A Little About Us

A Little About Us
INTRODUCTION: First, allow me to introduce the members of this group...I'm Mike riding my 2003 Heritage Softail Springer...my wife Juju is on her 2015 Freewheeler...and Ed and Nancy are on their 2009 Heritage Softail. For the purposes of this trip we are referring to ourselves as H.A.R.P. HARP is a made-up name and it simply stands for Hogs And Retired People...and all that means is that we are members of HOG (Harley Owners Group) and we are...you guessed it...retired! The name came about when seven of us made a trip out west, but just the four of us this time. I've done blogs before, and this one will be for the same reason...to refresh our memories in our "Golden Years" (they say the memory is the second thing to go...and I can't remember what the first thing was). What is different this time is the blog is being shared by THUNDER ROADS PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE...Truly, an honor. This journey will be a round trip from, and to our home town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The plan is to travel to the Atlantic coast at Ocean City, Maryland for the "Official" start on U.S. Route 50. We will follow U.S. 50 west for over 3,000 miles to its terminus in Sacramento, California. From Sacramento, we will head a bit further west to the Pacific Ocean before we begin to travel south. California Highway 1 and U.S. Route 101, better known as the Pacific Coast Highway, will be the route for about 500 miles to Santa Monica. At the world famous Santa Monica Pier, we hop on Route 66...The "Mother Road". Travelling about 2,500 miles to the north east, we'll arrive at the end of 66 in Chicago, Illinois. The "Official" end of our journey. From Chicago, it's just another 450 miles and we're back in Pittsburgh. We've made very few lodging reservations, thus eliminating the pressure of trying to get somewhere by some deadline. The whole purpose of this ride to see this country and whatever piques our interest along the way...and we will be looking for that giant ball of yarn! So we invite you to ride along with us. We hope you will find it both entertaining and informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share this with anyone you feel would have an interest.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Day 23 Sunday August 16, 2015

Days without incident - 0
Days without rain gear - 9

Getting an early start helped a bit.  Temperatures were only in the mid 80° range at dawn.  We headed through Lake Havasu City on our way to Oatman to get back on track.  We would have stopped to see the London Bridge, but it was too early.

Once back on 66, we had 25 miles to Oatman.  Here, we rode through the part of the desert that I find most interesting and beautiful.  Still respectful of its ability to destroy you, I am always fascinated by its visual appeal.

The hills rolled and the road curved.  At times we could see down the mountain as the pavement was laid out in front of us for miles.  For much of this ride, we were the only people out there, again reminding you of its demand for respect.

Arriving in Oatman, the fun began.  The wild burros were there to greet us in the old mining town that has reinvented itself into a tourist destination.  The donkeys beg for food from the tourists, who can buy "Donkey Chow" in almost any store in town.  Everything there looks to be original.  The buildings were laid out in the one block town sporting wooden sidewalks and a dirt Main Street, a Post Office, a saloon and a variety of souvenir shops.

The burros were quite feisty today, as two males were fighting over which would be the dominant leader.  They bit and kicked each other and ran up and down the street and the wooden sidewalks.  The town's folk warned everyone the burros were wild and to stay out of their way to avoid being kicked or knocked over.

Our ponies at the Oatman Saloon
We had an early lunch in the Oatman Saloon, where the walls are covered with dollar bills.  These bills are signed and decorated and marked in some fashion by the folks that visited from all over the world.  Our server said that there were over 100,000 bills on the walls and ceiling.

We decided to add to the collection.  If you ever get to Oatman, look for our bill on the side of one of the napkin dispensers on the table.

At high noon (of course), there was a gunfight in the middle of the street.  Unlike most western town re-enactments, this one deviated from the authentic into the comedic.  It was a fun show and raised money for the Shriner's Hospitals.

It was time to leave and head further east for our next stop, Kingman.  Since it was a mere 35 miles away, we knew we would be in the pool before the heat of the day began to blister.

A short stop for a cool drink in a kitschy gas station, that hasn't had gas since 1966, and we were back on the road...that's when it all went bad.

A few miles down 66 we came across what is known here as a "wash".  It's a dip in the road that intersects with a ravine coming from the mountains.  When it rains, as it had several days ago, that ravine carries the water and it washes across the road.  In its path, it leaves gravel, dirt and mostly sand.  In this particular wash, there were about six inches of the mix across the road.

As I came over the ridge, I saw the sand and slowed quickly.  I signaled Ed and Juju to slow down.  I hit the sand and my front wheel wobbled severely but  I got through and I looked in my mirror to watch the others.  At about 10 mph, Ed's front wheel plowed into the sand and made an immediate and violent turn to the left. His bike tipped to the right and they both went down.

Juju, on three wheels, went to the shoulder of the road to avoid running over Nancy and Ed.

I ran back to the scene and it was obvious that Nancy was hurt.  We got the bike up off of her and she described pain in her back on the right side.  Some folks driving by stopped to add their assistance and called 911.

These folks helped use Juju's bike cover as a tent to provide shade as Nancy sat in the hot sand where she had landed.  Looking over at Ed, we noticed the blood running down his right arm.  Checking more closely, we saw that he had some pretty nasty road rash on his back and arm.

It seemed like an eternity, but first the Sheriff's officers arrived, then the Fire Department EMS, then the ambulance.  They transported Nancy to the Kingman Regional Medical Center.  We followed on the bikes.  Ed's bike seemed O.K. except for the fender light and the front brake lever was twisted out of place.

Nancy was taken for X-rays and a CT scan.  Ed was scrubbed to remove the sand and dirt from his wounds.  Additionally, he was now beginning to limp.  Removing his right boot revealed a bruise that needed to be checked out.

Several hours later, both were discharged.  It seemed that nothing was broken, but there were still some deep tissue injuries that would limit movement and cause pain for some time to come.

A taxi got Nancy to the hotel where the medications were apparently working, because she said it hurt, but she didn't care.

We booked a second night here in Kingman to figure out what to do next, but it looks like Ed and Nancy won't be able to ride in their condition.

We will keep you posted on our next move.