Looking For Adventure In Whatever Comes Our Way
This has been a fun-filled 120 miles, but the ride has just begun. It's another 375 miles to our first night's stay: the Americana Inn in Flagstaff, Arizona. We connected to Interstate 40 (Route 66 until 1974) and crossed the Colorado River at state line where we see the bridges in the beginning credits of the movie, and I hit play on my iPod cued to "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf. I'm officially reliving my favorite biker movie. Riding I-40 to Kingman, we get off the freeway and followed the signs to the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 that still remains today.
Empty rooms at Roy's
Williams, Arizona, was the last town bypassed by Interstate 40 and has a very retro vibe. Stop in and party like it's 1969. Captain America and Billy only put 30 miles on the hardtail choppers they were riding in Easy Rider. My '11 Victory Cross Roads is at ease traveling hundreds of miles through this arid terrain. The sheer multitude of possible leg positions of cleverly designed engine guards and floorboards make this motorcycle a joy to ride. Its user-friendly cruise control, air adjustable suspension, plush seating, and acres of cargo capacity make the Cross Roads a solid touring motorcycle...did I mention its stunning styling?
After 500 miles of riding, we finally arrived at the Americana Inn on Route 66 in Flagstaff. This is where the actors and film crew stayed while shooting here, and true to our mission, we booked a room for the night. Refraining from slanderous remarks or expletives, I will instead reprint a few reviews posted on Trip Advisor by prior patrons.
"Sleeping in your car is a better idea."
"The absolute worst hotel experience one could have."
"The America Inn should be shut down."
Heath in a state of awe
Gonna Make It Happen; Take the World In a Love Embrace
The next morning it was breakfast with Katee Sackhoff (24, Battlestar Gallactica) and Tricia Helfer (Dark Blue, Burn Notice, Battlestar Gallactica). They met on set and found a common bond: motorcycling. Katee, from Seattle, and Tricia, born and raised on a farm in Canada, are both wild spirits; strong-willed and adventurous women. Both own Harleys back home and truly love to ride. They formed the Acting Outlaws (actingoutlaws.org) and their 2,500-mile trek is in support of the Gulf Restoration Network. GRN is the only environmental advocacy group exclusively focused on the health of the Gulf of Mexico. Their ride into Flagstaff was fraught with fierce wind and rain. The weather hasn't been kind to these women. I know because I was there. Katee and Tricia's mission is to raise awareness and support for the future of the Gulf, ensuring coastal communities have the resources they need and making sure we learn the lessons of the BP drilling disaster to keep this from happening again. Their motto is "Do Something."
Katee and Tricia
Our mission is not quite as noble. Heath and I are here to find some film locations used in the Easy Rider movie. As we rode, I reflected on the spirit of an American road trip. A nation of immigrants, we all have different histories and different destinations but our desire is the same: freedom. And as riders, whether be it on Japanese sportbikes, American V-twins, British, or German motorcycles, we're all spinning in the same direction full throttle together on this cosmic blue ball.
Only 10 miles out of Flagstaff is Bellemont. We pulled into Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson for some free coffee and across the parking lot is the Roadhouse Bar and Grille. Hanging in the entry is the original "No Vacancy" sign used in the first location shot. Only a quarter-mile up the road is the Pine Breeze Inn where Billy and Wyatt were denied a room their first night.
"Hey man, ya got a room?"