8/17/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary
Today is my birthday. I thought the day was going to go great. I left Vegas and just barely made it to the Grand Canyon by sunset doing 95mph most of the way. I spent the night at a campground and didn't know how freakin' cold it gets at 7000+ above sea-level. So, I froze in my hammock all night and didn't sleep much. But, I decided to make the best of it and catch the Canyon just after sun-rise, then hit the big Crater outside Flagstaff, stop off by the Painted Desert for shots, then on through Roswell to White Sands.
It all went downhill after waking this morning freezing in my hammock. Got to the Canyon and fired off a few shots, then went back to the bike and noticed my tire definately wasn't going to make it back to Texas. Cords were already showing... so, I cut the visit short and rode 80miles REAL slow down Hwy 180 to Flagstaff to the nearest place I could find a tire. Gets even older at over 8000 feet above sea-level by the way. but, the scenery was pretty nice. Paid almost double what the same time costs in Austin, but they did it while I waited. Trouble was... they took about 3hrs doing it. Then they inform me that my back brake pad is nearly metal to metal and they didn't have the pads for my bike. Sooooooo... had to find another shop, pay again through the nose for brake pads installed and was finally on my way.
BUT, about 30miles outside Flagstaff I realized I left my Road Atlas at the first MC shop and wasn't about to ride all the way back. Stood in line at Walmart for 40mins to buy a crummy atlas and try to at least make the Painted desert today. I was almost there when the sign says they close entrance at 7pm... is was already 6:50PM so I had to find a cheap room in Holbrook Arizona and start over fresh tomorrow.
I told the service manager at the motorcycle shop that was reaming me that it was my birthday... just so I could hear at least one person wish me one.
I told the short little Indian dude from Bombay who's wearing a giant cowboy hat and bolo tie and rented me this dodgy room for $20 that it was my birthday, and he said.. "What about a birthday cake?" I said, "Nah, just wanted you to wish me a happy birthday..." He said, "No, I mean just before you came in I was having a piece of cake. I'll split it with you as a birthday cake."
So, I shared his cake with him then moved my stuff into this room that smells like 20years of mildew. But hey! I gots me some cake.. AND he has FREE wireless!
This is one seriously freaky little town. Kinda creepy, but a writer's paradise. I went to get a bite to eat for my birthday and most of the beat up little cafes had already closed at 8pm. One was open called Mr. Maestra's. I ordered a glass of wine (since it's my birthday and all) and the "red" arrived at my table in a water glass, was cold, very sweet, and had bubbles in it. I had a headache before finishing even half the glass. And there was this old Navajo dude (Mr. Maestra I assume) who only had one leg, was in a wheel chair, wearing a cammo jungle hat and a t-shirt that said "Get Your Kicks on Route 66", and he was wheeling around in his wheelchair with a pot of coffee toppin' folks off.
(to be continued in part 8/19/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary)