Trip specifications: Biker Babe Summer Trip to the AMA Women’s Motorcycling Conference
Who: Rebecca P. and Liz C.
When: Tuesday July 24 – Tuesday July 31
Where: From Sedona and Flagstaff, AZ to Carson City, NV and back
Total miles: 1,700
Granted, this article is really, really late, it being just a few days before Christmas, LOL! But, a promise is a promise. I promised that I would write about this, so here goes! The day, July 24, dawned on a hefty rain storm in Flagstaff. Ha! Of course. Isn’t it always the way? You want to (and, let’s face it, have to) get a long day of riding in, but the weather Gods decide to test your wherewithal and grit right from the get-go. Having been woken up several times throughout the night from the monsoonal lightning and thunder, my friend Rebecca and I, more or less, just shrugged it off. I mean, we’re real bikers and a little (or a lot of) AZ rain isn’t gonna scare us off. Besides, we had many miles to put in and the only way to do that was by riding through it.
So, while dodging raindrops, we finished loading up our bikes and gently headed east on Hwy. 40, carefully slogging through the wet stuff. After 40 minutes or so, the rain stopped, the sky brightened a bit, and we began to dry out. Our first stop was Seligman, AZ where we gassed up the bikes, grabbed some Gatorade, and hit the road again. Even at 8:30 am, we could feel a small preview of the soul-melting heat that was waiting for us further west. In Kingman, we stopped for breakfast and stripped off our layers. It was already uncomfortably warm, but with full bellies, coffee for me, and iced tea for Becca, we were feeling just fine and ready for more riding.
Needles, CA was, in a word, hot. We did another gas stop and while we rested and stood at the gas pumps (pounding copious amounts of Gatorade, I might add) up rode a gregarious man on a huge, fully-loaded BMW touring bike; the man greeted us and we got to talking with him. He turned out to be Christopher Baker (the dude who I wrote about last month), who travels all over this planet, largely by motorcycle, and writes travel guides for National Geographic and other prestigious publications. Christopher was on his way home to California from a BMW rally in Missouri. In no time, we were all chatting and laughing like old friends. That’s one of the things that I most love about being a biker. It doesn’t matter what you ride or where in the world you ride it, you always meet other bikers and have an instant built-in commonality that helps you form spontaneous bonds and lasting friendships.
On day one of our riding adventure, Becca and I made it to Ridgecrest, CA, an 11-hour, 450-mile ride in rain and triple-digit heat. We were pretty wiped by the end of the day, and my carpel tunnel was acting up. But, after a fairly good night’s sleep, we hit the road again, stopping for lunch at Schat’s Bakery in Bishop.
I had never been to Schat’s Bakery. Becca was an old pro at it. I can tell you that the turkey sandwich I ordered was the very best turkey sandwich I have ever eaten in my life! Becca and I pointedly avoided buying any of the gooey, sugary madness (in the form of cinnamon rolls, pastries, cakes, etc.) also offered by Schat’s, but man, we were tempted. For the record, I’m still swooning over that yummy turkey sandwich. I might have to get my keister back over there this summer. So, who’s comin’ with me?! LOL!
Anyway, after several stops for gasoline, photo opportunities, and rest throughout the day, which included seeing Mono Lake, we capped off our second, seven-hour, 300-plus-mile day by pulling into Carson City.
After finding our hotel, meeting up with girl friends from California (who were there for the conference as well), we booked it over to the Casino next door for some grub. I got out of that Casino quick, because I’m genetically unable to tolerate cigarette smoke, but it was so much fun to be there and laughing with our girls. Tune in next time for part two of this tale. I know, you just can’t wait, right?!