Leaving Flagstaff, we headed east across Arizona for 70 miles and stopped off at the best-preserved meteor crater in the world. This mile-wide crater was identical to the craters created by 20-megaton nuclear tests carried out in the Nevada desert in the 1950s.
We continued on the historic Route 66 across the empty and beautiful Arizona landscape. Huge open areas of range dotted with rocky mesas and bluffs. Route 66 has loads of derelict motels and gas stations left over from its glory days before it was made redundant by the freeway. Pulling off our route, we headed north for about 100 miles to visit Window Rock. This is the seat of government for the Navajo people and the huge sandstone cliff with the circular “window” is very sacred to them. The Navajo tribe and language were featured in a recent film about the use of tribal Navajo speakers who provided unbreakable coded messages during wartime operations carried out by the US Marines in WW2.
Crossing over into New Mexico, we headed back onto the 66 with the scenery changing into deep red sandstone bluffs and canyons. We continued to follow the 66 until we left it, for the last time, just outside of Albuquerque. We then headed north for a couple of days R&R in Sante Fe.
Sante Fe is an elegant little city made up of pretty traditional pueblo styled adobe buildings. It was the home of Georgia O’Keefe and has since become a mecca for a wide range of creative and artistic people from all over the world. Lots of galleries selling a wide range of paintings and sculpture and, of course, the wonderful Georgia O’Keefe Gallery.
We left Santa Fe in the pouring rain and travelled to the small six-block town of Post, 40 miles south of Lubbock. When we emerged from the motel the following morning, I discovered I had a puncture and we had to get a breakdown truck to pick up my bike, but apparently, it wouldn’t be ready until Monday.
As we were arriving at the dealership I noticed we were being followed – it turned out it was the 78-year-old owner and his wife, Mr & Mrs Haye. What a wonderful couple. They opened up this huge Harley shop and rung their chief mechanic who came in specially and fitted a new tyre and checked everything over.
Finally left at 2pm and made Austin after 400 miles of torrential rain and seven hours of non-stop riding. Now for a couple of days of fine dining and soft living. Hooray!