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  • Writer's pictureJim Clarahan

A Hot Cold Windy 4,000 Mile Zig Zag Route Toward Home

It's a Pogue Life! Zigging 430+ miles east from Santa Monica, my first stop on the ride home was my pal KP's home in Carefree AZ. Four days of great food, great wine, rusty golf, refreshing pool time, a washed and polished bike, and great company. The hospitality was 5-star all the way. Thanks, KP!

Zagging north on US93, I ventured by Mr. D'z in Kingman AZ before finishing the 300+ mile ride to Las Vegas. A ride by Hoover Dam, followed by three fabulous nights at the Aria Resort & Casino for the RSM owners meeting. Tuesday morning was extra special as over 1,000 retired and active owners took to the streets of Las Vegas for our run/walk charity fundraiser. Such a great time catching up with old friends and colleagues. Looking forward to returning in 2026 to celebrate RSM's 100th anniversary!

Into 'the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil', the phrase from Psalm 23 playing in my head, as I set my sights on riding thru Furnace Creek, Death Valley at 190' below sea level. Two wrong turns added an extra 100 miles to the day, but it was well worth it. Amargosa Valley NV's "Area 51 Alien Center" and Shoshone CA at the southern edge of Death Valley were the unexpected surprises. The temp at Furnace Creek was a mere 105'f, nowhere close to its world-record of 130'f reached in July 2021. If I ever return to Death Valley, it will be in an A/C cooled, four-wheeled vehicle! Both gas tank and stomach were running near empty as I crossed the valley's last wide-open plain to the lone fuel station in Panamint Springs. A full tank, an ice cream bar and lemon slushy, were the nourishment needed to go the final 100 miles to Bishop. Bishop was another delightful surprise. This small town of 4,000 is known for its annual "Mule Days" festival, held every year over Memorial Day weekend. According to locals, the Mule Days parade holds the record for the longest non-motorized parade - all floats are pulled by four-legged creatures.

Zagging farther north to Reno with two fascinating side trips in between. Both side trips climbing to nearly 10,000' above sea level, the Tioga Pass (the highest pass thru the Sierra Nevada) and then twisting over Mount Rose to Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe. Gar Woods - famous for its refreshing "Wet Woody" drink. Thank You, Deb, for the recommendation. Then onward to "The Biggest Little City in the World" - Reno. Who am I to argue. Right on cue, it seemed as if the whole city turned out to greet the Ride 4 Dray with its annual BBQ, Brews & Blues Festival!

This is the 2nd to last blog of the Ride 4 Dray Route 66 2024 ride, covering my ride from Carefree AZ to Reno NV. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures as much as I have experiencing them first-hand and sharing them. The final blog will cover the ride through Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Nebraska, Iowa, and the final route to Peoria.

Enough Zagging, it is time to Zig! Eastward to Salt Lake City We Go! Stay tuned ...

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