Well, I successfully made it through Day 1. I guess when on your two-wheels and you say the day was uneventful, that's a good thing. Even though I ridden all the 1st day's road on more than a few occasions, I never cease to be amazed by the scenery.
Taking pictures has never really been my long suit. In another ride report I saw where somebody posted, "If there are no pictures, the ride never took place". So, with that firmly planted in my brain, I'm taking pictures!
I've had to change my ideas a bit. Even though I've seen, or ridden, most of the roads that I'll be on over the next few days, I'm trying to ride and take pictures from the perspective of one of my future friends in Maine, or Montana, or Canada who are still butt deep in snow.
I know a lot of people take pictures of the food along the ride. Here's a picture of my last meal at home for the next 45 days. I was originally going to say that this was my last home cooked meal but then realized that this would have offended my aunt Pat in Las Cruces, my ex-mother-in-law and others and the last thing I want to do is piss off anybody who might want to cook me a home cooked meal.
All loaded up and ready to get on the road. And for those of you who might be tempted to ask, yes, that is my house. Did I mention that I love yard art?
About 20 miles south of the house is this crested Saguaro (pronunciation guide.....it's Sa-wha-r-o). There are somewhere around 700 of these crested saguaro's in Arizona. No one knows why some crest and some don't. All the crested ones have been GPS logged so no one tries to "borrow" one of them. Saguaro's don't start growing arms until they're around 50-75 years old. This beauty may have been here since Teddy Roosevelt was president, maybe Abraham Lincoln.
It's a little difficult to see but there's a mile marker on the sign just ahead of the Helix. It's mile marker 54. I was just trying to take a picture of the scenery. After I saw the marker I realized that almost 5 years ago to the day, at mile marker 44 1/2, I sent a very nice Suzuki Intruder 800 to motorcycle heaven, or wherever it that wrecked motorcycles go, and broke both arms doing it! People asked me how the accident happened. I told them to look up the word stupid in the dictionary and they'd find a picture of me. I'm sure my picture was there for a few years. Ho[efully, I've been replaced by somebody. If you're interested, too much speed and too much daydreaming!
Back then I used to ride with a bunch of oldtimers. One of them liked doing research just for fun. He discovered that Mile Marker 44 1/2 was the worst corner on any state highway in Arizona.
About a month after my accident, I went down the firehouse to thank the paramedic guy's for scraping me off the highway. Before I went to the firehouse, I had breakfast in a little cafe across the street. There was a guy in the with a Elgin-Sonoita Fire Dept. jacket on. I was telling him about wanting to thank the paramedics for scraping me up back up the highway a ways. He immediately said, "Oh, mile marker 44 1/2." I asked if he'd been there. He said, "No, that's where we scrape everybody up."
The state has since realigned the corner.
The Sonoita Inn.....in beautiful downtown Sonoita.
I took this picture to tell you that this building was originally built to be the retirement home of the race horse, Secretariat. For some reason Secretariat never lived in it and I can't remember the reason he never came to Arizona. It sat vacate for a while before being converted into the Inn that it is today.
Yes, we're only 3 miles from the town too tough to die...Tombstone.
The first thing you see as you ride into Tombstone is Boot Hill. I think that all of the dead guys from the shootout at the Ok Corral are buried there.
The best grave marker in there is one that says....Lester Moore, shot down by a .44, no Les, no more.
Just down the road is a house that Wyatt Earp lived in.
Next to it is this statute of Wyatt Earp. I can't swear to it that it looks like the real Wyatt Earp. It looks more like Kurt Russell from the movie "Tombstone" to me.
One of the restored buildings on Allen Street.
Across the street from the mercantile store is the original Bird Cage Theatre, where Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp used to deal Faro.
The building has never been restored. I've toured it several times, just for the feel of the old west.
A few years ago, I rode a VW trike up to Deadwood, South Dakota, where Doc Holliday, a hero of mine, spent a lot of time. To me, Deadwood was a disappointment as all the old buildings have been replaced with red-brick buildings. The "new" #10 saloon, where Wild Bill Hickok got shot, isn't even in the same spot as the original saloon.
In the Bird Cage Theatre, Doc actually walked through THIS building 135 years ago.
Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.
I think you can pretty much figure out the 14 Bird Cage Cribs and the Basement Bordello parts without my explaining them.
This is a picture that hangs in the "lobby/bar" area of the Bird Cage. Notice the white spot next to her left shoulder. For some reason, my cheap little camera picked that spot as a white spot. Actually, it's a bullet hole. On the tour they point out several bullets still in the building, from many "disagreement" that took place in the building. No doubt fueled by whiskey and/or women.
Another picture from the Bird Cage.
Beautiful downtown Benson, Arizona.
After taking more pictures than I,ve taken in the last several years, I didn't ride around and take pictures of the Copper Queen Hotel (said to be haunted), the Copper Queen Mine (open for tours),the Lavender Pit Mine or the Shady Dell Vintage Trailer Park (vintage trailers available for rent. You can check out, ShadyDell.com) but I did want to show you this...
Warren Field is the oldest continously used baseball stadium in the country. No offense to all my future friends in Birmingham, Alabama but Rickwood Stadium is not the oldest ball park in the country. Warren Field was built by the local copper mining company in 1909 and has been in use ever since. Warren Field pre-dates Wrigley Field in Chicago by 5 years!
I made it!
A few years ago I followed the blog of a young man, Nate Damm, as he walked from coast to coast. As he walked Hwy 50 through Nevada, he said that Hwy 50, through Nevada, is called the Loneliest Highway in America. It's quite obvious to me that whoever said that has never been on New Mexico's Hwy 9.
Somewhere, about half way between Rodeo, N.M. and El Paso, Texas, you come across the town of Columbus. Desolate and dusty. Last year I spent several hours here trying to find the bolts I needed to patch the Helix back together so I could limp it on into El Paso for some better repairs. This year, I made it past this wide spot in the road without a hitch.
Another state down!
Actually, I'm back in New Mexico. Remember my aunt in Las Cruces?
In a bit, I'll be back on the road, back to Texas, in my trip around "America.....by Helix"