November 23rd-25th, 2007 Laughlin Trip
On Friday 11/27/09 the 1st group met at The Orchard Mall at Clinton Keith and I-215 in Murrieta for a 3 day road trip to Laughlin, NV and Oatman, AZ. That group included George Farraye and Martina Keller (and Christina and Martina's mother), Jim Cash, Andrew and Lori Rios, John and Terri Moran, Alan Miller, Eric Gripp and Barbara Jensen, Steve Spiker, and Roger and Marcia Lake - 14 folks on 9 bikes (Lori drove a cage). The 2nd group met at the Park N Ride at Hwy 76 and I-15. That group included Randy Pettitt and Olga, Ray and Jo Barber, Dan and Marie Lehtonen, Rick Widmark, Mary Barrington, Conny Ross, Carolyn Chapman, John, and Dennis Santi - 12 folks on 9 bikes.
Both groups merged at The Orchard Mall to exchange greetings and then split into 2 separate groups with different routes to Laughlin - 24 folks on 18 bikes total.
The 1st group (17 folks on 11 bikes + Lori in a cage playing sweep) took the posted route: Hwy 79 N, Hwy 62 E and Hwy 95 AZ N thru Parker, Lake Havasu and Bullhead City to Laughlin. We stopped about every 100 miles for gas / potty break and stopped in Parker for lunch. Roger and Marcia separated from the 1st group at that point. We also stopped briefly at the London Bridge. We arrived into Laughlin after sundown; about 5pm. But the awesome site of the casino's all lit up across the river from Bullhead City was worth riding in the dark.
The 2nd group (9 folks on 7 bikes) went thru Joshua Tree and arrived into Laughlin about 30 minutes later. On the way, both groups had someone run out of gas. But other than that, no major issues were mentioned.
That night some of both groups met for dinner at Coco's in the Edgewater Hotel. After waiting a long time, dinner finally arrived. We then proceeded into various directions; some to their room, some to the casino and some ???
On Saturday 11/28/09 we met at 9am. After loading up the bikes and getting gas we departed for a trip to Oatman, AZ. Oatman definitely lived up to what we read on the internet and heard from others who have been there before. Donkeys roaming the streets looking for food from tourists, staged "shoot outs" in the street, all kinds of trinkets to purchase, plenty of restaurants and bars to visit, etc. Some of us ate at the Oatman Hotel, Restaurant and Bar. Food was good but the service was real slow. Unfortunately clouds started coming over and it started to rain briefly. By the time we left the restaurant the rain was gone, so we continued past Oatman to a "look out" spot to stop and take a group picture. What a view!!! Since the rain was threatening again, we decided to skip the remainder of the ride to Kingman and headed back to Laughlin.
SIDE NOTE: Alan left the group in Oatman to meet his parents and celebrate his Birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN!!!) When we arrived back to Laughlin, some of us went down to the river after sundown to watch the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Colorado River.
After the parade some of us went to the Tropicana Hotel (formerly Ramada Express) for their buffet. Just as we were finishing another part of our group showed up as well. We all headed in various directions after dinner. Some of us wandered over to the Aquarius Hotel (formerly Flamingo).
On Sunday 11/29/09 most of the 1st group met at 8am to depart home. The clouds had moved on, but were replaced with high winds (Jim reported about 35 mhp winds) and very cold weather. We took the posted route back home: Route 66 / National Trails Hwy thru Amboy / 29 Palms / Yucca Valley. We again stopped about every 100 miles for gas / potty breaks.
SIDE NOTE: Amboy now has gas!!! We also stopped at the Harley Davidson Museum and Diner in Yucca Valley. When we arrived at I-10 after Yucca Valley (because of the I-10 traffic), most of the group went over the mountains home. There was still quite a bit of snow left on Hwy 74. The 2nd group had said that they were meeting at 9am and heading back thru Joshua Tree and over the mountains as well.
It was a great 3 day road trip gas or no gas, rain or no rain, wind or no wind, snow or no snow. We all enjoyed great sights, great meals (well some great meals anyway) and great friendship. A special thanks to all who helped keep the 1st group together (Alan), played sweep (Lori) and looked after each other (everyone).
SIDE NOTE: Next time we should look into staying at a different hotel.