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

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

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Day #4 Sunday: Las Vegas to Tucson (450 miles)

    Day 4 map.png

    Sunday mornings in Las Vegas are very quiet. That's one nice thing about a "party town" when you plan to be on a motorcycle on the freeway system early in the day. :) Mr. Sandi and I had agreed to meet up with RT to have coffee and beignets at the beignet cart if it was open. It was! Just one more thing I like about staying there. I didn't manage to snap a photo of my beignets so you'll just have to believe that I ate several and they were, as usual, delicious and decadent! :yum

    It didn't take us long to pack up the bikes and we were winding our way down and out of the high-rise parking ramp by 8:30am. As we'd hoped, traffic was minimal on the freeways and this morning was just as beautiful as the previous three--the temperature was 70ºF, the sun was shining and skies were blue, and the wind was minimal. That last one is a biggie because the winds up around Lake Mead and Hoover Dam and also through Kingman are often wicked. Today was the most miles that Mr. Sandi and I had done in one day since we rode to Sturgis back in August of 2019 before my bicycle accident and before Covid. We weren't quite sure how we'd feel but weren't too worried about it since we planned to make a couple of gas stops along with a lunch stop in Wickenburg about 200 miles from Vegas.


    As you get to the edge of the Vegas metro area, the road starts to descend towards the Colorado River and you can get glimpses of Lake Mead, the heart of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the United States' largest reservoir. Or what's left of Lake Mead. :( Today, as a result of a drought the Colorado River basin has experienced for the past decade-and-a-half, Lake Mead has dropped to its lowest level since it was first filled in the 1930s. I learned on this trip that the average annual rainfall for Las Vegas is 5 inches! Wow, andI thought Tucson was an ultra dry desert at 12 inches of rain per year on average. Interestingly, the Arizona--Nevada border runs right down the middle of both the Colorado River and Lake Mead. I didn't take this photo (thank you Google Images) but we were on this road in this exact spot around 9:00-9:15am Sunday morning and this is almost exactly what it looked like from behind my helmet visor.
    Lake Mead view.png

    The Hoover Dam is about 40 miles from downtown Las Vegas. It was the Hoover Dam that created Lake Mead back when it was built in the 1930s. Some years back when Mr. Sandi and I were traveling with just the two of us, we stopped at the Hoover Dam Visitor Center and walked across the dam. The dam actually used to be part of the road to Vegas but now there is a massive bridge over the Colorado River and the dam is no longer part of the roadway. When you're driving or riding on the bridge you can't tell what it looks like but if you are on the dam, the view of the bridge is spectacular. And you can't see the dam from the bridge--which is a good thing because drivers would certainly be gawking at the sight and wreaking havoc with traffic. This aerial photo is another Google image that give you a sense of how astounding are both the dam and the bridge.
    Screen Shot 2021-10-10 at 10.09.25 PM.png

    Part of why I like posting these ride reports for you all on the forum is that I also do some research and learn interesting new details and history about places or events or people that I may have seen or known for years. I've ridden over this concrete arch bridge probably at least a dozen times in the last ten years but never knew much about it. So here's a bit of what I learned from Wikipedia. Those of you who enjoy engineering and construction and the like may want to Google this for yourselves and read the rest of the article. I found it quite fascinating and had no idea how truly unique and special the bridge really is.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_O'Callaghan–Pat_Tillman_Memorial_Bridge

    Tillman bridge info.png


    Our first stop of the day was in Kingman, Arizona for gas for the bikes and to answer natures call for ourselves. Coffee and beignets --lots of coffee. :joy::eek: The gas prices on this sign are reflective of what we generally paid on this trip. The highest prices were in Las Vegas but were only about 5-10 cents more than what we paid everywhere else. Highway 93 that leads to Interstate 40 through Kingman has really become a traffic nightmare. I'm not sure why but it doesn't seem to matter what day or time we ride through there, it's always a complete tangle.
    IMG_3095.jpeg

    The next town we rode through was a little wide spot in the road called Wikiup. Wikiup's claim to fame has always been the Wikiup Trading Post where we've stopped for gas and lunch and to shop the curio shop many times over the years. Well, it is no longer. :( I was stunned to see it burned to the ground, the only thing left of it besides rubble and a bit of charred lumber was the sign for the place. It was a sad sight and made me feel sad. Stops at the trading post are a vivid part of my Laughlin and Las Vegas motorcycle trip memories. :sob:

    About an hours ride past Wikiup is Wickenburg. I love the ride between these two "W" towns with it's Joshua Tree forest and it's big wide sweeping turns through the rolling terrain. We didn't need gas yet but we did need a break and lunch. Our favorite place, The Local Press Sandwich Bar, is closed on Sundays and our other usual stop, The Horseshoe Cafe, was about to close when we parked the bikes. So we tried a new place, Bedoian's Bakery & Bistro, and actually really liked the food. Plus they had some outdoor seating which we'll opt for every time since Covid is still alive and kicking in Arizona. :rolleyes:

    IMG_3112.jpeg

    Back in 2012, the very first time I rode to my own motorcycle to a rally with Mr. Sandi (the Laughlin River Run) we stayed overnight in Wickenburg on our way to Laughlin. From Tucson to Laughlin is 370 miles but I'd never ridden even close to that far in one day. Plus it was also the first time I ever rode--white knuckled the whole way--through Phoenix. :scream: I still remember going to a movie at this wonderful small town theater where the owner took your ticket then also served up your popcorn and soda. He only shows one movie and it's at 7pm each night. :D For several years after that we made a point of overnighting in Wickenburg on our way to Laughlin or Vegas even though we could have done the ride in a day. We just like hanging out in this small, friendly Western town. :)
    IMG_3109.jpeg

    IMG_3108.jpeg

    IMG_3098.jpeg

    The remainder of the ride home was smooth sailing, even through Phoenix. We typically try to time our travels through there as best we can, and going through on a Sunday early-mid afternoon is a pretty calm time relatively speaking.

    The last portion of our ride was back down the road that was being chip sealed when we'd ridden it last Thursday. Thankfully all the chip sealing was done and it looked like all that was left to do was to do the paint striping. And fortunately the "chips" seemed well packed down this time around!

    We pulled into our garage at about 5:30pm. True to form, our "pace" (though not our speed!) including lunch, gas stops, and Phoenix, worked out to 50mph. We've found that has held true for nearly all the trips we've done over the years and it gives us a nice way to plan our morning departure times and gauge our afternoon arrival times.

    All in all, Mr. Sandi, RT, and I had a fantastic time at "The Rally That Wasn't". :joy: As Mr. Sandi told me when I started riding, any time you ride your motorcycle it becomes an adventure, even if it's just riding down the street for a cheeseburger. He was right! Great company, beautiful weather, and amazing sights and activities. And over a thousand miles of RIDING!!! Rally or not, what could be better than that? :D:heart:


    IMG_3114.jpeg
     
    • Like Like x 10
  2. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
    Subscriber

    Sep 25, 2018
    1,144
    643
    Hertfordshire
    Wow, Sandi - that was a bit of a haul, and I'd say that an average of speed 50mph with all your stops (AND Phoenix!) was pretty good going.

    Thanks for another wonderful thread, and for introducing me to a new word/delicacy. I'd never heard of beignets before and now I want a plateful :heart_eyes:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Markus

    Markus Noble Member
    Subscriber

    Oct 28, 2020
    364
    313
    AUSTRIA
    Thanks for the great reports and wonderful photos of your trip!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Dougie D

    Dougie D Crème de la Crème

    Jan 30, 2016
    8,819
    1,000
    Blairgowrie Perthshire
    Brilliant report and pictures @Sandi T, you make us all feel we are all along for the ride :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

    Apr 27, 2016
    9,584
    1,000
    North West England
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. Neal H

    Neal H Member

    Mar 7, 2021
    68
    18
    England
    Fantastic trip. Fantastic write up. Fantastic pictures.

    Thanks for taking us along.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
    Subscriber

    Oct 29, 2014
    6,442
    1,000
    Lincolnshire
    Oh well here goes, Simply stupendous. Never used that one before. Brilliant
    :):)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    You're welcome for the thread...and the wonderful world of beignets, @learningtofly! The first time I learned about them was in New Orleans at a famous place called Cafe Du Mond. :) I don't know of any place in Tucson that make them which makes them all the more special when we get up to Vegas.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  9. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Glad to know you enjoyed the reports and photos, @Markus! As I mentioned, I enjoy putting its all together after we get home. I sort of get to "relive" the trip, solidify some memories, and learn a few new tidbits about some of the places we saw. :)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Thanks, Dougie! That's my goal...bringing my forum friends along for the ride and sharing the fun. :grinning::heart:
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Thanks for following our trip, Wessa. Glad you enjoyed it! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    You're welcome, Neal! It was such fun and I really like sharing our experiences here on the forum for those that enjoy experiencing it vicariously. :) Thanks for "riding" along!
     
  13. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Stupendous?! What a great word, Bikerman. I don't know about this thread being at the level of "stupendous":joy: but I'm really glad to know that you enjoy following Mr. Sandi's and my travels. I definitely enjoying sharing them with forum members like yourself! :blush::heart:
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Love You Love You x 1
  14. BonnieCat

    BonnieCat Crème de la Crème

    Feb 20, 2016
    3,128
    1,000
    Netherlands
    Another stunning write up of your trip Sandi. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. As others have said I feel like I was there with you as you pack so much info into the trip reports.
    Where are you going next. Looking forward to it whenever and wherever that may be.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème
    Subscriber

    Apr 25, 2019
    1,774
    1,000
    Rothwell
    brilliant time! Thanks for the trip updates and now relax!
    :):):)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    I did go for a ride today, @Ducatitotriumph. (Low Rider S) And you'll be happy to know that Mr. Sandi and I are about to relax....with fish tacos and black beans! ;):grinning::yum
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  17. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    @BonnieCat
    Thanks, Nikki! I'm glad you enjoyed my photos and commentary. :) We're actually going on another short trip very soon. Mr. Sandi, RT, and I are doing a three day--two night trip the last weekend of this month to see The Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum just west of Winslow, Arizona. So be on the lookout for a little ride report from that quick trip getaway. It'll be the last one to northern Arizona before winter hits up there.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème
    Subscriber

    Apr 25, 2019
    1,774
    1,000
    Rothwell
    Aha! It’s definitely home time for you when a taco is involved!
    Is it your TTF password I wonder….,
    Welcome home Mr & mrs sandiT!
     
    • Love You Love You x 1
  19. Dartplayer

    Dartplayer Crème de la Crème

    Aug 8, 2018
    4,607
    1,000
    New Zealand
    Thoroughly enjoyed that trip @Sandi T, :cool: the beignets were new to me too:eek: and I enjoyed reading the memorial bridge history. So sad to give up your sport to die from friendly fire :sob:
    I’m sure your girl was overjoyed to see you. Were you happy with her new babysitter?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    15,887
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Glad you enjoyed the trip report, @Dartplayer. Beignets are really delicious. But then, I don't think I've had any variation of fried dough that I haven't liked. ;):joy: Those beignets at the Golden Nugget are always a small but much-anticipated part of our stays at that particular hotel.

    Yes, I remember when Pat Tillman was killed...very tragic.He sounded like he was a great guy.

    Yes, Ellie was very happy to see us! But she was also very happy with her new dog sitter, Teri, which is a huge relief and makes Mr. Sandi and me very happy, too. Thanks for asking! :kissing_heart:
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page