Newsletter No. 32: Peach Springs Arizona to Barstow California
Published: Sun, 09/18/22
Peach Springs Arizona to
Newsletter No. 32
September 18, 2022
At long last we have reached the Golden State.
We all woke up in Peach Springs yesterday morning, all ready to hit the road.Some were more rested than others. We stayed at the Hualapai Lodge, which I think may be the only hotel in town. It also happens to be located a few hundred yards from a major
freight railway. So here is a photo of me asking the clerk, when I checked out, “Does that freight train come through at 5:00 a.m. every morning?”
She replied, “Oh, no sir, that would be very unusual. Those freight trains run by the Lodge all night long going both ways two or three times an hour.”
In truth, I did not mention anything of the sort to the Lodge staff, due in no small part to the fact they are clearly well aware of it - they have a sign at the desk announcing the train noise and providing all guests with earplugs! Some of my crew claim they only heard the trains once or twice, but I must have heard 20 trains passing through, all
blowing their horns as they approached the grade crossing nearby the Lodge. So I was highly motivated to make it to Barstow where I might get some rest.
Yesterday was also the last day I would enjoy the company, support, and advice of Lloyd Hill and Andy Faust. I think Lloyd has a real job or something and he had to get back to by Wednesday in Florida. So they loaded Lloyd’s bike into Andy’s truck, and headed east shortly after we continued west. I cannot thank them enough for their friendship and counsel.
Just before we pulled out of Peach Springs in earnest, Willie snapped this photo of me in front of the Historic Peach Springs Trading Post.
Back in 1919, C.K. Shepherd stopped here for fuel and supplies where he met the proprietor,
E.H. Carpenter. But the old Trading Post C.K. saw was standard wood-frame construction. By 1930, it had been replaced with the stone and concrete building that stands today which houses offices of the Hualapai tribal forestry department. The photo of the Trading Post as it appeared in 1918 (below) is included as Figure 197 in my book, Across America by Motor-Cycle – Fully Annotated Centennial Edition (available on amazon.com and barnsandnoble.com in print and eBook formats).
I departed Peach Springs with a hankering for some coffee and breakfast and found same in Kingman. After
breakfast, I rode the Red One straight down the main drag, leaving town by passing under the I-40 overpass whereupon I intended to turn left onto the frontage road and head
southwest as far as that would take us.
As it happened, Glen missed the turnoff in no small part because the frontage road entry point was not indicated by any sign and didn't quite look like a road. So I stopped and waited for Glen to come back. It was a good thing I did because it seems that Mike (who had suggested I visit the Friendship Run I wrote about yesterday) had seen us riding through town and chased us in his truck for miles, jumping out to introduce himself.
I didn’t know it was that Mike when I first saw him, but he was wearing a T-shirt with the old classic Excelsior logo on the front. I simply had to greet him! I think Mike stayed long enough to see us head down the
frontage road, but it quickly turned to gravel and then uncomfortable gravel so I stopped and we trailered to Trails Arch Bridge.
I rode from Trails Arch Bridge (C.K. crossed this same bridge in 1919 when it was a dual purpose auto/train bridge... now it is a utilities bridge for gas or water or something) through Needles
stopping at the plaza near where C.K. had his steak dinner, had a siesta at this same plaza before heading out to camp in the desert.
I rode north out to Goffs Road (off US 95) then west to get gas for Glen at “Najah's Desert Oasis” in “Fenner.” I had originally planned to continue on the National Old Trails Road south of “Fenner,” but that area has persistent flooding problems that take bridges out and it seems the State of California hasn’t figured out how to repair the bridges faster than they wash out, and the National Old Trails Road southwest to Amboy was closed to all traffic. So we loaded the Red One into the trailer and headed for our overnight in Barstow.
Today, we leave for Los Angeles. I will ride as far south as Hesperia, but then will be trailering it to the vicinity of the old Henderson Agency in downtown Los Angeles. With luck and Sunday traffic, I will
ride a few blocks downtown to the old Hotel Clark (still standing, but abandoned) and then we will trailer it up to Ventura where I expect to ride up the beach road from there all the way to Goleta.