September 22, 2016
Well it is day two of the Arizona adventure and as I said in the earlier post, kick stands up at 7. We saddled up on the hogs and were headed out for Yuma, AZ! As John says, it never rains in Arizona… well he lied, lol. We checked the forecast before heading out and there were rain showers in the area, but not the way we were going (according to John). So off we went heading out Hwy 60. About 20 minutes into the ride, it started getting dark on the road ahead so we pulled over. Mind you we had rain gear in the saddle bags, but John said “it is going to go around the mountain and we will be fine”. Ok!
A short time later we are getting soaked (as you can see in the picture). We are wet now so let’s just go on to Wickenburg and get some breakfast. We rolled into town looking like drowned rats and decided to eat at the Horseshoe Café where a couple of other bikes were parked outside. One was up on the sidewalk, which we found out later while eating belonged to the cook and wouldn’t start if the points got wet. What an awesome breakfast it was too! Homemade biscuits and gravy, eggs, hash browns, and of course bacon. And according to John, some of the best coffee he ever had. Do yourself a favor and if you are ever in Wickenburg and want some great food and down home service, go to the Horseshoe Café.
Travel tip: Don’t be afraid to stop in a hole in the wall place if a bunch of bikes are parked outside, we know where the good eating places are and love to eat!
3:10 to Yuma
On a full stomach with the sun coming out, (which helped to dry us out) we were back on the road heading to Yuma on Hwy 60. This is a gorgeous ride through rolling hills and very little traffic. On the way we passed through a town called Hope and on the other side of town a sign said “you are now beyond Hope”. I was laughing to myself a long ways down the road, little things amuse me. We got into Quartzsite and stopped for a drink and a Popsicle because it was getting hot. The one mistake we made here was not filling the bikes up with gas, cause when you leave I-10 and head south on Hwy 95 there is nothing on this stretch of road for 80 miles but air and opportunity to run out of gas. The one big sight on this road is the US Army Yuma proving grounds, marking the entrance gates are some large howitzers. There was nothing earth shattering going on that day that we could feel, so we headed on to Yuma in hope that we didn’t run out of gas. I coasted into the station on fumes but was glad I didn’t have to push it in the desert sun. After filling up and having a cold drink we headed over to Bob’s Territorial Harley dealership to grab some shirts. Can’t never have enough Harley T-shirts! We met one of the best customer service sales persons in the clothing section that told us go ahead and mess up the shirts so I have something to do today. I found some great looking shirts that had an escaped convict on a bike heading out of town.
Travel Tip: When driving through the desert, especially on a motorcycle, if you see a gas station and are under a half tank, fill up! Gas stations are few and far between in lots of areas in the Southwest US once you get out of the bigger cities.
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Site
We headed over to the territorial prison, the movie 3:10 to Yuma was based upon this location. This is a very interesting historical site with all the things that took place at this location, and the people it housed while in operation. One of the more interesting facts was that the prison was used as the High School for a period of time and the team was known as the criminals! It has now been shortened to “The Crims” but they still go by this name.
The prison has a self-guided tour with a charge of $6 per person for entry into the prison and museum. You enter the prison through the Sally port and head into a museum where there are a large amount of artifacts and information on some of the more famous prisoners that were housed here. You can even put on the prison attire and have your picture taken to remember the day. The train tracks (Gray Bridge) still run next to the prison and the Union Pacific trains still use these rails on a regular basis. (This makes John very happy since he is retired from UP and says that when the train is moving, money is rolling). Make sure to go around the prison grounds and go into the cells, the dark cells where bats can still be found. You can also see the mission on the hill behind the prison that is used to support the Quechan Indian Nation. Beyond the mission is Fort Yuma. This is a great stop to learn about the “Wild West” and help support this State Historical Site. Lastly I had to go to the visitor center and pick an ornament for our “travel” Christmas tree. We decorate every year with a vast collection of ornaments that we pick up from all the places we visit.
It was getting on in the afternoon and the big boys were getting hungry so we headed over to the local brewery for a cold one and a bite to eat. What else would call a brewery in Yuma but Prison Hill Brewing Company? The brewery is located on Main Street and is only a 5 minute drive from the prison. They have a great selection of craft beers so I settled on a flight to try several of them. I had the Ghetto Bird, a nice rich brown beer with an earthy tone, Jailhouse Blonde just cause I liked the name, Mother Effin Heffe (a nice summer Hefeweizen), and finished it off with a Sally Porter, a smooth dark beer. I decided on a burger and had the “what’s your poblano man.”
How can you go wrong with roasted poblano peppers with pepper jack cheese on a brioche bun! It was mouthwatering good and very filling. John settled on “the snitch” a BBQ sandwich with peppers as well, and he had no problem devouring this awesome sandwich. We took a break and enjoyed our lunch before heading out on the next part of this adventure and what an adventure it would become! Stay tuned for the next post: Sand Blasted, as promised.
Saddle up and head out folks to Live Your Adventure,
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