera. :) But they are actual images in my memory--we saw each of these sights and I looked at images until I found these that best matched.
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    CONTINUED
     
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