Los Angeles, California
Along with motorcycle pilgrims from around the world, you have arrived at motorcycle mecca, Milwaukee. Not only is this city famous for its lake views and cold brews, it is our home for the next 4 days to enjoy the 115th H-D Anniversary Celebrations. Check in and meet up in the lobby with your new traveling companions so we can get to know each other as we venture out and see what this party offers.
Settle in for the next few days of this party that has just begun. You can get into headliner music, bike shows, bike parades, racing, and much more. There is even a race on the shore edge of Lake Michigan, the first for over a century.
By now you have your bearings, however have you checked out the H-D Museum. If only WIlliam Harley could see the international cult status of his Arthur Davidson’s creation that is now manufactured in a 79000 square metre facility.
Information about more events and the headliner music will be coming son, however the precident has ben set by the performers at the 110th Anniversary party. This party included the likes of ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Joan Jett, Lynyrd Skynyrd (H.O.G. members only) and the Doobie Brothers. There were 28 headliners and about 60 bands performing.
Pick up your bike
Welcome to Chicago located on the Great Lakes with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Michigan, and an enormous range of museums, restaurants and cafes, amazing bars and nightclubs that exude the Chicago’s jazz and blues heritage.
Today, we grab our Harleys and make the easy ride along the shores of Lake Michigan to the start of Route 66 in downtown Chicago. Tomorrow, we begin our 14 day journey down historic Route 66!
Today we head off down the “Mother Road”, the legendary Route 66 through the state of Illinois to the Pacific Ocean. We head south down the Pontiac Trail, through Joliet, past the Launching Pad Giant, arriving in Pontiac at the Route 66 Museum.
Today we ride through small towns and agricultural fields to the “Gateway to the West,” St. Louis! When entering St Louis we will cross the Mississippi on The Chain of Rocks Bridge. St Louis has had a vibrant revamp over the past few years to have a brilliant live music and BBQ scene. Enjoy the views across the Mississippi River from the top of he tallest man-made national monument in the United States, the Gateway Arch, which commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the settlers’ expansion into western America.
Its time to check out the live music scene and the best BBQ ribs in the country.
Leaving St Louis, we sett off through the rolling Missouri hills until we reach the famous World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning for a group photo. Then its off winding our way through Devil’s Elbow! We will stop at Gay Parita’s a Route 66 gas station which is a time capsule of Route 66 memorabilia . Joplin, tonight’s stop over, is a city that was hit by a huge tornado in 2011 that flattened 8,400 houses, 450 businesses and destroyed 18,000 cars.
We ride to the soul of Route 66, Oklahoma City. Departing Joplin we ride through the Oklahoma hills, small towns like Miami, Claremore and Catoosa, (Blue Whale lives here0 arriving in Tulsa at a diner for lunch. A lot of the land we pass through belonged to a number of Native American tribes like Chickasaw and Cherokee. Finally we ride west through El Reno into Oklahoma City.
Today we head for Amarillo Texas down one of the oldest sections of Route 66 originally used in the mid 1800’s as a cattle trail to drive herds from Texas to Kansas. Next stop is Clinton’s Route 66 Museum, after riding through Yukon and El Reno. We cross the Texas border into the Panhandle. Dinner tonight is at Amarillo’s famous “The Big Texan Steakhouse”. We ride in style to the restaurant in a fleet of old Caddies, and YES, these Caddies are equipped with Texas Longhorns across the hood.
We are off to New Mexico – after passing by the world famous Cadillac Ranch we enter the land of the Comanche Indians, magnificent mesas, cactus & mountains as we climb the High Plains to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Settle in for 2 nights here as explore Santa Fe at your leisure in one of Americas oldest, yet stunning cities.
At nearly 400-years-old, Santa Fe city is a place to relax and savour on this day of relaxation. The Mexican influence blended with the southwestern architectural style is New Mexico’s capital cities appeal. Maybe you would like to ride along the river valley to Taos, known for historic adobe buildings such as Taos Pueblo, a multi story adobe complex inhabited by Native Americans for centuries. Maybe a 35 min ride to Pecos National Historical Park
Today we ride south to to the heart of New Mexico’s to its largest city, Albuquerque. This is where the road south meets the east /west roads. We ride west across the Rio Grande into Navajo territory passing mesas and bluffs to Laguna, Grants onwards to Gallup. In the heart of Native America, this old railroad town is enriched by the cultures of First Nations, including Zuni, Hopi, Laguna Pueblo and Navajo. This town is meeting place for bike riders from all over he world and tonight we stay in a biker friendly hotel.
We head to the Arizona border to check out the Petrified Forest National Park. Explore this stunning landscape of fossilized prehistoric gigantic trees and loose yourself in this vast wilderness Next we head to the Route 66 icons, Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook when we get to Winslow we’ll stand on the corner!…remember “Are you from Standin’-On-A-Corner-In-Winslow, Arizona?” The lyrics from the song “Take It Easy”, written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, made famous by “The Eagles”. Next stop is one mile from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to enjoy the Grand Canyon’s South Rim sunset, of course with a cold adult beverage.
How about a morning helicopter ride over the South Rim. Time now to ride the rim and take in the amazing views. definitely a camera day! We head back to Williams to pick up Route 66 again, and follow Route 66 through towns of Seligman, Peach Springs, and Hackberry.
Lets now detour to visit Las Vegas. On the way we will ride through the Old West Ghost Town of Oatman, and over Hoover Dam! Its only a short visit to Vegas, Don’t party too hard, as we pick up Route 66 tomorrow right where we left off yesterday.
Finally Route 66 meets California! Are you ready for some of the most dramatic scenery in Southern California,? Riding across the Mojave Desert you will enjoy the beautiful Joshua Trees and everything that makes up this magnificent desert. Its our last night on “The Mother Road”, so time to reflect on what we have seen and the new friendships made.
Pacific Ocean here we come, today reach the end of Route 66 on the Santa Monica Pier! On the way we take in the highway that is lauded as the best motorcycle ride in southern California, the Angeles Crest Highway through the mountainous terrain of Angeles National Forest rising to 2300 meters. Next we head down the mountain to the Los Angeles Basin to the end of the road at the Santa Monica Pier. Mixed emotions rise as we stand at the “End of the Trail” sign. There is a sense of joy and sadness as you have completed a journey most people can only dream about. Tonight we celebrate at our Farewell Dinner with our new friends.
Day 19 – Today its goodbye, or let us know if you need an extra night or two in L.A. Maybe we can even arrange a discounted motorcycle rental! Cheers!