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Look in the Blog Archive in the box to the right for past ride reports going back to 2006. New material posted as rides or other motorcycle news occurs. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome, be sure to log in below. Comments will be reviewed. Please note the disclaimer below.

About Me

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Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.
Monument Valley, Utah-9/2011 photo by Johney Harper!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Laughlin River Run 2012- Big trip

Laughlin River Run 2012-Four fun filled days of riding and friendship.
I missed last year’s 2011 Laughlin River Run events due to a cardiac procedure and I really wanted to make the trip this year and sure enough it all happened as planned.  A large contingent of our Orange County motorcycle friends were going separately and Johney and I pack up early Wednesday morning for our trek to Kingman, AZ and the luxurious and plush resort type motel known as the Days Inn on Andy Devine Blvd.   There naturally will be more about this place a bit later.  We stay at the Days Inn as a group and the rates are supposedly better than staying in Laughlin.
The first stop after we leave Orange County is Molly Brown’s on Mojave Blvd. in Victorville where I order the senior French toast combo…of course.  From there we have mapped out a totally new way to Laughlin and Kingman by going past the town of Baker, on I-15 exiting at Nipton Rd. and taking that to Searchlight Nevada then turning south on US 95 to Laughlin and to Kingman which is another 35 miles or so. 

All is going according to plan until we come to a long gentle downgrade on Nipton Road.  With Johney leading we approach a semi truck/trailer and get past it when I see a dark car up ahead and think Oh-Oh, is that a trooper?  *BAM* -Red and blue lights start flashing as it races towards us and passes.  We slow and pull over at a fairly safe spot to wait, as we see the car whip around about ½ mile back of us.  This is not looking good at all as I suspect we were going at a pretty good clip when it lit up.  The Nevada State Highway Patrol vehicle pulls up and the officer exits, asking for license and registration which we promptly hand over. Amazingly even though she clocked us at 83 MPH, she did see that we had pulled around the semi and were slowing down, so we got a WARNING…NO ticket.  Naturally Johney asked to get a photo and she was really super in allowing a few photos. 

 
She even walked over to get a photo by the cruiser!


Partly it may have also been that all of our paperwork was in order, we had motorcycle endorsements, proper registration and did not appear to be hard core anything.  If this had been a county sheriff or Searchlight city police we would have been guaranteed a ticket nevertheless.

We get to Kingman and decide to try the famous Hualapi (Wall-ah-pie) Mountain Resort restaurant in the mountain area outside Kingman, its Wednesday spaghetti night.  Every previous trip I avoided going due to tales of the dirt parking lot with its uphill entry and downhill exit. 
 I just noticed the name on the license plate, interesting











 This time we go for it.  Plans are in place to return on Saturday with most of the crew for dinner.












Thursday morning and the weather is cloudy, with rain and a good deal of cold wind whipping around so we decide to go to the Harley/Yamaha dealer just down the road.   The rest of the gang is still on the way and will finally arrive around 3:30PM; you can verify times as many of the photos are time and date stamped.  A couple of other riders from around our area are there so we all ride over to see what’s going on…apparently not much as it is early. 






I get to explain to Bob Barbano about the motorcycle infection known as SMAS or Sudden Motorcycle Acquisition Syndrome which is caused by going into a dealer and touching a motorcycle or it can be transmitted just by sitting on someone else’s motorcycle and the next thing you know a new (or used) motorcycle is sitting in your driveway.  It can be very contagious.
Thursday is normal arrival day and a lot of riders and friends from around the area meet at the Golden Corral for dinner.  There is a raffle for some show tickets and Chuck & Patty and Ken & Gail are winners.  Luckily Brian H. is there and since he owes me for a previous lunch I bought, my dinner is on him.



 Sitting around the parking lot and sharing stories of the trip and making plans for tomorrow Friday in Laughlin.


Friday morning early everyone meets up to ride over to Laughlin for a Yamaha sponsored breakfast where I win a pair of sunglasses.  Everyone that is except for my roommate and travel partner, Johney who decides at the last minute to head back home instead of attending his paid for breakfast.





 I have to buy a 2012 Laughlin River Run hat for a couple reasons including having a patch on my current hat that seems to bother some folks but apparently they have no awareness that it has nothing to do with them or any other motorcycle association at all.  Seems to be a bit sensitive but that’s OK, no need to make anyone upset about anything so trivial.  The patch however is not coming off, it is my hat after all, I just will wear it outside of their purview. 
This year the official River Run hats are rather bland but I found one after walking about a mile, bought a small River Run patch had it sewn on, attached a pin and we are good to go.




I mean like WOW!
Friday evening Johney had scheduled a dinner with Rick and Tammy from Phoenix area and former Orange County residents so I go instead and have a wonderful early bird dinner and a chance to catch up with our Colorado ride partner that never made it for the whole trip.


Saturday is a ride day and with Johney gone the trip that was planned for Las Vegas and a Black & White cookie run has been dashed.  It’s over to IHOP for breakfast then a group of us head for Seligman, AZ on route 66, where we find the tiny spot of Hackberry a bus stop used to be located here way out of town. 


 
A quick stop at the tiny station of Hackberry on Rte 66.











It could be Dan


Since owning a motorcycle and riding with friends builds strong bodies and clean minds, or is it strong body OR clean mind…take your pick.  Either way it is eat and then ride to eat some more, then when you get back its ride to another location to eat, the cycle never stops.  Seligman has been there since before the Indians arrived I think, and as required we stop for lunch.








When we pull into Seligman our ride leader finds a perfect spot under a canopy at an abandoned gas station.  I look over and spot a rare and fantastic find of a fly wheel on a trailer bed with a motor attached.  No idea what it is for but as a staunch fringe member of the Amalgamated Brotherhood of Fly Wheel Watchers, I am ecstatic.
  
 Oh yes, the Days Inn, almost forgot.  The staff treats us really nice and lets everyone sit outside and have a social event right there in the parking lot. There is no camp fire and we avoid singing Kumbaya, but it is fun.  The rooms and the building in general are in need of some refurbishing however, from the door to the lobby that must be pushed open by sliding the automatic door, to hinges coming off other doors, paint peeling in the bathroom, drains including the toilet that run poorly and slow, and carpeting that has seen better days.  The beds however do sleep fairly well considering, plus there is a refrigerator and microwave in the room.  Rates during the Laughlin event are elevated but possibly a few dollars less than at other locations.  Seems there are few options other than paying more money at another location.
Back to the events of the day.  Saturday night is early dinner at the Hualapi Mountain resort, my second visit this trip but with a larger group of friends.  There are a few that have never been here so it will be a fun as well as a new experience, even for me.  Often there are deer and elk roaming around the ground and we do get to spot a couple.  the photos with notes tell the story.  the Prime Rib is huge -as much as I would love that I back off and split a steak with Wayne.


















Sunday morning and it’s time to hit the highway.  I will be riding back with the group and Ed asks me to be wingman for the return trip.  It does warm up as we head towards Lake Havasu and we take a short break to visit the London Bridge.










Yes, I'm eating ice cream

Arriving in parker it is definitely very warm at over 90 deg and I water up the Kool Vest, it really helps keep my body temperature down as well as my heart rate.  The ride from Parker, AZ to this last stop is about 137 miles, our longest non-stop stretch.  A quick stop in Yucca Valley and a Carl's Jr. hamburger, then it's on to the 60 Fwy and the 91 to home.
Looks like another great entry into the Blog books.  Still have a couple trips planned for 2012 and if all goes well will have a write-up on those as well.  Thanks to all that shared their time and friendship with me on this trip.  Some of the personal stories just never make it in here because they are shared on a private level but you do learn a lot about everyone on these trips.