The following folks met at Richie's Diner in Temecula for a 3 day road trip to Laughlin, NV and beyond: George Farraye and Martina Kolb, Jim Cash, Ray and Jo Barber, Chuck Johnson and Carolyn Chapman, Rick and Drew Widmark, Randy Pettitt, Todd Lockwood and Mary Barrington. Paul G. and Jack Jennings joined us for breakfast and rode with us the 1st hour or so. After enjoying good conversation over breakfast, we all departed around 9am. Ray and Jo took the sweep position.
We traveled north on Hwy 79 through Hemet to Beaumont, stopped for gas and noticed that Paul and Jack had already changed directions for parts unknown. We then departed east on I-10, past Banning and then north on Hwy 62 through Yucca Valley. Just about this time the winds started picking up and that really made the travels not-so-fun. Unfortunately, this is also when Todd's shift lever came loose and Carolyn lost a foot peg - both were riding Harleys (need I say more).
Webmaster's Note: It is traditional for members of our club to make fun of Harleys ... and then buy a Harley.
We stopped for gas again in 29 Palms and then continued on Hwy 62 past Rice, Vidal Junction and into Parker, arriving around 2pm. After a quick stop for lunch, we proceeded north on Hwy 95 AZ past Lake Havasu City. Once in Lake Havasu City I had a great idea for all of us to ride over the famous London Bridge, but some riders were not so impressed by the short detour. We then continued north on Hwy 95 AZ, west on I-40 and north again on Hwy 95 AZ. As we rode past Bullhead City, Randy and Todd departed to Todd's house. The rest of us continued to Laughlin and checked into the Edgewater Hotel. We then gathered for dinner at the Edgewater buffet; we were all pretty disappointed. The winds continued to howl throughout the night.
We met for breakfast meeting at the Edgewater Garden Room at 8am. The food was okay but the service was real slow. We had some concerns about the wind again, but decided to ride anyway. We finally departed the Edgewater around 10am for the Hoover Dam and other stops along the way. As we were departing north from the Edgewater, we noticed Randy and Todd going South. They rode out to Oatman for the day. We rode West on Hwy 163 and then North on Hwy 95 CA (known as the Veterans Memorial Highway). Our first stop was to be Searchlight, but because the roads were mostly under repair there, we did not stop. But as we rode through Searchlight we noticed the speed reduced to 25mph. The city had placed a police car along the side of the road with a dummy inside to deter speeding. I guess the dummy in the police car worked because most of us slowed down just to look. The next stop was a great little city called Nelson along Hwy 165. I highly recommend that anyone in the area stop and visit this little town.
We first went past the town to the end of Hwy 165, which ended at the Colorado River. We took a few group pictures, enjoyed the view and then went back to explore Nelson. Apparently Kevin Costner filmed there a few times, and Chuck found a bunch of old Navy planes mothballed. They were giving mine tours, but none of us joined the tour. We did find a lot of great photo opportunities and some interesting buildings. We then departed back out Hwy 165, continued north on Hwy 95 CA and then east on Hwy 93 into Boulder City. We stopped at Mel's Diner for lunch. The owner was very helpful with directions and suggestions about the Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, she did not warn us about what the traffic going to the dam. We stopped for gas about 4 miles before the dam. Chuck decided to try their 103 octane gas; which later he would regret.
After departing the gas station, we became stuck in VERY SLOW moving traffic toward the dam. It took a lot of time, energy, nerves and patience to travel about 2 to 5 miles an hour for 4 miles on winding roads. We tried to pass several times along the right shoulder; which saved some time. But this was the worst part of the day; regret and forget. This slow ride past the dam was even worse than the winds that continued to howl throughout the day. We pulled into the dam parking garage and were told they were going to charge $7.00 per bike. We said NO WAY and left the lot. Once across the dam, we pulled over in a free parking lot and took some pictures. Since we had gotten a late start from Laughlin and then wasted so much time getting to the Hoover Dam, we decided we would skip a few more stops (Willow Beach and Chloride) and go straight to back to Laughlin.
So after departing the dam, we headed south on Hwy 93. Along the way we got separated and had to stop a few times to regroup. Chuck was also noticing that his bike kept surging, like he was having either clutch or fuel problems. Carolyn also noticed that some of her turn signals were not working. About this time my tail and brake lights also were not working. Since we were running out of daylight, I decided to ride the rest of the way back to Laughlin with just my headlights. Drew stayed behind me to be my tail and brake light. As we rode back to Laughlin in the dark, we witnessed the most beautiful full moon coming up over the mountains. We finally arrived into Laughlin around 6:00pm. I found that one of my fuses came loose and that fixed my lights problem. We then regrouped for dinner at the Colorado Belle buffet. This was much better, for less money, than the Edgewater buffet.
We met again for breakfast meeting at the Edgewater Garden Room at 8am. Randy and Todd met us at the Edgewater parking garage around 9:30am to ride back home together. Unfortunately, my digital camera decided to stop working. And Chuck's bike would not start either. We spent the next hour and half playing mechanic on Chuck's bike, doing everything we could to get it to start. About 11am, just as we were preparing to leave Chuck behind, his bike started and we all left together for home. This time we headed west on Hwy 163 and south on Hwy 95 CA. We then turned onto the famous Route 66 past Goffs, Essex and stopped in Amboy. Of all the places in the world, Martina and I met up with 3 people from our old Southern California Vulcans motorcycle club; the club has since disbanded.
Amboy does have a gas station and a diner, but they have no gas in the tanks and no food to serve - WEIRD!!! One of the owners was selling gas from small emergency gas cans he had on his electric golf cart. So we departed from Amboy continuing west on Route 66 and then turned south on Amboy Road. We came into 29 Palms and stopped at the first gas station we found; because most of us were running on fumes by now. We then departed 29 Palms, going west on Hwy 62 and stopped in Yucca Valley at Hutchins Harley Davidson and the Route 62 Diner - same owner, same building. Carolyn bought a foot peg and the mechanic looked at her lights. Chuck kept his bike running, because he was afraid it may not start again.
We had lunch and then toured their Harley Davidson museum inside the HD dealership behind the diner great place to stop if you are ever in Yucca Valley. We continued west on Hwy 62 to I-10. Once on I-10 we were deep into very slow holiday traffic. Ray and Jo took off and the rest of us continued the slow ride along the I-10, stopping in Beaumont. It was starting to get dark, so we immediately headed south on Hwy 79 through Hemet, west on Scott Road to I-215. We stopped briefly to say our goodbyes and then headed south on I-215 toward Temecula, etc. Martina and I departed the group at Clinton Keith and headed home.
It was a great 3 day road trip - wind or no wind. We all enjoyed great sights, great meals (well some great meals anyway) and great friendship. A special thanks to all who helped keep the group together, played sweep and looked after each other.