Day 7: June 20, 2003
Holy Hole, Batman!!



It's about a fifty mile drive from Williams, where I spent the night, to the Grand Canyon. I only spent about three hours at the park but took in the drive to Desert View and checked out all of the marked overlooks. I guess you'd have to call it a modified "Clark Griswold" visit. What a place! My three hours definitely got me some great views and a feel for how big this thing really is but I could see spending days there without being bored.

An added bonus of this trip was a chance to mingle with attendees at the 2003 Arizona H.O.G. Rally. H.O.G. stands for Harley Owners Group but, if you didn't already know that, you probably don't want to attend. There were a few in town when I got there Thursday night and a lot more when I came back through today. The expected total is 1500. Most of the bikes are well dressed tourers with hardly a chopper in the whole collection. I strolled around, had one beer, and headed west.

In the midst of all that stuff, there is a window where Juan Delgadillo does business - and entertains. Juan's limo is currently without a working fuel pump but I was assured it will be back soon. Anyone with a lead on a 1937 Chevy pump could really help out and maybe get the car repaired by the Sno Cap's 50th anniversary next month. That's Juan in the middle of one of his well timed pauses following delivery of one of his many jokes. Juan's son (he's going to fix the car) is also active in the business along with a few "cousins". I think "Juanson" will do just fine.

Just a couple of doors up the road, brother Angel keeps the gift shop humming with help from Vilma. Angel has been instrumental in Route 66 preservation and both brothers continue to help make a drive through Seligman unique and worthwhile.

Just before Kingman, the Hackberry General store caught my eye and prompted a turn around. John & Kerry Prichard started setting the place up in 1998 with John's 35 year collection of goodies. In 1999, it was not the eye catcher it is today so my being surprised was justified. There is lots to look at both in and out of the store; including more cars. Many are pure "show" cars but among the ones that run is a 1919 Model T truck.

John's kind of faking it behind the register because it's Taylor that actually knows how to run it. The General Store has just about everything you might need but, despite a realistic looking 50s diner setup, no hot food. That's where Bonnie comes in. Great people and a store that I'm sure roadies will be stopping at more and more.

This is the structure that started all that trouble in 1999. The place shows signs of recent work so I'm guessing Route 66  will soon have another roadside attraction. When I last passed this way, I pulled off to look at the remnants of the building then changed my mind. As I accelerated back on the road, I ended up about where the X is. The third picture is from off of the road and shows the pipe that probably helped keep us upright. I have to admit that getting beyond this spot was a personal highlight of the trip.

The road we missed by diving into the rocks contains many even worse places to pull that sort of stunt. I've read Grapes of Wrath twice - once in the dim past and once just before the 1999 trip. I guess I better read it again because now I think I can better appreciate what a challenge it was to cover those last few miles to the California line. It's tough enough in a good handling car with superior brakes and enough torque to easily pull every slope. Doing this in a limping overloaded Hudson truck would be a whole different story.

Yes, that's a rock bridge in the center of the first shot. The road crosses it after a near horseshoe turn then heads up the hill. The picture with the car in it was taken from Shatter Fish Bowl Spring. When I saw the rock steps, I recalled that we were going to be looking for steps in 1999 but I couldn't remember why. I rediscovered the name of the spring only after reaching the motel so I didn't really look for the gold fish that are supposed to be there. However, there was certainly plenty of water so they're probably doing just fine.

The road doesn't exactly straighten out at Oatman but it is a welcome relief. The bar in the "hotel" was the only thing I found open although the bartender told me that there was one other. Oatman is a working "ghost town" with daily gunfights and other touristy things.

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