Thursday, July 18, 2019

Route 66 Look Back

The excitement is over, and Route 66 is now complete for us. This day last week was our last day on the road, and I am writing this post in the air over British Columbia on the way from Vancouver to Calgary on route to Dublin. No posts on the past week because I left my iPad behind on our Los Angeles to Vancouver flight. Thanks to Air Canada’s Lost and Found for finding it for me. This, combined with a broken iPhone, left me feeling a little disconnected over the past week.

Everything I had hoped that Route 66 would be came true. It was a great ride through such a variety of American countryside, with many different and exciting experiences. I suppose the first thing was the ride - 2,848 miles was a long way in 12 riding days. But my 59 year-old body was up to it. I had worried that Roma would be bored sitting as a passenger for the entire trip - but she loved it too. Our Harley-Davidson Electra  Glide worked perfectly, and it was a joy to ride - it was the best bike for a passenger too with a very comfy armchair seat for Roma to sit in. EagleRider was the company that organized and ran the trip - they are outstanding! I was a bit worried about rules and being confined to doing what our guides said to do, but it was nothing like this.

I learned a hell of a lot on this trip. First - you can put 15 total strangers together for two weeks and ride across most of America, and become great friends. We were lucky with our group - great people from the USA, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, and Belgium. We all had a passion for bikes, and a real interest in everything American. Anyone from our group reading this - thank you for being such fantastic companions on our trip. I also learned a lot about the route itself - it is part of American history - it is sad that some of it is no more, or some of it is derelict - we did ride many authentic parts of the old route. Sometimes this was parallel to perfectly good highway, but was brilliant nonetheless. We could not stop everywhere along the route - otherwise we’d be there forever. EagleRider did an excellent job in selecting the best places to stop - our guides Jan and Jennifer were the best we could hope for. While it was work for them, they made our holiday a great experience, sometimes hoping above and beyond the call of duty. Anyone even thinking of doing Route 66 - you could not get a better partner than EagleRider to organize the trip.

Yes - there were a lot of souvenir shops, I bought loads of t shirts and fridge magnets. But these will all remind me of a great trip. At least I have a new wardrobe to see me through the next few years. We finished our trip off to take a detour on the way home for a few days in Vancouver to see our daughter Kate - we had a lovely few days together.

The highlights of the trip were the Petrified Forest, the Joshua Tree park, Oatman, Santa Fe, making new friends, and pulling into Santa Monica at the end. I will miss this Route 66 road so much.

So - where to next? Where will our Route 67 be? Lots to plan for and think about. But the past three weeks has been amongst the best holidays I have ever had. Home now and a few days recovery in Wexford. 

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