Though our destination was north of Albuquerque, we had to head west for about 100 miles. Heading west from ABQ means one thing: Route 66. That’s right, I was back on the Mother Road.
We left the city on the interstate, but as soon as we got to Mesita, I turned off on 66. It was a long journey of 650ish miles ahead of us, but there’s always some time for Route 66.
This bit of it was Dead Man’s Curve! Ouuu, scary! But it’s one of my favorite stretches, so I was glad to be able to do it again… even if we were PT Losers.
We took Route 66 when we could from there to Gallup, NM, covering the route in about two and a half hours. It’s really weird that it took me all day to do it on a scooter. Of course, I really explored it – here, we were just doing a drive-by.
Along the way, we passed Shiprock, New Mexico, where the Ship Rock can be seen from miles away, almost hovering over the high desert horizon. The landscape was a nice way to end our time in the Four Corners area.
After a quick fill up in Cortez, we headed north west, still on US 491 to Monticello, Utah. We were back in Utah!
I know Utah gets a pretty bad rap, mostly because of the Mormon thing, but it really is a beautiful state. And now that I’ve been pretty much all over it in 2004, 2006, 2007 and now in 2008, I think I can speak with a bit of authority on this subject. Utah, though I wouldn’t want to live here (except maybe in SLC), is a really pretty state. If you haven’t visited it, you really should.
I’ve been across Utah enough to where I’m accidentally backtracking!
We grabbed US 191 North in Monticello and suddenly things started to look familiar. That’s not too uncommon when you’re traveling in the desert areas, a lot of desert looks the same. We then passed a really colorful cafe.
“I’ve been here before!” I exclaimed a bit too excitedly. It must have been in 2006 with Nikki and her brother and sister. I immediately doubted this because nothing else looked at all familiar.
The landscape was mostly flat, but was chucking huge rocks at us! Church Rock, for example. This looks sort of like a bee hive. More like a bee hive than a church, but who cares, it’s a really amazingly cool rock that I don’t remember seeing before.
Moab was next up on our travels. But before that, we passed “Hole in the Rock.” Well, we didn’t pass it, we stopped. Just like I stopped in 2006. Somehow or another, we must have came through here then. How? I’m not sure. We were traveling from Flagstaff to somewhere in Colorado, so this must have been along the way.
Hole in the Rock is a tourist trap, plain and simple. At any rate, it’s a pretty cool place. Some guy, a few decades ago, built his house into a rock (thus the name). You can tour his house for $5 a pop and maybe we should have. I didn’t in ’06 and I didn’t in ’08.
But around the grounds of Hole in the Rock, there’s enough free stuff to keep you busy for the better part of an hour.
They’ve even got a Hebe statue just like my grandmothers. Ok, a lot of folks do, but I’m always happy to see dear Hebe again. Hebe is the daughter of Zeus (who isn’t?) and the goddess of youth. Go, Hebe, go!
In my family, her name was always pronounced “Hee-bai,” but actually it’s Hebe. Sorry, mom.
By now, I was convinced that I had been over this road before. As we entered Moab, I remembered the town. It’s a crappy tourist town, but I remembered it!
I think it was here in 2006 that we took some other road to I-70. Or maybe we took the same one that I was taking today. Anyway, in ’06, we headed east on I-70, in ’08, I was heading west.
Route 6, again, delivered. It was a great road, winding through mountain passes and along some pretty busy Union Pacific lines.
I even got lucky and caught a picture of a north-bound exiting a tunnel. You know you’re jealous.
I take a lot of train pictures. I think I might collect them into one big train photo album. But would anyone really care? I don’t know. But I would dig it. So I’ll do that sometime.
Thankfully, they were still open, so guess what? Yeah, I got my scooter back! Woo! I was thrilled.
The Scooter Lounge seems to be made up entirely of super helpful and awesome guys. They treated me really well and I’m glad that I got to meet them. If you’re ever riding through the SLC area, check them out.
So far I’ve had good luck with shops. Vespa OKC was great, Vespa ABQ was really great and The Scooter Lounge was just as great. All the shops are busy this time of year, so for any shop to fit me in basically thrills me.
Sarah drove the PT Evil and I got to ride all the way to Long Life Vegi House! And even though it was crappy I-15, I loved it!
I have said this before, but I don’t think I could possibly say it enough. I now hate cars. I don’t want one and wherever I choose to end up, it will be where I do not need a car. You have no idea how much this excites me.
After a bite to eat, we drove/rode to Mandy and Earl’s, where I’ll be staying for a handful of days before heading on up to Portland, OR to visit Ashley, who I traveled with in 2004 and a bit in 2006.
Was it a good day? I think so!
Car miles today: 654
Car miles total: 1976
Scooter miles today: 52
Scooter miles total: 6,033
Because of all the criss-crossing, the map is getting hard to read. Sorry. It’ll start making sense again soon.